The bus schedules for the 2017-18 school year, which will start after Labor Day for the first time in many years, were released Thursday on the Harford County Public Schools website.
Parents and guardians should visit http://www.hcps.org and click the "School & Bus Locator 2017-2018" tab on the left-hand side of the page.
That tab will take visitors to the infofinder i portal, through which they can find their child's school, the number of the child's bus and their stop, the pick-up and drop-off times and get a visual representation of the bus route, according to an HCPs news release.
Instructions for using infofinder can be found by clicking the "Bulletin" link in the top left corner of the page. Users should type in their street address and select the student's grade from a pull-down menu, according to the portal.
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Users should check infofinder to verify bus routes for the coming school year in advance of Sept. 5 since "many stops, routes and bus numbers may have changed from the previous school year," according to the news release.
Classes for students K through 12 will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 5, as Harford school officials followed Gov. Larry Hogan's order earlier this year that public school classes begin after the Labor Day holiday, Sept. 4.
Students in pre-kindergarten go back Thursday, Sept. 7, according to the HCPS 2017-18 calendar. Bus routes for students in pre-K and K-12 are available through infofinder, according to the portal.
Parents and guardians should call the HCPS Transportation Department at 410-638-4092 if their child's route cannot be found using infofinder, according to the release.
School officials will contact by phone students in the Alternative Education Program in Aberdeen, John Archer School in Bel Air, mid-day elementary pre-K and those who ride a special-needs bus in or out of Harford County regarding their bus routes, according to the release.
Depot stops have been set up for students who attend Harford Technical High School in Bel Air, as well as HCPS magnet programs — the Science and Mathematics Academy at Aberdeen High School, the Global Studies/International Baccalaureate program at Edgewood High School and the Natural Resources and Agricultural Science program at North Harford High School.
Those students will be notified via postcard regarding their bus routes, according to the release.
Students should be at their stops at least five minutes before their pick-up times and at least 10 minutes early if they are in a magnet program or the Alternative Education Program, according to the release.
The afternoon or evening drop-off time might be later than normal during the beginning of the school year as students get adjusted to their new school settings.
"Once the schedule has been established, there will be a normal drop-off time for each student," according to the release.
More information about transportation policies and rules is available in the Parent-Student Handbook Calendar distributed during the first week of school.
Anyone who has questions regarding a specific bus stop or schedule should call the Transportation Department at 410-638-4092, according to the release.