Celebrate the End of Another Successful Year

Join us on June 23rd, 2017 at the Freeport Yacht Club for our June Meeting and to celebrate the end of another successful year with the NYAPT Nassau County Chapter. Enjoy dinner, dancing, and a chinese auction from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm. See the flier for more details.

JUNE PTY 2017 FLYER

NYAPT School Bus Poster Contest

NYAPT SCHOOL BUS SAFETY POSTER CONTEST

  • Theme:

My Driver-My Safety Hero!

The New York Association for Pupil Transportation operates the School Bus Safety Poster Contest in accordance with guidelines and rules set out by the National School Bus Safety Week (NSBSW) Committee. Deadlines for submittal of poster entries are established to ensure our ability to judge and select posters for entry into the national competition.

WHO MAY ENTER?

Any student enrolled in a public, parochial, or other private school in New York State may submit an entry.

Posters may be submitted under five categories and winning posters will be selected from each division, as follows:  

  • Division #1 – Grades K-2
  • Division #2 – Grades 3-5
  • Division #3 – Grades 6-8
  • Division #4 – Special Education
  • Division #5 – CAD (Computer Aided Drawing) (May include HS entries)

Click here for full details of contest and for submission form.

Nassau County Monitor and Bus Driver of the Year Award – Call for Nominations

The yellow school bus is an American icon. It represents safety and the traditions of our schools and education system. In New York State, over 2.3 million children ride a yellow school bus to and from school each day. The New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) is a professional organization dedicated to the safe and efficient transportation of our school children each day.   We believe that the school bus ride should be a safe and secure ride. We believe that the school bus should be appropriately equipped and carefully maintained for safety. We believe that every School Bus Driver should be fully qualified, licensed and trained to perform his or her duties and every School Bus Monitor should possess the skills, attitude and training to perform their duties as well. We believe that it is our role as school transportation professionals to ensure that all the elements of a safe and efficient school bus ride are met at all times.   

The Nassau County NYAPT Chapter would like to recognize the professionals who are on the front line of providing exemplary school bus transportation service to our community, the School Bus Driver and the School Bus Monitor. Whether it is assisting students boarding or exiting the school bus, dealing with unruly pupils, waiting at a child’s residence and keeping the child calm because no one is home to accept the child, waking up early to begin a route on time, sitting in highway traffic during rush hour, School Bus Drivers and School Bus Monitors are charged with transporting the world’s most precious cargo, our future. They perform their duties with the utmost concern for our students’ safety and welfare, and for this they should be recognized, honored and commended.

We ask that you take this opportunity to nominate any Driver or Monitor that you feel would deserve such an award by May 1st; on the form provided herein. School Bus Drivers and School Bus Monitors will be selected by the NYAPT Driver Appreciation Committee.   Please nominate Drivers and Monitors that you feel demonstrate excellence in the performance of their duties.  The committee will consider all advanced candidates and will select one in each category that provides outstanding customer service, has exemplary attendance and has accumulated an impeccable driving record.  The selected candidates will be celebrated on May 17, 2017; at the Annual Nassau NYAPT Award meeting.  You will be notified if your nominee has been awarded the Driver of the Year or Monitor of the Year.

Thank you.

Keyana Wright

Nassau NYAPT President

Keynote Highlights Legalities of Transporting Students with Disabilities

“Not all children with disabilities are entitled for transportation as a related service, they are entitled to transportation if non-disabled children are provided transportation,” said Julie Weatherly, an attorney specializing in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, during Tuesday’s general session that highlighted the legal and compliance aspects of transporting students with special needs.

IDEA is the only federal law that provides the definition of transportation as a related service for a student, as dictated by their Individual Education Program, or IEP. It is broadly defined by the U.S. Department of Education, as well as by the courts.

Ultimately, the IDEA recognized transportation as a related service necessary for a child with a disability to benefit from special education services, and includes travel to and from school and between schools or special services required for the child’s disability. The IEP can also require the use of special school bus equipment like lifts and ramps, and even special vehicles.

Weatherly noted the big question on the audience’s mind: Who makes the decision about transportation needs and what exactly constitutes related service, and what doesn’t?

Weatherly addressed the issue by stating that a student’s IEP or Section 504 team will make the final decision whether the student needs transportation as a related service depending on the student’s individual needs and disability.

In her experience with special needs cases, Weatherly mentioned the lack of transportation department presence during IEP team meetings, and she stressed the importance of transportation representation during these meetings in conjunction with parents to make the best decision for the student.

There are two approaches behind the decision making for related services. Weatherly explained transportation is not an entitlement.

The primary approach is to pay for the transportation rather than to litigate for it. Most cases have adopted a unique analysis, which is based on the student’s disability. The second is more of an axis approach, she said, deciding if the child needs transportation in order to access their program. This approach, she added is rarely seen in courtrooms.

Weatherly went on to address more practices that can be viewed as discriminatory against children with disabilities. For instance, she spoke about the length of school days and bus rides.

“The next (issue) that I get very often, the school day of a disability student cannot be shortened solely to convenience transportation or for any other reason than the child’s individual disability,” said Weatherly.

Referencing a case from Alabama, which was investigated by the Department of Justice’s Office of Civil Rights, or OCR, Weatherly told of a group of students with disabilities who were released early from school in order to accommodate transportation. OCR deemed the case showed a violation of student rights because the children being treated differently than their non-disabled peers.

Case after case, Weatherly provided the audience with vivid examples regarding transportation policies for special needs students designed to help the audience understand the importance of following set procedures and avoiding unintentional or intentional discrimination. Embracing the thinking-outside-the-box method, Weatherly emphasized the need to take action to avoid crucial outcomes for students with disabilities, such as regarding incidents of bullying.

From School Transportation News – March 2017

by Gabriella Mungaro

Nassau Chapter Steps Up Big

1-27-2017 10-49-50 PM
1-27-2017 10-50-02 PM

Hats off to the Nassau Chapter of NYAPT for its generosity of spirit and treasures! The Chapter recently donated $2,000 to the Winthrop Children’s Cancer Center and also donated hundreds of toys and gift cards for the children’ “Winter Wonderland Room” at the Center. Thanks to James Popkin and Joe Williams as chapter leaders but thanks as well to ALL in the chapter who took up this effort and did so much for the children.