Before HopSkipDrive:
A need for supplemental transportation

A decade ago, PWCS began contracting with a third-party vendor that provided rides to students with disabilities. Rides were also offered to students enrolled in general education programs available only at specific schools, such as International Baccalaureate. Many students participating in these programs lived across the county from where they were offered.

After the pandemic, like so many other districts, PWCS saw an even greater increase in McKinney-Vento or displaced student populations. These students required immediate and reliable rides to their schools of origin.

As these needs increased, PWCS wanted to bring on a second vendor and was very impressed by HopSkipDrive’s business model, level of care, and ability to provide a consistent, positive experience — particularly for students with special needs.

Why HopSkipDrive: A more consistent, positive experience for students… and true peace of mind for the district

HopSkipDrive offered PWCS greater control of its supplemental transportation services. The district was impressed by:

  • HopSkipDrive’s flexible, dynamic business model — and that education rides are always guaranteed
  • How the HopSkipDrive platform utilizes technology to directly connect with CareDrivers rather than acting as a broker
  • How HopSkipDrive can enable rides with just eight hours’ notice
  • HopSkipDrive’s CareDriver onboarding, especially resources on best practices for working with populations with special needs
  • The fact that CareDrivers are rigorously vetted, and are required to have caregiving experience before they can access the HopSkipDrive platform.

We love that CareDrivers are connected with resources on best practices in working with special needs students; for example, how to de-escalate or redirect a dysregulated student, how to provide the best experience for a student with autism, and more.

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How HopSkipDrive Helped

HopSkipDrive is known for its CareDriver onboarding process: Before a CareDriver’s first ride, HopSkipDrive provides rigorously vetted CareDrivers with information on safe driving, accident procedures, trauma-informed care, how to work with children with special needs or special accessibility needs, and more.

PWCS, as mentioned, also maintains its own qualifications for interacting with these populations. And HopSkipDrive was more than willing to provide advanced qualifications for CareDrivers who received specific educational training.

“HopSkipDrive was immediately on it,” the district said. “It was wonderful for us because we need to have people familiar with special needs students and specific behaviors so they know how to respond to them.”

It gives us great peace of mind that our students, no matter what their circumstances are, will have a CareDriver there for them, morning and afternoon.

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HopSkipDrive’s Impact: Parents, caregivers and schools call the district to compliment CareDrivers

PWCS knows that parents and caregivers will always pick up the phone to complain. But with HopSkipDrive, they’re picking up the phone for a different reason: to express gratitude.

“Parents will call and compliment drivers for HopSkipDrive about their professionalism and how safe they feel with their students being in their cars. That's huge for us.”

PWCS also mentioned that schools in the district can see the difference between HopSkipDrive and other vendors. “I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had different schools, where we have different companies driving out of the same school for whatever reason, ask us why we can’t have all of our students ride with HopSkipDrive.”

PWCS’s response? The district is trying to get all of its students to ride with HopSkipDrive whenever possible. If it’s doable, Prince William is working on it.

HopSkipDrive offers a more consistent, positive ride experience for students with disabilities — and true peace of mind for districts and parents.