HSTS will endeavor to accommodate students who are in shared custody arrangements and require transportation from a second address when both addresses are within the attendance boundary for the student’s board designated school and within the transported boundary for that same school.
In situations of shared custody, where an elementary or secondary student resides with both parents/guardians in two different residences, transportation may be provided if the following conditions are met:
- Both parent/guardian residential addresses are eligible for transportation to the same board designated school.
- The schedule is consistent from week to week to support the processes of the school and drivers for loading/unloading students.
- Parent/guardian and the student accept responsibility for the management of the alternating schedule, boarding the correct bus and disembarking at the correct stop location.
- Parents/guardians will carefully consider the maturity and capability of their child to manage the alternating schedule, given that the school and the driver are not responsible for managing alternating schedules.
The nature, severity, probability and scope of possible risk will be assessed and taken into consideration prior to approval of the shared custody transportation request.
Where there is uncertainty in the information provided by the parents/guardians, the school has the final say in determining the ability of the school to accommodate the request for shared custody transportation
The school in consultation with HSTS has the right to withdraw services if in its sole discretion, the safety of any student is compromised.
One address not eligible for transportation:
In the case of shared custody whereby one parent/guardian residential address is not eligible for transportation to the same school, the courtesy seat procedure and courtesy seat conditions will apply. Refer to Operating Procedure HS-1-004 – Courtesy Seats.
In situations of shared custody where elementary or secondary students reside with both parents/guardians and transportation is required from both residential addresses to the same designated school:
- Confirm that both parent/guardian residential addresses are eligible for transportation to the same school based on the Board’s transportation distance policy.
- If both residential addresses are eligible for transportation, complete a Request for Shared Custody Transportation form (one per child);
- Ensure that both parents have signed the form(s) in order for the request to be considered;
- Provide a calendar to the elementary school indicating the alternating weekly schedule 10 days prior to the transport start date;
- Ensure that the elementary student has the weekly schedule in their backpack at all times;
- Have a backup plan in place for their child(ren) in the event that the student gets on the wrong bus and goes to the wrong location so the student will know what to do;
- Complete a new shared custody form and calendar and submit to the school for review and consideration:
- If/when arrangements change throughout the school year;
- By the end of June, if arrangements are going to change in September;
- If the student is changing schools in September, submit a new form to the new school by the end of June.
The Shared Custody form and transportation arrangements will remain in effect until HSTS is informed of any changes by the school. A review of the new arrangements will be assessed and considered prior to approval of the request.
The Shared Custody Transportation conditions and parent/guardian responsibilities outlined above also apply to secondary students, however, only the form must be completed and submitted to the school. A calendar is not required for shared custody transportation arrangements for secondary students.
*Note: A minimum of 10 working days must be provided to HSTS if changes to transportation arrangements are required for any elementary or secondary student.
School Principal shall:
- Review and assess the complexity of the request;
- Ensure both parent/guardian addresses have been identified in the Trillium software;
- Consult with HSTS to determine feasibility;
- Forward a copy of the Shared Custody request form and calendar to HSTS;
- Develop a boarding plan at the school level to support the alternating schedule for elementary students only.
HSTS staff shall:
- Review and assess the shared custody request submitted by the school;
- Consult with the school principal to confirm schedule etc., if required;
- Ensure both addresses are recorded in the transportation software;
- Assign student to bus stop/route based on confirmed parent/guardians residential address;
- Attach schedule and document information in the students’ record in the transportation software.
Bus operator shall:
- Provide the assigned bus driver(s) with an up to date copy of route sheet and schedule with student’s name appearing on multiple lists (denoting alternating schedule).
Reviewed: October 2020Operating Procedure: HS-1-007 – Shared Custody Transportation