Click on a question to reveal its answer.
1. How do I find out what school my child attends?
Answer: You can check the school boundary page on this website or you can contact the SUHSD planning department at (619) 691-5553.
2. Where will my child's bus stop be?
Answer: A student's bus stop is assigned according to student's home address. Our routing system will route the student to the bus stop closes to the home. You may access the route system and find your student's stop by using the link Bus Stop Finder
3. What are the qualifications for transportation?
Answer: Middle students living beyond 2.5-miles and high school students living beyond 3.5-miles from their home school as specified in school board policies will receive transportation on a fee for service basis.
Mileage is determined by using the shortest route (not the most preferred route) from the student's residence to the closest point of the school.
See District Administrative Regulation 3541a
4. When is the bus pass office open?
Answer: The bus pass office is open Monday thru Friday from 8:00 am to 3:45 pm. The office will be closed on holidays. For your convenience our office will extend it hours during the Summer Months Wednesday Hours during the Summer Months are 10:00 am to 6:00 p.m.
We also open our bus pass office during the Summer Months on select Saturdays from 8:00 am to 11:00 am. Please contact the Transportation Department for exact dates. There are usually very long lines around the beginning of each school year. Plan ahead and come early to avoid the last minute lines. Bus pass for the next school year can be purchased one week after the end of the previous school year.
You can also avoid the long line by using our online process to purchase the bus pass through this website or by completing the bus pass application and mailing it to the bus pass office. Allow 10 days for your bus pass to be mailed to you. Should the school year start within the 2 weeks, the bus pass will be sent to the school for the student to pick-up there.
5. How much is the fee for the bus pass?
Answer: A Two Way "Yearly" Bus Pass can be purchased for a $172.00 fee, which is equivalent to $0.50 a ride or $1.00 a day. Yearly fee is pro-rated as days of school progress. You will not be charged for days that have already passed. A Two Way "Yearly" Bus Pass is valid for school bus transportation for both home to school and school to home for the school year indicated on the bus pass.
This pass must be shown to board the school bus. Improper use or misuse may result in confiscation of bus pass. This bus pass is Not Transferable. Lost or stolen passes may be replaced for a $6.00 fee. A "Yearly" One Way bus pass be purchased for a $86.00 fee, which is equivalent to $0.50 a ride. Yearly fee is pro-rated as days of school progress. You will not be charged for days that have already passed. This pass is valid for One Way school bus transportation only. Passes are issued for either the "AM" morning ride only or the "PM" afternoon ride only.
This pass is valid for only for the school year indicated on the bus pass. This pass may be used the other half of the day with the purchase of a single ride ticket for each ride to school. Yearly passes are not valid on for Summer School or Intersession transportation. Single Ride Tickets can be purchased in sheets of five tickets for $3.25 a sheet, which is $0.65 a ticket. Tickets can also be purchased at the student's school after the first days of school. These tickets are valid for a single School bus ride from home to school or school to home.
Single ride ticket MUST be accompanied by a valid Bus Pass or Bus Permit. Student without a Bus Pass or Bus Permit MAY NOT purchase single ride tickets. These tickets must be given and bus pass or permit must be shown to the bus driver, to board the school bus. Should your student consistently ride the bus 4 or more times a week, it would be less expensive to purchase a bus pass. The Sweetwater School District is not responsible for lost or stolen tickets.
6. Is there a way to get free or reduced priced transportation?
Answer: Yes, if you qualify for the free or reduce lunch program at the school, you more than likely qualify for free transportation. Should you be in the situation that you do not qualify for free transportation but you are unable to pay the full amount for transportation, transportation offers a payment plan.
7. Can I ride the bus to my school even though I am not within the transportation area?
Answer: Yes. Students who live within the determined distances or out of the schools boundaries may use an existing school bus stop on an existing route as a space available bus rider. It is the board of trustees' desire to provide transportation on a "space available" basis to those students who live within the determined distances on a fee for service basis.
Space available transportation is provided to students on a first come first served, fee for service basis. It is to be understood that space available transportation means that a student may ride on an existing route only if there is space available on the bus. The majority of our buses carry 57 students (two to a seat, state law does not permit standing passengers on a school bus).
Additional bus stops or routes will not be generated for "space available" bus riders. Space available bus riders may apply for a bus pass and pay the fee only after the second week of school. Applications and fees for space available transportation will not be accepted once the bus has reached capacity. It must be understood that should the bus become over crowded and space is no longer available, transportation for the student will be terminated and a refund of unused fees will be made.
8. If I choose to send my child to a school other then his/her home school, do I get transportation if I live beyond 2.5-miles from the middle school or live beyond 3.5-miles from the high school?
Answer: Transportation is NOT provided for students in a "choice" program. All students who have chosen to attend a school outside of their home school boundary are considered "choice" students. Choice students do have the option to go to the closest bus stop within the school of choice boundary, on a space available basis and pay the fee. ( see above )
9. Do FLAGS and SCPA "Magnet Programs" come with transportation?
Answer: No, FLAGS and SCPA are not "Magnet Programs". Both are non-funded "choice" programs and no funding is available to support transportation to "choice" programs. Therefore, transportation is not provided for FLAGS or SCPA. Magnet students do have the option to go to the closest bus stop within the school boundary, on a space available basis and pay the fee. (see above)
10. My student is under an intra-district transfer do you provide transportation?
Answer: No. However, transportation may be provided on a space available basis. It is the board of trustees' desire to provide transportation on a space available basis to those students who do not qualify for transportation on a fee for service basis. As a student riding the bus on a space available basis. (see above)
11. My student is in the No Child Left Behind program?
Answer: Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), parents of children attending schools found to be in need of improvement may have the opportunity to choose to send their child to another public school. Your local school district must let you know each year if your child is eligible to transfer to another school served by the district. It must give you at least two transfer schools to choose from, if available. The district will pay for your child's transportation costs. Contact student support services at (619) 691-5564 for information regarding NCLB.
12. I'm Homeless how can I find information about transportation for my student?
Answer: Through the Homeless Student Education Act, students get a choice between their former school district and the new one. Perhaps most important, the law ensures homeless students have transportation to school. District will work out transportation, sometimes sending buses across their boundaries to keep children in school. Contact student support services at (619) 691-5564 for information regarding transportation for homeless students.
13. I see a bus going down my street everyday. Why can't I take that bus?
Answer: Not all buses you see are going to the same location. Buses that pass through your neighborhood most likely are not going the location you are trying to get to. There are other school district buses that travel the roadways within our district. These buses have nothing to do with our district and do not go to our schools.
14. The neighbor child down the street takes a bus. Why can't my child take that bus?
Answer: Not all buses are going to the same location. Not all neighborhood children are going to the same school. Remember, transportation requirements for middle school students are different from those of high school student, which is different from those for special needs students. The neighbor child may have different requirements then your child.
15. Why do I have to pay for transportation? After all I am paying $1000 per month in property taxes and meloroos. Where does all this money go?
Answer: School transportation is not mandated in California, so the local school boards must make a decision as to fund school buses or replace books, hire more teachers, or maintain classes. The California Constitution requires that all property be taxed, unless otherwise exempted under the California Constitution or United States Constitution. The money collected goes to over 900 local taxing agencies, including the County, cities, schools and special districts. With over 900 agencies sharing the money, the moneys are distributed as mandated.
The money is not shared evenly, with some agencies getting more than others. With the budget cuts and rise of expenses, the portion money that does trickle to education is then split again amongst the various school districts and educational systems. The local school district determines what they will do with their portions of the taxes. Much of the money is used for teachers, administrators, books, classroom equipment; maintain school facilities and various mandated programs. The remaining portion is then split again amongst non-mandated programs which include transportation.
16. How much does it cost to operate a school bus route?
Answer: One school bus route includes the driver's salary and benefits, routine bus maintenance and fuel cost. On the average, that is approximately $60,000 per year. The largest bus in our fleet carries 58 students. The fee for each student to ride the bus for the entire year is $172.00. The maximum amount that could be collected in fees for transportation is almost $10,000 per route per year. The remaining transportation cost of $50,000 per route per year is picked up by the district.
17. Do you have information on public transit routes and schedules?
Answer: Our transportation department does not have public transit information; however you call your local city transit company for more information:
Chula Vista Transit: (619) 656-2300
National City Transit: (619) 474-7505
San Diego Transit: (619) 685-4900
18. Can I still use the same bus pass if my student moves (change of address) or changes schools?
Answer: The bus pass is issued for one school, one bus route and one bus stop. If your change of address will require your student to use a different bus stop or use a different route, you will need to change your address at school site and then bring your student's bus pass to transportation department.
A change of bus pass will be made if there is transportation available for the new address or new school. There is no fee for change of bus passes, however, the old bus pass must be turned in for the exchange.
If the change of address does not require your student to use a different bus stop or bus route the current bus pass is still good can be used without any changes.
19. What is the process necessary to get a bus pass?
Answer: Your child MUST be fully enrolled in the school with an ID# (the school will issue the ID# when the child is enrolled) before a bus pas can be processed. If your child is fully enrolled, request that a bus pass packet be sent to your address or complete the bus pass process here online. Bus pass packets can also be picked up at the school. Once you receive the bus pass packet, review it carefully, fully complete the application and any other necessary forms.
Incomplete or inaccurate forms cannot be processed. Mail or bring the information to the bus pass office along with a current 1" x 1 ¼" photograph of the student and your payment. A picture of the student is necessary to process application, you may provide your own picture or have one taken at transportation department/bus pass office for $1.00.
If you would like to have your bus pass mailed to you, please enclose a self addressed stamped envelope. Allow 2-4 weeks for your pass to be mailed to you. If the school year has started or is already in progress, the bus pass will be sent to the school for distribution to the student. Bus pass applications mailed without a self addressed envelope or those requested through the internet process will be sent to the school when school starts.
Those who come to the bus pass office to process their bus pass will receive the bus pass at that time. Bus passes or tickets are not required for the first week of the regular school year or the first day of summer school.
20. My child lost their bus pass. My child's bus pass was stolen. What do I do?
Answer: You need to come into our transportation department/bus pass office and get a replacement pass or you can also use our online process on purchase the bus pass through this website. The replacement fee is $6.00 and you will need a student photograph to replace a bus pass.
21. My child already has a bus pass, can I use it for summer school or intersession?
Answer: No, Yearly passes are not valid on for Summer School or Intersession transportation. Your child will need a bus pass or tickets for intersession or summer school transportation. You can purchase an intersession or summer school bus pass at the transportation department/bus pass office. No photograph require for summer or intersession bus pass.
You can also purchase intersession or summer school single ride tickets. Tickets can be purchased at the transportation office or at the intersession or summer school. The fee for intersession or summer school is $ .50 cents per ride. Regular yearly singular ride tickets may be used for Summer/Intersession school transportation, however, Summer/Intersession tickets do cost less.
22. My student needs to ride the bus occasionally?
Answer: You will need to obtain a bus pass permit and purchase single ride tickets. You will need to summit and application along with a photograph for a permit bus pass. Bus pass permits are free and student will need to purchase single ride tickets for a fee of $ .65 per ticket. Single ride tickets can be purchased at transportation department/bus pass office or at school site with a valid bus pass permit.
23. My student no longer rides the bus but I already paid for the whole school year. Can I get a refund for what is not used?
Answer: Yes, you can request a refund, the refund will be taken on the day that you return the student bus pass to transportation department/bus pass office. All requests for refunds must be accompanied with the bus pass. Refunds are pro-rated based of unused days from the date of the request for refund along with the student's bus pass. Refunds can be obtained only at the transportation department. All requests for refunds must be accompanied with the bus pass.
Once approved by transportation, our financial department will generate a check for the refund. A check for the refund will be sent to the address provided. Allow 2-3 weeks to receive the refund check.