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Transportation from school to outside PHP (partial hospitalization program) for students with Emotional Disturbances


Kara

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What are the legal requirements for a district when a student (Junior in HS) is required by their outside therapeutic team to attend an outside intensive therapeutic program for their mental health diagnosis. This program will be 4 days a week, during school hours, and will require the school to support the student academically in a variety of ways. However, the school is stating that they do not provide transportation from the school to the program. We are in CT if that helps with the answer to the questions. 

 

Please let me know how to proceed. Transportation is a significant barrier to care for this student and the family qualifies for state support and falls under the federal poverty line as well. 

 

 

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I believe you would need to get the program written into the IEP in order for the school district to be held responsible for transportation to the program.  It being "required by an outside team" is probably not enough.  I would try to get a provider (maybe by way of an IEE?) to say that the child needs this program in order to receive FAPE.  Then you could get transportation covered.  If not, is there anyway to get the state to provide something?

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In my area, the child would qualify for Medicaid and they would be able to access 'Community Transit' (the senior citizen bus paid for by the state lottery).  Not sure if CT lottery funds a similar program.

In my state, the reps & senators to the state capitol would be aware of what the options were in this situation.

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If the PHP was the IEP placement, that's when the school would pay for transportation.  Might also fall under a 504 as an accommodation.  Can the school handle the student in their building?  If not, what is their alternative?

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So this is ordered by an outside, non-school team for mental health? I don't know much about CT law, but this program sounds like it's making some problematic demands of the school. I'm not saying this isn't a good program for the student, but the school is indeed in charge of the education. This all sounds like a backwards demand. When is the student getting that education during the school day? Is it enough? 

This indeed needs to go to the IEP team, figured out, and only if it's supporting the IEP goals be placed in the IEP and funded.

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I'd have to have more details, but I don't think an outside program can require a school to do anything without, as Carolyn said, getting this all approved and put into the IEP, which is basically the choice of the IEP team to do so. I'm more inclined to otherwise assume the other program would have to work around school. Which is easier accused than done, of course. 

If it's not convenient to do the other program outside school (and all that time during school hours doesn't sit right with me unless this is in fact FAPE for this case) I'd definitely see how this would support FAPE and get it into the IEP.

Until then, it's likely the program's problem. My guess is any state help would likely look towards the IEP possibilities anyway, so that's the route I'd go. 

Edited by Elemeno
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