RICHMOND, Va. — Seon launched three new products and announced the winners of its anti-bullying grant program and coloring contest at the NAPT trade show on Tuesday.
“These three new products represent Seon’s continued commitment to increasing school transportation safety and efficiency,” said Tom Gill, president of Seon. “With integrated, cloud-based technology, fleet managers, drivers, educators and parents can now get real-time access to exactly the information they need, when they need it.”
The vMax Navigator is an in-vehicle mobile data terminal that provides drivers with route directions, student ridership lists, and electronic vehicle inspection templates to improve route accuracy, safety and efficiency while delivering real-time information about route operations and GPS tracking data to fleet managers via the cellular network, company officials said.
The vMax Pulse is a low-cost, cloud-based service designed to let fleet managers check the health of their bus surveillance systems from any device connected to the Internet and spot video system maintenance needs without setting foot on the bus.
School Bus Hub is a secure, online portal for parents to sign up and receive real-time bus arrival notifications for their children. Fully integrated with Seon’s vMax Compass routing platform, it delivers bus arrival notifications to parents according to school district preferences — online, by email or via instant message.
Meanwhile, Seon and parent company Safe Fleet revealed the winners of the “United Against Bullying” grant program and coloring contest.
The grant program’s main goal is to support schools and communities in their efforts to stop bullying, company officials said. Safe Fleet offers tools, resources and funding to support the best initiatives to prevent bullying and abusive behavior.
The program was held from Aug. 1 through Oct. 15. Safe Fleet and its subsidiaries reviewed over 65 applications from school transportation departments across the U.S. and Canada. Each department proposed its own education plan or program to help reward positive student behavior, support emotionally distressed students, train bus drivers to prevent bullying, and teach empathy and compassion in the school environment.
“We thank all school districts who applied for the grant. Their submissions included some amazing ideas for building a safer environment for children,” said John Knox, president and CEO of Safe Fleet. “We were impressed by so many inspiring anti-bullying programs and are happy to provide some tools and funds to support their efforts.”
The 2015 anti-bullying grant recipients are:
• Spotsylvania County Public Schools, Spotsylvania, Virginia
• Elkhart Community Schools, Elkhart, Indiana
• Portland Public Schools, Portland, Oregon
• School of Excellence in Education, San Antonio, Texas
• Three Village Central School District, Minnesauke Elementary School, East Setauket, New York
• Isle of Wight County Schools, Smithfield, Virginia
• Marietta (Ga.) City Schools
• Southern Huntingdon County School District, Three Springs, Pennsylvania
• Nevada Department of Education, Las Vegas, Nevada
• Glendale (Ariz.) Elementary School District No.40
• Luther L. Wright K12 School, Ironwood, Michigan
• Pottsville (Ark.) School District
• Orangewood Elementary School, Bakersfield, California
• Yuma (Ariz.) Union High School
• Flowing Wells Unified School District, Tucson, Arizona
• Puget Sound Educational Service District, Renton, Washington
On hand at the trade show to accept the awards for their districts were Heather Handschin, transportation coordinator at Spotsylvania County Public Schools; Mark Lindstrom, director at Marietta City Schools; Dawnett Wright, transportation manager at Puget Sound Educational Service District; and Diana Hollander, program officer for pupil transportation at the Nevada Department of Education.
Safe Fleet’s employees were inspired to unite for the cause by the “No Bullies on My Bus” campaign launched by Seon in 2013. Multiple school districts and transportation agencies took part in the initiative, which helped spread awareness about bullying and sparked empowering conversations for young people, according to the company. Witnessing the positive outcome of the campaign in participating communities, Safe Fleet and its subsidiaries decided to broaden the campaign.
The grant will provide $25,000 for winning student transportation departments to implement or expand anti-bullying training programs. An additional $25,000 worth of school bus equipment, such as video cameras, stop arms, crossing arms and escape hatches, will be granted to school districts to increase student safety.
Additionally, Seon announced the winners of Part 2 of its annual Coloring Contest, which received more than 2,000 entries.
Based on creativity, coloring skill and overall artistic abilities, Safe Fleet’s anti-bullying committee selected winners in three age categories:
• 5-7 years old: Ricardo Alanis, 7 years old, from Desert View Academy, Yuma, Arizona
• 8-10 years old: Lilliana Dawson, 8 years old, from Osolo Elementary, Elkhart, Indiana
• 11 years and older: Caitlin Tynanes, 12 years old, from Kapolei Middle School, Kapolei, Hawaii
Each winner will receive an anti-bullying stuffed teddy bear and official anti-bullying medal. In addition to these prizes, Safe Fleet will award each winner’s school with a Bully Project DVD and Educator’s Kit, as well as a $500 donation toward anti-bullying education.
Detailed information about the grant and the coloring contest can be found on the United Against Bullying program website.