Buses ready for first day of school in Duval County

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The new school year kicks off Monday in Duval County.Public Schools are assisting families when it comes to their child's bus and bus routes. Staff members will man the Bus Route Hotline to help parents and students with their transportation questions.

If you don't know your child's bus stop or want to know the exact pick up time and the entire route of your child's bus you can look it up at http://www.duvalschools.org/page/9209

From there, go to the ‘departments’ tab and go to ‘transportation’.

The district's 2016 Transportation Call Center will also be taking calls now through Aug. 26 at (904) 381-RIDE. The call center's hours are 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“About 900 buses; we do about 9 million miles a year. It seems like so a lot of moving parts but we've been working all summer long and recently started up the call center two weeks ago to take calls from parents with questions,” said Don Nelson with Duval County Public Schools.

Also make sure your child is at their bus stop 5-10 minutes before the bus should arrive and make sure they know their phone number and address. If it's a kindergartener, play it safe and write out that info so if they get confused, the bus driver can guide them in the right direction. Bus drivers will have red bands to attach to the child's book bag or wrist to help identify them.

Each parent of a kindergarten student is required to complete a form at their school to make a preference about dismissal. Some parents may choose for their child to be met by someone at the bus stop, and some may allow their child to walk home.

Please be sure the school has given a copy of the form to the bus driver.

All bus drivers are instructed to transport only those kindergarten students for whom they have a copy of the form from the school. Parents will be expected to transport their kindergarten student home if they have not filled out a form with the preference for their child.

School bus transportation is provided to students who live more than 1.5 miles from the school they attend. One mile is identified as a reasonable walking distance to a bus stop for students who are eligible to ride a school bus.

Buses in Duval County will transport more than 50,000 students in more than 3,500 trips every day with 875 buses. That is approximately 9 million miles. Duval is ranked #1 in the state of Florida for the newest fleet. High School starts at 7:15, elementary starts at 8:30 and middle school begins at 9:30. Buses will start rolling out at 5:30 a.m. to pick up high school kids.