Transportation » 2020 - 2021 Transportation Eligibility Guidelines

2020 - 2021 Transportation Eligibility Guidelines

 

 

The Texas Education Code does not require school districts to provide regular transportation service to/from school. Therefore, such service is not the right of every student, but rather a privilege to be accorded to those students who qualify within the terms established by the District. As a convenience, Lovejoy ISD has historically elected to provide regular transportation service to all families. Due to drastic changes in how the State of Texas funds public schools, Lovejoy ISD will limit regular transportation services to students that meet the following eligibility criteria.

 

Eligibility for Regular Transportation Services

A student is eligible for regular transportation route service if (1) the student has established residency within the Lovejoy ISD boundaries and (2) is enrolled in a Lovejoy ISD school, and (3) meets at least one of the following criteria:

 
  • Elementary Students (grades Kindergarten through 4th grade): The student’s residence is 2.26 miles or beyond from their zoned elementary campus’ nearest property line. A student’s elementary zone is determined by the student’s legal residential address and the LISD Board assignment boundary of each elementary campus. See Elementary School Bus Service Eligibility Map 

    Intermediate Students (grades 5th and 6th): The student’s residence is 3.01 miles or beyond from the campus’ nearest property line. See Sloan Creek Intermediate School Bus Service Eligibility Map 

  • Middle School and High School Students (grades 7th through 12th): The student’s residence is 3.01 miles or beyond as measured from the intersection zone between Willow Springs Middle School and Lovejoy High School along the District’s boundary on Ingram Road.
    • The center point of the street at the intersection of Chatfield Lane and Ingram Road (GPS coordinates Lan: 33.095292 Lat: -96.603573) will be used as the starting point for all distance measurements to the north and northeast.
    • The center point of the street at the intersection of Noblewood Drive and Ingram Road (GPS coordinates Lan: 33.091586 Lat: -96.603282) will be used as the starting point to measure all distances to the south and southeast.
    • See Lovejoy High School & Willow Springs Middle School Bus Service Eligibility Map 
 
  • Be a homeless student as entitled by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvement Act.

  • Have an approved hardship exception.
 

Eligibility for Special Education Transportation Services

This regulation does not affect the District’s obligation to provide transportation as may be required by the student’s individualized education program. Special Education bus eligibility is determined by the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Committee (ARD) on the student’s assigned campus. If the ARD committee determines that transportation is a necessary related service, the student will be placed on a Special Education Bus and will be picked up and dropped off at their primary residence.

 

Measurement Method

All distance measurements will be made in a reasonably accurate method and shall be the shortest distance in a straight-line. For Elementary and Intermediate schools the starting point will be the campus’ nearest property line and the student's nearest legal residence property line. For Willow Springs Middle School and Lovejoy High School the starting point will be from the intersection zone between Willow Springs Middle School and Lovejoy High School along the District’s boundary on Ingram Road.

 

Extracurricular Activities

This regulation does not affect a student from riding activity buses for extracurricular activities, athletic teams, fine arts groups, school-related clubs, and school organizations.

 

Ineligible for Regular Transportation

A student is not eligible for purposes of this regulation for regular transportation services if any of the following criteria are applicable.

 

  • Tuition based enrollment students regardless of grade level.
  • A student who, at the student's request, attends a school other than the school to which that student would otherwise be assigned.

Hardship Exception

Students not eligible for bus transportation may apply for hardship transportation service based on the following criteria:

  1. A hardship application must be completed to determine if a hardship exists for the parent providing transportation to and from school. If a hardship exist, the application will be presented to the transportation department to determine if service is available.
  2. Consideration will be given if there is (1) space on the bus, (2) can fit within the route length/time, and (3) is feasible for bus route operations.
  3. Availability is based on the bus capacity: 70 students on elementary and intermediate buses and 50 students on secondary buses. Route times are based on an average of 65 minutes or less from first pickup to last drop off.
  4. Hardship cases will be granted on first come, first serve non-discriminatory basis.
  5. While the district will make every attempt to avoid revoking an approved hardship exception, there is a possibility a rider with a hardship exception may be revoked if the assigned bus reaches maximum capacity. Hardship riders who were most recently placed on the bus will be the first removed on a non-discriminatory basis.
  6. A student will be required to meet the bus at the stop that is closest to his/her address or the bus may make a stop on the way to/from school provided the stop is along the existing established route.
  7. A fee of $175.00 per approved hardship rider, per semester, will be charged for bus service. The fee may be waived for students qualifying for free or reduced lunch under the National School Lunch Program or for students that request and include compelling details on how the fee will cause a significant financial burden for the family on the hardship application. This fee is due at the beginning of each semester. A five-day grace period will be observed for second semester. Second semester service will be discontinued at the end of the grace period if payment for the semester has not been received. In the rare event a students is removed due to bus capacity limits during the semester shall be entitled to a pro-rated refund of fee for any remaining days of the semester at a rate of $2.00 per day. Any student removed from the bus for misconduct will not receive a refund.
 
 
 

Bus Routes and Bus Stops

The District's transportation department will determine transportation routes using a roadway's official designation or classification (e.g., Country Club Road or FM 1378) for purposes of this regulation and may change, add, or eliminate routes during the school year as necessary due to road or highway construction or other such factors that may affect the District's ability to provide transportation under this regulation. District routes may only travel on publicly maintained roads and shall not travel on private roads or drives.

All students who use District transportation will board buses at authorized stops. Authorized bus stops will be designated annually by the transportation department, in cooperation with the regular bus driver(s). Bus drivers will load and unload passengers only at authorized stops. In some circumstances, a bus stop can be up to a half mile from a student’s residence.

Regular Education Transportation Eligibility Maps

The following maps depict the approximate areas eligible and ineligible for regular education transportation services. These maps are to be used as a guide. The final determination if a residence is eligible or ineligible for bus service rests with the transportation department.

 

 

 

Although steps have been taken to avoid inaccuracies, errors may occur. If a transportation eligibility error is believed to exists, the following steps should be taken.

 
  • Submit your specific request to the transportation Routing Coordinator at donna_holden@lovejoyisd.net.
  • The Routing Coordinator will investigate the request and verify the distance determined by the transportation mapping and routing system.
  • After the verification is complete, an email response will be sent with the computed distance from the campus’ nearest measurement start point and the nearest legal residence property line.
  • If it is determined that the measurement is in error, the appropriate changes to the boundary will be made and busing information will be provided.
 
 

Regular Education Transportation Services

Frequently Asked Questions

No. The State of Texas has deemed that regular education bus service is not required for your child to receive an education; therefore, the state does not require school districts to provide transportation services, with the exception of special education students.
Unfortunately, because the State of Texas does not consider school bus service a requirement for your child to receive an education, the state does not provide Lovejoy ISD with funding to cover the cost of providing transportation for our regular education students. The District must use classroom funds to pay for the cost of bus service. Due to continual educational funding cuts from the state and to adopt a balanced district operating budget that protects the instructional quality and the experience for students in the classroom, LISD was faced with the difficult decision to significantly reduce regular education transportation services for the 2020- 2021 school year.

A student is eligible for regular transportation route service if (1) the student has established residency within the Lovejoy ISD boundaries; and (2) is enrolled in a Lovejoy ISD school; and (3) meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • Elementary Students (grades Kindergarten through 4th grade): The student’s residence is 2.26 miles or beyond from their zoned elementary campus’ nearest property line. A student’s elementary zone is determined by the student’s legal residential address and the LISD Board assignment boundary of each elementary campus. See Elementary School Bus Service Eligibility map.
  • Intermediate Students (grades 5th and 6th): The student’s residence is 3.01 miles or beyond from the campus’ nearest property line. See Sloan Creek Intermediate School Bus Service Eligibility map.
  • Middle School and High School Students (grades 7th through 12th): The student’s residence is 3.01 miles or beyond as measured from the intersection zone between Willow Springs Middle School and Lovejoy High School along the District’s boundary on Ingram Road.
    • The center point of the street at the intersection of Chatfield Lane and Ingram Road (GPS coordinates Lan: 33.095292 Lat: -96.603573) will be used as the starting point for all distance measurements to the north and northeast.
    • The center point of the street at the intersection of Noblewood Drive and Ingram Road (GPS coordinates Lan: 33.091586 Lat: -96.603282) will be used as the starting point to measure all distances to the south and southeast.
    • See Lovejoy High School & Willow Springs Middle School Bus Service Eligibility map.
  • Be a homeless student as entitled by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvement Act.
  • Have an approved hardship exception
All distance measurements are made in a reasonably accurate method and shall be the shortest distance in a straight-line. For Elementary and Intermediate schools the starting point will be the campus’ nearest property line and the student's nearest legal residence property line. For Willow Springs Middle School and Lovejoy High School the starting point will be from the intersection zone between Willow Springs Middle School and Lovejoy High School along the District’s boundary on Ingram Road.
The straight-line radius measurement from each school’s property line is the measurement method used to differentiate between eligible or ineligible areas for regular education transportation service. The measurement method used is not intended to mirror the walking or driving path to school.
  Elementary Campuses – beyond 2.25 miles
  Sloan Creek Intermediate – beyond 3.0 miles
  Willow Springs and Lovejoy High – beyond 3.0 miles from a defined midpoint
 

      Lovejoy had to significantly reduce the total number of bus routes in order to cut approximately two-thirds of the cost of regular education transportation to balance the district’s 2020-2021 operating budget. These straight-line radius values effectively reduce the total number of regular education transportation routes the district can afford to provide, and efficiently balances the projected number of riders between elementary/intermediate school students with middle/high school students. Instead of completely eliminating regular education transportation service for all students, the reduced number of dedicated routes will allow the district to offer ineligible families hardship exceptions with a fee.

No. Changes in Regular Education Transportation Services does not affect the District’s obligation to provide transportation as may be required by the student’s individualized education program. Special Education bus eligibility is determined by the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Committee (ARD) on the student’s assigned campus. If the ARD committee determines that transportation is a necessary related service, the student will be placed on a Special Education Bus and will be picked up and dropped off at their primary residence.

Yes. This change in Regular Education Transportation Services does not affect a student from riding an activity buses for extracurricular activities, field trips, athletic teams, fine arts groups, school-related clubs and school organizations.

No. One of the requirements to be eligible for transportation services is you must reside within the Lovejoy ISD boundaries.
No. A student who, at the student's request, attends a school other than the school to which that student would otherwise be assigned is not eligible for transportation services.

Yes. Students not eligible for bus transportation may apply for a hardship exception for transportation services with a fee. Hardship transportation service are based on the following criteria:

  1. A hardship application must be completed to determine if a hardship exists for the parent providing transportation to and from school. If a hardship exist, the application will be presented to the transportation department to determine if service is available.
  2. Consideration will be given if there is (1) space on the bus, (2) can fit within the route length/time, and (3) is feasible for bus route operations.
  3. Availability is based on the bus capacity: 70 students on elementary and intermediate buses and 50 students on secondary buses. Route times are based on an average of 65 minutes or less from first pickup to last drop off.
  4. Hardship cases will be granted on first come, first serve non-discriminatory basis.
  5. While the district will make every attempt to avoid revoking an approved hardship exception, there is a possibility a rider with a hardship exception may be revoked if the assigned bus reaches maximum capacity. Hardship riders who were most recently placed on the bus will be the first removed on a non-discriminatory basis.
  6. A student will be required to meet the bus at the stop that is closest to his/her address or the bus may make a stop on the way to/from school provided the stop is along the existing established route.
  7. A fee of $175.00 per approved hardship rider, per semester, will be charged for bus service. The fee may be waived for students qualifying for free or reduced lunch under the National School Lunch Program or for students that request and include compelling details on how the fee will cause a significant financial burden for the family on the hardship application. This fee is due at the beginning of each semester. A five-day grace period will be observed for second semester. Second semester service will be discontinued at the end of the grace period if payment for the semester has not been received. In the rare event a students is removed due to bus capacity limits during the semester shall be entitled to a pro-rated refund of fee for any remaining days of the semester at a rate of $2.00 per day. Any student removed from the bus for misconduct will not receive a refund.
Lovejoy does not endorse or recommend students walking or riding a bike to school where safe pathways do not exist. Families ineligible for district transportation are responsible for getting their students to and from school. If you believe a hardship exists, you may apply for a hardship exception for transportation services with a fee.
Since over 90% of the subdivisions and municipalities within the school district do not provide pedestrian walkways, including hazardous walking condition criteria would circumvent distance measurement eligibility criteria. Lovejoy does not recommend students walk or ride a bike to school where safe pathways are nonexistent.

Families ineligible for district transportation are responsible for getting their students to and from school. If you believe a hardship exists, you may apply for a hardship exception for transportation services with a fee.

No. Only eligible bus riders are allowed to ride the bus to and from school.
No. Special education bus service is only provided to students as part of their individualized education program. Special Education bus eligibility is determined by the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Committee (ARD) on the student’s assigned

Although we take steps to avoid inaccuracies, we understand that errors may occur. Here is the process a family can take if you believe that a transportation eligibility error exists.

  1. Submit your specific request to the transportation Routing Coordinator at donna_holden@lovejoyisd.net.
  2. The Routing Coordinator will investigate the request and verify the distance determined by the mapping and routing system.
  3. After the verification is complete, an email response will be sent with the computed distance from the campus’ nearest measurement start point and the nearest legal residence property line.
  4. If it is determined that the measurement is in error, the appropriate changes to the boundary will be made and busing information will be provided.