Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Transportation: Denied (Part II)

Back in November, I put up a post about a transportation issue we were having with the school district after asking a special request to have Colin bused in the afternoon back to the Growing Tree Children's Academy (the school he had been at since he was 6 months old).  We were facing some challenges because we had started Colin out in a new daycare in town so that he could be bused there when his preschool day had concluded.  We were weary about the decision because we didn't want to have to change, but also needed to comply with the policy of the district since Chris and I both work and were unable to be home to get him off of the bus.  After 2 months in the new school, we had noticed some changes in Colin that were very unlike him and had experienced a few unpleasant situations where we did not feel his needs were being met.  After  our radars really kicked in, we decided that he could not stay there any longer and spoke to our case manager about the possibility of getting Colin bused back to where we knew it would be a better fit.  She told us that since it was against policy, our request would be denied, but to put a request into transportation.  My post highlighted the negativity I experienced when simply trying to follow up after not hearing anything for almost a month with the transportation department.  

Subsequently, we spoke to the director of special services who suggested we put in a written request to the superintendent (she was also going to speak to him).  After several weeks of that process taking place, I just received a letter today from the superintendent that told me they couldn't "because it wasn't within town borders" and that they "do not have enough vehicles to begin that practice".  Also, he said "transportation is currently being further taxed helping displaced students".  

I feel very defeated because we asked for an accommodation that would require the bus to drive 2.5 miles one way one time a day ("do  not have the vehicles...for 5 miles round trip 1x a day....really?)  knowing it was the best fit for Colin (and saw evidence of that!).  Being a rule follower my entire life, I understand that there are rules in place to protect the district, but I also know that there are lots of accommodations that will transport students MILES to other locations because it is best for that student.  I am also disappointed that he brought up about helping displaced students because I completely understand the situation, but my request was made two weeks prior to Hurricane Sandy hitting (oh, and thanks for making me feel bad for trying to do what's best for MY child).  

We are not going to push the issue any further because we made the decision to do what was best for Colin before having an answer from the district and after a month of being there, know without a doubt that we have done the right thing.  There is something to be said for doing what's best for your child, even when it's not convenient.  We have been grateful for the help we have received to get him to school, but will probably have to reconvene to figure out what we need to do next to find an alternative since he cannot be bused.  It's very disappointing but I guess you just can't break the rules sometimes, no matter how hard you try.


Rochelle said...

WHAT? That is nuts, I think you guys need an advocate.

Laura said...

I'm so sorry to read this:(

Nana said...

WOW! Is all I have to say! Love, Nana

Jenny said...

Sorry to hear this Kelli. Hope you guys can figure everything out.