Monday, April 20, 2009

What Are Your Emergency Plans for Special Needs Riders and More Headlines

  • We've already talked a bit about how you can prepare for evacuations and emergencies. But have you considered the evacuation needs of your special needs riders? Several elements of Santa Rosa County, Fla., government are working together to better care for special needs residents in emergencies. A computerized mapping system will replace a semi-manual paper system to provide valuable data. How could your department incorporate computerized records for its emergency preparedness?
  • On the data collection note, Louisiana Department of Education received a $4 million grant to improve its information systems. Part of that means creating "three new, stand-alone data systems for the purpose of tracking homeless students, students with disabilities and critical student performance measures."
  • School choice can mean more busing. In an op-ed, the Utica Observer Dispatch argues privately-run charter schools, including special needs schools, offer better choices for all. "No business or institution worth its salt should fear competition. Instead, public school educators should view charter schools as an opportunity to strengthen their own approaches and programs," the piece argues.
  • The Austin Statesman looks at a program that mainstreams special needs students that is at risk of closing. Loud arguing about the value of this sort of program and taxation follows below in the comment section.
  • A Tribute to Teachers and Paraprofessionals of Students with Special Needs. This poem's for you.

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We want this to be an open forum for the hundreds of thousands of people that are involved in transporting special needs students each day. We want to hear what you think, what's going on at your facility and what solutions you've found. But, please, keep it civil. Just like on the bus, we'll have no tolerance for attacks or anything defamatory. We won't write you up, but we'll delete the comments right away. So don't bother. But if you have something to share, this is your place.

STN Editors