First Day of School Taylor (copy)

Bus police is being revised to allow students of parents with shared custody to be picked up, dropped off at two locations.

FOXBORO -- Students who have parents living at two addresses in town should now be able to get a smoother bus ride to and from school.

School committee members approved a revised transportation policy by a unanimous vote Tuesday night.

The key change allows students with two legal residences because of shared custody of parents to be bused to and from both homes.

The changes are in response to a divorced couple’s struggles getting their two sons to and from school.

Jaime Kelly of Connie Drive, a divorced mother who shares custody with her former husband who also resides in Foxboro, at a previous school board meeting urged school officials to ease the bus policy which had restricted students from being picked up and dropped off at different addresses to help safeguard students.

Kelly, an educator who requested a waiver, had contended the policy had caused hardship, discriminated against divorced families and punishes children.

Alternative living arrangements are impacting more children in school districts, school officials say.

The revised bus policy spells out several requirements for students to qualify for transportation from and to two residences.

Both addresses must be within Foxboro, and if a student is in elementary school, both residences must be in the same elementary school district due to busing schedules and costs.

Also, parents or guardians must provide documentation of a court-ordered or court-filed shared physical custody or shared parenting arrangement that provides for a regular schedule for when the student will be at which residence.

The school district must have two weeks notice for any schedule changes, and parents/guardians must comply with proof of residency requirements.

"There will be occasions when there is a mix-up" because parents or children have a misunderstanding of schedules, board Chairman Rob Canfield warned. "There are more risks here when you introduce more drop-offs."

Business Manager Bill Yukna, who helps oversee transportation, reiterated that point.

"Dropping kids off at the wrong house on the wrong day eventually will happen," Yukna said.

"Parents need to be on top of it and work with the schools to make sure they go to the correct places," board member Michelle Raymond said.

"I'm very concerned, this can get very confusing," Canfield said. "If something happens on the home side, we'll make every reasonable accommodation."

Yukna said he doubted the changes will affect the budget.

"If it's one, two or three families, it probably doesn't have a financial impact," Yukna said.

Raymond, an attorney, added "Over time this is going to happen more and more."