Busing tends to be a source of worry and concern for many parents at the start of the school year. Even if you are a veteran to the world of special education, making sure that your child is on the correct bus and has a reasonable route to and from school is an important consideration in making school a successful experience. The next series of blogs will explain how the transportation system works and assist you in getting this needed service, or help you make alternate plans.
The Office of Pupil Transportation (“OPT”) is the office at the Department of Education (“DOE”) responsible for assigning and routing school busses. For a child to be assigned a bus route, OPT must have the child’s nine digit NYC ID number in their system. Sometimes this number is still referred to by its old name as “OSIS” number. This number is assigned to all children registered with and known to the DOE. If a child has never attended a public school or has never received services through the Committee on Special Education (“CSE”) or the Committee on Pre-School Special Education (“CPSE”), s/he will not have an ID number and have absolutely no right to a bus. This is always the case when a child is coming out of a private school and there has never been any contact with the DOE concerning this child. If your child does not have a DOE NYC ID number and you want a DOE bus or a metro card for your child, the first order of business is to get this number assigned to your child. If you are working with an attorney or advocate, they should start working on this with you. If you are doing this on your own, either go to your local public school and register your child and get a number or write to your CSE for an evaluation and a review, and a number will be assigned.