Special Education Transportation Parent Guide

  • We transport more than 4,000 students with special needs each day. To receive special transportation services, your child must have transportation as a related service in their Individualized Education Program. All transportation services follow WCPSS Board Policy.

    Students Changing Addresses Within Wake County

    • All address changes must be submitted at your child’s school.
    • The new address will be sent to transportation for routing.
    • Most address changes will take five to seven school days to be routed.

    Out-of-County/Out-of-State Students (New Enrollees)

    • Request transportation services by completing a Transportation Service Request form when making application to school. The School Data Manager will enter the transportation request for new enrollees. More information about enrolling.
    • Inform school staff of your child’s IEP and let them know that your child has received transportation accommodations in the past.
    • A review of IEP accommodations will be conducted by transportation and special education staff if necessary.

    Hardship Transfer Students

    • Learn more about the hardship transfer process.
    • If a transfer request is granted, the student is considered ineligible for all district provided transportation, and the family is responsible for getting the student to and from school.
    • To receive transportation accommodations as indicated by the IEP, students must attend their assigned school.

    Transportation Tips

    • Your child will be assigned to a yellow school bus unless their IEP accommodation cannot be met on the bus.
    • WCPSS contracts with vendors to provide transportation services that meets the needs indicated by a child’s IEP.
    • If you suspect your child has medical or other needs, please contact your child’s IEP case manager to request an IEP meeting to review data for transportation needs. The IEP team will review present levels of performance and other data to determine if transportation as a related service is required and what accommodations are appropriate.
    • Three to five days after an initial or updated transportation accommodation request is made through the IEP team, you will be contacted by phone to answer any questions you may have, verify address and establish a pickup and drop off time. Make sure your contact information is updated with the front office at your child’s school to avoid delays.
    • For students transported by vendor, there is a 15-minute window before and after your designated pick-up time. Vehicles will wait for three (3) minutes upon arrival and then will leave for the next stop. (Example: If the pick up time is 7:15 a.m., the window is 7:00-7:30. The vehicle will not leave until 7:18, unless vendor has called you ahead of time stating the route will be running ahead of schedule on a given day. If the vehicle will be arriving at, say, 7:05 a.m. then vehicle would depart no later than 7:08 a.m.).
    • It is required that Pre-School, Kindergarten and First Grade students must be released to a responsible person. If nobody is home, the student will be returned to the school and parent/guardians assume responsibility to pick up their child from school.
    • Elementary/Middle and Middle/High school students can ride together. Preschool students are considered Elementary school students. • Expectation is that the parent/guardian help the child to/from your residence to the vehicle.
    • Though it is often a natural transition for parents/school staff to assist the child into the vehicle and secure the child, the driver is responsible for checking all securements prior to departure.
    • Transportation is an extension of the classroom. Principals may discipline any bus/vehicle misconduct as if the violation occurred on school grounds. Penalties for violating Board Policy or the Student Code of Conduct apply to behavior on transportation.

    Did You Know?

    • There is no seat belt/car seat requirement for any age child on a yellow school bus. WCPSS has at least four 5-point safety restraints built into the seats on each yellow school bus.
    • Vendor vehicles must follow seatbelt and car seat laws.
    • WCPSS requires all employees and vendor drivers undergo a criminal background check.
    • Safety Assistants are WCPSS employees.
    • Random drug testing occurs for yellow bus and vendor drivers on a monthly basis.

    Ride Times

    • Board Policy 7125: The maximum one-way ride time is one hour for students who reside in the base attendance area that is adjacent to the school they are attending.
    • The maximum one-way ride time is one hour and forty-five minutes for students who do not reside in the base attendance area that is adjacent to the school they are attending. This is the same for students attending Magnet, and other application schools.
    • The transportation department strives to minimize all students ride times and will not exceed board policy limits. The distance a student lives from the school they attend will be one of the determining factors in ride time regardless of mode of transportation.

    Transportation to After-School Care

    • Board Policy 7125 allows service to childcare centers when the following criteria are met:
      • There must be no additional cost to the state.
      • Centers must be located in the transportation area of the school served.
      • There must be ample seating space available on the bus.
      • The childcare center must be located within 5 miles of the attending school or home.
      • Child care staff must be present to load/unload students.
      • The bus cannot enter private childcare property.

    Requesting Service to or from before or after school care providers

    • For your child with an IEP who attends a regional program or has transportation as a related service indicated on their IEP, submit your request to your child’s IEP case manager at their attending school. You will be asked to provide the following information:
      • Name of child care provider
      • Phone Number
      • Address
      • Contact Person
    • If the request is denied, parent/guardian can request an appeal in accordance with Board Policy 1740/4010, Student and Parent Grievance Procedure.

Questions and Concerns

  • For transportation concerns, please use our Transportation Customer Service online form or call the bus support office at 919-805-3030.
  • For questions regarding transportation as a related service on your child’s IEP, please contact your child’s special education case manager at your child’s school.