Our goal is to provide high-quality transportation services for students with disabilities to make sure they have an equal access to a quality education. We strive to have the best drivers, the best monitors and best resources for our students. We continually reach out to our schools and parents to strategically improve and expand our services to our students.
Q. Is a special education student guaranteed transportation?
A. Transportation may be considered a related service if it is specified in the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP). The determination as to whether transportation is included as a related service is made by the student’s IEP team after careful consideration of the student’s needs. When not identified as a related service, transportation will be provided in the same way it is provided for general education students. Consequently, some special education students whose handicapping condition permits, and for whom it is safe to do so, may be required to use the regular education bus.
Q. How soon after a placement decision has been made will transportation services begin?
A. On average, it takes approximately 5-10 school days to process a start or change of transportation services. The special education teacher will call parents to notify them when they can expect transportation services to start. At that time they will receive the pick-up time and bus number. If the assignment takes place two or fewer weeks prior to the start of the new school year, bus service may not be started until the second week of school (although every effort will be made to begin as soon as possible after the decision).
Q. Can the pick-up and/or drop-off times change from day to day?
A. Generally, morning and afternoon times are reasonably consistent for the duration of the student’s placement. They could vary a few minutes in the morning and afternoon due to traffic conditions. As other students are added to or dropped from the route, it may be necessary to adjust these times throughout the school year.
Q. May a student be dropped off at a location different from the morning pickup?
A. Yes. This can be done on a consistent basis upon request. Morning and afternoon locations can be different. Location differences that change from one day to the next or from week to week cannot be accommodated. Only one morning location and one afternoon location is acceptable and must be within the area served by the program.
Q. Is curb service available?
A. Those students, whose handicapping condition(s) does not permit them to go to a designated bus stop, may be picked up at the safest curb closest to their residence. The decision as to whether curbside pickup and drop off is required is made by the IEP team and indicated on the student’s IEP. Please be aware that in some cases, this service is not possible due to the location of the home. Situations where there would be excessive traffic congestion which blocks a curb, dead-end streets, courts, or other instances that would create a safety hazard for the student and others, will affect Transportation’s ability to provide curbside service.
Q. When a student moves to another part of the county, will the same bus continue the service?
A. Probably not. Depending on the student’s new address, a new school or another bus could be assigned. When such a move is anticipated parents should contact their child’s school so that arrangements can be made.
Q. What needs to be done when a student who currently rides the bus starts using a wheelchair?A. Parents should contact their school that the student is in, as soon as possible so necessary bus arrangements can be made.Q. Can a safety harness, car seat, or booster seat be provided?
A. Yes. They will be provided when needed and/or required by the student’s IEP.
Q. Are bus drivers informed about any special dietary restrictions (e.g., no chocolate) or allergies (e.g., bee stings) of the students who ride their buses?
A. Schools inform bus driver at the beginning of the school year about such restrictions. Parents are asked to fill out a medical form with all pertinent information. This form will be kept on the bus and referenced if a medical emergency arises. Parents are also encouraged to open the line of communication with their bus drivers and bus monitor about such issues. As a matter of course, bus personnel should not give any food to students because of such restrictions, and eating on the bus is against TCS policy.
The involvement of parents of special education students in assisting their students to have appropriate bus behavior goes a long way toward positive attitudes among the riders. Not only should parents reinforce the rules of conduct with their child, but they should assist in every way possible.
Q. What is the first thing a parent/guardian should focus on with his/her special education student?
A. The importance of being on time and knowing the bus number that is posted in the side of the bus near the front is the first thing a parent/guardian should focus on.
Q. What should parents do to have their children ready for school?
A. Parents should have their children ready and at the pick-up site 10 minutes before the bus is due. Tight scheduling does not permit bus drivers to wait for your child, nor can they blow the horn because this disturbs others.Q. When does the responsible adult need to be at the bus stop to meet the student in the p.m.?
A. The responsible adult needs to be at the bus stop 10 minutes prior to the scheduled drop-off time. Tight scheduling does not permit bus drivers to wait for an adult to arrive.
Q. Can a student be discharged at home without an adult being present?
A. If the child is capable of taking care of himself/herself, this might be considered based on a number of other factors (age, handicapping condition, length of time alone, etc.). Such decisions will be made by administrators on a case-by-case basis.
Q. If the child is late getting to the bus stop, can the bus be returned to pick up the student?
A. No. Obligations to other riders and schedules prohibit buses from doubling back for one student. Parents should transport the student to school as soon as possible in order to take part in all scheduled classes.
Bus Driver and Bus Monitor ResponsibilitiesQ. What are the bus driver's responsibilities?
A. To operate the bus safely, assume responsibility for behavior and discipline, and maintain an efficient schedule.
Q. What are the duties of the bus monitor on the bus?A. To ensure the safety and comfort of students and see that wheelchairs, safety vests, etc., are secure. The bus monitor ensures that students stay in their seats while the bus is in motion, and assists them to board or exit the bus at school or at their drop-off.
Q. Can the bus monitor come to the door to pick up and drop off a student?
A. No. The bus monitor is permitted to assist students only in the immediate area of the bus, and not beyond the curb.
Q. Is there a bus monitor on every bus?
A. Yes. When students enter special education programs, needs are assessed and bus monitors are assigned accordingly. Generally, buses that transport emotionally impaired, profoundly and severely handicapped, and preacademic/early childhood students have bus monitors.
Q. Can a bus drivers or bus monitor deliver medicine to school for the student?
A. No. Both the Board of Education and the Montgomery County Health Department have a policy that requires parents/guardians to bring any medications to school. This cannot be violated.
Q. How will discipline problems be handled?
A. Both bus drivers and monitors are trained to handle most disciplinary problems. A School bus drivers Disciplinary Report will be submitted to the principal if there is persistent, disruptive, or unsafe behavior. This could result in a detention, bus suspension, denial of transportation, or the implementation of a behavior modification plan. In some cases, there may be an IEP team meeting to determine what actions are appropriate to address the problem.
Q. If a student cannot conform to bus rules, what type of transportation will be provided?
A. Alternative means may be necessary for those students whose disruptive behavior creates an unsafe condition for other children, the bus drivers and monitors, and the motoring public. It is not safe to transport physically aggressive children on buses. Safety will be a primary factor in all decisions.