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January 2014 Issue


5 tips for connecting with special-needs students

By Nicole Schlosser

Using visuals and short, simple statements are key changes drivers and aides can make in their communication style to better connect with students who have hearing, vision and cognitive impairments, and physical endurance issues. Meanwhile, transportation directors should build a solid communication plan between drivers and aides, teachers, nurses and parents to ensure everyone involved has the information needed to serve the students.

Alfred Karam named SBF's Administrator of the Year

The director of transportation at Bethlehem Central School District in Delmar, N.Y., has adopted a businesslike approach to running the transportation department, while also focusing on student safety. The transportation team was able to reduce its overall transportation budget by about $900,000 for the 2012-13 school year, and tracking key performance indicators has increased efficiency.

NAPT trade show: buses, components and more

New offerings that were on view and introduced during the show in Grand Rapids, Mich., include an all-electric school bus, a wheelchair retractor tie-down system, heater kits, LED lights and fleet management solutions.

New standards target stronger wheelchair tie-downs, increased passenger safety

New safety standards for wheelchairs and tie-downs promise to improve transportation safety for people who must use their wheelchair as the passenger seat when riding in a car, van or bus. Here’s an overview of the WC18 and WC19 standards and the enhanced testing they require.

NASDPTS bolsters support for lap-shoulder belts

The state directors association had previously expressed its support for lap-shoulder belts if funding is made available. At the annual NASDPTS conference, the board strengthens its position by dropping the funding clause. Safety topics were the focus of many conference sessions.

Web exclusive: Bonus coverage of NAPT sessions

Here's the scoop on several engaging sessions at the National Association for Pupil Transportation's 2013 Summit in Grand Rapids, Mich. Topics include school bus loading and unloading safety, Medicaid reimbursement, and overcoming the challenges of a disability.

NAPT Summit report

From sessions on enhancing safety and efficiency to awards for outstanding service, here’s our rundown of highlights from the National Association for Pupil Transportation’s 2013 Summit, held in Grand Rapids, Mich., in October.

Editorials

NAPT News & Views — Response to NTSB's recommendations

We believe our response to NTSB’s recommendations documents a position that seeks the clarity and facts your community and state policymakers demand when making important decisions affecting school bus operations.

Contractors target top issues for 2014

NSTA President Tim Flood points to the challenges of a regulatory environment that he says could hinder the efficiency of contractors’ operations and increase driver shortages.

Positive experiences with seat belts

In the debate on whether seat belts are a good fit for large school buses, it seems that the best insight comes from those who actually have experience with the restraints in their fleet. SBF Executive Editor Thomas McMahon hit the road in November to visit Buellton USD and another district in Santa Barbara County, Goleta USD. Both had interesting perspectives to share about their fleets and the environments in which they operate.

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