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Educational Assistants As Travel Assistants

On occasion, an Educational Assistant(s) will be required to provide assistance to students with special needs when travelling on HSTS transportation to and/or from school. This assistance will fall within the regular working hours of the Educational Assistant’s day. It is expected that the following procedure will be used:

Educational Assistants As Travel Assistants

On occasion, an Educational Assistant(s) will be required to provide assistance  to students with special needs when travelling on HSTS transportation to and/or  from school. This assistance will fall within the regular working hours of the  Educational Assistant’s day. It is expected that the following procedure will be  used:

Determining Need

1. Circumstances affecting the safe transportation of students with severe  health/medical or behavioural needs may be identified and brought to the  attention of the School Administrator.

2. The School Administrator will contact their Student Services Instructional  Program Lead (IPL) who, in consultation with school and other Student  Services staff, will investigate options such as safety vests, alternative  transportation arrangements, etc. Problem solving may include  discussion with HSTS staff.

3. Where a Travel Assistant is deemed necessary to a student’s success, a  Sped 11 Form will be submitted to the Superintendent of Student Services  for approval. When approved, the School Administrator will complete the  form: “For Students Requiring Support of a Travel Assistant”. The original  of this form is to be kept at the school, with a copy given to the EA. This  form is to be completed annually.

4. Principals should review the need for Travel Assistants each  term/semester (minimally) in consultation with the school Special  Education Resource Teacher or Self-Contained Teacher, Parents, IPL,  Senior Manager and medical personnel (where appropriate).

5. If the student has a Behaviour Intervention Plan or Safety Plan, these  plans must be revised to reflect the travel environment, and to articulate  planned responses while in transit, including emergency  

communication. Staff must receive training in this new environment.

6. If a student moves schools within the Halton District School Board, the  Travel Assistance form must be forwarded to the new school as part of the  transition plan.

Assigning Staff

1. In cases where assistance is required due to severe medical concerns, an  application should be made to the Local Health Integrated Network  (LHIN) for medical accompaniment.  

2. In cases where the student with special needs requires supervision while  riding the bus/taxi, an Educational Assistant assigned to the student’s  school will provide the assistance.  

3. The School Administrator will review the schedule(s) of the Educational  Assistant(s) assigned and determine which person will ride the bus.  

a) The accompaniment on the bus will fall within the work day. b) The accompaniment may be the same person coming to school and  returning home, or it may be two different Educational Assistants. The  length of the route may be a determining factor.

Prior to Transportation Assistance Beginning

1. It is expected that the Educational Assistant will receive training  appropriate to the needs of the student. This may include safe use of a  safety vest, strategies as outlined on the student’s Behaviour or Safety  Plan, etc. The teacher, Educational Assistant, resource staff (may include  Student Services) and parent will be consulted prior to the first run to  collaboratively develop plans for travel. Any training should be developed  in conjunction with the student’s relevant plans (e.g., Individual Education  Plan, Safety Plan, Medical Plan, Behaviour Plan etc.). The Safety Plan  must be specific to the environments in which a student interacts during  the day, and transportation, if accompanied by a staff member, should be  part of the plan. This will include the procedures for handling emergency  situations, staff responsibilities, special equipment/resources and methods  of communication.

Pick Up and Drop Off

1. The Educational Assistant will report to the school as scheduled. This will  be the start of the work day for the Educational Assistant. The  transportation provider will pick the Educational Assistant up at the school  and together they will proceed to pick up the student at his/her home.  

2. At the end of the school day, the transportation provider will pick up the  student and the Educational Assistant at the school. The Educational  Assistant will be returned to the school as part of the bus run. This will fall  within the employee’s work day.

Late Arrival of the Bus

1. In the event that the bus is late at the end of the day, the Educational  Assistant will fill out a timesheet, approved/signed by the principal, for the  additional time (minimum 20 minutes). The Educational Assistant will be  paid time and a half in this situation.

Ongoing Review

The processes outlined above are to be reviewed on a regular basis by the  school staff to ensure that there continues to be evidence of the need for Travel  Assistance. It is expected that the school, in collaboration with Student Services,  will plan for a “phasing out” of this assistance.

Liability

The Bus Transportation Company has the responsibility for liability. Extensive  liability requirements are contained within the established agreements between  the Board and the Bus operators. Liability coverage provided extends to all  passengers, including the Educational Assistants on the bus.



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For Students Requiring Support of a Travel Assistant
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