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NTSB Vice Chairman Christopher Hartdiscussed potential benefits of seat belts in school buses, although he noted that there is “no single safety mechanism that is the best for every type of crash.”
NAPT Summit report
January 6, 2014

From sessions on enhancing safety and efficiency to awards for outstanding service, here’s our rundown of highlights from the National Association for Pupil Transportation’s 2013 Summit, held in Grand Rapids, Mich., in October.

Creating a communication plan that brings everyone involved in the student’s well-being together allows each party to be better prepared in their setting and make sure the student is safe.
5 tips for connecting with special-needs students
January 3, 2014

Using visuals and short, simple statements are key changes drivers and aides can make in their communication style to better connect with students who have hearing, vision and cognitive impairments, and physical endurance issues. Meanwhile, transportation directors should build a solid communication plan between drivers and aides, teachers, nurses and parents to ensure everyone involved has the information needed to serve the students.

Stats show safer roads
December 19, 2013

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)'s latest Fatality Analysis Reporting System data, there were 33,561 highway deaths in 2012. While that was a 3% increase from 2011, NHTSA officials pointed out that highway deaths over the past five years continue to remain at historic lows.

Tags: NHTSA
Authors Michael Shields (standing, wearing a tie) and David McCuistion (not pictured) say that President Lincoln was a collaborative leader, and school bus drivers also work with others to build a cohesive team.
Leadership, from Lincoln to school bus drivers
December 3, 2013

Like this Civil War-era luminary and others, bus drivers provide guidance to their passengers, and they are dedicated and care for those they work with and serve — all characteristics of a great leader.

NAPT News & Views — Dave McDonald shares his hopes, fears
December 3, 2013

To shed some light on the personalities that make up the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) board of directors, the association has launched a series of board member profiles. Here, we hear from Dave McDonald, NAPT affiliate member director and director of business development and technical sales for Rosco Vision Systems.

Tags: NAPT
Dispatcher digs dinosaur fossils
December 3, 2013

Every summer, Terry Thomason, a dispatcher for Washington Elementary School District in Phoenix, travels to Minneapolis, where she and her mother and siblings volunteer for the Marmarth Research Foundation.

Crossing guards at school bus stops?
December 3, 2013

We have crossing guards to help students safely cross the street around schools. Why not have a built-in crossing guard on every school bus?

Thinking outside the bus
December 3, 2013

In the school bus industry, which has built an unparalleled safety record with its thorough driver requirements and strict vehicle construction standards, the thought of stepping outside of the school bus is disconcerting for many.

Photo courtesy of J. J. Keller & Associates Inc.®
Planning keeps buses running during rough weather
November 26, 2013

Thorough bus inspections, pre-planning stops and operating the bus more slowly than usual will help to maximize driver and student safety. Areas on routes where drivers can pull over if necessary should be documented, and all stakeholders should maintain an open line of communication.

Tags: weather
Orange USD Transportation Supervisor Ellen Johnson (front row, far left) and Director of Transportation Pam McDonald (to Johnson’s left) say they take a “family photo” with the bus drivers every school year.Photo by Suzan Grab
6 tips to strengthen relationships with unions
November 19, 2013

Being in a transportation management position can sometimes feel like being in between a rock and a hard place. However, directors who have effective working relationships with their unions say frequent communication, pitching in to build a team, and researching collective bargaining agreements help.

Tags: unions
iStock image © hjalmeida
School bus fights: how drivers can intervene
November 5, 2013

Intervention doesn’t have to mean using physical force. Calling dispatch for help, stopping and securing the bus, and giving orders to the students are key steps in responding.

Linda Burtwistle says overseeing First Student and giving its employees tools to help them grow has been energizing and rewarding.
14 phenomenal women in school transportation
October 24, 2013

In this new feature, we spotlight dedicated women from around the nation ranging from school bus drivers, trainers and administrative assistants to bus company executives, directors of transportation and state directors whose work helps to keep students safe.

Taxis are commonly used to transport students in Chicago, among other places.iStock image © benkrut
Gauging the safety of school bus alternatives
October 15, 2013

Many school districts and contractors are employing a variety of vehicles to supplement traditional yellow bus service. These alternative arrangements often cut costs and shorten ride times, but the safety implications of transporting students in taxis, vans and other non-school bus vehicles have become a contentious issue.

Tap into the benefits of getting certified
October 4, 2013

There are benefits beyond the educational aspect. A pupil transportation certification can give you an edge over other candidates when applying for a new job.

Tags: NAPT
NAPT News & Views — NTSB official, Carrollton film on tap for 2013 Summit
October 4, 2013

NTSB Vice Chairman Christopher A. Hart will headline the NAPT/NASDPTS joint session. Emmy-nominated writer and historian Daniel Blake Smith will present a screening of the film “Impact: After the Crash,” a reenactment of the catastrophic 1988 bus crash in Carrollton, Ky., that shares inspirational stories of survivors.

 

The Infofinder mobile, a web-based solution from Transfinder, lets district personnel access and share data and reports on student bus stops and locations, schools, bus routes and maps from their mobile device or computer.
Apps, web tools help directors organize data, manage staff
October 3, 2013

Directors deal with packed schedules and the need to frequently be offsite. The latest apps and web tools provide the ability to manage attendance, access up-to-date fleet information, and more quickly share vital information with staff in emergencies even when they are not sitting behind their desks.

Top 100 News
October 1, 2013

News related to the Top 100 School District Fleets includes cost-cutting measures that improved performance at a Virginia district, a significant reduction in diesel use in Florida school fleets, and hands-on survival rescue training at a Houston district.

Yellow bus laws: Is driver's ed doing enough?
September 25, 2013

I’ve often asked myself why you should have to educate the public on school bus safety laws. I’ve always believed it’s something that people should learn in driver’s education class.

3 reasons for bus drivers to get fit, and how to get there
September 24, 2013

For school bus drivers, obtaining a basic level of fitness and maintaining a healthy weight will enhance safety, professionalism and personal wellness. The job can actually provide a good structure for making time to exercise and eat well.

First Student and Thomas Built Buses’ partnership hinges on a high level of collaboration and transparency. Their efforts are helping both companies become more efficient and make improvements that could benefit the entire industry.
How Thomas, First Student are working toward a better bus
September 20, 2013

First Student and Thomas Built Buses’ partnership hinges on a high level of collaboration and transparency. Their efforts are helping both companies become more efficient and make improvements that could benefit the entire industry.

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