*All PCHS School Bus Routes/Stops and Schedules are subject to change based on ridership needs
Q: Who is my first point of contact for PCHS School Bus Issues?
A: Dispatch for American Transportation Services (ATS). You can reach them directly at 562-531-8000 x3. If they cannot be reached, you can also contact ATS Bus Manager Jeny Donaldson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 562-531-8000 x712. If she is unavailable, you can also contact PCHS Transportation Coordinator Susan Darvish at 310-230-6631 or at email@example.com.
Q: Is PCHS or LAUSD bus transportation a requirement to be provided to my student?
A: No. LAUSD stopped mandatory (paid-for) busing related to PCHS many years ago. The PCHS School Bus Program is an optional (pay-for) program that is an offering not a requirement. Having a school bus program is not required of PCHS. However, PCHS offers the PCHS School Bus Program as a way to assist as many students as we reasonably can to attend PCHS.
Q: Can PCHS change the number of buses, bus routes/stops and/or schedule times whenever they want?
A: Yes. While we try very hard not to do that during the school year, it is sometimes necessary and can happen. The objective is to get the bus routes/stops and schedule set for the entire school year before the school year starts, but sometimes there are circumstances that do require changes to be made mid-year. Ridership and budgetary changes are typically the main reasons, but other circumstances could require changes as well.
Q: Can a student take another bus/route than the one they’re assigned to?
A: NO. No, re taking a different Bus/Route; but Yes re taking their same/designated Bus/Route just at another Stop on that same Bus/Route. Many buses are set up to have little to no extra capacity and cannot accommodate additional/unplanned riders, so each student needs to stick to their assigned/designated Bus/Route at whatever Stop they can make. If you want to get your student re-assigned to a different Bus/Route & Stop, even just for one-way, you need to get authorization, prior to your student getting on the bus, from the PCHS Transportation Dept.
Q: Can my child/student get their Bus Sticker right at the start of the School Year?
A: Yes. At Registration and/or the first 3-5 days of school. Be sure to visit the Transportation Office AFTER the student has their PCHS ID for the new school year. 5 Calendar Days after the official first day of the regular school year is the deadline for students getting their stickers for riding the bus (same as it is at the start of every month if you pay monthly). As of the 6th calendar day after school starts, and as of the 6th calendar day of each month, students without current/active stickers on their current school year PCHS IDs will not be allowed to ride the bus. Students need Valid ID and Valid Permission/Authorization to get on and ride a PCHS School Bus for each trip (to and from school) every day!
Q: If a student loses their bus sticker during the month, can they still ride the bus?
A: Yes, as long as they either get a replacement sticker from the PCHS Transportation Office or get permission from the PCHS Transportation Office for a 1-Day exception until they can come to get a new sticker. If a sticker is lost after 3:15 pm on a school day, please call the school bus company or bus company representative to get a 1-Trip exemption for the next morning. The school bus company’s contact info is on PCHS’s website. However, it is the responsibility of the student to make sure they go the next school day to the Transportation Office during the Transportation Office’s regular business hours to get a replacement sticker. Without a valid sticker or a valid temporary ride pass, the student will not be allowed to ride a PCHS School Bus.
Q: If my child is only riding the bus for part of a particular month is there a way to pay by the week or pay a reduced fee?
A: No. Use of the PCHS School Bus Program is governed by an annual agreement/commitment. If for any reason your son/daughter is not taking the school bus for part of the month or the entire month, you are still obligated to pay for the entire month. A finite number of seats are reserved for our students. There are no partial payments allowed.
Q: In months where there are fewer school days due to holidays and/or breaks must I pay the entire monthly fee?
A: Yes. For families paying month-to-month: This monthly fee is not based on a “per ride” or “per week” fee but rather a commitment to pay for the whole year divided equally into 10 monthly payments. So even though students will be riding the bus for less than a full month at several points during the school year, including but not limited to Thanksgiving, Winter & Spring Breaks, the transportation fee is still due in full in advance or by the 5th of each month.
Q: If I do not pay for a month (i.e. Dec) what happens?
A: Unless there are extenuating circumstances communicated to and discussed in advance with the PCHS Transportation Dept., if a student/family does not pay for a month by the 5th of that month, the student will not be allowed to ride the bus the rest of that month until they pay for that month in full. If a student/family does not pay their balance in full, for all previous unpaid amounts owed, by the start of the next month they will not be allowed to ride the bus and will be kicked out of the PCHS School Bus Program. In order to be reinstated into the PCHS Bus Program, the student/family will need to pay all accumulated unpaid balances for all months, plus a replenishment of the “Last Month” payment for May/Jun (which would have been used to cover the month not paid), plus a reinstatement fee equal to 1/10-th of the full year cost of the bus for that school year. The reinstatement fee, and previous unpaid balances may be waived at PCHS’s sole discretion if and only if a formal request for a PCHS Bus Scholarship is granted or increased due to recent family financial hardship. As is indicated at the beginning of the year, on our website, in our FAQs, on our materials we hand out at Registration for School, and at Registration for the Bus Program, and at the Incoming Students Night, the PCHS School Bus program is a 10-month program and a 10-month commitment, not a month-to-month commitment.
Q: I am able to pick up my child from school on the way home from work, or bring them to school on my way to work, may I pay for a one-way ride to the school?
A: No. There is no one-way ride accommodation or reduction available.
Q: Is there any Financial Aid available?
A: Yes. Financial Aid is available for students who qualify. Generally speaking, to apply for financial aid you must be part of the Free & Reduced Lunch meal program at PCHS to start, but you could possibly qualify through other criteria as well. Please understand that there are limited funds available to provide students with transportation scholarships, and that receiving full scholarships for PCHS School Bus transportation is rare, and that most people will be required to pay/contribute some amount of money themselves in order to receive scholarship assistance from PCHS.
Q: Will Transportation Scholarships for the start of the school year be determined and communicated to me before Aug 1st?
A: No. PCHS only has limited transportation scholarship funds to award, and therefore needs to wait for all fully and timely registered PCHS School Bus Program registrants and Transportation Scholarship applicants to be known before the process of determining/awarding Transportation Scholarships can begin. Transportation Scholarship awards will be communicated to families as soon as the entire Transportation Scholarship process is completed, which is not anticipated to be completed until the start of August at the earliest but will be completed at the latest 3 weekdays before the first day of classes. We understand this can be challenging for family’s making a decision on attending PCHS based on receiving Transportation Scholarship assistance, but due to the limited funds PCHS has for awarding scholarships, we need time to have people register and apply for those scholarships and then to process and award the scholarship applicants.
Q: If I have a bus scholarship, can it be changed/reduced during the school year?
A: Yes. If a student's financial situation significantly improves, or financial hardship supporting documentation turns out to be incorrect, or the student is not in good behavioral standing with PCHS, or other case-by-case reasons as determined by PCHS, a student’s transportation scholarship can be reduced or completely taken away at any time for any length of time, including the remainder of the entire school year.
Q: If we have multiple students in our family riding the bus, is there a sibling discount?
A: No. Each reserved seat on the bus has the same cost. However, you can apply for transportation scholarship for each of your students and if your family's financial situation and students' standing with PCHS warrant a transportation scholarship, scholarships are available for multiple students in your household.
Q. When Registering, and we have multiple children simultaneously attending PCHS, do we need to pay First & Last Month’s Bus Fees for all the Students?
A: No. PCHS will allow families to not pay the Last Month’s Fee for the 2nd/3rd/Nth child taking the PCHS School Bus, as long as they pay the First & Last Month’s Fees for the first/oldest child, AND pay the First Month’s Fees for the 2nd/3rd/Nth child, AND pay all required fees in a timely manner, AND have thoroughly/successfully completed the rest of the Registration Process for each student. Also, the Last Month’s Fee for the First/Oldest child will be available to PCHS to be used as security for any of the children/students in your family should any one of them fail to pay for any given Last Month’s Fee.
Q: If I pay the full annual fee in advance for the school year and my child changes schools or moves may I be refunded the amount for the unused months?
A: Yes. Students leaving PCHS for the remainder of the school year are entitled to a refund for any payments that were made in advance for future months. Notification must be given to the PCHS Transportation Office at least 15 days prior to the termination of use of the PCHS School Buses. In no case will a refund for <= one (1) month remaining in the school year be granted.
Q: If my child’s transportation needs change (i.e. obtains a driver’s license etc.) how do I cancel the agreement and avoid future charges?
A: Please notify the PCHS Transportation Office at least 15 days in advance if your child is no longer going to take the school bus, and will not be resuming taking the bus for the rest of the school year, so we may consider your situation and make a determination about your transportation agreement. Please remember the PCHS School Bus agreement is a 10-Month commitment as long as your student is still enrolled in PCHS. Also, in no case will a refund for <= one (1) month remaining in the school year be granted.
Q: How long will it take to receive a Refund from PCHS if I am due a refund?
Q: If we are moving but wish to maintain our transportation agreement, can we utilize a different bus route?
A: Maybe. All depends on if there is availability/capacity on the other bus/route. Please notify the PCHS Transportation Office in case of a change of address or change of bus route to see anything can be worked out.
Q: When are payments due, is there a grace period?
A: Yes. Payments are to be received no later than 3:00 pm on the 5th of each month. Following that there is no grace period. Past due accounts will be canceled within 30 days. Students WILL NOT be permitted to ride the bus when their accounts are not fully paid up-to-date.
Q: Can we make our monthly payment at school?
A: Yes. You can make your monthly payment at school, but only by check (no credit card, cash, PayPal, etc.). Make checks payable to “Palisades Charter High School” and write “Bus Transportation” in the memo line, and make sure the student’s name is neatly printed on the check.
Q: If we have paid for the month, and the student does not get the proper sticker from the PCHS Transportation Office, can they still ride the bus?
A: No. In order to ride the bus the student must have 4 things:
Have Valid Permission/Authorization – A proper sticker for that Month/Semester/Year, or a valid pass from the Transportation Office or Teacher/Coach. Students are fully responsible for making sure they obtain the proper sticker(s)/pass for their transportation.
Q: If a student loses their bus sticker mid-month, can they still ride the bus?
A: Yes, as long as they either get a replacement sticker from the PCHS Transportation Office or get permission from the PCHS Transportation Office for a 1-Day exception until they can come to get a new sticker. If the sticker is lost outside the hours of 7:30 am - 3:15 pm on a school day, please call the school bus company to get a 1-Trip exemption for the next morning. The school bus company’s contact info is on PCHS’s website.
Q: Is there a cost to getting a replacement sticker, no matter how it went missing?
A: Yes. The cost of a replacement sticker is the full monthly price of your ridership. The only way to get a replacement sticker without paying full price again is to have the legal parent or guardian of the student come into the Transportation Office, fill out the “Lost School Bus Program Sticker Agreement” and follow the process to obtain a replacement sticker at a cost of $5. Please call the Transportation Office for more details, but under no circumstances will this replacement sticker process be conducted without the legal parent or guardian of the student physically coming into the PCHS Transportation Office in person.
Q: Can any student ride either the 3:25 pm 7th Period Bus or 5:45 pm Late Bus – OR - My child often stays later than the main dismissal time - will he or she need a notation on their identification card?
A: No. Only students participating in official PCHS sponsored after-school activities are allowed to ride either of these two buses, and only students that have properly obtained a valid 7th Period or Late Bus sticker or pass will be allowed to ride those buses. To obtain the proper sticker or pass for these buses, the Teacher or Coach leading the after-school activity must sign a Late Bus Form that the student must obtain from the PCHS Transportation Office. Students staying after school for their own reasons, whether to watch after-school activities, hang-out with friends, go into town, etc., MAY NOT ride these two buses. Only students actively participating in official PCHS sponsored after-school activities are allowed to ride either of these two buses.
Q: My child splits time between two homes that have different bus stops. How can I have this accommodated for?
A: If your son/daughter needs to take a different bus route periodically or for a limited time, please notify the PCHS Transportation Office at least 15 days in advance, so we can provide the student with a special pass.
Q: If the bus arrives late to the campus will my child be marked tardy?
A: No. In case of any buses arriving late in the morning, there will be an automatic excused tardy marked for the students.
Q: Can the buses wait for my student if we’re running late?
A: NO! It is required that the buses arrive on time and leave on time to maintain their schedule and get the students to school in a timely manner. It is not fair to all the students that are on-time at the bus stop to wait for others that are late. Obviously, traffic cannot always be predicted accurately, for both the bus driver and the parents dropping off. However, the times listed on the schedule are the times the bus leaves ("pulls") from the stop. If the bus arrives at the stop late, it will depart/pull within 2 minutes of its actual arrival time (as soon as the already waiting students are loaded onto the bus). If you arrive at the stop at or very close to the pull time, you are late and the bus WILL NOT wait for you!!! You must plan to arrive at your stop at least ten (10) minutes before the pull time ready to board the bus. Speeding up to the bus in a car at the last second, waiting in a nearby car, walking down the street, etc. ARE NOT considered “ready to board the bus” and the Bus WILL NOT WAIT FOR YOU!!!)
Q: What if the bus is running late – What should I do?
A: Generally Speaking – Wait for the bus. The bus may be running late, but unless you’ve been notified otherwise, it will arrive. Unfortunately, we’ve had instances where the bus has been really late and notifications to parents have been very late or non-existent (mainly because the driver never notified Dispatch or PCHS they were running late). However, we have not had instances recently where a bus has never shown up. Our goal is to have the bus company notify the parents/guardians of a particular route or stop that will be affected with reasonably timely information about any significant late arrivals. Anything where the bus will be more than 15min late we require the bus company to notify the affected families. However, even if you get an early notice of a bus expected to be 20min late, that is just an estimate, not a guarantee, and therefore you should still be at the bus stop on time and ready to board in a timely manner. If the bus arrives at the stop late, it will depart/pull within 2 minutes of its actual arrival time (as soon as the already waiting students are loaded onto the bus). If you arrive at the stop later than the bus, the bus WILL NOT wait for you!!! If you stay at home or anywhere else and try to time your arrival at the bus stop to be 10 minutes before the arrival of a bus reported to be arriving 20 minutes late, but the bus ends up being only 10minutes late, you may miss the bus. In the case of a bus being reported to be late, you should plan to be at the bus stop a minimum of 20 minutes BEFORE the reported arrival time of the bus and be ready to board the bus because if the bus arrives at the stop late, it will depart/pull within 2 minutes of its actual arrival time (as soon as the already waiting students are loaded onto the bus). Speeding up to the bus in a car at the last second, waiting in a nearby car, walking down the street, etc. ARE NOT considered “ready to board the bus” and the Bus WILL NOT WAIT FOR YOU!!!)
Q: Will PCHS or the Bus Company reimburse me if the bus is late and I send my student to PCHS or Home/Elsewhere in a Rideshare (Uber, Lyft, etc.)?
A: No. While all parents have a personal choice to send their student(s) to school however they want on any given day, generally speaking PCHS or the Bus Company will not reimburse families for them deciding to send their student(s) in a rideshare vehicle to PCHS, or reimburse the family for gas money for driving them to school, or for any other impacts the bus’s tardiness may cause. The only exception to this policy will be if the PCHS School Bus is > 30 minutes late from its pull-time AND in PCHS’s sole discretion on a case-by-case basis it’s determined by us to be the fault of PCHS or the Bus Company AND the family provides a receipt/proof of the expense AND the cost is reasonable. If traffic is bad, or weather is bad, or a car on the road hits a bus or any other issue that is out of the control of PCHS and the Bus Company, and that’s the primary reason the bus is so late or a no-show, that is not a reimbursable event. If in PCHS’s sole discretion the primary reason for the bus being > 30 minutes late is due to something PCHS or the Bus Company could-have/should-have had control over, then and only then will PCHS make a determination on a case-by-case basis of IF a reimbursement will be made and for how much.
Q: Can the student take another bus if they miss their bus at their designated stop?
A: Yes & No. No, re taking a different Bus/Route; but Yes re taking their same/designated Bus/Route just at another stop further along in the route. Many buses are set up to have little to no extra capacity and cannot accommodate additional/unplanned riders, and students are not allowed to stand or sit in the isles on the bus while in transit, so each person needs to stick to their designated bus/route at whatever stop they can make.
Q: If we miss the bus at our designated stop, but we catch up to the bus before the next stop, can we get on the bus where we catch up to the bus?
A: NO!!! The Buses will only pick-up and unload students at the designated stops. If you miss the bus at your designated stop, you only have two choices: 1) Drive to the next stop on that same route and be there on-time for that stop’s pull-time, or 2) Find a Non-Bus way to PCHS that day.
Q: If a student misses their Stop on the way home, can the bus turn-around and go back to drop them off, or let them off before the next Stop?
A: No. The Buses are only to stop at their designated stops on their route. If a student misses their stop they should get off at whatever stop on that route works best for them to get picked up by someone or take other transportation means to get home. The bus cannot go back to a stop they’ve already passed. If the student feels unsure/unsafe to get off at any of the remaining stops, they do have the option of riding back to the bus yard in North Long Beach, but they will need someone there to pick them up when the bus arrives as students cannot wait around at the bus yard and drivers will not wait there with them. If nobody is at the bus yard to pick up the student, the bus company will call in CHP to take care of the student.
Q: If a student needs to go to the bathroom while on the bus, can the driver pull over for the student to use a restroom?
A: No. The Buses are only to stop at their designated stops on their route. Knowing this rule, and that some of the bus rides are lengthy, students should go to the bathroom before they board buses to avoid this problem. We understand this may not seem reasonable, but the responsibility for the student's safety while being transported home is the reason. If one or two students get off the bus to go to the bathroom at a gas station that is not at a designated bus stop, who’s making sure something does not happen to them while they’re off the bus (the driver must stay with all the other students on the bus)?
Q: What happens if I pull my car in front of the bus at its Pull-Time, or in front of the bus in-between stops, in order for my student to get on the bus?
A: Your student WILL NOT be allowed to board the bus at that time AND your student will get suspended from riding the bus for several weeks. Multiple occurrences of this action/behavior will result in termination of bus riding privileges for the remainder of the school year. There will be no refunds of any amounts paid during the suspension. If you miss an entire month of riding due to suspension, you still need to pay for that month, and your student WILL NOT be allowed to ride the bus again until all previous balances are paid-in-full.
Q: If my student gets suspended from riding the bus, for whatever reason, can I get a refund for the time missed?
A: No. Any bus riding suspension, for whatever reasons, comes with a total forfeiture of any money you have paid toward your payment or balance due during the suspension period. There will be no refunds of any amounts paid during or for suspension. If you miss an entire month of riding due to suspension, you still need to pay for that missed time, and your student WILL NOT be allowed to ride the bus again until all previous balances are paid-in-full.
Q: Can PCHS extend Registration for the next school year beyond Mid-March?
A: No. In order to know how many students will be riding from which locations to create the final bus routes and schedules, and to obtain the appropriate buses and drivers via our school bus company, all parties need several months before the start of the PCHS school year in Mid-Aug.
Q: If there are students that want to ride a given bus route, but they did not Register & Pay by the late Mid-March deadline, can’t PCHS just run another bus for those additional students?
A: Maybe. There is a minimum number of students needed to be on a waitlist in order to obtain additional buses and drivers. >=42 waitlist and paying students are needed, plus the availability of a Bus AND a Driver from our school bus company. Not until all 3 of those things have happened can another bus/route be considered to be added. In addition, students that are not registered by the registration deadline, are not guaranteed a seat on any bus, but PCHS will accommodate as many late registration applicants as its bus capacity will allow in a First-In/First-Out basis – Students registered and paid in a timely manner will get available choice ahead of anyone who registers late. Also, anyone registering late for the PCHS School Bus Program will highly unlikely to receive any kind of transportation scholarship.
Q: Can I stop the PCHS School Bus Calls, Emails, etc. I’m currently receiving?
A: No. Unfortunately, over the next few weeks PCHS needs to make sure as many potential bus riders as possible are fully aware of their need to Register, Pay and Apply as needed for bus services for the 2019-20 school year. Many people have historically waited until the last minute to do these things and this year that will be very detrimental if family’s ignore all these messages to act and do these things. The messages will subside as of Late March after the Registration deadline. Also, at this time, our communications systems have no way to have certain people Opt-Out of receiving specific messages, so if we turn off the messaging for school bus-related matters, you will receive no communications on any matters related to PCHS and that is not something we can do.