For Immediate Release:
Aug. 22, 2012
Over the past two weeks, Arlington Public Schools has heard questions from families about the transition in Transportation Services for the 2012-13 school year. In response to many of those comments or questions, the following information is being provided about actions that have been taken to help families prepare for the start of school.
Walker and Rider Letters
All letters for students who walk to school were mailed last week. Families should have received them by now. Assignment letters for students who ride the bus to school were mailed earlier this week, and should be received by Fri, Aug. 24. Please note that some letters have been returned. If you have not received a letter for your student, please contact your child’s school to verify your address and to receive additional assistance.
Extended Day Application Deadline Extended
Some families have expressed an interest in enrolling their child in the Extended Day Program for before- or after-school care instead of walking. Extended Day has waived the Aug. 15 deadline to provide families who are eligible for the program the opportunity to enroll in Extended Day at all APS elementary schools or for Check-In, the afternoon middle school program.
Space is available for before-school care. There is also some space and a small wait list for after-school care at some locations. The Extended Day Office encourages APS families interested in enrolling in the program to apply as soon as possible. Extended Day is hiring additional staff to accommodate families on wait lists by the start of school or shortly after Sept. 4.
For more information about APS Extended Day or Check-In and to receive an application, please call 703-228-6069 or visit the Extended Day site online at www.apsva.us/extday.
Processes for Appeals
We have found some errors with bus decisions, and are addressing those through the appeals process. Families can appeal decisions based on safety concerns, bus stop locations, or travel to or from school for students living in areas designated as a school walk zone. To the best of their ability, Transportation Services staff is working to respond to all families before the start of school.
Appeals may request a review of the location of the bus stop, safety factors along walking routes in school walk zones, or other changes from last year to this year. All appeals should be made by using the APS Transportation Appeals Form. Forms are also available at all schools. The form should be submitted to the student’s school and, from there, will be forwarded to Transportation Services for review.
How to Request a Bus Route Change
School officials know that APS families often need to request route changes for morning or afternoon transportation to accommodate childcare, after-school activities or other special needs. An online, fillable PDF form has been created for families to make these requests. The Route Change Request form, available at www.apsva.us/transportation or from schools, should be completed, signed by a parent or guardian and then returned to the student’s school. Schools will forward forms to Transportation Services for review and a response.
Student Bus Passes
For students eligible for bus transportation, a temporary paper bus pass is located on the bottom of the letter. Families should make a note of each student’s route number, bus stop location and bus time(s) for their records. A more permanent, waterproof pass will be provided to all bus riders later in September.
Transportation Call Center
The new Transportation Call Center has been established, and staff is available to assist families (in English and Spanish) with questions. The Call Center is open from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, and will operate with extended hours as needed before the start of school. The Call Center can be reached at 703-228-8670.
In preparation for the start of school, Transportation Services is working closely with all APS principals, and families are encouraged to contact their child’s school for assistance. More information about Transportation Services also is available online at www.apsva.us/transportation.