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Articles/News - School Bus Management / Training

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School bus veteran aims to bolster Hillsborough’s operation
September 23, 2014
Next month, Florida’s Jim Beekman will leave Orange County Public Schools to become general manager of transportation at Hillsborough County Public Schools, which made headlines earlier this year for a flurry of issues, such as staff turmoil and an aging fleet. Beekman, who has more than 30 years of experience in the pupil transportation industry, tells SBF that he is “looking forward to the challenge.”
School bus driver recounts near-miss with tree in storm
September 22, 2014
Brad Clark, a bus driver for La Mesa (Calif.) Spring Valley School District, was driving his bus through a strong rainstorm in mid-September when an 80-foot eucalyptus tree fell in the street, and his bus slammed into it. Neither he nor the five special-needs students aboard the bus were harmed.
Drivers attend funeral for Ohio bus driver who died saving student
September 22, 2014
A line of school buses were parked outside funeral services held for school bus driver Laura Zborowski, who was killed last week when she was run over by her school bus at Middlebury Academy in Akron. The program for the service said that Zborowski “died as she lived, putting the needs of others before her own.”
Blue Bird to be acquired, will be publicly traded company
September 22, 2014
The school bus manufacturer is on its way to becoming a public company, with a pending acquisition by Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. (HCAC) for a purchase price of $255 million and about $235 million of Blue Bird’s existing indebtedness. Blue Bird will continue to be led by current President and CEO Phil Horlock.
NAPT uses survey findings to enhance connections among diverse membership
September 18, 2014
Results show members are diverse in age, and sizes of fleets and number of students they serve. They highly value the organization as a source for industry information, with 91% regularly reading the weekly enewsletter, and about half of respondents are requesting even more interaction with board members. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds want more hands-on training at the summit.
NAPT News & Views — Why you should love the bus
September 17, 2014

Mid-August through mid-September each year is the perfect time to let everyone know about a project that began in 2007 called “Love the Bus.” I encourage everyone who cares about school buses to learn more about what NAPT and its partners in the American School Bus Council are doing to promote the yellow school bus and help us by spreading the word.

IC Bus now offering Allison’s FuelSense package
September 17, 2014
The manufacturer’s school buses are now available with FuelSense Basic in the Allison 1000 and 2000 series transmissions paired with either the Cummins ISB 6.7-liter engine or the MaxxForce DT engine. The company will also offer FuelSense Plus and Max as optional packages beginning in the spring of 2015.
Missouri district bus drivers train on dealing with active shooters
September 15, 2014
A retired Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper conducted the seminar for Parkway School District bus drivers. He discussed being aware of one’s surroundings, never opening the bus door to a stranger, and communication and verbal deflection techniques.
How to Cut Costs by Mastering Time and Space, Part 2: Zero with an Asterisk
September 11, 2014

Learn how a paratransit service absorbed 16% more passengers with no added cost. The example can be applied to pupil transportation: Optimizing the spatial and temporal relationships of one’s service area can yield big cost savings.
Second in a series of occasional articles

Beyond the Resume: 6 Tips for Conducting Effective Interviews
September 9, 2014

Since a resume may not provide vital information, such as whether an applicant is assertive, has a positive attitude and enjoys working with children, interviewing is a critical component of the hiring process. Pre-screening, taking a conversational tone, and picking the right interview team members help find the right fit.

1,100 school bus drivers, attendants train in ‘Safety Expo’
September 9, 2014
Houston Independent School District’s back-to-school transportation training program includes hands-on drills in railroad crossing safety, gang awareness, student management, hurricane preparedness and other topics. As Transportation General Manager Nathan Graf puts it, “It was not your typical training.”
Hawaii may add back school buses to improve sport event scheduling
September 2, 2014
The Hawaii Department of Education is looking to help improve the scheduling of sporting events after the school bus contract for Oahu was cut, providing 33 fewer buses. School buses first have to get students home from school before they can pick up the teams and take them to their games, forcing high school football games to end close to midnight.
Iowa district launches Wi-Fi on school buses
September 2, 2014
The allowance for onboard wireless Internet access was one of multiple changes to Iowa's school bus specification rules that went into effect on July 16. Cardinal Community School District wasted no time in launching Wi-Fi on its buses.
Ohio bus driver accused of forcing kids to sit on hot bus
September 2, 2014
The driver resigned after a student said they were forced to sit in a hot bus in 90-plus degree weather with the windows up as punishment for misbehaving. The father of a student wanted to remain anonymous but said his daughter fell ill after her bus ride home.
Bus driver begins 42nd year behind the wheel
September 2, 2014
What started out as a joke turned into a long, fruitful career for Dorothy Skala, a bus driver for Rosebud-Lott (Texas) Independent School District. Having grown up on a farm, Skala started driving at a young age, and last spring, she was presented with the Bus Driver of the Year award from the Texas Association for Pupil Transportation.
Allison’s FuelSense Basic offered on Blue Bird buses
August 27, 2014
The basic level of Allison Transmission’s fuel-savings technology is a standard offering on Blue Bird buses, company officials reaffirm. Also, Blue Bird announces that it will soon offer FuelSense Plus and Max as optional packages.
District scrambles to staff bus routes after driver no-shows
August 26, 2014
About a dozen Boston Public Schools bus routes were unstaffed Monday morning, leaving 400 students stranded. The bus contractor dispatched supervisors to drive buses Tuesday morning, “due to a continued shortage of union drivers willing to work,” but was able to cover all routes. The no-shows are related to a labor dispute that led to a strike last October.
Past NAPT President Lenny Bernstein retires
August 25, 2014
After nearly 20 years at North Rockland Central School District, Bernstein has stepped down from his role as the New York district’s coordinator of transportation and emergency management. Beyond his district positions, Bernstein served terms as president of NAPT and the New York Association for Pupil Transportation.
REMINDER: Nominate a great transportation director
August 25, 2014
Do you know an exemplary school transportation director who deserves recognition for his or her efforts? SCHOOL BUS FLEET is getting ready to select a recipient for our annual Administrator of the Year award, and we’re accepting nominations. The deadline is Friday, Aug. 29.
BREAKING: Navistar taps Trish Reed for VP, GM at IC Bus
August 22, 2014
Trish Reed will join IC Bus LLC as vice president and general manager. She will replace Carl Webb, who is assuming a new role as vice president and general manager, medium duty truck, Navistar. Reed brings more than 24 years of industry experience, including roles at Navistar as vice president of business operations at Navistar Financial Corp. and general manager of specialty vehicles for Uptime Parts.

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