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As 2014 comes to a close, NAPT would like to wish its members, partners, and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of the NAPT Multiview News Brief, a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume next Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015.
Indiana city's school bus question heard in state Supreme Court
From Dec. 2:
Do Indiana schools have to supply bus transportation for all students? That's the question that was at the heart of a case heard in the state Supreme Court recently. Bus transportation found itself on the chopping block in Franklin Township in the 2011-12 school year. If families wanted to take a bus to school they had to pay an outside contractor. The school system claimed that due to property tax caps, it just didn't have the money to do anything else.
Across America, students, teachers, parents Love The Bus
U.S. Department of Transportation FastLane
From Feb. 25:
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx writes, "As both a parent and the Secretary of Transportation, I know the importance of providing safe transportation to our nation's children as they go to school each day. For millions of America's children and teens, that means the familiar yellow school bus. And on Friday, at Oak Hill Elementary School in High Point, N.C., I joined Principal Ashton Wheeler Clemmons, Guilford County School Superintendent Maurice Green, and High Point Mayor Bernita Sims in a Love The Bus celebration to give those buses and their drivers the thanks they deserve."
Attorneys for Florida bus crash victim present wrongful-death suit
From March 11:
Attorneys representing the family of 9-year-old Aaron Beauchamp, who was killed in a 2012 school bus crash in St. Lucie County recently announced the widening of a wrongful-death lawsuit filed last year against the St. Lucie County School District. West Palm Beach lawyer Matt E. Haynes, of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath announced the firm will sue five "major national manufacturers" as part of a negligence complaint pending against the school district. Part of the suit is about bus seat cushions which the firm claims made the school bus seats defective.
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How do schools decide delays?
From Nov. 25:
Subzero wind chills are on the way. Temperatures will be in the teens. That could mean buses will need extra time getting kids to school. "If it's very, very frigid, and other districts are calling delays because of cold weather, and we've been told by our local police officers and our bus company that our buses are not ready to run, then we'll call a delay," says Tracy McNelly, assistant superintendent of the Norwin School District. Buses need time to warm up, and sometimes their engines won't start right away in freezing temperatures. A couple extra of hours helps remedy that, though the delay is not ideal.
Late school bus? Check your smartphone
From Oct. 28:
Parents, how many times have you waited with your child at the bus stop in the morning, wondering if it would ever arrive? How often are you waiting and wondering after school? News from the Houston Independent School District may provide some relief. The district is launching an online system that will allow parents to track in real time, on a computer or smartphone, the location of their children's school bus on a map.
Nebraska school's 'ludicrous' advice for bullying victims sparks parent outrage
From April 22:
Fifth grade students at Zeman Elementary School in Lincoln, Neb., were recently sent home with a "flier" outlining how they should handle bullies. The instructions were apparently deemed so ridiculous by parents that the school district quickly issued an apology and the "inaccurate information" was pulled. That was after the nine "rules" for dealing with bullies went viral, of course.
Transportation costs may dictate school start times
From Nov. 12:
From the scientific point of view, starting school later in the day for middle and high school students is a no-brainer. But from a fiscal perspective, it could be a headache. Chesterfield, Virginia, school officials are seeking the public's help in dealing with this dilemma, which offers the prospect of a big payoff in improved student health and academic performance, but at a price — with one option on the table that would roughly double the school system's student transportation budget.
CSN Safe Bus provides free GPS, route guidance, advanced driver training courses, and a bus alert system to inform parents about their student’s arrival or delays.
New DOT rules keep roads safer by keeping truck drivers healthier
From April 1:
The Department of Transportation is starting a new measure this spring that hopes to keep our highways safer by keeping truck and commercial drivers healthier. The rules of the road are changing, even before drivers get behind the wheel. "The National Transportation Safety Board has identified some of the causes to fatal or serious injury crashes, as a result of drivers not being physically fit to operate that vehicle," said Mark Porter, DOT program supervisor. The DOT's new rules start with the doctors, who issue federal medical cards to commercial drivers.
School bus stop arm camera program cost tens of millions more than first advertised
From Sept. 30:
NBC 5 Investigates has learned thousands of tickets issued for school bus stop arm violations in Dallas County are being dismissed and that the majority off tickets appealed by angry drivers were tossed out after hearing officers agreed the tickets were flawed or unfair. Meanwhile, NBC Investigates has learned the school stop arm camera program has cost tens of millions more than first advertised as the special school district running the program has attempted to turn the cameras into a side business financed with public money.
CDC: 9 die, 1,060 hurt each day due to distracted driving
The Washington Post
From March 4:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found a new way to get people's attention to what it calls the growing problem of distracted driving: it says that every day nine people die and 1,060 people are hurt in crashes where distraction is reported as a cause. That's a death every 2.6 hours, and 44 injuries an hour. And that toll of carnage is just from crashes that police investigators link to distracted driving. Nobody knows what percentage of the other crashes were caused by distraction.
School bus drivers face daily challenge
From Nov. 4:
They deal with careless motorists and unruly children. Most school bus drivers are on the job just a few hours each day. But those morning and afternoon routes can be quite demanding. The biggest challenge is keeping an eye on the road and the kids. Harrison County, Miss., school bus driver Diane House is responsible for the safety of some three dozen children. Staying safe means watching the road for careless drivers, while also keeping the kids in line.
St. Louis schools will get advance notice of grand jury decision
From Nov. 18:
Schools near where a Ferguson, Mo., police officer shot and killed an unarmed teenager will get advance notice when the grand jury in the case makes a decision on whether to indict the officer on a criminal offense. The school officials will get three hours notice if the decision is reached during the school week and 24 hours notice if the decision is made on a weekend, according to a letter posted on Hazelwood School District's website. The time will allow schools to safely transport students home and secure campuses, said Grayling Tobias, the district's superintendent.
Iowa school district outfits buses with WiFi
The Associated Press via KCRG-TV
From Sept. 23:
Cardinal School District students in southern Iowa who take the bus now have something to look forward to on the ride to and from school. The small district in Wapello County has outfitted its buses with high-speed, wireless Internet, Des Moines television station KCCI reported. It's also giving students in grades 6 through 12 tablet computers loaded with educational apps and games.
Chronic absenteeism can devastate K-12 learning
Education Week (commentary)
From Oct. 14:
Warning systems exist to keep us out of harm's way. The car's dashboard light warns of low tire pressure; the urgent weather bulletin advises us to evacuate ahead of a storm. We are conditioned to take these warnings seriously and act upon them. Now, just weeks into the new school year, another warning system is sending a message to parents and educators: the early signs of chronically absent students.
DOT proposes mandating cars broadcast location, direction and speed
From Sept. 2:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of the Department of Transportation, published an "advanced notice of proposed rulemaking" on "vehicle-to-vehicle communications." What NHTSA is proposing could begin a transformation in the American transportation system that makes our lives better and freer — or gives government more power over where we go and when. In announcing its proposed rulemaking, NHTSA is stressing its intention to protect the "privacy" of American drivers.
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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