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Weekends Home Overview and Transportation Guidelines

An Overview of the TSBVI Weekends Home Program including Handbook Information, Contact Information, Travel Routes, FAQ, Drop-off and Pick-up Times, and Route Maps.

Weekends Home Transportation Guidelines
2023–2024 School Year

Individualized Student Considerations

TSBVI believes it is in each student’s best interest to spend as much time with their families and in their home communities as possible. Each student at TSBVI travels to and from their home community each weekend. Given the size of our state, travel to and from TSBVI and the potential impact on students and families is an important consideration for all parties involved. Careful examination of the travel implications in relation to following factors should be provided before a Local School District refers a student to TSBVI:

  • The student’s tolerance for routine travel for extended periods of time
  • The social/emotional impact of being away from familiar and preferred persons and relationships for extended periods
  • The availability of travel based on specific geographical location
  • The availability of a school district flight travel chaperone when needed around closure weekends

TSBVI Weekends Home Travel Stops

TSBVI Weekends Home buses travel on the following routes:

  • Corpus Christi Route (stopping in San Antonio, George West, and Corpus Christi)
  • Dallas Route (stopping in Mesquite)
  • Fort Worth Route (stopping in Belton, Waco, and Fort Worth)
  • Houston Route (stopping in College Station and Houston)
  • Jacksonville Route (stopping in Franklin and Jacksonville)

TSBVI Weekends Home flight chaperones accompany students to the following locations on all non-closure weekends:

  • Amarillo
  • El Paso
  • Harlingen
  • Midland/Odessa

TSBVI Responsibilities

TSBVI will provide weekly transportation to designated drop off locations through TSBVI’s Weekends Home Program for all non-holiday closure weekends (TAC Rule 89.1090). Closure weekends are defined as travel days that occur when the school closes for holidays and/or staff development days. There are approximately eight closure periods over the course of one school year as indicated on the TSBVI Weekends Home Travel Calendar.

Weekends Home drop-off locations include designated bus stops and airports throughout the state. The stops and airport locations may change from year to year based on student population and staffing capacity. TSBVI Weekends Home Transportation will provide travel chaperones on the buses and flights to support safe and successful student transportation. Students that meet the TSBVI Guidelines for Independent Flight Travel may fly on direct flights without a flight chaperone after an initial period of mandatory flight assistance for their first semester. Following the student’s first semester, a decision must be agreed upon by the Parent or Guardian, the Local District, and TSBVI.

Family and Local District Responsibilities

Families are responsible for the transportation to and from the Weekends Home drop off locations. TSBVI will reimburse families for gas mileage related to these trips that occur on non-closure weekends, upon request, three times per year, in December, March, and June. The mileage is calculated using the student’s address of record and the address of the drop-off location (airport or bus stop). If a family is experiencing hardship in providing this regular and ongoing transportation, they are encouraged to request assistance from the Local School District. Failure to meet the regular and ongoing transportation needs may result in the need for the ARD committee to meet and problem-solve transportation problems that may be impacting the student’s ongoing placement at TSBVI.

Families and/or Local Districts are responsible for bringing the students to TSBVI at the start of the school year and picking them up at the end of the school year. This allows families to bring the student’s belongings to personalize their dorm room and also to meet members of the student’s educational team in person. All student belongings must return home at the end of each school year.

The Local District is responsible for student travel that occurs around school closures as indicated on the TSBVI Weekends Home Travel Calendar (TAC Rule 89.1090). There are approximately eight closure periods over the course of one school year. For bus riders, the Local District may choose to have their student ride the Weekends Home bus around closure dates. TSBVI will bill the Local District for this transportation at the end of each school year using the current state transportation rate for mileage reimbursement. For flyers, Local Districts are responsible for the purchase of the plane tickets and providing a flight chaperone if applicable. For airline travel, a state ID is required for students 18 years of age and older. Families are responsible for obtaining a state issue ID prior to the student’s 18th birthday. If the student does not have a state issued ID, they cannot fly. We recommend that students 16 years of age and older apply for a state identification card.

Emergency or Health Related Travel

Students may need to return home for unexpected reasons outside the usual travel times. TSBVI and the Local School District will collaborate to plan and make arrangements with families for emergency travel. All families are required to identify emergency travel plans in the event that their student needs to return home unexpectedly.

If it becomes necessary to transport a student to a hospital, the parent/guardian will communicate directly with the hospital or medical facility. Parents/guardians will need to make immediate arrangements to come to Austin to be with their student at the hospital or medical facility, attend to their care, communicate with healthcare providers, make medical decisions, and take their student home. TSBVI is unable to assume this responsibility. Once the student is discharged from the hospital, parents/guardians will schedule a follow-up examination with the student’s appropriate medical provider (neurologist, endocrinologist, primary care provider, behavioral health, etc.) and obtain a release to return to school. A return to TSBVI will be addressed when additional follow-up information from the student’s appropriate health care provider has been received. The TSBVI Health Center Director will review and identify if any additional information is needed prior to making arrangements for the student to return to TSBVI.

Parents/guardians will be asked to keep the student at home if the student is ill or seriously injured, or when home care and supervision is required due to a medical treatment plan. The length of time that the student will need to remain at home will be determined by either the student’s health care provider or Department of State Health Services School Communicable Disease Chart. This allows the family to carefully monitor the student and quickly follow up with the student’s healthcare provider in the event of medical complications or undesired side effects from a new medication.

Students with serious, on-going, or potentially contagious illnesses will need to be picked up from TSBVI by the parent/guardian or designee. In these instances, students will not be permitted to ride the Weekends Home buses or planes.

Parents/guardians must ensure that TSBVI has a list of at least three reliable emergency contacts who can respond to TSBVI within 24 hours or sooner when emergency circumstances require parental consent for treatment or pick-up from TSBVI or a hospital. TSBVI requests that parents/guardians create a back-up plan that includes other alternates (family, friends, district) who can come to Austin to pick up the student in the event they are not able to do so. If problems occur with student pick up related to a medical issue, the student’s educational team including the parents/guardian and the LEA, will need to meet to discuss eligibility.

TSBVI will provide mileage reimbursement upon request to parents/guardians traveling to pick up a student due to health reasons.

Local Students

Students living within 45 miles of TSBVI will attend as day students, traveling to and from the campus each day through Local District transportation means. Day students are invited to participate in evening activities and events with transportation and supervision by local district staff or a family member.

Weekends Home Program – Parent Handbook

Programa de fines de semana en casa – Manual para padres 

On school closure weekends, your local school district provides for your child to come home, at no expense to you. The TSBVI Weekends Home buses run on those weekends and your district will pay TSBVI for that service. Your local school district is also responsible to reimburse your mileage to and from the stops on these weekends. Please contact them to arrange payment. Please refer to the attached calendar for the specific dates of school closings. On all other weekends, TSBVI will provide, transportation to a drop-off point designated by TSBVI, a commercial bus ticket, or airline ticket for your child.

On the weekends and holidays when TSBVI closes, your local school district will provide transportation for your child from either TSBVI, the bus station, or the TSBVI drop-off point, or they will reimburse you to do this. You will need to check with someone at your local district about getting paid for this travel. For each weekend your child comes home, excepting school closures, TSBVI will arrange for you to be paid to pick up your child from the place where your child is dropped off. If your child goes home by commercial bus or TSBVI bus or van, you will be paid to pick up and take your child to the drop-off point.

Mileage Reimbursement: For each mile you drive back and forth from the drop-off point, TSBVI will reimburse you at the rate of 50% of the federal/state mileage reimbursement rate, currently that is $.33 per mile.  Please be aware that this amount is subject to change based on state and federal mileage reimbursement rates. If you live 15 miles from the drop-off point,

TSBVI will pay you 15 x $.33 or 4.95 for your trip to the drop off point on Friday afternoons; 4.95 for your trip back home on Friday evening; 4.95 to take your child back to the drop-off point Sunday morning and 4.95 for your drive home on Sunday.  So, if you live 15 miles from the drop-off point, for one weekend, TSBVI will pay you $19.80.

Reimbursement checks will be mailed two times per year. The first check will be mailed in December for qualifying miles you drive between the beginning of the school year and the Thanksgiving holiday.  The second check will be mailed in July for the miles you drive between Thanksgiving and the end of the year.  Please make certain you complete the Weekends Home Parent Agreement form sent in July and return it to the school in the attached envelope to set this process in motion.

Each school vehicle used for the Weekends Home Program carries equipment to make the trips as safe as possible. All Weekends Home staff have been trained to manage students effectively and to safely transport them. This includes training on sanitation, evacuations, and other emergency response techniques. Every effort is made to ensure a safe ride and a positive experience for students.

Please always make certain you pick up your child on time and have your child back on time to your drop-off point. If your child travels by plane or commercial bus, you must arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled time for pick-up or drop-off.

Weekends Home staff will continue to practice and encourage careful hygiene and mask wearing on the bus and at the stops as needed. We ask that parents be mindful at the stops that some of our students and staff may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 than other people in their community.

Questions?

Contact: Gian Calaci

Weekends Home Coordinator

If you have any questions about these dates please call Gian Calaci, the Weekends Home Coordinator:
[email protected]

(512) 206-9231 - Office
(512) 844-9362 - Cell