SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Pupil Transportation Safety Institute (PTSI) has launched several new resources to assist school transportation professionals across the country. Following are summaries of the new products and services.
Bullying prevention campaign
Many school districts have developed anti-bullying programs in recent years for teachers and other school staff, but bus drivers and attendants are often forgotten. PTSI’s “Growing Respect on Your Bus” materials are designed to fill this gap. They include a wide variety of training resources to help school districts and bus companies involve bus drivers, attendants, parents and students in an integrated campaign to protect vulnerable children from bullying and harassment on school buses. Campaign materials (each item sold separately) include:
Guidebook on bus stops
Experts Peggy Burns, Lenny Bernstein and Jim Ellis weigh in on the critical issue of bus stops in PTSI’s new book, “School Bus Stops: A Safety Guide for Transporters.” Historically, there has been a lack of clear guidance for school districts about how to establish and maintain safe bus stops. Existing guidelines are useful but generic and limited in scope.
PTSI’s bus stop guide provides sound, practical guidance for school districts and bus companies about how and where to place school bus stops. One of the key points of the book is the importance of creating a clear system for establishing and evaluating stops and for handling parent and community complaints. The book is 175 pages and costs $34.95.
Safety assessment checklist
The safety record of school buses is excellent, but it’s not perfect. Only constant vigilance will ensure the future safety of America’s children. This free tool from PTSI was developed to help in learning more about local transportation operations. The “School Transportation Safety Assessment Checklist,” a 56-page document available as a free download at www.ptsi.org, includes a broad spectrum of criteria for running a model pupil transportation system. It can be used by transporters, school board members, parents or outside consultants — helping to make informed decisions about where school bus safety resources can be allocated to best effect.
Crisis response training
PTSI’s “Creating a Crisis Response Team” course supplements the “School Bus Watch” training program and the National Association for Pupil Transportation’s course on conducting a school bus assessment in your own operation (NAPT 901). “Creating a Crisis Response Team” moves beyond raising driver awareness of security issues and identifying current security vulnerabilities in your operation.
The interactive workshop shows why and how to create a crisis response team for transportation operations. The cost is $225 per person.
National course offerings
“Creating a Crisis Response Team” is just one of PTSI’s course offerings scheduled in various parts of the United States in 2006. The roster of courses includes:
For more workshop information, including dates, locations and fees, call PTSI at (800) 836-2210 or visit www.ptsi.org.
Accident assessment service
It is essential to assess all injury or property damage incidents for preventability. Every pupil transportation operation should establish its own internal accident review board for that purpose. PTSI’s accident management manual assists in setting up an accident review board.
But in some situations, obtaining an objective, expert, third-party accident review can be extremely helpful. PTSI’s school bus accident assessment service is school bus specific. The criteria address the many unique attributes of school bus accidents, allowing a fair but strict assessment of the bus driver’s role in a wide variety of injury and/or property damage scenarios.
A committee of experienced school bus professionals from across the country assist PTSI staff in the assessments. Simple instructions for submitting an accident for review are posted at www.ptsi.org. The fee is $150 per assessment.