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CCSD 89 returns to First Student for busing services

Community Consolidated School District 89 is returning to a familiar company for busing transportation. CCSD 89 will use First Student – the company that served CCSD 89 for decades – to run morning and afternoon bus routes for regular-education students.

When the district’s busing contract was up for renewal after the 2018-19 school year, First Student was selected to provide the best service to families. The company will provide new buses for CCSD 89 routes, a bus terminal that is closer to district boundaries, and new technology features.

Students boarding bus First Student serves more than 1,100 districts in 39 states. First Student’s safety record is twice the industry average and the company has been awarded the Green Cross for Safety by the National Safety Council – the highest safety award for safety in North America.

Special education transportation will continue to be managed by Hopewell Transportation.

What will change?

Despite the transition in companies, First Student’s familiarity with the district will mean families should only see minor changes to their busing service.

The most significant difference will likely be that many of the routes will have a different driver than they had during the 2018-19 school year. Prior to the start of school, each First Student driver will conduct multiple practice drives along their route, so they are familiar with the neighborhoods, streets, and traffic in the community.

Although the route numbers may change, the bus routes will remain largely the same. As in the past, the district will try to select stops that allow groups of students to board together and buses to run routes efficiently while avoiding dangerous crossings. The majority of bus stops will be at the end of a block. Each year, the district makes small adjustments to routes based on new students, construction, and other factors.

For safety reasons, bus routes are not posted on the district’s website. Your school will communicate the bus routes about one week before the first day of school (August 14). Once the school year has begun, if you have questions about your route, please contact your school office. Drivers cannot make changes to the bus routes.

The buses will look largely the same: traditional large yellow vehicles will pick up students. Some First Student buses have white roofs and tinted windows that help keep temperatures down in the summer months. The windshields on First Student buses have a slightly curved shape, which gives the drivers more visibility than the flat windshield. A photo of the busesis on the right side of this page. 

The First Student buses contain the latest technology and safety features that are available. None of the buses on the CCSD 89 routes will be more than six years old.

Back-to-school busing

Back to school is always a hectic time for busing, as families adjust to getting to the bus stop on time. There could be slight delays during the first few days, but students will arrive to school on time.

Families are encouraged to have their student arrive at the bus stop 10 minutes before the scheduled arrival time, when possible. In most cases, students should stand back from the edge of the road at least 10 feet, or at least 20 feet along a high-speed road.

To ensure student safety at the end of the day, preschool and kindergarten students must be met at the bus stop by a family member. 

Families that have not registered their student for the 2019-20 school year by August 7 may not be able to use the bus for the first few days.

Families are encouraged to review the bus safety rules with their student. The safety rules can be found in the transportation section of the 2019-20 CCSD 89 student handbook at www.ccsd89.org/handbook.

Students are reminded to stay in their seats while the bus is moving, be respectful to the driver and the driver’s instructions, keep emergency exits clear, and treat the buses with respect. There are consequences for breaking bus-riding rules, and students can lose their bus-riding privileges.