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Finding Your Bus Route and Using the Parent Portal
Finding Your Bus Route and Using the Parent Portal
Posted on 09/02/2022
Graphic with a school bus states Transportation FYI

Hello, New Kent Families!


It was so great to meet many of you at the open house events over the past two days. We know that many of the little ones are excited, and we saw the smiles on their faces at the open house events, especially at the elementary schools. We are excited too! 


Below is the bus information for your child, information about the Parent Portal app, and some general information that may be helpful to you for the upcoming school year:

 

Bus Information:

Over the past two days, many of the parents received their child's bus information at the elementary and middle school open house events. If you were not able to attend or misplaced your bus information, please visit Web Query on the NKCPS website or CLICK HERE. Type the address of the requested student pick-up location and Web Query will provide the stop location and pick-up and drop-off times of the closest stop.

 

Parent Portal App:

You can follow and track the bus with our Parent Portal app lite version. Please visit the NKCPS website for more details and instructions on how to download the app. In order to open the Parent Portal letter on the website, we have it password protected as this is only for parents and students within New Kent County. AN AUTO MESSAGE WAS SENT ALONG WITH AN EMAIL WITH THE CODE IN IT. Once you put the code in, it will open the letter and you can set up your account for the Parent Portal. Please note, we will upgrade our system to another version later in the school year and it will require you to upgrade your app free of charge. The upgraded app will bring more features to the system and will personalize your account. More details regarding the upgrade will come at a later date.


What to Expect on the First Day/Week of School:

We have some vacancies within the department, but we will have all runs covered with a trained and certified professional.


For some parents, seeing their child getting on the bus for the first time can be an emotional experience. Many will want to take pictures/record videos of their child(ren). Please be mindful of the time to prevent any delays as we aim to remain on schedule; other students are waiting for the bus at the next stop.


For the afternoon dismissal, we will have staff onsite and will be working with the administrators at each school to assist students with boarding the correct bus. We expect that there will be delays at the schools as some students may forget their bus numbers, so we will assist them to make sure they are on the correct bus. When the middle and high schools are delayed, a domino effect usually will take place, causing potential delays for the next run, which would be elementary. We will see the biggest delay in our elementary runs for the afternoon as we are taking our time ensuring that we have our students on the correct buses. While the elementary dismissal is set for 3:40 pm, we do not expect the buses to leave until 4:10 pm or later on the first day of school. This is typical for the first couple of days of school. Each day, the time will improve and the goal is for the buses to leave the elementary schools no later than 3:50 pm. This usually takes two-three weeks from the start of school. Tracking your child's bus on the Parent Portal app will assist you in knowing when you can expect the bus to arrive at your location.


FAQs:


Question: My bus stop is too far from my house, what should I do?

Answer: In subdivisions, we create centralized bus stops, and students can walk up to 0.3 mile (3-tenths of a mile) from their mailbox. If the stop is further than that, or if you feel that the stop location is not safe, please fill out a transportation form and submit it. We will review the stop and will contact you with a decision.


Question: I just recently moved and filled out the transportation form after the deadline, can I still get transportation on the first day of school?

Answer: If your child is fully enrolled, you can put your address in the Web Query, and it will give you the closest stop, and you can take your child to that stop in the mornings. However, we will not be able to transport your child home as the driver will not know where they are supposed to go until we have processed the form. If we would transport your child in the morning, we know that the students are going to school and are dropped off at a safe location, but for the afternoon, the driver will not know where the student is supposed to go.


Question: I filled out the form before the deadline, but my changes are not showing up in the system. What should I do?

Answer: Call the transportation office immediately (804-966-9670) and speak to a staff member, and they will assist you. This is our busiest time of the year, so if you reach the voicemail, please leave a detailed message with the student's name and concern, and your contact information (please speak each word clearly and slowly), and someone will return your call before 5 pm on Friday. If it’s urgent, we will be monitoring the email over the holiday weekend, so you can send an email to [email protected].


Question: I forgot to check on my child's bus information, and I am just seeing this email as I've been working long hours at my job, and I wasn't able to attend any of the open house events, nor could I call the office before you closed for the weekend. What should I do?

Answer: The transportation staff will be in at 5:30 am on Tuesday, September 6th. Please keep in mind that we will be extremely busy and expect a high call volume, but we will have extra staff in to assist and will get back to you as soon as we can. If it’s an urgent matter, please email [email protected], and we will try to get back to you as soon as we can.


Code of Conduct:

This is very important, please take a moment to review the code of conduct (on the NKCSP website) regarding safety expectations and behavior with your child on the school bus.


Driver Information:

All of our school bus drivers are equipped with a Class B or higher Commercial Driver's License with passenger, air brakes, and school bus endorsements. Our drivers completed a very detailed physical with a licensed professional, Nurse Practitioner or Doctor, to ensure that they are in good health and fit for duty. Drivers must complete and pass a drug test, set up on random drug/alcohol testing, and records will be pulled from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). They must have a good driving record (once hired, it will be monitored automatically through DMV, and if any record changes should occur, DMV immediately notifies NKCPS). Drivers must successfully complete a criminal background check through the state police and child protective services (same as teachers) in order to be eligible for employment within the school division, as well as completion of a training program issued through the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). Participation in additional training throughout the year is required.


I hope this helps with finding comfort in knowing that our drivers are under strict guidelines as our number one priority is safety.


Thank you so much for your time, and we look forward to serving you and your family daily. If you are new to this school district this school year, Welcome to New County Public Schools. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to us. See you bright and early on Tuesday morning!


Mervin Hence

Director of Transportation
CLICK HERE for information on the Parent Portal.
CLICK HERE for a video tutorial on using the Parent Portal.
CLICK HERE for FAQs about the Parent Portal.
CLICK HERE for the NKCPS Parent Portal Letter.