Transportation and bus behavior are normally an integral part of the student's program. Because of the significance of this service for maintaining effective programs for the variety of disabling conditions, the Director of Facilities and Transportation or his/her designee should be available for consultation with the Case Conference Committee to assist in providing answers to such questions as:
A. Can the child be transported safely, given the transportation environment and the nature of the disabling condition?
B. What medical, health, physical, or behavioral factors could expose the student to unreasonable risk, given the anticipated transportation environment?
C. What assistive or adaptive equipment is necessary to accommodate the student during the transportation process, can it be safely transported and secured, and are there adequate instructions to ensure its proper use?
S/He can also be helpful in incorporating behavioral transportation goals into the IEP's and determining appropriate means of discipline, including the possible removal from a vehicle. S/He should receive copies of any behavioral guidelines or conditions stipulated in an IEP by a Case Conference.
As participants in and recipients of special education planning, transportation staff need to be advised that the information they deal with is confidential and protected by Federal law.
Managing student behavior on the bus should be done primarily through teaching appropriate bus-riding skills. Learning the skills necessary to ride the school bus is part of the skills needed for the student to participate in his/her program.
To teach bus-riding skills, a limited number of simple rules defining what the student is to do, feedback on how well it is done, and positive, backup consequences are necessary. In teaching bus-riding skills, it is necessary to work on a small number of behaviors at a time (one or two). As a student learns a behavior, another behavior can be taught.
Behaviors that present a potentially dangerous risk of harm to the student or others on the bus require special attention. An attack on another person or running from the bus are two examples of behaviors that present high risk of harm and require documentation and follow-up with appropriate school staff. If students are unable to control their behavior through training in bus-riding skills, more restrictive means of control may be necessary.
COMMUNICATION BETWEEN SCHOOL/TRANSPORTATION STAFFS
A. The transportation staff will keep the school staff advised of the behavior of students on the bus -- both positive and negative type activity. Each bus driver is to use the appropriate student behavior forms needed to provide valid data for behavioral modification and/or disciplinary action.
B. The school staff will advise the transportation staff if a student has had a particularly difficult day and may require special attention on the bus.
C. The primary daily contact between the transportation staff and the school staff will be the bus driver (with the transportation aide as an alternate) and the principal or other designated person at the school.
D. Both the school staff and the transportation staff are expected to maintain confidentiality and protect the students' rights. Except for positive statements, information given by the drivers to the building staff should not be relayed to the student; nor should drivers relay information received from the building staff. Bus behavior should never be a subject of general conversation.
E. Communication with parents is encouraged, particularly positive comments that are honest and sincere. It is important to develop means to maximize this effort.
STOPPING UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR
It is the Corporation's intent to stop unacceptable behavior by using the minimum intervention necessary.
When necessary, a staff member may use reasonable physical intervention to stop an action that presents the risk of harm to the student or to others. This may include use of physical intervention to stop the action but would not extend to gross abuse and disregard for the health and safety of the student. Use of physical intervention should at all times be temperate and not excessive.
A. First Occurrence
If a "significant incident" - one that creates a potentially dangerous risk of harm - occurs, the driver shall describe it on the Student Behavior Form and submit it to the principal for appropriate action.
B. Subsequent Incidents
If the same type of behavior is recurring, the principal is to consider the advisability of calling for a meeting of the Case Conference Committee to discuss alternatives.
C. The Director of Facilities and Transportation or a parent may request a meeting of the Case Conference Committee at any time to address behavioral difficulties and appropriate intervention strategies.
SUSPENSION FROM TRANSPORTATION
A. The principal may suspend a student from transportation, in accordance with Corporation policies and guidelines related to suspension of disabled students. Incidents that may result in suspension include but are not limited to:
1. fighting on the bus;
2. hitting, kicking, or biting others on the bus;
3. smoking, drugs, alcohol;
4. destruction of school property;
B. When a student's behavior is unmanageable in spite of restraints and behavior management techniques, the suspension procedure may be initiated. This procedure may be initiated as a natural consequence of inappropriate behavior: to protect the student, other students, the driver or Corporation equipment, or to provide time to help the student make the adjustment to transportation services. A Case Conference Committee should be convened for any behavior that does or may lead to frequent suspension.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT USE AND OPERATION
There is a wide variety of equipment that may need to be used to accommodate the Corporation's special education students. The Director of Facilities and Transportation is responsible for ensuring that appropriate members of the transportation staff understand the design and operating procedures for special equipment assigned to their use. They should also be able to conduct a proper inspection of the equipment and make simple adjustments in the field in case of breakdowns.
It may be necessary for members of the transportation staff to be able to provide emergency and routine health care to students during the transportation process. Appropriate training shall be provided to drivers and aids as required to meet the medical needs of students.