Franklin Public Schools provides transportation to every resident student in the district. This function has been mandated by the state because the district has been designated as a hazardous transportation area by the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department. The safety of students is important and the district takes this mandate very seriously.
Much of the district busing is contracted to First Student Transit located in Muskego, WI. The district works closely with First Student to provide a safe, effective transportation system for students. All First Student drivers are hired solely by First Student. In addition to the First Student buses and drivers, the district owns and operates seven small buses that are used to assist in transporting special needs children, alternative high school students and other small groups of students. They are also used for field trips, activities and sporting events for all grade levels.
Students are held responsible for their actions on the bus just as they are in their individual schools. The Bus Rules show some of the district's general expectations for student behavior on the bus, although this list is not all inclusive.
Bus routes are established by following the Franklin Public Schools Board Policy 3720. The policy lays the groundwork for how bus stops are chosen and allows for fair and impartial decisions to be made. The routes are established to provide transportation to the maximum number of students with the fewest stops in a required time frame. This allows the district be both time and cost efficient.
To be as effective as possible, the district has set up many "common bus stops", or corner stops where many children wait for the bus together. This allows for changes in the student population throughout the year with little or no disruption to the other passengers.
Who to Contact:
Special Education Students:
Chapter 220 Students:
Contact your school office
Procedure to Change an Existing Bus Route or Stop:
A request to change a bus stop must be made in writing via the Bus Route Change Request Form or a letter written to Mary Jo Herrmann, Auxiliary Services Coordinator (8255 W. Forest Hill Ave., Franklin, WI 53132). The request will be reviewed by First Student and the district. Decisions are based on potential hazards, existing bus stops and other circumstances. Please note, there are no house stops unless the area is determined by the district to be extremely dangerous and would risk the student's safety.
If you do not agree with the decision that is made, you can appeal to the Superintendent. However, all decisions made by the Superintendent are final. For more information, please contact Mary Jo Herrmann.
Joint/Shared Custody and Daycare Requests:
Transportation service is provided for a child in a joint/shared custody situation provided both homes are within the designated school attendance area. If both homes are eligible, one home should be designated as the primary residence. Transportation to the secondary home will be provided to an existing bus stop on an existing bus route. To apply for this service, please fill out the Alternate Bus Route Change Form. Requests for this service must be made annually.
Each of the district's five elementary schools have designated daycare providers that the district will bus students to for before and after school childcare. Parents can also make requests for personal providers given that they are:
• Within the boundaries of the Franklin Public School District
• Within the student's designated school attendance boundary, unless approved by the district
• On an existing bus route
Routes will not be extended or altered to accommodate childcare requests. To provide service to the childcare provider, there must be no additional cost to the district. The requests must be made annually via the Alternate Bus Route Change Form.
After Hours Contact Information:
If there are any problems with your student returning home at night, please contact your school office first, if the office is closed, call First Student directly at: (414) 422-2020.
Busing is provided for students based on their individual needs and is determined by the student's Individual Education Plan (IEP). For more information, please contact Mary Jo Hermmann.
Open Enrollment / Tuition Waiver:
In the past, Franklin Public Schools has allowed non-resident students requesting transportation to/from school to ride the bus free of charge, if there was space available and a bus stop located near their requested stop. No changes in the bus route would be made nor would any additional stops be added to a bus route.
Unfortunately, due to recent budget cuts, there will be a charge for providing bus service to non-resident students that request and are approved for bus service. This fee is based on the district’s average transportation cost per student and will be adjusted each school year. Any student who is not a resident of Franklin will be charged a transportation fee, including students attending daycare, going to a family friend’s home or grandparent’s home
The yearly cost for bus transportation to/from school is $384 per student for the 2011-12 school year. If your student requires only morning or afternoon transportation, the fee is $192 per student.
To request transportation service, please complete an “Alternate Bus Route Change“ form and submit it to: Auxiliary Services Coordinator, Education & Community Center, 8255 West Forest Hill Avenue, Franklin, WI 53132 or fax (414) 529-8230.
Busing for Chapter 220 students is provided by Milwaukee Public Schools and follows the guidelines written by the Chapter 220 Program. Franklin residents are not charged for this service and open enrollment students may not use this service. If you are a family using the 220 busing and you have an address change during the year, notify your school office as soon as possible because the process can take up to two weeks to complete.
Chapter 220 transportation for after school activities is provided by First Student, if you are concerned because your child is late in returning home, please call them directly at 414-422-2020.
The district owns and operates seven small passenger buses to assist in transportation of alternative education, early childhood, special needs and other small groups of students. They also help reduce the cost of activity and athletic transportation. For more information, please contact Mary Jo Herrmann.
Per the State of Wisconsin Statute §121.54, Franklin Public Schools is responsible for providing transportation to and from school for private school students that meet the eligibility criteria. However, if the cost of providing this transportation is 1.5 times the school district's average cost per student for regular bus transportation in the previous school year, excluding transportation for kindergarten students during the noon hour and special transportation for students with disabilties, the district can provide a payment to the parent in lieu of District provided transportation services in accordance with the provisions of Section 121.55(3) of the Wisconsin Statutes.
Verification of Bus Services:
The district is required to verify actual ridership in order to receive state funding. To do this, a letter is sent home at the end of the year asking if students will need transportation for the following year. Responses to this request assist in scheduling routes. While each student is assigned a route, not all students ride, which leaves seats empty. If the district is aware of empty seats, they can reassign them to other riders and use fewer buses, saving money in the long run. For more information, contact Mary Jo Herrmann.