• Special Needs Transportation

    Bellevue Public Schools prides itself in providing safe, secure, and reliable transportation for all eligible students. The professional drivers assigned to the Transportation Department receive ongoing classroom and hands-on training in transporting students with disabilities. This training includes the use of special equipment such as child restraint systems, managing behavior issues, responding to minor medical emergencies, and conducting bus evacuations. As part of our continuing effort to provide safe transportation service for your child, we have developed the following guidelines for transporting students with disabilities. We hope these guidelines will help assure you that your child is being transported in the safest possible manner. Should you have questions or concerns not covered, please contact the Transportation Department at 402-293-5050 between 5:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    Specialized Transportation Form

    Qualification for SPED transportation is accomplished during a student's Individual Education Plan meeting at school with a teacher. The Specialized Transportation form is filled out at the school at that time, then the school forwards form to Transportation Department. This form provides the Transportation Department with the information needed to match the appropriate transportation mode and equipment to your student and is only shared on a need-to-know basis.

    Each year, before the end of school, you will receive a Specialized Transportation form from your child’s school. This form must be completed and returned before the end of the school year, so that your student can be routed in August. When adding students to a route or changing pick-up and drop-off addresses after the school year begins, families can expect a three to five day delay before transportation can begin. Families are asked to forward any changes to this form as soon as possible to the Transportation Department. It is crucial that contact phone numbers be updated to ensure contact with a primary or emergency caregiver can be made in the event of a change in transportation or an emergency situation.

    Pick-up and Drop-Off Procedures

    Before the first day of school, the Transportation Department will notify families by mail of student pick-up times. Due to numerous factors affecting drop-off times (number of students riding, weather, loading issues, traffic, etc.), it is difficult to accurately predict what time your student will arrive home after school. Families are asked to be available to receive their student beginning at student dismissal time.

    Your student will be picked up and dropped off at your home or permanent caregiver address. Drivers are not permitted to drop-off at a different address. Only in the case of an emergency, and after coordination with the Transportation Dispatch Office can the pick-up or drop-off address be changed.

    Please have your student fully dressed and ready five to ten minutes before their scheduled pick-up time. The bus will wait three minutes past the scheduled pick-up time and then proceed on. If your student misses the bus, it is very difficult for the bus to return due to the timing of the routes.

    Depending on your student’s age and/or disability, you may need to escort your child to and from the bus. Drivers are required to follow the instruction you have provided on the Specialized Transportation Form as to whether your student can exit the bus and enter the residence without adult supervision, at which time we make sure the student gets in the house before departing. For your student’s safety, drivers will not release your student to anyone other than those listed on this form.

    If an adult is required to meet your student upon drop-off and no one is available to meet the child, the driver will contact the Transportation Dispatch office who will try to make telephone contact. If no one can be contacted the student will be returned to the school.

    If your student will not attend school on any given day, please contact the Transportation Dispatch Office at 402-293-5050 as early as possible.

    Use of Occupant Protection and Child Safety Restraint Systems

    Bellevue Public Schools uses a combination of occupant protection and child safety restraint systems to transport students on school buses and vans. The type of system used with your student will depend on factors such as age, weight, height, and disability. The following is an overview of the types of systems utilized by Bellevue Public Schools.

    Compartmentalization: Full size school buses (over 10,000 lbs) are designed to transport large numbers of students without seat belts. This is done by compartmentalizing the area between seats to allow an impact to be absorbed by specially designed, closely-spaced, high-back cushioned seats.

    Seat Belts: Smaller school buses (10,000 lbs or less) are equipped with seat belts. In most cases, pre-school age students and students with disabilities will be transported on smaller buses and will, at a minimum, be required to wear a seat belt.

    Child Safety Seat (Car Seat/Star Seat): Star Seats are used for pre-school students. These seats are secured to the school bus seat in the same manner as when a carseat is secured in a car.

    Safety Vest: This system is used for students between 20–160 lbs. The safety vest is typically used for children who have outgrown the child safety seat or for students with special needs. Safety vests are sized based on the student’s waist size. 

    Integrated Child Restraint Systems: These systems are essentially a combination child safety seat and a safety vest which is built into the seat. Most newer buses will have this system. In many cases, this system may be used in place of the child safety seat or a safety vest.       

    Families are welcome to assist securing their student in the safety restraint system. However, your student’s bus/van driver is always ultimately responsible for checking the proper placement and use of the system. All systems must be used in accordance with the manufacture’s instructions.

    Finally, securing a student in the appropriate restraint system will require the driver to move clothing aside and secure straps across your student’s chest and between the legs. As a family, feel free to discuss and/or observe this process with your driver.

    Transporting Students Using a Wheeled Mobility Device

    If your student uses a wheelchair for mobility they will be transported in a bus which has wheelchair anchor points. The following information is intended to provide basic information to facilitate the loading and unloading of students using a wheelchair.

    Loading and Unloading Wheelchairs

    Students using a wheelchair must be brought to and from the bus by a parent/guardian, or other designated adult. This person may assist loading the wheelchair on the lift and other duties as determined by the driver. This person may not operate the lift or ride on the lift as it is raised or lowered.

    Transportation personnel cannot carry a student on or off the bus unless there is an emergency. The student cannot be assisted up the steps by pulling on their arms or pushing them from behind. If the student cannot go up and down the steps, they will be put on board with the use of a wheelchair and the lift.

    The driver will secure all wheelchairs with a four point tie down system in a forward facing configuration. Each occupant will also be secured with a shoulder/lap belt. Lap trays and other removable attachments must be removed and safely stowed during transportation.