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Courtesy Transportation Seats

Oct. 3, 2017

In response to the need expressed by members of the Winnipeg School Division community, the Winnipeg School Division (WSD) Board of Trustees has passed a motion to revise the transportation policy to include provisions for courtesy transportation services.

Policy EEA Transportation of Students
Section 2.4
If requested, courtesy services may be provided if all conditions are met, to pupils who, under Board Policy, do not qualify for school bus transportation:

a. agreement by parents that if the seat is required at a later date for a pupil who qualifies for transportation, the parents/guardian would have to make other arrangements within seven (7) days' notice;
b. services will be based on seat availability on the bus (not to exceed 90% capacity);
c. no additional costs to the division are incurred by having the student ride on the bus;
d. must be existing stops as buses will not be rerouted to accommodate pupils;

e. no increase in route time as identified in the Public Schools Act;
f. the passenger size and capacity of the buses will not be increased to accommodate pupils;
g.confirmation of service to be provided no later than October 31
This policy does not apply to noon hour runs for Nursery and Kindergarten students.

This provision DOES NOT affect any students currently receiving transportation, and no new routes or stops will be added to the existing schedule. The number of students who are eligible for transportation varies from month to month and even from day to day, depending on movement of students within the division and new to the division. By October 31, scheduling has stabilized enough that we can offer a limited number of empty seats for courtesy transportation.

Courtesy transportation seats are not guaranteed for the full school year as students who move into the division or onto a new bus route, who meet full eligibility requirements, will have precedence over a courtesy seat assignment.

For those applicants who meet specific criteria (see below), confirmation of courtesy transportation service requires 7 to 10 days to process.

Courtesy transportation criteria:

  • Grade level – first priority based on grade and age (youngest to oldest)
  • Distance from school (farthest to closest)
  • Program needs of the student
  • Family circumstances
  • Reminder – no new routes or stops added (see Transportation Policy EEA section 2.4 above)

The WSD transportation policy meets all of the provincial regulatory requirements to ensure that students who live further than 1.6 km, who have exceptional learning needs or who live in hazard areas are accommodated. WSD also provides transportation to Kindergarten to Grade 6 language and alternative program students, and for Nursery students attending French immersion milieu schools.

To apply for courtesy transportation, complete the WSD Courtesy Seat Transportation Application and submit it to your child's school principal. If you have additional questions, please contact the Supervisor of Transportation Services office at 204-775-0231.

Courtesy Seat Application Form

Questions and Answers

If my child is not eligible according to WSD transportation policy, but has a special circumstance or exceptional situation, what alternatives is the division offering?
If your Nursery to Grade 6 child is not eligible for WSD transportation, you may apply for a courtesy transportation seat for the 2017/2018 school year only. Please note that a courtesy seat is not guaranteed for the entire year and criteria have been established to determine who receives first access to courtesy transportation. Courtesy transportation, like eligible transportation, is only available to students from Nursery to Grade 6. It is not available to students from Grade 7 to 12.

What criteria is courtesy transportation being based on?

  • Grade level – first priority based on grade and age (youngest to oldest)
  • Distance from school (farthest to closest)
  • Program needs of the student
  • Family circumstance

Does this apply to out of catchment (School of Choice) students living outside of Winnipeg School Division but attending a WSD School?
The policy does not provide transportation for out of catchment (School of Choice) requests for students living outside of WSD boundaries.

How do I apply for courtesy transportation for my child?
You may apply for courtesy transportation by completing the WSD Courtesy Seat Transportation Application and submitting it to your child's school principal. Each child requires a separate application.

When will I know if my child has transportation?
The WSD Transportation Department requires 7 to 10 days to process a courtesy transportation application. If a seat is available, you will be informed in a letter from WSD Transportation with information on the route and schedule and first day of pickup.

My child met all the criteria but did not get courtesy transportation – why?
Courtesy transportation seats are not guaranteed for the school year as students who move into the division or onto a new bus route, who meet full eligibility requirements, will have precedence over a courtesy seat assignment. If a courtesy seat is available, it will be assigned to the student whose needs meet the most criteria. If you would like to have your application reconsidered, please speak to your school principal about submitting an appeal.

How much notice will you give me if my child is going to lose access to courtesy transportation?
Unfortunately, there is often very little notice when a student who fully meets eligibility requirements needs that seat. We will do our best to provide some notice to the parent/guardian of a student using courtesy transportation, but the situation may change within a day or two, and it is the parent's/guardian's responsibility to ensure their child gets to school.

What is WSD going to do for students who aren't eligible for transportation next year?
WSD Administration is studying fee for service and courtesy transportation and will make a recommendation to the WSD Board of Trustees for possible implementation in the 2018/2019 school year. Please be sure to watch for your opportunity to voice your position at upcoming budget consultations.

How will the transportation changes affect students in inclusive education programs?
There are no changes for students in inclusive education programs.

Will students attending French Immersion programs still receive transportation?
Students whose home is 1.6 kilometers or further from their designated catchment French Immersion School will continue to receive transportation to their designated catchment school.

Will my child be transported to the French Immersion school that we choose for them?
If the nearest French Immersion school to your home is within 1.6 kilometers, but you choose to send your child to a school further away, transportation is not automatically provided but you can apply for a possible courtesy transportation seat.

Will a student receive transportation to a school of choice within the school division?
If the student is eligible to be transported to the original designated school (ie. Lives further than 1.6 kilometers from their catchment area school), then the school division must provide transportation to that school.

What transportation is provided for my child if we live more than 1.6 kilometers from the designated school but they are in a daycare that is within 1.6 kilometers distance of the school?
In this case, you may apply for a possible courtesy transportation seat.

Per policy, transportation is only provided if BOTH home and daycare are 1.6 kilometers or greater from the student's designated school. For example:

  1. A student living within 1.6 kilometers of their designated school but attending school from a daycare that is further than 1.6 kilometers does not qualify for transportation.
  2. A student living further than 1.6 kilometers of their designated school but attending school from a daycare that is within 1.6 kilometers does not qualify for transportation.

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