Rhode Island House Rep. Eileen Naughton's husband drives past a school bus with its warning lights on and stop arm extended. The car is recognized as belonging to a state lawmaker by the license plate: "House 21."
The Barrington and East Providence districts will begin using the mobile app, which gives parents updates on their child's school bus.
The new Thomas Built buses will serve thousands of students in the Providence Public School District. Bus features include an enlarged front windshield, GPS, the Child Check-Mate electronic reminder system and crossing gates.
Providence seeks cost estimates for privatizing school bus monitors to save money on a tight budget as it puts a new contract agreement out to bid. The city’s municipal employees’ union plans to oppose any attempts to privatize the service.
An employee at a Rhode Island school writes down Michael J. Lewis' license plate number and calls the police, who charge Lewis with driving with a suspended license and leaving the scene of an accident, and cite him for passing four occupied school buses.
State Rep. Anthony Giarrusso's son was among the passengers on a school bus whose monitor was arrested on child pornography charges. While the monitor had passed the state background check that Rhode Island requires, Giarrusso says he will introduce a bill to also require national background checks for school bus drivers and monitors.
Twelve buses used to transport students for Providence Public Schools were delayed on Wednesday due to snowy and icy conditions, and a district spokeswoman tells ABC 6 that the district’s bus company did a “phenomenal job” in addressing the situation. Providence Mayor Angel Taveras also offered his services when he noticed a bus that was stuck.
Under a three-year agreement with the Burrillville School Department in Harrisville, R.I., the company will operate 27 home-to-school routes and 34 buses beginning with the 2012-13 school year. Durham’s contract with Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Independent School District 191 in Burnsville, Minn., is reportedly the company’s first in the state, and it will operate 100 buses for the district.
Under the legislation approved by Gov. Lincoln Chafee, drivers and monitors who have received training may give an epinephrine injection (or EpiPen shot) to a student suffering from severe allergies while traveling to or from school or a school-related event. School bus providers must be given medical documentation by parents that the epinephrine has been legitimately prescribed.
Sen. John J. Tassoni Jr. plans to reintroduce legislation that would allow Rhode Island school districts to sell advertising space on the exterior of their school buses. It would also authorize school committees to negotiate with private school bus carriers regarding the content of any ads and the sharing of revenue from them.
New legislation would eliminate the state's requirement for monitors to be on all school buses for kindergartners up to fifth-graders. The Pendergasts, whose daughter was struck and killed by her own school bus in 1985, are in favor of preserving the mandate, saying that monitors help to increase student safety.