Transporting Students with Special Needs

Guidance, Sample Letters and Additional Resources

Guidelines for Transporting Children with Special Health Needs on School Trips

The following guidelines should be considered the standard of care for planning the transportation of a child having special health needs for a school trip.

  • Make frequent stops.
  • Have enough power for portable equipment for at least twice the estimated length time involved for the trip.  Batteries should be of the Gel Acid type if available and if not should be sealed.
  • Have a sufficient supply of required support materials required for the wellbeing of the student to last at least twice the estimated length of time involved in the trip.
  • If possible use a school bus as the transporting vehicle.  If a non-school bus passenger vehicle is used, position the child in a seat behind the driver, preferably ahead of the rear axle, in a center seating position, with an adult attendant or chaperone.
  • If present, deactivate the passenger side airbag if positioning a child in the front passenger seat (of a non-school bus vehicle) is the only option.
  • Travel with a written medical care plan that addresses appropriate measures to follow in the event of a medical emergency. Include parental permission documents and releases to allow treatment of the child.
  • For long trips, make sure to have a list of health care providers and durable medical equipment providers that can be contacted en-route.