By Matthew C. Oskowis
(December 8, 2015)
I am appealing to the governing board of SOCUSD regarding a subject I believe is important, but alas the District’s administration apparently doesn’t.
It came to my attention more than a week prior to the Thanksgiving break that my son who has autism was being consistently picked up at approximately 8:30 am every day. Since the beginning of school this year and the bus schedules given to me by transportation services, my son is supposed to be picked up at 8:20. My son is the last child picked up on the route and is supposed to be at school, in his classroom, at the same time as all the other six graders.
Most buses transporting students arrive at West Sedona School before the first bell at 8:20 a.m. between 8-8:20 am and the children enter the classroom at second bell at 8:25 a.m.
On Friday, November 20th, I sent an email (see attached PDF) to Superintendent Lykins and Director Remus regarding this matter expressing my concern that the District was not giving the appropriate attention to make sure that the disabled students were being given the same level of service as their neuro-typical peers. I realized that this was right before Thanksgiving break so I gave it a week…
I have not received any response, not even an acknowledgement of the letter received. Would that not be the reasonable expectation considering the subject matter at hand? Why does the administration appear to consistently provide such inadequacy of attention toward our most vulnerable students?
Last week my son was consistently picked up approximately at 8:30 a.m. last week as well (Friday it was at 8:37 a.m.) and again today December 7th at 8:29 a.m. There are other children with disabilities on the bus as well, so my child is not the only one consistently arriving late to school. This is irresponsible behavior of the District as they are opening up themselves up to an OCR complaint and/or ADA discrimination suit since they are not providing the same level of service to children of disabilities as their neuro-typical counterparts (see Sikeston (MO) R-VI Sch. Dist., 16 EHLR 467 (OCR 1989) – “The district cannot shorten the instructional day for efficient scheduling of transportation.”) .
How would you feel if the District picked up your child consistently late and that you child was not receiving the services that you would reasonably expect? This District has one of the highest transportation costs per capita in the state of Arizona, but the District can’t even get our disable children to school on time!
Whatever assistance and/or guidance regarding this matter that you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Matthew C Oskowis