Driving Towards a Brighter Future
The Transportation office is an essential part of Pickerington Schools, responsible for ensuring the safe and timely transportation of students to and from school. Pickerington Schools contracts with Petermann Bus for its bus transportation services. You can contact Petermann at 614-837-8525. To report any kind of issue involving pupil transportation, visit the BusReport website. Reports filed on the BusReport website go to Petermann as well as to Petermann Bus' corporate office. Every day, Petermann Bus, working with Pickerington Schools transportation staff, are focused on efficient operations, quality, safety and culture.
School transportation is a service provided in accordance with numerous state and federal standards covering topics ranging from minimum bus service levels and training of bus drivers to construction and operation of school buses.
At a minimum, Ohio public school districts are required by law to provide bus service to all public, non-public, and community school students in grades K-8 who live two miles or more from their school of attendance. Transportation for high school students is optional.
Like most school districts, Pickerington provides service over and above this minimum standard. Currently, the district provides bus service for students in all grades, including those attending preschool special needs classes. In addition, bus service may be available for students in grades K-6 who live one mile or more from their school of attendance. Where dictated by safety considerations, bus service is also provided for some students who live closer than one mile from their school of attendance.
School transportation is a form of public transportation that is designed to be safe and efficient while serving as many students as possible. It is not an individualized transportation service. As in other forms of public transportation, there is little opportunity to alter or change schedules and routes to meet individual family circumstances.
Parents wanting to know their child’s eligibility for bus service and corresponding bus pick-up and drop-off locations should use ours interactive online system. After clicking this link:
- You will be asked to enter your user name and password. Both of those are your student’s ID number, which is the ID number generated through Infinite Campus.
- Click “Log-In.”
- Click “Work with Students.”
- Click “View My Students.”
- Click a student’s name to be taken to their transportation information page. Read this page carefully as it explains the morning and afternoon transportation information for your students.
Students with the same home phone number will be grouped together on the “View My Students” page. If, for some reason, you do not see all the students in your household, try logging in again using one of your other children’s information.
If you are new to the district, please use the “Parent Communication” button on the Versatrans e-Link home page to let the Transportation Department know of your plans to use the bus. That will notify transportation to add your child to the route. Please use this same process to notify transportation if busing will no longer be needed.
If you wish to make a change regarding your student’s pick-up or drop-off location, please log in to the online system and click on the “Parent Communication” link. Follow the instructions for completing the form. The alternate bus stop must be in the same attendance area as your child. Alternate stops outside that area will not be approved.
Tyler Versatrans App
How long until your child’s bus arrives to pick him up? How long until her bus gets her home from school?
A mobile application can tell Pickerington School parents approximately where their child’s bus is in the morning and afternoon. Parents must download the app to receive text notifications in case of bus delays and other information. You can download the “Versatrans My Stop” from Tyler Technologies at the Google Play or the App Store.
Parents will need their children’s student ID numbers to set up the app.
Parents should not use the system to wait until the very last minute to send their children to the bus stop. Students must be at their designated stop by the scheduled bus arrival time, and waiting until the last minute can be dangerous if children are running to meet their bus.
Plus, the system operates by tracking the GPS units in each bus, so it operates at a lag that can be up to two minutes. During that time, the bus may have made progress on its route, so GPS locations are only approximate.
Parents who will likely see the greatest benefit from the application are those who live in the more rural parts of the district and parents of children with special needs.
I cannot see my child’s bus stop from the house. Are there state laws that set the standards for bus stop location?
No law requires a parent to see the bus stop from home. Students in Ohio may be assigned to a bus stop up to one-half mile from their home. We encourage parents to accompany their child to the bus stop whenever possible. This teaches the child safe habits of walking to and from the bus stop and may give the parent piece of mind. Bus stop locations are determined by each district’s board of education.
Many students walk alongside roadways to reach their bus stop, and in some instances no sidewalks exist. While we understand this may be of concern in some situations, the Ohio Department of Education does not promulgate bus stop placement. Issues relating to where a child’s bus stop is located and safety concerns along the way to the bus stop must be addressed with the district in which you reside.
I make my child wait inside of my house until the bus is at the stop. I have heard this is not allowed. Is this true?
Ohio law requires children to wait at the bus stop before the bus arrives. Bus drivers count the students at the bus stop before they load and as they get on the bus, to ensure all children are safely on board. If students are not waiting at the bus stop, the bus driver cannot count them and cannot be certain the students are all safely on board. Waiting at the bus stop before the bus arrives further ensures that no one chases after the bus (a very dangerous thing to do!) Many districts also instruct their buses to not stop at locations where no students are waiting.
The Ohio General Assembly has included in the Biennial Budget partial reimbursement for transportation costs. The remainder of the funding comes directly from the District’s General Fund. Each school district is evaluated each school year for efficiency of its operation. Safe and efficient transportation operations are defined by being good stewards of our tax dollars and not unnecessarily burdening the overall budget, which could affect funding in other areas.
Payment in Lieu
Payment in lieu of transportation is a payment made to families of students attending a non-public school whose bus route that would otherwise qualify for district transportation is declared impracticable by the Board of Education. Once declared impracticable, those families qualify for this payment. The amount is set by the Ohio Department of Education.
If you reside in Pickerington Schools school district and your child goes to a non-public school, and you qualify for payment in lieu of transportation, you must complete the contract, application, and attendance verification forms. You’ll need to email Mimi Leonard for the forms and take note of the deadlines listed on the form.
Failure to return all forms by the identified date will be interpreted as a withdrawal of your request for transportation reimbursement and no payment will be made.
Parents who have signed a contract and completed an application in the past will not need to re-submit the contract if their child remains in the same non-public school. You will only be required to complete and submit the application and attendance verification form before the due date that requires the signature of the private school administrator.