Special Needs

Specialized Service for Students with Special Needs

Our business is devoted to special needs transportation. We are recognised experts in this area. We hire people with the integrity, patience and sensitivity necessary to be a positive influence in the lives of children with special needs. Transporting students with special needs presents unique challenges to our drivers and monitors, so we have developed a customized training curriculum for these individuals. All drivers and aides, who provide transportation for students with special needs, must first complete our regular training program before beginning the special needs program.
Your Partner in Special Education

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Special Needs People

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Special Needs Training

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Your Partner in Special Education

We understand that federal and provincial funding has not kept pace with the escalating special education expenditures, placing the financial burden on school boards. We partner with your school board to help you manage your overall transportation costs.

The responsibilities of managing your regular student transportation program are innumerable. Special Education (SPED) transportation requires even more. Partner with a leader in outsourced SPED transportation, and continue focusing on your top priority — the education, safety and well-being of your students. In regards to SPED transportation, we provide:

  • Optimal cost savings
  • Unmatched safety programs
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Specially trained and knowledgeable staff
  • Industry expertise and national resources

Because of the nature of special needs transportation, open communications and a cooperative approach between parents, students, teachers, drivers, special education supervisors, transportation supervisors and monitors is key to help ensure that safe, reliable and efficient services are provided. Once a Special Education Plan (SEP), Individualized Program Plan (IPP), Student Support Plan (SSP), or an Individual Support Services Plan (ISSP) team has determined that a student with special needs will require transportation as a related service, routing becomes an important part of the student’s success equation.

Our aim is to support each student with special needs to reach their educational goals and make each trip to and from school as pleasant and uneventful as possible. As expert providers in special needs transportation, our team can help make sure that the education locations, equipment and vehicle needs, personnel needs, pick up and drop off points, and times, will be taken into proper consideration.

Special Children Need Special People

Meet Mary Leonard, our SVP and COO of Special Education in North America. Mary oversees the special needs transportation training program for the entire organization, which is a service no one else in our industry provides. This is another feature of The Stock Solution. We have found this service has made a profoundly positive impact on the students with special needs for whom we provide school transportation each day. Mary has held several positions in her career leading operations at companies such as FedEx, RR Donnelly, redbox and Primo Water. In March 2017 Mary joined National Express LLC as Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of the Central Area. In August 2018, she was named Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Special Education. In this capacity, Mary is responsible for the development and implementation of standardized training, processes and procedures to ensure the safe transportation of our most vulnerable customers – those with special needs. Mary lives just outside Phoenix AZ, in New River, with her husband of 26 years, and their son with special needs, Benjamin.

Mary’s focus is on the individualized attention our drivers and staff can bring to these kids, giving them the best possible experience while riding with us. Mary visits many of our locations personally and is always available to answer questions or provide additional SPED transportation program information.

Special Needs Training

At Stock Transportation our special needs drivers and monitors love what they do. They support your students by renewing their employment with us year after year. The average tenure of our SPED personnel is 10-12 years. We train our staff to meet your student’s specific needs, and our best result is when your student has a positive experience with us. We offer:

  • Knowledgeable and empathic employees
  • Customized ongoing training based on students’ needs
  • Ongoing communication with district personnel
  • Transportation expertise at SEP, IPP, SSP and ISSP meetings
  • Introductory meetings with parents and students prior to school start
  • Routing optimization including shared routing

Special needs transportation is a dynamic and complex effort that requires vigilance, flexibility and superior attention to detail — keeping in mind student and equipment needs, travel time, transportation program costs and available resources. To find the best fit, we consider vehicle size, seating arrangements and requirements, individual behavioural and medical needs, wheelchair accessibility, animal usage, as well as nurse, monitor and attendant needs. Our objective is to support each student with special needs to meet their educational goals and use our expertise to make each trip to and from school as pleasant as possible.

Special Needs Legacy

School transportation is unique to each student with special needs, and our company has a long history of partnering with districts for special needs transportation services because of the unique requirements. Today, we provide special needs transportation services from nearly 200 customer service centers throughout North America and are privileged to transport nearly 100,000 students with special needs to and from school safely.

In the Community

Our drivers around the country get involved with “their” kids and their communities, organizing school sponsorships, holding fundraisers and toy drives, raising money for scholarships, donating field-trip service, and more.

In 1996, National Express School (NEXS) adopted Special Olympics as its number one charitable cause.

As an expert provider of special needs transportation for more than 100 years, we have seen first-hand the positive impact Special Olympics makes on children with special needs. We are the only school bus contractor to support Special Olympics so extensively—through corporate donations, employee volunteering efforts, and in-kind contributions.

We wanted to support a cause that has a proven track record of helping “our kids.” By making Special Olympics our number one community project, our employees can become even more involved in the communities they serve.

Polar Plunge for Special Olympics

National Express School’s corporate offices are located in Illinois, and our involvement with the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics began as a friendly bet between two employees. We helped to sponsor the event and donated five buses, and also supported the employees who decided to brave the cold and plunge into the icy waters of Lake Michigan. Every year since, with the help of both corporate and operations’ supporters, NEXS has provided bus transportation and participated in the Polar Plunge.


Special Olympics’ Illinois Windy City Rubber Duck Derby

Each year, more than 50,000 rubber ducks are pushed off the Columbus Street Bridge into the Chicago River for Special Olympics Illinois Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby. National Express School has participated since the first annual event was held in 2005. Since then, we have sold more than 30,000 rubber ducks—each duck representing a $5 donation to Special Olympics Illinois. National Express has been recognised as the top corporate sales team nearly every year since 2007.

Want to learn how Stock can help your district's special needs program?
Request more information today!

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