Home > Articles, Education > Your Special Education Student and the NYC Bus Strike – Info, Tips and Updates (courtesy of RCSN)

Your Special Education Student and the NYC Bus Strike – Info, Tips and Updates (courtesy of RCSN)

Seeing as how I’m not trekking 2 hours round trip twice a day with 4 kids, we just secured car service to bring James to school. He’s definitely one person who won’t feel put out not having door-to-door busing (wish I could say the same for our wallet!).

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People Get Ready

By Lori Podvesker
Yesterday I attended a meeting with Chancellor Walcott and other key people from the DOE to discuss how students who receive special education services and their families will be impacted by a bus strike.  While there was some talk about the “politics” part of the strike, much of the conversation focused on the DOE’s plans for the strike. This includes parents of students with IEP’s receiving MetroCards to travel with their children to and from school and also being reimbursed when using public transportation is not an option. Go here for more information.lori and jack on NY1 2Without hearing any clear, workable solutions from the DOE, I started to think about what I can do now to hopefully lessen the additional responsibilities that are lying ahead of us—managing and initially funding the transportation needs of getting our child to and from school which may also include making additional childcare arrangements—ugh!
So here’s what I’m thinking of doing. And honestly, I have to say that I will be proud of myself if I can do half of the things that I am telling the rest of NYC parent world to do. Because I don’t call myself the “shoemaker’s kid without shoes” for nothing!
  • Speaking with my supervisor at work about how a strike may affect my work schedule—can’t be good for anyone if this strike last for a few weeks or months
  • Asking my beloved retired neighbor if he is willing to accompany my son to school on the days when I cannot afford to miss work—hoping he gives us a discounted rate if we need him for a lot of trips
  • Calling 2 or 3 car services to ask about an estimated cost of a round-trip to my son’s school—possibly shelling out $60 a day and waiting to be reimbursed is so NOT cool—this is because my son goes to a public school that is 7 miles away from our house
  • Calling all 3 of the therapists who work with my son afterschool–need to let them know that he might be late or entirely miss therapy because of the strike. I think this is the one thing that bothers me the most about a strike
  • Going to my son’s school to get MetroCards for us to travel on the train—the boy loves riding the subways and he is gonna love this!
  • Asking my son’s caretaker/babysitter if she is able to pick him up at school everyday instead of meeting him at home—leading to one more additional cost (childcare) that we will have to absorb during this strike except there are no reimbursement forms to fill out for the DOE—ouch!
  • Talking about the strike with my son,  and how things will look and feel different for us in the morning and afternoon during the course of the strike—not an easy thing for a child like mine who struggles adapting to new environments
That’s it. I can’t think of anything else to say except HANG IN THERE and know that you can always call us if have any questions. Or feel free to email me at lpodvesker@resourcesnyc.org if you just need a space to vent—I totally get it!

If You Are Feeling the Effects of the Busing Strike, Let the DOE Know! Rachel Howard, Executive Director RCSN While the Department of Education (DOE) has laid out a plan that may work for some families, there are many families with children with special needs who will literally be left behind without more adequate measures. The prospect of missing weeks, and potentially months, of both instructional time and essential related services can have devastating consequences.

If you and your child face difficulties that the DOE does not address, one of the best things you can do is let them know!  You can reach out to Alex Robinson at the office of Pupil Transportation here: arobinson22@schools.nyc.gov.

You can also always call us at 212-677-4650, or email us at info@resourcesnyc.org. We do not have any easy answers to this crisis, but we are happy to help you strategize and try to figure out what’s next.

Links and Transportation Resources
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Bus Strike Will Keep Many Children With Special Needs from Class
Lori on NY1 (Video for NY1 subscribers only)

Bus Strike to Affect Students with Disabilities Most
Helpful collection of resources from Gotham Schools

Families Face Nightmare When Bus Drivers Strike
Lori and other advocates on Schoolbook

  1. January 15, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Your full post isn’t coming up… I’m curious what car service you called? Are you sending him to school without yourself?

    Rachel Who is hoping that the bus will run because they said they would try

    • January 15, 2013 at 9:43 pm

      I’m using Victory car service 718-836-6666 and recommend them wholeheartedly (we used them when I was in labor, when Ian needed surgery and for James as well as day to day trips). Today we called and explained that James was not able to cross any streets alone and needed a very specific drop off point. The vice principal of our school is also awesome and will meet James on the sidewalk and show him where to go in the morning, and will walk him out to the car at the end of the day. Yes, he’s going alone – we tried it once earlier this year when we were having other bus issues and it went okay. Their rates are reasonable as well.

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