School Training Solutions has released an online curriculum to help Oklahoma school bus drivers meet a new recertification requirement that the State Department of Education instituted.
Drivers whose certification has expired for more than a year can purchase and take these online courses through the Oklahoma Association for Pupil Transportation (OAPT) to satisfy their recertification requirement.
"The online courses have made it much easier to meet the needs of drivers who need to recertify because they have neglected to get the needed in-service and state certification," OAPT Executive Director Kim Hamilton said. "Before, I was trying to find an available night class to enroll them in. Now, I can enroll them in the course and they can start class the next day. You also have the issue of having enough participants for the face-to-face classes, usually around 15 people."
Hamilton said she has found that the online courses have helped alleviate those issues, because drivers can take the courses online at their convenience — so the number of participants is irrelevant.
"We are in the computer age, and more and more drivers are no longer afraid to take online courses,” she added. “A lot of districts will call and are not sure if their elderly drivers will like it. In the end, they love the online courses and even ask what else they can do online. Drivers don't have to be apprehensive. This is a very encouraging and user-friendly product."
With the addition of these new recertification courses, School Training Solutions and the OAPT now offer three different online options to Oklahoma school bus drivers. Drivers may take courses for certification, in-service or recertification — all at their own pace and in their own time frame.
"We value our partnership with OAPT and are happy to fulfill the in-service needs of Oklahoma school bus transportation departments,” said Patrick Willi, director of School Training Solutions. “We are also excited to offer similar training to other school districts across the U.S."
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