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Free vs. Paid Bussing Guidelines

Elementary/middle school level students (grades K-8) who live more than two miles and high school level students (grades 9-12) who live more than three miles from their attendance center are entitled to free transportation.  If elementary/middle students reside more than two miles from their attendance center but use a daycare located within the two-mile area, they are considered pay-for-ride locations.

A school district, in the local board’s discretion, may provide transportation to some or all resident pupils who are not entitled to transportation.  If a district provides this discretionary transportation, it may charge parents/guardians for the service.  The amount charged may not be more than the average cost to transport a student, determined by the Annual State Transportation Report for the year prior. Iowa Code 285.1(1).

Distance is determined using public roadway only and over the most passable and safest route, opposite the private entrance to the student’s residence and ending in the roadway opposite their attendance center.


Pay-for-Ride Maps

The District offers the pay-for-ride service as a convenience for parents.  Iowa law does not require school districts to transport students that reside within two miles for students in grades K-8 or 3 miles for grades 9-12.  The District has worked with the City of Norwalk to develop maps that clearly depict the pay-for-ride housing areas. To determine if you live in a pay-for-ride area, please see the appropriate map below for the building your child attends.

High School

High School 1

Middle School

Middle school 6 8 1

Lakewood Elementary

Lakewood 1

Orchard Hills Elementary

Orchard Hills 1

Oviatt Elementary

Oviatt 1

Policy Regarding the Pay-for-Ride Student Transportation Services: 

The District offers the Pay-for-Ride service as a convenience for parents.  Iowa law does not require school districts to transport students that reside within two miles for students in grades K-8 or 3 miles for grades 9-12.  Due to the growing student population, the Norwalk School District can only provide Pay-for-Ride services for a limited number of students.  The District applies a first-come-first-serve policy to determine student eligibility for the available number of seats. Maps that clearly depict the Pay-for-Ride housing areas are located on the school district’s website under Parents, Departments, and Transportation.           

Parents will be required to pay the bus fee as well as all student fees, such as registration fees, for current and previous school years for the entire household before the student can be added to a bus route and issued a bus pass.  If the transportation request is not received with payment by the due date of August 1, the student(s) will not be placed on a route until after the first 5 days of school.  Students that do not have a Bus Pass will not be permitted to board the bus.  Bus passes will be mailed out prior to the start of school.  We recommend that you attach the bus pass to the outside of the of the student’s backpack.  A $10 replacement fee will be charged to replace a lost bus pass.

Students that qualify for free or reduced lunches are eligible to pay reduced fees for the Pay-for-Ride service if they have requested the fee waiver.  Parents must complete a new free or reduced application and fee waiver each year with the school Nutrition Office to qualify.  This eligibility does not carry forward from year to year.

Pay-for-Ride fees cannot be pro-rated for a portion of the semester.  If a student begins using pay-for-ride services even one day prior to the end of 1st semester, a full year’s bus fees will be due.  If the student begins pay-for-ride services on or after the first day of 2nd semester, only 50% of the full year’s fees will be due.  If the student will not be riding 2nd semester, the bus pass must be returned to the building secretary or the transportation office by the last Friday in January in order to receive a 50% refund.  Likewise, if a student discontinues pay-for-ride services before the end of 1st semester, a 50% refund will be issued upon return of the bus pass.  If the student needs to keep the bus pass because the student will still be riding, but in a free area, and the change takes effect prior to the end of 1st semester, then a 50% refund will be issued upon request by the transportation director.

Pay-for-Ride Transportation Fee Schedule:

Annual one-way: $160

Annual round trip: $320

Annual one-way if register and pay by June 30th: $140

Annual round trip if register and pay by June 30th: $280