Professional development materials for school bus safety with special considerations for English Language Learners (ELLs) and students with special needs.
Kahn, Judy B.
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SubjectEmergency drills.; School buses -- Safety measures.; English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers.; Students -- New York (State)
This curriculum project brings together two important topics: School bus safety and meeting the needs of English Language Learners (ELLs). ELLs are students whose native language is not English and who are in the process of becoming proficient in English (Wright, 2010). The problem this work addressed is ELLs may not receive equal access to school bus safety information since it is not delivered in a language that they can understand. The purpose of this project was to create Professional Development materials for school principals and bus drivers to help them work together in conducting school bus safety drills throughout the school year, in a district with a large population of ELLs. The district also transports many students with special needs, so considerations for these students were addressed as well. This workshop addressed the safety aspects of safely loading and unloading, crossing the road, waiting for the bus, emergency situations, and interactions with parents. The author reviewed court cases and state and federal legislation requiring ELLs and students with special needs to receive equal access to the information that their peers receive, in addition to New York State Commissioner’s Regulations and school bus driver training materials. These documents were reviewed to demonstrate a need for access to relevant information for school personnel and students. It is hoped that school bus safety training for ELLs and students with special needs will be improved, with increased knowledge on the best practices for delivering this information to these students.
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