NAPT MultiView News Brief
Apr. 9, 2013

For Members: School transportation: A time to act

Improving the safety and security of schools is currently high on the national agenda. While Congress is considering options, some states and communities are already engaged on their own. Since "all politics is local" actions taken will reflect local sensibilities and practical realities — we are not a one-size-fits-all country.

If your community is discussing this topic, and with the possibility that federal funding may be appropriated to help states address school security concerns, it's important for our industry to be active players — not bystanders. We urge you not to wait to be called. We are a critical part of the educational system, and whatever is done affects us. We recommend you initiate involvement on your own — don't wait for a call that might not come. Act now, grab a seat at the table and let your voice be heard.

By the same token, as we mentioned in January, NAPT has assembled a Steering Committee to develop school bus safety and security resources for members. The committee has met regularly since then and is engaged in developing a survey to ascertain current marketplace practices and needs. Committee members are: David Anderson, Adams 12 Five Star Schools; Denny Coughlin, President, School Bus Training Company; Charlie Hood, Florida State Director, Kathy Furneaux, Executive Director, PTSI; and Gail Hyser, President, Wilson's Bus Service, Inc. Look for updates coming soon in the NAPT Multiview. More

NAPT PDS and SNT courses available at many upcoming conferences

For NAPT members interested in pursuing career development, certification and recertification, and/or the NAPT Special Needs Endorsement, we will be announcing dates and locations of our course offerings throughout the year.

If you wish to receive NAPT credit for PDS or SNT course offerings at upcoming events, and an official course completion certificate from NAPT, please click on the specific location you are interested in (below). You'll be taken to a registration page that details all the information you need, including a link to the conference site.

OASBO (Ontario Association of School Business Officials): OASBO Course Web Link

TAA (Transportation Administrators of Arizona): TAA Course Web link

VAPT (Virginia Association for Pupil Transportation): VAPT Course Web link

OPTA (Oregon Pupil Transportation Assn): OPTA Course Web Link

ASTSBC (Association of School Transportation Services of British Columbia): ASTSBC Course Web link

MAPT (Missouri Association for Pupil Transportation): MAPT Course Web link

The NAPT Professional Development Series is the industry's only comprehensive training program designed exclusively for school transportation professionals; offering nearly 40 different courses for the classroom and many are now available online.

Visit our website: NAPT PDS page.

The NAPT Special Needs Transportation Training Program was created to encourage individuals involved in school transportation to enhance their knowledge about transporting students with disabilities and promote excellent leadership skills for the community of transportation personnel serving children of all ages with special needs.

For more information, click here: SNT Brochure.More

Learning aboard the 'magic school bus'
EdSurge News
This is what $80,000 can do for a school. Thanks to a grant from the Grable Foundation, Shaler Area Elementary School, located outside of Pittsburgh, Pa., partnered with Dream Flight Adventures to design a futuristic classroom that more closely resembles NASA mission control. Code-named the IKS Titan, the "magic school bus," as it's been described, supports up to 16 students who collaborate projects on iPads.More is now on Tumblr!

StopBullyingGov has just launched a Tumblr page for bullying prevention. Join the movement to stop bullying:

Study: Laws against driving and cellphone use aren't working
Los Angeles Times
It seems like an epidemic: Drivers talking and texting. Now federal regulators have put a number to the dangerous habit. "There is no way to text and drive safely," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, whose agency recently released new survey results. "Powering down your cellphone when you're behind the wheel can save lives — maybe even your own." Perhaps the most disturbing aspect about the poll, which surveyed 6,000 people ages 16 and older, was that laws meant to curb cellphone use don't seem to be working. More

Teachers union partners with Cartoon Network to stop bullying
Afro American
The American Federation of Teachers and Cartoon Network have partnered on a new campaign to help end bullying in schools across the nation. The "Stop Bullying: Speak Out" partnership hopes to encourage conversations between students and teachers about bullying prevention by providing educators with free resources on the topic.More

Students to ride eco-friendly buses next year
Star Local News
The air in Little Elm, Texas, may seem a little clearer next school year. The Little Elm Independent School District board of school trustees recently approved an agreement with GoldStar Transit as its student transportation carrier for the 2013-2014 school year, which includes a lease-purchase agreement for the ownership of 45 propane-operated school buses. "This will really step up our operation," said Linda Engle, LEISD executive director of business operations, in a statement. "We believe our service to students will improve, and our fleet will become more eco-friendly at the same time."More

Cellphones — blessing or curse?
By Bennett Cromer
Americans love the convenience and the sense of security cellphones give us. But many people believe this useful device has become a curse in the hands of inconsiderate users and distracted drivers. According to a study sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distractions are a factor in nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes. Dialing hand-held devices and talking on or listening to a hand-held device are second and third on the list of top 10 causes of vehicle crashes, after drowsiness.More

Indiana girl's public suicide and heartbreaking note sparks anti-bullying legislation in the state
NY Daily News
By the bus stop, they found their Angel hanging from a tree. On her bed at home, for her stricken mother to find, the 14-year-old Indiana girl left a note that read, in part, "Why did I deserve this pain?" The heartbreaking suicide last month of West Lafayette's Angel Green has now led to anti-bullying legislation at the state's capital. Green was an 8th-grader, who hanged herself March 5. The note she left behind — penned in a careful hand and addressed to her classmates — pointed clearly to the growing menace of bullying.More

Assaulting bus drivers, passing school buses could bring stiffer penalties in Ohio
The Plain Dealer
City Council's Public Safety Committee in Cleveland recently approved two ordinances that would stiffen the penalty for passing school buses and add assaults on a public transit worker to the list of misconduct on a public bus or train. If passed by Council, Cleveland would become the first city in Ohio to make failure to stop for a school bus a first-degree misdemeanor, said Councilman Kevin Conwell, who chairs the committee. Assaults on transit workers would also be first-degree misdemeanors, except for attacks that result in serious injuries and warrant existing felony assault charges.More

'Stop on Red, Children Ahead' — school bus traffic safety initiative
Southern Maryland News
Recently the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office has received complaints of motorist failing to stop for school buses stopped to load or unload children. From now through the end of the school year, the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office, Traffic Safety Unit will conduct several school bus traffic safety initiatives.More

Obama uses executive power to move gun control agenda forward
The Hill
President Barack Obama is quietly moving forward on gun control. The president has used his executive powers to bolster the national background check system, jump start government research on the causes of gun violence and create a million-dollar ad campaign aimed at safe gun ownership.More

Oregon school bus driver Veronica Mirehouse discusses her job
The Oregonian
Veronica Mirehouse, a veteran school bus driver with the Battle Ground School District in Oregon, discusses the joys and trials of a job that requires her to be part babysitter, part teacher and part chauffeurs for hundreds of students each day.More

Study finds daydreaming the top cause of distracted driving accidents
Fox News
Are drivers lost in space? A study by the Erie Insurance company of the roughly 6,500 fatal accidents that occurred in 2010 and 2011 which involved distracted driving found that it wasn't cellphones and texting that were mostly to blame, but simple daydreaming. According to police reports of the incidents, 62 percent of the accidents involved one or more drivers that were "lost in thought," compared to just 12 percent that were using a phone to text or make a call. Things happening outside the vehicle, interactions with other passengers and fiddling with devices brought into the car round out the top five distractions in the report, which was conducted with the assistance of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.More

Bus accident leads to more questions about school's bussing policy by Kentucky parents
A recent and very minor bus accident raises some serious questions about current Webster County School District policies. For some time now, in order to cut district expenses, the district has required clubs, organizations and sports teams to pay their own traveling expenses, which has led many of these organizations to employee the services of MHVS LLC, a charter bus company in Mortons Gap. "Their prices were always cheaper than either district buses or the other charter companies," said Webster County High School Principal Tim Roy. Following an accident on Wednesday March 27, MHVS buses will no longer be available to Webster County School District's clubs and organizations.More

New ads stress dangers of texting while driving
Appleton Post-Crescent
Rhinelander, Wis., teenager Austin Wierschke can text his last name blindfolded several times in a row. but the 18-year-old high school senior said he wouldn't think of sending any texts while driving. "It's becoming the new drunk driving and it is scarier because it is occurring in the young drivers, which are fresh out of driving school." Wierschke is featured in a new series of TV, radio and online advertisements set to air statewide this month that urge drivers not to text behind the wheel. The campaign is part of the DOT effort titled "Zero in Wisconsin," which seeks to reduce the number of traffic fatalities. More

How to end bullying? Talk about it. A lot
The Christian Science Monitor
Students at an elementary school in Janesville, Wis., act out bullying scenarios — like a bus ride tease — with supervisors, a sign that more educators are trying to prevent bullying rather than remediate its aftereffects.More

Teen fatality at bus stop is lesson for bus stop safety
Kinston Free Press
The flashing amber lights on a school bus are somewhat similar to a yellow traffic light. While it’s not required to stop at the sign of the lights, it’s probably a good idea to proceed with caution because the blinking indicates children are near — less than 300 feet away. Recently, in Wake County, N.C., school bus driver Gloria Smith had on only the amber signals when a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix struck 14-year-old Maria Fernandez Jimenez and ended the teen's life. "Parents need to stress to (their children) to not cross the road before the bus completely stops, the red lights are activated and all traffic has stopped," said Cindy Bruner, local Transportation Information Manual System coordinator. "Just because the lights are red doesn't mean traffic will stop."More