Frequently Asked Questions
Click on a topic to jump to the FAQs in that section!
Academics and Curriculum • After School Care • All calls • Before Care • Calendar • Central Office • Diplomas • District Information • Enrollment • Food Services • Gifted Program • Immunizations • Information • Jobs • Open Enrollment • Parent Resources • PowerSchool • Pre-K • School Calendar • School Times • Special Education • Student Health • Student Safety • Transcripts • Transportation and Buses • Volunteering
Academics and Curriculum
Q. Where can I find more about what my child will be learning in specific subjects?
A. We encourage you to talk with your student’s teacher, who can answer all of your questions. We also have the following resources available for parents: For information on content taught in English/Language Arts, click here. For information on content taught in Math, click here.
Q. Do TNReady scores affect my student’s grades?
A. TNReady test scores are included in students’ grades as long as results are returned to the district within five (5) days of the end of the school year. For 2017-2018, TNReady only counted for high school students. TNReady End of Course (EOC) scores counted as 15% of the student’s final exam grade. Due to changed legislation in the spring following technical difficulties in the administration of the online exam, the EOC only counted for students if it improved their grades. The intent for 2018-2019 is that the TNReady scores will count in students’ grades. However, the district will have to make a determination once the state releases the dates that scores will be returned.
Q. How do I find out what time my child’s school day begins and ends?
Q. When will my child's school dismiss on a half-day?
A. On a half-day, the dismissal bell is 3 hours and 15 minutes after the start time. For specific times, click here.
Q. What are all-calls?
A. All-calls are messages (voicemails, emails and text messages) sent out to various groups within the Jackson-Madison County School System that contain important information. These may come from personnel from your child's school or from the District.
Q. What if I'm not receiving all-calls?
A. Contact the office staff at your child's school to make sure they have your correct contact information.
Q. What if I'm receiving all-calls and I don't want to?
A. If you would no longer like to receive all-call messages from the District, contact Christina Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 731-664-2571.
Q. Where is the Central Office located?
A. 310 North Parkway
Q. What is the phone number to the Central Office?
Q. How do I contact the superintendent?
A. Ray Washington can be emailed at email@example.com. You can also call his office at 731-664-2527. His executive administrative assistant is Kim Chatman.
Q. How do I contact someone who works at the Central Office?
A. The Central Office staff directory can be found by clicking here. You can also call the main number 731-664-2500 and the operator can assist you.
Q. How do I contact a member of the JMCSS School Board?
A. Though school board members do not have offices at the Central Office, they are frequently there for meetings and are always available by phone or email. For their contact information, click here. The School Board secretary, Janith Stack, has an office inside the superintendent’s office. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 731-664-2503.
Q. Can anyone attend JMCSS School Board meetings?
A. All work sessions, monthly or specially called meetings and committee meetings are open to the public. The only exceptions where the public are not allowed are meetings involving personnel matters or attorney-client meetings.
Q. How can I address the JMCSS School Board during an official meeting?
Anyone who lives in Jackson/Madison County can address the Board during the public comment portion of each Work Session. Each person is allotted three (3) minutes to speak.
Before and After School Care
Q. Which schools offer after school care for students?
A. The following schools offer after school care:
- Community Montessori – 3:15-5:30 p.m.
- Denmark Elementary – 3:30-5:30 p.m.
- East Elementary – 3:15-5:30 p.m.
- Northeast Middle – 2:15-530 p.m.
- Nova Early Learning Center - 3:15-5:30 p.m.
- Pope School – 3:05-5:30 p.m.
- Rose Hill School – 3:05-5:30 p.m.
- South Elementary – 3:30-5:30 p.m.
- Thelma Barker Elementary – 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Q. Which schools offer before school care for students?
A. The following schools offer after school care:
- East Elementary – 6:30-8:15 a.m.
- Thelma Barker Elementary – 6:30-8:30 a.m.
Q. What are the costs for before and after school care?
A. Here are the costs for Elementary schools:
- $25 per week per child
- $20 per week per child for 2nd or 3rd child
- There is a $15 non-refundable registration fee per child
- If you enroll your child in before *and* after school care, your cost would be $50 per week per child and $40 per week per child for a 2nd or 3rd
Here are the costs for Middle schools:
- $40 per week per child
- $35 per week per child for 2nd or 3rd child
- There is a $15 non-refundable registration fee per child
Q. How do I pay my before and after school care fees and when are fees due?
A. Fees must be paid online only no later than 11:59 p.m. on the Sunday prior to the first day of the school week. Late fees apply at $5 per child and must be paid in full prior to child participating in the program for the week. Payments may be made on a weekly or monthly schedule.
Q. Is the cost the same, if my child only attends before or after care part of the week?
A. All weeks cost the same no matter if the student attends a full or partial week due to school closings or student absence.
Q. Are there discounts or scholarships available for before or after care?
A. All students are charged the same fees for attendance.
Q. Is transportation provided for students who attend before and after school care?
A. Transportation is the responsibility of the students' parents.
Q. How many students attend JMCSS schools?
A. During the 2018-2019 school year, district enrollment was approximately 13,000.
Q. How many schools are in the Jackson-Madison County School System?
A. We have 22 separate schools. There is one Pre-K, 11 elementary schools, two K-8 schools, three middle schools, five high schools and one alternative school.
Q. We are new to Jackson-Madison County, how do I enroll my student?
A. We are utilizing an online registration process! Visit jmcss.org. Under the Families tab, choose Registration. Click on the New Students box and follow the directions on the screen. Please, note, your registration will not be complete until you have taken the required documentation to the school your student will attend. Those documents are listed on the registration screen.
Q. I currently have a student enrolled in a JMCSS school, how do I make sure my student is enrolled for the next school year?
A. Returning student registration is completed through the PowerSchool parent portal.Go to jmcss.org and scroll to the very bottom of the page. Under the Find it Fast Parent links (in red), look for PowerSchool. Log in with your personal information. If you need assistance with your account, please, call your child’s school office or the district office. Once logged in, there is a link on the left-hand side to register for the next school year. Once you have submitted the form, you will be provided with a confirmation that your registration is complete. If there has been a change in address or any special custody situations, please, take documentation to the office at your student’s school. School offices and the attendance office at the district office can assist.
Q. What documents are required to enroll my student?
Q. When should I enroll my student for the next school year?
A. You may complete the online registration at any time. Documents must be submitted in person at your student’s school office. School offices open approximately two weeks before the first day of school. Please, call ahead before making the trip. It is important that enrollment is completely prior to the first day of school.
Q. Is there someone I can talk with about enrollment questions?
A. Contact Rhonda Heard, Community Engagement Coordinator, at email@example.com or 731-506-2413.
Q. How much does breakfast and lunch cost for students?
A. All students in the Jackson-Madison County School system are provided free breakfast and lunch, daily, through a provision known as "Community Eligibility." All students qualify for free meals regardless of household income.
Q. Where do students eat breakfast every morning?
A. Breakfasts are packed and delivered to each classroom every morning. This allows students to eat breakfast with their classmates.
Q. Who determines what is on the menu every day?
A. Meals are planned at the District office to ensure that specific grade level calorie requirements comply with the standards of the National School Lunch Program and Breakfast Program while providing students with a variety of healthy and delicious meals. All JMCSS school meals must meet specific federal nutrition requirements that include: No more than 30% of the meal’s calories may come from fat; Less than 10% of the meal’s calories may come from saturated fat; Meals must provide one-third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances or protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, calcium and calories.
Q. Can the cafeteria staff accommodate my child if he or she has a food allergy?
A. If a student has a documented disability or medical issue that restricts his or her diet, the school cafeteria can make food substitutions as listed by a license medical professional. If, however, a request for a food substitution is without a documented medical issue, but as a food preference; it will not be accommodated. Students with specific dietary needs should submit a medical statement to request dietary accommodations to their school’s nurse each school year.
Q. What if my student has a tree nut or peanut allergy?
A. All school meals provided are tree nut and peanut free.
Q. Are students who participate in after-school care provided a snack?
A. All students who participate in school-led educational or enrichment activities receive a light snack. This comes at no cost to the student.
Q. What is the “Farm-to-Tray” Program?
A. This is a partnership with Liberty Technology Magnet High School.Student-grown produce is purchased for use in several school cafeterias. Tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce are examples of produce available through this program for salad bars, fresh-made salads and sandwich trimmings.
Q. What is the gifted program?
A. Intellectually gifted means a child whose intellectual abilities, creativity and potential for achievement are so outstanding that the child’s needs exceed differentiated general education programming, adversely affects education performance, and requires specifically designed instruction or support services.
Q. What programs are offered for gifted students?
A. The JMCSS Gifted and Talented curriculum is hands-on, interactive and problem-based with a focus on developing students’ critical and creative thinking abilities embedded within content areas.Instruction is interdisciplinary and aligned with Tennessee content standards.
Q. What grade does the gifted program begin?
A. The JMCSS Gifted Program offers an instructional experience designed specifically for intellectually gifted and academically talented students. Pre-K through 5thgrade students receive direct services twice a week for a one-hour period.
Q. Is there a cost to parents to participate in a gifted program?
A. There is no cost for students to be part of the JMCSS Gifted Program.
Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities
Q. How do I find out what jobs are available in the District?
A. Our openings are posted online. You can find our current openings by clicking here.
Q. What do I do if I want to apply for a job at a specific school?
A. Visit the employment section of our website by clicking here, locate the specific job and school and submit your application.
Q. What background checks or testing is required to be hired by JMCSS?
A. All members of the JMCSS faculty and staff must undergo background checks.Applicant’s information will be checked using the Sex Offender Registry, Child Abuse Registry, Tennessee Felony Offender Registry, Department of Health and Abuse Registry, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) data base and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) data base. Applicants must also undergo a physical, drug screening and tuberculosis (TB) skin test.
Q. How do I apply to be a substitute teacher?
A. When substitutes are need, the link to apply is posted online here. Click on the substitute link and apply online.
Q. What qualifications are required to be a substitute teacher?
A. Substitutes are required to have a high school diploma or GED. They must pass all of the required background checks and testing and must attend a substitute onboarding session at the Central Office.
Q. Who can volunteer at a school?
A. We welcome parents, family members and community members to volunteer at our schools. Upon recommendation of the school principal, any adult who passes the district’s background screening process may volunteer at a school. The principal will determine the work that each volunteer will perform.
Q. Can I volunteer at my student’s school?
A. If you are interested in volunteering, please, schedule a meeting with your child’s principal. After a recommendation from your student’s principal, you must undergo background checks performed by the district office before becoming a school volunteer.
Open Enrollment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Q. What is Open Enrollment?
A. Open Enrollment is an option offered by JMCSS for families to send their students to schools outside of their zoned area. If seats are available, out-of-zone students can be enrolled in their requested school.
Q. Can anyone apply for Open Enrollment?
A. Any JMCSS student has the opportunity for this option.
Q. How do I apply for Open Enrollment?
A. Open Enrollment applications are now online. Visit jmcss.org, scroll down and click on the Open Enrollment 2021 link located on the “Quick Links” bar to complete and submit an application.
Q. How is it determined which students are chosen for schools during Open Enrollment?
A. A computerized lottery takes place which places students in available seats based on their school choices, with the exception of JCM- Early College High and the Academic Academy at Northeast Middle School. JCMECH enrollment is determined by an application, interviews, and essays. For the Academic Academy, students are selected based on state testing data.
Q. My student is currently enrolled in CyberSchool, do I have to apply for Open Enrollment to attend CyberSchool for the 2021-2022 school year?
Q. What if I already have a child enrolled in my desired Open Enrollment school, will a sibling be automatically enrolled?
A. Siblings of students who currently attend a school through open enrollment will have first priority at that school. Siblings of students must submit an application. If a seat is available, the sibling will be offered admission.
Q. How will I know if my student has been accepted in our requested school?
A. Accepted and wait listed notifications will be sent to the email that was provided on the application the day the lottery is run. Students who apply after the deadline will be placed on the wait list in the order their application was received.
Q. What does it mean to be wait-listed?
A. If your child is on a waiting list, he or she will be assigned a number. If additional seats become available at the requested school, students are offered admission in the order they are on the wait list. Wait list numbers do not roll over from year to year. You may contact Rhonda Heard at 731-506-2413 to check on your child's wait list number.
Q. What if my student is accepted during Open Enrollment but we decide to send our child to our zoned school instead?
A. If students begin the year at a school through open enrollment, they are expected to complete the minimum of one semester.
Q. I have a student enrolled in Pre-K at a school that is not their zoned school, can they automatically attend kindergarten at that same school for the 2021-2022 school year?
A. NO, parents must submit an open enrollment application before the deadline to receive 1 st priority at that school. Seating is based on availability.
Q. Do I have to reapply for the school my student currently attends through Open Enrollment each year?
A. Once a student has accepted admission and is attending a school through Open Enrollment, he or she can remain at the school until reaching the highest grade offered.
Parent Resource Information
Q. How do I find out what’s going on in the district?
A. Please, follow the JMCSS Twitter page and Facebook page up-to-date information. You can also visit the District News section of our website. We often also send out “All-Call” messages via phone, email and text to parents. Dates and times for our Parent Academy Sessions are shared through all of these avenues prior to the sessions.
Q. What parent resources does the District offer?
A. JMCSS provides free Parent Academy Sessions throughout the year on a variety of topics, which include academics, setting boundaries and discipline, and personal finance.
Q. Is there a cost to attend a Parent Academy Session?
A. All Parent Academy Sessions are free.
Q. Does JMCSS provide transportation to/from parent workshops?
A. Transportation is not provided. However, you can contact the Parent Engagement Coordinator at 731-506-3062 to receive the information that was discussed or check the website here.
Q. When are Parent Academy Sessions held?
A. Works shops are scheduled at various times throughout the year.
Q. Why are some of the workshops provided during the day, when I can’t get away from work?
A. Workshops are offered at a variety of times to ensure parents who work various schedules can participate. Workshops scheduled during the day to ensure there are no conflicts with after-school events and to make sure parents who work during the evening have the opportunity to attend.
Q. Can I bring my child to Parent Academy Sessions?
A. Children are welcome. Though child care is not provided, we try to provide books and other materials to keep them busy.
Q. Can I still get the information, if I’m unable to attend a Parent Academy Session?
A. If you cannot attend a session, you may request information by emailing the Parent Engagement Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PowerSchool Parent account
Q. What is PowerSchool?
A. PowerSchool is the district’s Student Information System (SIS) that houses all of our student data. This includes demographics, grades, discipline, attendance and class schedules.
Q. How do I get a PowerSchool account?
A. To log onto your PowerSchool Parent account, you will need your Access ID and Access Password. You can get this information from your child’s school office or you can call the Central Office.
Q. Why is it important for parents to have a PowerSchool account?
A. Having a PowerSchool Parent account allows parents to see grades and attendance as soon as the teacher enters the data. You can set notifications to let you know when your student’s grades change or when they have been marked absence from class. PowerSchool is also where you will register your child for the upcoming school year.
Q. What do I do if I forget my PowerSchool password?
A. If you forget your PowerSchool password, you can click “Forgot Password” on the parent sign-in page for an email to be sent to the email you have associated with the account. You can also contact your child’s school office or the Central Office for assistance.
Q. How old must be child be to attend Pre-K?
A. Students must be 4-years-old on or before August 15.
Q. What are the qualifications for Pre-K?
A. Families must meet state mandated income and eligibility requirements to be enrolled in a Voluntary Pre-K class. However, there are a few locally funded classed that do not have income requirements. There are also special education classes for students who are served through the district’s Special Education programs.
Q. How can I register my student for Pre-K?
A. You can register your student for Pre-K at any time through the online registration process for new students. All required documents must be submitted in person at Nova Early Learning Center, 248 Bedford White Road. For questions about Pre-K registration, please contact Nova Early Learning Center at 731-427-6396.
Q. What can I use as a proof of residence?
All new students must submit three proofs of residence. Schools will accept the following documents as proof of residence: current phone bill, current utility bill, current driver's license or ID, current voter registration card, current automobile registration, DCS letter, mortgage document or property deed, rent receipt, or lease agreement.
Q. Who can I contact for questions about Pre-K Registration?
A. For questions about Pre-K registration, please contact Nova Early Learning Center at 731-427-6393.
Q. What documentation must I provide in order to register my student for Pre-K?
A. Families must submit: (1) copy of a current year’s physical and immunization for student on Tennessee Department of Health Certificate; (2) copy of State Certified Birth Certificate; (3) copy of child’s Social Security card or verification of Social Security Number from Social Security office (if available); (4) household income verification – recent check stub, latest tax return, SSI pay stub or public assistance case; (5) Three proofs of residency in Jackson-Madison County.
Q. Is school bus transportation provided for Pre-K students?
A. School bus transportation is not provided for Pre-K students.
Q. Do Pre-K students attend school all day?
A. Pre-K students attend all day and attendance is mandatory. Students can be dismissed from the program for excessive absences.
Q. How can I know what days my student will have off for holidays, vacations, teacher in-service,?
Q. What special education programs are offered by JMCSS?
A. JMCSS offers Inclusive Services, which is an educational practice in which children of all ability levels are educated in the same classroom. The purpose of the inclusion is to make sure that students with special needs are integrated in the general education setting for as much of the day as possible, with the supports they need to be successful. Inclusion strategies can include co-teaching, consultative services, paraprofessional support, modifications to curriculum or testing, accommodations for specific disabilities, and other services an individual student needs in order to access the curriculum in a general education classroom.
Q. What is the YES program?
A. YES or Young Emerging Students are self-contained settings located at our elementary, middle and high schools and serves students from kindergarten through 12th The setting primarily serves student with cognitive deficits, are intellectually disabled or on the Autistic spectrum. The setting is designed to focus on each individual students’ strengths to help them reach their potential in areas of language, academics, life skills and social integrations. The goal of the setting is to help the students become as self-sufficient as the student can be. It is a holistic approach to student education and students receive experiences with their peers and in the community to address their myriad of needs.
Q. What are ABLE classes?
A. This is a self-contained classroom located at West Bemis Middle School and Isaac Lane Elementary. The class services students with primarily emotionally disturbed diagnosis in grades kindergarten through 8th. The students have not responded to counseling, FBA/BIP or recommendations from their behavior team. It requires an IEP team decision for a student to be enrolled in the ABLE setting. The ABLE setting is designed to be highly structured to maintain behavioral skills. A point system is used to measure growth towards behavioral goals. The students can earn access to regular classes within the school setting where the ABLE class is located.
Q. What is the Day Treatment program?
A. This class is a self-contained classroom located at Parkview Learning Center and primarily services middle and high school students. It is a more restrictive setting than the ABLE class. The students participating in the Day Treatment setting have a true mental health diagnosis and the regular school setting struggles to meet their mental health needs. However, their placement in the setting is not necessarily due to aggressive or delinquent behavior. Placement in the setting is not based on an IEP decision; rather, there is a referral process in which a psychologist from Pathways is the main determining factor along with parental agreement. If a student is approved, an IEP is held to place them in the setting. Students approved for the setting typically have on-going services in the community such as counseling and case management. Day Treatment can be considered an intermediary step between the school setting and hospitalization.
Q. What is the Transition Academy?
A. The JMCSS Transition Academy is an outcome-oriented program, which is designed to promote success in a post high school environment. Planning is student-centered and based on the individual student’s needs, preferences and interests. The program provides real-world learning opportunities and individualized support to help students shape their lives, understand their unique capabilities and take an active role in preparing to accept the responsibilities of being an adult. The Transition Academy is open to students 18-22 years of age previously enrolled in a comprehensive development program. The primary focus of this program is to prepare students for home life, work life and community life.
Q. Are there special education programs available at all JMCSS schools?
A. All JMCSS schools provide special education programs but may not provide each specialized program listed above.
Q. What if I have a question about my student's IEP?
A. Parents can always contact the child’s special education teacher at their school. Also, at any time, a parent with questions or concerns can call an IEP.
Q. What immunizations does my student need and when?
A. For a list of immunization requirements by age click here. Students new to the district, regardless of grade, must provide proof of a current physical examination performed within the past 12 months, and a current immunization record on the Tennessee form. For new students coming from out-of-state, parents can go to the Jackson-Madison County Health Department, located at 804 North Parkway. Take your out-of-state immunization form and staff will transfer the vaccination information to a Tennessee form.
Q. Where is the School Health Clinic located and when is it open?
A. The School Health Clinic is located at 668 Lexington Avenue. It is open 7:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. when school is in session. The School Health Clinic opens approximately two weeks before the start of the new school year. To confirm when the clinic is open, call 731-423-8542.
Q. Who can receive care at the School Clinic?
A. All JMCSS students, faculty and staff are eligible to receive care at the School Health Clinic.
Q. Is there a cost to receive care at the School Clinic?
A. Please, bring your insurance or TennCare information for each visit.
Q. Are there school nurses at each school?
A. JMCSS currently employs 17 nurses who serve all 23 of our schools. Some nurses are assigned to a single school, while others travel between different campuses. Additional nurses work specifically with our Special Education students.
Q. What should I do if there is a security scare or emergency at my student's school?
A. Should a campus emergency occur during the school day, families of students will be notified through an all-call by school or district personnel. The all-call will be sent as soon as possible, but only after facts are gathered and accurate information can be shared. During campus emergencies, it may be impossible for school staff to answer phone calls or respond to emails. Please, know in these difficult times, we will work as quickly as possible to make sure you are informed about the safety of your students.
Q. How does school staff know who is approved to check out my student?
A. Each school year, there are Student Release Forms that parents/guardians complete giving consent for appointed people to pick up their students. In the event of an emergency, staff members at the designated checkout will have a list of any adults who are permitted to pick up each child. During emergencies, anyone who attempts to pick up a student must provide proper ID with the name matching the school’s documentation. A Student Emergency Release Form (Reunification Form) will be required before the student is released in an emergency situation.
Q. What safety precautions are taken regarding visitors to my child’s school?
A. At each school, all entries are secured and locked. Any visitor who wants to enter must first utilize the video/intercom system located outside of the main entry of the school. The video allows staff to access the person and for the visitor to state the purpose of his or her visit before the door is unlocked. Once inside, visitors are asked to present a valid ID and sign in. After validating the ID, the office staff will give the person a visitor’s badge with the current date. The badge must be visible throughout their entire visit. Additionally, all classroom doors are locked, which requires a teacher to grant permission to all visitors. If a School Resource Officer (SRO) is assigned to the building, he or she will also continuously monitor the campus.
Q. Are there School Resource Officers (SROs) in all JMCSS schools?
A. Safety is a top priority throughout the District. Due to SRO staffing limitations, currently our schools with the largest populations are assigned SROs. Currently SROs are assigned to the following campuses: Jackson Careers and Technology, Liberty Technology Magnet High, Madison Academic High, North Parkway Middle, North Side High, Northeast Middle/Academic Academy, Rose Hill School, South Side High and West Bemis Middle.
Q. How do I request a transcript?
A. If you have graduated from a JMCSS school, you can request your transcript online by clicking here.
Q. I've lost my diploma. How do I get another one?
A. Schools do not keep diplomas. They must be requested through the State of Tennessee. The form can be found here.
Q. Who should I contact, if I have a bus concern or question?
A. It is best to always call your student’s school first. Personnel at the school will be able to answer most bus questions. There is very limited staff at the Transportation Department, which can make it very hard for someone to answer a large number of phone calls during pick-up and drop-off hours.
Q. Who should I contact, if I have a bus emergency?
A. It is best to always call your student’s school first. Your school is best equipped to help in an emergency and can contact the appropriate transportation staff to help.
Q. My bus is late. Why?
A. There are many factors that contribute to buses being off schedule. Traffic, weather, road conditions, a driver being absent, maintenance difficulties and unforeseen incidents can often contribute to deviations in arrival times.
Q. Who is responsible for discipline on the school bus?
A. A driver’s primary responsibility is operating the school bus. Due to their focus on driving, they may not see everything that happens behind them. However, each driver monitors and refers discipline issues to the schools. Personnel at the school is responsible for disciplinary action taken for actions on the bus.
Q. Why does JMCSS not provide the options for a student to be picked up or dropped off at various locations?
A. According to state law, each student eligible for transportation is permitted one seat on a bus. Providing transportation to and from different locations on different days would require the assignment of multiple seats for those students.
Q. Why is my child not allowed to exit the bus wherever they want in the afternoon?
A. JMCSS policy requires students to ride their assigned by to and from their assigned stop. Switching stops for any reason is prohibited.
Q. How are bus stops determined?
A. State regulations require that the district provide safe and efficient bus routes to all eligible students. As a result, many variables are examined to determine if a stop is safe. We work very hard to keep the average student ride time to an hour. In order to accomplish this, the Transportation Department has to maintain routes that reduce time and mileage whenever possible.
Q. The bus drives right by my home. Why does the bus not stop directly at my house?
A. Bus stops are established at easily identified locations accessible to students throughout a geographic area. This assures student safety, bus safety and service reliability. Every time a school bus stops to pick up and/or drop off students, rider time is increased. Each stop requires deceleration by the bus, stop sequence, loading, seating, safety checks and acceleration back into the flow of traffic. Therefore, stopping at every residence along a road could be unsafe as well as an inefficient use of resources and time. On average, our buses make thousands of stops a day. Additional stops could result in students’ ride times increasing by several hours.
Q. Why does the school bus not come into my subdivision?
A. School buses come in various sizes ranging from 25 to 36 feet long and 20,000 – 26,000 pound, 12-13 feet high and 6-9 feet in width. Often the length of a school bus limits maneuverability in cul-de-sacs and tight places. Whenever possible, backing up is avoided. Street parking by residents also limits the space for buses to travel in some neighborhoods. Please, know all routes and stops are designed with safety and efficiency as top priorities.
Q. How often are bus stops locations reviewed?
A. With approximately 3,800 stops located throughout Jackson-Madison County, Transportation Department personnel travel throughout the district on a regular basis to assess environmental and traffic changes. In addition, bus drivers report any concerns they may have relating to safe operations at bus stops. During a typical year, the Transportation Department will review approximately one-third of these stops. The department typically reviews 50 stops and routes per year due to safety concerns expressed by the community.
Q. My street doesn’t have sidewalks and my student has to walk to the bus stop and wait?
A. Many public streets are designed and built without sidewalks to maintain a rustic or non-urban image. When such streets were reviewed, they were accepted as low traffic volume pedestrian-safe. However, we definitely understand the concerns of parents. We encourage you to work with your children and review a safe and legal way to walk along the streets in your neighborhood and where to stand while waiting for the bus.
Q. Where is the JMCSS Transportation Department located?
A. 84 Harts Bridge Road
Q. What is the main number to the Transportation Department?
Q. What number should I call, if I see a potential safety violation involving a JMCSS school bus?
A. The Transportation Safety Hotline is 731-215-2705 *Please, only use this number of safety concerns involving school buses*
If you do not see your address on this list, contact the office staff at your student’s school.