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Maine Team Drives Away Champions of National Competition
Duo from MSAD #49 Win Special Needs Team Safety Roadeo

Lisa Gadway and Gregg McGoff from the Maine School Administrative District #49 (Fairfield, ME) recently earned first place for their performance in the 18th Annual National Special Needs Team Safety Roadeo, held at the Frisco Independent School District just outside of Dallas, TX. Eighteen teams consisting of a driver and monitor from 11 states competed in the 2015 Roadeo, which is co-sponsored by the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) and STN Media, publishers of School Transportation News magazine.

"Lisa and Gregg always set a shining example for their peers and are a true team of winners in every sense of the word," stated Alexandra Robinson, M.Ed., CDPT, one of the Roadeo Event Coordinators. "Their energy, communications skills and commitment to education set them apart from the others and should make their districts, peers, supervisors, and of course the State of Maine, very proud."

Designed to recognize excellence and an unparalleled commitment to the safe and compassionate transportation of students needing specialized transportation, the National Special Needs Team Safety Roadeo is an annual event where driver-attendant teams learn, practice and fine-tune skills in a competitive environment.

"Lisa and Gregg are compassionate, competent professionals that care deeply about and take great pride in their work," said NAPT Executive Director Michael Martin. "They exemplify the best our industry has to offer."

Prior to participation in the Roadeo, teams must collaboratively complete an extensive written exam testing their knowledge of laws, rules and regulations concerning the transportation of students with specialized transportation needs. Then, the teams participate in a hands-on competition consisting of:
  • A comprehensive pre-service vehicle and equipment inspection
  • Carefully and successfully navigating a Type A school bus through an obstacle course
  • Loading, unloading and securing students in wheelchairs
  • Behavior management of students with special needs
  • Properly and promptly evacuating a Type A school bus in an emergency situation
A panel of experts evaluates each team's performance, assigning a score at each hands-on work station. Afterward, the scores are compiled and the teams placing first, second and third are recognized with plaques, donated by Sure-Lok/Q'Straint, two of the most respected and well-known brands in the transportation of students with special needs.

"This annual event is a great opportunity for those passionate about specialized transportation to gather and learn from one another," commented Keith Henry, CDPT, NAPT President. "It's great seeing teams from all over demonstrate their dedication to the students they transport, because ultimately their participation enhances their skills and better serves their districts."

Gadway and McGoff previously participated in this event and finished as high as 3rd in 2011. Second and third place teams this year came from Michigan and Texas respectively.

Gadway recently left MSAD #49 to work for the South Portland (ME) School District as Director of Transportation. McGoff drives for the MSAD #49 in Fairfield, ME.

The National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and developing world-class professionals who provide safe and efficient pupil transportation for our nation's children. Founded in 1977, NAPT provides communication, leadership, education, advocacy, and resources to the nationwide network of over 600,000 people who safely and successfully transport more than 25 million children to and from school and school-related activities every school day.

Registration Open for April & May Member Webinars
Join your colleagues for these exciting member 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!

Upcoming Webinar
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:
  • Upcoming Poster Contest Themes & Their Relevance
  • New Poster Contest Rules
  • Poster Winner Prizes
  • Case Study: How Belton ISD successfully encouraged schools submit entries
Reserve your space early!

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.


Vendor Spotlight: On the spot? Come to the spotlight
Business Partners are special members of NAPT. They provide expertise, products and services to the pupil transportation industry, helping to maintain and improve the safety and efficiency of operations and processes. Knowing who to call when you're on the spot is important.

To help you find solutions, we highlight our business partners in a scrolling logo format on the NAPT homepage every two weeks. Just click on the company logo to find out more.

Featured in our "Business Partner in the Spotlight" section are: American School Bus Council, Delco Remy, SpectAL Industries, Inc., and Synovia Solutions. Their logos will be posted for the next few weeks, so please take a moment to become familiar with the products and services they offer.

American School Bus Council ( is a coalition of the school transportation community — including NAPT, NASDPTS (National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services), NSTA (National School Transportation Association), Blue Bird Corp., IC Bus Corporation, and Thomas Built Buses. Council members are committed to providing safe, effective, efficient and healthy transportation for the more than 25 million schoolchildren who ride more than 480,000 school buses each day.

Delco Remy ( is the leading global manufacturer and remanufacturer of automotive parts, including starters, alternators and hybrid motors. With thousands of employees worldwide and global facilities in 10 countries on five continents, Remy is well-positioned to support the global transportation industry. They intentionally place themselves close to their customers and service markets so they can continue to partner together to develop innovations that are transforming the transportation marketplace.

SpectAL Industries Inc. ( has built its reputation by providing a range of specialized windows for school buses robust, lightweight and easy to install, making it the largest manufacturer in North America. You can count on the quality and safety of each SpectAL window. The mission of SpectAL Group is to ensure total customer satisfaction by maintaining a range of innovative products and high quality at the best price and offering the best customer service.

Synovia Solutions ( is based in Indianapolis, Indiana and provides GPS tracking solutions to help you manage your fleet of vehicles more efficiently. They focus on helping you improve safety, enhance service levels and achieve savings. Their turnkey service offering, known as Synsurance, will allow you to implement their solution with no upfront costs, so you can realize immediate savings. Their goal is to help you achieve the results you are seeking with a GPS solution from day one.

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    States use cameras to crack down on school bus scofflaws
    The Huffington Post
    MaKayla Marie Strahle was only 11 when she stepped off a school bus, started to cross the road and was struck and killed by a pickup truck in west central Wyoming just days before Christmas 2011. The driver, who had ignored the stopped school bus' flashing lights, was later convicted of three misdemeanor charges, including homicide by vehicle. MaKayla's death sparked calls for change, and spurred the legislature to take action. Last year, Wyoming became the first state in the nation to mandate that every public school bus have cameras attached to catch drivers who illegally pass.
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      School Bus Connectivity - Beyond Imagination
    The Option CloudGate cellular gateway is perfect for school bus connectivity! Its flexibility allows school bus operators to:
    • Track buses (GPS)
    • Gather engine/fuel data
    • Offer student connectivity for homework (WiFi)
    • Transfer security camera footage
    • Transmit student badging data
    Visit GetWireless or call (800) 990-9025 for a Free 30-day trial of CloudGate!

    School dismissal a dangerous time for kids getting hit by cars
    HealthDay News
    Children are at greatest risk of being hit by a car at the end of the school day, as well as in the evening, a new study finds. One expert wasn't surprised by the findings. The after-school hours are "times when adult supervision may not be ideal," said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "Having increased police awareness and school-sponsored safety patrols available when afternoon caregivers cannot be present may help to reduce the risk," said Glatter, who was not involved in the new research.
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    Miss an issue of the NAPT Dispatch? Click here to visit the NAPT Dispatch archive page.

    Horry County, SC, schools approves purchase of 20 new buses
    Horry County, South Carolina, schools snagged 20 new school buses that should hit the road in time for the 2015-2016 school year. The Horry County Board of Education voted unanimously to purchase the buses during their regular meeting after asking the district to increase the number of buses by ten, in order to replace some of the decades-old fleet sooner. The district originally planned to buy 10 new buses for a total of $840,000.
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    ESEA's 50-year legacy a blend of idealism, policy tensions
    Education Week
    Fifty years ago this month, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Elementary and Secondary Education Act outside the former one-room schoolhouse in rural Texas he'd once attended. The new law dramatically ramped up Washington's investment in K-12 education, carving out a role for the federal government in educating the nation's poorest children. But shortly after that cinematic ceremony, administrators in the U.S. Office of Education — the predecessor of today's separate, Cabinet-level department — found themselves with a difficult task.
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    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        Indiana Supreme Court: Schools don't have to bus students (Indianapolis Star)
    Ohio Supreme Court considers school bus drivers responsibility (StateImpact Ohio)
    School districts using retread tires on school buses (KPHO-TV)
    Education funding gaps: Which states are hitting, missing the mark? (The Christian Science Monitor)
    House adds fingerprints to Senate's K-12 background check bill (The Topeka Capital-Journal)

    Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

    Wyoming Transportation Department continues to work on safety upgrades
    Casper Journal
    Transportation is installing and replacing cameras on buses over the spring break holiday. The work of upgrading and installing new cameras began on Friday, March 27 and will continue through this week. Each functioning bus in the fleet will have a new camera system when school begins after the break. A new feature will be in place with these updates: cameras facing forward and backward on the stop sign arms of the buses will record evidence of illegal passing when busses are stopped. The Wyoming Legislature recently authorized this important safety feature.
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    As Washington, DC's, school options improve, commutes become more of a headache
    Washington City Paper
    Recently, thousands of D.C. families received the results of the MySchoolDC lottery, learning — after weeks of anxious anticipation — what their morning and afternoon commutes will look like next year. Transportation may not be the number one issue on parents' minds as they make their choices, but perhaps it should be. Back in 1969, 48 percent of U.S. kids aged 5 to 14 usually got to school on their own steam — walking or riding a bike. These days, it's more like 13 percent. Kids who get fresh air and exercise on their way to school arrive more ready to learn. Physical activity has been shown to improve attention span, classroom behavior and academic achievement.
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    Waverly-Shell Rock gets funding to replace diesel buses
    The Des Moines Register
    Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it would spend $3 million to make school transportation greener and reduce harmful health effects from diesel emissions. The EPA granted 76 school districts, including Waverly-Shell Rock Community Schools, rebates through the Diesel Emission Reduction Act to replace old, dirty diesel buses with new low-emission alternatives. What's equally commendable is how the school is using the rebate: to purchase a clean, propane-powered school bus.
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    Tennessee General Assembly to consider seat belts on school buses
    Two committees in the Tennessee General Assembly will consider a bill that would require seat belts on school buses, proposed by a Knoxville lawmaker in response to a deadly school bus crash on Asheville Highway in December. The Senate Education Committee and the House Transportation Committee are scheduled to consider the bill drafted by Rep. Joe Armstrong, D-Knoxville.
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    'Violence-free' zones improve behavior, performance in middle, high school students
    Baylor University via Science Daily
    A youth violence-reduction mentoring program for trouble-plagued schools in urban centers has contributed to improved student behavior and performance at high-risk middle and high schools in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Richmond, Virginia, according to findings of a new case study.
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    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 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.


    NAPT Dispatch

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