January 15, 2013
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I regret to inform you that the bus drivers’ union has announced a strike effective Wednesday, January 16. There will be extensive disruptions to school bus service as of this date. It is possible that some bus routes will continue to operate during the strike; please visit our web site http://schools.nyc.gov to determine if your child’s school bus route is affected. Please read the information below and continue to monitor service updates on our web site (or by calling 311) to ensure that your child can continue to have full days of learning.
MetroCards for students: If your child currently uses school bus service to get to school, your child will receive a MetroCard at school.
MetroCards for Parents: If your child has an IEP that requires transportation from home to school, or if your child normally receives busing and is enrolled in kindergarten, first, or second grade, you may request a MetroCard from your child’s school to assist you in accompanying your child to school. If you plan to use the subway, you can use the MetroCard beginning Wednesday, January 16. If you plan to use a City bus, you can use the MetroCard beginning Thursday, January 17. If your MetroCard does not work, please bring it back to your school so it can be replaced. For the first day of the strike, please make your own travel arrangements, as you would on the first day of school. You may apply for reimbursement of your bus or subway fare until you are able to use your card.
Reimbursement: Reimbursement will be offered as an alternative to MetroCards for parents whose children receive busing from their home, or students in kindergarten through sixth grade who live in areas where public transportation between home and school is not readily available. Parents who drive their children to school will be reimbursed at a rate of $0.55 per mile. Parents who use a taxi or car service to transport their child to school will be reimbursed for the trip upon submission of a reimbursement form and receipts for the service. Requests for reimbursement should be made weekly on forms that will be available on the DOE web site and in your school’s general office. You are encouraged to coordinate with neighbors and classmates whenever possible. Please note that students should be accompanied by an adult when using a taxi or car service.
Student Attendance and Learning at Home: Our goal is to have minimal disruption to student learning. Students affected by the strike will be excused for up to two hours of delayed travel time. If a student is unable to make it to school due to the strike, educational materials for every grade and core subject are posted at http://schools.nyc.gov/Academics/learnathome/default.htm so that students can continue learning at home.
While we have been preparing for this possibility and are working hard to minimize the impact on families, this will be a difficult time for our school communities. Please be assured that your students’ safety and learning is our utmost priority. We continue to work with agencies across the City, including the NYC Police Department, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, and the Department of Transportation to ensure students’ safety; the NYPD will be adding more transit officers and crossing guards to help manage the anticipated increase in the number of students using public transportation and walking to school.
Thank you, in advance, for joining us in our efforts to keep our children in the classroom.
Dennis M. Walcott
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