I’ve been reluctant to write about this topic, but I felt that our story would provide valuable insights into the experience of a special-needs student, the importance of retaining good drivers, and the difficult decisions parents often face.
An IEP in 2014 for Emily Quandt of Minnesota stated that she needs a trained person to ride the bus with her to administer medication for life-threatening seizures, but she rode the bus alone last year due to a lack of district staff. An aide will ride on the bus with her this year.
The new law requires the development of a training program for New Jersey school bus drivers and aides on interacting with special-needs students.
The transportation department at Richmond, Virginia-based Henrico County Public Schools serves 75 schools and about 29,000 students. It devised an efficient hub system to accommodate a four-tier bell schedule to transport students to their schools on time.
Last week’s temperatures in the 90s had summer school administrators and parents concerned for students riding buses without air conditioning for long periods of time, particularly those with special needs.
The company’s contract with Alexandria (Va.) City Public Schools includes a system that matches transportation services to billable direct health services to produce valid transportation Medicaid claims.
Special-needs transportation expert Dr. Linda Bluth has officially retired from her position at the Maryland State Department of Education, but a full schedule of speaking engagements, consulting work and other activities is keeping her plugged into the pupil transportation community.
Dr. Linda Bluth says that under specific circumstances, transportation personnel should play a key role in transportation decisions for children with disabilities, long before a child has been assigned to a school bus route. It is essential to recognize that all children with disabilities eligible for transportation services do not require the same level of specialized intervention.
In a new post on the National PTA website, Bluth explains how parents can help ensure that their special-needs child's transportation needs are met. Individualized Education Program team members, including the parents, must give input on how the child's disability impacts school bus safety.
Expanding discipline policies to cover both transportation and campus life, providing crisis intervention training to staff and sharing relevant student information with the right personnel will help minimize student violence on the bus and in the classroom.
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.
The association’s Special Needs Training Program will be available throughout the year at various events around the country. The curriculum explores such issues as the legal basis for special-needs transportation, and activities include observation of or participation in a special-needs roadeo and attendance at a trade show featuring special-needs products and services.
“Ready to Learn” is the theme for Edupro Group's 21st Transporting Students With Disabilities & Preschoolers event. Topics that will be covered include administering medications, companion animals, student disabilities and the bus ride, and participating in the IEP process.