Parents to Improve School Transp. Update 12/6/12

Sunday, December 30, 2012 5:54:00 PM
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Parents to Improve School Transp. Update 12/6/12--News & Events, 1 attachment


1.  Amalgamated Transit Union local 1181-1061 reports that all of their laid-off school bus drivers and escorts were rehired for routes created by November.  This is in contrast to previous years when it took until late Spring to restore jobs lost in September. 
Do you suppose this had anything to do with the major outcry from parents this year that led to press conferences, city council hearings, and much media exposure?  We do...please stay organized! 


2.  Families who are now dealing with busing and OPT for the first time because of disaster response deserve our solidarity in light of the governor's corner-cutting (see articles on the Media page of and PIST NYC facebook timeline).  The flip side of item 1 above is that hundreds of 'casual' union drivers and escorts who are certified by the DOE and ready to work full time are only being used to fill in here and there, while the displaced schools are riding with uncertified drivers on casino-type coach buses.  Please write to pistnyc@gmail if you want to be involved in petitioning for equal standards for post-Sandy school bus riders.  


3.  Links to 3 recent articles on school bus accidents.  Our hearts go out to all those injured and/or traumatized.  The DNA Info online paper is asking PIST for comment. 
Perhaps yellow buses would be safer overall if they were under direct control of the state DOT instead of all this subcontracting via OPT, where job security for experienced drivers is being threatened.   What do you think?  Maybe parent leaders or disability self-advocates should be brought into the contract bidding process.  Comment: Did OPT quickly call the parents?  WHY are kids on the bus at 6:00 a.m.?  Comment: WHY were 40 children with IEPs on an elementary school bus? When will the child-to-adult ratios on the IEP be considered?  This is point #2 on our Bill of Rights. 



1.  PIST will be doing outreach at the Queens Family Support Conference, see attached brochure.
Monday December 10th 2012! 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM! 

Resource Fair 11:AM - 3:00 PM will include tables from:
Queens Council on Developmental Disabilities
New York State OPWDD
Bernard Fineson Developmental Disabilities Services Office
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
NYC Department of Education, District 75,
Office of Vocational / Transition Services
New York Hospital of Queens - Center

 for Developmental Disabilities

Travel Directions to Flushing Sheraton Hotel
Hotel is at corner of 39th Ave. and Prince St. Two blocks
from Main St. / Flushing Subway Station.
#7 Train to Flushing/Main St.
LIRR—Flushing Station
Buses: # 66, 17, 27, 48, 20A, 20B
Municipal Parking available in the area accessible via 38th Avenue or 39th Avenue West of Main Street.
Visit the Website for conference information
Write back if interested in meeting us there:

2.  Here is another event on Monday (evening):

High Stakes Testing: Helping or Hurting Education?

 What: Panel discussion and community forum on the impact of high stakes testing on curriculum, instruction, and learning

When: Monday, December 10th, 6:00 – 8:30 PM (see flyer for details)

Where: The Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center

3940 BROADWAY @ 165 STREET (A/C/1 trains to 168th Street station)

Panelists: Brian Jones, Dr. Pedro Noguera, Senior Deputy Chancellor Shael Polakow-Suransky, Diana Zavala

Sponsored by: Change the Stakes, The Shabazz Center, The Harlem/Washington Heights Education Film Screening & Discussion Series (Total Equity Now, Community League of the Heights, and the A.M.E. Zion Church on the Hill), the Offices of Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez and Robert Jackson, and CEC 6.

Please RSVP via email to or by joining the Facebook event

** Spanish language translation will be available **

Download Printable and Electronic Flier with additional details for event in English and Spanish

3.  Here are some free workshops offered this month by Resources for Children with Special Needs:

Your Child's Best Champion!
Tues, 12/11/2012 - 9:00am - 11:00am--Bronx
Gain the skills and confidence you need to speak, listen, and advocate on behalf of your child.

Your Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is going through many changes. This will impact your very young or school-aged child. These workshops are grouped by your child's age, and address basic information you will need as the system undergoes fundamental reform:

·       Learn about current eligibility and services

·       Plan for upcoming changes to service

·       Understand how these changes will impact your child

Prepare for Change--Transition Age

Thurs, 12/13/2012, 10:00am-12:pm--Manhattan

Special Education Basics
Tues, 12/18/2012 - 9:00am - 10:30am -- Bronx

This quick but thorough journey through the NYC special education process will help you chart the best course for you and your child.

Turning 5 - Manhattan
Tues, 12/18/2012 - 9:30am - 11:00am -- Manhattan
Navigate the important transition to Kindergarten with your child with special needs. 

These workshops are free, but registration is required.
For a full description of workshops visit:
More info/register by phone: 212-677-4650

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