Parents to Improve School Transportation Update May 9, 2014
Happy Mother’s Day to all—and a special hello to the people who signed up at the May 1 and May 3 events—more about that below.
Our next meeting is Tuesday May 13 from 5:30 to 7 pm at 147 W. 24 St., 2ndfloor.
Education rally next weekend
On Saturday May 17 at City Hall starting at 2:00 p.m., there will be a large rally and a short march called Taking Back our Schools. This deals with the oversized classes, overuse of for-profit testing companies’ products, and more. See http://tiny.cc/NYCmarch for more info.
We are going!
To meet up with PIST and other activists for busing and special education rights, please arrive to Broadway and Murray Street at 1:45 p.m. and look for yellow banners. Contact us at 347-504-3310 if you want to collaborate on childcare.
(Note: On Sunday June 1 we will also march with Comité Timon in the Bronx Puerto Rican Parade under the banner of Derechos educativos para todos)
This is the time to make sure all the correct accommodations are in place for your child for summer and next year’s busing.
Just because you sent in the medical forms does not mean they transmitted to OPT. Call 718-392-8855 and find out what their computer says. Call or go into the school and make sure someone faxed the forms to SESIS, finalized, created an event, and contacted the school’s Transportation Liaison (public schools can ask their Network who that is). Then this Liaison has to contact OPT. The Liaison is often out visiting schools, leading workshops, or attending graduations and such, so the school may need to make several follow up calls or better, e-mails.
Changes to a ‘more restrictive’ type of service, i.e. further apart from general education busing, such as Limited Time Travel or Mini-Wagon or Lift cannot be done by a Waiver to Amend the IEP. There must be a Reconvene meeting.
Do not give up if the school psychologist and team are too busy in May and June…Reconvene meetings can occur in the summer at a Per Session site with whatever psychologist and team are present. You bring another copy of the documentation to them.
Things we learned from OPT’s reps at the May 1 JCC meeting that Suzanne Peters facilitated are:
--Only 3 people in all of OPT have access to read the IEPs on SESIS.
--Routes for summer start to be made up in early June; routes for fall, at the end of July…parents should call OPT 3 weeks ahead of time to check on medical codes.
--“Lift” and “Wheelchair” are two different codes. If the child has a wheelchair and the only code is Lift, the routers may assign to a bus that is okay for walkers but not wheelchairs.
PLEASE KNOW THAT PIST SUGGESTED (AGAIN) THAT OPT INFORM ALL PARENTS NOW of things like the maximum travel times by age, the names and contact info for their Borough Directors, how far in advance to check on things, and where to even find the Request for Transportation Accommodations form.
Instead of leaving it up to word of mouth, the DOE really should USE ITS COMPLETE ACCESS TO BUS PARENTS VIA BACKPACK MAIL in English and Spanish at least! They sure did this any time there were rumors of a strike and they wanted to justify attacks on union wages and benefits for service professionals, in the name of ‘competitive bidding’.
In past summers, it has been Local 1181 which took out paid ads in the highest circulation newspapers in English, Spanish and French reminding parents to check their child’s status at OPT. Why are parents and bus drivers & matrons doing more advertising and explaining for OPT than OPT does for itself? Just saying.
PIST supports East Harlem families displaced by the Con Ed blast
We were mentioned in a recent article about a rally which 4 PIST members attended (sorry, no link available yet).
The next rally for a community hearing is at the Con Ed shareholders meeting on Monday May 19 at 10 a.m. at Irving Place and 14th Street, Manhattan. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Please check our facebook page PIST NYC and upcoming Calendar email for more events of interest to school bus riders, parents and workers.