NAPT MultiView News Brief
Dec. 17, 2013

NAPT and STN to co-host TSD Roadeo event in Nashville

The 23rd Annual Transporting Students With Disabilities & Preschoolers National Conference will be held Feb. 28 – March 5, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. The conference will feature more than three dozen educational sessions, workshops, hands-on training opportunities, and a trade show highlighting the products and services of more than 50 manufacturers and suppliers.

In conjunction with the conference, the 2014 event includes the National Special Needs Team Roadeo co-presented by the National Association for Pupil Transportation and School Transportation News. In years past, approximately two dozen, two-person teams have competed in this event.

The NAPT Special Needs Transportation Training Program will be offered at the conference. Those interested need to pre-register with STN and NAPT in order to receive credit for these courses. To pre-register for the NAPT SNT program, please visit: NAPT SNT Registration or contact Brianne Peck, Member Services Specialist at 800-989-6278.

For any questions relating to TSD events, please visit www.tsdconference.com or contact Diane O'Meara, TSD Marketing Coordinator, at 310-802-7812. More

NAPT and NSTA issue joint response to NTSB recommendations

As most of you are aware, the National Transportation Safety Board recently made two important recommendations to our industry based on their investigations of school bus crashes in Chesterfield, N.J., and Port St. Lucie, Fla.

We are pleased to let you know that NAPT and NSTA were able to work together and submit joint comments to the NTSB.

We believe our response to NTSB's recommendations documents a position that seeks the clarity and facts your community and state policymakers demand when making important decisions affecting school bus operations.

We urge you to read this letter carefully to fully understand the professional concerns we raised on your behalf, and our reasons for doing so.

NSTA and NAPT intend to work collaboratively on this matter from this point forward. We will next seek input from our members, who are the front line responsible for safely transporting nearly 26 million children to and from school every school day, to identify best practices for the proper use of safety belts in buses and thereafter develop recommended policies and procedures that can be implemented locally and nationally well before the 2015 National Congress of School Transportation.

NAPT and NSTA believe research and its results, rather than emotion, should guide decisions about the use of safety belts on buses.

We look forward to your support as we make this happen.More

School board rescinds decision to end bus service in 2014-2015 school year
AL.com
The Hoover, Ala., school board recently rescinded its July decision to end bus service for most students in the 2014-2015 school year. Superintendent Andy Craig said school officials now are exploring ways to continue offering bus service with the school system's own bus fleet and drivers and charge students a fee to ride the bus.More

NHTSA chief David Strickland to step down
Detroit Free Press
David Strickland, who since 2010 has played a key role in managing the federal agency with direct regulatory oversight of the automobile industry, will step down in the near future. As administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Strickland has overseen development of the nation's fuel efficiency program and various safety initiatives, particularly those linked to reducing distracted driving and focusing on child passenger safety.More

The Classroom of 2024: Four future hallmarks
eSchool News
Ten years may not seem like much, but it's enough time for transformation, according to education experts who see the future of education becoming more collaborative and less restrictive. Nearly every part of education will have to change in order to accommodate the kind of learning that educators discuss today — from professional development and physical learning spaces to availability of and support for technology. But it's possible with the right vision and plan.More

Colorado school shooting: Armed guards the answer?
Yahoo News
As they investigate the latest school shooting in the United States — at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo. — one thing is clear to law enforcement officials there: The presence of an armed deputy sheriff on regular duty at the school was the key factor in preventing more deaths and injuries.More

The power of the bully puppet
WDDE-FM
There's been a variety of initiatives launched recently to address the issue of bullying, but one Deleware teacher has developed a unique way of helping children understand it and develop skills to cope with it. Instead of relying on recognizable names and the power of the bully pulpit, Middletown High School Drama and Spanish teacher Michael Husni uses the power of the bully puppet. Five years ago, Husni founded an after-school program involving a collection of his drama students called Puppetry in Education. It was there he developed an original script that centered on bullying that he can perform with his students at early childhood education centers in the Appoquinimink School District. More

DOT effort to combat distracted driving continues
U.S. Department of Transportation FastLane
Four decades ago, when Lyndon Johnson signed the order to create the Department of Transportation, it read, "The Secretary should give top priority to the safety of our people as they travel by land, sea, or air." Today, that statement remains truer than ever — especially when it comes to distracted driving.More

A year later, Newtown tragedy yields little policy change
Education Week
Around the country, "Newtown" has become shorthand in policy discussions for the horrific act everyone is trying to prevent. A year after the shooting, the flurry of passionate calls for "national conversations" and changes to state and federal laws related to guns, school security, and mental health that were spurred by the tragedy has yet to produce a sea change in policy. While an undetermined number of districts across the country responded to the violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School by beefing up safety measures or adding armed security staff, only a fraction of the state and federal legislative changes proposed in the immediate aftermath of the killings have become law.More

Ethanol: A victim of change as gasoline sales have flat lined
Green Car Reports
Eight years ago, ethanol was going to let the U.S. grow its own vehicle fuel, reduce its use of gasoline made from imported oil and boost energy security. How much have you heard about those themes lately? Not much, we'd wager. A lot has changed since the 2007 passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act, which set volume requirements for biofuels to be blended into U.S. fuel supplies. A high-level look at the current state of ethanol suggests that it has fallen victim to several forces that have combined to reduce the need for the volumes specified almost seven years ago.More

Nationwide sweep of unsafe buses
The Associated Press via ABC News
Drivers working over 800 miles without rest. Buses being driven with known brake problems. These and other factors contributed to the recent shut down of 52 passenger bus companies. These companies aren't low-budget, fly-by-night carriers. According to Anne S. Ferro, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the companies have transported school bands, Boy Scouts and senior citizens.More

Food for thought: Got goals?
By Karen Childress
Each new year brings with it the opportunity for a fresh start, a clean slate, and giving thought to what might unfold over the next 12 months. Whether you're setting goals for your business or yourself, it's important to have a plan.More

Following deadly crash, a look at school bus seat belts and 2-way stopss
KTVB-TV
The question of seat belts in school buses is a controversial topic: Some say seat belts would be safer, some say belting children in could be more dangerous, and others say installing them wouldn't make much of a difference in decreasing injuries or deaths.More

Hawaii DOE is saving thousands with new school bus plan
Honolulu Civil Beat
The new student transportation system that the Hawaii Department of Education is testing out at about 30 schools in the Pearl City and Aiea areas has the potential to significantly slash costs within a few years.More

How 'flipped classrooms' are turning the traditional school day upside down
PBS
Clintondale High School outside Detroit was one of the lowest performing schools in Michigan when they decided to "flip" their classrooms. Now, teachers record their lessons online for students to watch outside of school and class time is used to work through problems. In the following, Jeffrey Brown reports on Clintondale's success so far.More

Budget deal could help struggling special education programs
U.S. News & World Report
Budget cuts, both local and federal, have negatively affected special education programs, contributing to higher class sizes, larger case loads and fewer resources, and making it increasingly difficult for teachers to provide services to students. But some say a recent federal budget deal could be a step in the right direction to ease those burdens.More