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644 Pleasant Street | Belmont, MA 02478
phone: 617 - 993 - 5400
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School Bus Registration

To all families interested in registering for bus transportation.

Busing registration closed on August 10 and is closed at this time. Parents who wish to register their children for busing must email busing@belmont.k12.ma.us with the following information:  

Busing & Payment Information

  1. Student’s first and last name 
  2. Parent’s first and last name 
  3. Student’s address 
  4. Student’s grade for the 2016-2017 school year 
  5. Student’s assigned school

Your child may or may not be able to ride the bus this year because some of the buses are already at capacity and cannot accept additional riders. Requests for registration will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Where possible, students will be placed on an available bus. 

Students that cannot be placed at this time will be placed on a wait list until the end of September. At that time it will be determined if any additional bus seats are available.

Need help with your registration? Contact Business office at busing@belmont.k12.ma.us

The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are provided and answered to note changes in busing operations. These procedures affect regular day bus transportation. They do not affect any transportation specified in a student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

If you are seeking a fee waiver, payment cannot be made online. To request a waiver, send a letter requesting a fee waiver and a copy of last year’s federal tax return (Form 1040). Please see Fee Waiver information here.

Busing FAQ

Q:How do I register my child for busing?

All busing registrations must be done online. Parents will receive an email by the end of June with a registration link for their child.

Q:I think my child may be eligible for free busing, based on income or grade. Do I still need to complete the online registration process?

Yes, all students wanting to ride the bus need to complete the online registration process. Any student for whom an online application has not submitted will not be permitted to ride the bus.

Q:When do I register my child for busing?

Parents will receive an email by the end of June with a registration link for their child. The deadline for registration to ensure that your child will have a seat on the bus is August 10.

Q:The busing registration deadline has passed. Can I still register my child for busing for the start of school?

You may complete the online registration form. However, your child will be placed on a wait-list until approximately October 15, with no guarantee of a bus stop near your home, and no guarantee of a seat.

Parents are strongly encouraged to register their children before the deadline to ensure a seat for you child.

Q:I would like my child to start busing later in the school. Is this permitted?

Yes, you may complete the online registration at the time you would like your child to begin riding the bus. However, there is no guarantee that a seat will be available ; or, if available, that an existing stop will be convenient to your home; or that buses service the area of town where you live.

Q:I paid online but I did not submit an online bus registration form. Will my child be counted as registered?

No, a student is not counted as registered for the bus until the online registration application is completed. Neither an online payment nor payment by check will hold a seat for your child. In the event that payment is made even before the registration deadline, but the online registration is not completed by the registration deadline, your child will be put on a wait list.

Q:Why does it matter if I register my child after the deadline? If I register my child before or after the deadline, the total number of students registered does not change. So why would my child have a seat on the bus if I registered on time, but not when I registered late?

During the registration window all of the online registration forms are accumulated. Based on the numbers of students, where their homes are located, and student grade levels, the bus routes are established. There are efficiencies that can be achieved in establishing routes when the entire cohort of students requesting to ride the bus can be considered all at one time. A tremendous amount of time, planning, and thought go into the development of bus routes in an effort to optimize the limited number of buses available, travel time around Town, school start times, and the sheer number of students riding the bus at all levels – elementary, middle, and high school. If students are registered after routes have been created, to change a route for even a single additional stop, may impact several students at other stops, subject the bus route to greater vehicle traffic, delay the time when the bus arrives at school, and result in overcrowding on the bus. These changes can make the established routes untenable for picking up new students. Had all students registered within the registration window, they most likely could have been accommodated in the bus route development process.

Q:How much does it cost to ride the bus?

The bus fee per student for the year is $575.00. There is no family cap. For students in grades Kindergarten through 6, who live 2.0 miles or more from their assigned school, busing is free. All students wanting to ride the bus, regardless of grade or distance from school, must register for busing.

Q:Are fee waivers available?

Yes, financial waivers are granted based on household size and income. To request a waiver, send a letter and a copy of last year’s federal tax return (Form 1040) to the Belmont Public Schools Business Office, 644 Pleasant Street, Belmont, MA 02478, Attn: Busing. Waivers will be reviewed confidentially.

Q:For students in grades K-6, how is the distance to school determined?

Distance is determined by using the longest route provided by Mapquest, as viewed on the computers in the Business Office. Students in grades K-6 who live 1.95 (rounded up to 2.0) miles or more from school will be bused for free. Any student living less than 1.95 miles from school must pay for busing.

Q:Is a school bus available for my child no matter where in Belmont I live?

No, unfortunately, since busing resources are limited, there are portions of town that are not serviced by school buses. This does not apply to students in grades K-6 who live 1.95 miles or more from school, as described previously.

Q:Where will my child’s bus stop be?

Once the routes are set they will posted on the School Department’s website here. Students may board the bus at the stop listed on the school bus route for their assigned bus which is most convenient to their homes.

Q:Does my child need a bus pass to ride the bus?

For elementary students – No, bus passes are not issued for elementary students. Student bus rosters are maintained by the main office at each elementary school. 

For middle and high school students – Yes, bus passes are issued and required. Students must show their bus passes to the bus driver daily. Schools staff may also inspect bus passes. 

Note: Any student attempting to board a bus without a bus pass or with a pass for a different bus may be refused bus service.

Q:When and how will I receive my child’s bus pass?

Your child’s bus pass will be mailed to your home during the week before school starts.

Q:How do I replace a lost pass?

Please email busing@belmont.k12.ma.us to request a replacement pass. Replacement passes will be provided at no cost.

Q:Can I or my child change what bus he/she rides?

Only students registered for busing and issued a pass may ride a school bus. Your child must ride only the school bus to which he/she is assigned. Parents or students cannot unilaterally decide to ride on a different bus on either a daily or ongoing basis, even if a different bus drives near your home. 

If you need your child to permanently change the bus he/she rides for the remainder of the school year, please email busing@belmont.k12.ma.us. Change of bus requests will be reviewed by the Business Office. Other than a change in residence within Belmont by the child and family, requests to change bus assignments generally are not granted, as bus stops are already established and adding students could be disruptive.

Q:Can the afternoon bus drop off my child at daycare, a friend’s home, or at a grandparent’s home?

No, students can only be dropped off at an assigned stop on their bus route. Students may, at their parent’s discretion, exit the bus at a different stop, that is already established on their assigned bus route, than they ordinarily do.

Q:Can I register my child to ride the bus for only three days per week?

Students may only be registered for five days per week. Parents are free to make other arrangements to transport their children to or from school on any given day or series of days. However, no discount for the bus fee can be provided if a student does not ride the bus five days per week.

Q:Can I register my child to ride the bus only in the morning or only in the afternoon?

Yes, these options can be selected using the online registration website. The fee for morning only or afternoon only busing is $287.50.

Q:How many students are assigned to a bus?

Generally, not more than 60 students are assigned to a bus.  60 students means that 21 of the 27 bench seats on the bus will need to have three students sitting in them.  Slightly more or fewer students than 60 may be assigned to a bus depending on how many seats students can be assigned three-to-a-seat. 

Q:What happens if I am not able to be at the bus stop in the afternoon to receive my child?

Parents are expected to be at the afternoon bus stop to receive their children in grades K-2.  Any children in grades K-2 who are not received by a parent will not be permitted to exit the bus.  They will be returned to their school at the end of the bus route, where the school’s main office will contact parents.  Students in grades 3-12 are permitted to exit the bus if no parent is there to receive them.

Q:Can someone else receive my children at the bus stop in the afternoon if I cannot be there?

You may assign a responsible adult, known to your child, to receive him/her at their afternoon bus stop.  Groups of parents may arrange among themselves for one or more parents from a neighborhood to receive all of the children at a certain bus stop in the afternoon.  Students in grades K-2 will be permitted to exit the bus if they have an older sibling in grade 3 or higher who is also on the bus at that time.

Q:What is expected of students when riding the bus?

  • Students are to have bus passes in-hand or attached to a backpack so that passes are visible to the bus driver.  Students must be ready to display bus passes to the driver as they board the bus.
  • Students must also present bus passes to Belmont Public Schools staff when directed.
  • Students are to enter the bus and sit in an open seat.  Students may not stand while riding the bus.
  • Student belongings such as backpacks or other items cannot occupy another seat on the bus.
  • Students are to be on their best behavior, in the same manner in which they are expected to conduct themselves while they are in school.

Q:How are student behavior issues related to busing addressed?

For any student found to be behaving inappropriately while riding the bus, the bus driver will complete a report and submit it to school principal for disciplinary action.  Discipline may include temporary suspension or permanent revocation of bus privileges.

Q:What are the expectations for parents whose children ride the bus?

  • Parents are expected to ensure that students are at their bus stops in the morning, prior to the bus’ arrival.
  • For students in grades K-2, parents or another adult known to the student must receive the child at the bus stop.
  • For students in grades K-2 whose bus stop is in front of their residence, parents are expected to be clearly visible at the time when the school bus is approaching the stop, so that the bus driver can see that the parent is present.  Examples include parents standing outside, in front of their home, or at least standing in the doorway to the home with the door open.  When a parent does not make his/her presence visibly known to the bus driver, the driver is required to wait for the student to walk on to the property until he/she actually enters the home, through the door.  This process delays the bus route and it will take longer for all remaining children on the bus to reach their stops.

Q:How do I communicate questions or concerns about busing?

For any questions or concerns about busing issues that occur on the property of your child’s school building, contact your school principal.  To report non-school bus vehicles failing to stop for school buses when the bus’ flashing stop lights are engaged, contact the Belmont Police Department at 617-993-2500.  For all other busing matters, email busing@belmont.k12.ma.us.


Contact Us

  • Administration: 617-993-5400
  • High School: 617-993-5900 
  • Chenery Middle School: 617-993-5800 
  • Butler School: 617-993-5550 
  • Burbank School: 617-993-5500 
  • Wellington School: 617-993-5600 
  • Winn Brook School: 617-993-5700
 
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