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It shall be the policy of the Board of Directors to enter into a contract with a private contractor for school bus transportation. The district has entered into a contract with Durham School Services to provide school bus transportation services.

Transportation Eligibility - Regular Education Students

The district shall provide transportation as required by the State of Iowa.

Iowa Code 285.1.a 

The board of directors in every school district shall provide transportation, either directly or by reimbursement for transportation, for all resident pupils attending public school, kindergarten through twelfth grade, except that: 

  1. Elementary pupils shall be entitled to transportation only if they live more than two miles from the school designated for attendance.
  2. High school pupils shall be entitled to transportation only if they live more than three miles from the school designated for attendance.

When measuring the distance to determine eligibility for transportation, the distance shall be measured by using the shortest distance on public roads only. In general, school buses do not travel on private roads/lanes or in private subdivisions. Distance is measured from the student's driveway to the assigned attendance point of entrance.

Bus Information


Transportation Eligibility:

Our transportation eligibility criteria serves the needs of our students and ensures the safety and efficiency of our transportation services. Eligibility for transportation will be as follows:

  • Students in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade are eligible for transportation if they live beyond one mile from their assigned school building.
  • Students in grades 6th through 12th grades are eligible for transportation if they live beyond two miles from their assigned school building.
  • Preschool transportation will not be impacted by these changes.

Parents may go to the District Bussing Map to determine if they are eligible for transportation. Families may also review the following link on how to use the bussing map site.

It's important to note that while state law mandates bussing for K-5 students living beyond two miles away from their school, we will provide transportation to students living beyond one mile. Similarly, state law requires bussing for 6-12 students residing beyond three miles from their school, but we will provide transportation for those living beyond two miles.

Process for Hazard Zone Review Requests:

  1. Identification of Hazard Zones: When evaluating potential hazard zones within the no-bussing areas, the Ottumwa Community School District, in collaboration with Durham Transportation, considers a variety of factors that could impact the safety and security of students walking to and from school. These factors aim to address both environmental and infrastructural concerns that may pose risks to students. Here is an expanded list of factors that might be taken into consideration for hazard zones:
    1. Definition of Hazard Zones:

Hazard zones within the Ottumwa Community School District are specific areas that, despite falling within the typically established no-bussing zones, qualify for district transportation services due to heightened safety concerns. These zones are designated based on an assessment of environmental and infrastructural factors that pose risks to student safety when walking to or from school.

  1. Primary Factors for Hazard Zone Consideration:
  • Presence or Absence of Crossing Guards: Areas where students must cross streets without the assistance of crossing guards can be more hazardous, especially at busy intersections.
  • Presence or Absence of Traffic Control Devices: The lack of stop signs, stop lights, crosswalks, and other traffic control measures can increase the risk for students navigating these areas.
  • Need to Cross Four or More Lanes of Traffic: Locations requiring students to cross multiple lanes of traffic are considered more dangerous due to the increased exposure to vehicles.
  • Posted Speed Limit: Higher speed limits pose greater risks to pedestrian students. Areas with high speeds are scrutinized for potential hazard zone status.
  • Absence of a Significant Sidewalk Infrastructure: The lack of significant sidewalk infrastructure, and safe walking pathways affects students of all ages and significantly impacts their safety, warranting consideration for hazard zone status. (applies to both elementary and secondary students)
  1. Additional Safety Considerations:
  • Visibility and Lighting: Poorly lit areas or those with limited visibility at dawn or dusk are considered for hazard zone status, as these conditions increase the risk of accidents.
  • Weather Conditions: Severe weather conditions that affect road and walkway safety (such as ice, snow, or flooding) can lead to designation as a hazard zone.
  • Natural Barriers: Geographic features such as rivers, hills, or dense vegetation that complicate safe walking routes are taken into account.
  • Railroad Crossings: Proximity to active railroad crossings without adequate pedestrian safety measures (such as gates or warning lights) is a critical factor in hazard zone evaluation.
  1. Hazard Zone Review Request: Families who wish to have an area reviewed to be considered for a hazardous area may do so by completing this form
  2. Review and Approval: Our transportation team will review each request on a case-by-case basis and work closely with Durham to determine the best transportation solution for eligible students. The school district will notify you via email if your transportation hazard zone review request was approved or denied. 

We understand the importance of ensuring the safety of our students on their way to and from school, and we are committed to addressing concerns related to hazard zones.

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