Bus Routes and Bell Schedules

Learn more about bus routes and how they are affected by bell schedules.

Bus Routes

FCPS selects bus routes that run on roads that are properly maintained and considered to be safe for school bus travel. Stops are not designed to drop students off in front of their homes and parents are responsible for making sure that they choose a safe walking route for their children to get to and from the bus stop. Exceptions are made for students with special needs. Bus stop information is NOT published on any public website for safety reasons. Schools will provide the list to students before the beginning of the school year.

There are times when the driver may make a decision to return children to school. This may happen when:

  • The driver has any concerns regarding the safety of releasing a student.
  • A child expresses concern, for any reason, about getting off of the bus.
  • There are no safe, transportation-approved alternate locations in the case of emergencies (such as road closures, accidents, or weather-related road problems).

Bell Schedules

The Office of Transportation Services works in concert with school principals and program managers to develop the start and end times for each school. Bell schedules must subsequently be approved by the superintendent and timing is second only to safety. View this year's school year bell schedule (pdf) provided above.

Tiering of school start and end times allows transportation to use fewer buses and drivers. Each bus usually serves two to three school routes. Balancing requirements across all of the tiers is necessary because of budgetary constraints including:

  • Travel time between schools or route
  • Number of schools and buses required on each tier
  • Volume of "Out of Boundary" routes

General times buses are on the road:

  • 6-7 a.m. -- middle school
  • 7-8 a.m. -- high school
  • 8-9 a.m. -- elementary school
  • 9 a.m.-1:50 p.m. -- shuttles and field trips
  • 1:50-2:50 p.m. -- middle school
  • 2:50 -3:30 p.m. -- high school
  • 3-4:15 p.m. -- elementary school
  • 4:45-5 p.m. or later -- Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and late runs
  • 5 p.m. or later -- field trips

Questions and Concerns

If parents have other questions or concerns regarding transportation, they may call the school principal or the Area Transportation Office.

Area I Transportation    - 703-446-2150
Area II Transportation   - 703-446-2050
Area III Transportation  - 703-249-7000
Area IV Transportation - 703-249-7100