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Articles/News - Special Needs Transportation

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Linda Bluth retires, but keeps busy in transportation
September 25, 2014
Special-needs transportation expert Dr. Linda Bluth has officially retired from her position at the Maryland State Department of Education, but a full schedule of speaking engagements, consulting work and other activities is keeping her plugged into the pupil transportation community.
Durham sales team raises over $11K for Special Olympics
September 8, 2014
In addition to raising $11,194 through duck sales, the team donates $5,000, which will help support year-round athletic training and competition for almost 21,500 Special Olympics athletes.
Bus driver takes special-needs student to wrong school
September 8, 2014
A Hillsborough County (Fla.) Public Schools driver did not conduct a sweep of the bus after transporting students to their elementary school, and didn’t see the 9-year-old child sleeping on one of the rear seats when the bus stopped at the school. The driver continued on to pick up more students and transport them to their school, and, 40 minutes later, noticed the child and took her back to her school. The district is conducting an investigation.
District changes safety policies for special-needs students after driver arrest
August 26, 2014
Canyons School District in Sandy, Utah, will no longer allow bus drivers to buckle and unbuckle seat belts and restraints after a former bus driver was charged with allegedly molesting two special-needs students. The district will also randomly select buses and review security video daily, as opposed to only when concerns are raised.
School bus driver awarded for work with autistic students
August 14, 2014
Larry Eason, who has been driving for Hannibal (N.Y.) Central School District for 27 years, wins the Friends of Autism award from a county task force. One of Eason’s passengers nominated him for the award, writing that “Larry is my bus driver and he is my friend. ... He is always patient and takes great care of me.”
9 NAPT members earn special-needs endorsement
August 5, 2014
School transportation professionals from six states and one Canadian province complete the National Association for Pupil Transportation’s Special Needs Transportation program. The endorsement program consists of a series of classroom and hands-on training sessions.
6 special-needs students suffer minor injuries in bus crash
August 4, 2014
The Atlantic County (N.J.) Special Services School District elementary school students, three of whom are in wheelchairs, and two adults, are taken to the hospital after a collision between their school bus and a truck last month. The driver of the truck stopped at an intersection but proceeded through it without making sure it was clear when the truck was struck by the school bus.
Driver allegedly left special-needs kids alone on bus without air conditioning
August 4, 2014
Two Vernon (N.J.) Township Schools students, ages 7 and 9, are found after having been trapped inside the bus for more than 45 minutes with the windows up. The driver may face criminal charges, including endangering the welfare of a child and endangering the welfare of an incompetent person.
First Student transports 10,000 Special Olympics participants
August 4, 2014
The school bus contractor provided shuttle service for the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games in New Jersey. Hundreds of school bus drivers transported athletes, coaches and spectators to various venues.
Q'Straint, Sure-Lok offer free training seminar
July 7, 2014
The two-day event in November will provide hands-on education in how to properly use and operate Q'Straint and Sure-Lok products for school transportation. The company covers hotel, ground transportation and meals during training.
First Student monitor awarded for work with children with disabilities
July 7, 2014
The Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities in Ohio presents Sharon Parker with a Community Starfish Award. Alan Mustard, First Student location manager, says Parker is “dedicated to the children she helps transport, and is committed to making riding the bus a positive experience by showing them care, compassion and respect.”
Bus assistant resigns after being accused of slapping autistic child
July 7, 2014
Pasco County (Fla.) Schools bus assistant James Lambert was charged with two counts of child abuse after allegedly striking a 10-year-old boy for cursing. The district had planned to start the process of terminating his employment, according to a spokeswoman. Lambert had been reprimanded multiple times in the past; however, in none of those instances was he accused of hitting a child.
Bill targets training, immunity for bus drivers who use EpiPen
June 10, 2014
The Pennsylvania bill would provide civil immunity to school bus drivers who administer epinephrine autoinjectors, or EpiPens, on students who experience allergic reactions on the bus. Drivers would have to first complete a training program to be qualified to use the EpiPen.
Q’Straint advises early planning to meet updated wheelchair passenger safety standards
May 30, 2014
The new WC18 standards will take effect December 2015. Q’Straint has developed the QRT-360, the first retractor to comply with the standards, according to the supplier.
Driver hailed for response to school bus fire
May 15, 2014
Fire officials in Mesa, Ariz., praise a school bus driver for her decisive actions to keep her special-education passengers safe when her bus caught on fire. The driver had reportedly noticed a small amount of smoke while she was driving, and she quickly pulled over and helped her passengers evacuate.
Bullet hits bus carrying special-needs students
May 2, 2014
The bus is hit while carrying six special-needs students and three employees as three to four men fired several shots. No children are injured.
Driver, monitor resign after special-needs student left on school bus
May 2, 2014
The preschooler is picked up in the morning and is discovered at the Kentucky district’s bus depot in the afternoon, still seated in the bus. The district has changed its policies to help prevent future instances of children being left on buses by requiring preschool staff to check the buses, in addition to the drivers and monitors.
Motorist charged with DUI after hitting special-needs bus
May 2, 2014
James Joshua Warren rounds a curve in his car and strikes the bus, then keeps driving until he reaches his home, where he parks his car and goes inside his home. He is later arrested and charged with the offense. No students are injured.
District revamps emergency procedures for special-needs students
April 4, 2014
Among the changes at Florida’s Hillsborough County Public Schools transportation department is the requirement for bus drivers to call 911 first when there’s a medical emergency, and bus drivers also receive more training in handling students with disabilities as well as undergo a new debriefing process when a medically fragile student has an issue. The changes are in response to the deaths of two special-needs students in 2012.
Students not seriously injured when bus overturns
April 4, 2014
The three children on a Copperas Cove (Texas) Independent School District bus are restrained in their wheelchairs when the bus is broadsided by a car. They are left hanging upside down and have to be cut free of their restraints, but they, along with the bus driver and attendant, only sustain minor injuries.
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