BUS ROUTES FOR CHILDREN WITH AN IEP AND A FULL TIME SPECIAL EDUCATION RECOMMENDATION
Once your child has a New York City ID number, the question becomes how to get this number into OPT’s system so that s/he can be on a bus to and from their private special education school. There is not one easy answer because each case is unique to each student. Here are some helpful guidelines.
For children who are entering the DOE system for the first time and have an IEP that recommends a full-time special education program (12:1:1, District 75, defer to CBST), that child is automatically entitled to busing. In this situation his or her nine digit NYC ID number should be sent to OPT by the District Representative who ran your child’s CSE/IEP meeting. My suggestion is that at the end of the CSE/IEP meeting, ask for the email and telephone number of the district representative. Do not tell them that this is to arrange for busing to a private school. Remember at this meeting you are open to considering all placement recommendations – which means both private and public. Simply get this person’s contact information for any further questions you may have.
What happens next can be either that the private school enters your child’s NYC ID number into the OPT system for a bus route, if they are permitted to do so, or the district will do this once they get Notice that your child will be attending a private school. Notice will be the subject of another blog, but for now, suffice it to say that Notices are filed in late August and that’s when bus routes start to get sorted out. At the end of August, you can check the OPT website to see if your child has been assigned a bus route: schools.nyc.gov/offices/transportation/default.htm. If not, I recommend that you contact the district representative to assure that this has been done. This might even mean going down to the CSE with the IEP that has a full time special education recommendation. Be prepared to camp out at the district for hours to accomplish this! Also, make sure to have a back-up plan in case transportation is delayed which can happen for a variety of reasons.
If a child is recommended for a full time special education program and your district or private school is not able to get the child on the bus, speak with your attorney or advocate. In some situations this can give rise to a claim for reimbursement for the cost of your transporting your child to and from school.