Three school transportation professionals from Texas have become the first in the nation to fulfill the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) Special-Needs Training program.
Marisa Weisinger of Innovative Transportation Solutions in Houston, Renee Davis of Spring Independent School District and Nancy Kessler of Katy Independent School District recently completed the program.
Weisinger told SBF that the program “affords the opportunity for coordinators and supervisors to enhance their knowledge and skills and to network with other district personnel who perform the same tasks they do on a daily basis.”
Kessler noted that "special needs is ever changing. Each child has an individual need, and we need all the training we can get to stay on top of what is happening."
The NAPT Special-Needs Training has a core curriculum of 24 hours of education in a variety of settings, including a school bus roadeo and a trade show of school transportation products and services. The core curriculum is supplemented by eight hours of elective instruction from the NAPT Professional Development Series.
The courses are available in a variety of locations throughout the year. Thirty people participated in the program at the NAPT Summit in Portland, Ore., this fall.
Davis said that transporting students who have special needs “makes it increasingly important that we provide the training needed to put as many tools in our drivers’ and attendants' tool boxes as possible. We're only as good as our training, and NAPT has added another avenue for increasing knowledge about transporting students with disabilities.”
Weisinger added, “I enjoyed the course and look forward to more challenges as the [Special-Needs] Committee expands this program with the possibility of a maintenance segment to encourage continued learning.
For more information on the Special-Needs Training program, go here.