Like all industries, pupil transportation has its routines and customary practices. After all, the focus of our business -- transporting children safely to and from school -- has not and is not likely to change any time soon. Our operational environment, however, is constantly changing -- and not just physically. New laws and regulations constantly affect not only our vehicle management and fleet maintenance but our human resources and financial management as well. Any serious professional knows that complacency -- the “that’s the way we’ve always done it” mentality -- is neither the right attitude nor approach if your goal is long-term success. Expectations are high
Understanding and capitalizing on the new challenges and opportunities we face demands continuous learning. It also cries out for sensible, practical and professional development. The latter issue is especially critical to this industry because the work involves a performance expectation that is among the highest of any profession. As our members already know, NAPT is constantly striving to be the industry leader when it comes to creative solutions to today’s business challenges. Our ultimate aim has always been to enhance the image of the industry while helping our members grow as school transportation professionals. We also want to make pupil transportation an attractive career choice -- one that follows a logical and realistically attainable progression. Training program debuts
We’re especially pleased to remind you that the official launch of the most comprehensive educational program ever created for the school bus industry -- the NAPT/TSI Training Program -- will take place at the 27th Annual NAPT Conference and Trade Show in Nashville, Tenn. NAPT members who attend the conference will have the first opportunity to experience the practical, affordable educational opportunities that this program offers. Conceptually, the program is structured much like a college curriculum. Participants select one of three different training tracks -- much like a college “major” -- that are each built upon a base of core courses and that offer opportunities for self-directed, elective learning. Each track has been designed to enable pupil transportation professionals to prepare not only for the specific duties of various jobs -- like routing and scheduling specialist or maintenance supervisor -- but for ongoing professional development and long-term career enhancement as well. Each level of professional development includes a specific number of training hours. The director of transportation track, for example, requires 90 hours of training. The transportation supervisor track requires 60 hours of training and a transportation specialist will need 20 hours of training. The latter two tracks can be customized to reflect a special interest in a particular subject, like special education or safety and training. 38 courses offered
Participants will be able to choose from 38 courses that vary in length from two to six hours in each of seven principal subject areas -- interpersonal communication and relations; finance and budget management; human resource planning and oversight; vehicle maintenance and facility planning; operations planning, management and oversight; public and media relations; and special-needs transportation. We have posted additional information about the training program on our Website at www.napt.org. You’ll find answers to some commonly asked questions and a listing of courses that will be offered in Nashville. Make sure to take a look at the rest of the Annual Conference and Trade Show information while you’re there. If you have any questions about the program, feel free to contact us at [email protected] or call us at (800) 989-NAPT. Martin is executive director of the National Association for Pupil Transportation, a not-for-profit organization that provides education and information services to school transportation professionals in the United States, Canada and parts of Europe and the Middle East.