Is My Child Eligible for transportation?
ORANGE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS (OCPS) equally provides school bus transportation to all district students regardless of race, gender or national origin in accordance with the State of Florida and the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) statutes and rules.
In order to be eligible for OCPS school bus transportation the student(s) must reside two or more miles from their assigned school, be a participant in a designated Exceptional Education Program with an active Individual Education Plan (IEP), or a 504 Plan that has been approved by the school principal or their designee. Elementary students who reside within two (2) miles of their assigned school may receive OCPS school bus transportation if they do not have a pedestrian route from their home to school that is free of hazards as defined by FS 1006.23. Further, the Orange County School Board has for many years supported an effort to expand the number of the named hazards in FS 1006.23, however, no definitive legislative language has been adopted.
Determining the two-mile limit for OCPS school bus transportation is outlined in FDOE Rule 6A-3.001. Essentially the distance is measured from a point where the student’s home property meets the public right of way (in the case of a gated subdivision with a private road system, it’s where the subdivision’s entrance meets the public right of way) to the nearest building entrance of the assigned school. It is the shortest pedestrian route whether or not it is accessible to motor vehicles. All other students whose homes fall within two (2) miles of their assigned school unless otherwise designated are ineligible for OCPS school bus transportation.
How are bus routes and walking distances to stops established?
As per Florida Department of Education Rules 6A-3.001, Basic Principles for Transportation of Students, all school bus routes shall be so planned and adjusted to the capacities of available equipment and school buses should be so chosen and assigned to routes and attendance areas that insofar as practicable the full capacity of each bus will be utilized, without standees, to serve students whose homes are beyond reasonable walking distance of the assigned public school center.
A reasonable walking distance for any student who is not otherwise eligible for transportation pursuant to Section 1011.68, Florida Statues , is any distance not more than two (2) miles between the home and school, or one and one-half (1½) miles between the home and the assigned bus stop. Such distance shall be measured from the closest pedestrian entry point of the property where the student resides to the closest pedestrian entry point of the assigned school building or the assigned bus stop. The pedestrian entry point of the residence shall be where private property meets the public right-of-way. The district shall determine the shortest pedestrian route whether or not it is accessible to motor vehicle traffic.