The Rockford Public Schools Transportation Department works in partnership with school personnel, district administrators and parents to provide safe and efficient transportation for our students.
Using a fleet of 220 buses, we transport more than 18,000 students to over 45 district sites. We run 165 routes daily. Sunrise provides transportation to RPS 205 students who require special services for the district.
The safety, welfare and security of your child are our top priorities. Our drivers strive to transport all students to and from school in the safest way possible.
Video cameras are utilized on buses to monitor behavior. The majority of our buses have three cameras: one camera monitors traffic out the front window and two cameras monitor behavior inside the bus. In order to protect student confidentiality, bus videos cannot be viewed by parents or the general public.
Busing information will be distributed through email and home access center. If the information that is given to you at that time is incorrect, fill out a change of address form and give it to the secretary at your child's school. Upon receipt of all required information, the school will advise Transportation of the new residential information. Transportation staff will process the change and notify the parents by email of the revised busing schedule.
Route numbers are displayed in the side window of the bus (next to the entrance door). The bus number painted on the bus may change but the route number that identifies the route will always be the same. Children should always identify their bus by the route number located in the window.
Elementary Daycare (Alternate Address) Eligibility
1. Every RPS 205 elementary school has guaranteed daycare facilities where a bus is assigned pick up or drop off students based on the daycare hours. Some daycares are AM only, some are PM only, however many are AM/PM. The daycare facility must meet transportation eligibility. The current daycare list may be found below.
2. Home daycares, or other alternate transportation addresses, may be used if they are within the zone of the school the child is attending, and the address meets transportation eligibility.
3. Students may have different a AM and PM alternate address, as long as each address meets transportation eligibility for the school the student attends.
4. All bused students must have the same bus schedule five days per week, and may not split days between addresses during the week. Each bus assignment must be the same Monday – Friday AM/PM.
5. Barbour, Jackson, Haskell, Legacy, Galapagos, Marshall and Montessori students may be transported to a home daycare (alternate address) if the address is within the zone of the school the student would attend if they were not attending one of the listed specified schools. The alternate address must meet transportation eligibility requirements.
6. Families may use another household address as a sitter, or alternate address, as long the student living at that address is going to the same school. This is called a “shared sitter” stop. This type of stop is removed at the end of the school year and must be re-requested each year before the sitter deadline. Transportation to these types of stops must meet the State of Illinois transportation eligibility requirements.
7. Middle school, and high school students may not use an alternate address outside of the zone of the school they attend. The exception to this rule are students who attend Barbour, Jackson, Legacy, Galapagos Upper Academy, Marshall Middle and Montessori. This rule is waived for middle school grade students who attend these specialized schools.
8. Sitter/Alternate Transportation requests must be made before the sitter deadline. After the deadline no new stops are created. Requests after the deadline will only be approved if there is an already established stop routed. The sitter/alternate address deadline is usually the first or second Friday of August each year, based on that year’s registration dates.
9. Transportation eligibility is based on the State of Illinois criteria which necessitates that an address must be more than 1.5 miles from the school, or certified as meeting serious safety hazard criteria. Please refer to the isbe.net for more information and answers.
10. Sitter/Alternate transportation request forms may be obtained by clicking here, or at the school the student attends.
School Bus Safety Tips
Parents please help us ensure a safe and happy school year by directing your child to following these safety tips:
- Students should be prepared to board the bus 10 minutes prior to the scheduled pick-up time for the first two weeks of school then they should be prepared to board the bus 5 minutes prior to the scheduled pick-up time thereafter.
- They should follow safe procedures while riding in the school bus and whenever they are near a school bus.
- They should "Avoid the Danger Zone!" The danger zone is the 10 foot area around the school bus.
- They should stand in a safe place away from traffic while waiting for the bus.
- They should be alert to traffic when crossing the street to board or depart the bus. They should always look left and right before entering the street. They should wait for the driver's signal before safely crossing and should cross 10 feet in front of the bus. When two or more students are boarding or departing from the bus stop, they should cross as a group.
- Eating, drinking, and gum chewing are NOT ALLOWED on the school bus. This policy is enforced to avoid choking hazards and/or allergic reactions.
2022-2023 Important Bus Information
- Route information for the upcoming school year will be emailed toward the end of August this year. Information will not be distributed at school registration as it was the past few years. If you do not receive a route information email by August 22, 2022, call the Transportation Department to get your information. Please do not wait until the last minute.
- Please be sure your email address is up to date. We encourage you to utilize this service to quickly receive your student's most current route information. Bus route information is always subject to change and frequently does change before school begins due to large numbers of late additions and changes.
- Please make any address or babysitter changes as early as possible. We recommend that you do not wait until the last minute, because you may not have an opportunity to get the bus stops you want at a late date.
- If you live within 1.5 miles of your student's school, your student may not be eligible for bus transportation due to state statute. There is still the possibility you could receive bus transportation to an eligible sitter address, but you must act prior to the sitter deadline of August 5, 2022 to have the greatest chance of receiving an alternate stop.
- The deadline for creating new babysitter bus stops is Friday, August 5, 2022. After this date, babysitter and alternate stops may only be at existing bus stops; no new stops for babysitters will be created.
- If your student rides Sunrise, please make sure you verify the Sunrise information on the postcard you will receive in mid-August 2022. If you discover errors, please call the Transportation Department for clarification and further instructions on how to correct the information before school starts.
- If you move over the summer, please contact the Welcome Center for instructions on how to complete an address change. Address changes must be done in person at the Welcome Center or your child's school and cannot be done over the phone by the Transportation Department.
- Rockford Public Schools is currently hiring Bus Drivers and Crossing Guards. If you are interested in working with us, please call the Transportation Department at 815-966-3706 for more information.