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November 2013 Issue


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.

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.

Planning keeps buses running during rough weather

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.

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.

School bus fights: how drivers can intervene

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.

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.

Editorials

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.

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.

Crossing guards at school bus stops?

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

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.

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