Special Education Transportation
Special Education Transportation is offered as a related service through the Individualized Education Program (IEP). Students will receive service that is appropriate to serve them safely in the least restrictive environment. Guidelines should be addressed in terms of independence goals by the IEP team. Students receiving Curbside service must be met at the bus by a parent or designee for their safety. Based on the ability of the student, Transitional service or Centralized service may be suggested by the IEP team. The parent or guardian would then have the option to note on the Transportation request whether the student may be released or must be met.
NOTE: In the morning, parents are asked to have students ready at the curb waiting for the bus five (5) minutes before pick-up time. In the afternoon, if no one is waiting at the bus stop to meet a must-be-met student, the driver will attempt to return to the stop after others have been dropped off. For safety reasons, unmet students will be returned to their home campus or to the local Police Department.
Any new students, or existing students, to Special Needs Transportation may take up to three days to schedule and route to a bus once we receive the IEP/ARD paperwork from the campus. This allows our routing department to route your child with the least amount of ride time, check the bus for appropriate equipment, revise the emergency evacuation plan, and for the driver to familiarize themselves with your child's information.
Special Education School Bus Service Guidelines
- Travel Distance to Stop: Students will receive service that is appropriate to serve them safely in the least restrictive environment. For many students with special needs, curbside service will be provided. However, other service levels, including neighborhood bus stops, may be used. The District does not provide transportation to daycare outside of district boundaries.
- Travel Time: Travel time may change when modifications are made to a route. The district attempts to limit riding time to less than one hour when possible.
- Ill Students: Students that are ill should not be sent to school. A parent or guardian is responsible for taking the student home if the student becomes ill at school.
- Students Not Riding: If a student does not ride the bus for 5 consecutive days, the driver will stop going by the stop. In order to resume service please contact transportation dispatch at (281) 577-8680 the day before service is to begin. To cancel a pickup, please call the same number as soon as possible on the morning of pickup.
- Assigned School Bus: In keeping with the goal of serving students in the least restrictive environment, the District may serve students with special needs on one of a variety of school buses. Although efforts will be made to provide the same bus, it may be changed for operational reasons.
- Meeting Your Student: It is expected that a parent or designee will meet students who receive curbside service. Exceptions to this guideline should be addressed in terms of independence goals by the IEP team. If no one is present at the drop off time to meet a “must be met” student, the driver will attempt to return to the stop after others have been dropped off. Note: For safety reasons, unmet students will be returned to their home campus or to the local Police Department.
- Late Students: In order to keep to the schedule, the bus driver will not wait more than two (2) minutes for late-arriving students. Parents are asked to have students ready five (5) minutes prior to the scheduled pick-up time.
- Late Buses: There are extenuating circumstances that could cause a bus to be delayed. After waiting 15 minutes, parents should contact transportation.
- Car Seats: Since school buses are so safe, cars seats are not required. For some students, however, the IEP team may determine cars seats are necessary. Transportation staff should be included in these IEP team decisions.
- Seatbelts: Seatbelts should be used when present.
- Wheelchairs: Wheelchairs must meet national safety standards in order to be transported. Any student requiring a wheelchair will be transported only in that mobility device.
- Lost Items on Buses: Students may retrieve lost items from the bus on the next school day. Unclaimed items are turned over to the school.
- Cameras: Video cameras may be used on school buses to monitor student behavior. Boarding a school bus is considered consent to be photographed. Video images will not be made public.
- Alternative Service Addresses or Changes of Address: For the safety of the students, parents must submit a written request to the school office, if there is a need for the student to be bused to another location. Once approved, these will be forwarded to the Transportation Department and may take up to 3 days to modify routes and notify all involved.
- Disciplinary Action: When unacceptable bus behavior is observed and reported, the transportation department will be in contact with school site administration. If this behavior is related to the student’s disability, the student’s teacher and principal will be notified. If it is not, parents and students will be counseled, as appropriate, by the Transportation Behavior Coordinator.