Your child is on an IEP but have you thought about any transportation needs?
If your child doe NOT require any special transportation accommodations due to their disability, they will be transported like any other child in the district.
If your child does require special transportation de to their disability, it needs to be identified and explained in their I.E.P. Sometimes the child can still receive the “regular transportation” as other students but might have an attendant or their bus might be equipped with a wheelchair lift.
School cancelled due to weather:
Be mindful of snow/weather days. In Massachusetts in the past years, school days have been cancelled due to temperature, snow and wind. Sometimes one district will be open and another may not. If the district that is responsible for transporting your child is closed and the receiving district is open; the transporting district does not have to make arrangements to transport the child to the open district.
But isn’t there a time limit on how long a student can be on a bus?
There is a lot misunderstanding about this time limit. In Massachusetts, the applicable law requires that transportation to a special education placement may not take longer than one hour each way, except with the approval of the team.
Here is what the law (603 CMR 28.06(8)(a) says as of the writing of this post:
(8) Transportation Services. The term transportation providers shall include the driver of the vehicle and any attendants or aides identified by the Team. The school district shall provide a qualified attendant on each vehicle that transports one or more students in need of special education, when such attendant is recommended by the Team in accordance with 603 CMR 28.05(5)(b).
(a) The district shall not permit any eligible student to be transported in a manner that requires the student to remain in the vehicle for more than one hour each way except with the approval of the Team. The Team shall document such determination on the IEP.
(b) The school district shall give transportation providers clear, written information on the nature of any need or problem that may cause difficulties for a student receiving special transportation along with information on appropriate emergency measures that may be necessary.
(c) The district shall provide an in-service training program for transportation providers. Such training program shall acquaint transportation providers with the needs of the students they are transporting and shall be designed to enable the transportation providers to meet those needs. All transportation providers shall be required to complete such in-service training prior to providing transportation services to eligible students.
(d) The district shall make sufficient inspections of equipment and unannounced spot checks throughout the year to ensure compliance with these requirements, and with all applicable state and federal safety and equipment laws, including M.G.L. c. 90.
This law applies to both in-district and out-of-district placements where the student is placed through their IEP. If the parents of the student insist on a private placement/school that is located more than one hour away or requires travel on roads/highways that are known for heavy and/or unpredictable traffic times – they cannot later argue that this is in violation of the one-hour.
Be sure you review the Education Laws and Regulations regarding transportation before your child’s next IEP meeting. Here is the link.
Have questions or concerns about your student? Contact us to discuss further:
E.M. Curran & Associates LLC