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April 01, 2003  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

NSTA-NYSBCA event to address key issues

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National School Transportation Association (NSTA) and the New York School Bus Contractors Association (NYSBCA) will hold a joint convention this summer in New York City.

The meeting is scheduled July 19-23 and will include the International School Bus Driver Safety Competition, which will be held on Sunday, July 20, in the Shea Stadium parking lot.

According to Jeff Kulick, executive director of NSTA, this year's convention holds special importance because of pending federal legislation for funding of public transit and highways.

For more information on the reauthorization of the massive transportation bill (called TEA 21, or the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century), see Publisher Frank Di Giacomo’s comments in The Last Word on pg. 68.

“A lot is at stake this year,” said Kulick, explaining that the transportation measure is reauthorized only once every six years. “We will have a variety of activities, including briefings on how to get involved in the process and updates from federal officials on regulations that directly affect [contractor] operations.”

Although details of the meetings are still being finalized, the general schedule has been announced.

Kulick said many members will arrive Saturday, July 19, to see some Broadway shows and sample the many tourist attractions in New York.

The roadeo will be held Sunday, July 20, with the award ceremony later that evening. NYSBCA members will gather for board meetings, and NSTA will hold some committee meetings.

Monday, July 21, is devoted to public policy, with briefings from federal officials and discussions of the process of the reauthorization of TEA 21.

On Tuesday, July 22, the meeting will focus on operations. Speakers and panels will discuss opportunities for improvement in operations, risk management and related topics.

NSTA’s board meeting will be held on the final day, Wednesday, July 23. In addition to discussions of committee work, a new slate of officers will be elected.

The joint meeting will be held at the Grand Hyatt New York, located only a few blocks from Broadway, Times Square and major shopping and tourist locations.

For more information about the joint convention, contact NSTA at (703) 684-3200.

Special-needs show award winners

INDIANAPOLIS — The 12th Annual National Conference and Exhibition on Transporting Students with Disabilities and Preschoolers, held Feb. 28 through March 5, featured the presentation of several awards.

Winners were declared for the Sixth National Special-Needs Team Safety Roadeo as well as Outstanding Special Transportation Policy Manuals.

Twenty-two teams — each with driver and attendant — from 12 states competed in the roadeo, which is organized by the Pupil Transportation Safety Institute. Here are the top five finishers:

1st Place — Ed Lipsey and Ann England, Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools
2nd Place (tie) — Thomas Vallilee and Myra Walstead, Academy District #20, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2nd Place (tie) — Pepper Darbro and Ginger Belone, Provo (Utah) School District
4th Place — Barbara Class and Sandy Boniface, Baltimore County Public Schools
5th Place — Maria Gomez and Maria Herrera, Brownsville (Texas) Independent School District

Awards for the best special transportation policy manuals were declared in three categories — state, local and association and institutional. Here are the winners:

State category — “Special Needs Require Special Care: A Guide for the Transportation of Preschoolers and Children with Disabilities,” Public Schools of North Carolina
Local category — “Quick Reference Guide for Special Needs Equipment for Fleet Services,” Orange District Transportation Department, Orlando, Fla.
Association and institutional category — “Head Start Driver and Monitor Pre-Service Training Curriculum,” Pupil Transportation Safety Institute


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