Ridership Eligibility

Free Transportation
Elementary students must live more than 1½ miles from the school designated for attendance; middle school students must live more than two miles; high school students must live more than three miles. Economic status does not automatically qualify a student to obtain transportation consideration.

Student eligibility is also affected by walk-path hazards such as railroad crossings, traffic volume and speed, and intersection controls for vehicle and pedestrian traffic.  The following information is issued as a guideline only in the determination of safe walking routes to school. Determining the safety of locations is best done on an individual basis after considering all of the relevant information and circumstances.

  • Freeway: Not safe to cross unless at an overhead footway or underpass provides a clear walkway.
  • Main Traffic Routes (heavy traffic areas): Considered safe if crossed at pedestrian traffic lights, intersections controlled by traffic lights with pedestrian activation and phasing or, over or underpasses.   Pedestrian access to walkways is sufficiently far away from the traffic flow and consistent. Crossing guards are available.
  • Main Traffic Routes (medium to light traffic area): Considered safe if crossed at pedestrian traffic lights, intersections controlled by traffic lights with pedestrian activation and consistent walkways.  Pedestrians must also have an adequate view of vehicles approaching from both directions.  Crossing guards may be available based on volume of traffic and speed.
  • Residential Streets: Considered safe to cross providing pedestrians are not obscured from motorists because of a bend road or hill.  There is a consistent walkway for students.
  • Recreation areas etc.:  These are not normally regarded as being “safety” issues unless there is some danger resulting from vehicular traffic.

As a general rule recreation areas are considered to be part of a normal walking route if they are in an established residential area and the entire walking route is clearly visible from its extremes at all times.

Resolution: If it is determined that the walking area is hazardous by the criteria outlined, the solution may be to provide busing or provide an adult crossing guard at the hazardous location. The decision to implement bus service or provide a guard will be made based on the degree of hazard and the most practical and safest resolution to the circumstance.

Open Enrollment
Parents of students approved for open enrollment are responsible for transporting their student to the new school. State code allows for a parent to request transportation assistance. Specific income guidelines, separate from those for the free/reduced lunch program, must be met to qualify for this assistance. Documentation of the family’s income must be submitted each year the assistance is requested and updated any time the income changes by more than $50 per month. Please contact the Welcome Center at 515-242-7371 for more information about this program.

Bilingual/ELL Programs
The Bilingual/ELL Coordinator in Intercultural Programs must approve students eligible for these programs, and in need of transportation services.  The secretary at the assigned building will complete the Transportation Request Form for new students and submit to Transportation.

Special Education
Students eligible for special education transportation are determined by the building staffing team. The building secretary makes transportation requests in conjunction with the Special Education Consultant via the Transportation Request Form.  Special education students may qualify for services under other District procedures (i.e., distance).

Request for Exceptions
Written requests for exception or special consideration may be made by the building principal to the Transportation Department for review.