Recently members of the TSTG Planning Team were on hand to observe the Dismissal and Loading Procedures at two Toronto schools; Bloorview School and Beverly P.S. These schools were selected as they cater uniquely to children with special needs. This gave our staff the opportunity to visualize the important work they do and gave them a hands-on, wheels-to-the-road view of what happens, once our planned routes are put into action.
Bloorview School Authority is an educational facility that provides innovative school programs to children and youth with special needs. Each year hundreds of children and young people from across Ontario benefit from the individualized educational programs, which are set up in conjunction with
ongoing therapeutic and medical care. Students may be clients, inpatients or day patients of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. At Bloorview School, TSTG staff witnessed the prioritization of students who were most medically fragile, as they were loaded first and sent on their way, thus shortening their ride times and ensuring they are received at their homes in time for important medication and feeding schedules. A total of 25 wheelchair and ambulatory vehicles were loaded and departed in less that 30 minutes! Truly a monumental task, that could be attributed to the co-operative efforts of a great staff from Bloorview and drivers that truly care for the kids!
The philosophy of Beverley School is based on a team approach to support the educational needs of students who have a developmental and /or physical disability. The school, originally used as a training site for the CNIB and Bell Canada, has been a school for students with intellectual and physical disabilities since the 1950’s. An extension was built in 1985 to create a space on one floor that was barrier free and allows for optimal independence and mobility for students. All 93 elementary-aged students are transported to school. At Beverly PS, TSTG Staff were intrigued by the unique loading procedures at this school. Wheelchair drivers from WAT, back their vehicles into the school’s loading dock, and lower their rear chair lifts onto the dock which allows for the fast and safe loading of the students. As at Bloorview, a fantastic team of staff and drivers allow for 20+ wheelchair and ambulatory vehicles to be loaded and depart in a relatively short period of time!