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NY seeking legislation to identify and penalize drivers who pass stopped school buses
The New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT), led by its Executive Director & NAPT Region 1 Director Peter Mannella, is making a grassroots effort to advocate for legislation in New York State that will allow school transportation service providers to install cameras on the stop arms of school buses and use the technology to identify and penalize motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses. More than 1,000 people have already joined the campaign. Click here to read more about the NYAPT campaign on Change.org.
NAPT members in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont — the other states in NAPT region 1 — interested in learning about the NY effort should reach out to Peter Mannella for more information.
Good luck NYAPT!
April & May Member Webinars
Take advantage of your membership and participate in our upcoming educational webinars! NAPT’s April webinar will tackle employee evaluations. This program will discuss techniques for making the evaluation a useful tool for professional growth and not a useless burden that must be completed each year. Register today!
Date & Time: Wednesday, April 29 @ 1pm ET
Title: Employee Evaluations: Rote Processes or Thoughtful Endeavors?
Presenters: Laura Ann Cline, Supervisor of Human Resources, Stafford County Public Schools (VA) and Barry Sudduth, CDPT-SNT, Director of Transportation, Stafford County Public Schools (VA), NAPT Region 2 Director
Registration Fee: FREE for NAPT members
Register online today!
Date & Time: Wednesday, May 27 @ 1pm ET
Title: Celebrating School Bus Safety: Behind the Scenes of National School Bus Safety Week
Presenters: Jackie Fields, Director of Transportation, Belton ISD (Retired); Joe Hart, Director of Transportation, Killeen ISD; Steve Kalmes, Owner, JSK Transportation Consulting; Bill Tousley, Director of Transportation Farmington Public Schools (Retired)
Registration Fee: FREE for NAPT members
During this webinar we'll discuss:
Reserve your space early!
- Upcoming Poster Contest Themes & Their Relevance
- New Poster Contest Rules
- Poster Winner Prizes
- Case Study: How Belton ISD successfully encouraged schools submit entries
Missed one of the 2015 webinars? No problem; they're recorded and available in the 'Member Resources' area of the Members' Only section of the website. Log-in today.
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School bus drivers could avoid risk if they use EpiPens on students
A Pennsylvania lawmaker's bill that offers school bus drivers protections if they administer Epi-Pens to students having an allergic reaction. State Rep. Justin Simmons, R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton, introduced the law that would provide civil immunity to bus drivers who administer epinephrine auto-injectors to students having an allergic reaction on a school bus. The measure passed the House of Representative unanimously and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
America's fastest growing (and shrinking) cities
The U.S. population rose by just .75 percent in 2014, roughly flat from previous years and the lowest growth rate in more than 70 years. Not only has the country become less attractive to immigrants than in previous year, with the population growing just over .3 percent last year as a result of migration, but the U.S. domestic birth rate has also dropped to a multi-decade low.
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Children take more risks crossing streets than parents think
Children may cut things closer than their parents realize when it comes to guessing how far cars are from an intersection or how long it takes to safely reach the other side, a small study suggests. Using virtual reality, researchers tested how often kids might walk into oncoming traffic in real life. The results show that "parents may be over-estimating how careful their children are" and missing opportunities to teach kids safer habits, study author Dr. Barbara Morrongiello, a psychology professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario, said.
Budget amendment would allow ads on school buses
Indiana school districts could raise money by putting ads on their buses under a proposal added to the state budget by the Senate. As urban school districts lose students, both House and Senate school funding formula plans would have them lose money. Buck Creek Republican Sen. Brandt Hershman says his amendment allowing school districts to put ads on their school buses is a nod to the financial losses those districts might see.
The growing momentum of expanded learning time
National Center on Time & Learning
Fueled by policy action at the federal, state and local levels, the number of expanded-time schools has doubled over the past two years! Schools with redesigned and expanded schedules are now serving over one million students in predominantly urban communities across the country. For the first time, expanded-time district schools outnumber expanded-time charter schools, making district schools a majority of the more than 2,000 expanded-time schools that are providing students with more time to accelerate academic growth and enable a well-rounded, enriching education. NCTL is releasing these numbers today following the completion of its bi-annual update of its expanded-time schools database.
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Education advocates chime in hot and cold on No Child Left Behind rewrite
As the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions began markup of the Every Child Achieves Act today, education advocacy groups are making their thoughts on the proposed legislation known. Designed to update and fix the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left behind, a draft version of the Every Child Achieves Act was released last week. Reaction to the draft legislation has been mixed, as exemplified by the comments of Mary Kusler, government relations director at the National Education Association.
GOP Senators in White House race could complicate K-12 debate
Passing major education legislation is no easy task no matter what the political landscape looks like. But Congress' work in rewriting the Elementary and Secondary Education Act this year could get tangled in the Republicans' 2016 presidential horse race, which so far features a crop of conservative senators whose views aren't necessarily in lockstep with those of congressional education leaders.
Georgia slams brakes on electric cars
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Did Georgia just pull the plug on the electric car market? Many people are wondering after state legislators voted to eliminate a tax credit that last year helped catapult metro Atlanta to the highest U.S. market share for plug-in electric vehicles. The same bill will impose a $200 registration fee — the nation's highest — on noncommercial EVs.
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Texas school district considers running its own transportation system
A Texas school district is considering running its own transportation system after having several concerns about its current vendor. Since 2006, Student Transportation Services has run the bus system for the district but that contract expires on June 30. Waco ISD superintendent Dr. Bonny Cain says if the district runs its own system this could alleviate some of the current concerns. Waco ISD has contracted its transportation services for 19 years and since then there have been concerns associated with service quality, discipline, response time, driver vacancies and low-wages, according to the administration's report.
After-school programs feel heat from Congress, critics
Brent Cummings' goal for the 400 low-income, at-risk students in the after-school programs he directs in Walla Walla, Wash., is to kindle their interest in learning with the same spark that lit his imagination years ago, when his high school chemistry teacher kicked off a unit on the periodic table of elements by filling a balloon with pure oxygen and igniting it. Now, the programs in Walla Walla and at more than 11,000 other schools and community centers across the country are in limbo because of a congressional tussle over federal funding for after-school programs. The budget talks have reopened a decade-old debate on whether research shows any academic benefits for students enrolled in the programs.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
Returning to the exurbs: Rural counties are fastest growing
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Winding up Route 400, a good 40 minutes' north of Atlanta's traffic-snarled freeways, are miles of farmhouses, interspersed with mobile homes, McMansions and thrift shops. Here, too, is Dawson County's biggest draw: The North Georgia Premium Outlets, where tourists hunt for bargains at Burberry, Armani and Restoration Hardware.
Police tailing school buses for 'Operation Safe Stop Day'
Time Warner Cable
New York state police, Erie County sheriff’s deputies, and police on Grand Island had their hands full, as each was assigned to follow a school bus as part of the statewide Operation Safe Stop Day. "Make sure that there are no incidents where people are going past a school bus that is stopped with red lights flashing and their stop sign is out," said trooper Stephen Barker. Overtaking a school bus with red lights on is illegal and carries a $250-400 fine plus 5 points on a driver’s license. Despite the pricey penalty, Barker said an estimated 50,000 vehicles illegally pass a school bus each day in New York state.
4 key principles for NCLB rewrite that would help vulnerable kids
The Washington Post (commentary)
Congress is now attempting to rewrite the fatally flawed No Child Left Behind, the current version of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act. NCLB was supposed to be rewritten in 2007 but Congress never saw its way to getting the job done, so it and its impossible goals — such as having virtually all students scoring proficient in math and reading on standardized tests by 2014 — remained the law. The Obama administration offered waivers to state from the most onerous parts of NCLB, but those waivers came with controversial conditions.
Don't drive school buses through standing water
The Lincoln County, Kentucky, school bus driver who drove through standing water is back on the job. The Lincoln County Schools transportation director said the bus garage manager rode along with him. State and federal guidelines tell school bus drivers not to drive through high water, whether it is moving or not. Lincoln County Schools Transportation Director Donnie Leigh said the incident as children headed to school. He said the bus had just traveled down Harris Creek Road and was on its way back, when it encountered standing water.
5 ways to create a safer digital environment at your school
In "Securing the Connected Classroom: Technology Planning to Keep Students Safe," authors Abbie H. Brown, Ph.D., and Tim D. Green, Ph.D., outline a process that education leaders can follow to develop a secure environment for learning with technology. According to Brown and Green, "the book guides educators, administrators and IT staff through a step-by-step process for creating a district-wide blueprint for keeping students safe while maintaining an appropriate level of security."
Transporting Children with Disabilities, 5th Edition,
by Dr. Linda F. Bluth, is available for purchase. NAPT members may purchase the Handbook for $19.99, plus shipping. The nonmember rate is $29.99, plus shipping.
To order your copy, please email NAPT Member Services Specialist, Brianne Peck at Brianne.Peck@napt.org today! To learn more about the new Certification in Special Needs Transportation (CSNT) click here.
Transporting Children with Disabilities, 5th Edition contains new and updated information, including useful definitions of transportation and related special education terms as well as characteristics of children with special needs and special considerations for transporting children with special needs. This popular publication also explains the legal basis for special needs transportation in accordance with the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 and contains information about new Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act regulations.
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