First Student's FirstServes program was developed in conjunction with children's hospitals, behavioral psychologists, and education professionals.  -  Source: Canva

First Student's FirstServes program was developed in conjunction with children's hospitals, behavioral psychologists, and education professionals.

Source: Canva

School transportation provider First Student is expanding its FirstServes training and support system for students, making it available to all school districts as a standalone training to ensure a positive student experience on every journey to and from school.

FirstServes Impact on School Bus Behavior

In conjunction with the expansion of FirstServes, First Student is releasing new data showing that in the first year of the program's implementation, the company saw a 27% reduction in behavior incidents on school buses in districts that use FirstServes.

FirstServes is First Student's expert-backed training and support program, developed with top children's hospitals, behavioral psychologists, and education professionals. The program is designed to help school districts and on-vehicles staff meet the individualized needs of all students, including those with intellectual, physical, or emotional disabilities. The program empowers bus drivers and attendants with specialized training to support students on the bus, respond to behaviors, de-escalate situations, and help all children to show up to school ready to learn.

Positive Outcomes for School Transportation

FirstServes provides knowledge about student behaviors and training to driving staff, communication, and implementation tools to districts and resources to families to ensure all are well prepared to provide a positive experience for students.

"FirstServes empowers drivers and attendants with skills to support students, creating opportunities for individualized care. This reduces incidents and builds confidence, not just for students and drivers, but parents, caregivers, and schools," said First Student Head of Student Services Will McDermott. "The FirstServes program is a natural extension of First Student's dedication to providing an exceptional experience for all students, regardless of their school district or individual needs. We are excited to get this model of support to as many students and drivers as possible."

FirstServes was implemented in select school districts during the 2022-23 school year and immediately resulted in positive behavioral outcomes, the company reported. Compared to the previous school year, data collected through FirstActs, First Student's proprietary digital behavior incident reporting system, show a 27% decrease in behavioral incidents.

FirstServes has also boosted the quality of school transportation according to those who have taken part in the program. At Battle Ground Public Schools in Washington’s Clark County, school administrators say they feel the difference. The administration wanted to provide the best training for drivers but lacked capacity.

"Since FirstServes has been added, I think what we see is just a complete culture shift," said Tom Adams, director of student services at Battle Ground Public Schools. "The drivers feel like they are a part of the team. Giving the drivers some tools in their toolbox to be able to work with kids, because we know they care about kids, just like anyone who's working in education."

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