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Ensuring Students Arrive to School Emotionally Ready to Learn

A Revolution in Special Needs Transportation Training​

FirstServes is a special education training and communications program that aligns First Student with districts and parents to support students and ensure we deliver them physically safe and emotionally ready to learn. ​

FirstServes is the next evolution in special needs transportation, building on our standard special needs training to incorporate research-based interventions and other leading training models to better serve children with disabilities.​

Developed in conjunction with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the top children’s hospital in the United States, FirstServes is a special education leadership training program that equips drivers, attendants, district partners, and families with tools to better serve students with disabilities. The foundation of the program is built on a partnership between First Student staff, district leaders, and the families of students in special populations. Together, we evaluate the needs of the child and implement research-based behavioral interventions that transform their transportation experience.

FirstServes is a:​

  • Communications Platform that brings together the three groups critical to student transportation: Parents, Districts, and First Student
  • Training Program for First Student leadership and thereby location staff to identify, understand, and manage student behavior
  • Cultural Change Agent – it goes beyond just educating drivers and educates entire locations and participating districts

Our special needs program was developed with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the top children’s hospital in the US


Miles driven every year


Student journeys completed every day

More Than Just Special Needs’ Training​

FirstServes is a culture shift – the program focuses on meeting special populations students’ needs and providing appropriate care that is uniquely tailored for each student. We use a train-the-trainer model to prepare each team member that interacts with your students.

Our Advisory Board develops and delivers the training to all necessary community members, who will in turn train their location staff (drivers, attendants, district partners, etc.). This training method cultivates leaders in each community, expanding First Student’s base of special education transportation experts, ensuring knowledge is current and sustainable beyond the initial training.​

FirstServes employs a blended training style because research shows that a combination of coaching and training is 70% more effective than a program that provides training alone. The FirstServes program provides participants with a balanced mix of training sessions and coaching sessions with the Advisory Board and the FirstServes program team. ​

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The FirstServes Advisory Board is comprised of nationally recognized experts from backgrounds that range from behavioral psychology, special education, and human resource development. The board develops and delivers research and trauma-informed training, facilitates training for local leaders, and consults on a case-by-case basis for unique behavioral issues. ​

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Student conduct issues on even a single bus route can throw off the whole school day for students, parents or caregivers, and school officials. FirstActs (Active Conduct Training System) helps everyone more easily communicate incidents and track the effectiveness of interventions.​

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You Can Trust First Student to Safely Transport All Your Students​

With First Student as your student transportation provider of choice, you can rest assured that the safety of your students is our main priority. It is our utmost goal that everyone – students, parents, and district staff – feel comfortable and confident that we will provide the best start and finish to each student’s school day.​