- A portion of my street is transported, and a portion is non-transported. I can’t tell in which area my address is located.
- How can my child get picked up or dropped off at a childcare provider’s location?
- How do I arrange bus transportation for my child?
- How do we find out about an inclement weather delay, early dismissal, or cancellation of school?
- How is a bus stop established?
- How is inclement weather delay or cancellation of school determined?
- How safe is bus transportation when the school bus doesn’t have seat belts?
- I have been told that I live in the non-transported area and no bus service is available. Why do some students have to walk to school?
- I have some other transportation questions; how do I contact Transportation?
- If I am going to have someone else meet my Pre-K/Kindergarten child at the bus stop, whom should I notify?
- My child’s bus is overcrowded. Can some children be placed on another bus?
- My student is having a problem with the bus driver. Should I go to the bus stop to talk with the driver?
- My student left an item (i.e., coat, glasses, instrument, retainer, books, etc.) on the bus. How does he/she get it back?
- My student needs to ride home on a different bus or be dropped off at an alternate location for one day. What do I need to do?
- My student was suspended from the bus, and I have questions about why he/she was suspended. Whom do I contact?
- Our street is not on the streets list, but it looks like it is on the map in the non-transported area. Why?
- The bus did not show up on time for my student. How long should he/she wait at the bus stop?
- We always had bus transportation before; why don’t we now? What changed?
- We live within a non-transported area but very close to a bus stop for my child’s school. May my child ride the bus from the stop?
- What are acceptable walking conditions?
- What are the procedures for suspending a student’s riding privilege?
- What kind of screening process do drivers go through to make certain they are qualified to be around children?
- What should I do if there is a custody situation that prohibits my child’s other parent to take him/her?
- Whom do I contact when there is a problem at the bus stop?
- Whom should I call if I don't like the location of a bus stop?
- Why did the driver not stop at the bus stop when my student was running late, or not wait for my student to get to the bus stop?
- Why do students have to walk to a bus stop when the bus drives past the house?
- Why is it important to change a student’s address at the school?
A portion of my street is transported, and a portion is non-transported. I can’t tell in which area my address is located.
Some streets have both transported and non-transported areas. You may contact your child’s
school for clarification or the Transportation Department at 301-644-5366.
How can my child get picked up or dropped off at a childcare provider’s location?
To qualify for bus transportation, the childcare provider’s address must be within the attendance
area of the school and outside of the walking area for that school. Parents must provide the school
with the provider’s name, address, and phone number.
How do I arrange bus transportation for my child?
First, you must enroll your child at the school. If you move but still live within the boundary for the
same school, you must give your new address to the school along with proof of residency. Provide
the school any other information that has changed for your child, too.
How do we find out about an inclement weather delay, early dismissal, or cancellation of school?
For morning delays or school closures, we make our recommendation to the FCPS Superintendent by 5 AM and communicate the information to local and regional media outlets by 5:30 AM. For early dismissals, decisions are made whenever possible by 10 AM., and the Transportation Department contacts media outlets. Although we make every effort to notify the media promptly, we have no control over the speed and accuracy with which non-FCPS media outlets announce the news.
For the most accurate information, check FCPS TELEVISION on cable Channel 18 or www.fcps.org, where you may also sign up for FindOutFirst email and text messages. The FCPS Calendar Handbook lists a small portion of TV and radio stations that make announcements regarding school closings, delays, and early dismissals. A complete listing of radio stations announcing school closings, delays, and early dismissals is listed below. For your convenience, the broadcast frequency (dial number) for each radio station is included:
- WFRE 99.9 FM FREDERICK
- WFMD 930 AM FREDERICK
- WAFY 103.1 FM FREDERICK
- WWEG 106.9 FM HAGERSTOWN
- WARK 1490 AM HAGERSTOWN
- WJEJ 1240 AM HAGERSTOWN
- WWMD 101.5 HAGERSTOWN
- WTHU 1450 AM THURMONT
- WAYZ 101.5 FM GREEN CASTLE
- WCBG 1380 AM GREEN CASTLE
- WGTY 107.7 FM GETTYSBURG
- WGET 1320 AM GETTYSBURG
- WTOP 1500 AM WASHINGTON, DC
In addition to FCPS TELEVISION at Comcast cable Channel 18 in Frederick, information about school closings is televised on the following TV stations:
- WMAR Channel 2
- WTTG Channel 5
- WDCA Channel
- WJLA Channel 7
- WJLA News Channel 8
- WUSA Channel 9
- WBAL Channel 11
- WJZ Channel 13
- WHAG Channel 25
- WRC Channel 4
- FCPS (Cable) Channel 18
- Fox Channel 45
ITT wire for the hearing impaired through Central Alarm is also available.
How is a bus stop established?
Bus stops are established by using several factors, which include walking conditions, walking
distance to the stop and road accessibility. Given acceptable walking conditions, bus stops are
typically ¼ mile apart. On rural county roads, we expect a student to be able to access a stop at a
How is inclement weather delay or cancellation of school determined?
Recommendations to delay or close schools are based on actual observation of road conditions by
Transportation Department staff; communication with neighboring school transportation officials,
State Highway Administration, County Roads, Maryland State Police, and the Frederick County
Sheriff's Department; and weather forecasts. When winter weather is predicted, transportation
employees start their day at 3:30 AM to test road conditions and discuss the situation over two-way
radios. While they cannot drive every road in the county, they try to travel roads that they feel are a
good indicator of county road conditions. They also discuss road conditions with neighboring
county school transportation officials, and track weather reports via AccuWeather’s 24-hour service
and also the National Weather Service. Although AccuWeather does a better job than many other
forecasters, forecasting is still an imperfect science. For more detailed information regarding
Closing of Schools Because of Weather, Maintenance, or Other Reasons, please refer to FCPS
Reg. No. 400-02.
How safe is bus transportation when the school bus doesn’t have seat belts?
School bus transportation is the safest form of travel in the United States with over 24 million
students transported daily nationwide on 450,000 buses traveling over 4.3 billion miles per year.
Over a 10-year period, only one third of 1 percent of all fatal crashes involved a student on a school
bus. School bus safety is based on closely spaced and padded seats on a large framed vehicle, as
mandated by Federal Law. The State of Maryland has additional requirements, including a limit on
the life of the vehicle. National Traffic Highway Safety Administration tests have shown that lap
belts only (which is what New York, New Jersey, and Florida have on their buses) would result in
more fatalities and/or injuries than they would save. Usually, when a fatality occurs on a school
bus, it is when another large vehicle (dump truck, tractor trailer, or train) collides with a school bus,
and the victim is sitting at the point of impact. National statistics indicate that your child is 63 times
safer inside the school bus than in your car.
I have been told that I live in the non-transported area and no bus service is available. Why do some students have to walk to school?
I have some other transportation questions; how do I contact Transportation?
If I am going to have someone else meet my Pre-K/Kindergarten child at the bus stop, whom should I notify?
Notify the school and the Transportation Department so the information can be relayed to the bus
driver. This is a safety precaution, as we do not want to drop off a Pre-K or Kindergarten student to
a person with whom the driver is not familiar.
My child’s bus is overcrowded. Can some children be placed on another bus?
Contact the Transportation Department and ask that your call be referred to the manager for your
child’s bus. A bus that has three elementary students to a seat or two middle or high school
students to a seat may seem crowded. However, it will not be over capacity. Our goal is to fully
utilize all of the space on all buses in our fleet. Please refer to Board of Education Policy 441 for
My student is having a problem with the bus driver. Should I go to the bus stop to talk with the driver?
No. Going to the bus stop places everyone in a defensive position and can lead to a confrontation,
which is inappropriate for the students to witness. Drivers are trained to avoid confrontations to the
point of closing the door and driving away. Federal law prohibits blocking the doorway or
interfering with the operation of the bus. If you have a concern with something that happens on the
bus, please call or talk with the administrator of your child’s school. After gathering the necessary
information, he or she will pursue the matter with the appropriate Transportation Department
manager, who will in turn work with you to resolve it.
My student left an item (i.e., coat, glasses, instrument, retainer, books, etc.) on the bus. How does he/she get it back?
Drivers and substitute drivers check their buses after each run, and they usually keep left-behind
items on the bus for a week. If not claimed by then, the items are then turned in to the
Transportation Office or the school to which the bus is assigned. You may help by labeling all of
your child’s belongings with the child’s name and school. Please check with your driver first for any
lost items. If they no longer have the item, please contact your child’s school or the Transportation
Department directly for assistance.
My student needs to ride home on a different bus or be dropped off at an alternate location for one day. What do I need to do?
If your student on occasion will be riding home on a bus other than the one to which he/she is
assigned (i.e., riding home with a friend or to an alternate stop), before boarding the bus the
student MUST give the bus driver a signed note from the parents/guardians of all students
concerned AND written administrator approval from the school.
My student was suspended from the bus, and I have questions about why he/she was suspended. Whom do I contact?
The school administration is responsible for overseeing student bus behavior issues and handling
consequences, including additional days of bus suspension. School administration is responsible
for investigating the incident, which may include talking with other students on the bus. The
Transportation Department is involved when the driver does not follow procedures.
Our street is not on the streets list, but it looks like it is on the map in the non-transported area. Why?
Not all streets within the non-transported area are listed; however if your area is included on the
map, then it is a part of the non-transported area. If you cannot determine whether or not your
street is included, please contact the Transportation Department at 301-644-5366.
The bus did not show up on time for my student. How long should he/she wait at the bus stop?
We always had bus transportation before; why don’t we now? What changed?
All areas have been re-evaluated to make sure that they are consistent with Board policy. Some
areas have been included because of improvements, developments, or simply because they
should have been included previously. All non-transported areas have been evaluated and fall
within policy guidelines and have appropriate walk paths.
We live within a non-transported area but very close to a bus stop for my child’s school. May my child ride the bus from the stop?
No. We do not permit a child who resides in a non-transported area to ride a school bus.
What are acceptable walking conditions?
What are the procedures for suspending a student’s riding privilege?
At the start of each school year, schools distribute to all students the Frederick County Public
Schools Calendar Handbook, which outlines bus rules and consequences. Bus riders also receive
a “Parent Letter” to be signed by both the student and parent and returned to the driver. The
“Parent Letter” outlines the expectations and rules on the bus. Student violation of these bus
safety rules can result in verbal warnings, seat assignments, or loss of a riding privilege. A severe
incident may call for a bus driver to refer the matter to the principal without taking any previous
steps, and the student’s riding privileges can be revoked at the end of the bus run. A Referral form
must be completed by the driver and turned in to the school administration for further action. We
ask all parents to support safe bus behavior by providing consequences to support safety when the
student’s riding privilege has been suspended. For more detailed information regarding Bus
Discipline Procedures, please refer to FCPS Reg. No. 400-57.
What kind of screening process do drivers go through to make certain they are qualified to be around children?
Briefly, applicants are fingerprinted, criminal background checks are initiated, driving records are
reviewed, references are checked, drug/alcohol tests are conducted (including pre-employment
and random testing), DOT Physicals are obtained, and new drivers are required to go through 30
plus hours of training.
What should I do if there is a custody situation that prohibits my child’s other parent to take him/her?
Please contact the school as soon as possible regarding any custody issues. The school will, in turn, contact the Transportation Department to relay the information to the bus driver.
Whom do I contact when there is a problem at the bus stop?
Frederick County Public Schools is not responsible for student behavior at the bus stop. Our
responsibility begins when students board the bus and ends when they exit the bus. If there is a
problem at the bus stop that cannot be resolved among the students and families, contact your
local law enforcement agency.
Whom should I call if I don't like the location of a bus stop?
You can contact the Transportation Department, and the placement of the stop will be reviewed. A
designated bus stop will not always seem ideal to everyone assigned to it. There are numerous
issues to be considered in relocating a stop, and we may not be successful in meeting everyone’s
expectations. Some students will have to walk to the bus stop. In some cases, the stop may not be
in direct line of sight from your residence. We encourage parental supervision at the bus stop.
Why did the driver not stop at the bus stop when my student was running late, or not wait for my student to get to the bus stop?
We make a concerted effort to be consistent on the time we start the route. After the first stop,
many things can affect the arrival time at subsequent stops, so even the most conscientious driver
will vary by a few minutes. If there is a substitute driver, the times may not be consistent with the
regular time period. To allow for those variances, students are told to be at the bus stop five
minutes prior to normal arrival and to be waiting where they are visible to the driver as the bus
approaches the stop. Drivers are required by law to activate their yellow lights a minimum of 100
feet prior to stopping and turning on their red lights. If drivers do not see any students present,
they are not required to stop. They are also not required to wait for tardy students. Usually, drivers
will not leave students if they are close to the stop and making an effort to get there as quickly as
they can. The loading and unloading process is the most dangerous part of the bus ride, and
students are safest when they are at the stop before the bus arrives, not running for it after it shows
Why do students have to walk to a bus stop when the bus drives past the house?
In areas where walk conditions are acceptable, students are required to be picked up at centralized
stops. Two students can be loaded at one stop faster and at less cost than the bus stopping at two
separate stops. We encourage parent supervision at the bus stop. Board of Education Policy 441
stipulates that we will try to route buses so that students will have a maximum of ½ of a mile to
walk to a bus stop, exclusive of private driveways and roadways. Please refer to Board of
Education Policy 441 for additional information.
Why is it important to change a student’s address at the school?
The student’s school is the primary record keeper for ALL student information, including the
address that a student leaves from in the morning to ride the bus. The school electronically
conveys your child’s address to the Transportation Department, which in turn assigns a bus stop
location, bus number and approximate pick-up time.Therefore, any information that has changed
for the student must be changed at the school.