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Hopedale Public Schools
Bus Pass and & Fee-based Transportation Program


Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for town-paid (free) school bus transportation in Hopedale?

How is the two mile distance measured?

What is the fee-based transportation program?

Under what circumstances would I be eligible for a refund?

How do I apply for the fee-based transportation program?

What are the payment terms?

What happens if I send in my application/payment after the deadlines?

Does my child need a bus pass?

What if my child loses the bus pass?

Where will my child be picked up or dropped off?

Can my child ride home on another bus?

What if my child only needs bus transportation one way or only 2 or 3 days per week?

What if I only want to enroll for a partial year?

Can student conduct result in suspension from the school bus?

Is there a provision for a fee waiver?

What if my child has special needs?

What if my child has a "504 Plan"?

1. Who is eligible for town-paid (free) school bus transportation in Hopedale?

Students in Grades K-6 who reside over 2 miles from their assigned school are eligible for town-paid (free) bus transportation. This determination is mandated by the State of Massachusetts (Massachusetts General Law Chapter 71 Section 68). All students in Grades K-12 will have the option to participate in the fee-based transportation program.

2. How is the two mile distance measured?

The two mile distance is measured from the end of the driveway of the student's home to the closest entrance of the school, using the shortest means by public roadway. We utilize the Versa Trans routing software to measure distances within the town. There is a list of streets in the "Transportation Zones" posted on this website.

3. What is the fee-based transportation program?

All students who are NOT eligible for town-paid busing will have the option to purchase a bus pass through the "Fee-Based Transportation Program." (i.e., grade K-6 students living two miles or less from their assigned school and all students in grades 7-12, regardless of distance.) Passes for 2017-2018 school year are $250.00 per student with a $500.00 family cap when paid by June 30, 2017. And $300.00 per student with a family cap of $600.00 when paid after June 30, 2017.

4. Under what circumstances would I be eligible for a refund?

Refunds will be granted to those families who move during the school year if they submit a written request to the Transportation Office. Refunds will be prorated. No refunds will be granted for those families who opt for other means of transportation. Please understand that routes and staffing will be established based upon enrollments as of July 28, 2017.

5. How do I apply for the fee-based transportation program?

Students wishing to obtain a bus pass must complete the registration /application form and return it with payment no later than 4 pm on the closing dates of the registration process.

6. What are the payment terms?

Payment is due in full by check or money order, no cash please. Please note that any check returned due to insufficient funds or closed bank accounts will have a $25 bank fee charged as a penalty to the check writer. Payment plans and/or partial payments will not be accepted.

7. What happens if I send in my application/payment after the deadlines?

Applications or payments received after the closing dates are not guaranteed a seat and will be placed on a waiting list. Bus routes and staffing will be planned based on enrollment as of July 28, 2017. New residents who reside under 2.0 miles are eligible for transportation upon enrollment subject to seat availability.

8. Does my child need a bus pass?

Yes. All bus students are required to carry their bus pass on a daily basis, beginning the first day of school. Even if the student is eligible for free busing, a registration/application form must be completed and returned to the Transportation Office located at Hopedale Public Schools, 25 Adin Street, Hopedale, 01747. Bus passes will be available for pick up at the High School office in late August. Date to be determined.

PLEASE NOTE: Passes will only be distributed to students who have completed an application and paid the transportation fee in full.

9. What if my child loses the bus pass?

A one-time replacement bus pass will be provided at no cost. Subsequent new passes will have a $3.00 processing fee.

10. Where will my child be picked up or dropped off?

Children will walk to a common bus stop. Students are not entitled to street-by-street or door-to-door pickup or drop-off. All stops will be at corners, whenever possible, as to make them safe, fair and consistent for all. Bus stops are established in accordance with School Committee policy and Massachusetts State law. In the case of new residents, it may be necessary to establish a new bus stop. Until the area is reviewed, new students will be assigned to the bus stop closest to their home. If a new stop needs to be added, students will be reassigned and notified by the Transportation Office. Parents are responsible for assuring that their child is at the correct bus stop. Any child standing at unauthorized locations or bus stops not assigned by the Transportation Office may not be picked up. Regarding Kindergarten: It is school policy that EVERY kindergarten student to be met by an adult as they exit the school bus. Failure to meet your child's bus will result in your child being returned to school. It is school policy to return children to their school should an adult not be present to meet them.

11. Can my child ride home on another bus?

No. Students may only ride their assigned buses. If there is a family emergency or medical situation, parents should notify the school principal and other transportation arrangements may be made. Daycare Transportation: Requests for transportation to a stop other than the student's home address must be approved by the Principal and forwarded to the Superintendent for daycare/babysitting on a five-day-a-week basis. On other than a five-day-a-week basis, transportation is only provided when the requested location is on the same bus route as the student's home route.

12. What if my child only needs bus transportation one way or only 2 or 3 days per week?

The cost for all students is the same. The amount of time you use the bus is at your discretion. However, bus costs cannot be prorated according to varied daily usage. This is not a "pay-as-you-ride" program.

13. What if I only want to enroll for a partial year?

Routes and staffing will be configured based upon student enrollment as of July 28th. There is no provision for payment of a partial year.

14. Can student conduct result in suspension from the school bus?

Students are expected to behave in a manner which will provide for optimum safety of the individual student as well as the safety of other students aboard the bus. When a student is reported for violating a safety rule in and around a school bus, school officials will review the situation with the student. Parents will be notified of the behavior. Depending on the severity of the offense and the frequency of violations, the student may receive a warning, a brief suspension from the bus or suspension for the balance of the school year. If a student is participating in the "Fee Based Transportation Program" and is suspended from the bus, the fee WILL NOT BE REFUNDED.

15. Is there a provision for a fee waiver?

If you cannot afford the transportation fee and meet income requirements, the waiver application must be completed and submitted, along with required income documentation by the closing date of the registration process. Incomplete information will NOT be processed. If it is determined that you are no longer eligible for this program you will be required to pay the transportation fee.

16. What if my child has special needs?

Special needs students who attend out of district placements (outside the Town of Hopedale) and ride special vehicles or vans are NOT subject to the fee. Special needs students who attend Hopedale Public Schools are subject to the fee under the same provisions as other students unless they have "special transportation" by a "special vehicle" indicated in their Individualized Education Plan (I.E.P.). Special needs students with these two provisions in their I.E.P. are NOT subject to the fee.

17. What if my child has a "504 Plan"?

Students who have a 504 plan are subject to the fee under the same provisions as all other students.