HopSkipDrive: A transportation resource for children with IEPs
Written by Karen Sampson
If you work with or are the parent/guardian of a student who has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), you likely already know a lot about the importance of meeting the needs of children with disabilities. If and when a child's IEP happens to include transportation, HopSkipDrive can be a useful resource for both schools and parents/caregivers.
Read on to learn about some of the many ways we use technology, operational expertise and new ways of thinking to get kids with disabilities where they need to go — and help them reach their full potential.
After learning more about us, feel free to contact us if you work for a school or district that you feel will benefit from partnering with us, or if you’re interested in advocating to bring HopSkipDrive to your child’s school.
We help schools meet the needs of students with IEPs
HopSkipDrive has been proven to be a safe, reliable and cost-effective solution when it comes to helping schools and districts meet the individualized transportation needs of all students — including those with special needs or IEPs, students in foster care and students experiencing homelessness.
To date, HopSkipDrive CareDrivers have worked with more than 13,000 schools across the country, transporting more than 1 million Riders over 20 million safe miles. But don’t take it from us — listen to what some of our education partners have to say:
“We have two siblings who attend different schools, neither have been successful on a bus. In order to get them to attend school at all, HopSkipDrive was the best option. Because of HopSkipDrive, both students attended most every day. All of the feedback I received from parents, guardians and school staff was more than positive. They all really enjoyed the ease and consistency, and they all felt very comfortable with the CareDrivers, who did a fantastic job! Having HopSkipDrive as an option helps keep things in compliance with state and federal regulations. It also really helps students who struggle using the school bus.”
—Dani Galvez, Transportation Specialist, Spokane Public School District
“The flexibility of HopSkipDrive has allowed us to schedule rides for behavioral therapies for one of our students, as well as arrange transportation to meet the demands of her schedule.”
—Tracy Twitchell, Seattle Public Schools
“HopSkipDrive provides Larimer County children with safe rides when transportation is not otherwise accessible or safe. Children can maintain normal routines such as school, therapy, activities, etc. with HopSkipDrive. It’s a helpful service for our youth.”
—Cherise Rankin, Larimer County Department of Human Services
We give parents peace of mind
Parents and caregivers reap the benefits, too, of our safe youth transportation solution, in more ways than one. HopSkipDrive was started by three busy moms who were struggling to get their kids where they needed to go, and we know all about the challenges busy parents face today. We’re here to help.
Here’s what one mom had to say about how HopSkipDrive has had a positive impact on both her — and her children’s — lives.
“The past few years, HopSkipDrive has become our much-needed third partner. We are so grateful to not only have access to it as an option, but also to be able to have peace of mind while doing so. The first ride the kids took, I cried the night before, the day of and during the ride while staring at my phone tracking their location. Now, here we are almost two years later, and those orange shirts have just become a part of their everyday lives. I am so thankful for the moms who built this company so that moms like myself can have one less stressor on our plates.”
We treat kids with the respect they deserve
The HopSkipDrive CareDriver network gets students with a wide range of needs to school safely and efficiently. Every HopSkipDrive CareDriver has a minimum of five years of caregiving experience, two of which must be child-centric.
CareDrivers must undergo an in-depth, 15-point certification process that includes fingerprinting, as well as ongoing background and vehicle safety checks, in order to gain access to the HopSkipDrive platform.
As experienced caregiving professionals, CareDrivers know how to engage with — and listen to — children. Making sure kids feel comfortable and secure while providing a safe and supportive space is one of the most important responsibilities of a CareDriver.
“When my son has an appointment, I know I can count on the CareDrivers to be there on time and make sure he gets in the house,” says one HopSkipDrive parent. “What’s even better is that HE’S comfortable using HopSkipDrive. It’s like a friend is picking him up!”
With proven caregiving experience and access to relevant resources we provide to them, CareDrivers are well-prepared to handle any situation that may arise.
We prioritize safety, always
Here at HopSkipDrive, we do everything we can to protect the children and CareDrivers at the heart of our mission. Just listen to what HopSkipDrive CEO and Co-Founder, Joanna McFarland, has to say about the evolution of HopSkipDrive:
“From the beginning, it had to be safe enough for our kids, and we designed it from the ground up with safety in mind. For me, the question was: ‘What would I need to see to feel comfortable putting my kids in a HopSkipDrive ride?’ Safety is the underlying foundation of our business, and it has helped spur our growth as families and schools nationwide trust HopSkipDrive.”
At HopSkipDrive, we’re always moving forward, breaking down barriers and innovating to make tomorrow better than today. For one mom, HopSkipDrive’s reputation and in-app and on-the-ground safety processes made her feel confident enough to give it a try:
“Our daughter just used HopSkipDrive for the first time. Being the overprotective mother I am, it took me a month of hearing about the process before using it. After talking with several kids that used HopSkipDrive, we were ready. The things I liked were the identifying t-shirts, the codeword safety process, and the ability to show my daughter the CareDriver’s picture and bio beforehand. And my daughter liked feeling responsible taking her own ride.”
We keep everyone in the loop
When your child or student is on the move, communication is key. Here at HopSkipDrive, we use GPS technology to increase ride transparency for parents and caregivers, school staff and others involved in getting students safely to and from school.
During each ride, school transportation staff and parents or caregivers listed on a Rider’s HopSkipDrive account receive SMS/text messages when a Rider is picked up and dropped off at each location.
When a deeper level of transparency is needed, parents and caregivers can log in to the HopSkipDrive app to see where their child is instead of having to reach out and get connected to the responsible school staff member. Says one parent:
“HopSkipDrive is great! They tell me when she’s in the car, they tell me when they drop her off, and they tell me when she’s at the front door!”
We think of everything
As a company, we’re dedicated to being trustworthy, authentic and accountable. We don’t just show up — we engage fully and wholeheartedly in everything we do. We leave no stone unturned, and we think of every possibility so you don’t have to.
“As a parent, it’s never comfortable having someone else drive your kid, so it’s been a gradual process,” says one parent who uses HopSkipDrive. “To have someone else who thought of every concern that we had — and to have each of those completely covered — was just a huge relief.”
To learn more about how you can advocate to bring HopSkipDrive to your child’s school, reach out to us by calling 844-467-7547 or send us an email at email@example.com.
Interested in learning more about how your school or district can partner with HopSkipDrive to fulfill IEP transportation for your students?