Founded in 1965, Capistrano Unified School District encompasses 200 square miles and a portion of unincorporated Orange County. With 63 campuses, it is the largest employer in south Orange County. San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita are included cities, along with the communities of Las Flores, Coto de Caza, Dove Canyon, Ladera Ranch, Sendero/Rancho Mission Viejo, and Wagon Wheel.
The District needed to find high-quality, reliable transportation for their two most vulnerable student populations. Those covered by the McKinney-Vento Act and their special needs students attending non-public schools. Carlos Chicas, Transportation Director, has been working with ALC Schools for nearly 10 years. “I’ve been using ALC since 2011,” recalled Chicas.
“At the time, I was serving as Director of Transportation for another district, located in California’s Central Valley. There we faced the challenge of providing transportation services for special needs students attending non-public schools, as well as McKinney-Vento students. Although that District owns a fleet of yellow busses, it didn’t make economic sense to provide exclusive, long-distance transportation services using a yellow school bus for three or four students, and in some cases fewer.” Chicas added, “I’ve been in this business for going on 20 years now and I remember the days when we used taxi services in these types of situations. ALC has been able to provide our district with reliable student transportation services, at a fraction of the cost of bus services. This made our decision to work with ALC an easy one.”
Capistrano Unified School District selected ALC Schools through a comprehensive competitive bidding process. Chicas said, “ALC won the bid not only based on price, but more importantly met specifications. They included background verification of employees, safety training, same vehicle/driver daily, our standard of liability insurance coverage, and reference rating.”
He added that he considers ALC to be more of a business partner, rather than just another vendor. “We entrust them with some of our most vulnerable kids. I am proud to say that they treat our parents and students with the same respect they would our district employees. ALC is incredibly reliable, with an on-time delivery record that is unmatched in the industry. Everyone you come into contact with – from the drivers all the way to their corporate executives – operate with the utmost professionalism. They are always caring and courteous,” Chicas said.
Capistrano Unified School District currently uses ALC to transport special needs students who attend non-public programs; McKinney-Vento students to their schools of origin; foster students; and, cases where medical needs require shorter ride times, or exclusive one-to-one transport. According to Chicas, Capistrano Unified School District plans to provide services for neighboring districts in the future. “We anticipate we will rely on ALC to help with those special needs routes with fewer students, as a way to reduce costs, while providing excellent service,” he said.