Riding the Bus

They’ve spent years singing about its wheels going round and round, but now the day has come for your little one to take his first ride on a big yellow school bus. More and more parents of preschoolers are opting to have their kids use a bus as the primary vehicle to get to class.  Depending on the location of your child’s preschool, older siblings might be able to ride alongside their younger sister or brother. Regardless of whether or not all of your children ride the same bus, now is the time to prep your preschooler on the rules associated with … Continue reading

Updates: Sensory Santa, Bus Incident, Isolation Room

Have you ever read something on the Special Need Blog at Families.com and wondered, “What happened next?” If so, then the answer to your question might be right here. I’ve got a few “follow ups” to stories that I recently wrote about. A while ago, I put together a list of all the Sensory Friendly Santa events that I was aware of. The list had details about events that would take place in December of 2012. Need more? Check out the awesome list that Jennifer Cerbasi put together. She has the events broken up by state, to make it easier … Continue reading

Boy Left on School Bus in District of Columbia

Very recently, the District of Columbia was allowed to regain control of the busses that transported Special Education students to and from school. It didn’t take long before a child was left on one of those busses. This does not bode well for the District. A few weeks ago, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Friedman decided to end the federal supervision over the District of Columbia’s special education transportation program. The original class action lawsuit was filed in 1995 by parents who alleged that the city of the District of Columbia had “failed to provide reliable transportation for students with … Continue reading

Teen Saves Bus Full of Kids

The story about the mom who went nuts on her daughter’s school bus driver failed to reassure me that letting my kid ride in a vehicle full of strangers was a stellar decision. Fortunately, I found solace in another bus blurb about a quick-thinking 16-year-old girl, who saved her fellow riders after the bus driver dropped dead while on duty. Rachel Guzy is being called a “super teen” for saving dozens of lives. According to reports, the New York high school student was riding on a bus along with other kids from a local day camp when the driver lost … Continue reading

Does Your Child Ride the Bus to School?

My baby starts kindergarten in a couple weeks, and up until last week I knew exactly how she was getting there. We live a mere 3.5 miles from my daughter’s school. That’s walking distance in our world. Plus, it’s not all up hill, and she wouldn’t be trudging through snow barefoot to get there. Still, because of logistical factors the decision to drive her in the family car was made and that was that… until last week. That’s when we received a postcard from the bus company detailing when and where our kindergartener should stand if she wanted a free … Continue reading

Why Don’t School Buses Have Seat Belts?

Car seats and booster seats are required by law whenever you transport a child, in a car, under the age of eight and the weight of 80 pounds. Why then, are not even seat belts required on school buses that carry children as young as five for kindergarten, or in the case of special services and private preschools as young as three? This was a question that I debated with our neighbor across the road as we watched our kids, in first and second grade, load on to the bus. This year we have a great bus driver who makes … Continue reading

Car Rider Line

I have visited or worked at several different schools in various areas and counties. One common thing that I have noticed with most elementary schools is the length of the car rider line in the mornings and the afternoons. The lines seem to be much longer later in the mornings and earlier in the afternoons. O f course common sense would tell us this. More parents are arriving with their children right as it is time for school to begin and picking them up as soon as school is over for the day. It is amazing how early some parents … Continue reading

The Truth about School Bus Drivers

In my previous article I discussed the importance of school support staff. I also talked about how these people were often misunderstood or not given the credit that they deserve. My previous article addressed educational assistants and custodians. In this article I will continue to address the support staff that help to make a school successful. Many think that school bus drivers do little work. They take the children to school and come pick them up in the afternoon to take them home. This is true. However it takes much more than being able to drive a bus to be … Continue reading

Promoting Good School Bus Behavior

My husband is an assistant principal and spends much time dealing with discipline problems. He comments that some days his morning is consumed with troubles on the bus. Bus drivers call or stop by his office to report students who misbehave. My school also has numerous complaints about children on the bus. Some children are even suspended from riding the bus to school for three or five days. One bus driver from New Jersey has solved her problems herself. She has excellent advice for any bus driver or parent of a ‘bus trouble child’. Lois Yukna, a New Jersey bus … Continue reading

12 Tips for Parents of Special Needs Kids who Ride the School Bus

With school back in session, many children with special needs will be riding school busses. Here are some tips to help make your child’s bussing experience problem-free: Know your child’s bussing arrangement. Will he be transported in a special bus equipped for wheelchairs? Does he need such a bus? Will there be regular-ed students riding on the bus? Will there be an adult assistant to help the driver? Will there be one designated driver? How many children will ride and what is the scheduled pick-up time? Get to know your child’s bus driver. On the first pickup, accompany your child … Continue reading