Transportation FAQ’s

Free Bussing Questions

Q. How do I know if my child is eligible for free busing to their school?

A. All school districts in Iowa are required to follow the transportation policies established by the Iowa Department of Education.

  • Elementary students and middle school students shall be entitled to transportation only if they live more than two miles from the school designated for attendance (their boundary school).
  • High school students shall be entitled to transportation only if they live more than three miles from the school designated for attendance (their boundary school).

Note: The minimum distance for transportation eligibility increases at 9th-grade to a three-mile minimum distance from school.

Q. Why did I receive a denial notice for free bussing?

A. All applications for students who live within the Walk Zone are denied. The Walk Zone is defined as under two miles from elementary and middle schools and under three miles from high schools designated for attendance.

Paid Bussing Questions

Q. What is paid busing?

A. Parents may request paid busing for students who live within the Walk Zone. The Walk Zone is defined as under two miles from elementary and middle schools and under three miles from high schools designated for attendance. The transportation department processes applications for paid busing once all applications for students who meet the transportation eligibility requirements are submitted each school year.

Q. If I complete a paid busing application for my child, is my child guaranteed a spot?

A. No. Paid busing is offered only if space is available on an existing bus and after the requirements are met for those who live beyond the mileage radius approved by the Iowa Department of Education. If a child is approved for paid busing, a bus passes must be purchased at the school the child attends.

Q. How long does it take to process paid busing applications?

A. The transportation department does not know how many seats are open for a particular bus until all applications are processed. Parents should plan on providing transportation for their child until they receive a written notice from the transportation department notifying them of paid bussing approval. Processing of paid busing requests will begin after the first two weeks of school to allow Transportation staff to process all busing requests of students living outside of the 2- and 3-mile boundaries of their assigned school. 

General Bussing Questions

Q. What if my child does not attend a school within the designated boundary school for attendance?

A. Parents are responsible for providing transportation for all students attending a school other than the boundary school designated for attendance. For example, if a student’s boundary school for attendance is Bryant Elementary and they open-enroll at Loess Hills Computer Programming Elementary, the parent is responsible for providing that student transportation to Loess Hills Computer Programming Elementary.

View information regarding school boundaries here.

Q. My child goes to a babysitter; can they ride the bus to the babysitter’s house?

A. No. Transportation is not provided for before or after school care. The transportation department does verify a student’s home address with the student’s school.