How Special Education Busing Works

Brooklyn Parent Center
Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled, Inc.
Brooklyn Public Library
August 2012
Transportation for Students with Special Needs
Ed Jacobsen
Office of Pupil Transportation
718 482-3797
[email protected]
Services OPT Provides
Special Education Pre-K/Early Intervention (EI) Services
Students four years and younger requiring specialized transportation
Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) or EI team manages student data
School Age Students
Specialized Transportation
Students K-12 mandated to receive door to door transportation
Ambulatory status may require specific vehicle type
Student may require additional accommodations
Stop to School Transportation
Student assigned bus stop at intersection near home address
Who manages student data?
Public Schools: CFN Transportation Liaison works with School Based Support Team
D75 schools: D75 Central office staff
Non-Public and Charter schools: Committee on Special Education (CSE)
Ready for September
Pre-K/Early Intervention
Confirm enrollment with Pre-K/EI site
Vendors will contact parents with route information
Specialized Transportation—New K students
Confirm enrollment with CSE staff
OPT mails route information to parents
Route information available online and through OPT Customer Service
Specialized Transportation—School Age students
OPT mails route information to parents
Route information available online and through OPT Customer Service
Stop-to School Transportation
Route information available online and through OPT Customer Service
Buses arrive on time at school and home
Driver and Attendant provide professional service
Medical accommodations met
OPT mails letters with route information and changes; OPT calls parents if route changes
Schools review route changes on School Ridership
Schools and parents report service issues to OPT Customer Service
Student Data
Student mandated for specialized transportation (IEP or SESIS)
Medical Accommodations
School Assigned
Address and Contact Information
The Specialized Transportation Process
Specialized Transportation has two distinct components
Is student mandated to receive specialized transportation?
Based on one of these three criteria:
Chronic medical or orthopedic disability
Severe emotional disability, documented aggressive behavior that requires support on
the bus
Severe cognitive impairment requires management and support on the bus
If not mandated, student assigned stop to school transportation or SE MetroCard
Does student require additional accommodations?
Parent and physician complete Request for Medical Accommodation and HIPPA form
Outlines how and why student condition requires accommodation
Ex: Limited Travel Time, Ride with Para
Reviewed and approved by DOH physician, data update made by CFN Transportation
liaison or CSE staff
Service Guidelines
In the Morning and Afternoon
Parent and student wait outside residence—bus does not honk or wait longer than 1½ minutes
Call OPT Customer Service if bus does not arrive or is late
Travel time may be up to 90 minutes within boro, 105 minutes outside of boro
Parent may call OPT to report child rides too long on bus: router will review and may update
OPT relies on school staff to report late arrival
AM: Bus may arrive at school between 30 and 5 minutes before school starts
PM: Students ready at dismissal time: bus must leave school within 30 minutes after school ends
Service issue?
Call OPT Customer Service (718) 392-8855 OPT Pre-K Customer Service (718) 482-3800
Agent will provide reference number for follow-up
Address and Information Changes
Why does a route change?
Address changes
Contact for parents is Pupil Accounting Secretary at
Address update (include apartment number to
receive OPT letters)
Telephone update for emergencies (Provide new
contact card for bus team)
Address change at school is step one
Public Schools contact CFN liaison to update
New students
Medical Accommodation changes
Vendor reports Problem Route
OPT will document route to confirm
Route is starting/arriving on time
Driver is following sequence
Adjustments are based on documentation
D75 School staff updates address information
Non-Public Schools contact CSE to update student
Route changes: up to seven days to take effect
Letter sent to parent
Vendor receives route update
Changes involving the student IEP and
Medical Accommodations are managed with
the School Based Support Team at Public
Schools see changes on Ridership data
D75 Central manages these changes for D75 schools
CSE manages these changes for non-public schools
Working with the Bus Vendor
Contact the bus company
To confirm pick-up time
OPT identifies sequence: bus team informs parent of regular pickup time
If student has not used bus for more than three days
Contact vendor to resume service
To update Emergency Contact information
Driver has additional copies of contact card
Sign permission slip only if you choose to allow bus team to drop off student unattended
Bus Driver and Attendant
Bus staff mandated to attend NY State Training Program
1. Safe Bus Operation
2. Basic First Aid and CPR
3. Working with Students with Special Needs
Refresher training each year is mandated
Schools may schedule additional training with bus teams to address specific student
Attendant may assist student on and off bus, help secure students using
Attendants may not dispense medication or offer treatment
Discipline Issues on the Bus
Bus team discusses issue with teacher/principal first
May identify a strategy to minimize behavior or trigger
Provide bus team with better understanding of why the behavior is occurring and how to
manage it better
Vendor contracts allow for training at school level
Bus team documents misbehavior and reports to principal if behavior continues
Principal responsible to address and resolve these issues
Additional work with bus team
Seating chart
Bus teams authorized to contact police for dangerous situations
OPT may identify different route if all options have been exhausted
Parent Not at Home
Student remains on bus: Bus continues route
Driver alerts dispatcher: Conference call with vendor, OPT, and school to locate
Bus returns to home address after route completed: Driver advised to call 911 if
parent still not home
Drivers may only return student to school if school has provided permission and
has staff available each day to supervise students

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