February 2015

Saturday, April 04, 2015 2:01:00 PM

Porter service update; new EPP bill; Parent talks with OPT; events

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Porter service update--Parents and the parent coordinator at P 811 Q sounded the alarm last week when two families received calls saying that their respective children’s medical code for the school bus had been changed from ‘Carry kid’.  They were told that day would be the last day on which these students, who use wheelchairs but live in homes without elevators or ramps, would be provided with porter service from a bus company employee.  As a result, the students were unable to reach school at all.

PIST contacted more organizations, advocates and members of the media. Reporter Melissa Russo interviewed the parents and broadcast the following report:

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Porter-Services-Restored-Students-Wheelchairs-New-York-City-Department-of-Education-Queens-I-Team-291907311.html

 

For District 75 the school year ends in August, so the students now have 6 months instead of 1 day.  Ms. Evelyn wrote and thanked us for our support. She had explained to many DOE officials that she is in her rent controlled home since the son in the report was a baby…but it took a TV expose’ to get some relief for him. 

We have to question why the ‘carry kid’ regulation only applies to people in City housing.  This is among other outdated regulations:  that do not distinguish between Kindergarten age students and High School age students; that allow routes out of borough to be 1 hour 45 minutes long each way; and that leave it up to the parents to address route problems through constant complaints, instead of having built in quality control, or engaging the drivers and attendants in correcting routes.

PIST and others will continue to fight to change the regulations on busing to make them more respectful of students’ civil right to educational access, and their physical well being.  We need a School Bus Bill of Rights!

***Please alert families of anyone you know with Porter Service that they must be ready to defend this right.  Suzanne Peters advised us that Special Education Attorney Gary Mayerson has offered to represent any parent pro bono, who is denied this service by the NYCDOE.

 

 

New EPP bill

 

According to ATU 1181 posting last week, there are about 800 laid off school bus drivers and 1600 laid off attendants, aka Matrons.

 

Here is the new EPP bill that is open in the NY State legislature. Let's get our word in as parents who want an experienced busing workforce:

 

http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S1839-2015

Thank you to Grandpa's Bus driver for giving PIST the bill number!

 

Parent talks with OPT

Recently we got this invitation to share with you from Francine Streich, UFT Parent-Community Liaison:

“If your child has a disability and you want to join a UFT committee working on special education issues such as busing, information parents need to navigate the school system, safety and more, please email me at fstreich@uft.org, and I will give you more information.”

 

The work of the above committee now includes encounters with officials from the Office of Pupil Transportation around school bus issues.  The next one is coming up March 6.  

As usual, OPT’s main interest is in hearing about individual bus stories to fix one-by-one rather than committing themselves to concrete changes that would improve travel for all students in a pro-active way. 

Amy from PIST—and other parents in that meeting—will advocate for real changes anyway…but meanwhile, if you want to take advantage of this chance to mention any specific route problem to OPT, please send your info topistnyc@gmail.com by Weds. March 4, including the route number. 

 

Calendar events

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Friday, February 20th        

The Birmingham Children's March            An interactive theater experience

11 am - 12 pm          Dweck Auditorium                Central Library         

10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn      718.253-4948

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Monday, Feb. 23: Join other education activists and clergy members outside of Governor Cuomo's New York City office at 633 3rd Ave for a demonstration against the governor's attack on public education. The demonstration will start at 12 p.m.

 

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Thursday Feb. 26:  Encuentra Milagros de PIST en la mesa de COMITE TIMON en Hostos Community College 1:00-5:00.  Tendra planillas con la encuesta legal sobre servicios de la guagua escolar y otros ricursos para padres de alumnos con descapacidades.

 

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Various dates including Feb 26:  Free morning RCSN workshops for parents.

 

http://www.resourcesnyc.org/parents/workshop-event-detail/transition-for-families

 

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Various dates February - April:  Free morning and evening YAI workshops for parents.

 

http://www.yai.org/services/autism/autism-family-support-series.pdf

 

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Friday Feb. 27 Manhattan Developmental Disabilities Council event 9:30 a.m.

 

http://www.manhattanddcouncil.org/family-advocacy-day-february-27th-2015

 

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Friday Feb. 27 Bronx Educators Meeting, 2/27 from 5pm to 7pm


Bronx Educators will be working together to collaborate in support of their careers and their students' education. All are welcome to attend. Please emaillydia.howrilka@gmail.com for more information.

LOCATION: 
St. Stephen's Church
439 East 238th St, Bronx NY 10470
2 Train to Nereid Avenue
Harlem Line of Metro North to Woodlawn station.

 

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Sat. March 7th:  Join other parent leaders to improve education for all NYC children, especially in low-income communities of color. That's right--In 2015, we are taking names, building power. 

Where: Brooklyn UFT 335 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 When: Sat. March 7th 

Time: 9:30 am – 2 pm.   A light breakfast, lunch, childcare and translation will be provided.
Register here: http://nyccej.nationbuilder.com/pps_march_2015   For more information, please contact ncapers@nyccej.org

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SUNDAY MARCH 8 Please join PIST delegation at International Working Women’s Day march and speakout beginning 12 noon at Herald Square, 34th St and Broadway in Manhattan. See https://www.facebook.com/InternationalWorkingWomensDayCoalition

 

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March 12-18 -- annual Disability film festival.

http://www.reelabilities.org/uploads/RFRK19_RFF7_Online_PDF.pdf

 

 

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