Busing and Pick Up/Drop Off Information
Busing Q & A
The safety of our students at pick up and drop off times, as well as on our buses, is first and foremost as we develop practices that meet the needs of the DaVinci Academy families. We will strive to fine tune those procedures in order to safely and efficiently transport an increased number of students at our new Ham Lake location.
The bus safety guidelines are included in the document below.
Note: Click the + in each section to expand the information
Areas of Blaine around The Lakes Community, Lino Lakes, Spring Lake Park, and neighborhoods north of the Anoka Hennepin district line to Viking Boulevard.
How are satellite stops chosen for the school? The bus routes and stops are determined using a variety of factors including input from parents, advice from an independent transportation consultant and expertise from Kottke's Bus Company. Stops are created by taking into consideration the number of students in certain areas, route length, and safety.
Much time is given to the creation of these satellite stops in order to accommodate as many families as possible while keeping the bus routes to a maximum of an hour in length. Satellite stops are ideally located in places where parking is available for parents who are waiting for the bus, eg. churches, parks or stores. They are meant to be used by multiple families.
Families may choose to use whichever stop is most convenient for them, but are required to let the school know which stop they intend to use for the school year. This is done at registration time through the Silent Dismissal program.
Stops and routes will be published before the end of the 16-17 school year so that families may begin selecting a bus stop. Families with concerns about a stop should contact the school directly. However, once the school year begins, routes and stops will only be adjusted at the discretion of the administration for the following reasons:
- Safety and traffic concerns regarding the location of a stop
- Stops that are not being utilized by families
- Elimination of a stop by the parties who own the property on which the stop is located.
- Other qualifying circumstances as determined by the school and Kottke’s.
How do I register my child to ride the school bus? DaVinci Academy families MUST complete the registration process on Silent Dismissal before students will be permitted to ride the school bus and parents who pick up will also need to register in order to ensure that transportation changes made mid year can be communicated to the office.
Families will be given information regarding the sign up process at Open House night on Thursday, August 10th and will be required to complete the process before school begins on Tuesday, August 15th. Returning families may use the same numbers and account that they used the previous year.
The website for Silent Dismissal is http://davinci.sdcs28.com/ and can be accessed as soon as parents have received their family number. Returning families can use the same number and account they have used previously but will need to update their information for the new school year. This is also the site that is used if families need to make explicit changes in their transportation plans for the day.
Document Coming Soon.
Please give DaVinci Academy notice that you are doing so, and change your preferences on the Silent Dismissal system.
Additionally, if you change your bus stop preference please let DaVinci Academy and the bus driver know as well. That information should be up to date on Silent Dismissal at all times.
Why do I have to register my transportation plans on Silent Dismissal? Because of the complexity of managing transportation schedules for over 700 students, we use the Silent Dismissal program which allows parents to change transportation plans as it is necessary and ensures that the information gets to the school and the teachers in time for dismissal.
Changes to a child’s dismissal plans can be made up until 2:45 p.m. each day and it is critical that parents keep their Silent Dismissal settings current. Students will be dismissed using the instructions given by Silent Dismissal, so if the setting is inaccurate the student will not get to where they are supposed to be going.
Neither the front office nor the teachers will be making adjustments to dismissal plans over the phone or email, as it is the parent’s responsibility to keep Silent Dismissal settings current. You can always call the office for help in how to manage that program at 763-754-6577.
The end of the day at DaVinci Academy is a very busy time and communications from the main office to classrooms are not easily made. It is for this reason that the change deadline of 2:45 p.m. must be kept. If the main office does not receive the change in transportation plans through the Silent Dismissal program by the deadline, the school will follow the student’s normal dismissal routine listed.
Of course, in the event of an emergency we will do everything we can to ensure the plan changes get to the students in time for dismissal.
What happens if I miss my child's afternoon stop? If parents miss their child’s afternoon bus and have not signed the release that allows the student to remain at the stop to wait, the student will continue riding the bus through the end of the route while the bus company or the school contacts the parents.
Parents then have the option of either catching the bus at a later stop along the route, or picking up their child at the school. Any student remaining on the bus at the end of the route will be brought back to the school to wait for pick-up. All students must be picked up immediately upon school drop off or they will be placed into the after school program and parents will be charged the DaVinci Den daily rate. Parents may contact the Kottke’s dispatch office directly if they missed their child’s stop (763-450-3100 opt. 1). Calling the school’s main office is also appropriate (763-754-6577); however, the office closes daily at 4:30 p.m.
**Parents who routinely miss their child’s afternoon drop-off may lose busing privileges for the remainder of the school year.
Please also factor an additional 10-20 minutes into bus times during the first 3 weeks of school. It is normal and expected for buses to be running late for the first few weeks as drivers learn their routes and students, families, and the school settles into a routine. Families are advised to arrive at their stops at the normally scheduled time and asked to wait the additional 15-20 minutes if needed. Arriving late may cause you to miss the bus if it is on schedule.
If a bus is running extremely late, DaVinci Academy will alert parents via email, text, or phone call through our automated system as soon as possible. Parents should make sure their contact information and preferences are current using the Infinite Campus Parent Portal in order to receive these important messages. That link can be found on our website at www.davincicharterschool.org.
DaVinci Academy’s main office opens at 7:15 a.m. and some bus routes begin earlier. If parents are concerned that their bus is running late, or that they missed their bus before the main office is open, they may call Kottke’s dispatch office directly at 763-755-3100 Option 1.
Buses cannot wait longer or it will make them late for the rest of the route. If students miss their morning bus, their parents are responsible for transporting them to school. The bus will not loop back to pick up students who missed the bus. Students arriving late to school because they missed the bus will be recorded as having an unexcused tardy.
Pick Up and Drop Off Q & A
The Bunker Lake entrance to the parking lot is reserved for buses during pick up and drop off times. Parents should enter the lot at Jefferson and follow the parking lot around north, then west, then south in order to be aligned with the red curb and the loading and unloading zone. The red curbing outside the east door is the loading and unloading zone and children should not be dropped anywhere besides this area for maximum safety and efficiency.
There will be an administrator at each door who can help with unloading if a child needs it. We encourage parents to help their children become independent for this important transition into the school.
Mornings can be a stressful time of day for parents and students, so the more smoothly the drop off process goes, the happier all of our days begin. Please be conscientious of the others in car line with you and SHOW SPARK.
Teachers will move down the line of waiting cars in order to enter family numbers into the Silent Dismissal system. Please make sure your family number is clearly displayed on your dashboard or mirror for the teachers to read. Your child’s name will then be displayed on the board in the classrooms and they will come out to get into your vehicle. Parents then pass waiting cars in the passing lane to exit the school while other cars move forward to allow more cars into the loading zone.
As with the morning drop off please:
- Patiently wait for your turn,
- Load your child from the curb side door only
- And SHOW SPARK.
What if I need to meet with a teacher after school or just want to pick up my child? Can I come in? Yes, parents can park and enter the school at the north door which will take them directly in to the office. From there parents may enter their Silent Dismissal number and wait outside the auditorium for children to come to the front.
Students will see their name displayed in their classroom and come to the front to meet you.
You will also need to make sure your Silent Dismissal preferences reflect a “Carpool” setting which means that you will be picking up your child.