The National Congress on School Transportation is being postponed from May 2021 to 2025 due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, the interim amendment process remains active for state delegations to submit emergency proposals. - File photo

The National Congress on School Transportation is being postponed from May 2021 to 2025 due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, the interim amendment process remains active for state delegations to submit emergency proposals.

File photo

The continuing COVID-19 pandemic has prompted organizers of the 17th National Congress on School Transportation (NCST) to postpone the in-person event to 2025 while laying out some interim steps, including considering emergency proposals.

The Congress had initially been rescheduled from May 2020 to May 2021 in Des Moines, Iowa, soon after the pandemic hit last year.

As School Bus Fleet reported in February, the NCST Steering Committee made the decision to push the in-person Congress back again after receiving input from 39 state delegates that travel restrictions are still in effect for them. The committee also decided to postpone based on current public health measures in Des Moines and Polk County, Iowa, Patrick McManamon, the NCST Steering Committee chair, announced in a letter to Congress participants and other interested parties. He added that the committee was weighing whether to move the plans for an in-person Congress to 2022 or 2025.

McManamon also stated in the letter sent out last month that the Steering Committee determined that, based on state delegate input and other factors, a virtual Congress this May is not feasible.

In another letter sent on Wednesday to Congress participants and other interested parties, McManamon announced that the committee met on March 3 and, based on the feedback it received, established a plan that will include the following steps:

• The Editing and Writing Committees will collaborate to identify and finalize all administrative proposals and editing/proofreading updates starting April 1.

• Once that has been completed, the Steering Committee will review and ratify those changes by July 1. Upon ratification, the 2015 National School Transportation Specifications and Procedures (NSTSP) publication will be updated, and the amended document will be published.

• All substantive proposals identified as non-urgent will be placed in queue for the 17th NCST being held in 2025.

• Before the 17th NCST takes place, the process for accepting and reviewing proposals will be reopened. In the meantime, the interim amendment process already in place remains activated for state delegations to submit urgent and/or emergency proposals.

For more information on the postponement, contact Patrick McManamon at Patrick.McManamon@vermont.gov or (802) 828-3757.

Since 1939, the NCST (formerly the National Conferences on School Transportation) has been held periodically with the primary objective of ensuring safe, efficient transportation for schoolchildren. Since 1980, the 300-plus delegates from around the country who comprise the Congress have convened every five years.

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