New division will oversee First Student’s suite of services that allow school districts to meet IDEA’s mandate that special needs students be placed in least restrictive environment (LRE)
Service will also be available on a consulting basis for school districts not already working with First Student
CINCINNATI – Today, First Student, the largest provider of school transportation in North America, launched its new Student Services division to ensure a positive student experience on every journey to and from school. Student Services will oversee First Student’s suite of services that ensure the best possible ride based on the individualized needs of students, including those with intellectual, physical or emotional disabilities. All services offered under the new division are based on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandate that students be placed in the least restrictive environment (LRE) based upon their individual needs.
“At First Student, providing an exceptional experience for all students, regardless of individual needs, is our utmost priority, and the creation of the Student Services division will allow us to deliver on that mandate for school districts across North America in an innovative and more wholistic manner,” said Will McDermott, Head of Student Services. “By incorporating the LRE model into everything we do, we can improve students’ social and emotional development while delivering more efficient and cost-effective solutions for districts.”
First Student is the only student transportation partner to offer a full K-12 transportation solution, inclusive of all student needs and vehicle types, making the LRE model accessible in student transportation. The Student Services division works closely alongside behavioral experts, district leaders, and parents to improve each student’s experience.
“First Student’s mission to provide unmatched care and the safest ride to school underpins everything we do, and I am proud to launch the Student Services division to continue delivering that best-in-class experience,” said John Kenning, President and CEO of First Student. “The services we offer districts ensure our vehicles are welcoming and trusted places where students feel comfortable and secure and build upon our commitment to deliver an extraordinary experience for our customers and communities.”
The Student Services division will oversee programs that impact student experience, including FirstServes, First Student’s premier, expert-backed training and support program, developed in conjunction with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the top children’s hospital in the United States.
In addition to serving school districts already contracted with First Student, the new Student Services division will be available on a consulting basis for all districts, ensuring broad access to these industry-leading services to improve the transportation experience for students.
About First Student
As a leading school transportation solutions provider in North America, First Student strives to provide the best start and finish to every school day. With a team of highly-trained drivers and the industry’s strongest safety record, First Student delivers reliable, quality services, including full-service transportation and management, special-needs transportation, route optimization, and scheduling, maintenance, and charter services with a fleet of about 40,000 buses. For more information, visit firststudentinc.com.