NAPT MultiView News Brief
Jun. 11, 2013

NAPT announces 2013 Scholarship and Grant opportunities

Peter & Linda Lawrence Scholarships
Peter and Linda Lawrence have endowed four scholarships to defray the cost of conference registration to NAPT members attending the Annual Summit on Oct. 19-24 in Grand Rapids, Mich. The application deadline for the NAPT Conference scholarship is Sept. 13. Log on to www.napt.org for more information.

Zonar Scholarships
Zonar Ten – We are pleased to announce Zonar Systems is graciously endowing 10 scholarships for attendance to the 2013 NAPT Annual Summit in Grand Rapids, Mich. Applicants do not have to be NAPT members - Zonar will include the cost of NAPT membership. The application deadline is Sept. 13. Log on to www.napt.org for more information.

Zonar $50,000 Equipment Grant
NAPT and Zonar are jointly sponsoring a $50,000 grant competition, for state of the art, fleet management technology that will enhance a school district's safety security and efficiency. NAPT will accept and evaluate applications from NAPT members for a single award or multiple awards of $50,000 worth of equipment/hardware provided by Zonar Systems, Inc. The filing deadline is Sept. 13 to NAPT. Log on to www.napt.org for more information or consult your Zonar Account Manager at naptgrant@zonarsystems.com.More

2013 NAPT Awards Program — application deadline is Sept. 16

The National Association for Pupil Transportation, together with support from our sponsors, is proud to offer an annual awards program to individuals and operators responsible for the safe transport of school children. Please consider nominating one of your dedicated staff, as we are accepting applications for the following awards:

Driver Trainer Award sponsored by IC Bus — Established to recognize school districts with exemplary driver training programs. Deadline: Sept. 16

Special Needs Transportation Award sponsored by Sure-Lok — Created to recognize superior special needs transportation service. Deadline: Sept. 16

Heroism Award sponsored by Blue Bird — Established to recognize heroism or acts of courage relating to school transportation. Deadline: Sept. 16

Continuing Education Award sponsored by Thomas Built Buses — Founded to encourage professional growth in the student transportation industry. Deadline: Sept. 16

Please log on to our website for applications and additional information: www.napt.org.More

Bluth-Eisman Field Trip Grants

Board Past-President, Dr. Linda F. Bluth and her partner Betsy Eisman, are offering two field trip grants this year. Priority for one field trip will be given to students with disabilities in the Baltimore Public School System in honor of Caselia Scott Burgess. Field trips for preschool children attending Head Start and Infants and Toddlers Programs will receive the highest priority; however, all NAPT members are encouraged to apply. The application deadline for the grants, valued at $250 each, is Oct. 1. Log on to www.napt.org for more information.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): Course Web Link

TAA (Transportation Administrators of Arizona): Course Web link

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

OPTA (Oregon Pupil Transportation Association): Course Web Link

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

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

PSBA (Pennsylvania School Bus Association): Course Web link

NCPTA (North Carolina Pupil Transportation Association): Course Web link

ILAPT (Illinois Association for Pupil Transportation): Course Web link

GAPT (Georgia Association for Pupil Transportation): Course Web link

CSPTA (Colorado State Pupil Transportation Association): 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

Pupil Transportation Association of Pennsylvania to hold conference

The Pupil Transportation Association of Pennsylvania will be holding its Annual Conference June 19-21, in State College, Pa.

Keeping children safe is the main goal as students are transported to and from school. Around the world, transporters are faced with possible violence associated with school bus transportation. Districts, intermediate units, contractors and law enforcement officials are joining again to revisit safe school policies and practices after the horrific shooting in Connecticut. As part of these discussions, we need to ensure that school buses are included in any safe school program. The shooting of an Alabama school bus driver and abduction of a student in January shows us all what "sitting ducks" our buses truly are.

Gun violence isn't the only cause for concern; so too are predators. After the Sandusky/Penn State case a new PA State law became effective on Jan. 3. Act 126, Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse, will involve training all of our school bus drivers. Like most new laws, the details of enacting it are worked out "as we go." PTAP and the PA School Bus Association have been working closely together with the PA Family Support Alliance and the Department of Public Welfare to facilitate the creation of guidelines for initial and continued training. PDE is interviewing other agencies to approve their training programs also. PTAP has heard from small districts and contractors that it will be difficult to train their drivers, especially new hires since some districts/contractors hire continually throughout the year.

Please join us at this year's Annual Conference as we visit these and other topics. For more information, email Jodi Pelletier, executive director at jodisnyder@comcast.net or call 717-856-2266. More

School bus riders safer than ever, analysis shows
Poughkeepsie Journal
VideoBriefSchool vehicles, from the traditional big, yellow buses that seat 72 children, to smaller vans built for seven, and their drivers, transport 2.3 million students in New York on any given school day. With that many children to worry about, standards for safety have to be strict, said Mary Sansaricq, state education director of pupil transportation. Statistics show they are safer now than they have ever been.More

The Feds' 'ultimate solution' to curb distracted driving
Wired
Distracted driving kills more than 3,000 people each year in the United States, a figure that represents about 10 percent of all traffic fatalities. How many of those people die because they were fiddling with their phones, or navigating their navigation systems, isn't clear, but no matter. The feds say they've got "the ultimate solution" for curbing the use of mobile devices while we're mobile. Nathaniel Beuse, associate administrator for vehicle safety research at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, says government regulation coupled with standards set by automakers and the electronics industry could reduce fatalities. He says we need "a technological solution, some sort of innovation" in which the device or the car would recognize when the driver is using a mobile device and deactivate it.More

Wyoming legislators consider tougher school bus safety penalties
Star-Tribune
A Wind River Elementary School girl killed after exiting her school bus in December 2011 has inspired a push for tougher bus safety laws, which lawmakers recently initiated. More

Brooklyn grandmother claims animal school-bus names 'insensitive'
NY Daily News
A Brooklyn grandma put an end to the monkey business at a local charter school. Sandra Conner, 64, was howling mad after learning the buses at her 10-year-old granddaughter’s Bedford-Stuyvesant school were identified by drawings of monkeys, elephants, jaguars and other animals. More

Jimmy Lee Dykes audio: Recording from school bus abduction, photo of bunker released
The Huffington Post
When Jimmy Lee Dykes boarded a school bus on Jan. 29, he told the driver he wasn't leaving without a child. "I need two boys six to eight years old," Dykes said, in audio released to ABC News. More

DC Council proposals would increase students' access to free transit
The Washington Post
All District students would be able to ride Metro buses for free under legislation recently proposed in the D.C. Council. The measure is meant to ensure that transportation expenses aren't keeping children from attending class, said council member Muriel Bowser, D-Ward 4, who introduced the measure with colleagues Anita Bonds, D-At Large, and Mary Cheh, D-Ward 3. Chronic truancy is a widespread problem in the District. At four high schools last year, more than 40 percent of students missed a month or more of class. More

New education bill contains important anti-bullying protections for LGBT students
ThinkProgress
Recently, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, released the Strengthening America’s Schools Act of 2013, which is an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that includes a variety of reforms designed to make American schools safer and more effective institutions. The bill has provisions to expand resources and establish guidelines for kindergarten and early childhood education, encourage equity by assessing individual school's climates and opportunities, and support high quality instruction.More

Arizona school fleet heading toward 100 percent propane
NGT News
Arizona-based Mesa Public Schools has purchased 61 additional propane-powered school buses from Blue Bird Corp., bringing the district's total autogas fleet to 89 units. Ron Latko, the district's director of transportation, has aggressive goals for his clean fleet. "We plan to keep coming back for more until we are 100 percent propane-powered," said Latko. "These propane autogas buses have surpassed our expectations in how smooth and effortless they run and how easy they are to service."More

App available to enforce corporate distracted driving policy
Fleet Owner
SafeCell Enterprise has designed and released a new mobile app that helps companies enforce wireless phone use and distracted driving policies. The app records and reports violations, and in some cases blocks text/SMS, phone and email while driving, said SafeCell. The app runs automatically in the background of smartphones, engaging when traveling over 5 mph.More

After 55 years of shuttling children to school, a Minnesota bus driver shows no sign of slowing down
St. Cloud Times
VideoBriefChildren haven't changed much in five decades. Just ask Dean Mozena, a bus driver for Hendricks Bus Service in Kimball, Minn. He's literally driven generations of families to school for 55 years. He loans children lunch money (sometimes they pay him back, sometimes not). He listens to problems. And he calms nerves on busy school days. "When you're a bus driver, you’re a loan officer," said Mozena. "You're a nurse. You’re a counselor."More

District not liable in student bullying, appeals court rules
Education Week
A Pennsylvania school district cannot be held liable for the bullying of a high school student by one of her peers, despite the fact that school officials re-admitted the perpetrator after she had been found delinquent and then continued to bully the victim, a federal appeals court has ruled. The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, in Philadelphia, expressed sympathy for the victim and her family but said that under well-established precedents they could not prevail under two distinct theories in holding the district and one of its administrators legally responsible for the bullying.More

New Illinois law gives teeth to 'zero tolerance' policy for school bus drivers
Chicago Tribune
When Palatine, Ill., school officials received a tip that one of their bus drivers smelled of alcohol, they took matters into their own hands instead of calling police. The incident demonstrated how one district handled a potentially dangerous situation amid a complicated set of rules and protocols governing how to deal with a bus driver's suspected DUI. Supporters of a new state law, which requires drivers caught with alcohol in their system to have their driving privileges suspended, say the episode shows the measure is working as it should. But the incident also raises questions about whether officials should have gotten police involved, particularly after deciding there was enough concern to send the driver to a medical clinic for a breath test, where her blood alcohol level was found to be below the legal limit for school bus drivers. More