District 21 offers school bus transportation services to qualified students in accordance with 105 ILCS 5/29 of the Illinois School Code and the District 21 Board of Education Policies. First Student, Inc., one of the largest student transportation companies in the United States, is District 21’s contracted transportation provider. First Student was awarded District 21’s transportation business after successfully winning the bid process prescribed by the State of Illinois.

Bus routes, serviced by First Student, are created and maintained by the District 21 Business Office. More than 3,500 students are transported every year on approximately 80 distinct bus routes. Information regarding bus routes is distributed to District 21 families in Summer Communication Packets, and is also available by contacting your child’s school or District 21’s Transportation Coordinator, at 847-520-2705.

In most cases, and in accordance with the Illinois School Code, those students who reside 1.5 miles or more from their school or must cross a hazardous area as defined by the Illinois Department of Transportation are eligible for bus transportation. If you would like to find out if your child is eligible for bus transportation, please contact your child’s school or District 21’s Transportation Coordinator, at 847-520-2705.

Students are expected to follow all school rules while on the bus. While students are on the bus, they are under the supervision of the bus driver. In most cases, bus discipline problems can be handled by the bus driver. In the case of a written disciplinary referral, student bus problems will be investigated and handled by the building principal. Video and audio cameras may be active on busses to record student conduct and may be used for the purposes of investigation into misconduct or accidents on the bus.

Our Frequently Asked Questions page provides responses to many of the questions that our families ask on a regular basis. If you have an emergency or if you have questions that are not covered here, please contact First Student, Inc. at 847-541-0220. If you are unable to reach First Student, Inc. or you have an issue that they are unable to address, please contact a District 21 staff member at the numbers listed below.


Check out our new bus tracking service for parents here.

Contact Information

First Student, Inc.



Gail Unamboowe – Transportation Coordinator

Michael Zagar – Director of Business Services