We Educate for Excellence


Transportation Department

Phone: 440-835-6313

Fax: 440-835-6363


ATTENTION: Just a reminder -- Westlake Board of Education policy states that students in grades K-8 are only provided transportation if they reside MORE THAN 1 MILE from their school of attendance.

Our Office Staff:

Gavin Berwald - Director

Julie Mikoy - Secretary to the Director

Julie Sipler - Data Processing/Routing Secretary

Dee Faragher - Dispatcher

Dale Mitchell - Head Mechanic

Joe Morana - Mechanic

Derek Jones - Mechanic


Transportation FAQs

I cannot see my child’s bus stop from the house. Are there state laws that set the standards for bus stop locations?

No law requires a parent to see the bus stop from home. Students in Ohio may be assigned to a bus stop up to one-half mile from their home, and we encourage parents to accompany their child to the bus stop whenever possible. This teaches the child safe habits of walking to and from the bus stop and may give the parent peace of mind. Bus stop locations are determined by each district’s board of education.

Are sidewalks required for my child to get to his/her bus stop?

Many students walk alongside of roadways to reach their bus stop and in some instances no sidewalks exist. While we understand this may be of concern in some situations, the Department of Education does not promulgate bus stop placement. Issues relating to where a child’s bus stop is located and safety concerns along the way to the bus stop must be addressed with the district in which you reside.

I transport my child to a nonpublic/community school each day and just learned a program exists for reimbursement. How can I be reimbursed for transporting my child?

As a parent, your child's school will need to contact the Westlake City School District (WCSD) Transportation Department. If it is not practical for our Department to transport, we will offer you payment-in-lieu of transportation. Parents are not afforded the option of being paid for transporting their own child in cases where the service is provided by the district, but is not the service the parents prefer.

Upon contact from staff at your child's school, this Department will determine whether your child is eligible for transportation. The following factors will be evaluated:

1. Is the student in one of the grades that WCSD provides transportation for? We do NOT transport any high school students.

2. Does the school meet the 30-minute eligibility test as set by law? The non-public school must be reachable within 30 minutes by direct travel. This is done in a school bus, on a school day, and during the regular attendance times that a bus would be traveling to the school. The origin of the timing run is the public school building that the child would be assigned to if attending public school. The WCSD will schedule and complete this time check, and if they find that it is greater than 30 minutes, we will ask for the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to supervise another timing run. If the timing is over 30 minutes, transportation services are NOT required to be provided. Timings, once run and supervised by ODE, are considered final and will not be re-run.

If it is determined that the school is eligible, the student is eligible, and the timing is 30 minutes or less, our Department will determine the most appropriate transportation available for the student. Because of the logistics involved, it is frequently more difficult and expensive for a public school to arrange for transportation for a non-public student.

Upon determination by the WCSD that it is not practical to provide that transportation, Ohio law permits the WCSD to provide payment-in-lieu of transportation. For parents who accept payment-in-lieu of transportation, the WCSD verifies attendance for the school identified and makes payment to the parent at the end of the school year.

I make my child wait inside of my house until the bus is at the stop. I have heard this is not allowed – is this true?

Ohio law requires children to be waiting at the bus stop 5 minutes prior to its arrival. Bus drivers count the students at the bus stop before they load and as they get on the bus to ensure all children are safely on board. If students are not waiting at the bus stop the bus driver cannot count them and cannot be certain the students are all safely on board. Waiting at the bus stop before the bus arrives further ensures that no one chases after the bus – this is a very dangerous thing to do. Many districts also instruct their buses to not stop at locations where no students are waiting.

My child has an I.E.P. but transportation is not being provided. Why is this?

A child who has an I.E.P. does not automatically receive transportation services. If transportation is not included on the I.E.P. your child will be transported similarly to regular education students in your district.

Important Notes

About Us

Our department provides daily transportation to 7 Westlake public schools, 6 special needs schools/locations, and 15 non-public schools. These schools are serviced by 42 school buses and 8 vans. This school year our vehicles are traveling 2309 miles per day on routes, as well as transporting 1561 students daily. Our mechanics service all transportation vehicles and an additional 7 maintenance trucks that the District owns.

The transportation policies of the Westlake Board of Education are aimed at providing a safe, efficient and economical method of getting students to/from school. It is the desire of the WCSD that transportation be scheduled in a way that best serves the educational interests of the students. The safety and welfare of students will be the first consideration in all matters pertaining to transportation. In an effort to continually stretch financial resources, efficiencies including single designated pick-up/drop-off locations and group bus stops will remain in effect. Our goal is to make your student's trip to/from school as timely, safe and pleasant as possible.

We look forward to getting the new school year underway!

Inclement Weather/Calamity Days

On days when Westlake City Schools are closed due to inclement weather or a calamity, ALL TRANSPORTATION services are canceled for ALL schools, this includes any non-public schools that we provide transportation for. Please check our District website at or stay tuned to your local television stations for school closings.

Pick-Up/Drop-Off Times

State law requires students to be at the bus stop (at their "Designated Place of Safety" which is determined by the bus driver) 5 minutes prior to the scheduled stop time. Scheduled pick-up/drop-off times are approximate based on the student roster at the time the routes were created. These times may be subject to change within the first couple of weeks of school. We are receiving additions/changes/deletions on a daily basis which does affect the routing and times. Additionally, weather conditions, road construction, traffic and train delays can also impact pick-up/drop-off times.

We appreciate everyone's patience the first week of school as drivers and students are getting settled into their routines. It is very common for buses to be running late the first week of school, especially in the afternoon. The buses are always delayed leaving the schools as they are making sure that all students are on the correct buses, learning students names and assigning seats.

Eligibility for Transportation-Measuring Distances

We DO NOT use measurements based on internet mapping applications. Our distance calculations are in accordance with ODE Administrative Code 3301-83-01(G1a) which states, "Measurement of distance originates at a point on the traveled portion of the roadway nearest the primary entrance to the place of residence and then along the most direct route traversable, excluding interstate routes by motor vehicle, to the school bus loading area nearest and opposite the entrance door used by pupils transported."

Custodial Care Forms

In order for the WCSD Transportation Department to provide transportation to/from a location other than a student's home address, a form must be submitted to our department prior to July 19th in order for service to start at the beginning of each school year. The Transportation Department will transport the child if the following criteria are met: the childcare provider is within the designated area for transportation to/from the school of attendance; and the child must be transported to/from the childcare provider 5 days a week.

Service is for the entire school year or until permanently changed in writing. This will reduce the possibility of your child being taken to the wrong destination. Custodial care forms are effective for the current school year ONLY and must be completed on a yearly basis. This form can be downloaded from this webpage.

Space Available Requests

For those students who do not meet the eligibility requirements for transportation services, parents can submit a request for space available on the bus route closest to their residence. If there is space available and the request is approved, the parent agrees that their student will be assigned to an EXISTING bus stop on an EXISTING route; and the bus will NOT be rerouted nor a stop added for that student. Any requests approved are valid for the current school year only. Space available forms are reviewed only after September 15th in the order in which they are received. This form can be downloaded from this webpage.

Early Releases: Non-Public Schools

If your child's school has an early release scheduled PRIOR to 1:30, WCSD will provide transportation at the early release time. All early releases scheduled 1:30 or LATER, WCSD will still provide transportation, however, it will remain at the end of the regular school day pick-up time.

School Walk Areas