March 19, 2018

Dear Parent/Guardian:

In order to reach as many families as possible this letter is being sent to all families with children enrolled in, and/or entering, the Wellesley Public Schools, St. John’s or Tenacre Schools.

We are once again planning for transportation services for the upcoming 2018 – 2019 school year. The following paragraphs outline the various requirements and responsibilities for ridership. Please read this letter in its entirety to be sure you understand the procedures and timelines.

Bus Stops

Children walk to a common stop designated in your neighborhood. While Wellesley Public Schools furnishes transportation for students, it does not relieve parents of the responsibility for supervision until such time as the child boards the bus in the morning and after the child leaves the bus at the end of the school day.

Once a child boards the bus, and only at that time, does he or she become the responsibility of the school district. Such responsibility shall end when the child is delivered to the regular bus stop at the close of the school day. An adult must meet kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students at the regular bus stop (see Important Reminder paragraph at the end of this letter).

The number of buses required and, thus, the number of seats available, are based on the demand. The bus routes and stops will be established based on the addresses of participants registered by the deadline. Every effort will be made to make stops convenient to parents and students, subject to safety being our priority.

Eligibility

In accordance with State regulations and School Committee policy, free transportation will be provided for students in Kindergarten through Grade 6 residing two miles or more from school.  If you have any questions regarding your eligibility based on your address, please go to the Wellesley Public Schools website at www.wellesleyps.org and click on the “Students & Families” tab at the top of the page. A drop down menu will appear on the right hand column under “Information & Services.” Scroll down to and click on “Transportation.” You will see “Bus Eligibility by Street.” Click on that selection and an alphabetical list by street will appear.

We will continue to offer fee-based transportation services to all other students (that is, students who live less than two miles from school or students in grades 7 through 12). The fee will be $521 per student, with a family cap of $1,142. In other words, when there are more than two children in a family participating in the fee-based transportation program, the fee for the third child is $100 and any additional child thereafter is free.

High School Second AM Bus Run

Based on the success of the pilot of a second High School morning bus run during FY18, the School Committee has committed the funding for this run in our FY19 budget.  Please be sure to register your High School student by the deadline for transportation in order to be able to take advantage of either the first or second AM bus runs.  As long as your student is registered, he or she can take either bus to school.

Registration

In order to participate in the program, parents must complete the registration process through the online fee payment system and agree to the Bus Conduct Rules for Transportation.  A non-refundable deposit of $100 per student must be submitted when registering. Please note that you always have the option to pay in full at this time but that does not guarantee a bus stop location. (Bus stops are not determined until all registrations are in and routes are established.)  The online registration with deposit is due by April 6, 2018.  Registrations received after April 6, 2018 will be processed in the order in which they are received on a space available basis.

Confirmations, including bus routes and fee balances owed, if applicable, will be sent to all registered students on or about May 7, 2018.  In order to confirm your seat for transportation, the balance due must be paid in full online no later than May 25, 2018.  Once paid in full, the seat is committed and assigned to your student. If you change your plans for use of the transportation service, fees are not refundable.

An unpaid balance will indicate that you have decided not to participate in the optional bus transportation program and, as stated previously, the deposit will be non-refundable. A late payment made after the May 25, 2018 deadline will result in your child being placed on a waiting list and processed on a space available basis.

A waiver process has been established for those families who are eligible by income level or are currently receiving state assistance. If you have any questions about the waiver process, please go to the Wellesley Public Schools website at www.wellesleyps.org and click on the “Students & Families” tab at the top of the page. A drop down menu will appear. Under “Information & Services,” scroll down to “Financial Assistance Information.” Families requesting a waiver should apply on or before the April 6, 2018 deadline. A seat will not be assigned until all forms are completed, reviewed and approved.

To register and pay online please go to www.wellesleyps.org; under the “Students & Families” tab, under “Online Payment & Registration” click on “Lessons & Transportation.” You will be brought to the login screen. Enter your Username and Password, press Login and then click on the photo of the yellow school bus. If you don’t remember your login information, click “Need Login Help?” and we will send it to you. If you don’t have an existing account, please click on “Create an Account” and proceed to enter your family information. You will be notified with a username and password.

Important Reminder

Safety of our students is the foremost priority of the transportation program.  This includes at their bus stop, while riding on the bus, and as students embark and disembark from the bus.  For this reason we require Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 students to be discharged at their same daily bus stop to a parent or caregiver who is known to the driver.  Alternatively, a Kindergartner, first grader or second grader may be accompanied by an older sibling in Grade 4 or Grade 5.  When that sibling is not on the bus on any day, an adult known to us must be present at the stop to meet the younger student. If there is no one waiting to accompany the Kindergartner, First or Second grader at the stop, that student will remain on the bus and be brought back to his or her school.

Please be sure to make these arrangements for your child as you prepare for the upcoming school year.

Changes to Come

We want to give you advance notice that the registration and fee payment process will be streamlined for the 2019-2020 school year.  Rather than a two-step process with a deposit and then fee balance payment, payment in full for the transportation program will be required at the time of registration.  This will allow us to establish routes and confirm ridership sooner.  More details will be sent out prior to the Spring, 2019 registration timeframe.

Should you have any questions, please contact Deane McGoldrick, Transportation Coordinator, at 781-446-6210;5614, or the Business Office at 781-446-6200.

Sincerely,

Deane McGoldrick
Transportation Coordinator


Wellesley Public Schools
Transportation Department

40 Kingsbury Street
Wellesley, MA 02481-4827

781-446-6210 ;5614

Deane McGoldrick

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