New Castle Area School District operates a bus fleet of more than 30 school buses and vans that transport over 3,200 students to New Castle Area Schools and private schools each day. The school district contracts transportation for public, non-public, and exceptional students to Laidlaw Educational Services.
During the summer months the buses are cleaned and sanitized. They are meticulously inspected by expert mechanics in order to prepare them for a laborious State Police summer inspection before they begin their fall routes. Bus routes are developed in the early summer and finalized in early August, using a bus routing software system. Student bus schedules are sent to the parents by mid-August.
All bus drivers have current clearances from the Pennsylvania State Police as well as the PA Department of Child Welfare.
The District Director of Transportation is Mr. Richard Rossi. Mr. Rossi can be reached at the Administration Building by contacting his office at (724) 656-4756 during the hours of 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Frequently Asked Questions
Stop locations and times are subject to minor revisions after the start of the school year. Your student’s bus driver will communicate any changes prior to the changes being implemented. Please remember to have your child(ren) at the appointed stop ten (10) minutes prior to the stated pick up and drop off times.
Questions regarding your child’s bus transportation should be directed to:
Denise Apecelli, District Transportation Coordinator at (724) 656-4756 or you may contact the District’s bus contractor, First Student, at (724) 652-1991.
The following are answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding transportation to and from New Castle Area School District:
The bus drives right past my house. Why can’t it stop at my house?
The higher frequency of stops makes the motoring public impatient. This results in people attempting to drive around the bus, which creates a dangerous situation. It also delays the bus by increasing the number of stops and makes the student ride time longer. Stops are placed to be central to groups of students in a subdivision or specific area.
I can’t see the bus stop from my house.
New Castle Area School District provides transportation for more than 3,700 students. The District is not able to position bus stops so that all parents are able to see the stop from their home.
Who is responsible for students at school bus stops?
Parents are solely responsible for their child(ren) at school bus stops. It is important that parents monitor their child’s behavior and ensure that their child(ren) are safe waiting for the school bus.
Why can’t you come further into my housing development?
Buses come in various lengths, widths, heights and weights. The length is what limits the school bus to be maneuvered in developments and tight places. Most developments are not designed with school bus transportation or zoning in mind.
Why do some children have to cross the street to board the bus?
New Castle Area School District is not able to route buses so that all children can board the bus on the door side. Students should always wait on the side of the street where they live and wait until the bus has stopped traffic in all directions before crossing the street.
My child carries a large musical instrument and/or heavy backpack. He is the only student using the stop. It needs to be closer to our home.
Bus stops are centrally located for all students along a route. Bus stops are not changed to accommodate one or more students because that may displace other students farther from their home.
I leave for work early and can’t watch my child get on the bus. Can’t the stop be at my home?
To be consistent and fair in placement of bus stops, New Castle Area School District is not able to establish stops based on personal circumstances.
Why is my child’s bus late?
Weather, traffic, driver absenteeism and unforeseen incidents are responsible for delays in arrival of school buses. Please know that we do everything possible to have all buses running on schedule each and every day. In the event that your bus does not arrive as scheduled, contact the First Student, bus contractor, at (724) 652-1991 or Denise Apecelli, District Transportation Contact, at (724) 656-4756.
Why can’t you call when you know the bus will be late?
There are numerous students on each bus. It would be impossible to contact everyone in such a short time frame. And, many parents are not home or are waiting at their child’s stop. We will make every attempt to call.
My child is starting kindergarten. Will the bus pick my child up in front of the house?
There are no special laws or requirements for transporting students enrolled in kindergarten. Kindergarten students will not be picked up or dropped off without a parent or authorized guardian visible to receive the student. If no one is home to receive the student, that student will be returned to the school or to the bus garage and the parent will have to make arrangements to pick the student up from the bus garage.
Can the District accommodate alternate transportation schedule?
Students are assigned only one pick-up and one drop-off location Monday through Friday. Consistency in bus stop locations reduces the risk of misplacing a child and confusion on the child’s part regarding which bus to ride. The District will not alter transportation to allow students a different pick-up or drop-off location on separate days of the week or different weeks of the year. This includes parent custody issues.
Can my child ride another bus home to a friend or relative’s house?
Students are NOT permitted to ride home on buses that are not their assigned buses.
Any questions or concerns not addressed, please contact our office at 724-656-4756.