Transportation is typically available for LPS students in grades K-8 - approximately 7,100 Lowell students (about 5,500 from LPS) utilized transportation services during the 2019-2020 school year. This fall, we are encouraging students to walk or drive to school rather than take a school bus, in order to maximize safety and minimize exposure to other students on the way to and from school each day. School bus transportation will be available for those with no other means of getting to school.
In 2019-2020, 66 buses were used for general transportation. These buses could hold up to 52 middle school students or 77 elementary school students.
With current CDC guidelines in place, only 25 would be able to ride a bus, which means we would need approximately 180 buses. We simply cannot acquire that many buses.
Process of Requesting Transportation
- Once transportation capacity numbers have been determined, LPS will begin the process of assigning available seats to students who have selected and been assigned for in-person learning and have indicated they need transportation.
- If students attend a school outside of the walk zone designated by school policy and state law, they may have to choose family-provided transportation or opt to transfer to a school within walkable distance to their home.
- If demand for transportation exceeds the number of available seats, LPS will conduct a lottery for available seats using a weighted formula which accounts for legal rights of protected student populations and equity considerations. Examples of Weighting Considerations:
- Students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)
- Students identified with a 504 Plan (for learning related accommodations)
- Students identified for McKinney Vento services
- Students identified as English Learners (ELs)
- Students in entry grades of each level (K-2; 5th grade; 9th grade)
- Families who have more than one child enrolled in Lowell Public Schools
- Students of Lowell Public Schools personnel
School bus transportation is provided to students in grades K-6, who live 2 miles from their residence or alternate address (use online form), to their assigned school.
Kindergarten and 1st grader students must have an older sibling (4th grade or older) or parent present at the bus stop in the afternoon in order to depart from the school bus. If a parent or older sibling is not present, the student will be brought to the Moody School, located at 158 Rogers Street. A driver’s license or valid identification must be presented to the staff in order to dismiss the student.
Use the online form to request an alternate address for pickup (morning) and/or dropoff (afternoon): https://www.lowell.k12.ma.us/AlternateAddressTransportation
Bus passes will be mailed each school year to the student’s residence 3-4 days prior to the start of the new school year.