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How to be a great leader
October 11, 2012

Leaders are continuously looking for ways to improve, and they are always willing to help. In order to be a great leader, one should always remember the three Rs: respect for self, respect for others and responsibility for all of one’s own actions.

247Security’s Zeus DVR operates with 50% less power consumption compared to other systems, making for a cooler and stable system.
Bus video goes beyond student monitoring
October 9, 2012

Today’s surveillance systems not only record students on multiple channels, many record risky driving behavior, issue alerts for specific events and track buses through GPS. Here are details on these and other specifications from eight companies’ offerings.

NAPT Summit: network and find answers to challenges
October 4, 2012

The Summit will be chock full of workshops and speakers who understand the challenges you face, and it will offer ideas to make you better at what you do. If you’re facing a problem in your district, chances are someone else has already been in your shoes and can lend a helpful perspective.

Kerlin Bus Sales and Leasing founder Ed Kerlin (third from left) has retired, but his family continues to run the company. From left: President Clifford Zehr, who is Kerlin’s son-in-law, Zehr’s wife, Cindy, who is chief financial officer, and Melanie Zehr, who handles marketing and is Clifford and Cindy’s daughter.
Kerlin shows commitment to training, customers
October 2, 2012

As Indiana’s Kerlin Bus Sales and Leasing celebrates 50 years as a Thomas Built Buses dealer, the family-run company focuses on providing instruction for bus drivers and technicians so they are well-versed in the industry’s latest technology. Kerlin also has a rigorous system to ensure customers’ needs are met and their orders are properly filled.

Kelley Platt became president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses in 2010.
Thomas Built CEO sees permanent shifts in school bus market
September 27, 2012

Kelley Platt, the company's president and CEO, says that transportation changes many districts are making — from running buses longer to increasing walking distances — have reduced the need for new buses and aren’t likely to be reversed. In turn, the OEM is focused on becoming more cost-effective in its manufacturing while maintaining quality. Platt discusses the market shifts, cost of ownership and product developments with SBF.

In Delaware, school bus driver seat belts are spec’d in fluorescent green or orange, making it easier to monitor belt use.
State directors: Why we do it this way
September 25, 2012

State pupil transportation directors discuss their states’ school bus specs and procedures that stand out, from fluorescent driver seat belts to buffer zones at the back of the bus.

Arlington (Va.) Public Schools Director of Transportation Gregory Sutton (left) communicates with his drivers regularly to keep abreast of potential hazards on their routes. He’s pictured with Justin Kirby, one of the operation’s swing/lead bus drivers.
Identifying and evaluating school bus route hazards
September 20, 2012

To ensure students’ safety, transportation managers must implement a procedure for this effort that includes scheduled onsite reviews and a means to efficiently communicate the hazards to staff. School bus drivers, local and state police, and local emergency operations centers should be involved.

The C.E. White Co. offers a fully integrated Type 2 seat belt system in its seats with an adjustable D-ring, emergency locking retractors and locking tongue.
Buckle up: The latest in restraint systems
September 18, 2012

As the prevalence of lap-shoulder belts in buses grows, it is important for operations to consider the type of students they are transporting and the ability to upgrade to meet future safety standards before selecting a belt system.

Help cut summer overload
September 17, 2012

More than 60% of school bus production is tied to deliveries that will occur during about 25% of the year.

New (school) year’s resolutions
September 17, 2012

Are there some functions that only you know how to perform but that you could teach other members of your staff? What do you hope to achieve before summer suddenly rolls around again?

CrossingGuard is strategically placed on the exterior of a school bus to detect and capture stop-arm violations that occur while the school bus stop arm is extended. Installation is free for school districts and 100% violator funded.
New system automates stop-arm running enforcement
September 13, 2012

In light of the growing trend to install exterior cameras on school buses to help capture and deter illegal passing, American Traffic Solutions and AngelTrax partnered to create CrossingGuard. The progressive system can capture footage and process violations automatically, without driver interaction.

Photo by Wikipedia user Ed Poor.
Distracted driving: Can u c me now?
September 11, 2012

Don Ross of the School District of Manatee County (Fla.) discusses the problem of distracted driving and the impact it has had on his school district. Since January 2012, the district has experienced nine accidents involving other vehicles running into its school buses.

NAPT News & Views — Have candid discussions about your school bus environment
September 4, 2012

NAPT's executive director explains his mixed emotions about Karen Klein, the school bus monitor who endured vulgar verbal abuse from a group of foul-mouthed, ill-mannered children on a school bus.

Tags: bullying
Author Jean Zimmerman (right) says physical therapists will teach transportation personnel how to protect their back and lift students safely when evacuating them from the bus.
Physical therapists are valuable resource for transportation
August 28, 2012

From providing information on disabilities and how they will impact the school bus ride to offering tips for proper wheelchair securement and evacuations, these individuals can greatly assist in safely transporting special-needs students. In the new school year, they should be involved in planning and training sessions.

Winton Woods City School District and Finneytown Local School District, both in Cincinnati, have been sharing transportation services since the 2011-12 school year.
Districts join forces, cut costs
August 23, 2012

Winton Woods City School District and Finneytown Local School District in Cincinnati share their transportation services, including buses, routes and fueling stations. In sharing special-education service alone, the operations have each saved about $25,000.

© iStockimage.com/kali9
Positive interactions encourage peaceful bus ride
August 20, 2012

While surveillance cameras and assigned seating can help in addressing student behavior problems on the school bus, officials say that getting to know passengers, handling discipline issues in a positive way and acknowledging proper bus etiquette are also effective ways to keep troublesome behavior at bay. Here, we share the specifics of several programs and initiatives based on these approaches.

SBF’s Frank Di Giacomo (left) presents the Contractor of the Year award to members of the Kobussen family: Ann, Scott, Joe, Dan, Melissa (Miller), Marion and Jim Kobussen.
Photo by Bob Kapsy
Contractor of the Year profile: Kobussen Buses
August 16, 2012

The Wisconsin school bus operator delivers exemplary service to its school district customers — one of which Kobussen has been serving for nearly 75 years. Members of the Kobussen family have also been key contributors to industry associations, and they are known for lending a hand to colleagues.

Stop-arm running in the crosshairs
August 14, 2012

Since the West Virginia Department of Education sent me the footage of a middle school student nearly being struck by a car illegally passing his school bus, I’ve probably watched it at least a dozen times. I can’t help but think of one of my own kids in that frightening situation.

NAPT News & Views — NAPT Summit boasts something for everyone
August 14, 2012

The NAPT Summit is the premier place for state and community school bus professionals to see the big picture, to learn about and explore the challenges and changes in our industry. Officials say you’ll also have plenty of opportunities for professional development and networking.

With Zonar’s ZPass student tracking system, students swipe an RFID card over a reader installed on the bus, and their name, the date, location and time that they boarded and disembarked the bus is transferred to the district or bus company.
Monitor ridership, manage fleet with student tracking systems
August 9, 2012

Today’s solutions tell pupil transporters where and when students boarded and disembarked the bus. Officials from companies that offer the solutions say that having this information can help in answering parent inquiries, and by knowing how many buses are needed for transportation, operations can optimize routes.

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