Safety

National Pupil Transportation Associations Launch Return-to-School Task Force

Posted on May 13, 2020
The STARTS Task Force will be a collaboration among NASDPTS, NAPT, and the NSTA to research, review, and report on matters relating to COVID-19. File photo courtesy St. Mary's (Ohio) City Schools
The STARTS Task Force will be a collaboration among NASDPTS, NAPT, and the NSTA to research, review, and report on matters relating to COVID-19. File photo courtesy St. Mary's (Ohio) City Schools

The three major pupil transportation organizations have partnered to create a task force that will offer practical information to help student transportation providers during the COVID-19 pandemic as they prepare for when schools reopen.

The Student Transportation Aligned for Return To School (STARTS) Task Force will be a collaboration among the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS), the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT), and the National School Transportation Association (NSTA), to research, review, and report on matters relating to COVID-19 and student transportation, according to a news release from the three organizations.

The task force was launched last week, when the presidents of the organizations, Mike LaRocco (NASDPTS), Steve Simmons (NAPT), and John Benish Jr. (NSTA), each sent letters to their respective members highlighting the proposed work of the task force, and asking for volunteers.

“Our goal is simple: we want to provide a variety of practical, tactical information to help school transportation service providers be ready when the time comes to get back to school,” NAPT's Simmons said.

The task force will be divided into three subcommittees: Health and Safety (Students and Employees); Communications, Advocacy, and Public Relations; and Scheduling, Routing, and School Buses.

The overall objective of the task force is to develop specific recommendations, but also to encourage transportation professionals at all levels, to insert themselves into the state and local working groups that are already considering or are about to consider return-to-school proposals.

The task force will work on establishing best practices, guidelines, and resources to enable pupil transporters to continue ensuring that “all students have access to school, with confidence that their health and safety are being maintained,” said NASDPTS’s LaRocco.

“All of us in NASDPTS extend our heartfelt thanks to the many essential workers, including student transportation professionals, who are working for the common good during the pandemic,” he added. “Those in the national student transportation community have always taken pride in our record getting students to and from schools and school activities safely. Now, as never before, our role has expanded to include within our ‘safety’ umbrella new procedures and equipment to keep our employees, students, and communities healthy.”

The task force will convene immediately, with a proposed introductory meeting to be held within the next week, where co-chairs will be announced, volunteers will be placed on one of the subcommittees, and schedules will be decided, so work can begin expeditiously.

“The importance of the STARTS Task Force cannot be overstated. Student transportation is the largest transit system in the country, but the system that we left in mid-March will be dramatically different than the one we re-engage with in August and September,” NSTA’s Benish Jr. said. “The professionals who will dedicate their time and expertise in this endeavor have the knowledge and experience to make sound judgments as we plan a return to school. We believe this information that comes from our collaboration will be embraced by policymakers and the general public.”

Anyone interested in participating on the STARTS Task Force can send an email application to STARTS@napt.org. Due to size constraints, not all applications can be accepted, the organizations noted.

Related Topics: COVID-19, NAPT, NASDPTS, NSTA, school start

Comments ( 2 )
  • Rochelle O'Mara

     | about 8 days ago

    Thank you to the leaders in our industry for taking this on. The educators and administrators have their priorities but transportation is out in the trenches and takes the nuts and bolts approach. The seminars that have been offered by NAPT, NYAPT and Transfinder have been great. Thank you for supporting us.

  • See all comments
More Stories
The NTSB's final report concludes that the probable cause of the 2018 Indiana crash in which three students were killed was a motorist’s failure to stop for their school bus. A contributing factor was the school district’s inadequate route safety assessment. Photo courtesy Indiana State Police
News

NTSB Releases Final Report on Fatal Indiana School Bus Crash

The report concludes that the probable cause of the 2018 crash in which three students were killed was a motorist’s failure to stop for their school bus. Contributing to the cause was the school district’s inadequate bus route safety assessment.

The National Transportation Safety Board found in its investigation into the fatal 2018 crash in Rochester, Ind that it was caused by motorist Alyssa Shepherd’s failure to stop for the school bus. Photo courtesy Indiana State Police
News

NTSB: Motorist’s Failure to Stop Caused Fatal Ind. Crash

The National Transportation Safety Board releases the abstract of the final report for its investigation into the fatal 2018 crash in Rochester, Ind. It finds that the crash was caused by motorist Alyssa Shepherd’s failure to stop for the school bus.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a waiver from some regulations applicable to commercial driver’s license holders to June 30 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy Des Moines (Iowa) Public Schools
News

FMCSA Issues Waiver for Some CDL Deadlines

 The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s waiver postpones deadlines for some regulations applicable to CDL holders to June 30 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!

We respect your data and privacy.
By clicking the submit button below, you are agreeing with Bobit Business Media’s Privacy Policy and this outlined level of consent.