School Bus Information
- Who Receives Transportation Services?
- Changes in Bus Stop, Residence or Daycare
- Transportation to Childcare or After-School Programs
- Transportation for Special Education Students
- Transportation for Non-Resident Students (Open Enrollment)
- Transportation for Homeless Students
Saint Paul Public Schools provides transportation services to students who are attending SPPS and programs or who are attending non-public and some charter schools that are located within the City of Saint Paul. Transportation is provided for students who meet eligibility requirements contained in the Board of Education Policy 707.00 Eligibility for Student Transportation.
Under Minnesota Statutes and Federal laws, the school district is required to provide specialized transportation services to students whose handicapped condition requires individualized transportation services.
Minnesota Statutes grant charter schools the option of requesting transportation service from the resident school district or providing transportation themselves and collecting aid directly from the State of Minnesota. The resident school district must provide transportation services within the school district boundaries if requested by the charter school. The resident school district is not required to provide transportation services for non-resident students attending charter schools located within the district boundaries.
SPPS provides transportation to approximately 32,000 students to/from school every school day.
Saint Paul Public Schools is comprised of the following programs:
- 32 City-wide elementary magnet and city-wide option schools
- 31 Early Kindergarten programs for four-year-olds
- 16 Neighborhood schools
- 7 Middle Schools
- 8 Senior High Schools
- 37 Self-contained special education programs
- 6 out-of-district special education programs
- 1 K-12 Magnet school
- 6 Early Childhood Special Education programs
- 6 Alternative secondary schools
- 20 Community-based special education sites
- 56 Extended Day Learning (EDL) Center Program sites
- 6 Early Childhood Family Education Program sites
- The Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf at Faribault, MN
- The Minnesota State Academy for the Blind at Faribault, MN
All requests for route changes, or changes of address or daycare, must come through the office of the school the child attends. The Transportation Department cannot accept requests for address changes or stop changes directly from any parent, daycare provider, or teacher. This is for the safety of the student and is intended to ensure that both the school records and the Transportation Department records are identical and correct.
A new route copy will be issued to the school and to the school bus contractor for each route change, or series of changes that are effective on the same date. Route changes are normally processed in three working days; however, changes will take longer during the first few weeks of the school year. In the event of a major route revision, the school will be given sufficient time to notify the parents of the students riding on the route(s).
Route changes will not be made for temporary situations of less than five transportation days. For student safety, all changes must follow District procedures and be issued to the contractor and the school in printed format. No changes will be made with a contractor via telephone.
Minnesota Statutes allow SPPS to designate a licensed childcare facility, the residence of a relative, the residence of a person chosen by the pupil’s parent/guardian, a school-based childcare facility that is exempt from Minnesota childcare licensing requirements, or a program operated by a government agency as the legal residence for resident students for transportation purposes.
Childcare transportation is not provided:
- To or from a parent’s work or school location unless the location houses one of the authorized programs listed above and the program confirms that the child is enrolled in that childcare or program.
- To or from a commercial area or building, unless the commercial building houses a licensed childcare facility that has enrolled the student.
- To or from locations that are not authorized in statute.
SPPS provides transportation to eligible students participating in the following childcare and after-school programs:
- SPPS Discovery Club (PreK-5)
- SPPS Extended Day Learning (K-12)
- SPPS Flipside (middle school)
- SPPS Summer Learning Programs (PreK-12)
- Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Rec Check Program (1-5; bussing home is not provided)
- Saint Paul Parks and Recreation S'more Fun Program (K-5; bussing home is not provided)
- Boys & Girls Clubs - East Side, Mt. Airy, and Al Lenzmeier West Side St. Paul Locations
- YMCA - Eastside and Midway St. Paul Locations
- YWCA St. Paul
The childcare or after-school program address must be within the district boundaries, must be within the transportation area of the school, and must be over 0.5 miles from the school for students in grades PreK-5 and over 1 mile from school for students in grades 6-12.
If the student's residence is less than the required distance from the school and the childcare or after-school program site is over the required distance and is within the transportation area of the school, the parent should contact their school to arrange bus transportation. This includes magnet students riding from existing stops.
A student must consistently utilize a childcare pick-up and/or drop-off every school day. A student can have different pick-up and drop-off locations and may have a different drop-off location on an Extended Day Learning route.
Childcare transportation is not provided across attendance area boundaries except as part of the normal desegregation route structure. Childcare transportation is not provided across the school district boundaries, nor may a resident student be dropped off near the border to walk to a childcare site that is located outside of the district.
Parents/guardians should discuss emergency closing situations and notification procedures with the childcare or after-school program. A childcare or program that closes unexpectedly for training, bad weather, or other situation could leave a student without transportation from school or unable to enter a locked childcare facility.
An Individualized Education Program (IEP) must identify each student’s transportation needs. Parents can talk with their child’s IEP team for additional information about transportation. The student’s IEP team will determine the student’s individualized need for special education transportation for the provision of FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education). Specialized transportation will be decided on a case-by-case basis and the District will provide out-of-area transportation to a student receiving special education services when it is necessary for that student to receive a FAPE. If a student’s IEP team determines transportation outside of the assigned area is not necessary for the student to receive a FAPE, and a FAPE is available to the student within their assigned area, the District will apply its general transportation guidelines and provide transportation only to schools within the student’s assigned area. If a parent chooses to enroll their student in a school outside the student’s assigned area, despite the availability of FAPE in the student’s assigned area, the District will not provide transportation to that school, unless the IEP team determines that out-of-area transportation is necessary for FAPE.
If the student’s IEP team determines transportation is necessary for the student to receive a FAPE, the District must provide the specialized transportation as a related service at no cost to the student or the student’s parents. If there is a disagreement amongst members of the student’s IEP team, including the parent, regarding what is necessary for a FAPE, specifically how specialized transportation will be provided and to what appropriate program, then the District will continue to provide transportation as stated in the student’s IEP until such time as the District and parent can engage in dispute resolution options (IEP teams, ADR processes) to reach an agreement.
A resident student who moves to a location outside of Saint Paul and who wishes to continue at the school attended must apply under the Enrollment Options Program (Open Enrollment). A student residing outside of Saint Paul is not eligible for transportation without an approved Open Enrollment agreement.
Transportation service is provided for non-resident students attending a Saint Paul Public School under one of the Minnesota Enrollment Options Programs (Open Enrollment), foundation aids exchange, or other program for which transportation is authorized in Minnesota Statutes. Transportation is provided from stops that are within the attendance area of the school but not within the walking zone of the school. Parents or guardians are responsible for supervising the student while traveling to and from the school bus stop.
Transportation service is provided for students who are experiencing homelessness under the McKinney-Vento Act. Homeless students have the right to attend their "school of origin," which is defined as the school they went to before becoming homeless or whatever school they were enrolled in last, even if they move out of the district, when feasible. Non-public school students do not qualify for services under McKinney-Vento.
Please inform your school of any address changes or contact SPPS Title I/Project REACH staff. The school may request special transportation when the student is residing at a temporary address outside of the school attendance boundaries.
For more information on transportation for homeless students, visit spps.org/Page/23635.