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Articles/News - Special Needs Transportation

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Achieving efficiency in special-needs bus service
March 1, 2013

In conducting our 2013 Special-Needs Survey, we asked recipients what efficiencies or cost savings they’ve been able to achieve in special-needs transportation, and how they did so. Here are some responses.

Q’Straint, Sure-Lok restructure, expand sales team
February 19, 2013
The securement systems suppliers' sales team is now organized into four core segments: transit, school bus, paratransit and personal mobility, which officials say was done to better serve customer needs. Coinciding with this announcement is news that Trisha Nolen has joined the team as southern regional sales manager as part of the school bus/paratransit market segment.
Ralph Braun: a pioneer in mobility
February 13, 2013
Braun, who was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy at 6 years old, went on to develop innovative mobility products, including a motorized scooter and a vehicle wheelchair lift. The founder and CEO of The Braun Corp., who passed away on Feb. 8 at age 72, is also remembered for his contributions to safe pupil transportation.
Transportation consortiums cut costs and boost training
February 12, 2013

Genesee Intermediate School District’s transportation consortiums provide service to special-needs and career/technical students in 21 districts. Route, bus maintenance and other efficiencies have saved participating districts $42.4 million since 1997, while service continues to expand. Driver training is extensive.

Preview of SBF's 2013 Special-Needs Survey
February 1, 2013
Respondents to this year’s survey report an increase in special-needs ridership — 8.7% compared to 6.9% in 2012. Other data cover items transported on buses to accommodate students’ needs and video surveillance cameras on special-needs buses.
7 more complete NAPT special-needs training program
February 1, 2013
Pupil transportation officials from operations in Colorado and South Carolina complete the association’s Special Needs Transportation Training program, which officials say is designed to increase an individual’s specific knowledge about transporting students with disabilities.
Special-needs collaboration streamlines service
February 1, 2013

By establishing policies on which students can receive special-needs bus transportation and providing those students with the exact services they need, transportation departments can operate buses efficiently, creating cost savings for districts. Communication and teamwork between school and transportation personnel are essential to achieving this.

Documents show bus girl jumped from had wrong number of aides
January 10, 2013
Onyx Williams suffered serious head trauma after she jumped from the back of her moving special-needs bus, and she later died. A copy of the contract between her school district and the bus company that was providing its special-needs transportation indicated that two aides were to be assigned to Williams’ route, but only one was on board at the time of the incident.
Girl suffers head trauma after fall from moving school bus
January 4, 2013
Authorities in Rutherford, N.J., say that the 16-year-old special-needs student opened an emergency hatch at the back of the bus, and they believe she either fell or jumped. Three other students, the driver and an aide were on the bus.
Bus driver runs red light, crashes into power pole
January 4, 2013
Officials for the Florida Highway Patrol say that Jack Timmel sped through the light and sideswiped a minivan before crashing into a concrete wall and the light pole. The six special-needs students on the bus are uninjured, and Timmel is cited for the violation.
Student dies after medical emergency on bus
January 3, 2013
Officials say that the student’s private-duty nurse, who was with him on the bus, performed CPR, and a special-education assistant and the bus driver also tried to help. The student was taken to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
District reviews special-needs safety following students’ deaths
November 30, 2012
One student with a neuromuscular disorder passed away in January, a day after she began choking on her school bus. The bus driver and aide reportedly tried to have the dispatch operator or transportation supervisor call 911. In the second incident, a student with Down syndrome drowned in a pond behind a middle school in October.
Court supervision for D.C. bus service ends
November 30, 2012
The parties in the Petties v. D.C. case agree in early November to end the federal oversight, but the case will remain active until after a Dec. 19 fairness hearing on the proposed agreement. The agreement comes in the wake of a report that the city is in compliance with performance standards put in place by the court for special-needs pupil transportation services.
School van company suspended for drunken driving incident
November 30, 2012
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles suspends all of Ride-Rite Medi-Van Co.'s school pupil transportation licenses, and the company will be required to pay $100 per suspended registration for each of the vehicles. Michael Tantillo was allegedly drunk when he transported a special-needs student for four hours, and he did not have a school bus driver’s license.
7 more earn special-needs endorsement
November 30, 2012
Pupil transportation professionals from Colorado to Virginia complete the National Association for Pupil Transportation program, which is designed to increase participants’ knowledge about transporting students with disabilities.
Special-needs bus driver hasn’t missed work in a decade
November 2, 2012
A factor that has reportedly influenced Patrick Dufrene’s perfect attendance is his feeling that it’s not just his job, but his responsibility to make sure that the students he transports get an education.
Video shows inside of bus during accident
November 2, 2012
In the footage released by San Antonio Independent School District, a car can be seen colliding with the bus, and the bus begins to crash through an interstate overpass. The video cuts out before the bus hits the access road below.
Evacuating passengers with special needs and equipment
November 2, 2012

Pupil transportation officials must have access to medical information on the students they are transporting, especially when the students are dependent on medical equipment and others for their care. They must also have a well-developed evacuation plan for all students that they transport.

Calif. bill aims to allow more funds for special-needs busing
October 31, 2012
The bill's author, Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, says that it will enable school districts to draw down more federal funds for transporting students with disabilities. The legislation, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, goes into effect on Jan. 1.
Special-needs transporter named district’s Driver of the Year
October 1, 2012
Pennsylvania’s Pennsbury School District gives Debra Roche the honor for the 2011-12 school year. Roche, chosen out of 135 school bus drivers, has nearly 40 years of experience at the wheel and has transported special-needs students for the past decade.

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