Who do I call if my child left something on the bus?
The South Orangetown Central School District contracts with Student Bus, Peter Brega and Rockland BOCES. Questions about forgotten items may be directed to the bus companies directly:
- Student Bus: (845) 359-9200
- Peter Brega: (845) 268-6107
- Rockland BOCES: (845) 627-4756
How many children are allowed in a bus seat?
School bus seats are designed to carry 3 children per seat. This becomes more challenging as students reach high school, so student counts are reduced when designing the bus routes.
Where are crossing guards stationed?
In an effort to provide greater safety for our students who walk to and from school, the Town of Orangetown has approved crossing guards at the following time and locations:
Morning (7:30–8:30am) and afternoon (3:00–4:00pm)
- Route 303 at Orangeburg Road
- Lester Drive and Orangeburg Road
- Palisades Parkway northwest entry/exits
- Palisades Parkway northeast entry/exits
- Orangeburg Road at Dutch Hill Road
- Dutch Hill Road across Tappan Zee HS
Morning (8:30am-9:30am) and afternoon (3:30-4:30pm)
- Erie Street at Cottage Lane
Why is this my child’s bus stop/route?
Getting our students to and from school safely is our top priority. Bus routes are reviewed annually; movement within the district–upper grades moving into new buildings and kindergartners entering WOS—is a key consideration. Changes may be made to some of our routes and bus stop locations to make them safer for our students. Sidewalks, traffic flow, and the general area are all deciding factors in the bus stop location.
- School buses will not enter dead end streets that require the vehicle to back up to turn around.
- School buses will not enter a cul-de-sac, except when the distance exceeds one quarter mile from the entrance of the cul-de-sac or nearest central pick up location to the student’s home. When a cul-de-sac exceeds one quarter mile, there will be a stop located within the cul-de-sac.
- Although a bus may travel past a student’s house, it does not mean that a new bus stop will be created for that child. Stops are centrally located to accommodate current and future students in that general area.
Parents can expect that students in grades 9–12 may have to walk longer distances to get to a centrally located bus stop.
If you are concerned about the safety of a bus stop, please submit a Bus Stop Safety Evaluation Form to [email protected]. If you are unable to access the form, please call (845) 680-1662 for assistance.
How long are the bus routes?
Time efficiency was a key consideration as we built safer bus routes. A typical bus route has been designed to be no longer than 40 minutes. This does not include traffic conditions or detours.
May I request a change to my child’s bus stop?
Your child can only be assigned to one bus route morning or afternoon for five consecutive days. If there needs to be a change in the child’s drop-off schedule due to changes in child care, please submit the Alternate Site Request Form. If approved, please allow 72 hours for the change to take effect.
Prior school year child care arrangements are not carried over into the new school year. Parents must submit an Alternative Site Request Form prior to July 1 for the arrangements to take effect at the start of the school year.
Do third-graders need an adult at the bus stop for afternoon drop-off?
No; designated adults are required only for students in grades K-2.
YMCA Before- and After-School Programs
How do I make transportation arrangements if my child attends the YMCA before- and/or after-school program?
The Rockland County YMCA offers before- and after-school programs open to all students in the district, kindergarten through grade 5, to be operated in the morning out of Cottage Lane Elementary School and in the afternoon out of both Cottage Lane Elementary School and William O. Schaefer Elementary School. If your child will attend the YMCA after-school program, please notify the school of your child’s participation in this program and submit an Alternate Site Request Form to the Transportation Office by July 1 each year. If your child attends a private school and requires transportation to the after-school program, please contact the Transportation Department so that arrangements can be made prior to the start of the school year.
Missed or No Bus
What if my child misses the bus?
If your child is not ready at the designated pick-up time in the morning, it is the parent’s responsibility to arrange for alternate transportation to his/her school. The Transportation Department cannot send the bus back or dispatch a second bus to pick up students. Please do not try to catch the bus at a different stop. The bus driver will not expect an additional student at that stop; the bus may begin to pull away as a student the driver isn’t expecting runs toward the vehicle, which creates a dangerous situation.
To avoid missing the bus, please make sure your child is ready at least 10-minutes prior to the designated pick-up time.
What happens if my bus does not arrive? Who do I call?
Delays occur at the start of the school year and whenever there is heavy rain or snow, road construction or other traffic issues. Please allow an extra 10 minutes both in the morning and in the afternoon. If you have general questions about the location of the bus, please call the bus company directly with your child’s bus route number handy:
- Student Bus (large buses): (845) 359-9200
- Peter Brega (small buses): (845) 268-6107
- Rockland BOCES (special education): (845) 627-4756
Does the district provide late buses for students?
Yes. Late buses are provided for students at both South Orangetown Middle School and Tappan Zee High School. The SOMS late buses leave the school at 4:00pm and run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The TZHS late buses leave the school at 4:00pm and run on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays.
First Day of School
Can I take pictures of my child getting on the bus?
Absolutely, however, please be mindful that others are doing the same. With student safety in mind, families are asked not to delay buses for picture-taking. Delays prolong the length of time students spend on the bus and frustrate drivers behind our buses.
Is transportation provided for all students on the first day of school?
The first day of school is a full day for all students in kindergarten through grade 8. Transportation to and from school will be provided to these students as usual.
- Pupil transportation to Tappan Zee High School is NOT provided for ninth-graders attending orientation on the first day of school.
- Busing will operate on a two-hour delay for eligible students in grades 10–12 on the first day of school.
- Transportation home from school will be provided for all eligible students as usual.
Is there anything else to keep in mind at the start of school?
Yes! Here’s what to expect:
- On Tuesday, the school bus will arrive to take your child to school. That afternoon, the bus will be late. Staff will take extra time to make sure everyone boards their correct bus home. This process takes time.
- On Wednesday, the school bus will arrive again, probably closer to the time we gave you on the bus pass. That afternoon, the bus will bring your children home, closer to the school year’s normal arrival time.
- On Thursday, the bus is even closer to being on time as scheduled. That afternoon, the bus is on time as scheduled and everyone is happy.
- By Friday, the bus is in its new school year groove…and the first week is completed!
- The weekend disrupts the routine a bit, so Monday routes typically take a little longer. However, by Tuesday, we’re back on schedule for the rest of the school year.
Please Drive Carefully!
Under New York State law, the driver of any motor vehicle that meets or overtakes from either direction a school bus that is stopped to pick up or discharge children must stop his/her vehicle before reaching the school bus when the red lights on the bus are flashing. The driver shall not proceed until the bus resumes motion or until signaled by the bus driver or a police officer to proceed.
A conviction for failure to comply with this law may result in a fine, imprisonment, points assessed against the drivers’ license and/or an increase in automobile insurance costs. Most importantly, breaking this law is a threat to the safety of our children.