NYC Department of Education
High-Need Student Services
How could we support communication between families with high-need children and the bus teams that take their children to school?
Partners and Sponsors
Every year, 50,000 children with physical, mental, and behavioral needs take city-funded buses to school, sometimes spending up to two hours on the bus each way. Currently, there are no formal ways for parents to tell bus teams about their children’s specific needs nor for the Department of Education to tell families about changes in routes and schedules, leading to a system of anxiety and instability.
In collaboration with community members and government officials, we created three, simple, hardcopy tools to facilitate communication between families, bus teams, and the Department of Education. The first is a guide that helps social workers and parents work together to enroll a child in busing services. Second, a physical card allows parents to share specific caregiving information about their child, which then stays with the bus team through personnel changes. Finally, a new system notifies families of busing changes by automatically sending a memo to a school which is then sent home with the child.