NAPT Dispatch
Oct. 28, 2014

Brandon Billingsley remembered for industry dedication, innovation
It is with great sadness and tremendous regret that we inform you that long-time NAPT friend and supporter Brandon Billingsley died suddenly last Tuesday, October 21. Billingsley was President of Heavy Duty Bus Parts and UltraLED. We offer our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones and ask that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Click here to read more about Brandon and the legacy he left our industry.

NAPT will be remembering Brandon during our 40th Annual Summit next month. More

Still time to join colleagues in Kansas City for NAPT's 40th Annual Summit
November 8th is right around the corner, but registration is still open for NAPT's 40th Annual Summit: Driving Innovation. Join us in Kansas City, MO to hear from industry experts and nationally-recognized speakers.

Register online, or download the form and fax it to 518.281.0867.

And be sure to check out to the full schedule on our website.

Ready to complete your certification exam? All exams will take place on Saturday, November 8 from 1-4pm. Good luck to this year's candidates!

Hotel Information
Reservations can be made at the following hotels:

To reserve your overnight rooms, call 800.228.9290 or visit Kansas City Marriott Downtown Reservations
*Please note that the Kansas City Marriott Downtown is currently sold out. The Crowne Plaza is a 2 minute walk to the Kansas City Marriott Downtown. To reserve your overnight rooms, please call 888.233.9527 or visit Crowne Plaza Kansas City Downtown Reservations More

NAPT offers 1st CSNT exam @ Summit
Become one of the first to earn your Certified Special Needs Transportation designation!

The first CSNT exam will be available at NAPT's 40th Annual Summit in Kansas City, MO next month. It is a timed exam, and candidates will have 2 full hours to complete it.

For those who have completed all of the necessary courses (click here to see the list), becoming a CSNT is as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. complete and return the Certification Application along with payment to NAPT headquarters
  2. download the study guide material and prepare to take the exam
  3. Take and pass the exam!
Not able to come to Kansas City? It's ok! The exam will be available online following the conference, so watch your email and our website for updated information. Please contact NAPT's Education Specialist, Josh Bresett, at 800.989.6278 or with any questions. More

Take your leadership to a new level with NAPT's LED Program
For nearly a decade, NAPT's Leading Every Day (LED) project has been supporting and developing world-class professionals and leaders in the school transportation industry. Now, NAPT is pleased to launch an expanded LED initiative that you can access anywhere — even on your phone or tablet! Online registration is open!

NAPT's 2015 Leading Every Day Institute has been designed to help you take your career to new heights! Guest Lecturer, George Pitagorsky, PMP, will teach you his Optimal Performance Program, which is about project management & long term process initiatives that focus on improving behavioral skills. Click here for additional program details.

Join your colleagues for a comprehensive leadership program in 2015 — registration is open!More

NAPT recertification reminder
Exciting news for those NAPT Certified members that earned the Director, Supervisor and Specialist certifications prior to 2011; your recertification deadline has been extended to December 31, 2015. Click here for the Recertification Packet.

In order to recertify, you must maintain a continuous annual NAPT membership as well as achieve a minimum number of points as follows:

The points must be accrued and submitted along with recertification form and a payment of $25.

Members with certification dates in 2012 through today are required to submit recertification requirements every three years following certification. For example, a 2012 certification date means a 2015 recertification date. If you're wondering when you're due for recertification, or have any questions regarding NAPT's Professional Development Series and Certification programs, please contact our Education Specialist, Josh Bresett, at or 800.989.NAPT (6278).More

Connect with NAPT
Stay up-to-date on industry news and interesting stories from around the nation.

Like NAPT on Facebook: Stay in touch and share your news with all of your NAPT friends!

Follow NAPT on Twitter: Get real-time information from NAPT and our industry partners, and pass along valuable information to your colleagues instantly!More

Indiana Supreme Court to hear case on school bus fees
Indianapolis Star
The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case over whether it's unconstitutional to make parents pay for their children to ride the bus to public schools. The high court could reconsider the state Court of Appeals ruling in June that deemed school bus fees violated the state constitution and cited the state requirement for school corporations to provide transportation as part of a free public education. After it failed to pass a tax-increase referendum, Franklin Township Schools stopped running its buses for free in 2011-2012. To bridge budget problems, it instead contracted with an outside transportation company, which charged fees for students to ride the bus.More

Bullying of students with disabilities addressed in guidance to America's schools
U.S. Department of Education
As part of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights issued guidance to schools reminding them that bullying is wrong and must not be tolerated — including against America's 6.5 million students with disabilities. The Department issued guidance in the form of a letter to educators detailing public schools' responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of Americans with Disabilities Act regarding the bullying of students with disabilities. If a student with a disability is being bullied, federal law requires schools to take immediate and appropriate action to investigate the issue and, as necessary, take steps to stop the bullying and prevent it from recurring.More

Late school bus? Check your smartphone
Houston Chronicle
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.More

Gov. Brownback proclaims Oct. 22 School Bus Drivers' Appreciation Day in Kansas
Kansas State Department of Education
Gov. Sam Brownback has proclaimed Oct. 22 as School Bus Drivers' Appreciation Day in Kansas. Each year, Kansas school bus drivers transport more than 200,000 students in excess of 66 million miles. Kansas currently employs 4,272 school bus drivers. "Every day we entrust school bus drivers with our most precious cargo; our children," says Keith Dreiling, KSDE School Bus Safety Unit director and retired Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper.More

Holidays vs. standards: Which curriculum rules your school?
By: Thomas Van Soelen
I remember that in elementary schools 30 years ago, the year was chronologically marked by holidays. We started with a summer story, then a scarecrow or scary story, followed by a turkey story and ending the year with something about a snowman. The new year would offer a change of pace with nonfiction text, then it was back to narratives: Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day and Easter bunnies. But in the age of Common Core and far more rigorous standards, are we still allowing the hidden curriculum of holidays and seasons to run the show?More

Commission OKs $350K for school bus drivers
The Ashland City Times via The Tennessean
After more than an hour of discussion, the Cheatham County Commission in Tennessee voted to allow the School Board to use up to $350,000 from the school district's fund balance on a plan to help retain and hire bus drivers. The School Board OK'd the request at its October meeting and it had to go before the commission for approval. Voting yes on the School Board's request were Tim Williamson, Connie Mayo, Donnie Jordan, Diana Pike, Eugene Evans, Shanon Pickard (who declared a conflict since he is a substitute bus driver), Jimmy Hedgepath, Betty Ramsey and Gary Binkley. Voting no were Dale McCarver and Walter Weakley. Ann Jarreau abstained.More

School bus drivers trained to confront active shooters
You may think loud kids are the biggest problem school bus drivers face, but these days drivers have to be ready to confront threats of all kind. Recently, bus drivers from across the region met at Roseville High School in California to get some experience on how to respond to an active shooter. In many cases the bus driver is the first line of defense for school kids, so instructors put them through several scenarios on how to prevent a tragedy. On the bus, drivers are taught how to brake abruptly to throw the bad guy to the ground, and that's just the beginning.More

Education-focused campaign spending crosses party lines
Education Week
The argument that teachers' unions support Democratic candidates and education advocacy organizations support Republican candidates is too easy (and maybe even lazy), especially during election season. Have teachers' unions historically been a big, powerful, cash-flush ally of Democrats? Yes. Do education organizations like StudentsFirst and Stand for Children support policies, like school choice and teacher evaluation and compensation models based on student test scores? Yes. Do those policies widely appeal to Republicans? Yes.More

Schools take a creative approach to mobile security
EdTech Magazine
Sometimes, school districts need to seek out inexpensive management tools because their budget covers only the bare necessities. That's certainly true of Battle Ground Public Schools in Battle Ground, Wash., where Network Support Technician Michael Clark uses Cisco Meraki's mobile device management software to support roughly 2,400 tablets. Clark says Meraki MDM lets the Battle Ground IT department assign and revoke applications from the app stores of the major platforms, reset PIN codes and remotely wipe lost or stolen tablets as long as they are registered on the district's network.More

Police presence powers up in schools
District Administration Magazine
Districts working to prevent mass shootings and other violent campus attacks are hiring more school resource officers to patrol their buildings, particularly at the elementary level. These SROs, elevated from a more passive role, are now an integral part of school safety planning. But their work goes beyond protecting students in the rare event of an active shooter. Despite media attention on school violence, "most schools and SROs are never going to face a violent encounter," says Mo Canady, executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers.More