Loss of instruction time in the morning

Sunday, October 31, 2010 2:26:09 PM Categories: Excessive Time Late to School O.P.T.


School starts at 8:05.  Arrival times on a bus whose route zigs and zags all around the city were ranging from 8:45 to 9:20 the first few weeks of school.  This is despite the fact that children were stepping onto this bus as early as 7:00 a.m., that is, spending an average of two hours on their morning commute!*

Now (on the fourth route change), my child is still arriving an average of 15-20 minutes late every day, or 75-100 minutes a week.  I do not want the driver to speed, so this is the best OPT has to offer us.

Certain things occur in the beginning of the day, things which are vital to students with neurological issues around transitions, social skills and organization.

Our child is missing the chance to ‘shop’ for different books to use for home reading assignments; has left/brought the wrong notebooks home; almost missed a trip because of not getting the permission slip when it was given out; and more.  The teacher is put in a bad position of having to decide whether to hold the lesson until 25% of her class arrives, or start it and exclude that 25% or try to catch them up later.

In an inclusion class, the students with IEPs are supposed to be integrated and not separated from their peers or made to stand out as ‘other.’  But now the kids with IEPs are the ones walking in late and the ones without are getting more instructional and socialization time.

*Legal fact:

When limited time travel is specified on the IEP, it means 60 minutes ‘in borough’ and either 90 or 102 minutes out of borough, depending who you ask. 

OPT seems to be mixing kids with and without limited time mandates on the same bus and making the ones without limits (such as mine) wait on the bus while the driver doubles back to get the ones with limits. 

This has to be less efficient than simply having fewer kids on each route or making sure kids on a given route live somewhat on the same side of town.

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