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Transportation Frequently Asked Questions

Registration

Q. How do I determine what school catchment my child(ren) will be in?

A. Click School Catchment to determine what school your child(ren) would attend based on your primary residence address. You can enter your street address and be shown what schools are in your catchment. If you are new to the area or looking at a home in HRM, this map is a great resource for your planning.

Q. How do I register my child for student transportation?

A. Once your school registration is completed, your child will be automatically assigned to routes by HRCE, if bus eligible. There is no need to register for busing.
Students are assigned to routes based on their residence or alternate residence information in PowerSchool, if eligible. All transportation addresses must be in catchment of the student’s assigned school.

If your child is eligible for transportation, we will send you an email by the end of July to access the Parent Portal to review your child’s bus information for the 2021-22 school year. 

Q. How do I request an alternate address for pick-up and drop-off if I want my child to go to an after-school program or daycare?

A. Please contact us with your updated address/residence or alternate address as this change may affect your child's eligibility and routing.

Students are assigned to routes based on their residence or alternate residence information in PowerSchool, if eligible. All transportation addresses must be in catchment of the student’s assigned school.  You can check your transportation eligibility at hrcetransportation.mybusplanner.ca.

Students are eligible for student transportation based on their residence; however, the HRCE recognizes that childcare arrangements may require students to travel on alternate buses.

During online registration, parents/guardians can identify an alternate residence address for either AM pick-up, PM drop-off, or both, provided:

  • the change is consistent 5 days a week,
  • the requested stop is already established on an existing route serviced by that school
  • the alternate residence address is within the school catchment (not out of catchment area), and
  • there is sufficient space on the bus.

Q. Who do I contact to change my address if we are moving or changing daycares?

A. If you are moving or changing daycare providers/ after-school programs, please contact us with your updated address or alternate address as this change may affect your child's eligibility and routing.

Q. How do I arrange transportation for my child with special needs?

A. There is a process to determine transportation requirements for a child with special needs. To initiate this process, please contact your child’s school. The principal will work with HRCE’s Student Services team to assess the student’s need and requirements for transportation.

If approved, busing will be provided to your child, regardless of the distance you live from the school in your catchment. A member of our HRCE Transportation Team will reach out by August with busing details for your child, once routing is finalized.

Note: If you are registering your child with special needs for school during August, a member of our Transportation Team will connect with you by late August to make sure you are ready for the 2021-22 school year.

Q. How do I arrange transportation for my child if we are a family with custodial arrangements?

A. For families with custodial arrangements, please contact us to ensure your residence or alternate residence addresses are entered within PowerSchool under transportation information.
Routes are assigned based on student’s transportation address information in PowerSchool. All addresses must be bus eligible. Check your transportation eligibility by clicking here.

Eligibility

Q. How far do I have to live from the school to be eligible for school bus transportation?

A.Transportation must be made available to elementary students and children attending pre-primary programs who live more than 1.6 km from their school in their designated catchment area. Transportation must be made available to students in middle and secondary grades who live more than 2.4 km from their school in their designated catchment area. Please check your eligibility at hrcetransportation.mybusplanner.ca.

Q. Is my child bus eligible? How do I check my child’s transportation eligibility?

A. Visit hrcetransportation.mybusplanner.ca and click “Am I Eligible for Student Transportation?”

Q. My child isn’t eligible for transportation and I disagree. Who do I contact?

A: If you have any questions, please contact Connect@HRCE at 902-431-4723 or transportation@hrce.ca.

Transportation Review Committee for Policy Review
As part of the new provincial School Transportation policy, families are now able to request a review of any non-behaviour related transportation decision. Click here to learn more.

Q. I have chosen to send my child to a school as an out-of-catchment area student. Are they eligible for student transportation?

A. By accepting an out-of-area transfer, families are responsible for transporting their child to and from school. Click here to learn more about eligibility for transportation or contact the HRCE Transportation Team.  

Q. I would like to send my child on the bus to an out-of-catchment area daycare/camp or after-school program. Can they get a bus route if they are bus eligible for their residence?

A. By accepting an out-of-area transfer, families are responsible for transporting their child to and from school. Click here to learn more about eligibility for transportation or contact the HRCE Transportation Team.  

Q. My child wants to go to a friend’s house or after-school program. Can they take a bus that is not their assigned bus?

A. No. This is a safety issue. We are responsible for your child(ren) during the school day, and we take that responsibility seriously. We need to know where all students are at all times and students should only be riding the bus routes that they are assigned to in the Parent Portal.

Q. Will all Pre-Primary children be bus eligible?

A. Similar to all HRCE students, if pre-primary children fall within the distance criteria they will be eligible for busing. Pre-primary children who live more than 1.6 km from the school in their designated catchment area will be provided with busing.

Visit hrcetransportation.mybusplanner.ca and click “Am I Eligible for Student Transportation?”

Routing

Q. When will I know my child’s route and bus stop?

A. If your child is eligible for transportation, we will send you an email by the end of July to access the Parent Portal to review your child’s bus information for the 2021-22 school year. 

Our Transportation Team will be reaching out to new-to-HRCE families and those families who may require special needs transportation for their children this summer.

Don't forget to review your child’s route information in late August before school starts, even if you have reviewed earlier in the summer as route adjustments may have been made.

Q. How far will my child have to walk to get the bus?

A. In general, HRCE plans bus stops to ensure students have to walk no more than 800 meters to their nearest bus stop. However, in some areas, this distance may be longer if the bus is unable to safely access a closer stop.

Q. I have other children at home and cannot accompany my child to the bus. Can the bus make an extra stop at my house? 

A. It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to get students safely to designated stops. These stops are chosen for a variety of safety and efficiency reasons. Extra stops cannot be added to accommodate individual families.

BusPlanner Parent Portal

Q. How can I view my busing information for September?

A. Routing is now ready for review. Families who are eligible for transportation will receive an email to access to their Parent Portal account to review their child's busing information.

Please note: You will need to click the dropdown box by Name on the top of the My Students section in your Parent Portal account to view each of your children's transportation information.

Q. How do I subscribe to notifications about my child’s bus?

A.  All bus eligible families will be automatically signed up to receive email notifications about their child's busing information through the Parent Portal, once their account has been activated. You do not need to subscribe to notifications. 

Q. How will I be notified if there is a change to my child’s bus route?

A. Once your Parent Portal account has been activated, you will automatically receive notifications about bus routing changes, bus delays or cancellations. Schools will also be notified about all bus route changes as well.

Unassigned Seats Update

Q. Can my child get an unassigned seat (courtesy seat) for next year?

A. Families can now apply for an unassigned seat for the 2021-22 school year. Even if families applied last year, you must apply every year for an unassigned seat.

Q. How can I apply for an unassigned seat?          

A. Submissions are now open and applications can be completed online by clicking here or by contacting Connect@HRCE at 902-431-4723 or transportation@hrce.ca

Click here for the conditions of an unassigned seat.

Q. When will I find out if my child gets a seat?

A. Families will be emailed approval for a seat starting September 30 or earlier if possible, if seating is available.

Our schools register students throughout the summer and into September. We are first required to provide bus routes to students eligible for transportation, and it keeps us busy at the opening.

As soon as student registration settles in September, we can determine unassigned seats and make them available. Click here for the conditions that will apply.

Q. If I was approved for an unassigned seat last year do I need to reapply this year?

A. Yes. See above for how to apply.

Q. I want to send my child to an out-of-catchment area daycare before or after school. How do I request an unassigned seat?

A. If a student attends school as an out-of-catchment area student, they are not eligible for transportation and parents/ guardians must make arrangements to transport their child to school.

Pre-Primary Busing

Q. I want to register my child for pre-primary, but I don’t know if I am eligible for busing. How does my child become eligible for busing?
 
A. Students must reside within their designated catchment of the school they are attending and meet the minimum distance criteria to be eligible for transportation. Busing is provided to pre-primary children who live more than 1.6 km from their designated school. All transportation addresses including alternate addresses such as daycares must be in the school catchment.
 
Visit hrcetransportation.mybusplanner.ca to determine eligibility by clicking Am I Eligible for Student Transportation? If you have any questions about eligibility, please get in touch with Connect@HRCE at 902-431-4723 or transportation@hrce.ca.
 
Q. What do Pre-Primary families need to know about busing?

A. To/from the bus stop:
A parent/guardian must accompany Pre-Primary children to Grade 2 students to/from the bus stop and remain with the child until they are safely boarded/unboarded the bus.
  • If a parent/guardian is not at the drop-off stop to meet the child at the end of the day, the child will be returned to the school for pick-up after the bus run and parents will be contacted.

On the bus:
All children/students and drivers (and parents/guardians who board the bus) will be required to wear masks on school buses.

  • Learn more about riding the bus safely here.
Seatbelts:
The Motor Vehicle Act requires all children under 40 pounds and 57 inches in height to use a seatbelt on a school bus, if they are available. A parent/guardian is required to buckle and unbuckle their child as bus drivers cannot leave their seats. An ECE will assist your child with safely boarding and unboarding the bus at the school.
 
Q. Where is my bus stop? What time will the bus pick-up and drop-off my child?

A. BusPlanner is a site that allows a parent/guardian to review all busing information, including bus schedules, stop locations and provides email notifications of any routing changes or bus cancellations/delays. 2021-22 School Registrations: 
  • We will send you an email by  July to review your child's busing information if eligible for transportation.
If registering for the current school year, families should contact HRCE Transportation to help you get started with busing. Learn more about registration and BusPlanner at hrce.ca/transportation.
 
Q. How will I know if the bus is going to be late or cancelled or if my child’s bus route changes?
 
A. Once you've activated your Parent Portal account this year by the end of July, you will automatically receive email notifications of any bus delays/cancellations or route changes.

Families who are eligible for busing will receive an email to access the Parent Portal to review their child's busing information and will automatically be signed up to receive email notifications throughout the year.
 
Q. Who will greet my child at the school? Who will put them on the bus to come home?
 
A. Early Childhood Educators will greet Pre-Primary students as they arrive at school, and assist them in boarding the bus at the end of the day.
 
Q. Will there be monitors on the buses for pre-primary children?
 
A. Four-year-olds in Nova Scotia have been bused regularly and safely for more than a decade without additional supervision. There is no additional supervision on HRCE buses.
 
Q. Will my child be riding the bus with older kids? Even grade 12s?
 
A. Your child will be on the same bus as your family, friends and neighbours from your community. This means your child will ride the bus with students that attend the school your pre-primary program is located at. This is not uncommon, as four-year-olds have been bused to programs and schools across the province regularly and safely for more than a decade.
 
Q. My child has special needs. Will they be accommodated to ride the bus?
 
A. Pre-primary is an inclusive program. Children with special needs, who meet the eligibility criteria to be bused to the program, will have access to transportation. There is a process to determine transportation requirements for a child with special needs. To initiate this process, please contact the Principal at your child’s school.
 
Q. I need to change my address, contact or email address – who do I contact?
 
A. Please reach out to your school to change your home or alternate address, phone number or email address to ensure we can route your child and send you updated busing information.
 
Q. What and where is the BusPlanner Parent Portal?

A. BusPlanner is the transportation management website that allows families to review all busing information including schedules and stop locations. You can visit the Parent Portal at hrcetransportation.mybusplanner.ca. We will send you an email by the end of July to access your Parent Portal account to review your bus routing for September.

Q. Where and when do I sign up for the Parent Portal?

A. For the 2021-22 school year, you do not need to sign up for the Parent Portal.

When routing is ready for review by the end of July, we will email you to access your Parent Portal account to review your child's busing schedule and routing information, if your child is eligible for busing. 

Contact Us

During any time of the year, HRCE Transportation Team can answer your questions about school bus routes, stops and schedules. We can also available to discuss any concerns you may have about your child’s student transportation. 

Please get in touch with Connect@HRCE at 902-431-4723 or transportation@hrce.ca.