The School Day Begins and Ends on the Bus
Providing safe, reliable transportation to and from school is a critical part of the school day. The Johnston Community School District is pleased to partner with Student Transportation of America (STA) to offer bus ridership to students in the district’s boundaries.
All transportation-related questions can be directed to the STA office, 515-278-8149, or emailed to Katie McBride at email@example.com. Alternately you can contact JCSD Transportation Manager Kelly Brose at 515-254-3393 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The office is located at 6350 NW Beaver Dr. in Johnston.
*The Non-Public Parent Reimbursement Request From should be returned to: JCSD Finance Dept | PO Box 10 | Johnston, IA 50131 or fax to 515-270-4512.
Mask Wearing on Buses
At the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, there had been conflicting state and federal guidance on how the CDC mask order applied to school buses. With a federal ruling on Sept. 13, 2021, it is now clear that masks must be worn by students and transportation personnel while on the bus.
Moving forward, masks will be required when students are on school buses, beginning Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. There will be progressive disciplinary measures, similar to last year, for bus riders who do not comply with the mask mandate. If this change in our practice causes your family to alter your mode of transportation to/from school, please notify our transportation department at 515-278-8149 and your child(rens) school so we can update our transportation routes.
If your child(ren) qualify for a medical or religious mask exemption, you can access, print, and return the form found here:
SafeStop Mobile App
SafeStop is the mobile app that connects parents to the vehicles transporting their children. This free easy-to-use mobile app features neighborhood maps and a MapView bus locator. Using GPS technology, the app updates every 30 seconds to help you better plan for your busy day. SafeStop is operated by a third party and not administered through the district.
The Johnston Community School District uses a 1- mile walk zone for students in grades K-9 living within one mile of the school they attend and 2- mile walk zone for Johnston High School students, grades 10-12. When considering the walk zones, there were a number of factors examined, including: safety hazards such a busy roads and non-signal/light cross areas; the availability of sidewalks; and age of students walking these routes. Because each school’s site is unique, the results for walking and busing zones vary. Parents can check transportation eligibility and their distance to their child’s school via the Infinite Campus Parent Portal.
Families will also see one of five transportation eligibility options when they log into the Infinite Campus parent portal, under the “JCSD Transportation” tab. The driving distance from the street in front of a child’s primary address to the bus lane of a child’s assigned school is listed, as measured by the VersaTrans routing software. As a reminder, there is a 1-mile walk zone for students grades K-9 (each school has a unique map) and a 2-mile walk zone for JHS students.
Bus: Your child(ren) lives outside the 1-mile or 2-mile walk zone and is eligible for transportation. Bus routing, and pick up/drop off times will be loaded into Infinite Campus prior to the start of school.
No Bus: Your household falls within the 1-mile or 2-mile walk zone and no transportation is provided. The Johnston Community School District offers a paid ridership application program based on a space-available only basis.
Bus Due to Hazard:While your household may fall within the 1-mile or 2 mile walk zone of your school, there are identified hazards which may prevent your child(ren) from getting to school safely. Therefore, you will be provided transportation for the current academic year. Please complete the form at the URL noted above and submit if you are in need of transportation and have not yet requested. Please note that as the City of Johnston continues to improve walkways and add sidewalks around town, walk zones may change. If your residence falls within an area that has recently been improved, the district will notify families of changes to transportation service.
No Bus – Parking Permit: Tenth through twelfth grade students with approved school parking permits for the academic year have been removed from the bus transportation and routing chart. Learn more about parking information at Johnston High School.
Other – Special Circumstances: At this point, the district is still collecting information on these students, which may be due to a new enrollment, open enrollment, address changes, etc. We are diligently monitoring this group of students and updating their bus eligibility on a daily basis. If you fall into this category, please check your status via Infinite Campus daily for changes.
2021-22 Bus Rider Registration
Bus rider registration for the 2021-22 school year is part of the school registration process (via Infinite Campus). If you need to make changes to your existing transportation services, please contact your child’s school secretary or the transportation office. Alternatively, you can fill out this form:
Paid Ridership Services
Families with students in grades K-9 living in the 1-mile walk zone and students in grades 10-12 living in the 2-mile walk zone may elect not to walk and instead, pay for their child(ren) to ride the bus. The Johnston Community School District and STA offer an optional pay-to-ride student transportation program.
Paid ridership is based on a space-available, or open-seats only, basis. This means that if there are seats available on a bus route, transportation will be provided for a fee of $250 per semester. The decision for offering any available seats will be done so using a distance rubric for families (i.e. furthest from school receive first consideration).
Developmental Kindergarten Transportation
Students in the developmental kindergarten (DK) program will be provided transportation as follows:
- For students attending the morning session of DK, those living within the 1-mile walk zone of their regularly-zoned elementary school will be responsible for getting to that school where they will then take a district-provided shuttle to the designated DK site. All morning DK students will then be bussed home mid-day, regardless of their distance from the designated site, at no charge.
- For students attending the afternoon session of DK, they will be bussed mid-day to the designated site at no cost, regardless of their proximity to the school. After school, they will be bused directly to a designated bus stop in their neighborhood.
- If a student goes to a daycare outside of the home school boundary, the parents or daycare site will be responsible to get the student to Lawson Elementary.
No Guest Riders
Students who are eligible for bus transportation will not be allowed to bring a guest rider(s) on the bus with them. This is a change from previous years and made effective by the Johnston Board of Education in August 2016. The elimination of the guest rider option keeps route sizes consistent on a day-to day basis and ensures all eligible riders receive the transportation they are entitled to.
Safety at bus stops and on the school bus depends on the cooperation and responsible behavior of every student. Parents are encouraged to review guidelines for getting on and off the bus safely with their children – as well as report any unsafe incidents they witness.