RCSD prioritizing specialized education bus routes amid transportation crisis

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester Board of Education will hold an emergency session Monday evening at 6 p.m. to discuss the school district’s busing shortage. Thousands of students are left without a ride to school.

According to RCSD superintendent Dr. Lesli Myers-Small’s draft-plans, students who are unable to work out transportation for the first few weeks of school will tune-in remotely.

Students in specialized learning are an exception to that, but 32 routes specific to special education are uncovered as of Sunday night.

“Now we’re trying to reconfigure to make sure the students with disabilities and IEP’s are covered,” said Myers-Small.

Maureen Doohan is a special education teacher in the district. She says some of these students have learning disabilities, some are in wheel-chairs, and some struggle with communication. There’s different levels of special education transportation for all of them.

“A lot are what we call home pick-up or house pick-up, those we may have for kids with learning disabilities, who have difficulties communicating,” said Doohan. “They can’t go a few blocks away to stand and wait for the bus.”

Doohan says these are the kids she’s worried about. She says one of the schools with uncovered routes has a large amount of special education students.

“We are looking at a school like maybe Edison, has a huge special ed population but not getting the busing services they need for those kids,” said Doohan.

Doohan says a situation like can be a lot for these students’ mental health.

“And those are some of the kids that are falling through the cracks right now, that aren’t getting serviced,” she said.

The CEO for Regional Transit Service says he’s had multiple conversations with the superintendent on covering these routes, and believes it can be done. He says they’re working on configuring schedules, and are meeting Tuesday to discuss changes.

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