Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: Bus Stop Information

What time should my child be at the bus stop?

All students should be at the bus stop ready to board at least 5 minutes prior to their pick up time. Students should not be waiting in vehicles, inside a home or on a front porch.

How far can a bus stop be from the student’s home?

Bus stops for elementary students may be up to 1.5 miles and secondary students up to 2 miles. This does not include driveways or private lanes.

I can’t see the stop from my house. Can’t the stop be closer?

Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to see the stop from their house. We transport 6,800+ students each day. It is not feasible to put all the stops in sight range. Parents must use good judgment by either going to the stop with the child or working with other families in the area to support safety.

The bus goes right down my street. Why can’t the bus stop at my house?

Bus stops are centrally located for students. The District attempts to keep the number of stops minimized thus keeping the buses moving, ultimately reducing the ride times. In most cases, we try to use intersections that are easy to locate and where motorists are more alert to pedestrians. Stopping at every driveway inconveniences the motoring public causing them to become impatient. This results in people attempting to drive around the bus, which creates a dangerous situation.

Why do some children have to cross the street to board the bus?

The Butler Area School District is not able to route buses so that all children can board the bus on the door side. Students should always wait on the side of the street where they live and wait until the bus has stopped traffic in all directions before crossing the street.

Will the bus driver wait for me if I am late to meet my elementary student?

Unfortunately, the bus driver cannot wait, even on a rare occurance. Only kindergarten students are required to have an adult at the bus stop for discharge. If your child is hesitant or fearful to discharge the bus because you are not at the stop, the driver will return the student to their school and the parent will be contacted to pick up their child.

My child is the only student at the stop. Should I call when he/she is not riding?

This is helpful, especially in the morning if the bus is going out of the way. Your call saves mileage and time so that the bus route may run more efficiently. Typically, it is not necessary to call in the afternoon if the bus is at the school to pick up other students. You may call Valley Lines at 724-287-0003 or the Transportation Office at 724-287-8723.

Who is responsible for student behavior at the bus stop?

Parents are solely responsible for their child’s behavior at school bus stops. It is important that parents monitor their child’s behavior and ensure that their child(ren) wait for the school bus in a safe location away from the road. If inappropriate behavior is reported, this information will be investigated.


FAQ: Late Bus Information

Why is my child’s bus late?

Weather, traffic, traffic lights and unforeseen incidents are responsible for delays in arrival of school buses. Please know that we do everything possible to have all buses running on schedule each and every day. In the event that your bus does not arrive as scheduled, contact Valley Lines at 724-287-0003 or the Transportation Office at 724-287-8723.

When the bus is running late, why don’t you call to inform the parents?

In most cases, there is simply not enough time. With over 80 buses running at one time, it is difficult to focus on one vehicle to call the numerous families assigned. In the case of a breakdown, our focus is on getting a replacement vehicle to service the students as quickly as possible.

If my child misses the bus, can we drive to another location?

Yes. You may take your student to another designated stop on that bus route. Bus drivers are only permitted to stop at designated stops. 


FAQ: Bus Discipline Information

Who handles discipline on the bus?

The driver is the authority figure responsible for enforcing the safe transport rules. The driver handles minor discipline problems, speaking to students or re-assigning seats. More serious issues are addressed at the school by either bus monitors or principals. Unsatisfactory Report Forms may be submitted to the school by drivers. This may result in a warning, detention, suspension, or other form of discipline.


FAQ: Childcare/ Daycare Information

Is it possible to transport my child to and/or from a daycare rather than my home stop?

Yes, however, the daycare must be within the attendance area of the school being serviced. The Department will not travel outside the attendance border for child care purposes. A Child Care Stop Assignment Request Form must be submitted and can be found on the website under Department, Transportation. Prior to July 1st of each year, the daycare you are using should provide a list of students to the Transportation Department. Additionally, daycare must be for 5 days a week; however, it can be for AM only, PM only or both. The District will not alter transportation to allow students a different pick up or drop off location on separate days of the week or different weeks of the year. Temporary bus passes will not be issued for this. 


FAQ: Kindergarten Transportation Information

What if I am late or unable to be at my kindergarten student's stop at the designated time?

The bus driver is not permitted to discharge kindergarten students unless an adult is at the stop to receive the student. If no adult is present, the bus driver will return the student to their school and the parent will be contacted to pick up their child. If you need to have a different adult at the bus stop, please call Valley Lines (724-287-0003) or the Transportation Office (724-287-8723) to provide us with the name of the adult. We will notify the driver and that adult will have to provide proof of ID in order to have the child released to them. If no proof of ID is shown, the child will be taken back to the school.

What does Modified Kindergarten Schedule mean when the district has a 2-hour delay?

A modified kindergarten schedule means that all morning kindergarten students will go to school 2 hours later and come home 1 hour later than their normal time. Afternoon kindergarten students will go to school 1 hour later and come home at their normal time.


FAQ: Miscellaneous Information

What should I do if I move during the school year?

Notify the school of your change of address and let our Department know 7-10 days ahead of your move so that we may get your child assigned to a bus stop, if you are still located in the Butler Area School District. If you move outside the school’s attendance area but still in the Butler Area School District and wish to have your child remain at that school, you must receive permission from the principal; however, if granted, no bus transportation will be provided.

Can my child eat food or have open food containers on the school buses?

Students are not permitted to eat food or open food containers on the school buses at any time as some students suffer from severe allergies to certain foods. Keep in mind that the child with the allergy may not be on that specific run, but may ride that bus at another time that day and just the smell or oil from some foods may get on seats or seat backs. Packed lunches/meals must remain unopened in a student’s bag or backpack while they are on the bus. Students who violate this restriction will be subject to disciplinary action.

How should I find out about school closings and delays?

Closing and delay information will be posted on our website (www.basdk12.org). Information will also be sent to WPXI, WTAE and KDKA. In addition, you can find out via Facebook (www.facebook.com/ButlerAreaSD) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/butler_area_sd). You will also receive an automated call and text, unless you opted out of receiving them.

My child forgot something on the bus, what should I do?

The best thing to do is contact the bus contractor to make arrangements to get the item. Valley Lines phone number is 724-287-0003.

How can my child ride home on another bus?

Temporary bus passes may be issued in emergencies situations only. Parents must submit a note to the principal’s office stating who their student is to ride home with, the bus number, the bus stop and the date requested. If approved, your child will be issued the temporary bus pass.

Can my child ride another bus home to a friend or relative’s house?

No. Students are not permitted to ride home on buses that are not their assigned buses. Emergency exceptions may be permitted as determined by the building principal.

Can my child be dropped off at their job location or my place of employment?

No. This is not permitted. The district only transports students to and from their residence or child care provider within their attendance area.

There is a 50/50 custody agreement for my child. Can I get him/her assigned to two different buses?

Yes, you can have two different bus stops assigned; however, the following documents need to be received in our office prior to the second stop being assigned: a copy of the 50/50 custody agreement and a Custody – Request for Additional Bus Assignment Form that is signed by both parents and the student. This form can be found on the Butler Area School District website.


FAQ: Private School Information

Why is my child’s private school combined with another school?

We combine schools and/or transfer students to eliminate duplication of service to optimize operational efficiency.

How is transportation to my private school effected if BASD delays or cancels?

If the Butler Area School District has a 2-hour delay, your private school student will still be transported. However, the bus will pick your student up 2 hours later than the normal pick up time. If the Butler Area School District closes, a bus will not be provided to your private school.