Tag Archives: School bus Journey

15 Tips to Fix Your Child’s Long School Bus Rides

While many parents may not have realized this, it is a true fact that a child’s school day starts with the ride on the bus.

However, very long bus rides for the children (say for two hours one way) are seen to detrimentally affect the child’s health and contribute to absent school days and even increase drop-out rates.

The effects are more intense for those children who require special education. Are these long bus rides not able to meet your child’s needs? Have you been mulling on the idea to fix these rides?

Currently, there are no definitions for lengths of the rides even for students with disabilities. If you want to fix the length of the bus ride for your child, you may have to explore and find out aspects with which you can establish that these rides are inappropriate. We give you a few tips that you can start exploring with and later build upon.

  1. It is important to understand that according to the IEP document, transportation comes under the banner of related services.

    Therefore, the first and foremost tip is that any concern in this direction should be approached in the same manner as you would do for other related services.

  2. The next important thing to be done is to ask your child what he/she feels about the ride. Whereas some children find the ride cumbersome and exhausting, others seem to enjoy the bus ride.

    It is good to get some clarity about the extent of the problem right here. Even if the child seems to be happy about the ride, it does not mean that you cannot strive to make it better.

  3. IDEA does not define the ride length. Therefore, go through the state registers to find out whether the length of the school bus ride has been defined.

    You may find this in some of the states and would not find this in others. It is a good idea to go through the transportation policy of the school district.

  4. For a large majority of children, riding the bus for long hours can cause severe anxiety. In school-going children, sitting for long hours is difficult. This is a valid point that can be brought up.
  5. It pays for you to know that if the transportation has been provided by the school, it is essentially a part of education that is covered by the IEP. All the queries and concerns can then be addressed to the school.
  6. As transportation is a related service according to IEP, if you feel the bus driver needs to be trained, that can be put in the IEP.
  7. The bus ride is largely chaotic and most of the times, the rides are not supervised to the extent they should be. If your child faces problems such as bullying because of little or no supervision, you can state that as a concern.
  8. In case any change seems impossible, what about the following solutions:

•    Can the child be allowed to eat (whenever the child feels like) on the bus?
•    Would there be a Wi-Fi hotspot so that the child can do their homework on the bus?
•    Can tutoring take place inside the bus?

  1. Make a list of the point which you are not willing to negotiate with: bullying by kids, medications on time, hunger pangs, Type I diabetes, epileptic seizures, etc. These would make your case stronger against long bus rides.
  2. Document all your findings. Add bus incidents to make your point.
  3. Just as how adults do not perform well at work after a bad commute, much the same happens with the children after a long bus ride.

    You can make a point when you prove that every day the child is recuperating after an hour’s drive to school and recuperating at home after the one-hour ride back.

  4. Even a roadblock in the IEP process means there is a solution to the problem and you can come around it if you make an effort.
  5. It is a good idea to motivate other community members to take the bus when possible instead of driving their children to school. 
  6. In the case where the district administration does not provide transportation for any child, then you will have to argue the case based on the fact that this is a related service that would help your child to access the provisions of Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).
  7. An argument can be made with the fact that LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) does not imply only the classroom placement but also the long bus ride.

    IDEA states that children that receive special education should do their learning in the least restrictive environment.


If your child spends too long on the school bus on a daily basis, then it is upon out to bring it to the IEP team’s attention without any delay.

It will also do well for you to contact an attorney that specializes in special education who can help to examine your case and determine whether your child is being denied FAPE.

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How to Make School bus Journey Entertaining


School bus transportation is said to be the best mode of transportation for assuring safety of students. It is extremely boring for you to spend a long time in a school bus. Your school bus trips can be made interesting with a little bit of creativity. When you involve yourself with various activities, you may never feel lousy.

Here follows a list of activities that you have to follow for switching your mood from boring to exciting:

1. Try to Look Out of the Window

You can take time to enjoy scenery outside the window and entertain yourself with unusual sights. Search for beautiful landscape, animals, vehicles or anything that might drive your boredom away.

2. Complete Your School Work

Completing some of your school work on school bus can reduce the burden on your shoulders and thus time spent on the bus can be used productively. Doing homework on a moving bus is not advisable, as you may feel nauseous and uneasy.

Must Read: 

25 School Bus Safety Tips For Kids

3. Read Books

You can read interesting books and magazines to pass the time. These books can be shared with the one who is sitting next to you, make friendship and thus lessen your boredom. If you are reading books, handle it carefully and never lose those books as you may have to pay fines for losing.

4. Use Electronic Gadgets

If there is permission for you to carry portable devices such as a music player, video games or a mobile phone, you can use it to while away your time. Try to keep those gadgets charged, otherwise you may get bored and unhappy, thereby, spoiling the whole journey. The only thing you should care about is the size of gadgets. It is better to carry devices which are smaller and handy.

Always take care of your music player, phone or whatever it may be and keep them in a safe place during your trip.

5. Try to Sleep

It is better to take a nap during the long bus ride as you have to wake early in the next morning. While sleeping, you can keep a sweater or jacket for using it as a pillow. Use earplugs or headphones to avoid loud noise of your fellow mates.

6. Pass Notes

When you are separated from your friends or if it is a noisy atmosphere, it is fun to exchange notes. If your friend sits far from your seat, it is not possible to send messages quickly and also make sure that your personal messages are safe.

You May also Like:    10 Cool School Bus Games

7. Practise Drawing

Even though it is difficult to draw pictures in a moving vehicle, you can try sketching for making your school bus trip bearable. Based on your creativity, you can draw pictures and comic strips. You can let other people participate in your drawing and thus complete the activity together.

8. Play Paper Games

Some of the popular paper games that can be played inside the bus include Hangman, Mash and Tic Tack Toe. These games can be played either with one person or groups.

9. Create a Fantasy World

You can create an entirely new world with your imagination. Based on this imagination, you can draw pictures of creatures and people who inhabit in the world you created. Similarly, you can allow your imagination to take control of your entire mind and thus create a fantasy world around you.

10. Practise Writing

Writing is an excellent way to drive your boredom away. If you are creative enough, you can make stories, poetry or jokes which can be shared with your friends and adding their contribution to it.

In addition to the above activities you can also pass time by writing a schedule, listing the things you like , writing song lyrics or poetry, learning history and facts. If you plan accordingly, school bus transportation becomes one of the comfortable, enjoyable and interesting journey for you.

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