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Transporting and Supporting Neurodiverse Students - Professional Development Session for Bus Drivers and Monitors

May 2, 2023

Bus drivers and bus monitors from Eskasoni and We'koqma'q attended an evening PD on March 28th with MK's Student Services Consultant, Doreen Stevens, Autism Teacher Specialist, Ambrah MacNeil and guest Catherine Rahey, Autism and Neurodiversity Consultant. The PD was called Transporting and Supporting Neurodiverse Students. Our bus drivers and monitors are valued people within our family of schools and communities. They are the faces our students see at the beginning of their day and at the end of their day. Participants began the evening with a delicious spaghetti supper, with all the trimmings, provided by the We'koqma'q high school students before moving on to the PD session. The session covered how drivers and monitors can best support their Neurodiverse students on the bus with regard to visual supports, sensory experiences and communication strategies. The session began by honoring the late Antle Jeddore, a long serving bus driver with the Eskasoni School Board who passed away in 2014. Antle always had a gentle and kind approach with all of his students and highlighting these qualities helped guide the session. Participants were engaged, asked lots of questions and shared their own experiences which always makes for an enriching learning experience. They also left the session with sensory kits which included some fun items to help meet the sensory needs of their students on the bus. MK hopes to provide another session with bus drivers and monitors from our mainland schools in the near future.