General Information

  • Please review the SDMC Transportation Procedures & Registration Card.

    Adding a Stop
    New stops are added after the first 10 days of school. The reason we must wait for 10 days is that we have already advertised pickup and drop off times for other students. If you would like to request a new stop, please contact and submit your request to the Routing Dept. This is not a guarantee that it will be approved. Some of the criteria considered are:

    • Proximity to nearest stop
    • Safety of the requested location
    • Number of students impacted
    • How the new stop will impact the bus time of other students

    Want a Closer Stop
    If there are two stops near your home going to your school, you may choose either stop. Your child must use the same stop in the morning and afternoon. Once you have selected a stop, your child will be registered at that stop and will be expected to board the bus at that stop only.

    Want an Earlier Stop
    Our routes are based upon efficient routing schemes. We cannot adjust the times to accommodate daycare/after-school needs.

    Bus Stop Afternoon Pickup
    Kindergarten, 1st grade and Exceptional Student Education (ESE) students will not be released off of the school bus unless the parent/designee is present. If the parent/designee is not at the stop, the bus operator will take other students home and will make a second attempt to deliver the child, if the route allows. If it does not or if the parent/designee is not at the stop the second time, the child will be returned to school. Designee may be a sibling, grandparent, etc. The parent must communicate this information in writing to the Transportation Department AHEAD of time. The request will be reviewed and approved by Transportation.

    Parents may give permission in writing to the bus operator allowing the Kindergarten or 1st grade student to be released with a sibling or to walk home alone. All ESE students must be received at the afternoon bus stop, unless prior arrangements have been made. All 2nd through 12th grade students will be released at the afternoon bus stop.

    Inclement weather
    Bus operators will keep students on the bus if there is thunder and lightning in the immediate area, or any other type of weather threat that may harm a student. Once the weather permits, the operator will release the students.
     
    Bus Registration
    Students may ride the bus in the morning and afternoon. They may also opt to only ride in the morning or afternoon. Students do not have to ride every day to remain on the roster; however, they must ride at least once a week to prevent having their name removed and having to complete a new registration. Please note: In order for a student to ride the bus, they must be registered at school.
     
    AM - No students will be left behind at a morning bus stop. Unregistered students will be transported to school and left with a school official.

    PM - Students can only ride the bus in the afternoon if they are registered at school.

    School Choice
    School bus transportation will not be available for school choice students in 2022-2023 with the exception of Johnson K-8 (IB), Palmetto High (AICE), and Southeast High (IB).
    Transportation to all other choice schools will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian. 

    HUB Bus Stops
    Centralized HUB bus stops allow students to spend less travel time on the school bus because there are fewer stops. Parents are responsible for transporting their child to/from the HUB bus stop. Most HUB stops are in public places and are easy for parents to get to. HUB busing is provided for Palmetto HS AICE, Johnson Middle, and Southeast High IB programs. 

    Cameras
    All school buses are equipped with multiple cameras that record video of all activity on the bus while it is in operation.

    Radios
    All school buses are equipped with a two-way radio system to enable efficient communication with the Transportation department.

    Seat Belts
    All school buses are equipped with lap seat belts. Students are instructed to wear seat belts at all times while the bus is in motion.

    Band Instruments
    Students may bring a musical instrument on the school bus if it can be held in their lap or between their legs, and not protrude into the aisle or another student’s space.

    Large Projects
    As long as the project fits in the student’s lap or between the student’s legs, it will be permitted. Large projects cannot contain materials that could be harmful to other students, such as hazardous liquids, glass or other sharp items, etc.

    Late Buses
    When the Transportation department is notified that a bus is running at least 15 minutes late, a message with the estimated time of arrival is sent to parents of all students registered on the bus. Parents are contacted using the information provided in FOCUS. Please see Update Contact Information for details.

    When a bus arrives at school late, the Transportation department notifies the school office. The school will hold breakfast for the late students, if possible. Students will not be marked tardy due to a late bus.

    Overcrowded Buses
    Our buses are designed to accommodate three (3) passengers per seat. However, if the passengers are in the aisles or if there is not a seat for every student, bus operators will not move the bus. The bus operator will notify Dispatch and another bus will be sent to transport excess students; and the first bus will remain at the stop with students until the overflow bus arrives, unless the overflow occurs at the school. The students will then be left with an administrator.

    Teen Parent
    Transportation for a teenage parent begins by picking up the parent and the baby/toddler. The child is delivered to the daycare. Then the parent is taken on to school. In the afternoon, the parent is picked up first and then the child is picked up from the daycare and they are delivered to their home bus stop. Bus stops may be as much as 1 ½ miles from the home. Teenage parents are transported to school along with their child. To receive transportation, the parent must contact Dusty McCauley at (941)753-0958.

    Different AM/PM Stops
    All students are assigned to one stop only. Different morning and afternoon stops are not allowed.

    Two Mile Rule
    Transportation is provided for students who live more than two miles away from their zoned school. The Florida Department of Education (statute 1011.68) has determined that less than two miles is considered a reasonable walking distance.

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

  • When should students arrive at the bus stop?

  • Should I remain at the bus stop if my child’s bus is running late?

  • Will I receive a message if my child’s bus is running late?

  • Why is the school bus late the first week of school?

  • Why can’t my child go home on a different bus with their friend?

  • If my child has left an item on the bus, how do I get the item returned to my child?

  • Why is my child not eligible for bus service if I am less than 2 miles from the school?

  • I recently moved and want my child to ride the bus today. I do not have transportation to get him to and from school.

  • How do I get my child registered on a bus?

  • Why can’t I just put my child on a bus that I see stopping in my neighborhood?

  • I have a child with special needs, who has transportation already arranged and I have questions or concerns. Whom do I speak with?