Frequently Asked Questions
How do I reach the transportation department?
Please call the Transportation Office at 903-723-0425.
What are the Transportation Department hours?
The Transportation Department is open from 5:00 am until 5:00 pm on school days (or until all route buses have returned to the Transportation Department).
Can the driver stop at my driveway to pick up or drop off my child?
Only certain students, whose needs are addressed through IEP or 504 Plan, are eligible for curbside service. This service is typically restricted to rural areas (i.e. FM 565). Students in subdivisions are expected to walk to a bus stop. If you have a concern about your child's safety, you are encouraged to accompany your child to the bus stop. Westwood ISD utilizes group stops where possible to cut down on the amount of ride time students are having to ride the bus. Students may also be required to walk further in newer subdivisions that have multiple houses under construction (active construction), as buses cannot fit down roads where there are vehicles parked on both sides. The higher frequency of stops can make the motoring public impatient. This results in people driving around the bus which can cause greater safety concerns than the distance a student walks to a bus stop. It also delays the bus by increasing the number of stops, making the overall student riding time longer.
In addition, Texas DPS requires a school bus to give at least 300 feet advanced notice of stopping the bus. This in turn means that most bus stops will be placed 300-400 feet apart at minimum.
Who should I report my address or telephone number changes to?
The school registrar should be contacted as soon as possible with all address and telephone number information changes. The registrar will put the information into the system allowing visibility to the Transportation Department. Transportation Staff cannot change your address information.
How do I find out which bus my child will ride?
Please see the “Bus Routes” button on the Transportation webpage for the bus number your child will ride. For more information on your child’s route, please call 903-723-0425.
Why did my child’s bus stop change?
Each summer routes are re-evaluated and may be adjusted to ensure that student’s arrive to and from school in a timely manner. Routes and/or bus stops are adjusted to ensure we can arrive to the campus on time each day to serve your child and they can eat breakfast.
Why is my child’s bus late?
Weather, traffic, student discipline, maintenance difficulties, and unforeseen incidents are responsible for delays in the arrival of school buses in the morning and afternoon.
In the event your bus does not arrive as scheduled, please allow 15-20 minutes before calling the transportation office at 903-723-0425. We do have a dispatcher during morning and afternoon runs.
Why can’t you call when the bus is late?
It is simply a numbers problem. There are as many as 65-70 students on each bus. That is 65-70 phone calls in a short time frame to parents who are probably at the bus stop with the children. Please know that there is a bus on the way and that we are doing everything possible to transport your child to school in a timely manner.
Why does my child have a seat assignment?
Seat assignments are a positive way for the ride to be consistent and safe. It takes less time to load at bus stops if students know they have an assigned seat. As required by law, in the event of an accident or emergency, the driver is able to give authorities a list of students on the bus at the time and where they are seated.
How will I be notified if a change is made to my child’s stop?
The Transportation Department will send a note home with the child to give you notice of a change in bus number, driver and bus stop. We typically send the note home at least 2-3 days before the change is made. Due to growth in the district, routes and/or bus stops may often change to ensure students arrive to and from school in a timely manner.
Why does my child need to be at the bus stop 5-10 minutes before the bus arrives?
The bus driver has a tight schedule to maintain with the students needing to be on time for breakfast at school. The bus driver cannot wait for tardy bus riders at the bus stop. If your child is running out of the house or down to the bus stop, the bus driver may not see him/her. Your child could also fall down because he/she is rushing to the bus causing further delays. Students need to be waiting at the bus stop and not inside the house. The bus driver cannot take his/her eyes off the road, looking at your front door or in your garage to see if your child is coming to the bus stop.
Will I need to be at the bus stop when my child arrives home?
Children under the age of 9 will not be dropped off unsupervised. Permission may be given to let your child off with older siblings or older child. If you are home, the driver needs to physically see someone. An opened front door or garage door is not acceptable. If you are not at the bus stop or the driver does not see you, an attempt will be made to contact you for further instructions. In most cases, the child will be returned to the Transportation facility and you must make arrangements to have them picked up. After three instances of being returned, your child may lose take home bus privileges. We will not release your child at the bus stop to someone that not is on the child’s emergency card. It is very important to keep emergency contact information updated.
What happens if my child gets on the wrong bus?
Children are loaded in a safe and orderly manner at their campus. If for some reason your child gets on the wrong bus, the bus driver will contact the Transportation Department for further instructions. Often times, the bus driver will be able to drop the child off at his home after finishing the route or the child is taken back to the Transportation Center.
I cannot see the bus stop from my house.
The school district provides service for approximately 1,500 students to and from school each day. We are not able to position bus stops that all parents are able to see the stop from their home. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to ensure that their child arrives safely to and from the bus stop.
We live in a cul-de-sac or on a dead end road. Will the bus come down our street?
Except to transport special needs children, buses generally are not routed down cul-de-sacs or dead end roads because of the danger to small children and property caused by the bus turning around and/or backing in a small area.
Is my child allowed to ride another bus other than his/her own?
All students are routed to their home address. Children may be routed to another parent, grandparent or licensed daycare in accordance with TEA Guidelines. Please reach out to the campus or transportation if you need this change made permanently. If it is only for a day, you will need to make the change with the campus and have a written pass from that campus office to board the bus.
How do we find out about an inclement weather delay, early dismissal, or cancellation of school?
The Superintendent is responsible for the final decision to close school due to various locations in the district regarding road conditions. After the decision is made, the public is notified through news media. Additional information can be found on the district website under school closings. The Transportation Director is out early riding roads on inclement weather days and is in contact with the Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent.
My child’s bus is overcrowded. Can some children be placed on another bus?
School bus sizes are stated in terms of passenger capacity. It is assumed that elementary school-aged children will ride three (3) per seat. Every attempt will be made to limit middle and high school students to ride two (2) per seat. Even if the bus has three (3) elementary students or two (2) middle or high school students in each seat, it will seem crowded, but it will not be over capacity. It is our goal to fully utilize all the space on all the buses in our fleet.