Special Education Services

Parent/Guardian Travel Reimbursement Guidelines for Residential NonPublic Schools (NPS) Placements

June 24, 2020 Updated Travel Reimbursement Guidelines

Printable translations: Español | 中文

The following guidelines govern travel pertaining to students with special needs who will soon be enrolled or are currently enrolled in a residential NPS school outside of the District’s geographical boundaries per their Individualized Education Program (IEP). Some travel associated with your student’s initial placement, subsequent therapeutic visits to meet with your student and their therapist at the Residential NPS or your student’s therapeutic visits home may be reimbursable by the District. 

The IEP team is responsible for determining the number of single travel reimbursable therapeutic visits per year (and who is allowed to make those visits). Unless the IEP team determines that special circumstances warrant additional therapeutic visits, the IEP team will limit the number of single travel reimbursable therapeutic visits to four trips per fiscal year (July 1 - June 30). Any additional recommended counseling visits should be arranged using video conferencing. 

Please use the Parent/Guardian Travel Authorization Form Español | 中文. All travel for initial placements, family therapy/counseling, and therapeutic home visits must be submitted to the District’s NPS Division twenty (20) business days prior to the requested date of travel. The District’s NPS Division is responsible for reviewing the travel request and making a determination as to whether to approve or deny the request. 

Allowable travel related to the admission and discharge of the student may be provided when the District procedures are followed, documentation requirements by the counselor are met, and prior approval is provided by the NPS Division. 

Should discharge be against the educational recommendation, the District will not be responsible for the student’s transport home or for the parent/legal guardian’s travel to pick up the student or for any other travel-related expenses. In addition, should the parent/guardian remove student from the facility for any reason that is against the Residential NPS educational recommendation, or for a duration that has not been approved in advance in its entirety, the District will not be responsible for any educational, residential or counseling costs, and will not be liable for any injury or loss. Should this occur, the student may also lose their placement in the Residential NPS. 

Family Members Family Members for the purposes of reimbursement are defined as those parents and/or guardians who actively and consistently participate in family counseling. 

Travel & Accommodations Arrangements All travel, to include student admit/discharge and counseling visits must be approved by the District 20 days in advance. Residential NPS or the parent/guardian are responsible for making all travel arrangements. These arrangements include: 

Air/bus/train travel 

hotel/lodging arrangements 

travel requirements between from hotel/lodging to and from counseling sessions provided by the Residential NPS 

Student Travel Home for Counseling Visit If Residential/NPS determines that a student’s counseling visit home for the purposes of educational reintegration to a Lesser Restrictive Environment (LRE) is appropriate, then the parent/guardian in conjunction with the counselor must submit a detailed itinerary of the child’s daily counseling-related activities. 

GUIDELINES FOR REIMBURSEMENT 

Requests for travel must be submitted at least twenty (20) business days in advance of intent to travel to NPS. 

The NPS Division will review the submitted itinerary and the Parent/Guardian Travel Authorization Form. Itinerary must include the exact date(s) of the therapy session (s) before travel approval is granted. If more than one day of family therapy is recommended by the NPS, sessions must be on consecutive calendar days not to exceed two days. 

The NPS Division will contact the parent/guardian and confirm the trip is either (1) denied or (2) approved and eligible for reimbursement. If denied, the reason for the denial will be provided. 

All tickets for travel are to be purchased 30 calendar days in advance of travel. 

All original itemized receipts for allowable expenditures are to be submitted. Credit card receipts are insufficient. It is advised that the parent/guardian maintain a copy of the itemized receipts. 

Parent/Guardian Travel Reimbursement Claim Form Español | 中文 and Travel Authorization form including all relevant documentation is to be submitted to: Failure to adhere to these guidelines will result in denial of reimbursement. 

ALLOWABLE EXPENDITURES 

A maximum of 2 adult family members may be approved for round trip travel by air, bus/ train or car. 

Airfare Round trip coach/economy class only will be reimbursed. Supplemental fees for checked baggage are not allowable. All travel must originate from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) unless a fare is found that is comparable or less than the quoted SFO quoted fare. If a trip is postponed, reservations are to be canceled immediately. 

Bus/Train Basic coach of flat rate fare will be reimbursed. 

Shuttle/transport to and from airport/bus or train terminal Reimbursement not to exceed $30.00 round trip 

Car If family members elect to drive, reimbursement will be at the IRS approved rate. Mileage shall never exceed the cost of a roundtrip airfare with the same start and end points of travel. Total miles will be calculated from parent/guardian’s home address directly to the Residential NPS. As determined by the shortest round trip route with verification provided by a route application such as ‘Google Maps’. In this instance, the parent will print out and include a hard copy of the route generated by ‘Google Maps’. Accommodations and expenses accrued while in route to the Residential NPS will not be covered. 

Rental Car Reimbursement will be provided for an Economy car rental to/ from the airport/ bus/ train terminal, related to parent travel to the residential NPS This shall be based upon pre-approved travel which shall not exceed $45.00 daily for a duration of 2 days. Fuel will be reimbursed for actual mileage travel to/from airport/bus/train depot, lodging and Residential NPS with itemized receipt submission. 

Hotel/Lodging Standard Hotel accommodation -- at the rate determined by the U.S. Government Service Administration (GSA) -- will be reimbursed for the geographical area or $100 per night (whichever is higher). The District recommends you contact the NPS for suggested hotel accommodations in the geographical area, near the NPS location. Airbnb cost will be reimbursed at the standard hotel rate of $100 per night. 

Meals Standard meal reimbursement at the rate determined by the GSA geographical area will be reimbursed for family member(s). 

NON-ALLOWABLE EXPENSES 

The following is a non-exhaustive list of non-allowable expenses. The District reserves the right to deny reimbursement for other expenses not on this list: 

First Class/Business Class airfare 

Travel expense for family members in excess of 2 

Luxury hotel/lodging 

Luxury vehicle rentals 

Student meals 

Meals within the geographical boundaries of the San Francisco Unified School District 

Entertainment related expenses (amusement parks, sporting events, movies, etc.) 

Alcoholic beverages, cigarettes 

Toiletries, other personal items 

All expenses made against educational recommendation 

All parking fees (airport, hotel, restaurant, meters, etc.) 

All expenses/fees for cancelled trips or itinerary changes 

 

Failure to adhere to these guidelines will result in denial of reimbursement. 

 

For more information contact

 

Chad Schimke/Designee

SFUSD Special Education

NPS Division

3045 Santiago Street

San Francisco CA 94116