Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of frequently asked questions to assist you with answers to the most commonly asked questions.
If your question is not answered here, please do not hesitate to call the Transportation Call Center at 432-240-1700. Due to the high volume of calls, you may experience a wait time. We appreciate your patience and look forward to serving you and your student.
How do I know if my student is eligible for transportation to school?
According to district policy, if your student's address is further than two miles from the campus he/she will attend, the student is eligible for transportation on a school bus.If the address is less than the two-mile radius to the campus, the student will not be eligible for transportation, and the guardian will be responsible for transporting the child to school. Less than two miles from school is considered the walk zone.
Why is my student's bus late?
Weather, traffic, driver absentees, maintenance difficulties, unforeseen incidents, and driver shortages are responsible for delays in the arrival of school buses in the morning and afternoon.
- Bus drivers must wait on campus staff members to ensure elementary students are on the correct bus.
- The first few weeks of school may mean longer stopping times at campuses, and may affect bus
- When a bus is full and more students need a ride, the driver will radio back to the transportation base for a back‐up bus. This bus will then accommodate remaining students.
- Sometimes the bus route must be doubled out, or run as a second load to or from the school, due to the regular driver being absent.
- Traffic in the Midland area is increasingly complex due to the rapid growth of the area.
- Drivers check buses before their routes, and sometimes find mechanical problems that cause delays or require driving another bus for the day. This can cause the bus to be unpunctual.
Please know that we are doing everything possible to have all buses running on schedule every day. In the event that your bus does not arrive as scheduled, please allow ten to thirty minutes before calling the transportation office or the school.
What do I do when my student needs to ride a different bus/get off at a different stop?
In order for your student to be allowed to ride a different bus, or to get off at a different stop, he/she must have a valid note signed by the building administrator stating that it is permissible for the student to either ride or get off at a different stop. The student needs to bring a note to the building administrator from the parent stating that this is permissible, then the building administrator will give the student a note for the bus driver. The process also depends upon the availability of seating on the bus the student is requesting to ride (if there is room without displacing regular bus riders).
What are the expectations for student conduct during transportation?
All students using Midland ISD Transportation are responsible for their conduct on the bus.
- Students are required to follow the instructions of the driver and monitor if the bus has a monitor.
- Students should behave in an orderly manner and show the same behavior as if they were in a classroom setting.
- Refrain from the use of profane language.
- No use of tobacco products of any type.
- Refrain from eating or drinking on the bus.
- Respect the safety of the other students.
- RIDING ON A SCHOOL BUS IS A PRIVILEGE, NOT A RIGHT.
Why did you suspend my student from riding the bus?
Behavioral expectations on the school bus are much like those in the classroom. Then, factor in the mobility of that "classroom" and traffic, added noise and the size of the "classroom," and the importance of an orderly environment is even greater. The behavioral expectations on the bus revolve around the individual rights of every person on the bus, including the driver, and the collective rights of the students and driver as it pertains to safety. Anything that jeopardizes the safety of individuals on the bus is viewed as serious. The bus rules are posted on the inside of the bus at the front; the driver goes over these rules with the bus riders at the beginning of the year as well as when new riders come on the bus. When there is an infraction, a referral is turned into the school administrator, who is then responsible for contacting the student and the parent to solve the lack of compliance with bus expectations. The school administrator is solely responsible for consequences based on the incident as described by the driver and student. All of our buses are equipped with video and audio equipment which are used to verify incidents. Our goal is never to deny any student transportation to and from school, but we must maintain safety for all students.
Why can't you call when you know the bus will be late?
There are as many as 50 to 70 students on each bus. That would mean MISD Transportation would need to make at least 50 to 70 phone calls in a short time frame to parents who are quite possibly at the bus stop with their student. It is just not feasible. Please know that, during regularly scheduled route times, there is a bus on the way, and that we will do everything possible to transport your student to and from school in a timely manner every day. If your scheduled bus is more than ten minutes late, please allow for the time that it requires for it to be driven as a second load.
Why can't you come further into my subdivision?
School buses come in various sizes ranging from 25 to 36-feet long, are twenty-six thousand pounds, twelve to thirteen-feet high, and six through nine-feet wide. The length is what limits the school bus's ability to be maneuvered in cul-de-sacs and tight places. The smaller buses can turn in a shorter radius, while longer buses cannot maneuver the same circle without backing the bus, which is avoided in routing if possible. Residents sometimes park trucks, boats, and trailers on the streets. Students leave their bicycles, skateboards and other items on the streets. Although our drivers are trained to be able to parallel park their buses, some subdivisions are not designed with school bus transportation in mind. Please know that we will design school bus routes to be safe and convenient to the majority of students.
Why does my student have a seat assignment?
Seat assignments are a positive way for the ride to be consistent and safe. It is also our policy for all MISD students to be assigned a specific seat. This aids the driver with discipline and learning each student's name at the beginning of the school year. The driver may let the students pick their original seat for assignment, but the driver has the authority to make new seat assignments as needed to correct disciplinary problems.
Why can't my student get off wherever he/she would like in the afternoon?
To avoid multiple problems, the driver requires a note signed by the parent and school administrator to alter the destination of students. This allows the drivers to focus on driving and safety instead of having to decide whether the student should be allowed to change his/her routine and get off with a friend, or ride to an entirely different neighborhood. This should be the decision of the parent. The driver has no other way to verify that the parent has made such a decision. This policy avoids confusion and the chance of students getting lost or running away.
How do you decide when it's too dangerous to transport students to school due to inclement weather?
- If inclement weather is in the forecast, we will begin to monitor the situation around 2:00 a.m. We will be in contact with the City of Midland, MPD, TXDot, and the National Weather Bureau.
- We will begin driving local streets around 3:00 a.m., to monitor the condition of the roads.
- If the school schedule needs to be adjusted or if the school day needs to be cancelled the MISD Superintendent, will make that decision around 5:00 a.m., and staff will begin communicating the decision with our automated phone system and through our local media.
Removal from the School Bus
A bus driver may refer a student to the principal’s office or the campus behavior coordinator’s office to maintain effective discipline on the bus. The principal or campus behavior coordinator must employ additional discipline management techniques, as appropriate, which can include restricting or revoking a student’s bus riding privileges.
Since the district’s primary responsibility in transporting students in district vehicles is to do so as safely as possible, the operator of the vehicle must focus on driving and not have his or her attention distracted by student misbehavior. Therefore, when appropriate disciplinary management techniques fail to improve student behavior or when specific misconduct warrants immediate removal, the principal or the campus behavior coordinator may restrict or revoke a student’s transportation privileges, in accordance with law.
How do I find out my student's bus number?
Go to the Midland ISD website, www.midlandisd.net, and click on "Parents" and "Bus Routes." View the "At A Glance" and "Bus Routes" information. Look at the bus numbers for your student's school, and you will be able to determine which bus will be picking up in your area, as well as the time of pick-up and drop-off. The current number for a bus is the number shown in a window by the bus door. Please contact your student's school for further information or details.
What time should students be at their bus stop?
All students should be at the designated bus stop waiting for the bus five minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. This is according to student policy and is in the Midland ISD Student Policy Handbook.
Can my student get off the bus without a parent/guardian/designee there to meet them?
Students 8 years old and younger that lives in the rural area only will be taken back to their school in the afternoon if a parent, guardian, or designee is not present at the bus stop to receive them, or if they otherwise appear to have no appropriate supervision. In the event that no one is available at the school to receive the student, then the student will be brought out to the MISD Transportation Complex, 7201 Briarwood Ave. This is in accordance with law for the safety and supervision of children.
Why are there no seatbelts on school buses?
School buses are the safest form of transportation on the road; very few injuries happen in school buses. Instead of requiring seat belts, school buses are designed and constructed differently from passenger cars. School buses protect passengers through "compartmentalization," a design that includes:
- Seats with high backs
- Seats filled with energy-absorbing material
- Seats placed close together to form compartments
- Strong seat anchorages
How may I receive transportation for my special needs student?
Please contact the Special Needs Department of Midland ISD for all information regarding your special needs student's transportation at 432-240-1401.