With the new school year at Brady Independent School District beginning Wednesday, officials in the BISD transportation department are attempting to inform parents of the qualifications to ride a school bus to respective campuses in town. According to transportation director Alton Bradshaw, the main determining factor of eligibility is that a student must live at least two miles from their respective campus or live in what the state has determined as a hazard area. As noted in a state-surveyed map of the City of Brady, there are five zones within the city limits that determine which students may ride school buses to what campuses. These routes are identical to previous years. Each of the five zones has a predetermined set of rules based upon the proximity to each campus. All students living in Zone 1, which is in the area located anywhere east of South Bridge Street or U.S. Hwy. 377, may ride the bus to their respective campuses. The state has determined that the high traffic in the area qualifies it as a hazard area. Students that live in Zone 2 are eligible to ride to any campus except North Ward. Students in Zone 3 are not eligible to ride to any campus except North Ward. Students in Zone 4 and 5 are not eligible to ride to the high school, but they are eligible to ride to all other campuses. “We (the district) have some routes that have 50 plus kids that ride regularly,” said Alton Bradshaw with the Brady Independent School District transportation department. “Our bus drivers may have 72 kids’ names on their route list, but not all of those kids take the bus on a regular basis. We do have some routes with as few as 20 children; however, most of our routes have between 30 and 40 students.” Students in pre-K and kindergarten are the only students to be picked up at their home address. All other eligible students in grades 1-12 will be picked up at a location which will be determined by the bus driver (such as the corner of the block). “Rules for kindergarten and Pre-K students are different because they are first-timers,” Bradshaw said. “Those students are picked up at their front door and delivered the same way. However, in the afternoon when the child is being dropped off, if there is not an older person waiting (older sibling, parent, grandparent, etc.), our bus drivers will not leave a kindergarten or pre-K student unattended. We simply will not drop a kindergarten child off when no one is at home to care for them.” Parents should be asking their children for the forms (bus rules and regulations) handed out by the individual bus drivers that must be completed and returned as soon as possible. The forms must be read and signed by a parent or guardian as well as the student so they understand the safety rules for bus riding. Also, these forms are used to develop a roster for each route which in turn will be submitted to the state for funding verification. “Even if their child can’t read the rules and regulations, they still need to know what guidelines are enforced. We do ask that parents read these rules and regulations to their younger kids so that they are aware of the guidelines that are set in place.” Bradshaw went on to add that the transportation department for BISD does request that parents notify their child’s bus driver a full day in advance if services will not be required on a certain day. “It makes things a little smoother for us,” he said. All out-of-town bus routes will remain the same as in previous years, and all bus routes may begin a little early for the first week or so until the drivers can determine what the actual passenger load will be. “We have 13 buses that maintain regular routes,” said Bradshaw. “Those drivers are carting children all over town and even into Melvin, Voca, Camp San Saba, and other areas of McCulloch County.” Bradshaw added that students can be added to a bus route at any time during the school year. For more information about eligibility or for information on school bus routes or which zone applies to a specific area, contact Bradshaw at 597-1903.