Special Education Transportation
The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board’s transportation services (STSCO) works closely with Special Education Services to provide equitable access to transportation for students with special needs. The following guidelines facilitate the decisions made for these students. All extenuating circumstances are carefully reviewed by respective managers.
Transportation for Students in Special Education Programs
Students who attend Special Education programs within their home school community will either walk to school or use transportation provided if they are beyond the established walking distances. When students are placed in Special Education programs by the Board (with parent consent) which are outside their home school attendance area and outside of walking distances established by the Board, transportation is provided for these students.
Transportation for Students with Physical Disabilities - Home School Attendance Area
Students with physical disabilities which place them in wheelchairs, walkers, or who have mobility needs are provided with transportation to meet their needs when conditions in the home school attendance area are not conducive to independent or assisted travel (e.g., impassable/no sidewalks, winter weather making sidewalks impassable). Arrangements are made with the school Principal.
Transportation for Students with Medical Needs
Students with medical conditions may be provided with transportation following a review of their needs, supporting documentation, and discussion between school staff and the System Principal of Special Education.
Students in Care, Treatment, and Correctional Facilities
If the parent/guardian receives permission to access a care and treatment program outside of the home school attendance area, then responsibility for transportation rests with the parent/ guardian. Permission to utilize existing transportation routes must be requested, in writing, on the prescribed form and is subject to available space and compliance with transportation policy.
Students in Provincial and Demonstration Schools
The Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB provides transportation for day and residential students attending Provincial and Demonstration schools. Students who live within a 30 km radius of such a Provincial school and who are designated by the school as day students are provided with daily transportation. Students who live beyond that radius and/or students who may elect to be residential students are transported on a weekly basis to and from the Provincial and Demonstration schools.
Summer School Bussing
The transportation department maintains a very streamlined, skeletal transportation route to service those students attending summer school programs. For students requiring specialized transportation, arrangements are made through consultation with the student’s Principal and the Manager of Transportation.
Transportation of Individual Students
The special needs of each student are assessed on an individual basis. First considered for transportation on the standard school bus, special provisions such as a bus monitor will be considered where necessary to assist the student in maintaining this level of independence and inclusion. In some cases a smaller specialized bus may be required to ensure student safety and to allow for the transporting of wheelchairs.
Should individuals require closer supervision, a bus monitor may be considered to assist in this setting as well. In some cases, individual student transportation may need to be considered. These decisions are based upon the physical, safety, and behavioural needs of the student, and are requested through the school Principal.
Board Tendering for Transportation of Students with Special Needs
To date, the Board does not have separate, specialized criteria when considering the tendering of transportation for exceptional students. As per general population transporters, all Kawartha Pine Ridge transporters and bus drivers must hold a “B-Z License” which includes a criminal check. Bus operators provide evidence of criminal offence screening. Professional development is available upon request. As well, operators are provided information as appropriate for individual emergency plans for students. The Board includes equity, diversity, and inclusion principles in its general tendering processes.