School Bus Driver and Aide Training for Interacting with Students with Special Needs
Question and Answer Document
1. Who is required to complete the training?
All school bus drivers and school bus aides employed by a board of education or a contractor that provides student transportation services under a contract with a board of education.
2. What topic(s) does the training cover?
The training program covers the following areas as they relate to students with disabilities:
- appropriate behavior management;
- effective communication;
- use and operation of adaptive equipment; and
- understanding behaviors that may be related to specific disabilities.
3. What does "Employer" mean?
An "employer" is a board of education or a contractor that provides student transportation services under contract with a board of education.
4. When must I complete the training?
An employer must administer the training program to all school bus drivers and school bus aides that it employs. If a person was employed prior to release of the training, the training must be administered no later than 180 days after the Commissioner of Education makes the training program available.
If a person is employed after the release of the training, the employer must administer the training to the driver/aide prior to the person operating a school bus or servicing as an aide on a school bus.
5. Who keeps track of when the training is complete?
The employer must require that a school bus driver or school bus aide file a certification with the employer that the person has completed the training within five business days of its completion. The employer must keep a copy of the certification for the duration of the person's employment, and must forward a copy to the New Jersey Department of Education through the local county office of education. The Department of Education developed a sample certificate for employers to use.
6. Where do employers submit the required copy of the certification?
The employer should forward a copy of the School Bus Driver and Aide Training Certificate to the County Office of Education in which their business is located with the annual school bus driver certification information. Please note, this requirement applies to all such employees that are newly hired during the course of the school year. The Driver and Aide Certification Roster can be found at: http://www.nj.gov/education/finance/transportation/procedures/.
7. What is a "Student Information Card?"
The student information card includes information that should be readily available to a school bus driver and school bus aide for the purpose of promoting proper interaction with a student with special needs.
The parent/guardian of a student with an individualized education program (IEP) will complete the student information card when the IEP is developed or amended for a student who receives transportation services. Upon receiving consent from a student's parent/guardian, the school district must provide a copy of the completed student information card to the school bus driver and/or school bus aide for each student on the bus route to which the school bus driver or school bus aide is assigned and for whom a student information card has been completed by the parent/guardian.
8. Where do I maintain the "Student Information Card?"
The card should be kept in a location that is readily available to a school bus driver and school bus aide.