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Cover Story - November 2013 2013

Gauging the safety of school bus alternatives

By: Thomas McMahon

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.

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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.
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Leadership, from Lincoln to school bus drivers

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.

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

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.

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Dispatcher digs dinosaur fossils

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.

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Thinking outside the bus

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.

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
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6 tips to strengthen relationships with unions

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.

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

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.

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