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A Guide for the Transportation
of Preschoolers and Children
with Disabilities for
North Carolina Public Schools
Transportation Policies, Guidelines, and Best Practices
“A journey of a thousand miles
begins with a single step.”
- Chinese Proverb
The Exceptional Children Transportation Manual Steering Committee is pleased to provide you with this
important resource. Growing numbers of children transported to and from the Public Schools of North
Carolina have special needs, whether classified as students with disabilities, preschool students or others.
Meeting their needs is a challenge to transporters, and it is the intent of this committee to share important
information designed to meet this challenge.
Recognizing the importance of the project, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program provided
funding to the Pupil Transportation Program at the Institute for Transportation Research and
Education (ITRE) at NC State University. ITRE coordinated the efforts of concerned parties at the state
and local level to compile this information.
While the document is not law, it contains applicable state and federal laws. While it is not State Board of
Education policy, it contains relevant State Board of Education policies. In addition to these regulations,
the document compiles information gathered by the project team and a “best practice” approach to many
relevant situations.
Our objective was to develop a document designed to serve as a reference and best practice guide
for state administrators, local school transportation staff, and special education personnel. Its primary
purpose is to assist local school districts in safely arranging for and providing special transportation
for preschool students and students with disabilities. The document is also intended to serve as a
foundation for training and collaboration. The committee members listed on the back of this page
offered their support of this project and their professional expertise. We welcome your questions,
comments, and suggestions.
Sponsored by the School Transportation Group, the Institute for Transportation Research and Education at North
Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, in Cooperation
with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the North Carolina Special Needs
Transportation Manual Steering Committee. Funded by the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program.
First Edition, Published January 2003.
Disclaimer
This manual, A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with Disabilities
for North Carolina Public Schools, Transportation Policies, Guidelines, and Best Practices, was
prepared using resources believed to be current, accurate, reliable, and consistent with best practices
in special needs transportation, at the time of publication. The accuracy of the information is
not guaranteed nor is any responsibility assumed or implied by neither the Public Schools of
North Carolina nor the steering committee, for any injuries or loss resulting from inaccuracies or
omissions.
It is published with the understanding North Carolina Public Schools and the steering committee are
not engaged in legal, accounting or other professional services. Readers who require legal or other
expert opinion or assistance should seek a competent professional.
The Exceptional Children Transportation Manual Steering Committee
Steve Beachum
Valerie Herndon
Janet O’Neal, PT
Patricia R. Calloway
Laurie Vandiford Hobbs
Connie Phillips
Transportation Consultant
Department of Public Instruction
Assistant Operations Manager
for Transportation
W/S Forsyth County Schools
Scott Denton
Consultant, Exceptional Children Division
NC Department of Public Instruction
Layout/Graphic Design
Institute for Transportation
Research and Education (ITRE)
North Carolina State University
Transportation Director
Franklin County Schools
Wake County Transportation Consultant
Donna Hudson
Derek Graham
Janet Kerr, PT
Section Chief, Transportation
NC Department of Public Instruction
Transportation Supervisor
Durham Public Schools
Physical Therapist
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Lead Physical Therapist
Wake County Schools
EC Program Specialist
Onslow County Schools
Debbie Roberson
Preschool Transportation
Durham Public Schools
Kristine Smith, PT
Lead Physical Therapist
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Jeff Tsai
Elizabeth Hammond, PT
Lori Messer
Transportation Director
Moore County Schools
Director, Pupil Transportation
Institute for Transportation
Research and Education (ITRE)
North Carolina State University
Vern Hatley
Charles Mitchell
Michael Viar
Physical Therapist
Cabarrus County Schools
Senior Director of Transportation
Wake County Schools
Director
DMV School Bus & Traffic Safety
Department of Health and
Human Services
Services Coordinator
Thank You!
In March, 2001 a group of interested professionals from North Carolina attended the National
Conference and Exhibition on Transporting Students with Disabilities and Preschoolers. Representatives
came from the state and local level, from transportation and EC areas, and participated in an informal
meeting and brainstorming session to discuss the need for a statewide resource in which relevant laws,
policies, and best practices could be compiled. Many of those attendees are represented on the committee
that developed this manual. Others did not serve on the committee but helped to review the final drafts of
the document and provided important feedback.
Many times in this document you will find references to “best practice” collaboration, and working
together. To provide the highest level of transportation for our children requires true collaboration,
especially when dealing with the special needs of children. This committee and others asked to be
involved, set a prime example of collaboration and cooperation. Appreciation is also extended to the
Exceptional Children Division, Behavioral Support Services and Policy, Monitoring, and Audit Sections,
Public Schools of North Carolina, for their contribution to the publication.
To all who participated in a small or large way - Thank you for taking the time to contribute to such
an important project.
Table of Contents
Chapter Listing
1 — Laws, Policies, and Regulations.......................... 1-1
2 — Disabilities and Health Conditions..................... 2-1
3 — Behavior Management and Discipline ............... 3-1
4 — Communication and Collaboration.................... 4-1
5 — Routing and Scheduling .................................... 5-1
6 — Specialized Equipment:
Descriptions and
Procedures........................................................ 6-1
“The dream is
real, my friends.
The failure to
make it work is
the unreality.”
- Toni Cade
Bambara
7 — Emergency Evacuation Procedures..................... 7-1
8 — Training for Transporters ................................... 8-1
9
— Transporting Preschool Children........................ 9-1
REFERENCES
GLOSSARY
CHAPTER 1
Laws, Policies, and Regulations
1.1
Federal Laws - Acts and Amendments............... 1-2
1.2
Head Start Transportation................................. 1-4
1.3
North Carolina Statutes.................................... 1-6
1.4
Procedures Governing Programs and Services
for Children with Disabilities........................... 1-10
Definitions ................................................. 1-10
Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team 1-13
IEP for Children with Disabilities ................. 1-13
Preschool IEP Team..................................... 1-14
Confidentiality............................................ 1-15
Free and Appropriate Services .................... 1-15
Disciplinary Suspensions............................. 1-16
Transportation ............................................ 1-17
“I am beginning
to think it is
the sweet,
1.5
Division of School Services Rules and Regulations
for the Allocation and Use of Funds for Contract
Transportation of Exceptional Children............ 1-19
1.6
Title 16, North Carolina Administrative Code
(Excerpts from Sub Chapter 6B-Student
Transportation System) .................................. 1-21
simple things of
life which are
the real ones
after all.”
Appendix 1A - Sample Contract............................... 1-22
-Laura Ingalls
Wilder
Laws, Policies, and Regulations
1.1 Federal Laws — Acts and Amendments
U.S. Constitution-Fourteenth Amendment
The U.S. Constitution provides that no state may deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection
of the laws. A state must treat all persons alike. Therefore, disabled individuals are provided this “equal
protection” of access to school bus transportation services.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 1990 (IDEA) (formerly the Education for all
Handicapped Children Act of 1975
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires public schools to make available to all eligible
students with disabilities a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE)
appropriate to their individual needs. This changed the terminology of “handicapped children” to “children with
disabilities” and broadened the definition of the terms “assistive technology device” and “assistive technology
service.”
IDEA mandates public school systems to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each child.
The specific special education and related services outlined in each IEP reflects the individualized needs
of each student
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); Federal Register/Vol. 64, No.
48/Friday, March 12, 1999/Rules and Regulations 34 CFR Part 303 Early Intervention
Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities (Part C of the Individual with
Disabilities Act)
This section encourages states to maintain and implement a statewide comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary, interagency system of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their
families. Early intervention services also include transportation and related cost of travel that are necessary
to enable eligible children under this part and their families to receive early intervention services. Therefore,
districts may provide transportation services to infants and toddlers with disabilities as part of a local program
or part of an interagency program.
The Education of All Handicapped Children’s Act Amendments of 1986
(EHCA) Part H
Part H addressed the need for early intervention for infants and toddlers. States were offered financial
incentives to establish an extensive, statewide service among numerous agencies that would be provided to
children from birth through two years of age. In addition, it lowered the age of eligibility for special education
and related services for all children with disabilities to age three and required that all eligible children receive
early intervention services. This law also required that services be specified in the Individualized Family
Service Plan (IFSP). The responsibilities of transportation services are defined as the cost of travel that is
necessary to enable an eligible child and the child’s family to receive early intervention services.
The Handicapped Children’s Protection Act of 1986 (P. L. 99-372)
This law amended EHA to authorize the award of reasonable attorney’s fees to parents who prevail in due
process hearings and judicial proceedings in dispute over special education and related services.
The Education For All Handicapped Children Act of 1975
(Pub. L. 94-142) (EHCA)
The Education For All Handicapped Children Act guaranteed a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) ,
including special education and related services, to all handicapped children. It also provides funding to help
states bear the additional costs they would incur in educating handicapped students. It provides that they
must be educated with other, non disabled students to the extent possible (Least Restrictive Environment)
and establishes an elaborate system of procedural safeguards to ensure parental input. Persons involved with
the student’s special education program must be appropriately trained. Transportation services may include
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Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Laws, Policies, and Regulations
schools, travel in and around school buildings, specialized equipment (lift buses), counseling, or social work
services.
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
The privacy rights of students extend to education records maintained by a school district and by a person
acting for the school district. Personal notes made by a driver concerning a student for their own use and
not available to other persons, except a substitute driver, are not subject to FERPA. Disclosure of “personally
identifiable information” about a student to persons other than professional personnel employed in the school
district is prohibited without parental consent. Parental consent is the guiding principle regarding the release
or exchange of student records and information in those records. Emergency information should be carried on
the bus at all times to provide appropriate identification for students in emergency situations.
Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-112)
The Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities by any recipient of federal
funding, including public schools. Section 504 covers persons with a disability who would otherwise be
qualified to participate in and benefit from programs or other activities receiving federal financial assistance.
Section 504 has been used as the foundation for special education complaints involving transportation
services, such as access to bus service, length of ride, transportation costs to parents, loss of instructional
time, suspension, method of transportation, and specialized needs.
The Civil Rights Act of 1994 and The Education Amendments of 1972 (Title VI, Title
VII and Title IX)
These laws protect the civil rights and equal educational opportunities of all individuals regardless of race,
color, religion, sex, or national origin. Harassment and discriminatory behavior that denies civil rights or access
to equal educational opportunities include comments, name calling, physical conduct or other expressive
behavior directed at an individual or group that intentionally demeans the race, color, religion, sex, or national
origin of the individual(s) or creates an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment for education.
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Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
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Laws, Policies, and Regulations
1.2 Head Start Transportation
Head Start Transportation Regulations-Code of Federal Regulations CFR 1310
Head Start regulations for transportation were published on January 18, 2001. This statue consists of
provisions for establishing requirements for safety features, training, and safe operations of vehicles that are
used to transport children participating in Head Start programs.
The Final Rule: 45 CFR 1310
The final rule clearly defines regulations that apply to all entities that provide transportation to children who
participate in Head Start and Early Head Start programs. The major topics addressed include:
• Types of vehicles used on a daily routes
• Equipment requirements for allowable vehicles
• Vehicle maintenance and inspection
• Driver qualifications and employment practices
• Use of monitors on vehicles
• Training for drivers, monitors, parents, and children
• Administrative procedures
• Records-keeping
• Deadline: February 20, 2001
1310.02
• Request for waiver of specific requirements in 45 CFR 1310
1310.12
• Funds approved to purchase vehicles to transport children must be used to purchase
school buses or allowable alternate
vehicles equipped with height and weight-appropriate child safety restraint systems and reverse beeper
• Deadline: January 18, 2002
1310.10
• Communication system on vehicles to call for assistance in case of emergency
• Safety equipment: fire extinguisher, first aid kit, seat belt cutter
• Auxiliary seating compliance
• Mandatory accident reporting
• Release of children only to authorized individuals
• Updated rosters on buses at all times
1310.13
• Annual vehicle inspections by state-licensed program
• System of preventive maintenance of vehicles
1310.14
• Vehicle bid announcements to contain notice of inspection of school buses and allowable alternate vehicles
(AAV) at time of delivery
• Prescribed procedure for examining such vehicles at time of delivery to ensure compliance with specs
• Manufacturer’s certificate of compliance with applicable FMVSSs is included with each vehicle
1310.5
• On vehicles equipped for use of such devices, children weighing 50 pounds or less to be seated in a child
restraint system, appropriate to the child’s height and weight, while the vehicle is in motion
• Baggage and other items properly stored and secured
• Aisles clear, door and emergency exits unobstructed at all times
• All vehicle occupants to be seated and wearing height and weight appropriate safety restraints while the
bus is in motion, except for bus monitors who are assisting children
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Laws, Policies, and Regulations
1310.16
• Drivers to have valid Commercial Driver’s License (in states where granted), meet physical, mental, and
other requirements necessary to perform job-related functions
• Applicant review process
• Applicants to be notified of required background checks
• Established criteria for rejection of unacceptable applicants
1310.17
• Compliance with applicable state requirements
• Annual evaluation of drivers, including on-board observation
• Required training of monitors relative to passenger safety prior to working
1310.20
• Safety of children being the primary consideration in planning fixed routes
• Adherence to basic principles of routing listed in Paragraph (b) of this section
1310.21
• Training for parents and children in pedestrian safety
• Training for children who receive transportation services and their parents in safe riding practices, boarding
and disembarking leaving the bus, recognition of danger zones around the bus, emergency procedures,
evacuation drills, etc.
• Emergency evacuation drills are required within 30 days of the beginning of the Head Start Program year on
the same vehicle the child will be riding and at least twice during the year thereafter
• Activities developed by each agency to reinforce safety training
1310.22
• Ensure compliance with ADA, Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973, HHS regulations of 45 CFR 84 and
applicable Head Start Performance Standards
• Special requirements included in the IEP and/or IFSP and compliance with special requirements
• Whenever possible, children with disabilities shall be transported with their non-disabled peers
1310.23
• Make reasonable attempts to coordinate transportation resources with other local human services agencies
• Be able to identify true costs for providing transportation services
• Explore the option of participating in any coordinated local public or private transportation systems
• If other public or private non-profit transportation system exists, make every attempt to identify other
human services agencies also providing transportation services and, where reasonable, participate in the
establishment of a local transportation coordinating council
• Deadline: April 18, 2002
1310.17
• All persons employed to drive vehicles used to transport children to have completed required classroom and
behind-the-wheel training as specified in Paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section
• Newly hired drivers to have training specified in Paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section before being permitted
to transport children
• Refresher courses for all drivers
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Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
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Laws, Policies, and Regulations
1.3 North Carolina Statutes
115 C-106. Special Education, Part 1. State Policy
(a) The General Assembly of North Carolina hereby declares that the policy of
the State is to ensure every child a fair and full opportunity to reach his full
potential and that no child as defined in this section and in G.S. 115C-122
shall be excluded from service or education for any reason whatsoever. This
policy shall be the practice of the State for children from birth through age
21 and the State requires compliance by all local education agencies and
local school administrative units, all local human resources agencies including,
but not limited to, local health departments, local social service departments,
community mental health centers and all State departments, agencies,
institutions except institutions of higher education, and private providers which are recipients of general
funds as these funds are defined in G.S. 143-1.
(b) The policy of the State is to provide a free appropriate publicly supported education to every child with
special needs. The purpose of this Article is to (i) provide for a system of special educational opportunities
for all children requiring special education, hereinafter called children with special needs; (ii) provide a
system for identifying and evaluating the educational needs of all children with special needs; (iii) require
evaluation of the needs of such children and the adequacy of special education programs before placing
children in the programs; (iv) require periodic evaluation of the benefits of the programs to the children
and the nature of the children’s needs after placement; (v) prevent denials of equal educational opportunity
on the basis of physical, emotional, or mental handicap; (vi) assure that the rights of children with special
needs and their parents or guardians are protected; (vii) ensure that there be no inadequacies, inequities,
and discrimination with respect to children with special needs; and (viii) bring State law, regulations, and
practice into conformity with relevant federal law. (1973, c. 129, ss. 2-4; 1975, c. 563, ss. 1-5; 1977, c. 927,
ss. 1, 2,; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1295; 1981, c. 423, s. 1.)
115C-108. Definition of special education and related services.
The term “special education” means specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents or guardians,
to meet the unique needs of a special needs child, including classroom instruction, instruction in physical
education, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions. The term also includes speech
pathology, audiology, occupational and physical therapy. The term “related services” means transportation for
handicapped children with special needs who are unable because of their handicap to ride the regular school
buses and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a special
needs child to benefit from special education and includes speech pathology and audiology, psychological
services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, early identification and assessment of disabilities
in children, counseling services, and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes only. The term
also includes school social work services, parent counseling and training, providing parents with information
about child development and assisting parents in understanding the special needs of their child. Other similar
services, materials, and equipment may be provided as approved by regulations adopted by the State Board
of Education. (1977, c. 927, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1985, c. 479, s. 26(a).)
115C-109. Definition of children with special needs.
The term “children with special needs” includes, without limitation, all children from age five through age 20
who, because of permanent or temporary mental, physical or emotional handicaps, need special education,
are unable to have all their needs met in a regular class without special education or related services, or
are unable to be adequately educated in the public schools. It includes those who are mentally retarded,
epileptic, learning disabled, cerebral palsied, seriously emotionally disturbed, orthopedically impaired, autistic,
multiple handicapped, pregnant, hearing-impaired, speech-impaired, blind or visually impaired, and other
health impaired. 1977, c. 927, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1983, c. 247, ss. 1, 2; 1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 1034,
ss. 23, 24; 1985, c. 780, ss. 3, 4; 1996, 2nd Ex. Sess., c. 18, s. 18.24(b).)
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115C-146.1. (Part 14. Handicapped Children, Ages Three to Five) Definitions.
The term “preschool handicapped children” means all handicapped children:
(1) Who have reached their third birthday and whose parents have requested services from the public
schools, which services shall start no later than the beginning of the school year immediately following
the children’s third birthday;
(2) Who are not eligible to enroll in public kindergarten; and
(3) Who, because of permanent or temporary mental, physical, or emotional handicaps, need special
education and related services in order to prepare them to benefit from the educational programs provided by the public schools, beginning with kindergarten. This term includes children who are mentally
retarded, learning disabled, seriously emotionally disturbed, autistic, cerebral palsied, orthopedically
impaired, hearing impaired, speech impaired, blind or visually impaired, multiply handicapped, or
other health impaired. All evaluations performed pursuant to this part shall be appropriate to the
individual child’s age and development. (1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1003, s. 5.)
115C-146.2. (Part 14. Handicapped Children, Ages Three to Five) Entitlement
to services.
Preschool handicapped children are entitled, at no cost to their parents or guardians, to individualized
programs specifically designed to meet their unique needs for special education and related services. (1989
(Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1003, s. 5.)
115C-250. Authority to expend funds for transportation of children with special
needs.
a. The State Board of Education and local boards of education may expend public funds for transportation
of handicapped children with special needs who are unable because of their handicap to ride the
regular school buses and who have been placed in programs by a local school board as a part of
its duty to provide such children with a free appropriate education, including its duty under G. S.
115C-115. At the option of the local board of education with the concurrence of the State Board
of Education, funds appropriated to the State Board of Education for contract transportation of
exceptional children may be used to purchase buses and minibuses as well as for the purposes
authorized in the budget. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules and regulations concerning
the construction and equipment of these buses and minibuses. The Department of Health and Human
Services, the Office of Juvenile Justice, and the Department of Correction may also expend public
funds for transportation of handicapped children with special needs who are unable because of their
handicap to ride the regular school buses and who have been placed in programs by one of these
agencies as a part of that agency’s duty to provide such children with a free appropriate public
education. If a local area mental health center places a child with special needs in an educational
program, the local area mental health center shall pay for the transportation of the child, if handicapped
and unable because of the handicap to ride the regular school buses, to the program.
G.S. 143-300.
The state Tort Claims Act (STCA) is contained in G. S. 143-300. 1 and covers the local board of education
from all claims of negligent operations or maintenance of public school buses or school transportation service
vehicles. For example, driver negligence is insured for such claims as hitting another car, destroying property,
(e.g. mailbox), or an accident causing students to be insured.
G.S. 115C-242. Summary of Tort Claims as it relates to five and under population
The STCA provided coverage in the following, provided the driver is employed and paid by the LEA and is
operating a bus as allowed under G. S. 115c-242:
• Transporting children with special needs (preschool handicapped program, ages three, four, and five),
receiving education and local education agencies and transported on school buses.
• Transporting Chapter 1 Pre-Kindergarten pupils receiving education in local education agencies and
transported on school buses.
• Transporting Head Start pupils receiving education housed in a building owned and operated by local
education agencies and transported by school bus.
• Transporting students participating in Smart Start Program.
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Laws, Policies, and Regulations
• Transporting mothers of infants enrolled in Mothers and Infants Educational or similar programs being
operated by local education agencies. Since infants are neither pupils nor enrolled in school, the
language of this article may make them ineligible for Tort coverage; however, an LEA may incur liability
in the case of an accident or injury to the infants while being transported. (LEAs should secure
insurance coverage for infants in this instance).
G. S. 20-137. 1. North Carolina Child Passenger Safety Law
The North Carolina Child Passenger Safety Law states that children less than age five and less than 40
pounds must be secured in a weight-appropriate child safety seat in the back if the vehicle has an active front
passenger-side air bag. At age five, a seat belt may be used instead of a safety seat. Children who weigh 40
pounds or more can also be move to a seat belt at any age. However, the law exempts vehicles not required
to have seat belts and federal standards do not require seat belts on school buses. The larger buses do not
have seat belts because they rely on strong, well padded, energy absorbing seats and higher seat backs
to ‘compartmentalize’ and protect passengers during a crash. Seat belts are required on small school buses
(under 10,000 lbs.) and children being transported in these smaller buses are covered under the NC Child
Passenger Safety Law.
115C-245. School bus drivers; monitors; safety assistants
a. Each local board which elects to operate a school bus transportation system shall employ the
necessary drivers for such school buses. The drivers shall have all qualifications prescribed by the
regulations of the State Board of Education herein provided for and must be at least 18 years old
and have at least six months driving experience as a licensed operator of a motor vehicle before
employment as a regular or substitute driver, but the selection and employment of each driver shall
be made by the local board of education, and the driver shall be the employee of such local school
administrative unit. Each local board of education shall assign the bus drivers employed by it to the
respective schools within the jurisdiction of such board, and the superintendent or superintendent’s
designee shall assign the drivers to the school buses to be driven by them. No school bus shall at any
time be driven or operated by any person other than the bus driver assigned to such bus except by the
express direction of the superintendent or superintendent’s designee or in accordance with rules and
regulations of the appropriate local board of education.
b. The driver of a school bus subject to the direction of the
superintendent or superintendent’s designee shall have
complete authority over and responsibility for the operation of the bus and the maintaining of good order and
conduct upon such bus, and shall report promptly to the
principal any misconduct upon such bus or disregard or
violation of the driver’s instructions by any person riding
upon such bus. The principal may take such action with
reference to any such misconduct upon a school bus,
or any violation of the instructions of the driver, as he
might take if such misconduct or violation had occurred
upon the grounds of the school.
c. The driver of any school bus shall permit no person to
ride upon such bus except pupils or school employees
assigned thereto or persons permitted by the express
direction of the superintendent or superintendent’s designee to ride thereon.
d. The superintendent or superintendent’s designee may,
in his discretion, appoint a monitor for any bus assigned
to any school. It shall be the duty of such monitor,
subject to the direction of the driver of the bus, to
preserve order upon the bus and do such other things
Page 1- 8
SCHOOL
LAWS
North Carolina
Public
School Laws
Governing Pupil
Transportation
www. NCBUSSAFETY. org/
schoollaws. html
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Laws, Policies, and Regulations
as may be appropriate for the safety of the pupils and employees assigned to such bus while boarding
such bus, alighting therefrom or being transported thereon, and to require such pupils and employees
to conform to the rules and regulations established by the local board of education for the safety of
pupils and employees upon school buses. Such monitors shall be unpaid volunteers who shall serve at
the pleasure of the superintendent or superintendent’s designee.
e. A local board of education may, in its discretion within funds available, employ transportation safety
assistants upon recommendation of the principal through the superintendent. The safety assistants
thus employed shall assist the bus drivers with the safety, movement, management, and care of
children boarding the bus, leaving the bus, or being transported in it. The safety assistant should be
either an adult or a certified student driver who is available as a substitute bus driver. (1955, c. 1372,
art. 21, s. 6; 1979, c. 719, ss. 1-4; 1979, 2nd Sess. , c. 1156; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1987, c. 276; 1989,
c. 558, s. 2; 1998-220, s. 4.)
115C-253. Contracts for transportation
Any local board of education may, in lieu of the operation by it of public school buses, enter into a contract
with any person, firm or corporation for the transportation by such person, firm or corporation of pupils enrolled
in the public schools of such local school administrative unit for the same purposes for which such local
school administrative unit is authorized by this article to operate public school buses. Any vehicle used by
such person, firm or corporation for the transportation of such pupils shall be constructed and equipped as
provided in rules and regulations promulgated by the State Board of Education, and the driver of such vehicle
shall possess all of the qualifications prescribed by rules and regulations promulgated by the State Board of
Education: Provided, that where a contract for transportation of pupils is entered into between a local board
of education and any person, firm or corporation which contemplates the use of an automobile or vehicle
other than a bus for the transportation of 16 pupils or less, the automobile or vehicle shall not be required to
be constructed and equipped as provided for in G. S. 115C-240(c) , but shall be constructed and equipped
pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the State Board of Education. In the event that any local
board of education shall enter into such a contract, the board may use for such purposes any funds which it
might use for the operation of school buses owned by the board, and the tax-levying authorities of the county
or of the city may provide in the county or city budget such additional funds as may be necessary to carry out
such contracts. (1955, c. 1372, art. 21, s. 11; 1975, c. 382; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1987, c. 827, ss. 49, 50.)
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1.4 Procedures Governing Programs and Services
for Children with Disabilities
The procedures governing programs and services for children with disabilities are prepared by the
Exceptional Children Division, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, for the purpose of compliance
with state and federal laws regarding children and youth with disabilities, ages three through twenty-one. This
section of the publication includes excerpts from current procedures that were adopted by the State Board
of Education in August 2000.
. 1501 DEFINITIONS
A. Children with Disabilities
The term “children with disabilities” includes, without limitation, all children who, because of permanent or
temporary mental, physical or emotional disabilities, need special education, are unable to have all their
educational needs met in a regular class without special education and related services, or are unable
to be adequately educated in the public schools. The term “preschool children with disabilities” includes,
without limitation, all three and four year old children and those five year old children who are ineligible for
kindergarten and who because of permanent or temporary cognitive, communication, social/emotional and/or
adaptive disabilities are unable to have all of their developmental needs met in a natural environment without
special education and related services. Preschool children with disabilities become eligible for services upon
reaching their third birthday.
1. Autism (AU)
Autism is a developmental disorder that is characterized by significant impairment in social interactions and
communication abilities. Students with autism may also show repetitive behaviors during various activities.
These students may have difficulty with changes in the daily routine and may respond excessively to noises
or to touch.
2. Behaviorally-Emotionally Disabled (BED)
Behaviorally-emotionally disabled students are students who exhibit long-standing patterns of inappropriate
behavior that interfere with the student’s ability to learn. A student with a behavioral-emotional disability has
one or more of the following that cannot be attributed to physical, sensory, or intellectual deficits:
a. Inability to achieve adequate academic progress
b. Inability to maintain satisfactory relationships
c. Inappropriate or immature behavior under normal conditions
d. A general mood of unhappiness or depression
e. A tendency to develop physical symptoms, pains, or fears associated with self or school.
3. Deaf-Blind (DB)
Deaf-Blind students have both hearing and visual impairments that may cause severe communication and
educational problems.
4. Hearing Impaired (HI)
Hearing Impaired students are those with hearing losses that are disabling educationally and
developmentally. Hearing impaired is a term that includes deafness and all hearing losses ranging from mild
to profound hearing loss.
5. Mentally Disabled (EMD -Educable Mentally Disabled; TMD - Trainable Mentally
Disabled; S/PMD - Severely/Profoundly Mentally Disabled)
Mentally disabled students are those who have intellectual abilities that are significantly below average and
a reduced rate of learning which adversely affects their educational performance. Adaptive behaviors are
also impaired.
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6. Multihandicapped (MU)
Multihandicapped students have a primary disability that is cognitive and/or behavioral in combination with
one or more other disabilities. The combination of these disabilities causes developmental and educational
problems.
7. Orthopedically Impaired (OI)
Orthopedically impaired students posses a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects their educational performance. The category includes impairments caused by congenital abnormalities and impairments
from other causes.
8. Other Health Impaired (OH)
Other health-impaired students have chronic or acute health problems that cause limited strength, vitality
or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli to such an extent that special
educational services are necessary. The health problems may include heart conditions, chronic lung disease,
tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning,
leukemia, diabetes, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, genetic impairments or
some other illness which may cause a student to have limited strength, vitality or alertness, adversely affecting
educational performance or developmental progress.
9. Pregnant Students
Pregnant students with special educational needs are those who, because of their pregnancy, require
special education and/or related services other than that which can be provided through regular
education services.
10. Developmentally Delayed (DD)
Children identified in this area are those ages three through seven whose development and/or behavior is so
significantly delayed or atypical that special education and related services are required.
11. Specic Learning Disabled (LD)
Specific learning disability is term used to describe a variety of processing disorders. Students classified as
learning disabled are those who, after receiving instructional intervention in the regular education setting,
have a substantial discrepancy between ability and achievement. The student may have difficulty with one
or more of the following: listening, speaking, writing, reading, comprehending reading material, calculating
mathematical problems, and mathematical reasoning. A learning disability may occur with other disabilities.
Learning disabilities does not include children with learning problems that are the result of other disabilities
and/or environmental/cultural/economic influences.
12. Speech-Language Impaired (SL)
A student who has a speech-language impairment has a disorder in articulation, language, voice, and/or
fluency of speech.
13. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Traumatic brain injury is an acquired open or closed head injury caused by an external force that impairs a
student’s cognitive, communicative, perceptual, behavioral, social-emotional, and/or physical abilities to the
extent that the student requires special education. Congenital, degenerative, or brain injuries induced by birth
trauma are not included in this category. The student may display a wide variety of deficits depending on the
extent and location of the brain injury. The deficits may include difficulty with the following: memory, attention,
learning, abstract thinking, motor skills, speech, and/or behavior.
14. Visually Impaired (VI)
Students who are identified as visually impaired have visual impairments that range from partially seeing to
legally blind which require special education and/or related services other than that which can be provided
through regular education services.
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B. Free Appropriate Public Education
As used in this part, the term “free appropriate public education” means special education and related services
which:
1. are provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge;
2. meet the standards of the state education agency;
3. include preschool, elementary school, or secondary school; and
4. are provided in conformity with an individualized education program for students with disabilities or
written educational program for the pregnant.
C. Individualized Education Program
As used in this section, the term “individualized education program” (IEP) means a written statement for a
student with a disability that is developed and implemented pursuant to Section .1507 of these procedures.
D. Least Restrictive Environment
Least restrictive environment means that, to the maximum extent possible, children with disabilities shall
be educated with children who are not disabled. After examining all alternatives or placement within an
educational system, children with disabilities shall be placed where they can obtain the appropriate educational services which meet their individual educational/developmental needs as close to and as nearly like a
regular classroom setting as possible. For preschool children with disabilities, this shall be interpreted to mean
the most natural environment possible.
E. Related Services
“Related services” means transportation, and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services
(including speech pathology and audiology; orientation and mobility services; psychological services; physical
and occupational therapy; recreation including therapeutic recreation; social work services; medical and
counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling), as may be required to assist a child with a disability
to benefit from special education, and includes the early identification and assessment of disabling conditions
in children. Medical services shall be for diagnostic and evaluation purposes only. A student who does not
require special education is not eligible for a related service funded under this program. “Transportation”
includes the following:
a. travel to and from school and between schools;
b. travel in and around school buildings; and
c. specialized equipment (such as special or adaptive buses, lifts, and ramps), if required to provide
special transportation for a child with a disability.
F. Special Education
Special education is specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parent, to meet the unique needs of
the child with a disability, including classroom instruction, instruction in physical education, home instruction,
instruction in hospitals and institutions, and instruction in other settings. The term also includes vocational
education and travel training if it consists of specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parent, to meet
the unique needs of a child with a disability.
G. Transition
Transition is a coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome-oriented process, which
promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational
training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult
services, independent living, or community participation. The coordinated set of activities shall be based
upon the individual student’s needs, taking into account the student’s preferences and interests, and shall
include instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post
school adult living objectives, and, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational
evaluation. Transition services for students with disabilities may be special education, if they are provided as
specially designed instruction, or related services, if they are required to assist a student with a disability to
benefit from special education.
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. 1504 INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM (IEP) TEAM
Members of the IEP Team must include:
1. a representative of the local educational agency who
a. is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of specially designed instruction to meet the unique
needs of children with disabilities,
b. is knowledgeable about the general curriculum,
c. is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the local
educational agency;
2. at least one special education teacher or, where appropriate, at least one
special education provider of such child;
3. at least one regular education teacher of the child (if the child is, or may be,
participating in the regular education environment);
4. an individual who can interpret the instructional implications of
evaluation results, who may be a member of the team described above;
5. the parent(s) of the child;
6. at the discretion of the parent or the local education agency, other individuals
who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related
services personnel as appropriate;
At least one
member of the
IEP Team
should be the
same race and
gender as the
child with a
disability.
7. the child when transition services are discussed and whenever else appropriate,
8. when discussion of transition services will occur, a representative of any other agency that is likely to be
responsible for providing or paying for transition services.
. 1507 IEP FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
The IEP for each child must include:
1. A statement of the child’s present levels of educational performance, including:
a. how the student’s disability affects the student’s participation and progress in the general curriculum;
and
b. for preschool children, as appropriate, how the disability affects the child’s participation in appropriate
activities.
2. A statement of measurable annual goals, including short-term objectives and/or benchmarks, related to:
a. meeting the student’s needs that result from the student’s disability so that the student can be involved
in and progress in the general curriculum; and
b. meeting each of the student’s other needs resulting from the student’s disability.
3. A statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services to be
provided to the student, or on behalf of the student, and a statement of the program modifications or
supports for school personnel that will be provided for the student to:
a. advance appropriately toward attaining the annual goals;
b. be involved and progress in the general curriculum in accordance with the student’s present level of
performance and to participate in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities; and
c. be educated and participate with other students with disabilities and non disabled students.
4. An explanation of the extent, if any, to which the student will not participate with non disabled students in
the regular class and in other activities.
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5. A statement of any individual modifications required for the student with a disability to participate in the
statewide assessment program.
6. A statement of the reasons why a student with a disability will not participate in the statewide assessment
program and how the student will be assessed.
7. The projected date for the beginning of services and modifications described in (1-2), and the anticipated
frequency, location, and duration of the services and modification.
8. Beginning at age 14, and updated annually, a statement of the transition service needs of the student that
focuses on the student’s courses of study.
9. Beginning at age 16, or sooner if applicable, a statement of the needed transition services for the student,
including if necessary a statement of the interagency responsibilities or any needed linkages.
10. A statement that where a participating agency, other than the public agency responsible for the student‘s
education, fails to provide agreed upon transition services contained in the IEP, the public agency shall, as
soon as possible, reconvene a meeting of the participants on the IEP Team to identify alternative strategies
to meet the transition objectives that were included in IEP and revise the IEP if necessary;
11. The contents of the transition plan must meet the requirements of Section .1501 Transition;
12. A statement of:
a. how the student’s progress toward the annual goals will be measured;
b. how the student’s parents will be regularly informed of the student’s progress at least as often as
parents of non disabled students; and
c. the extent to which that progress is sufficient to enable the student to achieve the goals by the end
of the IEP.
. 1508 PRESCHOOL IEP TEAM
Members of the preschool IEP team include the following:
1. Parent(s), guardian, or surrogate;
2. Referring agency personnel, child service coordinator, or teacher or
representative from current service provider if the child is enrolled in an early intervention or preschool
program;
3. Director of programs for exceptional children or a designee from the local education agency other than
the child’s teacher who shall be qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specifically designed
instruction to meet the unique needs of the child, and who is knowledgeable about the financial resources
of the local education agency;
4. Teacher qualified to provide special education;
5. Teacher qualified to provide regular early childhood education or services; and
6. A person knowledgeable about evaluation results who may be one of the other members of the team.
These members shall be involved when the IEP is being developed and placement decisions are being
made. At least one member of the Preschool IEP Team should be the same race and sex as the child
being referred.
Other members may be selected from the following:
7. Principal or designee:
8. Social worker;
9. Guidance counselor;
10. Speech-language pathologist;
11. Physician or school nurse;
12. Physical therapist;
13. Occupational therapist;
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14. Area agency representatives or involved professionals, as
appropriate;
15. Potential service providers; and
16. Other individuals at the discretion of the agency or parent;
The local education agency has legal and fiscal responsibility for ensuring the provision of special education
and related services to three-and four-year old children with disabilities and those five-year old children with
disabilities who are not eligible for kindergarten.
. 1509 CONFIDENTIALITY
Confidential
A. Parental Consent.
1. Parental consent is required prior to release of education records to a third
party, except the following:
a. school officials, including teachers, within the local educational
agency who have legitimate
educational interests;
b. officials of another school or local educational agency in which the
student intends to enroll or obtain services;
c. certain authorized representatives of the state and federal government who are determining eligibility of
the child for aid as provided under Public Law 105-17;
d. when required by a judicial order or any lawfully issued subpoena upon condition that parents/students
are notified by the local educational agency of all such orders or subpoenas in advance of compliance.
e. when the disclosure is in connection with a health or safety emergency. Nothing in this part shall
prevent a local education agency from
i. including in the education records of a student appropriate information concerning disciplinary
action taken against the student for conduct that posed a significant risk to the safety or wellbeing of that student, other students, or other members of the school community;
ii. disclosing appropriate information maintained under this section to teachers and school officials
within the agency or institution who the local education agency has determined have legitimate
educational interests in the behavior of the student;
iii. disclosing appropriate information maintained under this section to teachers and school officials in
other schools who have been determined to have legitimate educational interests in the behavior
of the student.
B. Safeguards.
1. Each agency shall protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information at collection, storage,
disclosure, and destruction stages.
2. One official in each agency shall assume responsibility for insuring the confidentiality of any personally
identifiable information. This official may assign personnel in each school to ensure confidentiality.
3. All persons collecting or using confidential information must receive training or information regarding state
policies and procedures under Section 300. 127 (IDEA) and 34 CFR, Part 99 (FERPA).
4. Each agency shall maintain for public inspection a current listing of the names and positions of those
employees within the agency who have access to personally identifiable information.
. 1515 FREE AND APPROPRIATE SERVICES
It is declared the policy of the State Board of Education in reaffirming action of the General Assembly in Article
9, Special Education, to provide a free appropriate publicly supported education to every child with a disability
ages three through twenty. The State Board reaffirms the finding of the General Assembly “that all children with
disabilities are capable of benefiting from appropriate programs of special education and training and that they
have the ability to be educated and trained and to learn and develop.” No children with disabilities ages three
through twenty shall be denied a free appropriate public education or be prevented from attending the schools
of the local educational agency from which he/she receives services or in which he/she or his/her parents or
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(guardians) reside or from attending a program in a city or county school administrative unit or charter school
confidential because he/she is a child with a disability. A student who becomes twenty-one years of age during
the school year may continue to receive a free appropriate public education during that school year.
. 1516 DISCIPLINARY SUSPENSIONS
A. A local education agency is not required to provide educational services to a student with a disability
during periods of suspension when the student has been removed from his/her current placement for ten
school days or less in that school year, if services are not provided to a student without disabilities who
has been similarly removed.
B. When a student with a disability has been removed from his/her current placement for more than ten school
days in that school year, but the removal does not constitute a change in placement, the local education
agency, for the remainder of the removals must
1. provide services to the extent necessary to enable the student to appropriately progress in the general
curriculum and appropriately advance toward achieving the goals in the student’s IEP; and
2. school personnel, in consultation with the student’s special education teacher, shall determine the
necessary services that the student needs to appropriately progress in the general curriculum and
toward the achievement of the IEP goals.
C. For purposes of disciplinary removal, a change of placement occurs if
1. the removal is for more than ten consecutive school days; or
2. the student is subjected to a series of removals that constitute a pattern because they cumulate to
more than ten school days in a school year, and because of factors such as the length of each removal,
the total amount of time the student is removed, and the proximity of the removals to one another.
D. Authority of School Personnel
1. School personnel may order the removal of a student with a disability:
a. to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting, another setting, or suspension, for not
more than ten consecutive school days for any violation of school rules, and additional removals
of not more than ten consecutive school days in that same school year for separate incidents of
misconduct as long as those removals do not constitute a change in placement; and
b. to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting for the same amount of time that a child
without a disability would be subject to discipline, but for not more than 45 days if
i. the student has a weapon at school or at a school function under the jurisdiction of a state
or a local education agency; or
ii. the student knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs or sells or solicits the sale of a
controlled substance while at school or a school function under the jurisdiction of a state or
local education agency.
2. The appropriate interim alternative educational setting must be determined by the IEP Team.
3. Either before or not later than ten business days after either first removing the student for more than ten
school days in a school year or commencing a removal that constitutes a change in placement:
a. if the local educational agency did not conduct a functional behavioral assessment and implement
a behavioral intervention plan for the student with a disability before the behavior that resulted
in the suspension, the local educational agency shall convene an IEP meeting to develop an
assessment plan to address that behavior; or
b. if the student already has a behavioral intervention plan, the IEP Team shall review the plan and
modify it, as necessary, to address the behavior; and
c. as soon as practicable after developing the plan and completing any required assessments, the
IEP Team shall convene to develop appropriate behavioral interventions to address the behavior
and shall implement those interventions;
d. if subsequently a student with a disability who has a behavioral intervention plan and who
has been removed from the child’s current educational placement for more than ten school
days in a school year is subjected to a removal that does not constitute a change in
placement, the IEP Team shall review the behavioral intervention plan and its implementation to
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determine if modifications are necessary. If one or more team members believe modifications are
necessary, the team shall meet to modify the plan and its implementation as necessary.
E. Authority of Hearing Officer (See Procedures)
F. Manifestation Determination Review.
If a student has a weapon at school or at a school function, or if the student knowingly possesses or uses
illegal drugs or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance while at a school or a school function (.1516
D. b.), or if a hearing officer has ordered a change in placement of a student with a disability to an appropriate
interim alternative educational setting for not more than 45 days (.1516 F), the student may be moved to
an appropriate interim alternative education setting. If a discipline action is contemplated to an appropriate
interim alternative educational setting for the same amount of time that a student without a disability would be
subject to discipline, but not more than 45 days, or involving a removal that constitutes a change of placement
(.1516 C) for a student with a disability who has engaged in other behavior that violated any rule or code of
conduct of the LEA that applies to all children.
1. not later than the date on which the decision to take that action is made, the parents shall be notified of
that decision and of all procedural safeguards accorded under this section; and
2. immediately, if possible, but in no case later than ten school days after the date on which the decision
to take that action is made, a review shall be conducted of the relationship between the student’s
disability and the behavior subject to the disciplinary action.
3. the review shall be conducted in a meeting by the IEP Team and other qualified persons; this review
may be conducted as a part of the meeting conducted in carrying out the activities of .1516 D (3).
4. the IEP Team and other qualified persons may determine that the behavior of the student was not a
manifestation of the student’s disability only if the IEP Team and other qualified persons
a. first consider, in terms of the behavior subject to disciplinary action, all relevant information,
including:
i. evaluation and diagnostic results, including such results or other relevant information
supplied by the parents of the student;
ii. observations of the student;
iii. the student’s IEP and placement,
b. then determine that in relationship to the behavior:
i. the student’s IEP and placement were appropriate and the special education services,
supplementary aids and services, and behavior intervention strategies were provided consistent with the student’s IEP and placement;
ii. the student’s disability did not impair the ability of the student to understand the impact and
consequences of the behavior subject to disciplinary action; and
iii. the student’s disability did not impair the ability of the student to control the behavior subject
to disciplinary action.
G. Determination That the Behavior Was Not a Manifestation Of the Disability.
If the manifestation review determines that the behavior was not a manifestation of the disability, the local
education agency may proceed with the same disciplinary procedures that are used with non disabled
students except the student with a disability must continue to receive a free appropriate public education,
including special education and related services and access to the general curriculum as determined by the
IEP Team and other qualified persons. If the local education agency initiates disciplinary procedures applicable
to all children, the agency shall ensure that the special education and disciplinary records of the student
with a disability shall be given to the person making the final decision regarding the disciplinary action for
consideration.
. 1523 TRANSPORTATION
A. Local boards of education are responsible for providing or paying the costs of transportation for children
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with disabilities enrolled in schools or programs in their local school systems and are responsible for providing or paying the costs of transportation to any private residential or non-residential program, if the student
has been placed in or assigned to that private program by the local board of education. Transportation funds
for this purpose may be provided through local boards of education annual transportation budget allotments
which are administered by the School Support Division, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
These funds are incorporated in the general transportation plan of each local board. For preschool children
with disabilities, payment of such transportation costs must be made from either federal or state preschool
program funds.
B. If a child with disabilities is assigned to or enrolled in any residential or non-residential program operated
by or under the jurisdiction or control of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of
Correction or the Office of Juvenile Justice, the Department operating the program or having the program
under its jurisdiction or control is responsible for providing or paying the costs of transportation. This
is applicable for programs for school age students with disabilities as well as programs for preschool
children with disabilities. The only exception is when a child is enrolled in a local school system and is
counted for funding purposes by the school system, but attends a class or classes at a Department of
Health and Human Services program. In this case, the local school system is responsible for providing the
transportation to the Department of Health and Human Services program and return to the local school
system or home.
C. If a local area mental health center places a child with disabilities in an educational program, the local area
mental health center shall pay for the transportation of the child to/from the program.
D. The costs of transportation for a child with disabilities placed in or assigned to a school or program outside
the state shall be paid by the local educational agency or state operated agency placing or assigning the
child in that school or program.
E. In no event shall reimbursement for the costs of transportation paid for any one child exceed the School
Support Division allowance per mile unless it is demonstrated by the child or his/her parent that such
limitation will work a hardship or is unreasonable. This justification must be approved by the local
educational agency and appropriate state agency.
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1.5 Division of School Support Services
Division of School Support Services Rules and Regulations for the Allocation and
Use of Funds for Contract Transportation of Exceptional Children
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Division of School Support, Transportation
Services
1. Appropriate transportation shall be provided for all special education pupils when shown in their
individualized education program that special transportation is required.
2. Upon the request of county and city boards of education, funds will be allotted by the Assistant
Superintendent for Financial Services within the availability of funds.
3. Transportation arrangements will be administered through the appropriate county or city superintendent’s
office.
4. Transportation should be provided by public school buses, special vehicles titled to a board of education,
by contracts or fares with commercial carriers where practicable and by individual contractors (i.e. parents,
family members, volunteers, retirees, etc.).
5. A form of written contract shall be devised and signed by both parties before transportation of children
begins. All contracts shall, as a minimum, contain the standards outlined in items 7-12. (Refer to Appendix
A - Sample Contracts)
6. In arranging contracts, every effort should be made to obtain these transportation services as economically
as possible with the following consideration:
a. Pupils should be grouped as much as possible by carpooling.
b. Payments for contract mileage shall be based on actual necessary mileage required for the sole
purpose of providing transportation for students with disabilities to and from the school to which the
disabled child is enrolled. Necessary mileage for an employed contractor is interpreted to be that
which is required beyond normal commuting mileage associated with the employment of the
contractor. When contractors have sought employment so they could transport an exceptional child to
a specialized school, they should not be penalized for their efforts. Thus, one round trip is permitted.
Necessary mileage for non-employed contractors may include two round trips from the home to the
school to which the disabled child is enrolled.
c. Payment shall be made for the actual number of days the pupils are transported, not to exceed one
hundred eighty-one days unless extended school year is required in the student’s IEP.
d. Frequency of trips should be in compliance with the requirements of the public/private institutional
school not to exceed 181 days unless extended school year is required in the student’s IEP.
e. Payment for contract mileage to individual contractors shall not exceed the current state approved
maximum rate of reimbursement.
7. Contract vehicles shall at all times while school pupils are being transported meet the requirements of the
Division of Motor Vehicles safety inspection regulations.
8. Drivers of contract vehicles shall hold a valid North Carolina operator’s license at all times.
9. The driver of any passenger-carrying vehicle of over 12 passengers, other than a school bus, shall hold the
appropriate North Carolina operator’s license at all times.
10. Supporting invoices signed by individual contractors must be attached to the Financial Services’ copy of
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the voucher submitted by the various county and city boards of education (contractor’s name or company
on Form TD-24A).
11. Local administrative units entering into contracts will not assume any responsibility for any funding other
than services outlined in the contract.
12. Contractors shall acquire and maintain liability insurance.
13. The initial allotments shall consist of 90% of the previous year’s approved annual operating budget.
14. Additional funds will be allotted within the availability of funds after receipt and approval of the Annual
Operating Budget and in accordance with the North Carolina Public Schools Allotment Policy Manual.
15. In accordance with Public School Law GS (115C-250) and rules and regulations adopted by the State
Board of Education, funds for contract transportation of children with special needs who are unable
because of their disability, to ride the regular school buses may be used to purchase buses and minibuses
as well as for the purpose authorized in the budget.
16. The Department of Public Instruction, Transportation Services, shall deliver buses requisitioned by the
local school units at the earliest possible date and shall work with the respective school units in providing
for the installation of special equipment on these buses as may be required.
17. The Department of Public Instruction shall purchase these buses and equipment initially from the
appropriations provided for school bus replacement. A local school unit may pay any portion of the cost
for buses delivered under these regulations from sources other than state funds. The Department of Public
Instruction shall deposit these funds into the school bus replacement appropriations.
18. If any vehicle purchased under authority of this section is sold prior to the time of replacement by the
Department of Public Instruction, proceeds from such sale shall be distributed in a prorated amount to
the sources from which the vehicle was originally funded. If the vehicle is replaced by the Department of
Public Instruction through its replacement program, the proceeds from such sale shall be transmitted to
the Department of Public Instruction in total.
19. The Department of Public Instruction shall approve school bus routes established by a local board of
education for the transportation of exceptional children on buses purchased from these funds.
20. Upon the placement of buses into service under these provisions, the operating costs shall be provided
form regular allotments.
21. A report of all expenses incurred in transportation of exceptional children on school buses purchased
under this provision, and who were previously provided services under contract transportation, shall be
maintained and transmitted to the Division of School Services -Transportation.
22. A regular school child who is eligible for school bus transportation shall not be denied transportation on
these special buses if space is available.
23. A local board of education shall make every effort to provide for specially trained drivers on buses
transporting exceptional children and may supplement salaries paid from transportation funds allotted
by the Department of Public Instruction from other sources of funds. The salaries of aides, who may
be required on the special buses, shall not be paid from the state allotment of funds for school bus
transportation.
Page 1- 20
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Laws, Policies, and Regulations
1.6 Title 16, North Carolina Administrative Code
Title 16, North Carolina Administrative Code (Excerpts from Sub Chapter
6B-Student Transportation System)
.0002 School Bus Passengers
A. LEA’s shall provide instruction in school bus safety to all children during the first five days of school and
regularly thereafter during the school year. The LEA’s shall include in the instruction basic skills and
knowledge vital to the safety in school bus transportation.
B. LEA’s shall provide seating for all school bus passengers entitled to transportation according to the
rated seating capacity for each specific bus. The LEA shall not allow the number of passengers being
transported to exceed the official rated capacity for the type and model bus being used. All riders
must be seated before a bus may leave a stop; overcrowding and standees are prohibited. LEA’s shall
establish uniform procedures for transporting children with special needs to include the following:
• Recommendations by school-based committee;
• Inclusion in the written individualized education program; and
• Approval by the transportation director and superintendent.
.0003 Local Rules and Regulations
LEA’s shall adopt and keep on file in the office of the superintendent rules, regulations, and policies to assure
the safe, orderly, and efficient operation of school buses, including the following:
• The use of school buses under G. S. 115C-242(5)
• A uniform system of discipline on school buses;
• A uniform procedure for the recruitment and selection of school bus drivers;
• Procedures for relieving a driver of driving duties;
• Passenger safety rules;
• Responsibilities of school bus safety attendants; and
• Duties of school personnel in the administration of the school transportation system.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 1 - 21
Laws, Policies, and Regulations
Appendix 1A — Sample Contracts
Sample #1
______________COUNTY
This Agreement is made and entered into this ____day of __________, 20
19__, between the
____________________Board of Education, hereafter referred to as the school Unit and
________________, hereafter referred to as the Carrier;
WITNESSETH:
WHEREAS _________(the student) is a child with special needs as defined by G.S. 115c-109, and as such
is entitled to received educational services from the school unit; and
WHEREAS the school Unit has determined that it is not practicable to transport the student to and from
school at _____________(the school) by public school bus, special school vehicle or commercial carrier;
and
WHEREAS the Carrier has agreed to provide transportation for the student from the student's home to the
school and back each school day;
NOW, THEREFORE, for and in consideration of the mutual covenants and agreements hereinafter stated,
the parties hereto covenant and agree as follows:
1. The Carrier will provide transportation for the student between the student's home and the school for the
school year 20
19__- __. During this period, the Carrier will:
a. provide a motor vehicle which meets all North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles’ safety
inspection requirements;
b. hold a valid North Carolina driver's license;
c. provide and maintain proper liability insurance coverage for individuals who are to be
transported;
d. assume total responsibility for the safety of the student during the time the student is being
transported;
e. submit mileage documentation to the school Unit on a monthly basis;
f. accept monthly reimbursement from the school Unit for services rendered; and
g. be responsible for providing a substitute driver if necessary. The _____________________to
act as a substitute driver.
2. The school Unit's Director _______________will supervise the administration of this contract.
3. The school Unit will reimburse the Carrier at the rate of $______ per ____for necessary miles/trips
driven in the actual transportation of the student to the school.
4. Either party may suspend or terminate this agreement at any time for cause, upon reasonable notice to
the other party.
5. This agreement contains the entire understanding of the parties and it may not be altered, amended, or
modified except by written statement, executed by each of the parties hereto.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have executed this agreement in duplicate originals, one of which is
retained by each of the parties, the day and year first above written.
___________________________BOARD OF EDUCATION
______________________________________
Chairman
Attest:
_______________________
Secretary
_____________________________________________
Carrier
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A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Laws, Policies, and Regulations
__________________________________________
(SEAL)
NORTH CAROLINA
__________________________COUNTY
I, _______________________________, a Notary Public, certify that _________________________
personally appeared before me this day and acknowledged that he as Secretary of the
____________________Board of Education, and that, by authority duly given and a
Witness my hand and notarial seal, this _____day of ___________________.
___________________________________
Notary Public
My commission expires: __________________
NORTH CAROLINA
___________________COUNTY
I, ________________________, a Notary Public, certify that_____________________
personally appeared before me this day and acknowledged that he as ____________________
Secretary of __________________, a corporation, and that, by authority duly given and as the act of the
President, sealed with its corporate seal, and attested to himself by its Secretary.
Witness my hand notarial seal, this _____day of _______________, 19__.
___________________________________
Notary Public
My Commission expires: __________________
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 1 - 23
Laws, Policies, and Regulations
Sample #2
__________________COUNTY
This contract is made and entered into this _____day of _____________, 20
19__, between the
____________Board of Education, hereafter referred to as the school Unit and
_________________________, hereafter referred to as the Carrier;
WITNESSETH:
THAT WHEREAS, ______________________(the student) is a child with special needs as defined by
G.S. 115c-109 who is in need of transportation from the student's home to __________________(the
school); and
WHEREAS, the school Unit has determined that it is not practicable for the school Unit to provide
transportation for the student by public school bus, special vehicle owned by the school Unit or commercial
Carrier, for the reason that ___________________
WHEREAS, the Carrier has agreed to transport the student according to the terms and conditions of this
contract;
NOW THEREFORE, for and in consideration of the mutual covenants and agree as follows:
1. The Carrier shall transport the student in the manner hereafter stated.
2. The school Unit shall direct the Carrier from time to time to implement applicable rules and regulations
regarding the transportation of a child with special needs as promulgated by the school Unit, the State
Board of Education, or other applicable agency. The Carrier shall immediately implement these rules and
regulations. The current rules and regulations are attached to this contract Exhibit "A" and are incorporated
herein as a part of this contract. These rules and regulations may be amended from time to time during the
term of this contract by the agency which promulgated them.
20
3. This contract applies only to that period of time during the 19__-__
school year, as adopted by the
school Unit, as the student is served by the school Unit. Unless sooner terminated as hereinafter provided,
this contract shall immediately terminate at the expiration of the 20
19_-_ school year, as adopted by the
school Unit, or at the expiration of the period of time in which the student is served by the school Unit,
whichever occurs first.
4. The school Unit shall pay the Carrier for actual miles driven in transporting the student at the rate of
____cents ($._____) per mile. Each driver shall maintain a daily written log to include miles driven, the
name of the student transported, and such other information as the school Unit may require. The Carrier
shall submit this log and an accompanying invoice to the school Unit each month. The school Unit shall
pay the Carrier only after it has received and approved the log accompanying invoice. The school Unit
will not pay the Carrier for any mileage driven during which the student is not present in the vehicle.
The reimbursement rate specified above shall apply for the duration of this contract, unless changed upon
the mutual consent of the school Unit and the Carrier after a fluctuation of more than ten cents ($.10) per
gallon of gasoline. Either party may request a change in the reimbursement rate upon such a fluctuation.
THIS CONTRACT IS SUBJECT SPECIFICALLY TO THE AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS SUPPLIED
BY THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, OR OTHER APPLICABLE GOVERNING AUTHORITY,
TO THE SCHOOL UNIT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE STUDENT. THE CARRIER
ACKNOWLEDGES THAT PAYMENT UNDER THIS IS SUBJECT SPECIFICALLY TO THE
AVAILABILITY OF SUCH FUNDS.
5. The Carrier shall transport the student only in a vehicle which meets all Division of Motor Vehicle
requirements according to the rules of the State Board of Education, and the driver of the vehicle must
meet all required qualifications. The carrier shall at all times during the term of this contract maintain any
Page 1- 24
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Laws, Policies, and Regulations
such vehicle in a state of good repair and cleanliness and in accordance with all applicable vehicle
inspection standards. Each driver shall be in good health and suitable appearance while transporting the
student under this contract. The Carrier and the Carrier's drivers shall comply with all licensing and
insurance requirements which apply to the transportation of a child with special needs. The school unit may
inspect at any reasonable time any vehicle the Carrier uses pursuant to this contract. The Carrier shall
maintain throughout the term of this contract liability insurance coverage as required by applicable rule,
regulation or statute adopted or promulgated by the State of North Carolina, the State Board of Education,
or other applicable agency. This insurance shall fully indemnify and hold harmless the school Unit, its
individual board members, and its agents and employees from any and all liability whatever arising from
personal injury or property damage of any nature whatsoever.
6. The Carrier shall submit to the school Unit in writing the name and address of each driver, whether
regular or substitute, which the Carrier proposes to use in transporting the student, before beginning the
transportation pursuant to this contract. The Carrier shall no allow any person to operate a vehicle to
transport the student pursuant to this contract unless the Carrier has submitted the name and address of the
person to the school Unit. Before any driver begins to transport the student pursuant to this contract, the
Carrier shall give the driver a copy of this contract. The driver shall execute a written statement to the
school Unit certifying that the driver has received a copy of this contract from the Carrier, has read or had
heard read the provisions of this contract and understands the terms and conditions of this Contact. The
school Unit reserves the right to reject any driver for such cause as it deems appropriate. The Carrier shall
be responsible for each driver's actions in the transportation of the student pursuant to this contract. The
Carrier specifically agrees to fully indemnify and hold harmless the school Unit, its individual board
members, and its agents and employees from any and all liability whatever arising from or out of the
conduct of its drivers or other employees, its officers, and /agents.
7. The Carrier's failure to comply with any provision of this contract, with any rule or regulation adopted
by the school Unit pursuant to this contract, or with any directive issued by the school Unit pursuant to this
contract shall be cause for immediate termination of this contract. The school Unit shall notify the Carrier
of this termination in writing by certified mail directed to the Carrier's last known place of business.
8. If the Carrier has any questions concerning the transportation of the student under the terms of this
contract, the Carriers shall immediately contract the school Unit in order to resolve those questions.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have executed this contract, the day and year first above
written.
___________________BOARD OF EDUCATION
BY:
_________________________________________
Chairman
CARRIER
BY:
__________________________________________
ATTEST:
_____________________________
Secretary
(SEAL)
NORTH CAROLINA
__________________________COUNTY
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 1 - 25
Laws, Policies, and Regulations
I, _______________________________, a Notary Public, certify that _________________________
personally appeared before me this day and acknowledged that he, as Secretary of the
____________________Board of Education, and that, by authority duly given and a
Witness my hand and notarial seal, this _____day of ___________________.
___________________________________
Notary Public
My commission expires: __________________
NORTH CAROLINA
___________________COUNTY
I, ________________________, a Notary Public, certify that_____________________
personally appeared before me this day and acknowledged that he as ____________________
Secretary of __________________, a corporation, and that, by authority duly given and as the act of the
President, sealed with its corporate seal, and attested to himself by its Secretary.
Witness my hand notarial seal, this _____day of _______________, 20
19__.
___________________________________
Notary Public
My Commission expires: __________________
Page 1- 26
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
CHAPTER 2
Disabilities and Health Conditions
2.1 Health Conditions .............................................. 2-2
Pertinent Medical Information........................... 2-2
2.2 Training Needs Related to Specific Health
Conditions ......................................................... 2-2
“Look at a day
when you are
supremely
satisfied at the
end. It’s not a
day when you
lounge around
doing nothing;
it’s when you’ve
had everything
to do, and
you’ve done it.”
- Margaret
Thatcher
2.3 THE BUS RIDE and.............................................. 2-4
Autism ............................................................. 2-4
Behaviorally-Emotionally Disabled.................... 2-4
Deaf-Blind ....................................................... 2-5
Hearing Impaired............................................. 2-5
Visually Impaired ............................................. 2-5
Mentally Disabled ............................................ 2-6
Multihandicapped ............................................ 2-6
ORTHOPEDICALLY IMPAIRED..................................... 2-7
Cerebral Palsy ................................................. 2-7
Osteogenesis ................................................... 2-8
Spina Bifida .................................................... 2-9
OTHER HEALTH IMPAIRED ....................................... 2-10
Asthma ......................................................... .2-10
Cystic Fibrosis ............................................... 2-10
Diabetes ........................................................ 2-10
Hemophilia.................................................... 2-11
Leukemia....................................................... 2-11
Muscular Dystrophy........................................ 2-12
Spinal Cord Injury .......................................... 2-12
Developmentally Delayed............................... 2-13
Specific Learning Disabled ............................. 2-13
MEDICAL ISSUES..................................................... 2-13
Anaphylactic Shock ........................................ 2-13
Colostomy ..................................................... 2-14
Gastrostomy (G-Tube) .................................... 2-14
Heat Intolerance ............................................ 2-14
Seizures ......................................................... 2-15
Shunt............................................................. 2-15
Tracheostomy................................................. 2-15
Disabilities and Health Conditions
2.1 Health Conditions
In North Carolina there are 14 areas of eligibility of “children with disabilities.” It is important for bus drivers
and transportation safety assistants to be aware of the various disabilities and how a particular disability
may affect the student during the bus ride. The term “children with disabilities” includes all children who
because of permanent or temporary mental, physical, or emotional disabilities need special education. These
children are unable to have all their educational needs met in a regular class without special education and
related services or are unable to be adequately educated in the public schools. (Refer to Chapter 1 - Laws,
Policies, and Regulations).
Within each disability category there may be additional medical/health issues that are beyond the scope of
the Exceptional Children Disability definitions. Transportation providers, drivers, and safety assistants must
be informed of pertinent medical information and must be trained in medical issues that are specific to the
students they transport.
Pertinent Medical Information
• Emergency Medical Card: Transportation providers should be informed of the medical and
behavioral needs of a student in order to provide the safest and most appropriate means
of transportation. This information should be kept on the bus in the event of an emergency.
(Refer to Chapter 5, Appendix B - Confidential Emergency Information Card).
• Transporting Medications: Each school district should have a written policy on procedures for
transporting medication.
• Do Not Resuscitate Orders (DNR): Each school district should have a written policy for DNR
orders.
2.2 Training Needs Related to Special
Health Conditions
Transportation providers must be trained in the following areas:
• Blood Borne Pathogens and Universal Precaution Procedures
• Policies and Procedures for Confidentiality
Transportation providers should be trained in the following areas:
• Emergency procedures (Refer to Chapter 7 - Emergency Evacuation Procedures)
• Knowledge of various disabilities and health conditions
• Knowledge of and how to access Quick Reference Plans and/or Health Care Plans.
Per IDEA, transportation providers will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas depending on the
special health conditions of the students transported.
• Use of assistive devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, etc. (Refer to Chapter 6 - Specialized Equipment
Descriptions and Procedures)
• Strategies for Behavior Management (Refer to Chapter 3 - Behavior Management and Discipline)
• Knowledge of various medical conditions and implications for the bus ride
• Orthopedically Impaired
• Cerebral Palsy
• Osteogenesis Imperfecta
• Spina Bifida
• Other Health Impaired
• Asthma
• Cystic Fibrosis
• Diabetes
• Hemophilia
• Leukemia
Page 2 - 2
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Disabilities and Health Conditions
• Muscular Dystrophy
• Spinal Cord Injury
• Knowledge of medical issues and implications for the
bus ride
• Anaphylactic Shock (allergic reactions)
• Colostomy
• G-Tube (Gastrostomy)
• Heat Intolerance
• Seizures
• Shunts
• Tracheotomy
• High and Low Blood Sugar
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
T
BES ICE
CT
PRA
Transportation providers,
drivers, and safety
assistants need to be
informed of pertinent
medical information and
should be trained in medical
issues that are specific to
the students they transport.
Page 2 - 3
Disabilities and Health Conditions
2.3 The Bus Ride
Autism & ‘The Bus Ride’
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
What is Autism?
Autism is a developmental disorder that is characterized
by significant impairment in social interactions and
communication abilities.
How does Autism affect the
student?
Students may appear to be in their own world. They may
not initiate conversations or respond when others talk
to them. Students may also show repetitive behaviors
such as rocking back and forth, repeating phrases, or
repeating an activity over and over again. Students may
have difficulty with changes in the daily routine. Students
may respond excessively to noises or to touch. They
may become increasingly agitated to loud noises or to
someone touching them.
• Incorporate classroom behavior strategies
during the bus ride.
• Try to maintain a similar routine to avoid
unwanted behaviors.
• Give verbal commands in simple one or two
sentences.
• Understand the specific characteristics and
communication abilities of each student. Most
students may respond best to a “calm voice.”
• Maintain close supervision since the student
may have no fear of dangers.
• Some students may be resistant to touch.
Other students may remain calm with a
familiar object.
• Consult with IEP team members if the
student has difficulty staying on the bus seat.
A safety belt or safety vest may need to be
used.
Behaviorally-Emotionally Disabled (BED) & ‘The Bus Ride’
What is Behaviorally-Emotionally Disabled?
Behaviorally-emotionally disabled students are students
who exhibit long-standing patterns of inappropriate
behavior that interfere with the their ability to learn.
How does a Behavioral-Emotional
Disability affect the student?
A student with a behavioral-emotional disability has one
or more of the following that cannot be attributed to
physical, sensory, or intellectual deficits:
• Inability to achieve adequate academic
progress
• Inability to maintain satisfactory relationships
• Inappropriate or immature behavior under normal
conditions
• A general mood of unhappiness or depression
• A tendency to develop physical symptoms, pains,
or fears associated with self or school.
Page 2 - 4
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
• Incorporate classroom behavior strategies
during the bus ride.
• Provide consistent bus rules and repeat as
needed
• Be prepared to respond to inappropriate
behaviors such as inability to stay seated,
inappropriate language, hitting, spitting,
fighting, etc. Consult with school staff for
behavior modifications.
• Assign bus seat near the front or with a
student who is a positive influence.
• Consult with IEP team members if the student
continues to be disruptive or fails to stay on
the bus seat. A safety belt or a safety vest
may need to be used.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Disabilities and Health Conditions
Deaf-Blind and ‘The Bus Ride’
What is a Deaf-Blind Disability?
Deaf-blind students have both hearing and visual
impairments that may cause severe communication and
educational problems.
How does being Deaf-Blind affect the student?
Students may feel isolated from others since they have
a difficult time communicating with peers. Students may
become agitated or upset with new or unexpected
situations.
Hearing Impaired and ‘The Bus Ride’
What is a Hearing Impaired Disability?
Hearing Impaired students are those with hearing
losses that are disabling educationally and
developmentally. Hearing impaired is a term that includes
deafness and all hearing losses ranging from mild to
profound hearing loss.
How does Hearing Impairment affect the student?
Students may feel isolated from others since they have a
difficult time hearing and communicating with their peers.
Visually Impaired and ‘The Bus Ride’
What is a Visually Impaired Disability?
Students who are identified as visually impaired have
visual impairments that range from partially seeing to
legally blind.
How does Visual Impairment affect the
student?
Students may feel isolated from others since they have a
difficult time seeing others and their environment.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
• Consult with educational staff on alternative
methods of communication.
• Consult with educational staff on methods to
provide physical assistance.
• Provide consistent routines, seating, and
methods of assistance to make student feel
more at ease and to enable him/her to learn
the bus environment.
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
• Consult with educational staff on alternative
methods of communication. Students may use
one or more of the following: sign language,
lip read, and writing/picture symbols.
• Speaking clearly at a normal rate when
giving directions since the student may be lip
reading. Use facial expressions, hand
motions, or written directions as
recommended by school staff.
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
• Provide consistent routines, seating, and
methods of assistance to make students feel
more at ease and to enable them to learn
their environment.
• Communicate clearly all directions to
compensate for the student’s inability to see.
• Consult with school staff on the best method
to assist the student on/off the bus. Some
students may not need any help; others may
need to hold onto someone’s arm.
Page 2 - 5
Disabilities and Health Conditions
Mentally Disabled and ‘The Bus Ride’
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
What is a Mental Disability?
Mentally disabled students are those who have
intellectual abilities that are significantly below
average and a reduced rate of learning which adversely
affects their educational performance.
• Provide consistent routines, seat
assignments, and rules.
• Give verbal commands in simple one or two
word phrases.
• Provide supervision for safety when students
are getting on/off the bus.
• Consult with IEP team members if the student
has difficulty staying on the bus seat. A
safety belt or a safety vest may need to be
used. If the student has additional physical
disabilities, consult with school staff (including
physical therapist, school nurse) to determine
student’s functional abilities.
• Some students with physical disabilities may
require additional assistance on/off the bus or
may use special equipment such as walkers
or wheelchairs.
Depending on the severity of the mental disability,
students may be in one of the following Exceptional
Children categories:
• Educable Mentally Disabled (EMD)
• Trainable Mentally Disabled (TMD)
• Severely/Profoundly Mentally Disabled (S/PMD)
How do Mental Disabilities affect the
student?
• Educable Mentally Disabled (EMD)
• Usually do not have difficulty following simple
directions and rules
• Behaviors may be more immature as
compared to other students
• Trainable Mentally Disabled (TMD)
• May have difficulty following simple directions
and rules
• May act immature and may not be concerned with safety
• Severely/Profoundly Mentally Disabled (S/P)
•May be unable to follow directions and rules without modeling and repetition
• Often have additional physical impairments which may range from difficulty with balance when walking
to using a wheelchair for mobility
• May lack bladder and bowel control and therefore wear diapers/pullups
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
Multihandicapped and ‘The Bus Ride’
What is Multihandicapped?
Multihandicapped students have a primary disability that
is cognitive and/or behavioral in combination with one
or more other disabilities. The combination of these disabilities causes developmental and educational problems.
How does being Multihandicapped affect the
student?
The affects will vary greatly with each student depending
on the specific disabilities. Refer to the information
provided on the disabilities that the student has.
Page 2 - 6
• Provide consistent routines, seat
assignments, and rules.
• Give verbal commands in simple one or two
word phrases.
• Consult with IEP team members if the
student has difficulty staying on the bus seat.
A safety belt or a safety vest may need to be
used.
• If the student has additional physical
disabilities, consult with school staff
(including physical therapist) to determine
student’s functional abilities. Some students
with physical disabilities may require
additional assistance on/off the bus or may
use special equipment such as walkers or
wheelchairs.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Disabilities and Health Conditions
Orthopedically Impaired and
‘The Bus Ride’— Cerebral Palsy
What is Cerebral Palsy (CP)?
Cerebral Palsy is a medical condition caused by damage
to the developing brain before, during, or after birth.
How does Cerebral Palsy affect the
student?
The type of problems the student may have depends
upon how much and where the damage occurs in the
brain.
Students with CP may have normal intelligence to severe
mental impairments.
Students with CP may have normal speech while others
may not be able to talk at all, yet they may understand
everything said to them.
These students may have difficulty moving one leg or
one arm, both legs, or both arms and legs. Some
students may appear stiff and unable to move while other
students may have excessive, uncontrolled movements.
Some students may have a shunt, which is a tube
located on one side of their head to drain fluid
from the brain. Students with shunts that are not
working properly may complain of a headache, or may
experience vomiting and/or excessive drowsiness.
Some students may experience seizures. Seizures vary
greatly; they may range from the student staring off
into space for a brief moment to the student becoming
completely unresponsive with ‘jerky’ movements.
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
• Obtain any necessary medical information
that may have an impact on the bus ride (i.e.
if the student has a shunt, seizures, allergies,
etc.).
• If the students are able to walk, they may have
balance problems and may need assistance
up and down the bus steps.
• If the students have trouble sitting upright on
the bus seat or in their wheelchair, consult
with the school physical therapist to see if a
safety vest or additional straps are necessary.
• Some students who use wheelchairs may
have difficulty controlling movements of their
arms and legs; therefore, be careful when
they are loaded and unloaded on the bus.
• If possible, avoid sudden movements,
increased excitement, and loud noises/voices.
These may cause uncontrolled movements to
increase.
For Students with Shunts:
• If the student is in a wheelchair, do not place
the shoulder belt across the neck. It could put
pressure on the shunt.
• You must notify school staff and/or parents if
the student receives a blow or injury to the
head since this may cause the shunt to work
improperly.
• Call 911 for emergency medical assistance
immediately if the student has difficulty
breathing or a change in level of
consciousness.
For Students who Experience
Seizures:
• Do not restrain the student.
• Remove harmful objects nearby.
• Note the length of the episode.
• Call 911 for emergency medical assistance
if the student has difficulty breathing, has
one seizure after another, or if the seizure
exceeds five minutes.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 2 - 7
Disabilities and Health Conditions
Orthopedically Impaired and
‘The Bus Ride’— Osteogenesis
Imperfecta (Brittle Bone Disease)
What is Osteogenesis Imperfecta
(Brittle Bone Disease)?
Osteogenesis Imperfecta is a disease in which the bones
are formed imperfectly resulting in frequent fractures.
This disease is commonly referred to as brittle bone
disease.
How does having Osteogenesis
Imperfecta affect the student?
The student’s bones can be broken very easily by
minor bumps, pressure from contact during lifting and/or
spontaneously for no apparent reason.
Some students may be able to walk with or without
assistive devices. The majority of students may need to
use a wheelchair for mobility.
Many students will have the following characteristics:
• Small arms and legs (short stature)
• Deformed bones due to the multiple fractures
• Tendency to bruise easily
• Excessive sweating
Page 2 - 8
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
• If transportation providers suspect a fracture,
the student should not be moved until
parents or emergency medical assistance is
contacted.
• Consult with the school physical therapist
if the student has difficulty walking or uses
adapted equipment such as a walker or
wheelchair.
• Students may have difficulty tolerating hot
temperatures in the bus. Students may need
to carry a water bottle in their bookbag. A
climate-controlled bus may be indicated.
• Call 911 for emergency medical assistance
immediately if the student has difficulty
breathing or a change in level of
consciousness.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Disabilities and Health Conditions
Orthopedically Impaired and
‘The Bus Ride’— Spina Bifida
What is Spina Bida?
This is a condition caused by a birth defect of the spine
and spinal cord resulting in partial or complete paralysis
below the spinal level involved.
How does having Spina Bida affect the
student?
Because of the paralysis these students may not be able
to move their legs and they may have a complete loss of
feeling in the paralyzed area.
These students may also have a loss of bladder and
bowel control. Some students may have to wear a
diaper or be on a schedule to have their bladder
emptied by catheterization. Students with Spina Bifida
often have a shunt, which is a tube located on
one side of their head to drain fluid from the
brain. Students with shunts that are not working
properly may complain of a headache or may
experience vomiting and/or excessive drowsiness.
Students with Spina Bifida may have allergic reactions
to latex. The reaction may become so severe that the
student has difficulty breathing.
“Courage is resistance to fear,
mastery of fear,
not absence of fear.”
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
These students may lack sensation in their
legs and will not be aware if they are bumped
or scraped or if their legs slide off the footrest
of the wheelchair. These students will not
complain of pain since they can not feel if
they are injured. Care must be taken so their
legs/feet don’t become injured.
• These students may not have control
of their bladder and bowel; therefore,
extra care must be given if
embarrassing situations occur.
• Students who are on a schedule for
catheterization to empty their bladder
may need to have the length of bus ride
adjusted.
For Students with Shunts:
• If the student is in a wheelchair, do not
place the shoulder belt across the neck.
It could put pressure on the shunt.
• You must notify school staff and/or
parents if the student receives a blow or
injury to the head since this may cause
the shunt to work improperly.
• If the student experiences headaches,
vomiting, and/or excessive drowsiness,
notify appropriate school staff and/or
parents.
• Call 911 for emergency medical
assistance immediately if the student
has difficulty breathing or a change in
level of consciousness.
For Students with Latex Allergies
• Keep items that contain latex away from
the student. Do not use latex gloves; use
non-latex gloves instead. Common items
that may contain latex include rubber bands,
balloons, and erasers.
• Call 911 for emergency medical
assistance immediately if the student has
difficulty breathing or a change in level of
consciousness.
- Mark Twain
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 2 - 9
Disabilities and Health Conditions
Other Health Impaired and
‘The Bus Ride’— Asthma
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a lung condition that is characterized by
episodes of breathing difficulty.
• Students may need to be transported on a
bus with air conditioning and good ventilation.
• Students may need to have medication and/or
special inhalers transported with them on the
bus.
• Call 911 for emergency medical assistance
immediately if the student has difficulty
breathing or a change in level of
consciousness.
How does having Asthma affect the student?
An asthma attack may be a serious medical emergency.
An asthma attack may be brought on by excitement.
Other Health Impaired and
‘The Bus Ride’— Cystic Fibrosis
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic Fibrosis is a disorder resulting in frequent lung
infections.
• Students may need to be transported on a
bus with air conditioning and good ventilation.
• The bus driver may need to call for
emergency medical assistance if the student
has difficulty breathing.
• Call 911 for emergency medical assistance
immediately if the student has difficulty
breathing or a change in level of
consciousness.
How does having Cystic Fibrosis affect the
student?
These students may sweat a lot resulting in a serious
depletion of salt, which is a medical emergency.
Other Health Impaired and
‘The Bus Ride’— Diabetes
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious chronic disease that impairs the
body’s ability to make insulin or use it properly.
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
How does Diabetes affect the student?
Most students with diabetes have treatments in place
to manage their condition either through diet or insulin
injections/pump, exercise, or diabetic pills.
Two kins of problems can occur with diabetes.
Hyperglycemia occurs when blood sugar levels get
too high. Untreated, hyperglycemia may develop into
ketoacidosis, a very serious condition. Hypoglycemia is
the exact opposite of Hyperglycemia. It occurs when
blood sugar levels get too low. Hypoglycemia is the most
common problem in children with diabetes.
Page 2 - 10
• The bus driver be familiar with the student’s
diabetes care plan.
• Students should have access to digestible
sugar, orange juice, regular soda pop, or
candy. This should be given to the student
based on the student’s diabetes care plan.
• Call 911 for emergency medical assistance
immediately if the student has difficulty
breathing or a change in level of
consciousness.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Disabilities and Health Conditions
Other Health Impaired and
‘The Bus Ride’— Hemophilia
What is Hemophilia?
Hemophilia is a blood disease characterized by the
inability of the blood to clot which leads to excessive
bleeding.
How does having Hemophilia affect the
student?
Even a minor cut could lead to excessive bleeding. The
student may bruise easily even after a slight bump.
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
• Take special precautions to minimize physical
contact with other students during bus loading
and unloading.
• Call 911 for emergency medical
assistance immediately if the student has
difficulty breathing, excessive bleeding, or a
change in level of consciousness.
Other Health Impaired and
‘The Bus Ride’— Leukemia
What is Leukemia?
Leukemia is a term that is used to describe a variety
of cancers that begin in the blood-forming tissues
of the bone marrow. The bone marrow makes an
overabundance of diseased white cells that can not
perform their usual function of fighting infections.
How does having Leukemia affect the
student?
The student may experience the following: fatigue, pale
skin, bleeding and bruising, little or no defense against
infection, hair loss, nausea and vomiting.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
• The student may have frequent and
long-term absences from school.
• The student may experience extreme fatigue
and low endurance
Page 2 - 11
Disabilities and Health Conditions
Other Health Impaired and
‘The Bus Ride’— Muscular Dystrophy
What is Muscular Dystrophy? (MD)
Muscular Dystrophy is a disease of the muscles resulting
in increased weakness over time. There are over 40
types of MD.
How does having Muscular Dystrophy affect
the student?
Some students may experience severe muscle
weakness at birth while others may experience weakness around the age of four (as in Duchenne Muscular
Dystrophy). The majority of these students will continue
to get weaker as they get older.
Some students who walk are at great risk for frequent
falls due to muscle weakness. These students may need
help getting up from the ground if they do fall. Students
with severe weakness often use a manual or a power
wheelchair.
Students with MD often have severe respiratory
(breathing) problems, particularly as they get older.
• People working with students with Muscular
Dystrophy should be aware that this is a
progressive disease and that the muscles
will continue to get weaker over time. Avoid
statements such as “You could do it last
week, why can’t you do it now?”
• Students with Muscular Dystrophy who are
able to walk may have difficulty going up and
down bus steps. These students should never
be allowed to stand on the wheelchair lift.
• If the student has difficulty going up and down
the steps, consult with the school physical
therapist for help in determining a safer way to
get on/off the bus.
• If the student is in a wheelchair, he may
have trouble sitting up straight. Consult the
physical therapist if this is a problem.
• If the student is in a wheelchair, his arms may
slide off the armrest or lap during the bus ride
requiring assistance by an adult to reposition
his arms.
• If the student has respiratory problems, he
needs to be in a bus with good ventilation. Try
to reduce the amount of exhaust fumes in the
bus by turning off the engine during loading
and unloading.
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
Spinal Cord Injury and ‘The Bus Ride’
What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
This is an injury to the spinal cord that may result in
partial or complete paralysis below the level of injury.
How does a Spinal Cord Injury affect the
student?
Because of the paralysis these students may not be able
to move their legs, or legs and arms, and they may
have a complete loss of feeling in the paralyzed area.
These students may also have a loss of bladder and
bowel control. Some students may have to wear a diaper
or be on a schedule to have their bladder emptied by
catheterization.
Page 2 - 12
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
• These students may lack sensation in their
legs and will not be aware if they are bumped/
scraped or if their legs slide off the footrest of
the wheelchair.
• These students will not complain of pain
since they cannot feel if they are injured. Care
must be taken so their legs/feet don’t become
injured. These students may not have control
of their bladder and bowel; therefore, extra
care must be given if embarrassing situations
occur.
• Students who are on a schedule for
catheterization to empty their bladder may
need to have the length of bus ride adjusted.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Disabilities and Health Conditions
Developmentally Delayed and
‘The Bus Ride’
What is a Developmental Delay?
Children identified in this area are those ages three
through seven whose development and/or behavior is so
significantly delayed or atypical that special education
and related services are required.
How does having a Developmental Delay
affect the student?
The affects may vary greatly with each student
depending on the areas of delay.
Specific Learning Disabled and
‘The Bus Ride’
What is a Learning Disability?
Specific learning disability is term used to describe
a variety of processing disorders. Students classified
as learning disabled are those who, after receiving
instructional intervention in the regular education setting,
have a substantial discrepancy between ability and
achievement. The student may have difficulty with one
or more of the following: listening, speaking, writing,
reading, comprehending reading material, calculating
mathematical problems, mathematical reasoning.
A learning disability may occur with other disabilities.
Learning disabilities does not include children with
learning problems that are the result of other disabilities
and/or environmental/cultural/economic influences.
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
• Consult with school staff to determine if
student needs special assistance on/off the
bus or special seating during transport.
• Provide directions in clear and simple
language.
• Maintain close supervision since the student
may have no fear of dangers.
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
• Obtain any necessary medical information
about the student that may have an impact on
the bus ride (i.e. if the student has a shunt,
seizures, allergies, etc.).
• Consult with school staff (including nurse,
physical therapist, and occupational therapist)
to determine if the student requires special
assistance, special medical considerations,
special equipment, or special seating.
• Obtain necessary training from appropriate
school staff in order to safely assist and
transport the student and the student’s equipment.
• Provide appropriate supervision since the
student may display impulsive behaviors.
Medical Issues and ‘The Bus Ride’
— Anaphylactic Shock
What is Anaphylactic Shock?
Anaphylactic shock is an extreme allergic reaction. The
most frequent allergic reactions may be to bee stings,
medicine, latex, etc.
What affect does Anaphylactic Shock have on
the student?
This is a medical emergency. The smooth muscles in the
respiratory system may close off so that the student is
not able to easily breath.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
• Call 911 for emergency medical
assistance immediately if the student has
difficulty breathing or a change in level of
consciousness.
Page 2 - 13
Disabilities and Health Conditions
Medical Issues and ‘The Bus Ride’
— Colostomy
What is a Colostomy?
A colostomy is a surgical procedure that creates an
opening on the abdomen (stomach) for the drainage
of stool from the large intestine (colon). A special
bag of over the opening in the stomach wall is usually necessary to collect stools.
How does having Colostomy affect the
student?
In most cases the student will resume normal
activities. A colostomy may be necessary as the
result of cancer, disease, or trauma. The colostomy
may be temporary or permanent.
Medical Issues and ‘The Bus Ride’
— Gastrostomy (G-Tube)
What is a G-Tube (Gastrostomy)?
This is a tube surgically placed into the stomach to
help the student get adequate nutrition.
How does having G-Tube affect the
student?
In some cases the student will resume normal
activities with the exception of eating. In other cases
the students may have other disabilities.
Medical Issues and ‘The Bus Ride’
— Heat Intolerance
What is Heat Intolerance?
This is an extreme sensitivity to heat. Heat
intolerance often produces a feeling of being overheated and can produce heavy sweating.
How does having Heat Intolerance affect
the student?
The student is unable to tolerate a rise in
temperature. The student may also experience
fainting, vomiting, dizziness, palpitations, and/or
rapid pulse.
Page 2 - 14
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
• In most cases the bus driver and safety
assistant will not be aware that a student has
a colostomy.
• If the student uses a wheelchair, then
care must be taken to ensure that the occupant restraint straps are not pressing on the
colostomy bag.
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
• If the tube comes out place gauze over the
opening. Immediately contact the parents. The
tube needs to be replaced within a few hours
or the opening in the stomach will start to
close.
• The parents/caregivers should make sure that
the tube is secure and out of the reach of
hands that may pull the tube out.
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
• Call 911 for emergency medical assistance
immediately if the student has difficulty
breathing or a change in level of
consciousness.
• Temperature should be kept at a comfortable
level. A bus with air conditioning is indicated.
• The student should be encouraged to drink
lots of fluids throughout the day.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Disabilities and Health Conditions
Medical Issues and ‘The Bus Ride’
— Seizures
What is a Seizure?
A seizure is a sudden change in how the brain works.
How do Seizures affect the student?
Seizures vary greatly; they may range from the
student staring off into space for a brief moment to the
student becoming completely unresponsive with ‘jerky’
movements.
Following a mild seizure (lapse of consciousness for a
brief period), the student may not realize that anything
has happened. The student may have a glassy stare and
appear dazed.
For more involved seizures (lapse of consciousness for
more than two minutes) the student may experience
uncontrolled ‘jerky’ movements of his/her entire body.
Following the seizure, the student may appear sleepy,
disoriented, and unresponsive.
Medical Issues and ‘The Bus Ride’
— Shunt
What is Shunt?
A shunt is a tube located on one side of the student’s
head to drain fluid from the brain.
How does a having a Shunt affect the
student?
For most students, the shunt will be working properly and
will not affect the student during the bus ride or school
day. Students with shunts that are not working properly
may complain of a headache or may experience vomiting
and/or excessive drowsiness.
Medical Issues and ‘The Bus Ride’
— Tracheostomy
What is Tracheostomy?
A tracheostomy is an opening surgically created through
the neck into the trachea (windpipe). A tube is usually
placed through this opening (tracheostomy tube also
called trach tube) to provide an airway and to allow
removal of secretions from the lungs.
How does a having a Tracheostomy affect the
student?
The student may have difficulty talking and may require
suctioning from a caregiver.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
• If a student is having a seizure, he or she will
have a lapse in consciousness and will not be
able to respond to the adult.
• For students who experience seizures:
• Do not restrain the student.
• Remove harmful objects from the
immediate area.
• Note the length of the episode.
• If the student appears to be having difficulty breathing, has one seizure after
another, or if the seizure exceeds five
minutes, the bus driver should call for
emergency medical assistance.
• Call 911 for emergency medical assistance
immediately if the student has difficulty
breathing or a change in level of
consciousness.
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
• If the student is in a wheelchair, Do Not place
the shoulder belt across the neck. It could put
pressure on the shunt.
• You must notify school staff and/or parents if
the student receives a blow or injury to the
head since this may cause the shunt to work
improperly.
• If the student experiences headaches,
vomiting, and/or excessive drowsiness notify
appropriate school staff and/or parents.
• Call 911 for emergency medical assistance
immediately if the student has difficulty
breathing or a change in level of
consciousness.
Special
Considerations for
the Bus Ride
• Call 911 for emergency medical assistance
immediately if the student has difficulty
breathing or a change in level of
consciousness.
• Many students can learn to talk with a trach
tube.
• Avoid exhaust fumes from entering the bus. A
climate-controlled bus is indicated.
Page 2 - 15
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CHAPTER 3
Behavior Management and Discipline
3.1 Behavior Management ....................................... 3-2
3.2 Prevention Techniques ........................................ 3-3
3.3 Intervention Strategies........................................ 3-4
3.4 School Discipline ................................................ 3-5
Appendix 3A - Behavioral Contract Example .............. 3-6
Appendix 3B - Good Bus Behavior Award .................. 3-7
Appendix 3C - Discipline Options Summary............... 3-8
“The most
damaging
phrase in the
language is:
‘It’s always
been done
that way.’”
-Rear Admiral
Grace Hopper
Appendix 3D - Bus Suspension Form Example............ 3-9
Behavior Management and Discipline
3.1 Behavior Management
Children who have been identified as students with disabilities exhibit many of the same behaviors that other
students exhibit on the school bus or in other settings. Because of their disabilities the behaviors of these
students may be more disruptive, last longer, and seem inappropriate for the situation. Many students with
disabilities have poor skills in processing situations and communicating their needs and concerns. There are
some procedures that can be put in to place on a school bus which will help students have the structure
they need to be able to ride safely to and from school. The suggestions in this section will be helpful for all
Exceptional Children, no matter what the disability.
Before the rst time the student or students ride the bus:
1. The school should inform the bus driver about any students who are riding the bus who have special
behavioral interventions or plans. The bus driver should be using equivalent interventions. Since bus rides
are often very unstructured, the behavioral interventions that are used for the students in unstructured
settings in the school should be adapted for the bus setting. It is very important that school personnel inform
the bus driver of the student’s behavioral needs that may require specific interventions or management.
2. The bus driver should assign seats to the students on the bus. The students who are most likely to
be picked on by other students should be in safe locations. The students who are most likely to create
problems should be where the bus driver or a monitor can deal with them quickly at the very beginning
of a problem.
3. The bus driver should make rules for the bus ride and have them clearly posted where all students can
see them.
4. Before the students ride the bus, or on the first day they ride, the students should be taught the bus rules
and how to behave on the bus. This should be a true lesson with explanation, modeling, role playing, and
practice by the students. The school staff should help the bus drivers teach students how to ride on the bus
since the bus drivers are not trained teachers.
During the bus ride:
1. The bus driver should reinforce positive behavior on the bus frequently and consistently. Positive
recognition and reinforcement should be four times as often as reprimands and consequences. The school
staff should help the bus drivers figure out how they can reinforce the students.
2. When students do not follow the rules, they should be corrected immediately. The bus driver needs to
use a calm, non judgmental tone of voice. A good way to correct the students is to ask the students if
they know what the rule is or to refer to the specific
rule. If the students say they know the rule, ask them
if the think they can do it. Usually a student will say
yes and follow the rule. If the students say they don’t
• To become somebody worthy.
know the rule, tell them the rule and ask if they can
• To be sure of self and direction.
do it. If students are corrected politely and calmly,
• To belong to something or to be part of
they will usually respond appropriately.
something exciting and structured.
3. It may be necessary to give some students choices
•
To
make a contribution to society.
rather than instructions. The school staff should
•
To
know where he or she fits in.
inform the bus driver about those students and help
•
To
be competent and successful in some arena.
the bus driver learn the language of choice and how
•
To
be independent.
to use it.
•
To
be asked to select options and alternatives.
4. The bus driver should not get in power struggles with
•
To
have his or her opinions and choices valued.
the students.
• To find someone who loves him or her, or whom
he or she can love.
• To have all of the above yesterday.
Student Aspirations
Dr. Lorraine Monroe
Page 3 - 2
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Behavior Management and Discipline
Setting Expectations
• Few and Clear - Positive and descriptive
• Understandable Vocabulary - Encourage Student Input
• Posted, if appropriate - Verbally Rehearsed
• Consistently Practiced
Behavioral Feedback
• Consistent - Non judgemental
• Instructional - Regular
• Can be based on IEP behavioral guides
Difficult Situations
• Remain calm - Don’t overreact.
• Listen openly - Don’t ignore.
• Monitor your body language - Don’t take things personally.
• Encourage talking - Don’t get into a power struggle.
• Show understanding - Do set limits.
• Reassure the student - Do enforce limits.
• Help save face.
3.2 Prevention Techniques
• Review and model positive behavior with actions, mannerisms, and words.
• Communicate developmental appropriate expectations by clear and simple rules.
• Give attention and positive feedback to each child individually.
• Specify and emphasize desired behaviors instead of undesired behaviors.
• Be consistent with all the children in enforcing all the rules.
• Use encouraging words to the children so they will want to continue to behave appropriately.
• Use warm and friendly language and tone, verbal and nonverbal.
• Greet the children on the bus and make them feel welcomed.
Driver Expectations/Attitude
Do:
• Show and give students examples of expected and unexpected
behaviors.
• Review driver expectations often.
• Be critical of the behavior (not the student).
• Interact with students relatively the same way each day, even if it’s
a bad day.
Don’t:
• Embarrass or yell at students.
• Have favorite students on the bus.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
T
BES ICE
CT
PRA
Always post the
rules and review
them regularly
with the students
on the bus.
Page 3 - 3
Behavior Management and Discipline
• Personalize comments or actions of the students.
• Warn a student without being able to follow through.
Bus Rules (general)
Always post the rules and review them regularly with the students.
• Remain seated.
• Keep all body parts inside.
• No eating, drinking, fighting, or throwing objects.
• Always follow the bus driver directions.
• No pushing or shoving.
• Keep personal objects, hands, and feet to yourself.
• Do not yell or shout.
• Do not use profanity or abusive language.
T
BES ICE
CT
PRA
Model positive
behavior with
actions and
words.
3.3 Intervention Strategies
• Positive Reinforcement - Example: smiles, gestures, comments
• Behavioral Contract (Teacher Implementation) - Example: Refer to Appendix A - Behavioral Contract
• Prompting - Example: Driver puts his/her index finder over his/her lips to cue students to lower
their voices.
• Positive Note (reinforcer) - Example: Refer to Appendix B - Good Bus Behavior Award
• Shaping - Example: To keep a student in his/her bus seat, positive reinforcement is regularly
communicated before, during, and after the act of seating in the
following order:
1. When getting on the bus appropriately;
2. When getting close to the assigned bus seat appropriately;
3. When touching the bus seat before seating; and
4. Finally when the student sits in the seat appropriately.
Students may not know appropriate bus behavior. Some students may imitate appropriate behavior by sitting
with peers on the bus who exhibit good behavior. Other students may need direct instructions and IEP
objectives for appropriate bus behavior. The success of intervention techniques is based on individual needs
and various situations. Interventions maybe verbal (quiet, but firm assertive response), standard (moving a
student to another seat), problem-solving (redirection of negative behavior back to positive behavior), and
positive (praising a student for appropriate
behavior). Drivers should communicate with
school personnel for assistance with indiT
BES ICE
vidual student behavior.
PRA
CT
POSITIVE
REINFORCEMENT
includes smiles,
friendly gestures,
and positive
comments
Page 3 - 4
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Behavior Management and Discipline
3.4 School Discipline
IEP Team
The IEP Team is responsible for addressing student behaviors that interfere with his/her learning or the
learning of other students. Bus behavior that impedes student learning should be pro actively addressed by
the IEP Team. A comparison should be made between the student’s bus behavior and classroom behavior. It
is appropriate for transportation personnel to attend IEP meetings when a student’s behavior is an issue and
there are considerations of applicable behavioral interventions and strategies.
Refer to Appendix C — Discipline Options Summary.
Bus Suspension
The regular bus discipline referral processes for the school are followed for exceptional children unless the
school or district has something else in place. If it is necessary to suspend a student with disabilities from the
school bus and transportation is considered a related service in the IEP, this suspension counts as a school
day suspension (ten-day rule) for that student if the school does not provide alternative transportation for the
student or the parents or other guardians do not bring the student. If the IEP does not include transportation,
the bus suspension is not treated as a school day suspension and the parents are obligated to provide
transportation. It should be determined if a functional behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention plan
are appropriate to address the bus behavior.
Refer to Appendix D — Bus Suspension Form.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 3 - 5
Behavior Management and Discipline
Appendix 3A — Behavioral Contract Example
Student: _____________________
Teacher: _____________________
Bus Driver
/Assistant: __________________
Bus Number: ______________
Beginning Date: ___________
Ending Date: ____________
1. ______________________________
2. ______________________________
3. ______________________________
1. ___________________________
2. ___________________________
3. ___________________________
Teacher: _______________________________________ Date: ________________
Student: _________________________ Date: ___________
Bus Driver/Assistant: ____________________________
Date: ___________________
Parent: __________________________________________ Date: ____________
Page 3 - 6
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Behavior Management and Discipline
Appendix 3B — Good Bus Behavior Award
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 3 - 7
Behavior Management and Discipline
Appendix 3C — Discipline Options Summary
Page 3 - 8
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Behavior Management and Discipline
Appendix 3D — Bus Suspension Form Example
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 3 - 9
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CHAPTER 4
Communication and Collaboration
4. 1 Collaboration and Responsibilities.......................4-2
4. 2 Responsibilities of the IEP Team...........................4-2
4. 3 Responsibilities of Transportation
Director or Designee...........................................4-3
4. 4 Responsibilities of the Exceptional Childrens
Program Director or Designee.............................4-3
4. 5 Responsibilities of Parents....................................4-3
4. 6 Responsibilities of Physical Therapists...................4-4
“The most
4. 7 Responsibilities of the Driver................................4-4
damaging
4. 8 Responsibilities of Transportation Safety
Assistant..............................................................4-4
phrase in the
language is:
4. 9 Responsibilities of Local School Board..................4-5
‘It’s always
4. 10 Responsibilities of the State Department...............4-5
been done
that way.’”
-Rear Admiral
Grace Hopper
Appendix 4A - Transportation Considerations Form......4-7
Communication and Collaboration
4.1 Collaboration and Responsibilities
Communication with all key individuals is essential for the
safe and efficient transportation of preschoolers and students
with disabilities. It is recommended that each Local Education
Agency (LEA) form an Exceptional Children’s Transportation
Team to determine ways to implement best practice guidelines. These key individuals may include transportation
and exceptional children’s program administrators, parents,
teachers, school physical therapist, school based administrator, school nurse, emergency personnel, and law enforcement. Through collaboration and frequent communication of
these key individuals, LEA’s can ensure appropriate transportation for students with disabilities.
mmunica
o
ti
C
on
When a liaison is formed between transportation and exceptional children’s program personnel, a framework
can be established for addressing issues of mutual concern. Opportunities for inclusive transportation can
be discussed and barriers to implementation removed. Location of low incidence programs can be planned
with consideration for the impact of those decisions on transportation services. Both departments should seek
opportunities to provide collaborative training on an ongoing basis. A contact person in the Transportation
Department and the Exceptional Children Department should be designated to ensure that issues and
concerns will be addressed by either department in a collaborative and timely manner.
Collaboration with Emergency Response Teams including emergency medical services, fire departments and
law enforcement, is recommended to prepare for an emergency response that is well informed. Preparatory
discussion and collaborative decision making will help insure that emergency responders are familiar with
the students being transported, the type of equipment on the bus, and the individual bus evacuation plans.
When all responders are aware of the unique needs involved in specialized transportation, safe transportation
can be insured.
Effective collaboration begins with an understanding of each team member’s responsibilities for the planning
and implementation of transportation services.
4.2 Responsibilities of the IEP Team
One of the responsibilities of the IEP Team is to determine the supportive services required to assist a
child with a disability to benefit from special education. Transportation is a related service that supports the
student’s special education. These decisions must be based on the student’s:
• Medical Condition
• Mobility Needs
• Equipment Needs
• Age
• Behavior
• Developmental characteristics
• Other relevant information
(Refer to Appendix A - Transportation Considerations Form)
The IEP team is required to determine the least restrictive environment for each student; therefore, regular
transportation, whenever possible, should always be the assumed mode of transportation. If the student’s
needs indicate more specialized transportation, the IEP team must determine the special transportation
necessary. Transportation may be a related service if
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A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Communication and Collaboration
• Student requires special adaptations on the bus (i. e. a seat belt, safety vest, car seat)
• Student requires a bus with a wheelchair lift
• Student requires an alternative vehicle
• Student requires pick up/drop off site to be different from that of non-disabled peers (i.e. curb to
curb pick up)
• Student requires supervision from a transportation safety assistant
• Student requires driver/transportation safety assistant with specialized training
A transportation representative should be present at the IEP meeting or give prior input to the IEP team when
transportation is being considered as a related service. Include the Transportation Director or designee in the
scheduling of the IEP meeting and on the invitation to conference, if appropriate.
4.3 Responsibilities of the Transportation
Director or Designee
Develop local procedures to address the following:
• Training opportunities for transportation staff
• Length of the student’s school day as a result of transportation. Only the IEP team can shorten a
student’s day due to the needs of the child.
• Safe transportation vehicles and equipment that meet appropriate standards
• Procedures for a driver to report that a student’s equipment or assistive devices are not working
properly
• Transportation contracts include responsibilities and supervision.
• Transportation representatives to participate in the development of the IEP when transportation is being
considered as a related service
• Notification to parents of the pick up and drop off times for the student
4.4 Responsibilities of the Exceptional
Children’s Program Director or Designee
Develop local procedures to address the following:
• Training and information on the various areas of disabilities and the impact on transportation, IEP
requirements, and legal issues
• Collaborative budget planning with Transportation Director to support the transportation needs of
students with disabilities (e.g. Transportation Safety Assistants)
• Ongoing support to the Transportation Department concerning the unique needs of the students being
transported
• Notification to the Transportation Director by IEP teams when changes occur in the student’s transportation needs
• Establishing clear and effective lines of communication to discuss and resolve issues of transporting
children with disabilities in a timely manner
4.5 Responsibilities of Parents
• Ensure that student is ready for transport prior to the designated bus pickup time.
• Position the child in the wheelchair correctly and securely.
• Maintain all parts of the wheelchair or other equipment in good operational condition for transit.
• Notify transportation officials with
reasonable advance notice to allow
It is the responsibility of
for a route change when a change
the IEP Team to inform
occurs in the student’s pick up or
T
S
BE ICE transportation representatives
drop off location.
CT
about IEP meetings and the
• Provide appropriate supervision at
PRA
time of pick up and drop off.
special needs of the student.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
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Communication and Collaboration
4.6 Responsibilities of Physical Therapists
Physical therapists play many different roles in promoting safe transportation of students with disabilities.
Since they are familiar with different diagnoses, the therapists can
• Provide information to other team members during a student’s IEP meeting in order to make the
decision regarding the appropriate means to transport.
• Provide educational opportunities to transporters about students’ disabilities.
• Assist transporters in determining appropriate student seat assignment on the bus.
• Make recommendations about equipment needed to safely transport students based on their
disabilities.
Physical therapists are familiar with adaptive equipment; therefore they can
• Determine the appropriateness of equipment (i.e. wheelchairs) for transport.
• Provide support in acquiring equipment (i.e. loaner wheelchair, parents with information about
specialized car seats).
• Assist in acquiring personal adaptive equipment.
• Perform minor equipment repairs or, if necessary, contact students’ families regarding the need for more
complex repairs of personal equipment.
Physical therapists are available to assist transportation staff with the following:
• Select and mark securement points for tie-downs on non-transit option wheelchairs.
• Provide input regarding methods to secure student’s personal equipment that needs to be secured on
the bus (i.e. wheelchairs, trays, walkers).
• Develop student evacuation plans.
• Provide training in boarding and exiting the bus (steps/wheelchair lift).
4.7 Responsibilities of the Driver
• Safe handling and lifting of students as would be needed in evacuation.
• Learning how to manage students’ personal equipment.
• Drive the bus safely and efficiently and meet the required transit needs of the student.
• Ensure proper positioning and securement of any required assistive device prior to loading on the bus. If the
driver observes that the assistive device is not in working order, the driver must report the safety concern to
the supervisor for a decision to be made regarding the safety risk for transportation.
• Ensure proper securement of the student and equipment on the vehicle.
• Attend appropriate and required training for safe vehicle operation and provision on specialized
transportation.
• Maintain good order and conduct on the bus.
• Communicate effectively with parents and other school team members.
• Observe confidentiality of information about individual students.
4.8 Responsibilities of Transportation Safety
Assistant (TSA)
When specialized transportation is required for students with special needs, a TSA may be assigned to a bus
to assist with the safety, movement, management, and care of those students. The TSA and the bus driver
must work as a team to provide appropriate transportation services for their students.
The responsibilities of the Transportation Safety Assistant may include the following:
• Assist students with loading/unloading the school bus.
• Assist students to move to their assigned seated location.
• Restrain students in Child Safety Restraint System as required by the IEP.
• Secure all wheeled mobility devices.
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A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Communication and Collaboration
• Restrain students in wheelchairs with lap/shoulder belt.
• Secure students’ personal equipment
• Assist in evacuating students during an evacuation.
• Maintain confidentiality of each individual student’s information
• Communicate appropriate information to parents and other school team members.
• Monitor students’ behavior and implement students’ individual behavior plans as developed by school staff.
• Understand how the bus ride impacts students with special needs.
• Attend all required inservices.
4.9 Responsibilities of the Local School Board
LEA’s shall adopt and keep on file in the office of the superintendent rules, regulations, and policies to assure
the safe, orderly, and efficient operation of school buses, including the following:
• the use of school buses under G. S. 115C-242(5);
• a uniform system of discipline on school buses;
• a uniform procedure for the recruitment and selection of school bus drivers;
• procedures for relieving a driver of driving duties;
• passenger safety rules;
• responsibilities of School Bus Monitors/Safety Assistant
• duties of school personnel
• the administration of the school transportation program.
4.10 Responsibilities of the State Department
The Transportation Services Section and the Division of Exceptional Children provide leadership, technical
assistance, service, and support to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) and local
education agencies (LEAs) in all areas of pupil transportation and services for children and youth with
disabilities respectively.
The objectives of the Transportation Services Section include the following:
• to provide a sufficient, safe, and reliable system of transportation for eligible pupils in North Carolina’s
public schools;
• to ensure that a durable, safe, well-maintained fleet of school buses is available;
• to assure an equitable distribution of state funds among LEAs that will promote safety, quality and extent
of service as required by state law and State Board Policy;
• to provide information systems and technical assistance to help LEAs provide transportation service as
efficiently as possible without compromising the quality of service; and
• to provide for LEA fiscal responsibility, decision-making authority, and accountability.
The responsibilities of the Division of Exceptional Children include the following:
• to provide division services availability to all LEAs, including charter schools, and parents/consumers;
• to provide consultative services to LEAs in planning, establishing, and maintaining programs/services
for the instruction of children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment;
• to develop a plan for a statewide census, collecting information, and reporting to the State Board of
Education;
• to provide consultative services to LEAs in developing and implementing the IEP for children with
disabilities and monitoring these programs;
• to cooperate with other divisions in the NCDPI and other departments, agencies, and institutions of
higher education to foster a collaborative effort on behalf of all children with disabilities;
• to disseminate information needed by parents, laypersons, legislators, organizations, and agencies
upon request to keep them properly informed and to assist their understanding of programs for children
with disabilities;
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
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Communication and Collaboration
• to provide consultative services and technical assistance in the areas of curriculum development,
instructional materials, adaptive devices, and use of technology for children with disabilities;
• to provide and support staff development activities to improve and upgrade competencies of regular
and special education teachers, administrators, and support personnel as they impact on children with
disabilities;
• to coordinate and administer the activities of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;
• to monitor LEAs, charter schools, and state-operated programs for compliance with state and
federal laws.
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A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Communication and Collaboration
Appendix 4A — Transportation Considerations Form
TRANSPORTATION CONSIDERATIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS (K-12)
Transportation and Exceptional Children staff will use information from this checklist to develop a
specific transportation plan for
_______________________________________________
Student’s Name
Parent/Guardian Name _____________________
Address _________________________________
_________________________________
Pick Up Address __________________________
_________________________________
Drop Off Address _________________________
________________________________
Date Form Completed ________
Date of Birth ________________
Phone _____________________
School _____________________
Anticipated Date of Enrollment ____
Date(s) From Reviewed ________
School Contact Person and Phone Number ____________________________________________
Student Information
Exceptional Children Identification Category ______________
504 Plan? Yes _______ No ________
Medical Diagnosis ________________________________________________________________________
Does student have special medical conditions that may present a problem during transport (i.e. allergies,
shunts, spinal rods, respiratory difficulties, seizures, heat in tolerance, diabetes, etc.)? ___________________
________________________________________________________________________________________
Does student have equipment that must be transported and secured (i.e. crutches, walker, wheelchair,
communication aide, tray, oxygen tank, suction machine, etc.)? ____________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________________
Does student have a classroom behavior plan in place? Yes _____ No _______
If yes, does student have behavior strategies that should be implemented during transport?
________________________________________________________________________________________
Does student have special communication needs? Yes _____ No ______
If yes, explain ___________________________________________________________________________
Are there any other conditions that should be considered during transport or in the event of an evacuation?
________________________________________________________________________________________
This form should be reviewed annually or as needed to reassess the transportation needs for this student.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 4 - 7
Communication and Collaboration
Student’s Name _____________________________ Date Form Completed _______________________
Date(s) Form Reviewed ______________________
Method of Transportation
Complete the following section. Check only one box.
Student is able to sit on the bus seat without modifications.
Student is able to sit on the bus seat with a lap belt (appropriate if student has a disability that prevents
him/her from balancing or staying in a seated position during transport).
Student is able to sit on the bus seat with a safety vest (appropriate if the student has a disability that
prevents him/her from sitting upright or from staying on the seat).
Circle appropriate size:
Extra Small
22” waist
Small
25” waist
Small Medium 28” waist
Medium
32” waist
Student is under 40 lbs and has a medical condition or disability that requires the use of a car seat on the
bus. Indicate reason for car seat: _________________________________________________________
(Note: car seat must be rear facing if student is under 20 lbs & 26 inches; car seat must be forward
facing if student is 20-40lbs. Booster seats cannot be used on the bus since they require a shoulder belt).
Student uses a manual/power wheelchair and requires a transport vehicle with a lift and a securement site.
Student will stay in his/her wheelchair during transport.
(Note: if student uses a stroller, contact school physical therapist to assess safety of the stroller for
transport. Contact school physical therapist to mark tie down sites on the wheelchair/stroller frame).
Additional information if needed: _________________________________________________________
NOTE: If transport vehicle is a van or car and student is under 5 years and under 40 lbs, then student
must be transported in a weight-appropriate car seat that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards.
Method of Assisting Student on/off the Transport Vehicle
Complete the following section. Check only one box.
Student is able to ascend/descend step(s) independently.
Student is able to ascend/descend step(s) with assistance from an adult.
(Note: parent/guardian can assist student up and down the step(s) at the home; school personnel can
assist student at the school. Transportation staff will assist student inside the vehicle).
Describe method of assisting student: ______________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
Student will need to be carried/lifted into the transport vehicle.
Student is unable to safely ascend/descend the step(s) with assistance, therefore, student must use the
lift/ramp while seated in a wheelchair. Once on the transport vehicle, student may be move to a seat.
Student uses a manual/power wheelchair and requires a transport vehicle with a lift/ramp.
Additional information if needed: _________________________________________________________
Preschool Staff Member must fax a copy of this form to:
Transportation Routing Technician: ___________________ Fax: ______________ Date Faxed: _____
EC Preschool Secretary: ____________________________ Fax: ______________ Date Faxed: _____
Transportation Routing Technician must fax a copy of this form to:
Area Transportation Specialist: _______________________ Fax: ______________ Date Faxed: _____
2
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A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
CHAPTER 5
Routing
and Scheduling
Laws,
Policies,
and Regulations
5.1 Routing and Scheduling........................................ 5-2
5.2 Steps in Scheduling .............................................5-2
5.3 Field Trips & Activity Trips.....................................5-4
Appendix 5A - Student Profile .....................................5-5
Appendix 5B - Transportation Checklist .......................5-6
“Far and away
the best prize
that life has to
offer is the
chance to work
hard at work
worth doing.”
-Theodore
Roosevelt
Routing and Scheduling
5.1 Routing and Scheduling
Routing and scheduling a student with special needs can be very
complex. Flexibility within the system is a must. Changes occur daily in
special needs transportation. Unlike regular scheduling, a student with
special needs may not attend the school closest to his/her home, so
his/her bus ride could be longer than other students in their area. The
Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) does not specify a time limitation
for a student’s bus ride. However, travel time should be comparable with
that of non-disabled students and must meet the transportation needs
written in the student’s IEP. A shortened school day to accommodate
transportation schedules is not permissible.
Some issues to be resolved in the IEP process which relate to routing and scheduling are as follows:
• Does the student need any special accommodations or modifications?
• Can the accommodations or modifications be met by the transportation service provided to nondisabled
peers?
• What level of supervision is required (i.e. Transportation Safety Assistant, Nurse)?
This section outlines the process of scheduling a student with special needs for transportation. It is
recommended that Transportation Departments develop guidelines in conjunction with their LEA’s Exceptional
Children Department. An open communication between Transportation, the Exceptional Children Department,
the IEP team, and parents will enable each district to provide safe, appropriate, cost effective transportation
for the special needs student.
5.2 Steps in Scheduling
Scheduling a student must be done on an individual basis. What works for one child may not work for
another. The scheduler must access all available information about the student and find the best transportation
plan for that child. The most efficient and economical route that effectively meets the needs of the student
should be selected.
1. Receive the Student Prole to identify needs of student.
Requesting transportation begins with a properly completed student profile. The “student prole”
which includes a summary of the student’s abilities and needs should be completed by the IEP
Team. (Refer to Appendix A) It is very important that complete and accurate information is provided.
All information must be handled confidentially in accordance with the Family Educational Rights
to Privacy Act (FERPA). Once a request has been received, the Transportation Department will
arrange to transport the student in accordance with the request in a timely manner. When routing or
schedule changes are requested, the student profile must be updated prior to changing transportation
arrangements. Issues affecting route/schedule changes may include the following:
• Temporary or permanent change of address.
• How much advance notice is needed to implement change?
• Does the new address meet all busing criteria?
• Change in program or school placement.
• Does it involve a new or different route, or time changes?
• Student will be absent for the a.m. run, p.m. run or for the whole day. (Make sure parents know
who to call, and by what time.)
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A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
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Routing and Scheduling
When updating the student profile, only the student name along with other information that has
changed need to be completed. Depending on the nature of the changes requested, the time
needed by the Transportation Department to accommodate the changes will vary.
2. Choose the appropriate mode of transportation and accommodation
to meet the needs of the student.
Students with disabilities should receive school bus transportation with their nondisabled peers.
However, there are situations in which school bus transportation is impractical because of distance,
road conditions, placement of student, or medical condition of the student. In these cases, alternative
means of transporting the student may be considered. Options must be discussed with parents and
ideally agreed upon by all parties concerned. Some alternative transportation options are (others may
be considered) as follows:
• Local transit authority. (LEA’s are reminded that the use of
non-conforming vans is discouraged)
NOTE: The school district is responsible for any related costs and potentially liable for decisions
made about such services.
• Contracted services (such as a taxi or parent).
The school district is responsible for any related costs and potentially liable for decisions made
about such services. The LEA should obtain proof that whoever transports the child is properly
licensed and carries adequate insurance based on requirements of the NCDMV and the LEA.
3. Ensure that equipment specied in the IEP is available.
Identifying specialized equipment used by a student will help determine the vehicle assignment. (Refer
to Chapter 6 - Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures)
4. Review and train the staff on the bus to meet the needs of the student.
(Refer to Chapter 8 - Training for Transporters)
5. Assign the student to a route.
Three possible options for routing include placing the student on an existing route,
altering an existing route, or developing a new route. Routes should be evaluated
including the accommodation of special equipment, ridership of students, and length of ride.
Considerations should also be given to student’s needing curb-to-curb pick-up/drop-off off location.
Due to scheduling or time constraints, LEAs might need to establish transfer points for some special
needs routes. With careful planning this process can be accomplished
smoothly and safely. Things to consider include the following:
• Choosing a safe location.
• Allowing sufficient time to complete the transfer.
• Ensuring radio contact between vehicles.
6. Establish the pick-up and drop-off times.
Based on local policy, the Transportation Department should communicate the scheduled pick up and drop off times for students assigned
to transportation. Each student should be ready to board the bus
prior to the designated stop time. Parents are responsible for providing
transportation to school on the days when the student misses the bus.
Parents are responsible for appropriate supervision of the student at
the designated pick-up/drop-off location. LEAs should develop local
procedures that may include the following for students who need
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
T
BES ICE
CT
PRA
Parents are
responsible for
appropriate
supervision of the
student at the
designated
pick-up/drop-off
location
Page 5 - 3
Routing and Scheduling
appropriate supervision in the event no one is available to receive a student at the designated drop
off location.
• Designate a length of wait time at the stop.
• Utilize communication devices (radios, cell phones, etc.)
• Consider an alternate drop-off location.
• Finish route and return to designated drop off location.
• Return to assigned school.
• Notify law enforcement agency or social services.
• Document occurrences.
The length of the instructional day cannot be compromised unless otherwise specified in the IEP.
Additionally, the IEP may require a specified length of ride for health considerations.
7. Contact parents.
Local procedures should be developed to inform parents of appropriate pick up and drop off times and
general transportation guidelines/information.
5.3 Field Trips & Activity Trips
Due to transportation needs, students with disabilities cannot be excluded from participating in field trips/
activity trips. Careful planning and coordinating will promote a safe trip. Some points to consider are the
following:
• Providing the necessary IEP information for each student.
• Requesting appropriate field trip bus.
• Assigning a properly trained driver.
• Assigning a properly equipped bus.
• Conducting a pre-trip inspection.
• Having the same emergency information available that is on the daily route bus.
• Including non-disabled students on the bus with disabled students.
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A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
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Routing and Scheduling
Appendix 5A — Student Profile
Confidential
Student Profile - Specialized Transportation
Student: _____________________________________________ Age: ________ Grade: ___________
(Last)
(First)
(Middle)
Address: _____________________________________________ City: __________________________
Primary Guardian: _____________________________________ Phone: ____________ / ____________
(Last)
(First)
(Middle)
Home / Work
Emergency contact: ____________________________________ Phone: ________________
Please indicate if this is an: _______ Original Request _______ Update to original Student Profile
Does student have:
_________ IEP Area of Eligibility __________________________________
_________ 504 Plan
_________ Medical Diagnosis _______________________________________
Home school: _____________ Assigned School: ______________ Requested Start Date: __________
Requested Pick up Location (a.m.): _______________________________________
Requested Drop-off Location (p.m.): ______________________________________ (must be approved by
Transportation if different from pick up location)
Special Equipment / Mobility Assistance (Please check all that apply):
Student Can:
______ Ride a bus
_______ Be left unattended
______ Ride a specially equipped bus
_______ Transfer independently to bus seat
______ Communicate in primary language
_______ Walk to established bus stop
______ Communicate verbally
_______ Walk independently
______ Communicate non-verbally
_______ Walk with crutches
_______ Walk with walker
Student Needs:
______ Assistance to get on/off bus
_______ Behavior Management Plan
______ Assistance to transfer to bus seat
_______ Health Care Plan
______ Safety Vest
_______ Augmentative Communication Device
______ Positioning Belt
_______ Safety Assistant
______ Car Seat
______ Securement for: Power Wheelchair ______ Manual Wheelchair ______ Tray ______
Scooter (unoccupied) ______ Walker ______ Crutches ______
Oxygen _____
Other information: ____________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
Signature of Authorized School Representative
IEP Team Representative: ______________________________________ Date: __________________
For Transportation Department Use Only
Mode of Transportation: Bus
(Circle one)
Employee Contract
Specially Equipped Bus
Third Party Contract
Parent Contract
Type of Pick Up / Drop-Off: (Circle one)
Bus Stop
Address Stop
Authorized by:
Transportation Director/Designee: ____________________________________ Date: ____________
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 5 - 5
Routing and Scheduling
Appendix 5B — Transporting Checklist
Transportation Department Checklist
Checklist for Students with Special Needs Transportation
Student Name: _________________________________________________________________
______ IEP Meeting Conducted on: ___________
Transportation Attended: Yes / No
______ Student Profile – Special Needs Transportation completed:
- Date Request Completed: ________ Completed by: _________________ Phone: __________
- Date Received by Transportation: ______________ Received by: ______________________
______ Transportation request reviewed to determine appropriate transportation
______ Student assigned mode of transportation
School Bus_____ Specially Equipped Bus_____ Parent Contract_____ Employee Contract _____
Private Contract (Third Party) – Describe: ____________________________________
For Contracted services: ______ Validate drivers license
______ Collect appropriate insurance documents
______ Check DMV driver records
______ Pick up and drop off locations established
______ Driver contacted and provided with the following:
_______ Student Profile
_______ Special Equipment: ______________________________________
_______ Training (if necessary)
______ Transportation notifies appropriate party(s)
Specify: ______________________________________________________________________
Date: ___________________________
______ Completed checklist filed with Student Profile in Transportation file (Recommend Notebook)
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A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
CHAPTER 6
Specialized Equipment:
Descriptions and Procedures
6.1 Vehicles ............................................................. 6-4
School Bus ....................................................... 6-4
Activity Bus ...................................................... 6-4
Contracted Service Vehicles.............................. 6-4
Non-conforming Buses..................................... 6-4
Non-conforming Vans ...................................... 6-4
Specially Equipped Bus..................................... 6-4
“Many hands
make light
work.”
-Leroy W. Jones
6.2 Vehicle Equipment.............................................. 6-5
Air Conditioning .............................................. 6-5
Aisles............................................................... 6-5
Communication System.................................... 6-5
Emergency Equipment...................................... 6-5
Belt Cutters .................................................. 6-5
Body Fluid Clean-up Kits .............................. 6-5
Fire Extinguisher........................................... 6-6
First Aid Kit .................................................. 6-6
Emergency Exits............................................ 6-6
Evacuation Blankets...................................... 6-6
Handrails......................................................... 6-6
Lifts ................................................................. 6-6
Reinforced Seats .............................................. 6-6
Retrofits ........................................................... 6-7
6.3 Child Safety Restraint Systems ............................ 6-7
Safety Vests .................................................. 6-8
Car Seats ..................................................... 6-9
Integrated Car Seats ................................. 6-9
Specialized Car Seats................................ 6-9
Booster Seats.......................................... 6-10
6.4 Wheelchair Securement & Restraint Systems ...... 6-10
CHAPTER 6
Specialized Equipment:
Descriptions and Procedures
6.5 Students’ Equipment ......................................... 6-11
Assistive Technology & Augmentative
Communication Devices.................................. 6-11
Assistive Walking Devices ................................ 6-11
Medical Support Equipment............................. 6-11
Oxygen ....................................................... 6-12
Medications .................................................... 6-12
Wheelchair Trays............................................. 6-12
6.6 Wheeled Mobility Devices................................... 6-12
Scooters.......................................................... 6-12
Strollers .......................................................... 6-12
Wheelchairs.................................................... 6-13
Securement Points ....................................... 6-13
Tilt/Recline .................................................. 6-13
Wheelchair Integrity .................................... 6-13
Appendix 6A - School Bus Types ............................... 6-15
Appendix 6B - Procedures for School Bus Loading/
Unloading of Students Using Walkers or Crutches ..... 6-16
Appendix 6C - Procedures for School Bus Loading/
Unloading of Students using Wheelchairs ................. 6-17
Appendix 6D - North Carolina School Bus Seat
Spacing Information ................................................. 6-18
Appendix 6E - Guideline for the Safe Transportation
of Preschool Age Children in School Buses................ 6-19
Appendix 6F - Procedures for Using Car Seats on
the Bus .................................................................... 6-22
Appendix 6G - Procedures for Using Safety Vests on
the Bus .................................................................... 6-23
Appendix 6H - Procedures for Using Wheelchair Tie
Down Straps ............................................................ 6-24
CHAPTER 6
Specialized Equipment:
Descriptions and Procedures
Appendix 6I - Procedures for Using Occupant
Restraint System ...................................................... 6-25
Appendix 6J - Compliance with Procedures for
Transporting Students in Wheelchairs....................... 6-26
Appendix 6K - Summary of FMVSS Related to
Crashworthiness...................................................... 6-27
Appendix 6L - Suggestions to Parents Regarding
Their Child’s Wheelchair ......................................... 6-29
Appendix 6M - Frequently Asked Questions ............. 6-30
Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
6.1 Vehicles
Each day thousands of North Carolina public school students are transported to and from school on school
buses and other vehicles as discussed below.
SCHOOL BUS
According to North Carolina Law, G.S. 20-40. 1 (27d) 4, a school bus is a vehicle whose primary purpose
is to transport school students over an established route to and from school for the regularly scheduled
school day, that is equipped with alternately flashing red lights on the front and rear and a mechanical stop
signal, and that bears the words “School Bus ”on the front and rear in letters at least eight inches in height.
The term includes a public, private, or parochial vehicle that meets this description. (Refer to Appendix A
- School Bus Types)
According to state public school law, “The State Board of Education shall from time to time adopt such rules
and regulations with reference to the construction, equipment, color and maintenance of school buses ….No
school bus shall be operated for the transportation of pupils unless such bus is constructed and maintained
as prescribed in such regulations...” Each year, the Transportation Services Section, NC Department of Public
Instruction, issues purchasing specifications that outline the specific equipment to be included on school
buses purchased for operation by the public schools in North Carolina.
ACTIVITY BUS
An activity bus built to the same basic construction standard as a school bus is defined as a bus owned,
leased, or contracted by a school district and regularly used to transport students on field trips, athletic trips,
or other curricular or extracurricular activities, but not used for to-and-from school transportation. It must meet
all FMVSS’s for school buses.
CONTRACTED SERVICE VEHICLES
Due to the unique needs of a particular student, the LEA may contract with private transportation providers.
When an LEA contracts with a private provider, it is recommended that the following items be required.
• Inspection of the contract vehicle
• Proof of insurance
• Proof of correct NC driver ’s license for appropriate size vehicle
• Provision of drivers specifically trained in proper procedures for transport of the students they serve
• Use of special equipment approved by LEA (e.g. securement straps)
NON-CONFORMING BUSES
A non-conforming bus is any vehicle designed to carry more than ten passengers that is used to transport
children to or from school or school related activities which does not meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety
Standards (FMVSS) specific to school buses. Note that a 12-15 passenger van falls into this category.
NON-CONFORMING VANS
A non-conforming van is a vehicle smaller than a bus,
designed to carry seven to ten passengers and used to
transport students, that does not meet FMVSS for school
buses.
SPECIALLY EQUIPPED BUS
A specially equipped school bus is any school bus
that is designed, equipped, or modified to accommodate
students with special needs. The vehicle should be equipped
depending upon the specific needs of the students it
transports. Buses so equipped are not to be considered a
separate class of school bus, but simply a regular school bus
that is equipped for special accommodations. The features
discussed in this section are some of those that should be
considered when determining how to equip a bus to meet the
special needs of the students it transports.
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Transportation Departments
and Exceptional Children
Departments must work as
a team to provide safe
transportation for students
with special needs.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
6.2 Vehicle Equipment
AIR CONDITIONING
Some disabilities/medical conditions make it difficult for students to dissipate heat. They can easily become
overheated. Air conditioning may be justified depending upon the health/medical needs of a student. This
need should be documented by a physician and documented in the student ’s IEP. All 2000 year model,
lift-equipped public school buses and all school buses manufactured in 2002 and beyond are equipped with
air conditioning.
AISLES
• All school buses equipped with a power lift shall provide a minimum 30” aisle
leading from any wheelchair/mobility aid position to at least one emergency exit
and the lift area.
• A wheelchair securement position should not be located directly in front of a
power lift door location. NOTE: NC Public School buses from 2002 forward are
required to meet this specification.
• It is understood that when provided, the lift service door is considered an
emergency exit.
COMMUNICATION SYSTEM
All school buses that are used to transport individuals with disabilities should be equipped with a two-way
communication system. This system is useful when there is a routing or scheduling problem and is vital in the
event of an accident, bus breakdown, or a medical emergency.
EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT
Belt Cutters
Belt cutters are devices with protected blades designed to quickly cut restraint belts.
Each bus set up to accommodate wheelchair/mobility aids or other assistive devices
which utilize belts, should contain at least one belt cutter properly secured in a
location within the reach of the driver while belted into his/her seat. The driver may
need to first cut his/her seat belt in order to be released from his/her seat. It is a
good idea to have another belt cutter for use by the transportation safety assistant
Belt cutters would be used to cut securement belts to release a car seat/safety vest or straps to release
a student from his/her wheelchair. On occasion it might be quicker to release buckles if this is possible.
This option should be something the drivers and transportation safety assistants think about when they
practice evacuation drills. Of course, belts should never be cut unless it is a true emergency situation.
Drivers and transportation safety assistants should practice using belt cutters on old belts prior to an
actual emergency. The belt cutter should be held at a 45-degree angle to the belt and the user must
pull downward through the webbing. After use the belt cutter should be replaced since it would not be as
sharp as it would need to be for quick, effective cuts.
Body Fluid Clean-Up Kits
Each bus should have a removable and moisture-proof body fluid clean-up kit accessible to the driver.
It should be properly identified as a body fluid clean-up kit. Contents of the body fluid clean-up kit shall
be in compliance with state standards.
The 2001 NC school bus specifications require the following contents:
• 1 - 2 oz. package T. I. L. S. C. powder, sanitizes-deodorizes-encapsulates
• 1 - odor reducing mask
• 1 - pair latex gloves (large)
• 2 - antiseptic wipes
• 2 - paper crepe towels
• 1 - scraper
• 1 - plastic disposal bag with scoop and tie Specialized Equipment and Procedures
Body fluid clean-up kit is to be secured in the “Safety Equipment Storage Box.”
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Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Fire Extinguisher
The bus should be equipped with at least one UL-approved pressurized, dry chemical fire extinguisher.
The extinguisher shall be located in the driver ’s compartment and readily accessible to the driver and
passengers.
First Aid Kit
The bus should have a removable, moisture-proof and dust-proof first aid kit in an accessible place in the
driver ’s compartment. It shall be identified as a first aid kit. Contents of first aid kit shall be in compliance
with state standards. The 2001 NC school bus specifications require the following contents:
• 4- inch bandage compresses, 2 packages.
• 2- inch bandage compresses, 2 packages.
• 1 -inch adhesive compresses (16 per package), 2 packages.
• 40- inch triangular bandage with two safety pins, 2 packages.
• Plastic gloves ((1 pair medium and 1 pair large), 2 sets.
First aid kit is to be secured in “Safety Equipment Storage Box.”
Emergency Exits
Emergency exits include the front door, the rear door, push-out windows, and roof hatch if available. If at
all possible, the preferred emergency exit is the front door. If the rear exit is used, there are two methods
of exiting. If able to walk, adults and students must be taught to sit on the bus floor and then jump out. If
the student must be dragged or carried to the rear exit, typically two people will be needed to remove the
student, one inside the bus and one outside.
Evacuation Blankets
Each lift-equipped bus should be equipped with an evacuation blanket to be used in the case of an
emergency evacuation. North Carolina lift-equipped buses manufactured after 2001 are equipped with
an evacuation blanket. When a child is too heavy to carry or has uncontrollable movements that make if
difficult to safely carry them, a blanket should be used for evacuation. The blanket can be used to drag
a student, head first, to an emergency exit. Drivers and transportation safety assistants should be fully
trained in the correct usage of an evacuation blanket as well as a proper drag method.
HANDRAILS
Many special needs students who are able to walk have significant difficulty negotiating bus steps. While one
handrail is typically installed, it could be very useful to have two handrails installed to allow students to hold
with both hands while negotiating bus steps. North Carolina public school buses manufactured in 1998 and
beyond are equipped with handrails on both sides of the entrance door. (Refer to Appendix B - Procedures for
School Bus Loading/Unloading of Students Using Walker or Crutches)
LIFTS
A power lift is a mechanized platform designed to provide access to
a vehicle for an occupied mobility aid/wheelchair. Any vehicle used to
transport students in wheelchairs should be equipped with a lift that meets
all federal standards. The power lift is designed to have a weight capacity
of at least 600 pounds.
Bus drivers/transportation safety assistants on lift buses should be well
trained in safe lift operation and proper procedures for loading/unloading
students using wheelchairs. (Refer to Appendix C - Procedures for School
Bus Loading/Unloading of Students Using Wheelchairs).
REINFORCED SEATS
Seat frames may be equipped with attachments or devices to which belts,
restraining vests, or other devices may be attached. Attachment framework
or anchorage devices, if installed, shall conform to FMVSS 210, Seat Belt
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Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Assembly Anchorages. The seats are typically called reinforced seats. They may also be called “210 seats”
or “lap-belt-ready seats.”
RETROFITS
School districts are not required to retrofit buses. However, if buses are to be used to transport preschool
age children, districts should retrofit their current buses to meet new seating guidelines in accordance with
the following recommendations:
• School districts must ensure that no existing FMVSS (e.g. , 222 regarding school bus seat anchorage,
padding, spacing, etc.) is rendered inoperative when performing any modifications, changes, or
additions to buses.
• School district personnel must adhere to all applicable manufacturer and federal guidelines for the
components being installed.
• Existing school bus seats should only be equipped with lap belts for child restraint securement if they
were originally designed as FMVSS compliant “lap-belt-ready” seats.
• When a new “lap-belt-ready” school bus seat, with a lap belt, is retrofitted into a bus, instructions
obtained from the school bus manufacturer on proper seat installation must be followed. To provide
proper securement of a CSRS on the bus seat, instructions from the car seat manufacturer regarding
restraint system installation must be followed.
• When a school bus is retrofitted, the bus owner should ensure that seats equipped to accommodate
CSRS’s meet FMVSS maximum seat spacing requirements for the particular body application. (Refer to
Appendix D - North Carolina School Bus Seat Spacing Information)
6.3 Child Safety Restraint Systems
It is imperative for the IEP team, including Transportation, to make the right decision related to what may be
needed to facilitate safe transportation for each individual student. Restraints may be indicated for physical
and/or behavioral issues. The IEP team should consider the equipment required (if any) to promote the
safest ride for the student while still considering the least restrictive means of restraint. Exceptional Children
Department and Transportation Department representatives should check with manufacturers to determine
what types of restraints are available. The following sections describe types of restraints that are available and
the best practice guidelines for their use.
BUCKLE GUARD
A buckle guard is an
inexpensive plastic
apparatus that is used
to prevent a student
who habitually unfastens his/her seat belt from releasing the
buckle. The device is fastened over the
buckle with a childproof cap, such as you
find on medicine bottles. Buckle guards can
be ordered by the same companies that distribute safety vests.
All seat belts and seats on which they are placed must meet
FMVSS 208, 209, 210, and 302. The need for a seat belt or
other type of restraint system is an IEP decision and should
be documented in the student’s IEP.
A CHILD SAFETY RESTRAINT SYSTEMS (CSRS)
is any device (except a passenger system lap seat belt or
lap/shoulder seat belt), designed for use in a motor vehicle
to restrain, seat or position a child who weighs less than 50
pounds.
When a child under 5 years of age and
under 40 pounds is transported in an automobile, North Carolina federal law mandates that the child be transported in a car seat
that meets FMVSS 213. School buses are exempt from this law. According to the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), preschool age children are best transported
in a Child Safety Restraint System (CSRS).
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Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
If it is determined that a child must be transported in a CSRS on the bus, the NHTSA guidelines should
be followed. (See Appendix E - “Guidelines for the Safe Transportation of Preschool Age Children in School
Buses”, NHTSA publication February, 1999)
Keeping records with current and accurate information on each CSRS is important. Every CSRS should be
registered with the manufacturer so the school system will be notified if there is a safety recall. Be sure to keep
a copy of manufacturer’s instructions on file.
Safety Vests
A safety vest may be indicated for students who have difficulty staying upright on the
bus seat due to lack of trunk control and need mild support to remain in seated position.
Vests provide both stability and security, and students using vests can be removed
quickly and easily in the event of an accident or emergency.
Most safety vests are designed for children and adults who weigh between 20 and 164
pounds. The vest must fit the occupant snugly with the actual size of the vest determined
by the passenger’s waist size. Continued monitoring of the fit of the safety vest is essential. Improper fit of
vests or improper securement of vests on the bus seat may result in an injury to the student. Accessories
such as crotch straps are available and may be considered for students who need additional securement.
Vests that zip in the back discourage removal by the student. Safety vests should be put on the student
per manufacturer ’s instructions prior to boarding the bus.
Breaking News!
On Tuesday, October 22, 2002, NHTSA published an interim final rule in the Federal
Register that amended FMVSS 213 (Child Restraint Systems) to address the use of safety vests
attached to school bus seats. The rule is in effect until December 1, 2003. There are three key
stipulations of the new FMVSS:
• The restraint system must only be used on school bus seats
• The entire seat immediately behind the child wearing a safety vest must be vacant, or its
occupants must be restrained.
• Effective February 1, 2003, seat-mounted harnesses and vests must bear a warning label
containing the previous two statements.
Before using a safety vest attached to a school bus seat after December 1, 2003 (when the current rule
expires) please obtain updated information.
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Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
The need for a safety vest is an IEP team decision and should be documented in the student’s IEP. (Refer to
Appendix G - Procedures for Using a Safety Vest on a School Bus)
If during an IEP period, it is determined that the use of a safety vest is no longer
indicated, it should be documented in the student’s IEP.
CAR SEATS
Car seats should be
• secured on a reinforced seat using a lap belt that meets FMVSS 208 and 209.
• installed on seats at the front of the bus to provide drivers with quick access to
and a clear view of the CSRS occupants.
Car seats should not be
• installed on seats in front of emergency exits.
When a student using a typical car seat on the bus reaches 40 pounds, the use of the car seat must be
discontinued. If the child continues to require support to remain in a seated position on the bus seat, an
alternative method of restraint must be determined.
Follow manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the proper time to replace car seats.The proper procedure
for disposal is to cut the restraining straps off the car seat, destroy the car seat, and throw in a trash
receptacle. Do not leave the car seat on the side of the
street for garbage pick-up.
Integrated Car Seats
An integrated car seat is one that is actually built into the
bus seat itself. A portion of the back of the bench seat is
flipped down to function as a seat used for child restraint.
After use the seat may then be flipped up, integrating
into the bench seat back for use of those passengers not
requiring a car seat. One example of an integrated child
restraint school bus seat is C.E. White.
Specialized Car Seats
Specialized car seats are manufactured for children with special
positioning needs that cannot be accommodated in a regular
car seat. Specialized seats are available from Durable Medical
Equipment suppliers and would best be ordered with input from
a school physical therapist. Many of seats are larger and will
require special tethering. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for
seat installation and proper restraint of the child in the seat.
The need for a car seat is an IEP team decision and should be documented in
the student’s IEP. (Refer to Appendix F - Procedures for Using a Car Seat on
a School Bus)
• The school system should provide car seats for use on the bus that have been
certified for use on reinforced seats by the body manufacturer. By providing car
seats, the system can be assured that the seat meets FMVSS 213 and has not
been involved in an a collision.
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Car seats and
the children
using them
should be
secured/
restrained per
manufacturer’s
instructions.
Most car seats
for children
over 40 lbs.
require a
shoulder belt
for proper
securement
and therefore
may not be
used on a bus
without
shoulder belts.
• Child safety restraint systems that meet the requirements of FMVSS 213 should
be the first choice when transporting children who weigh 50 pounds or less in any motor vehicle, including
a school bus.
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Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
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Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Booster Seats
Booster seats were designed to elevate children so they
could utilize lap and shoulder belts correctly. Booster
seats require the use of a lap/shoulder belt and cannot
be used on school buses that are not equipped with a
lap/shoulder belt system.
High Back
Booster Seat
Backless
Booster Seat
6.4 Wheelchair Securement & Restraint Systems
The term securement or phrase securement system is used when referring to the device(s) that secures the
wheelchair/mobility aid to the vehicle.
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An unoccupied
wheelchair must
also be secured
by a four-point
tie down
system during
transport.
The term restraint or phrase restraint system is used when referring to the
devices used to restrain the occupant of a wheelchair/mobility aid while being
transported in a vehicle. The entire securement system used to secure the
wheelchair and the occupant is also known as WTORS - Wheelchair Tie Down
Occupant Restraint System.
• A securement system is the means of securing a mobile seating device to a
vehicle in accordance with FMVSS No. 222, including all necessary buckles,
anchors, webbing/straps and other fasteners.
• The securement system shall be located and installed
such that when an occupied wheelchair/mobility aid is
secured, it does not block access to the lift door.
In 1994, FMVSS 222 was ammended to include wheelchair and occupant securement systems. This standard
states that all wheelchairs must be forward facing and must be secured by wheelchair
securement devices (wheelchair tie down straps) at two locations in the front
and two in the rear. It also states that each wheelchair location be equipped with a lap
belt and shoulder belt mounted with anchorage to the side and floor of the bus. Drivers and
transportation safety assistants on lift buses should be fully trained on the proper use of both
systems. The standard also requires that securement straps must be permanently and legibly marked
or labeled with year of manufacture, model, and name or trademark of manufacturer or distributor.
(Refer to Appendix H - Procedures for Using Wheelchair Tie Down Straps)
Occupant restraint systems may be
• parallel systems - the floor anchorage for the lap belt is independent of the rear tie
down assembly, i.e., the lap belt is directly anchored to the floor.
• integrated systems - the lap belt attaches directly to and is dependent upon the
rear tie down assembly.
A lap belt is a Type 1 belt assembly meeting the requirements of FMVSS 209, intended
to limit movement of the pelvis.
A lap/shoulder belt is a Type 2 belt assembly meeting the requirements of FMBSS 210,
intended to limit movement of the pelvis and trunk.
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Integrated
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Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
6.5 Students’ Equipment
Students with special needs may have a variety of medical and physical conditions that require the use of
adaptive equipment or special supplies. This equipment/supplies may need to be transported on the school
bus. All equipment must be secured inside the bus with straps made to withstand the pulling force of 5 times
the weight of the object. Crash tested straps, such as lap belts or wheelchair tie downs, may be used for
securement. Bungee cords may not be used to secure equipment.
Transporting technology devices and/or equipment belonging to a student
• may not diminish the safety of the interior of the bus
• may not create additional risks to students who are boarding or exiting the bus or are in or near the
school bus loading zone
• may not require undue additional activity and/or responsibility for the driver.
ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY & AUGMENTATIVE COMMUNICATION DEVICES
The term assistive technology (AT) device means any item or piece of equipment
or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf,
modified or customized that is used to maintain or improve
functional capabilities. Assistive technology devices such as laptops, word processors, etc., must be secured with appropriate
straps as previously discussed to prevent them from becoming
flying projectiles in the event of a sudden stop or collision.
Aug Com
Device
Augmentative and alternative communication devices (often referred to as aug com or
AAC devices) are electronically operated or non-electronically operated equipment that
students use to support their communication or spoken language. Since augmentative communication mounting devices are not part of the structural frame of the wheelchair, the devices must be removed and secured
to prevent injury to students and/or damage to the devices. If needed, an alternate means of communication
should be developed with input from a speech/language pathologist and/or the classroom teacher.
ASSISTIVE WALKING DEVICES
Students who have difficulty with balance while walking may need to use canes, crutches,
or walkers to enable them to walk safely. Most often these devices will be handed to an
adult inside the bus while an adult on the ground assists the student up the steps and
to their seat. During transport, these devices must be secured with appropriate straps
as previously discussed. Upon reaching the students’ destinations, their assistive walking
devices should be placed outside the bus. After students are assisted down the steps,
their device will be available for them to begin walking. Be sure that students are balanced in their device
before they begin to walk.
MEDICAL SUPPORT EQUIPMENT
Qualified personnel must make decisions related to providing safe transportation for students who are
medically fragile. Transportation personnel should be included in the process of making the final decisions
for the bus ride.
Medically fragile students may need to be transported with equipment such as suction machines and/or
ventilators. The decision regarding the need for a nurse on board the bus should be made by the IEP team
and documented in the IEP.
All portable medical equipment must be properly secured with appropriate straps as previously discussed.
Transportation personnel should have detailed medical information on the student and detailed information
concerning the proper operation and handling of the equipment. Drivers and transportation safety assistants
should be fully trained in proper securement and handling of the equipment.
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Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Oxygen
When oxygen is transported, the canisters should be no larger than 22 cubic feet for liquid oxygen and
38 feet for compressed gas.
• Keep liquid oxygen tanks upright at all times.
• Tanks must have valves and regulators that are protected against breakage.
• Tanks must be secured inside the bus with appropriate mounting system or to wheelchair only if
there is an oxygen rack bolted to the wheelchair itself.
• Tanks and valves must be secured in a location to avoid exposure to intense heat, flames,
sparks, or friction.
A more detailed discussion of the issues associated with transporting oxygen on school buses
can be found in a comprehensive manual from the state of Maryland, entitled “Maryland
State Guidelines: Management of the Needs of the Oxygen Dependent Student.” It can
be referenced from the www.ncbussafety.org web page:
www.NCBUSSAFETY.org/download/MarylandOxygenGuidelines5-02.pdf
MEDICATIONS
Students may need to take medications during the school day and parents may sometimes send the medicine
to school with their child. Each school district should have written policies regarding procedures for transporting the medication. These policies should include a statement that students are not permitted to transport
the medication themselves.
WHEELCHAIR TRAYS
Wheelchair trays are made of solid materials designed to provide arm support
to a student using a wheelchair. The tray is positioned in front of the student,
typically attached to the wheelchair armrests. The tray must be removed from a
wheelchair prior to transport as it could cause severe abdominal injuries in the
event of a sudden stop or accident. Trays must be secured inside the bus with
appropriate straps as previously discussed. While some parents and/or students
may be reluctant to have the tray removed, they must be reminded that safety is the first consideration in
transportation. If a student needs some means of arm support during the bus ride, contact the school physical
therapist for suggestions of alternatives for support.
6.6 Wheeled Mobility Devices
SCOOTERS
A scooter is a three-wheeled power mobility device with a steering handle that is
positioned in front of the user. Due to the chance of injuries due to frontal placement
of the steering handle and lack of stability provided by the scooter, students cannot be
transported while seated on scooters. They must be transferred to a bus seat. Typically
unoccupied scooters cannot be transported due to lack of appropriate securement points.
However, they can be transported unoccupied if secured properly by school district.
STROLLERS
Strollers are wheeled mobility bases that come in a variety of styles, from umbrella strollers to crash tested
strollers that may safely be used during transport. Students must only be transported in strollers that have
been crash tested. Three companies manufacturing crash tested strollers are Snug Seat, Convaid, and
Sunrise Medical.
WHEELCHAIRS
Manual and power wheelchairs come in a vast variety of styles. Wheelchairs also have a variety of seating
components including seats, backs, straps, and pads that enable a student to maintain an appropriate seated
posture. Positioning straps should be fastened to provide postural support and protection.
Whenever possible, students should be transported on vehicle seats. However, many students are unable to
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be safely transferred to a seat and must be transported in their wheelchairs. School physical therapists should
be consulted when deciding whether a transfer to the bus seat is safe and/or reasonable. It should ultimately
be an IEP team decision and documented in the student’s IEP.
It has been the norm that wheelchair manufacturers state that their product was not recommended be used
for transport in a vehicle. Prior to May 2000, there were no adopted standards establishing wheelchair design
and performance requirements that allowed the manufacturer to state that the wheelchair could be safely
used for seating during transport.
ANSI/RESNA WC/19 (Wheelchairs Used as Seats in Motor Vehicles) is now at
standard and it verifies that WC/19 wheelchairs have met rigorous crash testing criteria.
WC/19 is a voluntary standard and not mandated by state or federal law. Wheelchairs
that meet this standard may be called WC/19 wheelchairs, wheelchairs with a transit
option, or a transit wheelchair.
WC/19
Securement
Point
WC/19 wheelchairs will offer four easily accessible securement points on which to attach
the wheelchair tie down straps. A vehicle occupant restraint system (lap and shoulder
belt) must still be used to protect students transported in WC/19 wheelchairs.
Wheelchairs manufactured prior to May 2000 are not WC/19 compliant meaning
they have not been crash tested. Not all wheelchairs manufactured after May 2000 will be
WC/19 compliant. At the present time there are not enough styles of successfully crash
tested wheelchairs to meet the specific needs of all wheelchair users. This means we will continue to see
many wheelchairs that do not have easily accessible securement points.
Securement Points
When transporting wheelchairs that are not WC/19 compliant, proper securement points on the
wheelchair frame must be determined. Transportation personnel and school physical therapists working
as a team should determine these points. It is recommended that the securement points be marked so
someone not familiar with the wheelchair will know where to attach the tie down straps. One effective
method of marking these points is through the use of cable ties.
Securement points must be on the frame of the wheelchair. Sites that one finds the easiest to access may
not be the appropriate securement point. Tie down straps cannot be attached to removable parts of the
wheelchair such as the footrests, wheels, armrests, etc. Securement points are ideally located at welded
sites of the frame, just below the seat. “More important than the height of the securement points is the
strength of the securement points and the frame members to which they are attached. Thus, if stronger
securement points can be found on the lower portions of the frame than on the upper frame or seat, the
lower securement points may be preferable.” “WC/19 Update & Answer to Frequently Asked Questions,”
Larry Schneider, Ph.D.
If appropriate securement points cannot be found on the wheelchair frame, crash tested webbing
loops/straps can be hooked around the frame and used as the securement point on which to attach the
tie down straps. The crash tested webbing loops/straps can be purchased through the manufacturers of
the wheelchair securement systems.
Tilt/Recline
Students should be transported in a position as close to upright as possible. It is recommended that if
tilted/reclined, the angle of tilt/recline should be no greater than 30 degrees. On a tilt-n-space wheelchair
that is not WC/19 compliant, the four securement sites should either all be on the seat frame or all on the
base to prevent an unstable teeter-tottering effect in the event of a sudden stop or collision.
WHEELCHAIR INTEGRITY
Wheelchairs should meet certain criteria to be determined safe for transport. A wheelchair displaying any of
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Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
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Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
the following characteristics would not be considered safe for transport:
• Tires deflated, loose or not functioning properly - the chair will be difficult to move or may move
unpredictably. Deflated tires may also disable the brakes.
• Brakes do not work properly - chair may roll on lift or in bus
• Wheelchair seat belt is broken or missing - student risks falling out of the wheelchair on the lift or
inside the bus
• Wheelchair insert (back support mechanism on certain chairs) is loose/unattached to the wheelchair student not fully restrained; may lunge forward at a sudden stop
• Student does not fit properly in the wheelchair - risks injury in chair or expulsion from it during an
collision.
• Power wheelchair is malfunctioning in any way - could move unpredictably and cause harm to occupant
or others
• Extra equipment, such as a respirator or oxygen tank, is not secured properly - may not function
correctly or may fall off wheelchair (pressurized tanks could explode)
Other considerations related to wheelchair integrity
• Wheelchair should be equipped with a headrest for head/neck support during transport. If a headrest is
used only during transportation, consider a flip-down or removable headrest.
• Wheelchair should be equipped with footrests whenever possible to prevent injury to the student’s foot
or leg due to lack of support/protection
• Wheelchair should be equipped with anti-tippers which are left in the down position during transport
• Wheelchair frame should be stable, no excess movement
• Wheelchair batteries should be securely fastened to the wheelchair frame. Do not transport wheelchair
with lead acid batteries, those that need to be filled with water.
School districts should have a policy to address what will be done when a wheelchair is determined not safe
for transport. Parents should be immediately informed that their child’s wheelchair is not safe for transport
and ask them to have it repaired as soon as possible. If parents are unable or unwilling to have wheelchair
repaired quickly, an alternative could be that the school provides a suitable wheelchair for transport until the
repairs can be made. It may be helpful to contact the school physical therapist who may be able to assist with
obtaining an appropriate alternative wheelchair. (Refer to Appendix L for Suggestions to Parents Regarding
Their Child’s Wheelchair)
Additional Transportation Concerns Related to Wheelchair Users
• When using any sort of “neck ring” or forehead strap for head control, be sure that it is not bolted to the
wheelchair. During transport, head/neck support must be independent from the wheelchair.
• Rigid positioning components such as subasis bars and rigid shoulder
retractors should not be used during transport. Not only could these
rigid supports cause damage to the child in the case of a collision, if
T
BES ICE
they became jammed, it could be impossible to unhook them in order to
CT
release the child for an evacuation. It is recommended that a four point
RA
P
pelvic positioning strap also be attached to the wheelchair for use during
Drivers/
transport.
transportation
• If a student using a power wheelchair has a joystick mounted in a midline
position, it should be moved away from the front of the student during
safety assistants
transport and secured in some manner.
should check
• Students using low back wheelchairs (sport chairs) should transfer to the
with their
bus seat for transport. The low back will not provide needed
transportation
support. The empty wheelchair must also be secured.
supervisor
• Wheelchair trays must be removed from the wheelchair
and secured inside the vehicle. (See section on Wheelbefore denying
chair Trays)
transportation to
Sport
Wheelchair
Page 6 - 14
Contact your school physical therapist for training in the
proper use of wheelchair positioning components during
transport. (Refer to Appendix M - Frequently Asked Questions)
a student
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Appendix 6A — School Bus Types
A Type “A” school bus is a van
conversion or bus constructed utilizing a
cutaway front-section vehicle with a left side
driver’s door. The entrance door is behind
the front wheels. This definition includes
two classifications: Type A1, with a Gross
Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) less than or
equal to 10,000 pounds; and Type A2, with
a GVWR greater than 10,000 pounds.
A Type “B” school bus is constructed
utilizing a stripped chassis. The entrance
door is behind the front wheels. This
definition includes two classifications: Type
B1, with a GVWR less than or equal to
10,000 pounds; and Type B2, with a GVWR
greater than 10,000 pounds.
A Type “C” school bus is constructed
utilizing a chassis with a hood and front
fender assembly. The entrance door is
behind the front wheels.
Type “D” school bus is constructed
utilizing a stripped chassis. The entrance
door is ahead of the front wheels.
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Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
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Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Appendix 6B — Loading & Unloading Procedures
Procedures for School Bus Loading and Unloading of Students Using Walkers or
Crutches
STUDENTS MAY NOT STAND ON LIFT
FOR BUS LOADING/UNLOADING.
LOADING STUDENT USING WALKER OR CRUTCHES
1. Student walks to the bottom of the bus steps.
2. Adult stands behind the student and assists him/her to balance while going up the bus steps. Student may
need assistance to lift him/her foot up to steps. (Students using crutches may need to use one crutch in
addition to the handrail to go up the steps.)
3. Adult assists as he/she walks to the bench seat. Adult secures the student in the seat as indicated car
seat, vest, seat belt.
4. Walker or crutches are secured in the bus with approved straps, either in a seat or on the floor at an empty
wheelchair tie down site. Do not use bungee cords to secure equipment inside the bus.
UNLOADING STUDENT USING WALKER OR CRUTCHES
1. Walker or crutches are placed on the ground near bus steps.
2. Driver or transportation safety assistant assists the student from the bench seat to the bus steps.
3. Adult stands in front of the student and assists him/her to balance while going down the bus steps.
(Students using crutches may need to use one crutch in addition to the handrail to come down the steps.)
4. Once the student has reached the ground, assist the student to maintain balance until he/she is balanced
in him/her walker or with him/her crutches.
If the amount of assistance required for the student to go up
or down the steps is excessive, contact the student’s school
physical therapist to determine an appropriate, alternative method.
Page 6 - 16
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Appendix 6C — Loading & Unloading Procedures
Procedures for School Bus Loading and Unloading of Students Using Wheelchairs
LOADING STUDENTS USING WHEELCHAIRS
1.
2.
3.
4.
Bus driver sets parking brake and activates bus warning lights.
Driver or transportation safety assistant locks the lift door in an open position.
Student’s seat belt needs to be snugly fastened before placing the wheelchair on lift.
Wheelchair is positioned on the bus lift with the student facing out. Be sure to place the wheelchair on the
lift back far enough for footrests to clear the raised safety guard on the front of the lift.
5. Securing the wheelchair on lift:
• Manual wheelchair brakes are locked and remain locked during lift operation.
• Power wheelchair:
• Power is switched off at joystick before operating lift.
• Lock wheelchair brakes if available.
• If the gears on the motors were disengaged to allow an adult to manually place the power wheelchair on the lift, they should be re-engaged to set the internal locking mechanism. (Consult the
student’s physical therapist for instruction in engaging/disengaging gears on power wheelchairs.)
6. Adult stands beside the lift on the ground.
7. Adult standing on the ground grips the wheelchair frame.
8. While the lift is being raised, an adult on the ground maintains grip on the wheelchair frame. The adult
inside the bus should grasp the push handle as soon as they can safely reach it.
9. Wheelchair brakes are unlocked. (Power wheelchair - disengage gears on motors and manually pull the
power wheelchair into bus.)
10. Wheelchair is safely guided into the bus making sure there is adequate clearance above the student’s
head.
11 Place the wheelchair in a forward facing position for securement.
UNLOADING STUDENTS USING WHEELCHAIRS
Follow steps 1-7 described above.
8. Lift is lowered. Adult in the bus grasps a wheelchair push handle. The adult on the ground standing beside
the lift grips the wheelchair frame while the lift is lowered.
9 . Wheelchair brakes are unlocked and the wheelchair is safely guided off the bus lift. (Before allowing
students to drive their power wheelchairs off the lowered bus lift, you should consult the student’s physical
therapist.)
Power wheelchairs should not be driven on/off the bus
lift when it is in a raised position.
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Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
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Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Appendix 6D — Bus Seating Information
North Carolina School Bus Seat Spacing Information
The concept of compartmentalization of school bus passengers plays a key role in providing protection on
school buses. One of the main factors in the success of this design is the proper spacing of passenger seats.
Through Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) testing of school bus passenger seats, the bus
body manufacturers have determined the proper spacing of passenger seats to provide the best level of
passenger crash protection which meets the requirements of FMVSS 222. Therefore, whenever a new bus is
received or an existing bus has seats removed or reinstalled, school district maintenance staff should check for
proper seat spacing before returning the bus to service to transport students.
Attached is a chart listing the seat spacing (in inches) of manufacturer’s bus body by type. North Carolina
School Bus Specifications specify the minimum spacing that may be allowed, and FMVSS 222 specifies the
maximum spacing that may be allowed, providing a range that must be adhered to. The two measurement
methods are at two different locations to assist in determining the proper seat spacing; they are knee-room
or center-to-center spacing. The dimensions listed in the attached chart are North Carolina minimum and
Federal maximum measurement specifications. The seat can be positioned anywhere within these minimum
and maximum specifications. A line drawing is provided to describe in detail where each reference point is to
be measured; either the knee-room or center-to-center method can be used.
If you need any further assistance or information, please call the North Carolina Department of Public
Instruction/Transportation Services at (919) 807-3570.
NOTE: FMVSS does specify the minimum and the maximum spacing required for seating. These dimensions
will vary depending on the seat manufacturer. The Child Safety Restraint Systems are set at a maximum
spacing to allow clearance for the child carrier. It is best if reinstalling seats that have been removed that the
original floorplan be referenced for correct placement.
TYPE A, B, C, and D (78 passenger or less) SCHOOL BUSES
Bus Body
Company
Knee Room Method
North Carolina
Min. Knee Spacing
Federal Max. Knee
Spacing
Center-To-Center Seat Leg Method
North Carolina
Federal Center to
Center to Center
Center Max.
Min.
Thomas
24.25 inches
28.5 inches
25.5 inches
29.75 inches
TYPE A, B, C and D (Rows with Child Safety Restraint Systems) SCHOOL BUSES
Bus
Body
Company
Knee Room Method
North Carolina
Min. Knee Spacing
Federal Max. Knee
Spacing
Center-To-Center Seat Leg Method
Federal Center to
North Carolina
Center Max.
Center to Center
Min.
Thomas
28.5 inches
28.5 inches
35.2 inches
35.2 inches
Diagram Explanation
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A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Appendix 6E — Safe Transportation
Guideline for the Safe Transportation of Preschool Age Children in School Buses
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, February 1999
Introduction
School age children transported in school buses are safer than children transported in motor vehicles of any
other type. Large school buses provide protection because of their size and weight. Further, they must meet
minimum Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSSs) mandating compartmentalized seating, improved
emergency exits, stronger roof structures and fuel systems, and better bus body joint strength.
As more preschool age children are transported to school programs, often in school buses, the public is
increasingly asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about how to safely transport
them. To help answer these questions, NHTSA conducted crash testing of preschool age size dummies in
school bus seats. The test results showed that preschool age children in school buses are safest when
transported in child safety restraint systems (CSRSs) that meets FMVSS 213, Child Restraint Systems, and
are correctly attached to the seats.
Based on its research, NHTSA recommends preschool age children transported in school buses always
be transported in properly secured CSRSs. In partial response to questions from school (and child care)
transportation offices, this Guideline seeks to assist school and other transportation managers in developing
and implementing policies and procedures for the transportation of preschool age children in school buses.
Note: The proper installation of CSRSs necessitates that a school bus seat have safety belts or other means
of securing the CSRS to the seat. NHTSA recommends that lap belts or anchorages designed to meet FMVSS
225, Tether Anchorages and Child Restraint Anchorage Systems, be voluntarily installed to secure CSRSs
in large school buses.
Recommendations for the Transportation of Preschool Age Children in School Buses
When preschool age children are transported in a school bus, NHTSA recommends these guidelines be
followed:
1. Each child should be transported in a Child Safety Restraint System (suitable for the child’s weight and
age) that meets applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs).
2. Each child should be properly secured in the Child Safety Restraint System.
3. The Child Safety Restraint System should be properly secured to the school bus seat, using
anchorages that meet FMVSSs.
Child Safety Restraint System Dened
A Child Safety Restraint System is any device (except a passenger system lap seat belt or lap/shoulder
seat belt), designed for use in a motor vehicle to restrain, seat, or position a child who weighs less than
50 pounds.
Child Safety Restraint Systems Guideline
1. Child Safety Restraint System Specifications
The provider of the CSRS should ensure
• Each preschool age child to be transported has a CSRS appropriate for the child’s weight, height,
and age.
• Each CSRS meets all applicable FMVSSs (look for the manufacturer’s certification on the label
attached to the system).
• Each CSRS has been registered with the CSRS’s manufacturer to facilitate any recalls the
manufacturer might conduct.
• If the CSRS is the subject of a recall, any necessary repairs or modifications have been made to
the manufacturer’s specifications.
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Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
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Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
•Each CSRS is maintained as recommended by its manufacturer, including disposal of any CSRS
that has been involved in a crash.
2. Proper Securement
The transportation provider should ensure
• The CSRS is used and secured correctly in the school bus.
• Each child is secured in CSRSs according to manufacturer’s instructions.
• All CSRS attachment hardware and anchorage systems meet FMVSS 210, Seat Belt Assembly
Anchorages or FMVSS 225, Tether Anchorages and Child Restraint Anchorage Systems.
• School bus seats designated for CSRSs meet FMVSS 225, or include lap belts that meet
FMVSS 209, Seat Belt Assemblies, and anchors that meet FMVSS 210 (designed to secure adult
passengers or CSRS).
• Personnel responsible for securing CSRSs onto school bus seats and children into CSRSs are properly
trained and all personnel involved with CSRSs are provided up-to-date information and training.
• When transported in the school bus, preschool age children are supervised according to their
developmental and functioning level.
3. School Bus Seats Designated for Child Safety Restraint Systems
The transportation provider should ensure
• School-bus seats designated for CSRSs are located starting at the front of the vehicle to provide drivers
with quick access to and a clear view of the CSRS occupants.
• CSRS anchorages on school bus seats should meet all applicable FMVSSs.
• When ordering new school buses, the maximum spacing specified under FMVSS No. 222, School
Bus Passenger Seating and Crash Protection, (within 24 inches from the seating reference point) is
recommended for seats designated for CSRSs to provide adequate space for the CSRSs.
• The combined width of CSRS and/or other passengers on a single seat does not exceed the width
of the seat.
• If other students share seats with the CSRSs, the CSRSs are placed in window seating position.
4. Retrotting School Buses
The transportation provider should ensure
• Existing school bus seats should only be retrofitted with lap belts or child restraint anchorages as
instructed by the school bus manufacturer.
• When a school bus is retrofitted with a seat to allow for proper securement of a CSRS, instructions
obtained from the school bus or seat manufacturer on how to install the seat and restraint systems
should be followed.
• When a school bus is retrofitted, the bus owner should ensure that seat spacing is sufficient for the
CSRS to be used.
5. Evacuation
The transportation provider should ensure
• The establishment of a written plan on evacuating preschool age children and other passengers in
CSRSs in the event of an emergency. This written plan should be provided to drivers, monitors, and
emergency response personnel. The plan should explicitly state how children (both in and out of the
CSRS) should be evacuated from the school bus.
• Evacuation drills are practiced on a scheduled basis, at least as often as that required for the school
system’s school-aged children.
• All personnel involved in transporting children are trained in evacuation and emergency procedures,
including those in the written school bus evacuation plan.
• All school buses carrying children in CSRSs carry safety belt cutters that are accessible only to the
driver and any monitors.
• CSRSs are not placed in school bus seats adjacent to emergency exits.
• Local emergency response teams are provided copies of the written school bus evacuation plan,
including evacuation of preschool age children. Emergency response personnel should be invited to
participate in evacuation drills.
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Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
6. Other Recommendations
The school transportation provider should establish a policy on whether they or the child’s guardian must
supply a CSRS to be used on a school bus. School bus purchases should be based on the needs of a
projected student population, taking into consideration projected ages, sizes, and other characteristics of the
students, including any special needs, and whether preschool age children or medically fragile students will
be transported.
Specified procedures should be established for loading and unloading children in CSRSs. Procedure should
be established for the periodic maintenance, cleaning, and inspection for damage of CSRSs. Procedures
should be established to train personnel involved in direct service delivery of infants, toddlers, and preschool
children on the physical day-to-day handling of these young children and means to handle potential exposure
to contagious and communicable diseases.
When school bus procedures are established, it should be noted that some children in CSRSs may have
special needs, including medical fragility, that must be addressed on a child-by-child basis.
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Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 6 - 21
Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Appendix 6F — Using Car Seats on the Bus
PROCEDURES FOR USING CAR SEATS ON THE BUS
(Car Seats Must Meet FMVSS 213)
Car Seats on the Bus
Car seats are indicated for preschool students and for students who weigh less than 40 lbs and have a
medical condition or disability that requires the use of a car seat. The IEP Team should determine if a student
needs a car seat to be safely transported on the school bus. The decision to use a car seat is an IEP team
decision and should be documented in the student’s IEP.
Providing the Proper Car Seat
• The student should use a car seat that is provided by the school system.
• The car seat being used must be appropriate for the weight of the student (see manufacturer’s manual).
• A student who weighs 20 lbs or less should be rear-facing.
• A student who weighs 20-40 lbs should be forward-facing.
Securing the Car Seat on the Bus
The car seat must be installed on reinforced seats (‘lap-belt-ready seats’ that meet FMVSS 210). The car
seat must be properly secured before you place the student in the car seat (see manufacturer’s manual
for instructions). The ‘nonadjustable’ part of the lap belt should be placed on the aisle side of the seat no
more than one to two inches from where the back and seat meet. Seats that are 39 inches wide (from bus
wall to aisle) will accommodate two car seats. Seats that are less than 39 inches wide will accommodate
one car seat.
The bus driver or trained staff member should install the car seat by placing his/her knee in the seat to ensure
a tight fit when buckling the lap belt. If the lap belt is too long at the nonadjustable part of the belt, you may
twist the belt one to three times to shorten it (adding knots is not acceptable). The lap belt buckle needs to
be on the outside near the area where the seat and back meet so that in the event of an emergency, the
buckle can be readily released. The car seat should not move more than one inch when pushed side to side
at the base. Whenever possible, put the car seat near the window (not the aisle). The car seat should never
be positioned next to an emergency exit.
Securing the Student in the Car Seat
For children who are ‘rear-facing’ and less than 20 lbs, make sure that the internal harness straps are in the
correct slot (check user’s manual - the harness straps should be at or below the shoulders). For children who
are ‘forward-facing’ and weigh between 20-40 lbs make sure that the internal harness straps are in the correct
slot (check user’s manual - the harness straps should be at or above the shoulders). The harness straps must
lie flat with the harness retaining clip at armpit level. The harness should be adjusted so you can slip only one
finger between the straps and the child’s chest.
Caring for the Car Seat
Vinyl car seats may become hot on warm days. The driver may cover the seat with a blanket to protect it
from the sun. The blanket will need to be removed during transport. Car seats should be cleaned regularly
per manufacturer’s instruction. When the harness system is removed during cleaning, be sure to have the
instruction book available to ensure proper repositioning of the straps.
Information Obtained from ‘Proper Use of Child Safety Restraint Systems in School Buses’
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, June 2000
ALWAYS CHECK THE MANUFACTURER’S RECOMMENDATIONS
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A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Appendix 6G — Procedures for Using Safety
Vests on the Bus
SAFETY VESTS
Safety vests are safety restraint devices that enable students with physical disabilities to stay upright on the
bus seat. Safety vests may also be used for students with behavior or emotional disabilities who have difficulty
staying on the bus seat. Based on the student’s disability, education and transportation personnel should
determine if a student needs a safety vest to be safely transported on the school bus.
The decision to use, or discontinue use of, a safety vest is an IEP team decision and should be documented
in the student’s IEP.
Proper Fitting of the Safety Vest
Safety vests are designed for children and adults who weigh between 20-164 lbs. Most safety vests are fitted
based on the individual’s waist size. Be sure to monitor the fit of the vest.
Extra Small (22” waist)
Small (25 “ waist)
Small Medium (28” waist)
Medium (32” waist)
Medium Large (34” waist)
Large (37” waist)
Extra Large (40” waist)
Extra Extra Large (43” waist)
Improper t of vests may result in an injury to the student.
Students should have their safety vest on prior to getting on the bus (i.e. apply vest at home in the morning
and at school in the afternoon). An adjustable safety vest must be put on so that the zipper is located in
the back. The safety vest must be snug and applied correctly in order to provide a safe and secure bus
ride. Some safety vests have an additional crouch strap to help keep the safety vest properly positioned at
the student’s hips.
Mounting the Safety Vest on the Bus Seat
The safety vest is best secured to the school bus seat with a lap belt and either a strap that wraps the seat or a
top tether secured to the loading bar of a lap-belt-ready seat frame behind the seat in which the safety vest is
being used. The entire seat behind the vested seat much either be occupied by a restrained passenger or left
unoccupied. The buckle on the lap belt should be positioned and fastened so that the push button of the buckle
faces the back of the seat to prevent accidental release.
Securing the student on the Bus Seat
Once the safety vest is securely fastened on the student, position the student on the seat with his/her hips and
shoulders touching the seat back. Attach the two shoulder hook straps on the mounting strap to the shoulder
D-Rings on the vest. Attach the hip hook straps on the mounting strap to the hip D-Rings on the vest. If there
is a lap belt on the seat, thread the belt through fabric loops located near the hip D-Rings on each side of the
vest. Make sure all hooks, belts, and buckles are secure and snug.
Always review the manufacturer’s recommendations for proper
t, installation, and securement of the safety vest.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 6 - 23
Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Appendix 6H — Using Wheelchair Tie Down Straps
Procedures for Using Wheelchair Tie Down Straps
Positioning the Weheelchair on the Bus
• Wheelchair is placed forward facing inside the bus.
• Manual wheelchair - lock the brakes.
• Power wheelchair - make sure power is turned off at the joystick control box and re-engage gears on
motors to activate internal locking mechanism. Lock wheelchair brakes if available.
Attaching the Front Tie Down Straps
To properly attach both straps:
1. Attach the floor track fittings of the front tie down straps 3” to 8” outside the front wheels of wheelchair.
Both front tie down straps must have the same type of buckle.
2. Loop the hook end of the strap around a site on the solid, structural frame of the wheelchair and attach
to the “D” ring. [Site on wheelchair frame should be marked with a red or yellow plastic cable tie.]
3. Tighten and secure each strap per manufacturer’s instructions.
Attaching the Rear Tie Down Straps
To properly attach both straps:
1. Attach the floor track fittings of rear tie down straps just inside the large, back wheels of wheelchair.
Both rear tie down straps must have the same type of buckle.
2. Loop the hook end of the strap around a site on the solid, structural frame of the wheelchair and attach
to the “D” ring. [Site on wheelchair frame should be marked with a red or yellow plastic cable tie.]
3. Tighten and secure each strap per manufacturer’s instructions.
After attaching all four tie down straps to the wheelchair,
• Release the wheelchair brakes
• Perform a “shake” test - Grasp the wheelchair frame and physically shake it to test for movement.
• If necessary, further tighten tie down straps
• Re-apply wheelchair brakes
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A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Appendix 6I — Occupant Restraint System
Procedures for Using Occupant Restraint System
Lap Belt & Shoulder Belt
After the wheelchair has been secured inside the bus, you must then secure the student in the wheelchair by
attaching the lap belt and if equipped, the shoulder belt. Note: In 1994 FMVSS 222 was amended to include
wheelchair and occupant securement systems, which includes the shoulder belt assembly.
Attaching the Lap Belt
*Horizontal floor track:
Attach lap belt fittings to
floor on the inside of the
rear tie down strap fittings.
*Vertical floor track:
Attach lap belt fittings to
floor behind the rear tie
down strap fittings.
In an integrated system, the
floor attachments of the
lap belt hook to the rear
tie down straps.
*Typically
Horizontal Floor Track
Vertical Floor Track
PARALLEL SYSTEM
INTEGRATED SYSTEM
Pictures from Sure Lok
Adjust the lap belt firmly and comfortably across student’s pelvis.
Be sure that the buckle is placed near the student’s hip on the side opposite of bus wall.
shoulder belt
lap belt
buckle
Attaching the shoulder Belt
• Wall attachment of shoulder strap should be slightly behind student and
above the shoulder.
• Shoulder strap should cross the shoulder between the neck and
shoulder contacting the collarbone.
• Strap should continue diagonally across the upper chest.
• Strap should be attached to the lap belt buckle (on the side opposite the
bus wall) and tightened to make contact with student’s upper body.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 6 - 25
Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Appendix 6J — Compliance with Procedures
Compliance with Procedures for Transporting Students in Wheelchairs
Student: __________________
Vehicle Type: Bus / Van
Driver: ___________________
Date: ___________________
School: ______________________
Vehicle Number: ______________
Monitor: _____________________
Loading/Unloading Wheelchair on the Lift:
Is student’s seat belt fastened?
Is wheelchair positioned on lift facing out?
Are wheelchair brakes locked?
Is power switched off if power wheelchair?
Is attendant’s hand on wheelchair during lift operation?
Pass
Fail Comments
Positioning Wheelchair on Bus:
Is wheelchair placed forward facing?
Are wheelchair brakes locked?
Is power switched off if power wheelchair?
Pass
Fail Comments
Securing Wheelchair on Bus: Front Straps
Are front tie down buckles the same?
Pass
Fail Comments
Pass
Fail Comments
Pass
Fail Comments
Attaching the Shoulder Restraint (if available):
Pass
Is the wall attachment slightly behind student?
Does strap diagonally cross the upper chest near collarbone?
Is lap belt buckle near student’s hip (hip farthest from bus wall)?
Fail Comments
Final Check:
Is wheelchair secure and snug (no movement when shaken)?
Are walkers and lap trays secured with a seat belt or floor belt?
Fail Comments
Are front tie down straps attached at marked site on wheelchair frame?
Are front tie down straps 3-8 inches outside of front wheels?
Are front tie down straps at a 30 to 60 degree angle?
Securing Wheelchair on Bus: Rear Straps
Are rear tie down buckles the same?
Are rear tie down straps attached at marked site on wheelchair frame?
Are rear tie down straps just inside of the rear wheels?
Are rear tie down straps at a 30 to 45 degree angle?
Are rear tie down straps snug?
Attaching the Lap Belt:
Is lap belt snug and across the student’s pelvis?
Is lap belt attached to the floor tracking near the rear tie down?
Completed by: _________________________, Transportation Department
Reviewed with Driver? Y N
Page 6 - 26
Pass
____________________________, Physical Therapist
Reviewed with Transportation Safety Assistant? Y N
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Appendix 6K — Summary of FMVSS
Summary of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 208, 209, 210, 213, 222, 225 & 302
From Standards related to Crashworthiness
Standard No. 208 - Occupant Crash Protection
This standard originally specified the type of occupant restraints (i.e., seat belts) required. It was amended
to specify performance requirements for anthropomorphic test dummies seated in the front outboard seats of
passenger cars and of certain multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses, including the active and
passive restraint systems identified below. The purpose of the standard is to reduce the number of fatalities
and the number and severity of injuries to occupants involved in frontal crashes.
Standard No. 209 - Seat Belt Assemblies - Passenger Cars, Multipurpose Passenger
Vehicles, Trucks, and Buses (Effective 3-1-67)
This standard specifies requirements for seat belt assemblies. The requirements apply to straps, webbing,
or similar material, as well as to all necessary buckles and other fasteners and all hardware designed for
installing the assembly in a motor vehicle, and to the installation, usage, and maintenance instructions for
the assembly
Standard No. 209 includes this statement:
Each seat belt assembly shall be permanently and legibly marked or labeled with year of manufacture,
model, and name or trademark of manufacturer or distributor, or of importer if manufactured outside
the US.
Standard No. 210 - Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages - Passenger Cars (Effective 1-1-68),
Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks, and Buses (Effective 7-1-71)
This standard establishes requirements for seat belt assembly anchorages to ensure proper location for
effective occupant restraint and to reduce the likelihood of failure. The requirements apply to any component,
other than the webbing or straps, involved in transferring seat belt loads to the vehicle structure.
The terms “210 seat” or a “lap-belt-ready seat” apply to a reinforced bus seat.
Standard No. 213 - Child Restraint Systems - Passenger Cars, Multipurpose Passenger
Vehicles, Trucks and Buses, and Child Restraint Systems for use in Motor Vehicles and
Aircraft (Effective 4-1-71, amended 1-1-81)
This standard specifies requirements for child restraint systems used in motor vehicles and aircraft. Its
purpose is to reduce the number of children killed or injured in motor vehicle crashes and in aircraft.
Standard No. 222 - School Bus Passenger Seating and Crash Protection (Effective 4-1-77)
This standard establishes occupant protection requirements for school bus passenger seating and restraining
barriers. The purpose of this standard is to reduce the number of deaths and the severity of injuries that result
from the impact of school bus occupants against structures within the vehicle during crashes and sudden
driving maneuvers. This standard is frequently referred to as “compartmentalization.”
Standard No. 222, (as amended in 1994), includes the following statements:
The wheelchair securement anchorages at each wheelchair location shall be situated so thata. A wheelchair can be secured in a forward-facing position.
b. The wheelchair can be secured by wheelchair securement devices at two locations in the front
and two locations in the rear.
Each wheelchair location shall have
a. Not less that one anchorage for the upper end of the upper torso restraint; and
b. Not less than two floor anchorages for wheelchair occupant pelvic and upper torso restraint.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 6 - 27
Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Standard No. 225 - Tether Anchorages and Child Restraint Anchorage Systems
This standard established requirements for child restraint anchorage systems to ensure their proper location
and strength for the effective securing of child restraints. This standard is established to reduce the likelihood
of anchorage systems’ failures, and to increase the likelihood that child restraints are properly secured. In the
future, vehicles will be equipped with child restraint anchorage systems that are standardized and independent
of the vehicle seat belts. FMVSS-225 compliant systems are sometimes referred to as “UCRA” systems
(Universal Child Restraint Anchorages). By September 1, 2002, UCRA systems will be required in two seating
positions of Type A2 school buses and optimal for all Type A1, B, C, and D school buses.
Standard No. 302 - Flammability of Interior Materials
This standard specifies burn resistance requirements for materials used in the occupant compartments of
motor vehicles, including the materials used for child safety seats. Its purpose is to reduce deaths and injuries
to motor vehicle occupants caused by vehicle fires, especially those originating in the interior of the vehicle
from sources such as matches or cigarettes.
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations;
www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import/FMVSS/
Page 6 - 28
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Appendix 6L — Suggestions for Parents
Suggestions for Parents Regarding Their Child’s Wheelchair
To facilitate safe transportation it is recommended that parents ensure
• All wheelchairs have brakes (wheel locks) that are in working condition.
• The wheels of the wheelchair are stable and in proper alignment with the wheelchair. Flat tires should
be repaired promptly.
• All wheelchairs have positioning belts (seat belts) that are attached to the wheelchair so they cross
the student’s pelvis, not abdomen. The positioning belts must be in “working order.” Velcro fasteners
cannot be used.
• Wheelchairs transported on school buses have a headrest or an extended back.
• The wheelchair back must be securely fastened to the wheelchair frame.
• All wheelchairs be equipped with legs rests/footrests.
• Wheelchair positioning straps such as chest/shoulder straps and foot straps are attached prior to
loading on the bus lift.
• The wheelchair be equipped with anti-tippers whenever practical.
• Wheelchairs with a tilt in space mechanism should have a locked position in which to maintain the
wheelchair. Wheelchairs need to be transported in upright position if at all possible.
• Lap trays should not be attached during transportation. The bus driver or assistant will secure the trays
in an appropriate place during transportation. (If you feel your child needs some means of arm support
during transport, please contact his/her school therapist for an assessment and recommendation.)
• Non-acid batteries be used on motorized wheelchairs since they are non-explosive and will not leak
or spill.
• If your child is in a scooter, he/she must be able to transfer to a bus seat. He/she cannot be transported
on the scooter.
While you wait with your child at his/her bus stop or meet the bus when it brings your child home, you can
assist us in teaching your child how to safely use bus transportation. Make sure his/her positioning belt (seat
belt) is hooked before you place him/her on the lift. The wheelchair needs to be positioned on lift so he/she
faces out, i.e., back is next to the bus. Brakes should be locked or power turned off. You can stand beside the
lift with your hand on your child’s wheelchair until the bus driver/monitor can place a hand on the push handle
of the wheelchair. DO NOT RIDE THE LIFT WITH YOUR CHILD.
This document of suggestions to parents is provided for informational purposes only. In providing these suggestions to
parents the school system assumes absolutely no liability or responsibility for the contents thereof, including, but not
limited to, provision, maintenance, or usage of the referenced equipment.
Contact Person: _________________________Phone Number: __________________________________
Parents should notify contact person if there have been any modifications or changes in student’s equipment
prior to it being transported.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 6 - 29
Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Appendix 6M — Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is it OK to let a student stand on the lift with their walker?
A. No. A student that walks with a walker or crutches already has balance problems.
It is not safe to have them stand on a moving lift. No one should stand on a lift
while it is being raised or lowered.
Q.
A.
Q.
A.
Is it OK to let a student sit in a chair on the bus lift if he has a hard
time going up/down the bus steps?
No. A chair cannot be used on the lift. A student must be sitting in a locked wheelchair or stroller when
using a lift. If the student requires a lot of assistance to go up/down the steps, contact the student’s
school physical therapist for suggestions.
Is it OK to use a footstool when a student has a hard time with the large rst
step?
Yes. A footstool can be used to bridge the gap between the ground and the first step. Be sure to tie
down the stool inside the bus.
Q. If a student has difculty going up/down the steps, is it OK to let him crawl?
A. No. Students should load the bus in an age appropriate manner. They should walk up the steps with
assistance from an adult. Some of our buses have three steps and some have four. With a four-step bus,
the steps are not as high as a three-step bus which may make it easier for the student to manage. If
walking up the steps is too difficult, contact the student’s physical therapist for suggestions.
Q. Can adults carry a school age student onto the bus and to the bus seat?
A. No. School age students should not be carried except in the case of an emergency. It is dangerous for
the student and for those carrying him/her. This may not be the case for certain students depending on
their age, weight, and disability, or a preschool age child who may be too small
to negotiate bus steps.
Q. Is it OK to drive power wheelchairs on and off the bus lift?
A. Most often, with close supervision, it is OK to drive on and off the lift when it
is on the ground. Power wheelchairs should not be driven off/on bus lift when
it is in a raised position. The gears must be disengaged so the wheelchair
can be manually pushed.
Q.
A.
If a student has a hard time moving their wheelchair backwards, is it OK to let
him/her move it forward onto the bus lift?
No. The student must face away from the bus while on the lift. The heaviest part of the wheelchair is at
the back. The lift was designed to operate with the heaviest part of the load on the back of the lift.
Q. If a student is afraid to ride the bus lift, is it OK for an adult to ride with him?
A. No. No one should ever ride the lift while standing. You can help students feel more secure by reminding
them that you are holding their wheelchair frame while they are on the lift.
Page 6 - 30
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Q.
A.
What do you do if the student’s wheelchair brakes and/or seat belt do not work
properly?
Notify the parents or school personnel as soon as possible so the brakes and/or seat belt can be
repaired. It is very important for both brakes and seat belt to be working properly while the wheelchair
is on the lift and while inside the bus.
Q. Is it OK to hook the tie down strap to the footrest?
It seems like I can more quickly
and easily get the strap on the footrest to hold the wheelchair.
A.
Q.
A.
No. You must hook the tie down straps around a non-removable part of the wheelchair frame. Leg
rests, armrests, and wheels come off the wheelchair easily. You must place the tie down strap at the
site on the wheelchair frame that is marked with cable ties. If a wheelchair has a factory installed
transit option attachment, you hook the strap to the transit option attachment which is welded to the
wheelchair frame.
Is it OK to leave the tray on a wheelchair during the bus ride if a parent requests
it to support the child’s arms?
No. Trays must always be removed from the wheelchair and tied down inside the bus. A tray attached to
a wheelchair can cause severe abdominal injuries if the bus had to stop very quickly or was involved in
an accident. If the parent does not agree to have it removed, contact the student’s physical therapist for
other options such as a tray made out of foam.
Q. Is it OK to leave a student’s wheelchair tilted so she can sleep on the way home?
A. No. Students should be transported in an upright position whenever possible. If the child cannot maintain
a proper head position, the wheelchair may need to be tilted slightly - but not more than 30 degrees.
When wheelchair backs are reclined or wheelchairs are tilted, the student can “submarine” or slide under
the lap belt if the bus brakes are applied quickly. Contact the student’s physical therapist for help.
Q.
A.
Q.
A.
Is it OK to bring the lap belt over the wheels of the wheelchair to make it easier
to hook around the student?
No. The lap belt must be brought up inside the wheels and armrests of the wheelchair and make contact
directly with the student. If you have trouble getting the belt inside the armrests, contact the student’s
physical therapist to see if modifications need to be made to the wheelchair seat or back.
Does the shoulder belt have to be used if the student complains that it hurts
his neck?
Yes. If there is a shoulder belt on the bus, you must use it. If the shoulder belt is not positioned well, you
may need to reposition the wheelchair on the floor tracks or reposition the attachment of the shoulder
belt to the bus wall. There is also a strap available called a shoulder height adjuster. This strap provides
more options for placement of the shoulder strap. You may need to ask your supervisor if it is possible to
have this type shoulder strap on your bus for students who are very short.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 6 - 31
Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Q.
A.
What should I do if I can’t get the tie down straps out of the
oor tracks to move them?
Floor tracks need to be kept clean, free of dirt and trash. If cleaning around
the floor track attachment doesn’t allow the strap to be removed, you must
notify your supervisor or contact a mechanic at the bus garage to get their
help in removing the strap. Then be sure to sweep the bus floor and tracks
frequently.
Q. Who do I contact to get tie down sites marked on a student’s new wheelchair?
A. A school physical therapist can mark the tie down sites on the wheelchair for you or assist transportation
personnel in doing so.
Page 6 - 32
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
CHAPTER 7
Emergency Evacuation
7.1 Student Specific Emergency Information ............. 7-2
7.2 Evacuation Planning ........................................... 7-2
Prior to Planning for Evacuations ...................... 7-2
When to Evacuate ............................................ 7-2
Planning for an Evacuation............................... 7-3
Writing a Specific Bus Evacuation Plan .............. 7-3
7.3 Emergency Drills ................................................ 7-4
Appendix 7A - Emergency Information Card .............. 7-5
Appendix 7B - Emergency School Bus Evacuation ....... 7-6
“ What the mind
of man can
Appendix 7C - Instructions for Completing Bus
Evacuation Plan......................................................... 7-7
conceive
Appendix 7D - Bus Evacuation Plan Sample Form ...... 7-8
and believe,
Appendix 7E - Bus Evacuation Plan Example .............. 7-9
it can achieve.”
-Napolean Hill
Emergency Evacuation
The primary responsibility of the school bus driver is to safely transport students to and from school each
day. To ensure safety for students, a bus driver and bus transportation safety assistant must know what to
do if an accident or some other type of an emergency should occur. Training and planning are the keys
to an effective emergency evacuation. It is essential to have a written plan for emergency evacuations
which takes into consideration the individual needs of students who use wheelchairs, ventilation, and oxygen
equipment or other special equipment. Evacuation procedures should be well known and rehearsed by drivers,
transportation safety assistants, and substitute drivers.
7.1 Student Specific Emergency Information
All children with special needs should have up-to-date emergency information available on the school bus. It is
important that this information be filled out by knowledgeable persons, updated annually or sooner if needed,
and kept in a convenient and safe location. All emergency information should be handled as confidential in
accordance with FERPA requirements.
If a student is transported to a hospital, the emergency card should accompany them. (Refer to Appendix
A - Emergency Information Card)
7.2 Evacuation Planning
Prior to Planning for Evacuations
There are several basic questions that need to be answered through
administrative policy.
• Who calls the police and ambulance service?
• What are the responsibilities of the bus driver and transportation
safety assistant?
• Who maintains the list of students on the bus, the transportation
department or the school?
• Who maintains the list of emergency phone numbers to contact
parents?
• Who notifies parents that their child was involved in a serious crash?
• Who documents the hospital name and address where each child
is transported?
• What do you do when a collision occurs in the afternoon after school has dismissed and no one is
at school to take your call?
• Who maintains a manifest or passenger list for after-hours operations (e.g., field trips)?
When to Evacuate
Evacuation should not be undertaken automatically after every collision or incident. For instance, after most
“fender-bender” bus crashes, children will usually be safer inside the bus until emergency help arrives.
Reasons for an emergency evacuation:
• Fire or smoke on the bus
• Suspected fire (smelling something hot or noticing a strong fuel smell)
• Inoperable bus in danger of being hit by other vehicles (i.e., on a railroad track, on the edge of an
embankment, under the brink of a hill, on a sharp curve, heavy fog conditions)
• Flooding conditions
T
BES ICE
T
C
PRA
DO NOT HESITATE TO EVACUATE
if you feel students are in danger.
(Refer to Appendix B - Transporting Students with Special Needs, Emergency School Bus Evacuation)
Page 7 - 2
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Emergency Evacuation
Planning for an Evacuation
When planning for an evacuation, be sure to include input from emergency responders in your immediate
area. Bus drivers and transportation safety assistants need to know the following:
• The location and procedure to open every exit on the bus with their eyes closed (in the event that
the bus is filled with smoke)
• How to safely exit from a rear emergency door (“sit and slide” method)
• Their specific responsibilities during an evacuation
• The location(s) and the procedure for use of a belt cutter(s)
• The names and assigned seating positions for every student on the bus
• General knowledge of students’ cognitive ability that may affect their response in
an emergency situation
• Method of communication for each student
• Which students could be helpers in the event of an evacuation and to what extent
• Which students can walk independently or with assistance during an evacuation
• Which students can be safely removed from their wheelchairs during an
evacuation
• How to remove a student from their wheelchair
• How to properly lift, carry, or drag students (Evacuation Lifts consist of one person lift, one person drag,
two person lift to a blanket, two person evacuation at emergency door.)
• How to determine which emergency exit should be used (Bus driver needs to know that the door to the
emergency exit he/she plans to use can be opened and that it is safe to exit the bus from that exit. Will
they be exiting into traffic, on an embankment, etc.)
• How to properly determine 100 feet of distance (approximately three bus lengths) for a proper safety
zone for students after evacuation
While an adult may need to guide students and/or stay with them in a safety zone, the bus driver should
remain on the bus to maintain order and ensure that all students are off the bus.
When planning for an emergency evacuation of preschoolers that are able to walk, the use of a “lead rope”
may be indicated. The preschool students are told to hold to the rope, as they are lead by an adult to the safety
zone. This enables the adult to keep the group together.
Writing a Specic Evacuation Plan
On a diagram of a bus:
• Write the students’ names to indicate where they sit on the bus.
• Next to the students’ name include the following if appropriate:
• Student is in a car seat (It is generally safer to leave infants and toddlers in car seats for an evacuation.
It also prevents them from wandering away after being taken to the safety zone.)
• Student is in a safety vest (Safety vest anchor straps should be cut to release the student for an
evacuation.)
• Student is hearing impaired or visually impaired
• Determine the best method of evacuation for each student with input from their school physical
therapist, classroom teacher, and parent.
• Next to the student’s name on the diagram indicate the method of evacuation.
• Student walks with or without assistance
• Remove student from their wheelchair for evacuation
• Student remains in their wheelchair for evacuation*
* Some students with serious deformities or medical conditions may be more easily evacuated in their wheelchairs. Don’t
be deceived by the size of these students - their deformities and/or stiffness from high muscle tone may make lifting
them out of the wheelchair precarious. Some students may spasm when quickly taken out of the wheelchair, and this
movement could throw the assisting adult off balance. With the help of the school physical therapist, the bus staff can
determine which students should remain in their wheelchairs.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 7 - 3
Emergency Evacuation
• Student should be carried or dragged (Dragging is usually more effective than lifting or carrying
heavier students. A blanket or coat can be used for dragging.)
• More than one adult will be needed to carry or drag the student
• Indicate the order in which students will be evacuated (Usually ambulatory students are evacuated
first unless behavior problems would create additional hazards. Then you evacuate the students
nearest to source of danger, followed by those next closest, etc.)
Refer to Appendix C - Instructions for Completing Written Evacuation Plan
Refer to Appendix D - Blank copy of a written Special Needs Bus Evacuation Plan
Refer to Appendix E - Sample of a completed written Special Needs Bus Evacuation Plan
7.4 Emergency Drills
Emergency Drills
• Evacuation drills should be practiced at least one time per year. Some experts recommend two drills per
year, one drill using front door for evacuation and a second drill using the rear door.
• Drills are usually conducted on the school property and are scheduled and supervised by the transportation
department and the school administrator.
• Parents should be notified of the drills as they may want to be at the school during the drill.
• Students may or may not actually participate in the drill. If the student is medically fragile, they should not
be required to leave the bus. However, it is important that each student have an understanding of what
will occur during an actual evacuation.
• Students need to understand why they may have to evacuate a bus and how they would be evacuated.
This is best done with the help of the classroom teacher, as he/she is more familiar with the student’s
learning styles.
When school transportation is being contracted, the private agency should ensure that their drivers are trained
in proper emergency evacuation for each student.
Page 7 - 4
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Emergency Evacuation
Appendix 7A — Emergency Information Card
The following information must be provided on a yearly basis by parent/guardian for students requiring special transportation.
Parent/guardian will be required to complete a new form when there is a change in the information provided.
Student Name:
Birth Date:
School:
Date:
Height:
Weight:
Visually Impaired
YES
NO
If Yes, please describe the physical disability:
Physical Disability:
YES
Hair Color:
Eye Color:
PHOTOGRAPH
HERE
Hearing Impaired
YES
NO
Verbal:
YES
NO
Language Spoken:
NO
Exceptionality (circle):
Au
BED
DB
HI
EMD
TMD
S/PMD
MU
OI
OHI
LD
S/L
TBI
DD
VI
Special considerations which may affect transportation:
Name:
Parent
Address:
Guardian
Name of other adult authorized to act on your behalf:
Daytime Phone(s):
Daytime Phone(s):
Student’s Doctor:
Phone:
Hospital Preference:
Phone:
Insurance Provider:
Medicaid:
NO
On seizure meds?
YES
NO
Does student take other medication?
YES
If yes, list name, dosage, and frequency of medication:
If yes, list name, dosage, and frequency of medication:
NO
Need to know for reasons of drug interactions.
Is student allergic to food or medication?
YES
NO
If yes, describe symptoms:
Does the student have seizures?
YES
YES
If yes, what?
NO
Does student have any of the following?
Asthma
Other:
Bleeding Disorder
Brittle bones
Diabetes
Heart Disease
Respiratory problems
Print name)
I, ______________________________________ father, mother or legal guardian of ______________________________________
in the event of accident, injury or serious illness to him/her, do voluntarily hereby give consent to and authorize the school district to
secure medical aid or transportation to a medical facility. I understand that neither the school district nor the individual responsible for
obtaining medical aid will be responsible for expense incurred.
_____________________________________________________________________
Signature of Parent/Legal Guardian
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
____________________________
Date
Page 7 - 5
Emergency Evacuation
Appendix 7B — Emergency School Bus Evacuation
Transportation personnel in collaboration with exceptional children personnel will develop a written evacuation
plan for each bus that transports students with special needs. Each bus should be equipped with the following:
• Medical information card for each student (Refer to Appendix A - Emergency Information Card)
• Written evacuation plan which includes a seating chart for students with recommended order and
method of evacuation for each student
• Belt cutter(s) - one located in reach of driver from the driver’s seat
• Fire blanket
• First Aid Kit
When Do You Evacuate?
Evacuate only when necessary; it may be safer to stay on the bus. Reasons for emergency evacuation
include the following:
• Fire or smoke on bus
• Suspected fire (smell something hot or notice strong fuel smell)
• Inoperable bus in danger of being hit by other vehicles (i.e. on railroad track, on edge of embankment,
under brink of hill, on sharp curve, heavy fog conditions)
• Flooding conditions
Don’t hesitate to evacuate if you feel students are in danger.
What Do You Need to Know Before You Leave the Bus Lot?
• Location and procedure to open every exit on the bus with eyes closed (In the event of a fire, the bus
may be filled with smoke; therefore, bus personnel will need to count seat backs to use as a reference
for the location of emergency window exits and hatches)
• Procedure to safely exit from the side or rear emergency exit (“sit and slide” method)
• Location and procedure for use of belt cutter
• Belt cutter should be placed in reach of seated belted driver
• Use belt cutter when buckles will not readily release
• Hold belt cutter to 45 degree angle to the belt and pull downward through the webbing
• Evacuation Plan for front or rear emergency bus evacuation
• Location of student medical information cards and First Aid Kit
• Names and the assigned seating position for every student on the route
• Physical, mental, emotional, and medical needs of each student
How Do You Evacuate the Bus?
• Driver is in charge; however, the driver and transportation safety assistant must work as a team
• Set hazard lights to warn motorists and set parking brakes
• Radio the base with bus number, location, and reason for evacuation
• Throw radio microphone, student medical information cards, and First Aid Kit out of the bus
• Determine safest exit for evacuation
• Select safety zone at least 100 feet from the bus
• Let students know that they will be unloaded (speak in a calm voice to reassure and guide students)
• Remove students as specified in written evacuation plan
Page 7 - 6
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Emergency Evacuation
Appendix 7C — Instructions for Completing Bus
Evacuation Plan
Instructions for Completing Written Special Needs Bus Evacuation Plan
1. Complete information on top section
• If AM and PM routes are different, develop two separate plans
• Select the most capable of your students as evacuation helpers (this may not always be the oldest
student but should be the most reliable in terms of abilities and behaviors). Evacuation helpers can
do such things as lead other students to the safe zone, keep students together in safe zone if
transportation safety assistant must return to the bus, etc. Evacuation helpers do not return to the bus
once they have evacuated it themselves.
2. Indicate seating location of each student on both diagrams of the bus. Next to student’s name include
the following if appropriate:
• (C) if student is in a car seat (students transported in car seats should remain in car seats for
evacuation)
• (V) if student is in a safety vest (safety vest anchor straps should be cut to release the student)
• (HI) if student is hearing impaired
• (VI) if student is visually impaired (guide students who are visually impaired out of the bus)
3. Determine method of evacuation for each student. Next to student’s name indicate the method of
evacuation:
• (A) if student is ambulatory (able to walk without physical assistance)
• (out w/c) if student is removed from wheelchair
• (in w/c) if student is to remain in the wheelchair
• (Drag) or (Carry) if student needs physical assistance
• (+2) if a two person lift or carry is required due to size or condition of the student
4. Determine order of evacuation. Place the corresponding number next to the student’s name.
• Generally evacuate ambulatory students first unless behavior problems would cause added hazards
• Order of evacuation: first remove students nearest source of danger; proceed with next students who
are nearest source of danger, etc.
For quick reference, these instructions could be printed on
back of the “Special Needs Bus Evacuation Plan.”
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 7 - 7
Emergency Evacuation
Appendix 7D — Bus Evacuation Plan Sample Form
Special Needs Bus Evacuation Plan
Bus number: ___________
AM
PM route
Date of plan: ______________
Circle one or both
Driver: ____________________ Transportation Safety Assistant(s) __________________________
Student Helpers (if any): _______________________________________________________________
Front Fire
EXIT
EXIT
Rear Fire
Driver’s Responsibilities:
Radio base with bus number, location &
indicate reason for evacuation
Throw radio microphone (if possible),
students’ confidential emergency
information cards & First Aid Kit out of bus
Indicate location of safety zone at least 100’
(3 bus lengths) away from the bus
Removes students from wheelchairs in order
listed above if “out w/c” is indicated
Drag/carry students indicated as “out w/c”
to chosen exit
Evacuate students in their wheelchairs
indicated as “in w/c” with assistance from
transportation safety assistant
Transportation Safety Assistant’s Responsibilities:
Open chosen exit
Assist ambulatory students to safety
zone at least 100’ (3 bus lengths) away
from bus
Take students from driver at door exit
and drag/carry them to safety zone
Assist driver to evacuate students in
their wheelchairs
A = ambulatory C = car seat V = vest
out w/c = evacuate out of wheelchair
VI = Visually Impaired
HI = Hearing Impaired
+2 = two person lift
Page 7 - 8
in w/c = evacuate in wheelchair
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Emergency Evacuation
Appendix 7E — Bus Evacuation Plan Example
Special Needs Bus Evacuation Plan
Bus number:
1000
Date of plan:
9/1/02
Circle one or both
Driver:
Janelle Patrick
Transportation Safety Assistant(s)
Jane Ray, Julio RamIrez
Student Helpers (if any): _______________________________________________________________
1
Jamal
(A)
2
Jose
(A)
7
Sally
(out w/c)
carry
Front Fire
EXIT
3
Lisa
(out w/c)
drag
EXIT
4
Jeff
(out w/c)
carry
2
Jamal
(A)
5
Latisha
(out w/c)
drag
1
Jose
(A)
6
Paul
(out w/c)
carry
4
Sally
(out w/c)
carry
Rear Fire
7
Lisa
(out w/c)
drag
Driver’s Responsibilities:
Radio base with bus number, location &
indicate reason for evacuation
Throw radio microphone (if possible),
students’ confidential emergency
information cards & First Aid Kit out of bus
Indicate location of safety zone at least 100’
(3 bus lengths) away from the bus
Removes students from wheelchairs in order
listed above if “out w/c” is indicated
Drag/carry students indicated as “out w/c”
to chosen exit
Evacuate students in their wheelchairs
indicated as “in w/c” with assistance from
transportation safety assistant
6
Jeff
(out w/c)
carry
3
Paul
(out w/c)
carry
Transportation Safety Assistant’s Responsibilities:
Open chosen exit
Assist ambulatory students to safety
zone at least 100’ (3 bus lengths) away
from bus
Take students from driver at door exit
and drag/carry them to safety zone
Assist driver to evacuate students in
their wheelchairs
A = ambulatory C = car seat V = vest
out w/c = evacuate out of wheelchair
VI = Visually Impaired
HI = Hearing Impaired
+2 = two person lift
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
5
Latisha
(out w/c)
drag
in w/c = evacuate in wheelchair
Page 7 - 9
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CHAPTER 8
Training for Transporters
8.1 Personnel Training.............................................. 8-2
8.2 School Bus Driver Job Description ....................... 8-4
8.3 Transportation Safety Assistant Job Description .... 8-5
Appendix 8A - Acknowledgement of Transportation
Training .................................................................... 8-6
“We keep
moving forward,
opening up
new doors, and
doing new
things, because
we’re curious
and curiosity
keeps leading
us down new
paths.”
-Walt Disney
Training for Transporters
8.1 Personnel Training
The IDEA Amendments of 1997 require that all personnel serving children with disabilities be knowledgeable
and trained about the children being served. This includes transportation administrative personnel, drivers,
transportation safety assistants, and substitute personnel.
Positive, safe, and efficient transportation experiences and practices will assist a school system’s commitment
to promoting independence and educational opportunities for special needs students. This chapter
outlines recommendations for providing quality professional training for administrative personnel, drivers,
transportation safety assistants, and substitute personnel responsible for transporting and chaperoning special
needs students. Prior to transporting students, it is recommended that at least the driver or the transportation
safety assistant has completed training and has experiences in special needs transportation. Training should
be documented, monitored, and ongoing as needed.
When developing and conducting training for transportation personnel, it is recommended that the following
areas be included to ensure best practice. Training areas should be modified and expanded to meet the needs
of the school district and individual students as needs arise and change. Resources within the school district
and community that may be available to assist with training include special education teachers, school physical
therapists, vendors of specialized equipment (such as wheelchair securement systems), nurses, behavior
specialists, transportation and exceptional children’s administrators.
TRAINING AREAS
RESOURCES FOR TRAINING
Animal Companions
Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Service
Animal Trainer, EC Administrator,
Transportation Administrator
Disability Characteristics and Medical Conditions
Medically Fragile Children
Medication Transport
DNR
EC Administrators, OT, PT, SLP, RN
Chapter 2 - Disabilities and Health Conditions
Universal Precautions and Communicable Diseases
First Aid
Blood Born Pathogens
RN, Local Health Department, First Responders
Professional Video Tapes
Communication Skills
Student Communication
Effective Communication
Customer Service
EC Teacher, SLP, EC Administrator
Confidentiality Requirements
School System Human Resource Department
Transportation Administrators,
EC Administrators, School Administrators
Discipline
Sexual Harassment
Violence
Supervision of Students
BED Specialist, BED Teacher,
EC Administrators, School Administrators
Emergency Information Management
Transportation Administrators
Page 8 - 2
Chapter 4 - Communication and Collaboration
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Training for Transporters
TRAINING AREAS
RESOURCES FOR TRAINING
Equipment Handling
Bus Equipment
Student’s personal equipment
Securement Techniques
Wheelchairs
Child Safety Restraint Systems
Bus Driver Training
Transportation Personnel, Manufacturer’s Reps
PT, SLP, OT, Equipment Suppliers, RN
Division of Motor Vehicles
Chapter 6 - Specialized Equipment:
Descriptions and Procedures
Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician
Evacuation Procedures
Body Mechanics and Lifting Techniques
Implementing Individualized Plans
Safe Transfer and Lifting Techniques
Transportation Personnel, EMT, RN, PT, EC
Teachers
Chapter 7 - Emergency Evacuation Procedures
Federal and State Regulations, Local Policies
and Procedures
IEPs
IFSPs
Transportation Administrators,
EC Administrators
Inclement Weather Procedures
Transportation Personnel
Laws
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 1997
Individualized Education Plans
Individual Family Service Plans
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
EC Administrators
Chapter 1 - Laws, Policies, and Regulations
Loading and Unloading Procedures
Students using Wheelchairs/Assistive Devices
Preschoolers
Students who walk but require supervision
and assistance
Transportation Personnel, PT
Chapter 6 - Specialized Equipment:
Descriptions and Procedures
Pick-up and Drop-off Locations
Transportation Personnel
Radio Procedures
Transportation Personnel
Record Keeping
Transportation Personnel
Report Writing
Transportation Personnel
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 8 - 3
Training for Transporters
8.2 School Bus Driver Job Descriptions
General Statement of Duties
Performs duties of transporting students in accordance to federal,
state and local rules and regulations and school board policy.
Illustrative Examples of Work
• Drives a school bus safely and professionally
• Maintains order and discipline of students assigned to the school
bus in accordance to the Schools Board Policies pertaining to
discipline and School Code of Conduct
• Assists with loading and unloading the school bus; assists
students with special needs; operates wheelchair lifts and secures
wheelchair; may lift children from wheelchairs to seats; assists
children in wheelchairs in getting to and from loading area
• Completes daily pre-trip and post-trip inspections of a school bus
• Complies with federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations
• Complies with School Board Policies and rules set forth by the
school’s transportation department
• Maintains logs and complete reports
• Participates in training and workshops
• Performs other duties as may be assigned
ke
Ta e !
Not
This specication has
been designed to
represent the general
nature and level of
work found in positions
in this class. As such,
it is not intended to
contain all of the
duties and qualications required of an
employee in a single
position (job).
Consequently, it is not
to be perceived as a
position (job)
descriptive or as
identication of
essential functions as
required by ADA.
Always contact your
school system in which
you are interested for a
nalized job
description.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
• Ability to meet and maintain legal and physical requirements for
North Carolina School Bus Certification and local rules
• Ability to operate and maneuver a school bus with proficiency
• Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with all levels (i.e., administrators, parents,
students, and the general public)
• Ability to exercise good judgment evaluating situations
• Ability to earn the respect of students of all ages and act sensitively to their needs
• Ability to perform medium work exerting in excess of 50 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 20 pounds
of force frequently, and/or up to ten pounds of force constantly to move objects
Education and Experience Requirements
• High school diploma or general education diploma (GED)
Special Requirements
• Must be able to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), school bus restriction
• Must be able to successfully complete a medical examination
• May be required to successfully complete a physical performance evaluation, meeting standards set forth by
the School Bus & Traffic Safety Section of the NC Division of Motor Vehicles and the Schools Transportation
Department
Page 8 - 4
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Training for Transporters
8.3 Transportation Safety Assistant Job Description
Transportation Safety Assistant Job Description
Nature of Work
An employee in this class monitors students behavior and attends to
the special needs of exceptional students while they are using school
buses. The employee receives detailed instruction of the duties and
responsibilities of this work. Independent judgment is exercised in
emergencies by selecting the action to take from ones that have
been planned by higher authority. Improper use of special equipment
for exceptional students could result in injury to those students. The
employee serves under the direct supervision of the principal or
transportation director.
ke
Ta e !
Not
This specication has
been designed to represent the general nature
and level of work found
in positions in this
class. As such, it is
not intended to contain
all of the duties and
Illustrative Examples of Work
qualications
required
• Helps exceptional students in manipulating equipment they must use
of an employee in a
on the bus and entering and exiting the bus
• Seats students in their assigned location
single position (job).
• Monitors students’ behavior
Consequently, it is not
• Reports problems and concerns of students to the designated
to be perceived as a
authority
position (job) descrip• Intervenes between students having conflict
tive
or as identication
• Substitutes as driver when necessary
of essential functions
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
as required by ADA.
• Skill in lifting and placing students comfortably
Always contact your
• Skill in accurately operating and adjusting the special equipment
school system in which
• Ability to learn and remember the bus route
you are interested for a
• Ability to understand the individual needs of exceptional students
nalized job
description.
Suggested Training and Experience
Education and/or experience that demonstrates the qualifications to
perform the job satisfactorily.
Special Requirement
Commercial Driver’s License
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 8 - 5
Training for Transporters
Appendix 8A — Acknowledgement of
Transportation Training
Section 2
Acknowledgement of Transportation Training
I, ____________________________________, acknowledge that I have had Transportation
Training enabling me to assist or transport students with disabilities. My training will ensure that
special needs students will have a positive, safe, and efficient experience. Please check the topics
below for which you have received training:
Training Activity
Animal Companions
Completion Date
Date Completed: __________
Instructor’s Signature: ___________________
Medical Date Completed: __________
Disability
Characteristics
and
Conditions
Medically Fragile Children
Medication Transport
DNR
Universal Precautions and Communicable
Diseases
First Aid
Blood Born Pathogens
Communication Skills
Student Communication
Effective Communication
Customer Service
Confidentiality Requirements
Discipline
Sexual Harassment
Violence
Supervision of Students
Emergency Information Management
Equipment Handling
Bus equipment
Student’s personal equipment
Securement Techniques
Wheelchairs
Child Safety Restraint Systems
Evacuation Procedures
Body Mechanics and Lifting Techniques
Implementing Individualized Plans
Safe Transfer and Lifting Techniques
Page 8 - 6
Instructor’s Signature: ___________________
Date Completed: __________
Instructor’s Signature: ___________________
Date Completed: __________
Instructor’s Signature: ___________________
Date Completed: __________
Instructor’s Signature: ___________________
Date Completed: __________
Instructor’s Signature: ___________________
Date Completed: __________
Instructor’s Signature: ___________________
Date Completed: __________
Instructor’s Signature: ___________________
Date Completed: __________
Instructor’s Signature: ___________________
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Training for Transporters
Federal and State Regulations, Local Policies Date Completed: __________
and Procedures
IEPs
Instructor’s Signature: ___________________
IFSPs
Inclement Weather Procedures
Date Completed: __________
Instructor’s Signature: ___________________
Laws:
Date Completed: __________
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
1997
Instructor’s Signature: ___________________
Individualized Education Plans
Individual Family Service Plans
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
Loading and Unloading Procedures
Students using Wheelchairs/Assistive
Devices
Preschoolers
Students who walk but require
supervision and assistance
Pick-up and Drop-off Locations
Date Completed: __________
Instructor’s Signature: ___________________
Date Completed: __________
Radio Procedures
Instructor’s Signature: ___________________
Date Completed: __________
Record Keeping
Instructor’s Signature: ___________________
Date Completed: __________
Report Writing
Instructor’s Signature: ___________________
Date Completed: __________
Instructor’s Signature: ___________________
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 8 - 7
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CHAPTER 9
Transporting Preschool Children
9.1 Transporting Preschool Age Children ................. 9-3
9.2 Special Considerations for the Bus Ride .............. 9-4
9.3 Laws and Guidelines .......................................... 9-5
9.4 Provision of Transportation Services .................... 9-7
9.5 Specialized Equipment: Types of Child Safety
Restraint Systems................................................ 9-9
9.6 Training ........................................................... 9-11
“Oh, my friend,
it’s not what
they take away
9.7 Equipping School Buses to Comply with NHTSA
Guidelines ....................................................... 9-11
Appendix 9A - Guidelines for the Safe Transportation
of Preschool Age Children in School Buses .............. 9-12
from you that
Appendix 9B - Typical Development Levels ............... 9-15
counts. It’s
Appendix 9C - Key Dates for Head Start Transportation . 9-17
what you do
with what you
have left.”
-Hubert
Humphrey
Appendix 9D - Applicable Standards and Roles ........ 9-18
Appendix 9E - Student Profile .................................. 9-20
Appendix 9F - Transportation Considerations Form .. 9-21
Appendix 9G - Emergency Medical Information Card... 9-23
Appendix 9H - Proper Use of Child Safety Restraint
Systems (CSRS)........................................................ 9-24
Appendix 9I - Using a Car Seat on the Bus .............. 9-25
Appendix 9J - Using a Safety Vest in the Bus ............ 9-26
CHAPTER 9
Transporting Preschool Children
Appendix 9K - Sample Car Seat Registration Form ... 9-27
Appendix 9L - School Bus Seat Spacing Information . 9-29
Appendix 9M - Frequently Asked Questions and
Answers .................................................................. 9-31
Transporting Preschool Children
9.1 Transporting Preschool Age Children
Transporting Preschool Age Children: Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers and
Preschoolers with Disabilities
Transporting the five and under population provides North Carolina with the most complex and diverse
challenge that transporters will face. Various programs exist throughout the state that range from teenage
pregnancy programs (mothers and infants) to preschool programs for students with disabilities and everything
in between. This means that many Local Education Agencies (LEA) will have the challenge of transporting
infants, toddlers, preschool students, and preschool students with disabilities. To meet these challenges, it is
imperative that transportation providers understand the diverse needs of the young ones they transport, the
laws and guidelines governing transportation for children, and the equipment used for safe transportation.
The purpose of these North Carolina Guidelines for Transporting Preschool Age
Children is to
• Provide information on the specific needs and abilities of preschool children-regardless of specific
programs in which they are enrolled
• Provide clarification of the laws and guidelines governing preschool children
• Convey best practice recommendations for transporting preschool children
Safety
In an effort to assure the safety of preschool age students on school buses, the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted crash testing of preschool size dummies in school bus seats. The
test results indicated that preschool age children are safest when transported in a child safety restraint system
(CSRS) that is correctly attached to the school bus bench seat. Based on its research, in February 1999,
NHTSA released the Guideline for the Safe Transportation of Preschool Age Children in School Buses (Refer
to Appendix A). School districts in North Carolina should follow these NHTSA guidelines to the maximum
extent practical
Funding
North Carolina Public Schools receive state funding for the transportation of K-12 students for the regularly
organized school day. This block grant is used to pay for the operation of school buses and contract
transportation for these students. In addition, some LEAs may operate preschool education programs such
as those for exceptional children, at-risk, Head Start, etc. The program that funds the education of these
students is responsible for funding their transportation, which may include
required funded equipment modifications.
Transporting our preschool children will continue to be a challenge as we do
our best to fit these young children on school buses that were initially intended
for school-age students. The complexities will continue to increase with the
ever-changing laws and with the uniqueness of each child transported.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
T
BES ICE
CT
PRA
When
transporting
preschool age
children, school
districts should
follow the NHTSA
Guidelines to the
maximum extent
practical.
Page 9 - 3
Transporting Preschool Children
9.2 Special Considerations for the Bus Ride
Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and preschool children with disabilities are the most vulnerable passengers on
school buses. Each child is unique and has specific likes, dislikes, and abilities. The rate that a child develops
is specific to each child; however, many children will reach ‘developmental levels’ around the same age or
within several months of each other. Children with disabilities may attain these developmental levels around
the same time or later than their non-disabled peers, or not at all. A brief overview of typical developmental
levels from birth to age five is listed in Appendix B. By understanding the various abilities of each child,
transportation providers will be able to communicate, to assist, and to guide each child appropriately and
safely during loading, transport, and evacuation.
Infants (birth to one year) and Toddlers
• Children up to one year and under 20 pounds must be in a rear facing
car seat.
• Children over one year and between 20-40 pounds should be in a forward
facing car seat. Toddlers over 40 pounds will need to use a safety vest or
integrated bus seat with harness system if transported in a bus.
• Infants and toddlers may be calmer if the parent/guardian secures them
in the car seat.
• The driver, or properly trained employee, is responsible in ensuring that the
child safety restraint systems and children are secured properly.
• Do not let infants and toddlers have small toys that could be a choking
hazard since they will bring objects to their mouth.
• As children develop they will become more and more active, often with little
to no fear. Adults will need to provide close supervision once the toddlers
are off the bus.
• LEAs should secure insurance coverage for infants and toddlers if they
are not pupils or students enrolled in a program. (Refer to Chapter 1
- Laws, Policies, and Legislation: North Carolina Department of Public
Instruction School Support Division, Transportation Services: Insurance
and Tort Claims.)
ke
Ta e !
Not
At this time,
booster seats
which
accommodate
children over 40
pounds cannot be
used in a school
bus since they
require a shoulder
and lap belt for
securement.
School buses
typically do
not have
shoulder belts.
Toddlers (one to three years)
• Children under 20 pounds must be in a rear facing car seat.
• Children between 20-40 pounds should be in a forward facing car seat. Toddlers over 40 pounds will
need to use a safety vest or integrated bus seat with harness system if transported in a bus.
• The driver, or properly trained employee, is responsible in ensuring that the child safety restraint
systems and children are secured properly.
• Most toddlers will need to be carried or assisted up and down the bus steps.
• As children develop they will become more and more active, often with little to no fear. Adults will need
to provide close supervision once children are off the bus.
• LEAs should secure insurance coverage for toddlers if they are not pupils or students enrolled in a
program. (Refer to Chapter 1 - Laws, Policies, and Legislation: North Carolina Department of Public
Instruction School Support Division, Transportation Services: Insurance and Tort Claims.)
Preschool Students (three to ve years)
These children may be enrolled in various programs depending on what each LEA and community agency
has to offer.
• Children under 20 pounds must be in a rear facing car seat.
• Children under five years of age and between 20-40 pounds will need to be in a forward facing car
seat. Preschool children over 40 pounds should use a safety vest or integrated bus seat with harness
system if transported in a bus.
• The driver, or properly trained employee, is responsible to ensure that the child safety restraint systems
and children are secured properly.
Page 9 - 4
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Transporting Preschool Children
• Some children may still need assistance getting on and off the bus.
• Children will need supervision for safety once off the bus.
The Preschool Students with Disabilities (three to ve years)
This population includes three to five year old children who are ineligible for kindergarten and who because
of permanent or temporary cognitive, communication, social/emotional and/or adaptive disabilities, are unable
to have all of their developmental needs met in a natural environment without special education and related
services. Preschool children with disabilities become eligible for special education and related services upon
reaching their third birthday. The child may be eligible for ‘transportation as a related service’ if it is required
to assist the disabled child in benefiting from special education (refer to child’s Individual Education Program,
IEP).
• Transporters will need to be knowledgeable about the child’s disability, medical conditions, and how
a particular disability may affect the student during transport (Refer to Chapter 2 - Disabilities and
Health Conditions).
• Children with disabilities should be transported on the bus as listed above.
• Consult with the school physical therapist if the student has specialized equipment such as a wheelchair
or assistive walking devices.
• Whenever possible the student should walk up the bus steps, with assistance if needed.
• Children will need supervision for safety once off the bus.
• If the student is unable to walk up and down the steps, it may be appropriate to carry the student
depending on the student’s weight and disability.
• If it is not safe to carry the student, the IEP team, including the student’s school physical therapist,
should determine the safest method of getting on and off the bus. Some students with physical
disabilities may need to be loaded/unloaded on the bus via the wheelchair lift while they are in their
stroller/wheelchair with wheel locks securely set. Consult with the school physical therapist.
Refer to Chapter 6 - Special Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
Appendix C - Procedures for School Bus Loading/Unloading of Students Using Wheelchairs
Appendix H - Procedures for Using Wheelchair Tie Down Straps
Appendix I - Procedures for Use of Occupant Restraint System
9.3 Laws and Guidelines
The laws, regulations, and guidelines for transporting young children pose additional complexity to an already
complex situation. Local guidelines, as well as federal guidelines (Appendix D), must be adhered to. Preschool
children with disabilities are also eligible for services and assessments as outlined in the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Refer to Chapter 1 Laws, Policies, and Regulations). In addition to the laws and regulations, the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) has published numerous guidelines for transporting children.
The challenges arise because the laws and regulations vary depending on the type of vehicle used for
transport (e.g. autos have different regulations than school buses).
North Carolina Child Passenger Safety Law
The North Carolina Child Passenger Safety Law states that children less than age five and less than
40 pounds must be secured in a weight-appropriate child safety seat in the back seat if the vehicle has
an active front passenger-side air bag. At age five, a seat belt may be used instead of a safety seat.
Children who weigh 40 pounds or more can also be moved to a seat belt at any age. However, the law
exempts vehicles not required to have seat belts, and federal standards do not require seat belts on large
school buses. The larger buses do not have seat belts because they rely on strong, well-padded, energy
absorbing seats and higher seat backs to ‘compartmentalize’ and protect passengers during a crash. Seat
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 9 - 5
Transporting Preschool Children
belts are required on small school buses (under 10,000 lbs.) and children being transported in these
smaller buses are covered under the NC Child Passenger Safety Law.
From the N.C. Child Passenger Safety Law Enforcement Guide: G.S. 20-137.1: Revised August 2000 and North Carolina
Child Passenger Safety Law; Frequently Asked Questions: Updated 1999
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
School buses, including the seats, lap belts, and child safety restraint systems, must meet Federal Motor
Vehicle Safety Standards (Refer to Appendix D).
The regulations also vary depending on which program the child is enrolled in (e.g. Head Start Regulations are
more specific than the regulations concerning transportation as a related service in IDEA).
Head Start Transportation Regulations - Code of Federal Regulations CFR 1310
Head Start regulations for transportation were published on January 18, 2001. This statute consists of
provisions for establishing requirements for safety features, training, and safe operation of vehicles that
are used to transport children participating in Head Start programs. See Appendix C for the specific
regulations and the time lines in which these regulations must be in place.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); Federal Register / Vol. 64, No. 48/
Friday, March 12, 1999/Rules and Regulations
34CFR Part 303 Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities
(Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
This section encourages states to maintain and implement a statewide comprehensive, coordinated,
multidisciplinary, interagency system of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities
and their families. Early intervention services also include transportation and related costs of travel that
are necessary to enable a child eligible under this part and the child’s family to receive early intervention
services. Therefore, districts may provide transportation services to infants and toddlers with disabilities
as part of a local program or as part of an interagency program.
Appendix A, Question 33 of the Federal Register - Comments on Preschool aged
children and transportation in the following question/answer:
‘Must a Public agency include transportation in a child’s IEP as a related
service?’
As with other related services, a public agency must provide transportation as a related service it if
is required to assist the disabled child to benefit from special education. (This includes transporting
a preschool-aged child to the site at which the public agency provides special education and related
services to the child, if that site is different from the site at which the child receives other preschool
or day care services.)
In addition to the laws, regulations, and safety standards, the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) has published Guidelines for the Safe Transportation of Preschool Age Children
in School Buses (Appendix A). Based on research, NHTSA recommends that preschool children need to be
properly secured in Child Safety Restraint Systems (CSRS) when traveling in a school bus.
Page 9 - 6
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Transporting Preschool Children
9.4 Provision of Transportation Services
Provision of safe and appropriate transportation can only be accomplished once transporters, educators,
and families understand the child and his/her abilities and understand the laws and regulations that
govern transporting children. For preschool children with disabilities, the Student Profile (Appendix E) or
Transportation Considerations for Preschool Children (Appendix F), along with the Emergency Medical
Information Card (Appendix G), will need to be completed by IEP team members to determine the most
appropriate transportation plan. The IEP team must convey this information to the transportation department
and/or transportation providers. Based on this information of the child’s individual needs, transportation
personnel can determine the most appropriate vehicle for transport, the necessary specialized equipment, and
the level of supervision and/or assistance necessary for loading/unloading and securement in the bus. The
route, pick up times, and drop off times may also need to be adjusted based on the child’s individual needs.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that preschool children need to be
properly secured in Child Safety Restraint Systems (CSRS) when traveling in a school bus. A Child Safety
Restraint System is any device (except a passenger system lap seat belt or lap/shoulder seat belt), designed
for use in a motor vehicle to restrain, seat, or position a child who weighs less than 50 pounds.
When transporting preschool age children, school districts should follow these NHTSA Guidelines to the
maximum extent practical
Child Safety Restraint System Specications
The provider of the CSRS should ensure the following:
• Each preschool age child to be transported has a CSRS appropriate for the child’s weight, height,
and age.
• Each CSRS meets all applicable FMVSSs (look for manufacturer’s certification on the label
attached to the system).
• Each CSRS has been registered with the CSRS’s manufacturer to facilitate any recalls the
manufacturer might conduct.
• If the CSRS is the subject of a recall, any necessary repairs or modifications have been made to
the manufacturer’s specifications.
• Each CSRS is maintained as recommended by its manufacturer, including disposal of any CSRS
that has been involved in a crash.
For best practice guidelines, the school district should provide child safety restraint systems for use on
the bus, versus using the child’s personal equipment.
Proper Securement
The transportation provider should ensure the following:
• The CSRS is used and secured correctly in the school bus.
• Each child is secured in CSRSs according to manufacturer’s instructions.
• All CSRS attachment hardware and anchorage systems meet FMVSS 210, Seat Belt Assembly
Anchorages or FMVSS 225, Tether Anchorages and Child Restraint Anchorage Systems.
• School bus seats designated for CSRSs meet FMVSS 225, or include lap belts that meet FMVSS
209, Seat Belt Assemblies, and anchors that meet FMVSS 210.
• Personnel responsible for securing CSRSs onto the school bus seats and children into CSRSs are
properly trained and all personnel involved with CSRSs are provided with up-to-date information
and training.
• When transported in the school bus, preschool age children are supervised according to their
developmental and functioning level.
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School Bus Seats Designated for Child Safety Restraint Systems
The transportation provider should ensure the following:
• School bus seats designated for CSRSs are located starting at the front of the vehicle to provide
drivers with quick access to and a clear view of the CSRS occupants.
• CSRS anchorages on school bus seats should meet all applicable FMVSS’s.
• When ordering new school buses, the maximum spacing specified under FMVSS No. 222, School
Bus Passenger Seating and Crash Protection, (within 24 inches from the seating reference point) is
recommended for seats designated for CSRSs to provide adequate space for the CSRSs.
• The combined width of CSRS and/or the other passengers on a single seat does not exceed the
width of the seat (a 39 inch wide seat will accommodate two car seats).
• If other students share seats with the CSRSs, the CSRSs are placed in the window seating
position.
Retrotting School Buses
The Transportation provider should ensure the following:
• Existing school bus seats should only be retrofitted with lap belts or child restraint anchorages as
instructed by the school bus manufacturer.
• When a school bus is retrofitted with a seat to allow for proper securement of a CSRS, instructions
obtained from the school bus or seat manufacturer on how to install the seat and restraining
systems should be followed.
• When a school bus is retrofitted, the bus owner should ensure that seat spacing is sufficient for
the CSRS to be used.
Evacuation
The transportation provider should ensure the following:
• The establishment of a written plan on evacuating preschool age children and other passengers in
CSRSs in the event of an emergency. This written plan should be provided to drivers, transportation
safety assistants, and emergency response personnel. The plan should explicitly state how children
(both in and out of the CSRS) should be evacuated from the school bus.
• Evacuation drills are practiced on a scheduled basis, at least as often as that required for the
school systems school-aged children.
• All personnel involved in transporting children are trained in evacuation and emergency
procedures, including those in the written school bus evacuation plan.
• All school buses carrying children in CSRSs carry safety belt cutters that are accessible only to the
driver and any transportation safety assistants.
• CSRSs are not placed in school bus seats adjacent to emergency exits.
• Local emergency response teams are provided copies of the written school bus evacuation plan,
including evacuation of preschool age children. Emergency response personnel should be invited
to participate in evacuation drills.
(Refer to Appendix A - NHTSA’s Guidelines for Safe Transportation of Preschool Age Children in School
Buses)
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9.5 Specialized Equipment
Types of Child Safety Restraint Systems
Refer to Chapter 6 - Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures for information on vehicle
equipment and student’s personal equipment.
Car Seats
Providing Car Seats for the Bus
• Car seats must meet FMVSS 213.
• Car Seats are indicated for preschool students who weigh less than 40 lbs. Most car seats for children
over 40 lbs. require a shoulder belt for proper securement and therefore many not be used on a bus
without should belts.
• The school district should provide the car seats.
• The car seats must be appropriate for the weight and height of the student (see manufacturer’s
instructions).
• Students who weigh 20 lbs. or less should be in a rear-facing car seat.
• Students who weight 20-40 lbs. should be in a forward-facing car seat.
• Specialized car seats may be indicated for children with special medical needs. These specialized
car seats are available from Durable Medical Equipment suppliers (consult with the school physical
therapist).
• Some buses may be equipped with Mobile Occupant Mini-Seat Systems (MOMs) that are bus seats
with anchorage systems installed and a compatible car seat that can be removed.
Installing the Car Seats on the Bus
• Car seats should be installed on reinforced seats (lap-belt-ready seats that meet FMVSS 210)
preferably in the front of the bus.
• The car seats must be properly secured before the student is placed in the car seat (see manufacturer’s
instructions).
• The driver or trained employee should install the car seat by placing his/her knee in the seat while
pulling the seat belt as tight as possible to ensure a tight fit when buckling the lap belt.
• The ‘nonadjustable’ part of the lap belt should be placed on the aisle side of the seat no more than 1-2
inches from where the back and seat meet.
• The car seat should not move more than one inch when pushed side to side at the base.
• Car seats should never be positioned next to an emergency exit.
• Seats that are 39 inches wide (from bus wall to aisle) will accommodate two car seats.
Securing the Student in the Car Seat
• For students who are ‘rear-facing’ and less than 20 lbs, the harness straps should be at or below the
shoulders (see manufacturer’s instructions).
• For students who are ‘forward-facing’ and weigh between 20-40 lbs, the internal harness straps should
be at or above the shoulders.
• The internal harness straps should lie flat with the retraining clip at the student’s armpit level.
Managing the Car Seat
• Car seats should be registered (Refer to Appendix K - Sample Registration Form).
• Car seats should be tracked by the school system in the event of recalls.
• Car seats should be cleaned regularly per manufacturer’s instruction.
• Follow manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the proper time to replace car seats.
• Dispose of any car seats that have been damaged or involved in an accident by cutting the harness
straps and destroying the shell.
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Refer to Appendix H - Proper Use of Child Safety Restraint Systems in the School Bus, and Appendix I Procedures for Using a Car Seat on the Bus.
Prior to using a Car Seat on the Bus, the transporter should ask the following questions:
• Am I using the correct car seat for the child?
• Have I routed the seat belt through the car seat as instructed by the manufacturer?
• Are the child safety seat harness straps in the right slot?
• Is the harness buckled snugly around the child?
• Are all infants semi-reclined and rear facing?
• Do all child safety seat harness straps have retainer clips?
• Have I practiced with the car seat before seating children?
• Do I have and have I reviewed manufacturer’s instructions for all the car seats I am using?
• Have I checked the NHTSA Hotline in the last three months for possible recalls?
(1-888-DASH-2-DOT)
From Proper
Use of Child Safety Restraint Systems in School Buses, NHTSA 2000.
Integrated Bus Seats
An integrated bus seat is a school bus seat that has a built in child restraint system. The back portion
flips down to reveal the integrated restraint system. Integrated seats usually accommodate children weighing
between 20-50 lbs. When not needed as a restraint system, the back portion can be flipped back up so
the bus seat can be used as a regular school bus seat. The transporter should review the manufacturer’s
instructions for proper use and care.
Safety Vests
Safety vests are safety restraint devices that enable students to stay upright on the bus seats. This is an option
for a CSRS for preschool children who weigh more than 40 lbs. Safety vests are designed for children who
weigh between 20-164 lbs. In 2002, NHTSA issued an interim final rule regarding the use of safety vests
attached to school bus seats, including three stipulations:
• The restraint system must only be used on school bus seats
• The entire seat immediately behind the child wearing a safety vest must be vacant, or its occupants
must be restrained.
• Effective February 1, 2003, seat-mounted harnesses and vests must bear a warning label containing
the previous two statements.
Providing Appropriate Safety Vests
• Safety Vests must meet FMVSS 213.
• The size of the safety vest is based on the individual’s waist size (Refer to Appendix J - Procedures for
Using a Safety Vest on the School Bus, and the manufacturer’s instructions).
• Improper fit of a safety vest may result in injury to the student.
• The school district should provide the safety vests.
Applying the Safety Vest to the Student
• Safety vests should be put on the student prior to getting on the bus (i.e. apply vest at home in the
morning and at school in the afternoon).
• The zipper is located in the back (vests often have a company logo which goes in the front).
• The safety vest must be snug so that it stays in position on the child.
• Some safety vests have an additional crotch strap to help keep the safety vest properly positioned
at the student’s hips.
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Installing the Mounting Straps to the Bus Seat
• Refer to Chapter 6 - Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures - Best Practice Guidelines
for Safety Vests and the manufacturer’s instructions for installation.
Securing the Student on the Bus
• With safety vest securely fastened on the student, position the student on the seat with hips and
shoulders touching the seat back.
• Attach the two shoulder hook straps on the mounting strap to the shoulder D-Rings on the vest. Attach
the hip hook straps on the mounting strap to the hip D-Rings on the vest. Make sure hooks, belts,
buckles are secure and snug.
• If there is a lap belt on the seat, thread the belt through the fabric loops located near the hip D-Rings
on each side of the vest.
9.6 Training
Prior to transporting preschool children, the driver and transportation safety assistant should be trained and
competent in the following:
• CSRS securement procedures (to include car seats, safety vests, and integrated seats when applicable)
• Child securement procedures for the child safety restraint systems
• Methods to assist students on/off the bus
• Evacuation procedures (including proper use of seat belt/strap cutter)
• Proper lifting and handling techniques
• Knowledge of disabilities and medical conditions specific to the children transported
• Knowledge of adaptive equipment specific to the children transported
A method to document the training sessions as well as the names of the participants in attendance should
be established. Training should be completed annually or more frequently if indicated. Training sessions may
also be indicated for parents, designated school personnel, and emergency response personnel. Physical
therapists, occupational therapists, and nurses may be involved in the training sessions for children with
medical conditions, disabilities, and/or adaptive equipment. For more information refer to Chapter 8 - Training
for Transporters.
9.7 Equipping School Buses to Comply with
NHTSA Guidelines
School districts should follow the NHTSA Guidelines for the Safe Transportation of
Preschool Age Children in School Buses to the maximum extent practical. All North Carolina
school buses built after January 1, 2000 are equipped with CSRS compliant seats (lap-belt ready seats that
meet FMVSS 210). The 35-36 passenger buses are equipped with two CSRS compliant seats and the 53-53
passenger buses and the 65-66 passenger buses are equipped with four CSRS compliant seats. If the buses
that are to be used to transport preschool age children do not have ‘lap-belt-ready seats’, school districts
should retrofit the buses as instructed by the school bus manufacturer to meet the NHTSA guidelines. School
districts must ensure that no existing Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards are rendered inoperative when
performing any modifications, changes, or additions to buses.
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Appendix 9A — Safe Transportation Guidelines
Guideline for the Safe Transportation of Preschool Age Children in School Buses
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
February 1999
Introduction
School age children transported in school buses are safer than children transported in motor vehicles of any
other type. Large school buses provide protection because of their size and weight. Further, they must meet
minimum Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSSs) mandating compartmentalized seating, improved
emergency exits, stronger roof structures and fuel systems, and better bus body joint strength.
As more preschool age children are transported to school programs, often in school buses, the public is
increasingly asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about how to safely transport
them. To help answer these questions, NHTSA conducted crash testing of preschool age size dummies in
school bus seats. The test results showed that preschool age children in school buses are safest when
transported in child safety restraint systems (CSRSs) that meets FMVSS 213, Child Restraint Systems, and
are correctly attached to the seats.
Based on its research, NHTSA recommends preschool age children transported in school buses always
be transported in properly secured CSRSs. In partial response to questions from school (and child care)
transportation offices, this Guideline seeks to assist school and other transportation managers in developing
and implementing policies and procedures for the transportation of preschool age children in school buses.
Note: The proper installation of CSRSs necessitates that a school bus seat have safety belts or other
means of securing the CSRS to the seat. NHTSA recommends that lap belts or anchorages designed to
meet FMVSS 225, Tether Anchorages and Child Restraint Anchorage Systems, be voluntarily installed
to secure CSRSs in large school buses.
Recommendations for the Transportation of Preschool Age Children in School Buses
When preschool age children are transported in a school bus, NHTSA recommends these guidelines be
followed:
(1) Each child should be transported in a Child Safety Restraint System (suitable for the child’s weight
and age) that meets applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs).
(2) Each child should be properly secured in the Child Safety Restraint System.
(3) The Child Safety Restraint System should be properly secured to the school bus seat, using
anchorages that meet FMVSSs.
Child Safety Restraint System Defined
A Child Safety Restraint System is any device (except a passenger system lap seat belt or lap/shoulder
seat belt), designed for use in a motor vehicle to restrain, seat, or position a child who weighs less than
50 pounds.
Child Safety Restraint Systems Guideline
1. Child Safety Restraint System Specications
The provider of the CSRS should ensure
• Each preschool age child to be transported has a CSRS appropriate for the child’s weight, height,
and age.
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• Each CSRS meets all applicable FMVSSs (look for the manufacturer certification on the label
attached to the system).
• Each CSRS has been registered with the CSRSs manufacturer to facilitate any recalls the
manufacturer might conduct.
• If the CSRS is the subject of a recall, any necessary repairs or modifications have been made to
the manufacturer’s specifications.
• Each CSRS is maintained as recommended by its manufacturer, including disposal of any CSRS
that has been involved in a crash.
2. Proper Securement
The transportation provider should ensure
• The CSRS is used and secured correctly in the school bus.
• Each child is secured in CSRSs according to manufacturer’s instructions.
• All CSRS attachment hardware and anchorage systems meet FMVSS 210, Seat Belt Assembly
Anchorages or FMVSS 225, Tether Anchorages and Child Restraint Anchorage Systems.
• School bus seats designated for CSRSs meet FMVSS 225, or include lap belts that meet
FMVSS 209, Seat Belt Assemblies, and anchors that meet FMVSS 210 (designed to secure adult
passengers or CSRS).
• Personnel responsible for securing CSRSs onto school bus seats and children into CSRSs are
properly trained and all personnel involved with CSRSs are provided up-to-date information and
training.
• When transported in the school bus, preschool age children are supervised according to their
developmental and functioning level.
3. School Bus Seats Designated for Child Safety Restraint Systems
The transportation provider should ensure
• School-bus seats designated for CSRSs are located starting at the front of the vehicle to provide
drivers with quick access to and a clear view of the CSRS occupants.
• CSRS anchorages on school bus seats should meet all applicable FMVSSs.
• When ordering new school buses, the maximum spacing specified under FMVSS No. 222, School
Bus Passenger Seating and Crash Protection, (within 24 inches from the seating reference point) is
recommended for seats designated for CSRSs to provide adequate space for the CSRSs.
• The combined width of CSRS and/or other passengers on a single seat does not exceed the
width of the seat.
• If other students share seats with the CSRSs, the CSRSs are placed in window seating position.
4. Retrotting School Buses
The transportation provider should ensure
• Existing school bus seats should only be retrofitted with lap belts or child restraint anchorages as
instructed by the school bus manufacturer.
• When a school bus is retrofitted with a seat to allow for proper securement of a CSRS, instructions
obtained from the school bus or seat manufacturer on how to install the seat and restraint systems
should be followed.
• When a school bus is retrofitted, the bus owner should ensure that seat spacing is sufficient for
the CSRS to be used.
5. Evacuation
The transportation provider should ensure
• The establishment of a written plan on evacuating preschool age children and other passengers in
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CSRSs in the event of an emergency. This written plan should be provided to drivers, monitors, and
emergency response personnel. The plan should explicitly state how children (both in and out of
the CSRS) should be evacuated from the school bus.
• Evacuation drills are practiced on a scheduled basis, at least as often as that required for the
school systems school-aged children.
• All personnel involved in transporting children are trained in evacuation and emergency procedures, including those in the written school bus evacuation plan.
• All school buses carrying children in CSRSs carry safety belt cutters that are accessible only to
the driver and any monitors.
• CSRSs are not placed in school bus seats adjacent to emergency exits.
• Local emergency response teams are provided copies of the written school bus evacuation plan,
including evacuation of preschool age children. Emergency response personnel should be invited
to participate in evacuation drills.
6. Other Recommendations
• The school transportation provider should establish a policy on whether they or the child’s guardian
must supply a CSRS to be used on a school bus.
• School bus purchases should be based on the needs of a projected student population, taking into
consideration projected ages, sizes, and other characteristics of the students, including any special
needs, and whether preschool age children or medically fragile students will be transported.
• Specified procedures should be established for loading and unloading children in CSRSs.
• Procedures should be established for the periodic maintenance, cleaning, and inspection for
damage of CSRSs.
• Procedures should be established to train personnel involved in direct service delivery of infants,
toddlers, and preschool children on the physical day-to-day handling of these young children and
means to handle potential exposure to contagious and communicable diseases.
• When school bus procedures are established, it should be noted that some children in CSRSs
might have special needs, including medical fragility, that must be addressed on a child-by-child
basis.
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Appendix 9B — Typical Development Levels
The Infants (birth to one year)
Birth to Six Months
• Communication/Social Skills
• Moves in response to voice and noises
• Exhibits different types of crying
• Quiets to faces or voices or to being picked up
• Smiles and laughs
• Motor Skills
• Eyes follow moving object
• Reaches for toys
• Head bobs when upright
• Rolls from stomach to back
• Cognitive Skills
• Brings hand to mouth
• Looks at objects
Six Months to One Year
• Communication/Social Skills
• Imitates sounds
• Starts to respond to ‘no’
• Looks at familiar objects or people when named
• Participates in simple social games (e.g. pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo)
• Motor Skills
• Sits upright unsupported
• Starts to stand and take steps
• Cognitive Skills
• Likes to bang toys and will look to floor if toy drops
• Imitates facial movements
• Reacts to new features on a toy and is aware if toy is hidden
The Toddlers (one to two years)
• Communication/Social Skills - prior to the third birthday the child usually
• Uses two to four word sentences
• Follows simple directions
• Prefers to play near or with other children
• Separates from familiar person for a few minutes
• Motor Skills - prior to the third birthday the child usually
• Goes up and down steps with a hand held
• Runs and jumps
• Uses both hands for pre-writing activities (scribbles, cuts, builds towers)
• Cognitive Skills - prior to the third birthday, the child usually
• Identifies several objects by their use
• Matches colored objects
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The Preschool Students (three to ve years)
• Communication/Social Skills - by the fifth birthday, the child usually
• Speaks in complete sentences
• Answers and asks questions
• Plays with other children and understands sharing and taking turns
• Motor Skills - by the fifth birthday, the child usually
• Runs, hops, climbs, jumps, goes up and down steps
• Cognitive Skills - by the fifth birthday, the child usually
• Knows numbers up to twenty, performs simple addition
• Understands simple sequences in events, stories, and daily routines
• Starts to read simple words and books (recognizes various signs while traveling)
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Appendix 9C — Key Dates for Head Start
Key Dates for Head Start Transportation
January 18, 2002
• All Head Start drivers must have a valid CDL. Drivers must also have physical exams, driving record
checks, and criminal record checks.
• Vehicles must have communication system and safety equipment, including a fire extinguisher, a first
aid kit and a seat belt cutter.
• Head Start agencies will be required to provide a maintenance program for vehicles, including annual
inspection, preventative maintenance, and daily pre-trip inspections.
• Head Start agencies must meet specific restrictions in trip routing. Children should not be in transit
for more than one hour. Vehicles may not be required to back up or make “U” turns. Stops must be
located so that children need not cross the street. Alternative routes should be established in case
of hazardous conditions.
• Head Start agencies must provide a monitor to escort children across the street if curb side drop-off
is not possible.
• Head Start agencies must ensure that children who are transported are taught safe riding practices,
including boarding and leaving the vehicle, crossing the street, recognition of danger zones and
emergency evacuation procedures. They must also provide safety training for parents and children in
pedestrian safety.
• Head Start agencies must conduct at least three bus evacuation drills during the program year.
April 18, 2002
• All Head Start drivers must receive a combination of classroom and behind-the-wheel training that
meets state school bus training requirements and includes on-board evaluation of road performance
and basic first aid.
January 20, 2004
• At least one monitor must be present on each vehicle. These monitors need to be trained on child
boarding and exiting procedure, use of child restraint systems, and emergency evacuation procedures.
• Each vehicle must be equipped with height- and weight- appropriate child restraint systems.
January 18, 2006
• Agencies must use only school buses or allowable alternate vehicles to provide transportation services.
• Vehicles must be adaptable or designed to transport children with disabilities.
From Driver Training
Mandates Loom for Head start Programs, School Bus Fleet February 2002.
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Appendix 9D — Applicable Standards and Rules
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS)
FMVSS 209 Seat Belt Assemblies
This standard specifies requirements for seat belt assemblies. The requirements apply to straps, webbing,
or similar material, as well as to all necessary buckles and other fasteners and all hardware designed for
installing the assembly in a motor vehicle, and to the installation, usage, and maintenance instructions for
the assembly.
FMVSS 210 Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages
This standard establishes requirements for seat belt assembly anchorages to ensure proper location for
effective occupant restraint and to reduce the likelihood of failure. The requirements apply to any component,
other than the webbing or straps, involved in transferring seat belt loads to the vehicle structure.
FMVSS 213 Child Restraint Systems
This standard specifies requirements for child restraint systems used in motor vehicles and aircraft. Its
purpose is to reduce the number of children killed or injured in motor vehicle crashes. FMVSS 213 is
applicable to all child restraint systems designed to transport children under 50 pounds. Examples of the
common terms used for the kinds of child safety seats (usually portable and removable) manufactured to
meet this standard are
“Infant Only” Seats
These seats are small, lightweight safety seats which are designed for rear facing use only. This kind can
be used only as long as the top rim of the seat encloses the baby’s head. The label on the seat gives
the upper weight limit (17-22 pounds). One seat can be converted into a car bed for babies who must lie
flat. It is important to maintain a 45-degree angle when installing the seat to ensure that the infant can
breathe properly (sometimes it is necessary to insert a rolled up towel or cut up Styrofoam pool noodles
under the seat to achieve this angle).
“Convertible” Seats
These seats are larger seats, usually designed to fit children from birth to about 40 pounds. Some new
models have weight limits as high as 35 pounds for rear facing use. These products are especially good
for babies under age one who are growing more rapidly than average. Convertible seating may be turned
around to face the front when the baby is one year old and at least 20 pounds. It is important to follow
manufacturer guidelines regarding adjustment of the harnessing straps when reversing the seat from
rearward facing to forward facing.
“Forward Facing Only” Seats
These seats are non-convertible child safety seats used only in the forward-facing position. This category
has different lower weight limits. Most start at 20-25 pounds and go to about 40 pounds (check the
manufacturer’s label) and fit children from one year to about four years of age. Note: Some of these seats
have removable harness systems to accommodate later use as a belt-positioning booster seat. A threepoint lap/shoulder harness is required to operate the seat in this capacity. Since school buses do not
have lap/shoulder belts, this seat will not accommodate a child larger than 40 pounds. It is recommended
that “forward facing only” seats be used on school buses only with the child seat’s built-in harnessing
system in place and in use securing the child to the seat. Shield booster-type seats should not be used
on school bus bench seats.
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FMVSS 222 School Bus Passenger Seating and Crash Protection
This standard establishes occupant protection requirements for school bus passenger seating and restraining
barriers. The purpose of this standard is to reduce the number of deaths and the severity of injuries that result
from the impact of school bus occupants against structures within the vehicle during crashes and sudden
driving maneuvers. This standard is frequently referred to as “compartmentalization.”
FMVSS 225 Tether Anchorages and Child Restraint Anchorage Systems
This standard establishes requirements for child restraint anchorage systems to ensure their proper location
and strength for the effective securing of child restraints. This standard is established to reduce the likelihood
of anchorage systems’ failures and to increase the likelihood that child restraints are properly secured. In the
future, vehicles will be equipped with child restraint anchorage systems that are standardized and independent
of the vehicle seat belts. FMVSS 225-compliant systems are sometimes referred to as “UCRA” systems
(Universal Child Restraint Anchorages). By September 1, 2002, UCRA systems will be required in two seating
positions on Type AII school buses and optional for all Type AI, B, C, and D school buses.
FMVSS 302 Flammability of Interior Materials
This standard specifies burn resistance requirements for materials used in the occupant compartments of
motor vehicles, including the materials used for child safety seats. Its purpose is to reduce deaths and injuries
to motor vehicle occupants caused by vehicle fires, especially those originating in the interior of the vehicle
from sources such as matches or cigarettes
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Appendix 9E — Student Profile
Confidential
Student Profile - Specialized Transportation
Student: _____________________________________________ Age: ________ Grade: ___________
(Last)
(First)
(Middle)
Address: _____________________________________________ City: __________________________
Primary Guardian: _____________________________________ Phone: ____________ / ____________
(Last)
(First)
(Middle)
Home / Work
Emergency contact: ____________________________________ Phone: ________________
Please indicate if this is an: _______ Original Request _______ Update to original Student Profile
Does student have:
_________ IEP Area of Eligibility __________________________________
_________ 504 Plan
_________ Medical Diagnosis _______________________________________
Home school: _____________ Assigned School: ______________ Requested Start Date: __________
Requested Pick up Location (a.m.): _______________________________________
Requested Drop-off Location (p.m.): ______________________________________ (must be approved by
Transportation if different from pick up location)
Special Equipment / Mobility Assistance (Please check all that apply):
Student Can:
______ Ride a bus
_______ Be left unattended
______ Ride a specially equipped bus
_______ Transfer independently to bus seat
______ Communicate in primary language
_______ Walk to established bus stop
______ Communicate verbally
_______ Walk independently
______ Communicate non-verbally
_______ Walk with crutches
_______ Walk with walker
Student Needs:
______ Assistance to get on/off bus
_______ Behavior Management Plan
______ Assistance to transfer to bus seat
_______ Health Care Plan
______ Safety Vest
_______ Augmentative Communication Device
______ Positioning Belt
_______ Safety Assistant
______ Car Seat
______ Securement for: Power Wheelchair ______ Manual Wheelchair ______ Tray ______
Scooter (unoccupied) ______ Walker ______ Crutches ______
Oxygen _____
Other information: ____________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
Signature of Authorized School Representative
IEP Team Representative: ______________________________________ Date: __________________
For Transportation Department Use Only
Mode of Transportation: Bus
(Circle one)
Employee Contract
Specially Equipped Bus
Third Party Contract
Parent Contract
Type of Pick Up / Drop-Off: (Circle one)
Bus Stop
Address Stop
Authorized by:
Transportation Director/Designee: ____________________________________ Date: ____________
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Appendix 9F — Transportation Considerations
TRANSPORTATION CONSIDERATIONS FOR PRESCHOOL CHILDREN
Transportation and Exceptional Children staff will use information from this checklist to develop a
specific transportation plan for
_______________________________________________
Student’s Name
Parent/Guardian Name _____________________
Address _________________________________
_________________________________
Pick Up Address __________________________
_________________________________
Drop Off Address _________________________
________________________________
Date Form Completed ________
Date of Birth ________________
Phone _____________________
Program Assignment __________
Anticipated Date of Enrollment ____
Days of Week __________________
Start Time _____ End Time ______
Date(s) Form Reviewed ________
Preschool Contact Person and Phone Number __________________________________________
Person(s) completing this form ____________________________________________________
Student Information
Age ___________
Weight _________________
Height ___________________
Exceptional Children Identification Category ____________________ Medical Diagnosis ______________
________________________________________________________________________________________
Does student have special medical conditions that may present a problem during transport (i.e. allergies,
shunts, spinal rods, respiratory difficulties, seizures, heat intolerance, etc.)? ___________________________
________________________________________________________________________________________
Does student have equipment that must be transported and secured (i.e. crutches, walker, stroller, wheelchair,
communication aide, tray, oxygen tank, suction machine, etc.)? ____________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________________
Does student have any special communication needs? Yes _____ No ______
If yes, explain ___________________________________________________________________________
Does student have a behavior plan in place? Yes _____ No _______
If yes, does student have behavior strategies that should be implemented during transport?
________________________________________________________________________________________
Are there any other conditions that should be considered during transport or in the event of an evacuation?
________________________________________________________________________________________
This form should be reviewed annually or as needed to reassess the transportation needs for this student.
1
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 9 - 21
Transporting Preschool Children
Appendix 9F — Transportation Considerations
Student’s Name _____________________________ Date Form Completed _______________________
Date(s) Form Reviewed ______________________
Method of Transportation
Complete the following section. Check only one box.
Student is able to sit on the bus seat without modifications.
Student is able to sit on the bus seat with a lap belt (appropriate if student has a disability that prevents
him/her from balancing or staying in a seated position during transport).
Student is able to sit on the bus seat with a safety vest (appropriate if the student has a disability that
prevents him/her from sitting upright or from staying on the seat).
Circle appropriate size:
Extra Small
22” waist
Small
25” waist
Small Medium 28” waist
Medium
32” waist
Student is under 40 lbs and has a medical condition or disability that requires the use of a car seat on the
bus. Indicate reason for car seat: _________________________________________________________
(Note: car seat must be rear facing if student is under 20 lbs & 26 inches; car seat must be forward
facing if student is 20-40lbs. Booster seats cannot be used on the bus since they require a shoulder belt).
Student uses a manual/power wheelchair and requires a transport vehicle with a lift and a securement site.
Student will stay in his/her wheelchair during transport.
(Note: if student uses a stroller, contact school physical therapist to assess safety of the stroller for
transport. Contact school physical therapist to mark tie down sites on the wheelchair/stroller frame).
Additional information if needed: _________________________________________________________
NOTE: If transport vehicle is a van or car and student is under 5 years and under 40 lbs, then student
must be transported in a weight-appropriate car seat that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards.
Method of Assisting Student on/off the Transport Vehicle
Complete the following section. Check only one box.
Student is able to ascend/descend step(s) independently.
Student is able to ascend/descend step(s) with assistance from an adult.
(Note: parent/guardian can assist student up and down the step(s) at the home; school personnel can
assist student at the school. Transportation staff will assist student inside the vehicle).
Describe method of assisting student: ______________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
Student will need to be carried/lifted into the transport vehicle.
Student is unable to safely ascend/descend the step(s) with assistance, therefore, student must use the
lift/ramp while seated in a wheelchair. Once on the transport vehicle, student may be move to a seat.
Student uses a manual/power wheelchair and requires a transport vehicle with a lift/ramp.
Additional information if needed: _________________________________________________________
Preschool Staff Member must fax a copy of this form to:
Transportation Routing Technician: ___________________ Fax: ______________ Date Faxed: _____
EC Preschool Secretary: ____________________________ Fax: ______________ Date Faxed: _____
Transportation Routing Technician must fax a copy of this form to:
Area Transportation Specialist: _______________________ Fax: ______________ Date Faxed: _____
2
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A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Transporting Preschool Children
Appendix 9G — Emergency Medical Card
The following information must be provided on a yearly basis by parent/guardian for students requiring special transportation.
Parent/guardian will be required to complete a new form when there is a change in the information provided.
Student Name:
Birth Date:
School:
Date:
Height:
Weight:
Visually Impaired
YES
NO
If Yes, please describe the physical disability:
Physical Disability:
YES
Hair Color:
Eye Color:
PHOTOGRAPH
HERE
Hearing Impaired
YES
NO
Verbal:
YES
NO
Language Spoken:
NO
Exceptionality (circle):
Au
BED
DB
HI
EMD
TMD
S/PMD
MU
OI
OHI
LD
S/L
TBI
DD
VI
Special considerations which may affect transportation:
Name:
Parent
Address:
Guardian
Name of other adult authorized to act on your behalf:
Daytime Phone(s):
Daytime Phone(s):
Student’s Doctor:
Phone:
Hospital Preference:
Phone:
Insurance Provider:
Medicaid:
NO
On seizure meds?
YES
NO
Does student take other medication?
YES
If yes, list name, dosage, and frequency of medication:
If yes, list name, dosage, and frequency of medication:
NO
Need to know for reasons of drug interactions.
Is student allergic to food or medication?
YES
NO
If yes, describe symptoms:
Does the student have seizures?
YES
YES
If yes, what?
NO
Does student have any of the following?
Asthma
Other:
Bleeding Disorder
Brittle bones
Diabetes
Heart Disease
Respiratory problems
Print name)
I, ______________________________________ father, mother or legal guardian of ______________________________________
in the event of accident, injury or serious illness to him/her, do voluntarily hereby give consent to and authorize the school district to
secure medical aid or transportation to a medical facility. I understand that neither the school district nor the individual responsible for
obtaining medical aid will be responsible for expense incurred.
_____________________________________________________________________
Signature of Parent/Legal Guardian
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
____________________________
Date
Page 9 - 23
Transporting Preschool Children
Appendix 9H — Child Safety Restraint Systems
Proper Use of Child Safety Restraint Systems in School Buses
Page 1 of 1
The number of pre-school age children transported in school buses to
school and child care programs is at an all time high. Just as in other
vehicles, these children need to be properly secured in Child Safety
Restraint Systems (CSRS) when traveling in a school bus. This
publication is designed to assist you in correctly securing pre-school age
children in CSRS and properly securing the system to a school bus seat.
It provides the basic rules of proper CSRS usage and illustrates the most
common mistakes made when installing a CSRS. Use this brochure in
conjunction with the instructions that come with the CSRS to assure
each child is properly restrained each time they travel in a school bus.
For more information on CSRSs and their use, product recalls, and a
listing of Child Passenger Safety Technicians available to assist you,
check NHTSA's website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov. You can also call the Auto
Safety Hotline 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
Correct usage is key to the safety of all children!
For a complete brochure, refer to the following website:
www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/buses/busseatbelt/index.html
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/buses/busseatbelt/index.html
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9/13/2002
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Transporting Preschool Children
Appendix 9I — Using a Car Seat on the Bus
PROCEDURES FOR USING CAR SEATS ON THE BUS
(Car Seats Must Meet FMVSS 213)
Car Seats on the Bus
Car seats are indicated for preschool students and for students who weigh less than 40 lbs and have a
medical condition or disability that requires the use of a car seat. The IEP Team should determine if a student
needs a car seat to be safely transported on the school bus. The decision to use a car seat is an IEP team
decision and should be documented in the student’s IEP.
Providing the Proper Car Seat
• The student should use a car seat that is provided by the school system.
• The car seat being used must be appropriate for the weight of the student (see manufacturer’s manual).
• A student who weighs 20 lbs or less should be rear-facing.
• A student who weighs 20-40 lbs should be forward-facing.
Securing the Car Seat on the Bus
The car seat must be installed on reinforced seats (‘lap-belt-ready seats’ that meet FMVSS 210). The car
seat must be properly secured before you place the student in the car seat (see manufacturer’s manual
for instructions). The ‘nonadjustable’ part of the lap belt should be placed on the aisle side of the seat no
more than one to two inches from where the back and seat meet. Seats that are 39 inches wide (from bus
wall to aisle) will accommodate two car seats. Seats that are less than 39 inches wide will accommodate
one car seat.
The bus driver or trained staff member should install the car seat by placing his/her knee in the seat to ensure
a tight fit when buckling the lap belt. If the lap belt is too long at the nonadjustable part of the belt, you may
twist the belt one to three times to shorten it (adding knots is not acceptable). The lap belt buckle needs to
be on the outside near the area where the seat and back meet so that in the event of an emergency, the
buckle can be readily released. The car seat should not move more than 1 inch when pushed side to side
at the base. Whenever possible, put the car seat near the window (not the aisle). The car seat should never
be positioned next to an emergency exit.
Securing the Student in the Car Seat
For children who are ‘rear-facing’ and less than 20 lbs, make sure that the internal harness straps are in the
correct slot (check user’s manual - the harness straps should be at or below the shoulders). For children who
are ‘forward-facing’ and weigh between 20-40 lbs, make sure that the internal harness straps are in the correct
slot (check user’s manual - the harness straps should be at or above the shoulders). The harness straps must
lie flat with the harness retaining clip at armpit level. The harness should be adjusted so you can slip only one
finger between the straps and the child’s chest.
Caring for the Car Seat
Vinyl car seats may become hot on warm days. The driver may cover the seat with a blanket to protect it
from the sun. The blanket will need to be removed during transport. Car seats should be cleaned regularly
per manufacturer’s instruction. When the harness system is removed during cleaning, be sure to have the
instruction book available to ensure proper repositioning of the straps.
Information Obtained from ‘Proper Use of Child Safety Restraint Systems in School Buses’ National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration, June 2000.
ALWAYS CHECK THE MANUFACTURER’S RECOMMENDATIONS
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 9 - 25
Transporting Preschool Children
Appendix 9J — Using a Safety Vest in the Bus
PROCEDURES FOR USING SAFETY VESTS ON THE BUS
(Safety Vests must meet FMVSS 213)
Safety Vests
Safety vests are safety restraint devices that enable students with physical disabilities to stay upright on the
bus seat. Safety vests may also be used for students with behavior or emotional disabilities who have difficulty
staying on the bus seat. Based on the student’s disability, education and transportation personnel should
determine if a student needs a safety vest to be safely transported on the school bus.
The decision to use or to discontinue use of a safety vest is an IEP team decision and should be documented
in the student’s IEP.
Proper Fitting of the Safety Vest
Safety vests are designed for children and adults who weigh between 20-164 lbs. Most safety vests are fitted
based on the individual’s waist size. Be sure to monitor the fit of the vest.
Extra Small (22” waist)
Small (25 “ waist)
Small Medium (28” waist)
Medium (32” waist)
Medium Large (34” waist)
Large (37” waist)
Extra Large (40” waist)
Extra Extra Large (43” waist)
Improper t of vests may result in an injury to the student.
Students should have their safety vest on prior to getting on the bus (i.e. apply vest at home in the morning
and at school in the afternoon). An adjustable safety vest must be put on so that the zipper is located in
the back. The safety vest must be snug and applied correctly in order to provide a safe and secure bus
ride. Some safety vests have an additional crouch strap to help keep the safety vest properly positioned at
the student’s hips.
Mounting the Safety Vest on the Bus Seat
The safety vest is best secured to the school bus seat with a lap belt and either a strap that wraps the seat or a
top tether secured to the loading bar of a lap-belt-ready seat frame behind the seat in which the safety vest is
being used. The entire seat behind the vested seat much either be occupied by a restrained passenger or left
unoccupied. The buckle on the lap belt should be positioned and fastened so that the push button of the buckle
faces the back of the seat to prevent accidental release.
Securing the student on the Bus Seat
Once the safety vest is securely fastened on the student, position the student on the seat with his/her hips and
shoulders touching the seat back. Attach the two shoulder hook straps on the mounting strap to the shoulder
D-Rings on the vest. Attach the hip hook straps on the mounting strap to the hip D-Rings on the vest. If there
is a lap belt on the seat, thread the belt through fabric loops located near the hip D-Rings on each side of the
vest. Make sure all hooks, belts, and buckles are secure and snug.
Always review the manufacturer’s recommendations for proper
t, installation, and securement of the safety vest.
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A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Transporting Preschool Children
Appendix 9K — Car Seat Registration Form
Form Approved: O.M.B. No. 2127-0576
CHILD SAFETY SEAT REGISTRATION FORM
FOR YOUR CHILD’S CONTINUED SAFETY
Although child safety seats undergo testing and evaluation, it is possible that your child
seat could be recalled. In case of a recall it is important that the manufacturer be able to contact
you as soon as possible so that your seat can be corrected.
All child safety seats manufactured since March 1993 have a registration form so that owners
can provide their names/addresses to the manufacturer. In case of a safety recall, the
manufacturer can use that information to send recall letters to owners. Also, child safety seat
manufacturers have agreed to maintain owner names/addresses for child safety seats
manufactured before March 1993, so they can notify those consumers in the event of a future
safety recall. However, in order for the manufacturer to know which child safety seat you own,
all of the information on the lower half of this page must be provided.
If you would like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to give your
name and address to the manufacturer of your child safety seat, so that you can be notified of any
future safety recalls regarding your child safety seat, fill out this form. Please type or print
clearly, sign and mail this postage-paid, pre-addressed form.
If you have any questions, or need help with any child safety seat or motor vehicle safety issue,
call the U.S. Department of Transportation’s toll-free Auto Safety Hotline at 1-800-424-9393
(Washington DC AREA RESIDENTS, 202-366-0123).
Your Name:___________________________________________ Telephone______________
Your Street Address_____________________________________________________________
City:_______________________, State:_____________ Zip Code:_______________________
IMPORTANT: The following information is essential and can be found on labels on your
child seat.
Child Seat
Manufacturer:________________________________________________________________
Child Seat Model
Name & Number:______________________________________________________________
Child Seat
Date of
Manufacture:_________________________________________________________________
I AUTHORIZE NHTSA TO PROVIDE A COPY OF THIS REPORT TO THE CHILD
SAFETY SEAT MANUFACTURER.
SIGNATURE:__________________________________________ DATE:________________
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Page 9 - 27
Transporting Preschool Children
Appendix 9K — Car Seat Registration Form
(continued from previous page)
Please mail to:
U.S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
DOT Auto Safety Hotline NAD-40
400 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20590
The Privacy Act of 1974 - Public Law 93-579, As Amended: This information is requested pursuant to the
authority vested in the National Highway Traffic Safety Act and subsequent amendments. You are under no
obligation to respond to this questionnaire. Your response maybe used to assist the NHTSA in determining
whether a manufacturer should take appropriate action to correct a safety defect. If the NHTSA proceeds with
administration enforcement or litigation against a manufacturer, your response, or statistical summary thereof,
may be used in support of the agency’s action.
Page 9 - 28
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Transporting Preschool Children
Appendix 9L — Bus Spacing Information
North Carolina School Bus Seat Spacing Information
The concept of Compartmentalization of school bus passengers plays a key role in
providing protection on school buses. One of the main factors in the success of this
design is the proper spacing of passenger seats.
Through Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) testing of school bus passenger seats, the bus
body manufacturers have determined the proper spacing of passenger seats to provide the best level of
passenger crash protection which meets the requirements of FMVSS 222. Therefore, whenever a new bus is
received or an existing bus has seats removed or reinstalled, school district maintenance staff should check for
proper seat spacing before returning the bus to service to transport students.
Attached is a chart listing the seat spacing (in inches) of manufacturer’s bus body by type. North Carolina
School Bus Specifications specify the minimum spacing that may be allowed, and FMVSS 222 specifies the
maximum spacing that may be allowed, providing a range that must be adhered to. The two measurement
methods are at two different locations to assist in determining the proper seat spacing; they are knee-room
or center-to-center spacing. The dimensions listed in the attached chart are North Carolina minimum and
Federal maximum measurement specifications. The seat can be positioned anywhere within these minimum
and maximum specifications. A line drawing is provided to describe in detail where each reference point is to
be measured; either the knee-room or center-to-center method can be used.
If you need any further assistance or information, please call the North Carolina Department of Public
Instruction/Transportation Services at (919) 807-3570.
NOTE: FMVSS does specify the minimum and the maximum spacing required for seating. These dimensions
will vary depending on the seat manufacturer. The Child Safety Restraint Systems are set at a maximum
spacing to allow clearance for the child carrier. It is best if reinstalling seats that have been removed that the
original floorplan be referenced for correct placement.
Refer to the diagram on the following page.
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Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
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Transporting Preschool Children
Appendix 9L — Bus Spacing Information
TYPE A, B, C, and D (78 passenger or less)
SCHOOL BUSES
Knee Room Method
Bus Body
Company
Thomas
North Carolina
Min. Knee Spacing
24.25 inches
Federal
Max.
Knee Spacing
Center-To-Center Seat Leg
Method
North Carolina
Federal Center to
Center to Center
Center Max.
28.5 inches
25.5 inches
Min.
29.75 inches
TYPE A, B, C and D (Rows with Child Safety Restraint Systems)
SCHOOL BUSES
Knee Room Method
Bus
Body North Carolina
Min. Knee Spacing
Company
Federal Max. Knee
Spacing
Thomas
28.5 inches
28.5 inches
Center-To-Center Seat Leg
Method
North Carolina
Federal Center to
Center to Center
Center Max.
Min.
35.2 inches
35.2 inches
Diagram Explanation
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A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December
2002
26
Transporting Preschool Children
Appendix 9M — Frequently Asked Questions
Laws and Guidelines
Q.
A.
Q.
A.
What does the North Carolina Child Passenger Safety Law state in regards to the
preschool population?
Children less than age five and less than 40 pounds must be secured in a weight-appropriate child
safety seat and in the back seat if the vehicle has an active front passenger-side air bag. At age five,
a seat belt may be used instead of a safety seat. Children who weigh 40 pounds or more can also be
moved to a seat belt at any age.
Are vans/cabs contracted by school systems included in the NC Child Passenger
Safety Law?
Yes. Vans and cabs contracted by the school system are covered under this law because they are
required to have seat belts.
Q. Are school buses included in the NC Child Passenger Safety Law?
A. Yes and No. Seat belts are required on small school buses (under 10,000 lbs.) and children being
transported in these smaller buses are covered under the NC Child Passenger Safety Law. The law
exempts vehicles not required to have seat belts and federal standards do not require seat belts on
school buses. The larger buses do not have seat belts because they rely on strong, well-padded, energy
absorbing seats and higher seat backs to ‘compartmentalize’ and protect passengers during a crash.
Q.
A.
What does the National Highway Trafc Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommend
in regards to preschool age children transported in school buses?
NHTSA recommends that preschool children need to be properly secured in Child Safety Restraint
Systems (CSRS) when traveling in a school bus.
Child Safety Restraint Systems
Q.
A.
Where should a student secured in a child safety restraint system (CSRS) sit on
the bus?
The student should be placed at the front of the bus for maximum supervision. The student should never
be positioned adjacent to an Emergency Exit. The CSRS should be positioned near the window (not
aisle seat). The lap belt buckle needs to be on the outside near the area where the seat and back meet
so that in the event of an emergency, the buckle can be readily released.
Q. Who should secure the car seat in the bus?
A. A trained employee/contracted employee should secure the CSRS. The bus driver should always check
to make sure that the CSRS is properly secured in the vehicle prior to placing the child in the CSRS.
Q. How should the child car seat be secured in the bus?
A. The car seat should always be secured in the vehicle per manufacturer’s instructions. When properly
installed, the child safety seat must not move more than one inch when pushed side to side at the base.
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Transporting Preschool Children
The internal harness straps should be snug. The internal harness straps should be at or slightly above
the child’s shoulders and the retainer clip should be at armpit level. Child Safety Seat Inspection Stations
that can provide additional information or training are located throughout the state.
Q. Can loop-type belts that tie or loop around a seat frame be used to secure a car
seat on the bus?
A. No. Lap belts that are not compliant with FMVSS 225, Tether Anchorages and Child Restraint Anchorage
Systems; FMVSS 209, Seat Belt Assemblies; or FMVSS 210, Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages should
not be used to secure a car seat on the bus..
Q.
A.
Q.
A.
What resources are available to answer questions regarding correct installation of
child safety restraint systems?
NHTSA’s web site (http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/childps/contacts/) provides a list of Child
Passenger Safety Technicians and a list of Child Safety Seat Inspection Stations.
Most car seats that can be used on a bus with a lap belt for securement can
only accommodate children that weigh up to 40 pounds. What type of CSRS is
recommended for preschool children who weigh over 40 pounds?
Seating options for preschool age students weighing over 40 pounds include using an integrated bus
seat that has a built in child restraint system or a safety vest that meets FMVSS 213.
Q. When should a safety vest be used on the bus?
A. A safety vest may be indicated for students who have difficulty staying upright on the bus seat.
Most safety vests are designed for children and adults who weigh between 20-164 lbs. Measure the
student’s waist to determine the appropriate size: 22” waist - Extra Small; 25” waist - Small; 28” waist
- Small Medium; 32” waist - Medium. (Refer to Chapter 6 - Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and
Procedures)
Q. How should a safety vest be used on the bus?
A. The safety vest must be used with a seat mount as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions.
Transportation personnel will mount the seat mount to the bus seat. The safety vest should be put on
the student prior to getting on the bus (at home in the morning, at school in the afternoon). If it is an
adjustable safety vest, put the vest on the student with the zipper in the back. The safety vest must be
adjusted snugly around the student. If the safety vest is too loose, the student will not be secure.
Position the student with the safety vest on the bus seat with the buttocks and shoulders touching the
seat back. Attach the two shoulder hook straps on the mounting strap to the shoulder hooks on the vest.
Attach the hip hook straps to the hip D-Rings on the safety vest. If there is a lap best available, thread
the lap belt through the fabric loops located on each side of the vest. Secure the seat belt snugly around
the student’s hip area. Check to make sure that all hooks and buckles are secure and the straps have
no slack. Some safety vests may have an additional crotch strap to help keep the safety vest properly
positioned low over the student’s hip.
Q. What is the maximum number of CSRS passengers allowed per bus?
A. You should not transport more CSRS passengers per bus than can be safely evacuated in an
emergency situation.
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A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
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Transporting Preschool Children
School Bus Specifications
Q.
A.
Q.
A.
Do existing FMVSS 210 seats (lap belt ready seats which are reinforced) comply
with the NHTSA Guidelines?
The 210 bus seats will comply with the NHTSA guidelines if they are spaced to provide the maximum
seat space requirements according to FMVSS 222. FMVSS No. 222, School Bus Passenger Seating
and Crash Protection (within 24 inches from the seating reference point) is recommended for seats
designated for CSRSs to provide adequate space for the CSRSs.
Can other students use the bus seats that are designated for CSRSs and meet
applicable FMVSSs?
Yes. Bus seats that are compliant with FMVSSs can be used by other students when not in use to
transport preschool age students. The maximum seat spacing needed to accommodate space for the
CSRSs falls within the maximum seat spacing specifications as required in FMVSS 222.
Q. Do school bus specications comply with the NHTSA guidelines?
A. All North Carolina School Buses built after January 1, 2000, are equipped with CSRS compliant
seats. The 35-36 passenger buses are equipped with two CSRS compliant seats and the
53-54 and the 65-66 passenger buses are equipped with four CSRS compliant seats. All buses
originally installed with Mobile Occupant Mini-Seat Seating System (M.O.M.S.) or an integrated child
Restraint School Bus Seat such as C.E. White seats also comply with the NHTSA guidelines.
For existing school buses, refer to the North Carolina School Bus Specifications and the North Carolina
School Bus Inspection Manual to assure compliance according to model year and manufacturer, as well
as applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Also refer to the manufacturer information on
maximum seat spacing (Appendix L).
Q.
A.
Will maximum seat spacing reduce the number of students that can be transported
on the bus?
For buses built after January 1, 2000 that are equipped with CSRS compliant seats, the capacity will
not be reduced (two CSRS compliant seats on 35/36 passenger buses; four CSRS compliant seats on
53/54 and 65/66 passenger buses). If additional CSRS seats are added, then yes it will result in the loss
of row/rows of seating depending on how many CSRS compliant seats are installed.
Retrofitting School Buses
Q.
A.
Are school districts required to retrot existing school buses to comply with the
NHTSA guidelines?
No. School districts are not required to retrofit existing school buses; however, it is recommended to
retrofit the buses that are used to transport preschool age children.
Q. How do school districts retrot existing school buses?
A. The school district must contact the manufacturer to request instructions to retrofit the bus. The request
must include the model, model year, and body number of the bus. School districts must also ensure that
no existing FMVSSs are rendered inoperative when completing the modifications.
Q.
Is there a designated number of seats that must be CSRS compliant when
retrotting a bus?
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Page 9 - 33
Transporting Preschool Children
A.
Q.
A.
No. The NHTSA guidelines do not specify the number of seats that must be CSRS compliant. The
number of CSRS compliant seats would depend on the number of preschool age children who are
transported on the bus.
When a bus is retrotted for CSRS compliant seats, will the maximum seat spacing
requirement reduce the number of students that can be transported on the bus?
Replacing the first row of seats with CSRS compliant seats will not reduce the number of students that
can be transported on 35/36 passenger buses and larger passenger capacity buses. Installing additional
CSRS compliant seats on 35/36 passenger buses will reduce the passenger capacity. The 53/54 and
65/66 passenger buses can accommodate two rows without reducing number the number of students
that can be transported. Installing additional CSRS seats will reduce the passenger capacity.
Q. When a bus is retrotted with CSRS seats, how should the bus seats be congured?
A. School districts must comply with manufacturer’s instructions to retrofit a bus. School bus seating
diagrams for all configurations are available from manufacturers.
Preschool Children with Disabilities
Q. What is Transportation as a Related Service?
A. Transportation is a related service if it is required to assist the disabled child in benefiting from special
education. “In making this determination, the IEP team must consider how the child’s disability affects the
child’s need for transportation, including determining whether the child’s disability prevents the child from
using the same transportation provided to non-disabled children, or from getting to school in the same
manner as non-disabled children.” Appendix A, Q. 33 Regs.
Q. When is transportation as a related service indicated?
A. Transportation with non-disabled peers, whenever possible, should always be the assumed mode of
transportation. At the IEP team meeting the ‘Student Profile’ or the ‘Transportation Considerations for
Preschool Children’ form should be completed. The completion of these forms will give the IEP team the
necessary information about the student to make the best decision for the need for transportation as
a related service. The IEP team makes this decision based on the student’s disability. If the IEP team
determines that transportation as a related service is needed to address the student’s needs or disability,
then the IEP must reflect the recommendation for ‘Transportation’ as a related service.
Q.
A.
Should the bus driver and transportation safety assistant be informed of the
student’s disability and pertinent medical information?
Yes. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) regulations state that the public agency
must ensure that “each related services provider and other service providers of an eligible child (1)
have access to the child’s IEP, and (2) are informed of his or her specific responsibilities related to
implementing the IEP, and of the specific accommodations, modifications, and supports that must be
provided to the child in accordance with the IEP. This requirement is crucial to ensuring that each child
receives Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in accordance with his or her IEP, and that
the IEP is appropriately and effectively implemented.” (Appendix A. Q. 23, Regs). The Commentary to
the Regulations states that “it would be highly beneficial to the education of children with disabilities
to ensure that… other service providers of the child who are not members of the IEP team are
informed about the contents of a child’s IEP to ensure the IEP is appropriately implemented.” Sharing of
Page 9 - 34
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Transporting Preschool Children
information with transporters can be essential in implementing safe transportation of a child.
Transporters should be trained in appropriate use and non-disclosure of such information
(confidentiality).
Q. How should the preschool student with disabilities get on and off the vehicle?
A. Whenever possible the preschool student should walk up the steps with assistance if needed. If the
student is unable to walk up the bus/van steps, then the IEP team including the student’s school physical
therapist should determine the safest method of getting on and off the vehicle for the student and for
the staff. Depending on the preschool student’s weight and disability, it may be appropriate to carry the
student up the bus steps. Some students with physical disabilities may need to be loaded/unloaded
on the vehicle via the lift while they are in their stroller/wheelchair with wheel locks securely set. An
adult must hold onto the frame of the stroller/wheelchair while the student is on the lift and while the
lift is being operated. The adult should not ride the lift. Some of these students may then need to be
transferred into a Child Safety Restraint System.
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References
REFERENCES
Chapter 1 - Laws, Policies, and Regulations
Head Start Transportation Regulations; Federal Register/Vol. 66, No.12/ Thursday, January 18, 2001/
Rules and Regulations. 45 CFR 1310
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Guidelines for the Safe Transportation of Preschool
Children in School Buses, February 1999. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
Public School Laws of North Carolina (1998). Issued by the State Board of Education. The Michie
Company.
Rosenfeld, S. James, Esq and Bluth, Linda F., Ed.D (1993) Transporting Students with Disabilities:
A Manual. Maryland: EDLAW INC.
Chapter 2 - Disabilities and Health Conditions
Autism: www.aolsv.health.webmd.com/content/article/autism
Campbell, Suzann K. , Physical Therapy for Children; W.B. Saunders Company, 1994
Allergic Reactions and Anaphylactic Shock: www.cpmcnet.columbia.edu/texts/guide/
hmg14_0002.html
Childhood Asthma: www.webmd.com; 1996 WebMd Health.
Children with Leukemia: www.jlsfoundation.org
Children with Spina Bifida: A Resource Page for Parents and Professionals:
www.waisman.wisc.edu/-rowley/sb-kids/index.html
Cystic Fibrosis in Children – Keep Kids Healthy:
www.keepkidshealthy.com/welcome/conditions/cystricfiborsis.html; 2001.
Diabetes – Signs and Symptoms: www.plainsense.com/health/children/diabetes.htm
Gastrostomy: Miller-Keane Medical Dictionary, 2000
www.aolsv.health.webmd.aol.com/content/miller_keane/43/miller_keane_13875.htm
General Information About Cerebral Palsy; Kidsource Online, Inc. Copyright 1996.
www.kidsource.com
Living with a Colostomy – A Young Persons Guide: www.ostomy.fsnet.co.uk
National Spinal Cord Injury Association: www.spinalcord.org
Osteogenesis Imperfecta:
www.papers.virtualave.net/classical-sicences/biology/Osteogenisis_Imperfecta.htm
Procedures Governing Programs and Services for Children with Disabilities: Exceptional Children,
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, August 2000.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
References Page 1
References
Tracheostomy: Miller-Keane Dictionary, 2000
www.aolsv.health.webmd.aol.com/content/miller_keane/109/miller_keane_33654.htm
Understanding Hemophilia – The Basics:
www.aolsvc.health.webmd.com/contentt/article/hemophilia; 1996-2002, WebMd Corporation
Understanding Muscular Dystrophy:
www.aolsvc.health.webmd.comm/contnet/article/musculardystrophy; 1996-2002
WebMdUnderstanding Seizures – the Basics:
www.aolsvc.health.webmd.aol.com/content/article/8/1/1680-54131.htm
Chapter 3 - Behavior Management and Discipline
Beninghof, Anne. M. & Singer, Anne Louise T. Ideas for Inclusion, The School Administrators
Guide. Longmont: Sopris West, 1995, pages 119-120.
Bert, Iva. (2002). How To Deal With Students Diagnosed With ADHD (Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity-Disorder) And Other Behavior Problems On The Bus. Retrieved March 18, 2002, from:
www.counselorandteachertips.com/bus-howtodealwithbehaviorproblems.htm.
Burns, Peggy A. & Bluth, Linda F. Special Needs Transportation Law: 1999 in Review, Lafayette:
Education Compliance Group, 2000, pages 15-16.
Evans, Cal. “Least Restrictive Behavior Interventions.” 23rd National Institute on Legal Issues of
Educating Individuals with Disabilities, May 5-8, 2002. Alexandria: LRP Publications, 2002, pages
18-24.
Howard, Cynthia, Kult-Allen, Lynn, Vaughn, Kelly, & Wright, Terrell. Teacher’s Guide, Providing
Special Education Services to Students with Behavioral-Emotional Disabilities. (n.p.): Public
Schools of North Carolina, State Board of Education, Department of Public Instruction, Exceptional
Children Division, (n.d.), pages 40-83.
Intervention Strategies for Special Education Bus Drivers, Safety Training Bus Driver Series. Video
Communications, 2000.
Morgan, Daniel P. & Jenson, William R. Teaching Behaviorally Disordered Students, Preferred
Practices. Columbus: Merrill Publishing Company, 1988, page 376.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (n.d.). Student Management, School Bus Driver
In-Service Safety Series. Retrieved March 19, 2002, from:
www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/buses/schbus/schoolbus_drivers/topic_2/handout2.html
Wesley, Patricia W., Dennis, Brenda C., & Tyndall, Sabrina T. Quicknotes: Inclusion Resources for
Early Childhood Professionals, Promoting Appropriate Behavior. Chapel Hill: University of North
Carolina, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center, 1997, pages 5-15.
Wright, Diana B. “Challenging Behavior in Students with IEPs: Legally Sound, Time-Efficient
and Effective Practices.” 23rd National Institute on Legal Issues of Educating Individuals with
Disabilities, May 5-8, 2002. Alexandria: LRP Publications, 2002, pages 1-20.
References Page 2
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
References
Chapter 4 - Communication and Collaboration
Bluth, L. Ed.D., Transporting Students with Disabilities, National Association for Pupil Transportation Foundation, Inc. 2000, pages 35-36.
National School Transportation Specifications & Procedures,Recommendations of The 13th National
Conference on School Transportation, May 2000, pages 118, 35-137.
Chapter 5 - Routing and Scheduling
Colorado Department of Education Guidelines for Transporting Students with Disabilities,
Section 4.
Public School Laws of North Carolina, 2001 Edition. Sections: 115C-245; 115C-250; 115C-253.
Chapter 6 - Specialized Equipment: Descriptions and Procedures
American Academy of Pediatrics: www.aap.org.
Bluth, Linda F., Ed.D, Transporting Student With Disabilities, 2nd Edition, National Association for
Pupil Transportation Foundation, Inc., 2000.
Exceptional Safety Equipment and Solutions for Transporting Children & Adults, E-Z-ON Products,
Inc. of Florida, www.ezonpro.com.
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards: www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import/FMVSS.
National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services: www.nasdpts.org
National Conference and Exhibition on Transporting Students with Disabilities, Recommended
Practices for Safe Boarding, Prepared by the OT/PT/Transporter Forum, 8th, 2000.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Guideline for the Safe Transportation of Preschool
Children in School Buses, February 1999. www.nhtsa.dot.gov
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Brochure, Proper Use of Child Safety Restraint
Systems in School Buses, June 2000.
Recommendations of The 13th National Conference on School Transportation, National School
Transportation Specifications & Procedures, May 2000.
Safe and Secure Training Video, Sure-Lok of the Kinedyne Corporation.
School Bus Fleet Magazine: www.schoolbusfleet.com.
Schneider, Lawrence W., Ph.D, WC/19 Update and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,
University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute presented at the 11th National Conference
on Transporting Students with Disabilities & Preschoolers, March 4, 2002.
Washtenaw Intermediate School District in Ann Arbor, Michigan, School Bus Transportation
of Students in Wheelchairs, A Manual of Procedures and Practices Used by the Washtenaw
Intermediate School District for Providing Effective Wheelchair Securement and Occupant Restraint,
January 1995.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
References Page 3
References
Chapter 7 - Emergency Evacuation Procedures
American Academy Of Pediatrics Abstract: Policy Statement: School Bus Transportation of
Children with Special Health Care Needs, August 2001, pages 516-518.
www.aap.org/policy/0051.html.
Bluth, Linda, Ed.D, Transporting Students with Disabilities, National Association for Pupil
Transportation Foundation, Inc., 2000.
Danahy, E, Are You Prepared for a Critical Incident? School Bus Fleet Magazine, August/September
1999.
National School Transportation Specifications & Procedures, Recommendations of The 13th
National Conference on School Transportation, May 2000, pages 27- 28, 120.
School Bus Emergency Preparedness, Pupil Transportation Safety Institute, May 1997.
Zimmerman, J., Improve Your Special-Needs Evacuation Drills, School Bus Fleet Magazine,
February 1999.
Chapter 8 - Training For Transporters
Bluth, L. Ed.D., Transporting Students with Disabilities, National Association for Pupil Transportation Foundation, Inc. 2000, pages 35-36
National School Transportation Specifications & Procedures, Recommendations of The 13th
National Conference on School Transportation, May 2000, pages 27- 28, 120.
School Bus Emergency Preparedness, Pupil Transportation Safety Institute, May 1997.
Chapter 9 - Transporting Preschool Children
American Academy of Pediatricians: www.aap.org
• Car Seat Safety Information from the American Academy of Pediatrics
• 2000 Family Shopping Guide to Car Seats
• One Minute Car Seat Safety Check-Up
• Selecting and Using the Most Appropriate Car Safety Seats for Growing Children:
Guidelines for Counseling Parents (RE9618)
• Car Seat Shopping Guide for Children with Special Needs
• AAP Initiative to Educate Pediatricians Regarding Child Safety Seat Use
Campbell, Suzann K , Physical Therapy for Children, l W. B. Saunders Company, 1994.
Choosing the Correct School Bus for Transporting Preschool Age Children, NHTSA.
Developmental Programming for Infants and Young Children, Vol. 2: Early Intervention
Developmental Profile, University of Michigan 1981.
Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities, IDEA ‘97 Final Regulations;
34 CFR Part 303, (Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).
References Page 4
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
References
Exceptional Safety Equipment and Solutions for Transporting Children and Adults: E-Z-On
Products, Inc. of Florida, Manufacturer’s Instruction, www.ezonpro.com.
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations: www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import/
FMVSS, August 2002.
Federal Register/Vol. 64, No. 48, March 1999/Rules and Regulations.
Florida Guidelines for Seating of Pre-school Age Children in School Buses, Florida Department of
Eduation, 2000.
Guideline for the Safe Transportation of Preschool Children in School Buses; National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration, February 1999.
Head Start Transportation Regulations; Federal Register/Vol. 66, No. 12/Thursday, January 18,
2001/Rules and Regulations.
National Association for Pupil Transportation: www.napt.org
National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation: www.nasdpts.org
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
National School Transportation Association: www.nsta.org
N.C. Child Passenger Safety Law Enforcement Guide: G.S. 20-137.1: Revised August 2000.
N.C. Child Passenger Safety Law; Frequently Asked Questions; www.dot.state.nc.us/services/ghsp/
cpfaq.htm.
N.C. Seat Belt Law Enforcement Guide; G.S. 20-135. 2A; Revised August 2000.
Proper Use of Child Safety Restraint Systems in School Buses; NHTSA Brochure, June 2000.
Safekids: www.safekids.org
School Bus Fleet: www.schoolbusfleet.com
School Transportation News: www.stnonline.com
South Carolina Guidelines for the Seating of Preschool-Aged Children in School Buses, South
Carolina Department of Education, 2002.
Tips on Spec’ing a Bus for Preschool Age Children, School Bus Fleet, February 2002.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
References Page 5
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Glossary
Glossary
Address Stop: Regular bus stop as defined by Public School Laws.
Ambulatory: Capable of walking, to move from place to place
Anchorage point: The point of attachment of a securement system, or occupant restraint to the vehicle
structure.
Assistive technology device: Any item or piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired
commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to maintain or improve functional capabilities.
Examples of assistive technology are lap tops and word processors.
Augmentative communication devices: Electronically operated or non-electronically operated
equipment that students use to support their communication or spoken language; also know as aug com
or AAC devices.
Behavioral Contract(ing): A written and signed agreement between a teacher and a student (and others
if needed) that specifies expected behavior, positive and negative consequences, and contract duration.
Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP): An intervention plan designed to replace problem behavior with an
alternative replacement behavior, and/or to eliminate circumstances associated with the problem behavior.
Behavioral Support Plan: A brief, written plan, designed to understand why a behavior has occurred
and to teach/elicit alternative behavior.
Belt cutter: A device with protected blades, designed to quickly cut restraint belts.
Body uids cleanup kit: Package of materials including; but not limited to, latex gloves, disposal bag,
and absorbent material, used to clean up spills of potentially infected bodily fluids, under OSHA’s blood borne
pathogens regulations and Universal Precautions practices; also know as hygiene kit.
CDL: Commercial Drivers License
CFR: Code of Federal Regulations
Companion animal: An animal trained to provide assistance for persons with disabilities, can be a guide
animal, assistive animal, or service animal.
Continuum of services: The range of possible options, from least restrictive to most restrictive, available
to students with disabilities for transportation services.
Crisis Intervention: A procedure that requires specialized training in restrictive and intrusive
interventions.
CSRS: Child Safety Restraint System; a device meeting the requirements of FMVSS 213, designed for use
in a motor vehicle to restrain, seat, or position a child who weighs less than 50 pounds; also know as a
child safety seat and car seat.
Curb to curb: Pick-up/drop-off location, bus stops at the curb in front of or near a student’s house.
DNR: Do not resuscitate; an order from a parent, legal guardian, or court that prohibits the use of emergency
measures to prolong the life of an individual.
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Glossary Page 1
Glossary
Door to door: Pick-up/drop-off location - bus personnel go to the door of the student’s home and provide
transport to/from the bus.
Employee contract: An agreement between the Transportation Department and an employee of the
LEA to transport a student with special needs via the employee’s private vehicle. Reimbursement, typically
at the standard mileage rate, is normally offered to the transporter; however, terms for reimbursement may
be negotiated.
Evacuation drill: Performance of a mock school bus evacuation in order to teach students proper
emergency procedures and to provide practice in the use of emergency exits, also know as bus safety drills.
FAPE: Free Appropriate Public Education; guaranteed by the EHA for all handicapped children. It includes
special education and related services, including transportation.
FERPA: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 USC 1232, which requires confidentiality
of student records in public schools, but allows access to necessary information regarding student disabilities
and/or health needs to those who have a need to know, including school bus drivers.
FMVSS: Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, 49 CFR 571; construction standards developed and
enforced by NHTSA that apply to all new motor vehicles and items of motor vehicle safety equipment.
Forward facing: Installation of securement system in such a way that the mobile seating device and its
occupant face the front of the vehicle when secured.
Four-point tiedown: A securement system in which four strap assemblies attach to the wheelchair frame
at four separate points and anchor to the vehicle floor at four separate points.
Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA): A method of identifying and evaluating the occurrence
of problem behavior.
Head Start: A program initiated in 1965 to provide comprehensive child development services to preschool
children of predominately low-income families.
IDEA: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, passed in 1990 as P.L. 101-476 (Part B) as approved
in March of 1999, to replace the EHA.
IEP: Individualized Education Program; a written plan including information for each child with disabilities
required under P.L. 101-476 (Part B).
IEP Team: A group of individuals (multidisciplinary) as described in the IDEA that is responsible for the
development, review, and revision of the IEP.
IFSP: Individualized Family Service Plan; a written plan similar to the IEP for the family of a child receiving
early intervention services required under P.L. 102-119.
Integrated restraint system: A system in which the occupant restraint of an individual in a wheelchair/
mobility aid connects directly to; and is dependent upon, the mobility aid’s securement system’s rear strap
assemblies.
Intervention: An action designed to modify an inappropriate behavior.
IWEN: Individual With Exceptional Needs.
Glossary Page 2
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Glossary
Joystick: A device used by a student to operate a power wheelchair.
Lap belt: A Type 1 belt assembly meeting the requirements of FMVSS 209, intended to limit movement
of the pelvis.
Lap/shoulder belt: A Type 2 belt assembly meeting the requirements of FMVSS 210, intended to limit
the movement of the pelvis and upper torso.
LEA: Local Education Agency; school system
LRE: Least Restrictive Environment; a concept embodied in IDEA which requires that children with
disabilities be integrated as fully as possible into situations and settings with their non-disabled peers.
Manifestation determination: A review to determine if there is a significant relationship between a
student’s behavior and his/her disability.
Medical support equipment: Portable equipment used by students to maintain life functions, such as
oxygen bottles, intravenous, or fluid drainage apparatus.
Medically fragile: Refers to students who require specialized technological health care procedures for
life support and/or health support.
Mobility aid: A wheelchair, or other device, either battery-powered or manual that is used to provide
support to and movement of a person with a physical disability.
Modeling: An intervention procedure that elicits a desired behavior through observation of modeled
behavior.
Monitor: An unpaid volunteer with responsibilities to preserve order upon the bus and do such other things
as may be appropriate for the safety of pupils and employees assigned to such bus.
NAPT: National Association for Pupil Transportation, a membership organization comprised of individuals
and organizations representing all facets of school transportation.
NASDPTS: National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, a membership
organization primarily comprised of state officials responsible for pupil transportation.
NHTSA: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Parallel restraint system: A system in which the occupant restraint lap belt anchors directly to the floor
track or plates, and is independent of the wheelchair/mobility aid securement system.
Parent contract: An agreement between the Transportation Department and the parents/guardians of
students with special needs to all the parent/guardian to transport their child to/from school via their own
private vehicle. Reimbursement, typically at the standard mileage rate, is normally offered to the transporter;
however, terms for reimbursement may be negotiated.
Part B: The section of IDEA that outlines services for children ages 3-21.
Part C: The section of IDEA that outlines services for children birth to age 3.
Positive Reinforcement: An intervention procedure that rewards desired behavior.
Postural support: A seat, belt, or other component used to support a child with disabilities in a desired
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
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Glossary Page 3
Glossary
position but not designed or intended to provide occupant restraint in a crash; also know as a positioning
belt or device.
Power lift: A mechanized platform designed to provide access to a vehicle for a mobility aid/wheelchair,
also know as a wheelchair lift.
Preschool: A program serving children between the ages of three and five years.
Preschooler: Refers to a child between the ages of three and five years who is not yet in kindergarten
Private Contract: An agreement between the Transportation Department and a third party provider (i.e.
taxi, transit bus, private contractor, etc) to transport students with special needs to/from school via private
vehicle. Reimbursement terms may be negotiated.
Prompting: An intervention procedure that facilitates a desired behavior through visual, auditory, and
physical cues.
Reinforced seats: Bus seats with attachment framework or anchorage devices conforming to FMVSS
210. Also know as “210 seats” or “lap-belt ready seats.”
Related services: Support services documented in an IEP that are required to assist a child with a
disability to benefit from special education. Some of these services are occupational therapy, physical therapy,
speech therapy, and transportation.
Restraint system: A generic term for one or more devices intended to secure and protect a passenger
with or without a mobility aid in a vehicle, including lap belts, lap/shoulder belts, child safety seats, safety
vests, etc.
Scooter: A motorized mobility aid with three wheels, handle bar or tiller, and a swiveling seat.
Seat restraints: A passenger restraint system incorporating lap belts or lap/shoulder belts and meeting
the requirements of FMVSS 209 and 210.
Section 504: Section of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, PL93-112, which prohibits discrimination against
individuals with disabilities by any recipient of federal funding.
Securement points: Locations on the base or seat frame of the wheelchair/mobility aid where the
securement system should be attached.
Securement system: The means of securing a mobile seating device to a vehicle in accordance with
FMVSS 222, including all necessary buckles, anchors, webbing/straps, and other fasteners.
Securement and restraint system: The total system, which secures and restrains both a wheelchair/
mobility aid and its occupant; also known as WTORS.
Shaping: An intervention procedure that systemically reinforces each behavioral sequence that leads to
the desired behavior.
Stroller: A lightweight folding mobility aid. Some strollers have been crash tested and may be occupied
by a student during bus transport.
Tether: An upper anchor strap used in addition to a seat belt to hold certain types of restraint devices
in place.
Glossary Page 4
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Glossary
Transportation Safety Assistant (TSA): An individual who is employed by a school system with
responsibilities to assist the bus drivers with the safety, movement, management, and care of children
boarding the bus, leaving the bus or being transported in it.
WC/19 wheelchairs: Wheelchairs that have met rigorous crash testing criteria; also know as transit
wheelchairs or wheelchairs with a transit option.
Wheelchair: A seating system comprising at least a frame, seat, and wheels for the support and mobility
of a person with physical disabilities.
A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with
Disabilities for North Carolina Public Schools - December 2002
Glossary Page 5
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