Special Needs Route Service
Our mission in special needs transportation is to ensure your children arrive at school and return home safely with care and thought given to their individual needs. All drivers and assistants participate in frequent training to expand and improve their driving skills and upgrade their knowledge of helping children with special needs.
Beginning Service and Route Changes
When service begins, or when changes occur, routes must be revised and time changes communicated to all parents. Please plan to transport your child to and from school the first three to five business days if the Admissions, Review, and Dismissal Committee (ARD) and/or placement changes occur after school begins in August. The driver will contact you to introduce him/herself, assistant and the route information.
Parents can help support and maintain transportation service by:
- Attending your child's ARD committee meetings and annual reviews.
- Ensuring a responsible person is home when your child is picked up in the morning and brought home in the afternoon. (Drivers assume responsibility at the door of the bus in the morning and will not release the child until they see the responsible person after school.)
- Having your child ready to board the bus within three minutes of scheduled time each morning.
- Teaching your child to follow the bus rules. (A copy will be provided to you.)
- Notifying the Transportation Office South (Saegert) Terminal at 512-414-6500 or North (Nelson) Terminal at 512-414-6520 or Southeast Terminal at 512-414-8510 as early as possible when your child will not be attending school. Failure to ride three consecutive days may result in suspension of service until the parent/guardian calls the transportation office and reinstates the service.
- Sharing information with the driver and/or assistant regarding changes in schedule, medical status or major personal disruptions that would seriously affect your child's behavior.
- Communicating in writing any medical information, medication or student health status changes which would affect your child's transportation.
- Being open to information from the driver or assistant regarding their observations and concerns.
- Maintaining consistent day care. (Frequent changes adversely affect bus schedules for all students assigned to the bus.) Alternate pick-up or drop-off addresses should be in the attendance area of the student's residence or of the school the student attends. We can often provide service to other areas, but the alternate address must be in areas already served from the school the student attends or within 1 mile outside of the attendance area. All requests are decided on a case-by-case basis. Call the scheduling office at 512-414-0238 for more information on areas served.
- Remembering that students in wheelchairs must have properly operating lock brakes, foot rests, arm rests and a safety belt.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What happens if I'm not home to receive my child after school?
If no one is home to receive your child when the driver arrives, the driver will continue with the route, keeping your child on the bus until the other children have been transported. Then the driver will make a second attempt to leave your child at your home. If no one is home after the second attempt, the driver will return the child to his/her campus.
2. Why does it take up to three to five business days to begin transportation services for my child?
When a new student is added to or dropped from a driver's list, the time of pick-up and drop-off changes for all students. Parents need information as quickly as possible to adjust to changing pick-up and drop-off times. The driver also needs information about their children before transporting them. The three-day lead between notice and start of transport allows for necessary information processing.
3. Why must my child be on the bus so long?
Door-to-door service requires the drivers to go to multiple locations spread out over a large geographic area, and transport students to locations that are often far away from the child's home attendance school.
4. Whom do I call when I have questions or concerns?
If you have questions or concerns about transportation services for your child, please call the Transportation Department's main line at 512-414-0238, South (Saegert) Terminal at 512-414-6500, Southeast Terminal at 512-414-8510 or North (Nelson) Terminal at 512-414-6520.
5. What if my home address or day care location changes?
All address changes must be reported to the student's school teacher or case manager. Special Needs Students' bus pickup and drop-off locations are maintained in the District's Special Education database. Transportation Department personnel cannot enter or edit information as recorded in the District Student Data system, nor can we act as intermediary between parents and schools regarding address changes.
6. How long do buses wait for special needs students to board the bus?
Special needs bus drivers are instructed to wait up to 3 minutes at the stop for the student to load. In the afternoon, all buses will wait 7 minutes at the school for students to board.