Every special education vehicle must have an attendant responsible for assisting students with disabilities during their ride to and from school. An attendant is also required to assist each child from the bus to the front door of the school.
Attendants must be at least 21 years old and certified in order to transport students. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) mandates standards that apply to school bus attendants across the state. A key component of certification is completion of required training at an approved Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) training location. All attendants are required to attend mandatory refresher courses each year.
Requirements for Attendant Certification
Bus companies schedule appointments at OPT for attendants to apply for certification. Attendants report to the OPT Contract Management Unit on the sixth floor to provide the identification and paperwork listed below:
- Two forms of ID:—A driver’s license or picture ID and Social Security card. If not a United States citizen, present a Green Card or Resident Card.
- A letter from the bus company, on company letterhead, requesting certification.
- Three letters of reference (from individuals, organizations and/or agencies not related by blood or marriage to the applicant) that attest to his or her character and work record.
- Completed DOE application.
- Physical performance test dated within 60 days.
- Medical examination (dated within one year for school-age bus attendants and 90 days prior to certification for Pre-K/EI bus attendants) and Purified Protein Derivative Tuberculosis Skin Test (PPD) every year. If PPD is positive the results of a chest x-ray are required every two years.
- >NYSED and NYCDOE mandated training certificates (original certificates only)—twenty hour course provided through an OPT certified training location. Please note: NYSED requires a ten hour course, the Department of Education requires an additional ten hours of instruction.
- Spring/fall refresher certificate (original certificate only)—two hour required refresher course provided through an OPT certified training location.
- Pre-service training certificate—three hour course provided through an OPT certified training location.
- American Red Cross First Aid Training Certificate—course offered continuously through an OPT certified training location.
- Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certificate—course offered continuously through an OPT certified training location.
All required documentation must be submitted at time of application. Faxes will not be accepted.
If review of the submissions is positive the applicant will be photographed and fingerprinted electronically via Live Scan. If the fingerprint check comes back clean (results are usually received within one or two days) an ID card and supporting documentation will be generated and placed in the company's mail pickup. Upon receipt of the ID, the DOE attendant is able to perform DOE work.