When transporting students with special needs, there are so many things to consider.
Some students are intimidated by the giant school bus that comes to pick them up for school. Because of its size, they refuse to board. This can create frustration for the driver and the other students on board, not to mention the parents. It can also heighten anxiety for the special needs student, which can lead to behavioral problems once they get to school. And did we mention route delays?
Once they’re on the bus, some students will get up and roam the aisle, which is clearly unsafe. Not only does this pose a risk to their own safety, but it distracts the driver and invites other students to do the same. Roaming students can be injured and distracted driving can lead to accidents, something we’re all striving to avoid.
For almost 20 years, ALC Schools has been partnering with school districts across the country to help provide a safe and reliable alternative.
Children thrive on consistency and routine, and those with special needs are no exception. If getting them on a bus is such a challenge, why not try a vehicle that’s just like mom’s or dad’s instead? The student is familiar with how the vehicle works, how it feels, and how it looks, both on the inside and the outside. They’re familiar with where they sit, how they sit, and how they’re buckled in. It’s one less thing for them to be stressed or anxious about.
What about the driver?
The driver should be familiar with more than just the technical qualifications required by the federal, state, and local governments. Individuals who successfully help transport students with special needs are extraordinary. They know how to make children feel comfortable. They care about “their” students and show both compassion and respect for the student and for their families.
When you put a student in a vehicle they’re familiar with, and have a warmhearted driver who is with that student every day, you’ve created a comfortable, inviting and consistent ride for them to and from school every day. Imagine how those students’ school days will begin when they’re free of the anxiety and stress that comes from their school bus ride!
We get that this is a tall order—it’s what we’ve been doing for almost 20 years. The students and their parents can be a challenge, but in the big picture, we all want the same thing—safe transportation for all students that won’t demolish our budgets.
“Outsourcing” is a scary word when it comes to transporting any group of students, especially the ones we’ve been talking about. But it doesn’t have to be. When you have a true partner, not just a provider, outsourcing can be the best answer. The children get the consistency and compassion they need, safety is always in the front seat, and your budget isn’t completely obliterated.
ALC Schools has been coordinating the special transportation needs of districts across the country for almost 20 years. We specialize in routes with eight or fewer students of any population type, including special needs, ESSA and McKinney-Vento/homeless.