Feb 2021 PIST Update

Sunday, February 21, 2021 11:24:00 AM

Fight Cuts, and more

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February Update from Parents to Improve School Transportation


Fight cuts to health & education funding

Black History Month

Covid 19 vaccine

School bus workers & the pandemic

Return to blended learning in middle school buildings

Electric school buses

More Disability Pride/History 

PIST NYC social media 


Fight cuts to health & education funding

a) See https://www.facebook.com/events/535338584107014 for details on how to contact politicians on the question of Covid19 Relief funding for Home and Community Based Services for people of all ages with various disabilities. HCBS is intended to keep people out of institutions and more independent by providing support which suits the individual.


b) NYS Petition against total 39% cut to OPWDD Care Coordinators http://chng.it/FRBM2DBNL6


c) NYS Petition to tax the very wealthy rather than cutting public education: 



Black History Month 

a) We found these projects celebrating Black Disabled history past & present:





b) Artist mom who features a “Black Disabled Lives Matter” T shirt & mask for a sliding scale, as well as designs like “Autistic Joy”  https://jenwhitejohnson.com/


c) The 4th of the month, birthday of Mrs. Rosa Parks, was the 5th annual Transit Equity day declaring that public transit is a civil right. So is school busing!

See https://www.labor4sustainability.org/transit-equity-2021/


Covid vaccines for I/DD community As of Feb 15: Intellectual or Developmental Disability makes persons of any age eligible for Covid19 vaccine in NY state.

The city is holding a webinar about this on Monday 2/22 at 2:00


The Autistic Self Advocacy Network has created plain language fact sheets and links to social stories, etc. https://autisticadvocacy.org/resources/covid-pl/vaccine/


School bus workers and the Pandemic

  1. We asked a school bus workers’ union shop steward in ATU 1181: what happens when the school building or classroom is closed due to Covid19? Apparently the DOE sends an email to the company at 11:00 p.m. the night before, so the workers find out when they arrive in the early morning. They ‘shape’ or stand by for another assignment and are paid for this time. 

As to vaccines, the drivers and attendants are in the 1b group. Those who want the shot have to make arrangements to get both doses on their own time.


  1. We are sorry to report that school bus workers in this local and others have passed away from Covid 19. A partial list including seventeen NYC names can be found here: https://atu1277.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Newsletter_08.20.pdf   


  1. https://twitter.com/LostToCovid A twitter account focusing on all school personnel lost to Covid across the U.S. has posted some 94 names of school bus workers. The organizer says there are others who are not yet posted...full names, photos and descriptions are needed so they can be honored properly. Contact them/us if you have such knowledge. 


Return to blended learning in middle school buildings

  1. As of now grade 6-8 students in community school districts who opted in to in-person learning some days of the week are able to resume that schedule starting Feb 25, joining the lower grades and District 75 students of all ages. https://www.schools.nyc.gov/alerts/all-blended-learning-students-in-grades-6-7-and-8-will-return-to-in-person-learning-on-thursday-february-25

(note: Switching to full remote through June is still an option -- even so, do not give up busing on the IEP -- speak up if anyone pressures you on that)


  1. We urge families to start finding out in advance what the school, bus company, and OPT each say is your child’s route and schedule.


  1. For safety’s sake, stay alert to the number of riders (check AM + PM Sequence numbers and/or ask the bus crew). Monitor whether socially distant seating, ventilation, disinfection measures are still in effect. Reply pistnyc@gmail.com to be invited to any future zoom call with busing advocates about this.


  1. For dealing with busing issues in general, see http://pistnyc.org/2020-21-advice-on-school-bus-route-complaints.aspx and related blogs on our website or write to pistnyc@gmail.com 


Electric school buses --This article says a new “report reveals that the electric school transportation vehicles, with their comparatively simple schedules and routes, are actually ‘ready to roll’ right now — if districts can just solve the problem of how to pay for what would be a game-changer for our national climate outlook.” 


The NYC Clean School Bus Coalition can be reached at http://www.nylpi.org


More Disability Pride/History 

On the heels of Woodstock, a group of teen campers are inspired to join the fight for disability civil rights.” Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution premiers March 25th on Netflix. 

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6TB7KEqhRo


PIST NYC social media

Stay connected - we exchange information more often on https://twitter.com/pistnyc 

https://www.facebook.com/pistnyc/ and https://www.facebook.com/groups/pistnyc/


Parents to Improve School Transportation


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