Appeals Process

The following is the procedure for appealing decisions, about bus stop locations, or about travel to/from school for students living in areas designated as a school walk zone.

Parents/Guardians may request a review of the location of the bus stop or of safety factors along walking routes in school walk zones. All appeals must be submitted in writing using the

The form is to be submitted to the school principal, who will then forward it to the Transportation Services Office. An on-site review will be made to determine if factors such as sidewalks, crosswalks, crossing guards, traffic signals and other safety factors are present where needed and appropriate. (Please Note: The absence of one or more of these community attributes or resources is not necessarily grounds for granting an appeal.)

The Director of Transportation Services will review the conditions along the walking route and compare it to other walk areas within the county to ensure that factors are in keeping with those applied elsewhere to determine the walkability of an area. The Director will respond in writing within three weeks (15 school days) after receipt of the Transportation Appeals Form.

If the Director of Transportation Services denies an appeal request, the parent/guardian may appeal the Director’s decision by submitting a written letter to the Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Operations. The appeal letter should outline the reasons for disagreement with the findings in the Director’s response. The Assistant Superintendent will review all factors noted by the parent/guardian to ensure that the Director of Transportation Services has applied the standards in a fair and equitable manner. The Assistant Superintendent will respond to the appeal within four weeks (20 school days) from receipt of the parent/guardian’s letter.

Background

The Arlington School Board Transportation Policy 50-5 says that elementary students who live 1 mile or less from school, and middle and high school students who live 1-½ miles or less from school are designated as walkers unless certain conditions are present that necessitate bus transportation. Students who require special transportation arrangements as identified in their Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan are also transported.

APS measures from the property line of a student address to the school property line. For greater accuracy, the school division uses a Global Positioning System, or GPS, to measure the exact distance between homes and schools. With this newer, more accurate mapping system, some students may now be identified as living within the school walking area. Please note that a lack of sidewalks in a neighborhood does not instantly qualify a student for bus service because the majority of Arlington neighborhoods do not have continuous sidewalk systems.