NAPT MultiView News Brief
Jan. 8, 2013

Love the Bus 2013: What's on YOUR calendar?

While we can trace the affectionate responses that characterize Valentine's Day to as early as the 15th century, U.S. school transportation enthusiasts have recognized Valentine's Day in a somewhat different way since 2006 with "Love the Bus" events. As homage to our nation's amazing school transportation professionals, we have shared heartfelt stories, sent cards and letters, and held press conferences with dignitaries, like U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, to showcase the importance of the yellow school bus to the American education system.

This year, we'd like to shine the spotlight on LTB events across the nation to help spread the word. If you send us information about your local or statewide events, we'll include them on our website, Facebook page and in our weekly e-newsletter. Please help us chronicle this year's celebration by letting us know when, where and what you are planning to do. (Please send to lynn.martin@napt.org) If you have not celebrated LTB yet, there are many resources at your disposal, including an 8-page How to "Love the Bus" Guide, a lesson plan, templates for making cards, T-shirts and certificates. You'll also find bus driver testimonials, and helpful ways to communicate with and engage your district and your community. You'll find all of this and more at www.americanschoolbuscouncil.org/love-the-bus/love-the-bus.

The American School Bus Council is a coalition created by six partners in 2006 to educate parents, school officials and lawmakers about the essential role the yellow school bus plays in the safety, health, security and readiness of America’s schoolchildren. Council members are committed to providing safe, effective, efficient and healthy transportation for the more than 25 million schoolchildren who ride more than 480,000 school buses each day.

The Council's members include NAPT, National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, National School Transportation Association, Blue Bird Corp. of Fort Valley, Ga., IC Bus Corporation of Lisle, Ill., and Thomas Built Buses of High Point, N.C.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!More

NAPT member earns statewide school business management award

Award provides a $500 college scholarship for local high school student

The Ohio Association of School Business Officials has selected Jeff Vrabel, Sr., as the 2012 recipient of the Foundation for School Business Management's "Outstanding Transportation Director of the Year" award. He is currently Chief of Transportation for Youngstown City Schools.

The Statewide School Business Management awards program was created by OASBO's Foundation to recognize the accomplishments of Ohio public school business officials for their service to their school system, community and profession. The Foundation award provides a $500 college scholarship for a high school senior, sponsored by American Fidelity Assurance Company.

Additional information about the award is available here: www.oasbo-ohio.org/Professional-Development/Awards-Scholarship/OASBO-Foundation-for-School-Business-Management-Aw.aspx.More

Vendor Spotlight: On the spot? Come to the spotlight

Business Partners are special members of NAPT. They provide expertise, products and services to the pupil transportation industry, helping to maintain and improve upon the safety and efficiency of operations and processes. Knowing who to call when you're on the spot is important.

To help you find solutions, we highlight three of our business partners in a scrolling logo format on the NAPT homepage every two weeks. Just click on the company logo to find out more. You never know, you may find just the right answer to a vexing problem.

Featured in our "Business Partner in the Spotlight" section are: Child Check Mate, IC Bus and School Transportation News. Their logos will be posted for the next few weeks, so please take a moment to become familiar with the products and services they offer.

Child Check Matewww.childcheckmate.com — is a Canadian School Bus Safety Company that has developed and patented an electronic alarm system to remind drivers that all students have disembarked the vehicle. IC Buswww.icbus.com — is a global leader in passenger protection, chassis design, engines and ergonomics. The company also produces commercial buses. School Transportation Newswww.stnonline.com — is a monthly news and feature magazine serving the field of pupil transportation.More

Sandy Hook students return, putting spotlight on need to help children cope
The Christian Science Monitor
Mental-health counselors were just a few steps away if children struggled as they start school Jan. 3, at the new Sandy Hook Elementary School location. But for thousands of students across America who have lost a loved one recently, help with grief is not so easy to come by.More

Governor taps Idaho's 'top cop' to assess school safety
Idaho Statesman
Gov. Butch Otter has appointed Col. Jerry Russell, who is retiring as Idaho State Police director this month, to assess and recommend possible safety and security improvements in Idaho's public schools. Russell will work with the state's education department and local law enforcement and school leaders to analyze the state of security in Idaho schools in the wake of the Dec. 14 shootings of students and staff at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School.More

Maine cracks down on school bullying
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network
Students who engage in bullying and cyberbullying in Maine schools face tough consequences under a new state policy recently released. Education officials developed the rule after Gov. Paul LePage and lawmakers signed off on a measure last year to prohibit such behavior. Districts must now revise their existing guidelines to bring them in line with the state. As Jay Field reports, the release of the policy caps a seven-year effort to crack down on bullying in Maine schools.More

New York lawmakers push for ignition interlocks on school buses
Melodika
Recently two school bus drivers were accused of driving a bus while intoxicated. Although school bus drivers are rarely arrested for driving while intoxicated, some New York politicians believe it is necessary to take steps to combat the problem. A potential bill would require the installation of ignition interlock devices in all school buses. Ignition interlock devices force the driver to take a breath test before attempting to start the vehicle. The vehicle does not start if alcohol is detected on the driver's breath.More

Changes coming in student transportation
Ocean City Gazette
The Ocean City School District in New Jersey achieved the highest bus efficiency rating since the 2005-2006 school year, according to primary school Principal Joann Walls. The rating of 131 was achieved by carefully scheduling the start of the school day, so the same bus to transport high school or intermediate school students can then be utilized for transporting primary school students. The minimum required rating is 100.More

Labor issues could mean NYC school bus strike
New York Post
The New York City schools chancellor recently accused the union representing school bus drivers of "jerking our kids around" by threatening a strike that would force 152,000 students to find alternative ways to get to class. "A strike would affect our most vulnerable students," Chancellor Dennis Walcott told a news conference at the Manhattan headquarters of the Department of Education. The children who use the yellow school buses include 54,000 with disabilities, the chancellor said, and the "union should stop playing games, issuing threats of striking" — but not saying which day it might happen.More

Federal effort aims to transform learning technologies
Education Week
Can online graphic novels help teenagers cope with difficult social situations? Are 3-D technologies a tool for helping English-learners acquire language skills outside traditional educational settings? And what about the potential for mobile apps that let students manipulate on-screen images with their fingers to help them learn fractions? A federal program, still in its infancy, is supporting research that seeks to answer those and other questions by wedding partners that often operate in isolation — educational technology and scientific research on learning — with the goal of transforming teaching and learning in schools.More

Iowa school bus safety study released
Syracuse Journal-Democrat
The Iowa departments of Transportation and Education are announcing the release of the School Bus Safety Study to the Iowa legislature, as required by Senate File 2218, "Kadyn's Law." In response to the findings, Steve Gent, director of the Iowa DOT's Office of Traffic and Safety said: "The study conducted by researchers at Iowa State University and The University of Iowa evaluated school bus safety measures as required by the legislature. This report states that parents should be encouraged to have their children ride the bus to and from school because buses are one of the safest forms of transportation available. Yet, the safety of our children is still a real concern, primarily due to vehicles illegally passing stopped school buses."More

Distracted driving: Working from the car could carry heavy consequences
Technology Guide
The era of the self-driving car is practically upon us, and not a moment too soon. Twenty years ago, the biggest threat on the road used to be drunks and sleepy drivers. Nowadays, technology has bequeathed us with a whole new slew of road safety worries, spurred on by that most evil yet necessary of all human abilities: multi-tasking.More

National Biodiesel Board joins Diesel Technology Forum
Fleet Owner Magazine
The National Biodiesel Board, which represents more than 260 U.S. and international companies that produce and distribute renewable biodiesel fuel, is the newest allied member of the Diesel Technology Forum. The National Biodiesel Board is a nonprofit trade association dedicated to coordinating the biodiesel industry and educating the public about the fuel. NBB membership is comprised of state, national, and international feedstock and processor organizations; biodiesel producers and suppliers; fuel marketers and distributors, and technology providers.More

Survey: Distracted driving on the rise
KXAN-TV
A new survey by insurance company State Farm finds the number of people driving distracted by their smartphones has increased dramatically since 2009. The online survey of 1,000 drivers nationwide found drivers between the ages of 18-29 used the internet 48 percent of the time while driving. That is up from 29 percent in 2009. Twenty-one percent of drivers in the same age group read social media sites while driving in 2009. That number jumped to 36 percent in 2012.More

Bus company seeks to reduce idling
Eagle-Tribune
The bus company that transports Londonderry, Pelham and Windham, N.H., students, in a deal with federal regulators, recently implemented a national training program for drivers, dispatchers and managers to reduce idling times. New Jersey-based Student Transportation Inc. put the program in place after the Environmental Protection Agency cracked down on alleged excessive idling by subsidiary operations in Rhode Island and Connecticut.More

New study evaluates the validity of the Bully/Victimization Questionnaire
Good Therapy
The Bully/Victimization Questionnaire has been used throughout the world to capture the rates of peer bullying and victimization, a social dilemma that has been the focus of much research in recent years. The BVQ provides the respondent with a definition of bullying, describing it as intentional and repeated acts of aggression. The respondent is then instructed to detail any bullying victimization they have experienced. Although this approach is intended to identify victims, the definition of bullying is much more subjective. Jennifer Greif Green of the School of Education at Boston University wanted to see if the BVQ's definition of power imbalance and bullying were in line with individuals' own assessments of bullying.More