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NAPT Board members take on new leadership responsibilities
Keith P. Henry, CDPT, Director of Transportation for the Lee's Summit (MO) R-7 School District, is the new President of the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT).

"I am honored to be President of NAPT," said Henry, "and I am humbled by the opportunity my peers have given me. NAPT has a long, rich history filled with notable, successful leaders; one of my goals is to maintain the standard of excellence they have created. I will do my best, with the help of my family, friends and faith, to overcome the challenges and seize the opportunities associated with leading this great organization."

Henry, who was president-elect when NAPT President Don Carnahan died on October 3, became NAPT president immediately afterward but told the Board he would continue to consider himself president-elect until the Summit.

"It was very important to me — and fortunately the entire Board agreed — that people understand the invaluable role Don played at this year's NAPT Summit," said Henry. "Don wanted us to re-imagine and re-engineer every component of our conference. He worked closely with the staff and was involved in every aspect of decision-making for 11 months. This was HIS conference as much as anyone's. He deserved the utmost respect and I wanted to ensure he received it."

Henry will serve as president for the remainder of Carnahan's term and begin his own 2-year term next year. NAPT Region 3 Director Steve A. Simmons III has been asked by the NAPT board to serve as acting President-elect until the next NAPT election, which will be held in November 2015 in Richmond, Virginia.

"The NAPT President-elect is an integral member of our management team," said Henry. "It's a key position in our oversight of day-to-day operations. Steve's extensive experience in this arena, particularly his volunteer work with the Ohio Association for Pupil Transportation (OAPT), made him a logical and unanimous choice for this role among his peers on the board. We are fortunate he has agreed to help us continue to meet the needs of our members, including and especially our state association partners."

"While I am honored to serve in this interim capacity," said Simmons, "I am also sad. If Don were alive I wouldn't need to do it. But we must move forward and I am willing to do whatever I can to help my teammates on the Board create products and services that enhance communication, leadership, education, advocacy and research that will help our members." According to NAPT Executive Director Mike Martin, Simmons' change in positions leaves a vacancy on the board for Region 3 Director.

"Our by-laws require the Board to fill that vacancy but they want to hear from our members, including our state association partners, in that region first," said Martin. "Steve will make an outreach to NAPT members in Region 3 to find out who is interested in the position. Whenever members in that region reach a consensus on who they want as their representative, the board will make an appointment."

Elections were held in Kansas City for the NAPT Director seats in Regions 2 and 4. NAPT Region 2 Director Barry Sudduth, CDPT-SNT, Director of Transportation for the Stafford County (VA) Public Schools, and Region 4 Director Kenny Mulder, CDPT-SNT, Director of Transportation for Special School District 6 in Ferguson, MO, ran unopposed and were therefore re-elected by acclamation of the membership at the association's annual business meeting on Saturday, November 8th. Each will serve another 3-year term on the Board. Sudduth has been re-appointed Chair of the NAPT Committee on Professional Growth and Mulder has been re-appointed Chair of the NAPT Committee on Specialized Transportation.

"I am really pleased and very fortunate to have another term on the Board," said Sudduth. "I not only enjoy working with the NAPT staff and my teammates on the Board, I am excited by the opportunities we have to expand our educational programs. It has been both fun and challenging to try and keep up with the demand for our products and services. I appreciate the continued support and confidence of NAPT members in the Southeastern states and I am committed to providing all of our members our best education ever next year, especially when they join us next November in Richmond for the 2015 NAPT Summit."

"It's a real honor to be re-elected to represent NAPT members in Region 4," said Mulder. "I'm happy to have the opportunity to keep working on NAPT's specialized transportation initiatives, like the Team Safety Roadeo we co-sponsor with STN and the hands-on training we integrated into the recently completed America's Best event in Kansas City. I believe we do can even more for our members that provide specialized transportation and our business partners that work in this market segment. In fact, that's one of my personal and professional goals and the primary reason I wanted to serve another term."


NAPT wraps up 40th Annual Summit!
Last week Kansas City, MO served as host for NAPT's 40th Annual Summit: Driving Innovation. More than over 600 Delegates and nearly 800 vendors enjoyed a packed program with industry experts and nationally-recognized speakers, a live-action demonstration with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Lee's Summit Police Department, and a one-day Trade Show. And, for the first time ever, NAPT's America's Best Training and Skills Challenge took place in conjunction with the Summit.

Throughout the event NAPT took the opportunity to recognize individual and industry accomplishments. Congratulations to all of our 2014 award recipients!
  • NAPT Hall of Fame — Bill Loshbough
  • NAPT Distinguished Service — Frank Di Giacomo, Publisher, School Bus Fleet
  • Leland E.G. "Lee" Larson Quality Award — Volusia County Schools (Florida), Gregory Akin, Director of Transportation
  • NAPT Special Heroism Award — Tre' Watts, Dale County, AL
  • NAPT Annual Heroism Award, sponsored by Blue Bird Corporation — Chuck Dziegiel, Driver, Galway CSD (New York)
  • School Bus Training & Safety Award, sponsored by IC Corporation — Marshall Casey, Casey's Kustoms, LLC
  • Continuing Education Award, sponsored by Thomas Built Buses — Ronna Gerst, Assistant Director, Douglas County School District (Colorado) and Keith Kaup, Director, Sheldon ISD (Texas)
  • Bluth-Eisman Field Trip Scholarship Recipients — USD 253 Emporia (Kansas) and Ferguson-Florissant School District (Missouri)
  • School Bus Fleet Administrator of the Year — Jim Beekman, Senior Director, Orange County Public Schools (Florida)
  • STN Leadership Award — Kenny Mulder, CDPT-SNT, Transportation Director, Special School District (Missouri)
Stay tuned for award winner profiles throughout the coming weeks.

To learn more about NAPT awards, visit our website.

Be sure to take a look at this year's photos. Also, check out this year's National School Bus Safety Week poster contest winners. This year's poster theme was "Be Smart — Be Seen, I wait in a safe place!" Congratulations to this year's overall winner, Naomi Tu, an 8th grader at Jackson Middle School (Anoka-Hennepin ISD #011, Minnesota).

Many thanks to this year's program sponsors! Their support allowed us to put together an outstanding program.

Save the date now for our 41st Annual Summit — November 6-10, 2015 in Richmond, VA. We look forward to seeing you there!

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NAPT's LED program tackles project management
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!

Try NAPT's new 3D website and start making more Data Driven Decisions
NAPT is pleased to announce the launch of its new website that will provide school transportation service providers with information and feedback that will encourage them to speak a common language and make more data driven decisions.

According to NAPT President Keith Henry, CDPT, "Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are becoming increasingly important in the pupil transportation industry. They help school administrators and taxpayers understand what we do and how well we do it. NAPT is committed to providing everyone with the information needed to provide the best service possible to their local communities."

Under the leadership of then President Alexandra Robinson, M.Ed., CDPT, NAPT began its Data Driven Decisions (3D) project in November of 2012. A team of volunteers, led by Peter Lawrence, Ed.D, Director of Transportation at the Fairport (NY) Central Schools and Michael Shields, Director of Transportation at the Salem-Keizer (OR) Public Schools, developed 10 metrics that have been used as the core of a dashboard that is easy to understand and will foster communication by helping people with similarities connect.

"One of our goals from the start has been to facilitate discussion and interaction among as many people as possible and give them a chance to participate in this project," Henry continued. "We analyzed a variety of information technology and ultimately decided to create our own system. It took longer than anticipated and was a lot more work, but we have total control of it and can adjust it as necessary to meet demand and expectations."

Phase 1 of this project is now complete. We encourage all NAPT members (and non-members too) to visit the 3D website, download a data worksheet, compile the necessary information and then enter it in the system to receive instant feedback via 5 free KPI's.

Stay tuned for additional information about Phase 2, which is slated to begin next month.

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St. Louis schools will get advance notice of grand jury decision
USA Today
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.
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Communities struggle to reach homeless students living in the shadows
It's late afternoon and the day has just ended at a Los Angeles school. Students are making their way toward the parking lot, where a dusty 2001 Ford Taurus stands out among the shiny SUVs filled with waiting parents. Kids walk by and stare. In the backseat of the Taurus, James, a tall 14-year-old boy in a checkered shirt, smiles. He is familiar with the stares. He never told anyone that he was once homeless, but they knew. It's hard to hide homelessness from other kids, he says. They want to know why you're wearing the same shirt and why you look tired.
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  Good News For Your District

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. Learn more

Officials to review different options for parking school buses
Westport News
The newly formed joint School Bus Parking Task Force — established by Westport, Connecticut, and school officials to review possible alternate locations for parking buses at public and privately owned sites — held its first meeting. The group includes members of the Board of Education, Board of Finance, Representative Town Meeting and the Selectmen's Office.
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How bullying may physically alter our developing brains
By: Dorothy L. Tengler
It's no mystery that the brain develops before birth and continues throughout adulthood. But we may not have considered that brain development is analogous to building a house: laying the foundation, framing the rooms and installing electrical wiring. Obviously, laying a solid foundation builds a strong brain structure, while a weak foundation creates a faulty structure. At birth, we are born with billions of neurons, the same number as adults. These specialized cells have to be connected or "wired" to form circuits to control different functions from basic to biological ones.
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AUTO-JET MUFFLER Corporation has been manufacturing school bus exhaust systems since 1959. There have been many additions to bring it to its current size of about 65,000 square feet. Terry has also built a muffler manufacturing business that manufactures heavy duty all welded mufflers, United Muffler in London Ontario, Canada to compliment the tube bending business.

Study outlines options for cost savings in Oklahoma's school districts
The Moore American
Oklahoma's school districts can redirect more funding to teachers and classrooms by streamlining and consolidating administrative costs, offering parents more choices for their children and eliminating waste, said Sen. Kyle Loveless. The Oklahoma State Senate Education Subcommittee on Appropriations held an interim study spurred by legislation authored by Loveless last session. The bill would have consolidated administrative spending for more than 200 Oklahoma school districts with 250 or fewer students, which Loveless said could have resulted in more than $35 million in savings to be redirected to classrooms.
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Cracking the Code: Are the tires on your school bus safe?
When your child gets on the school bus each morning you want your child to be safe. But safety experts Sean Kane and Matt Wetherington said your child could be riding on an invisible hazard: an old tire that looks okay on the outside but may actually be dangerous. "Tires age dangerously and they age from the chemical process called oxidation." Wetherington said. Think of an aging tire like a rubber band. When its new, it stretches just fine but when its old it cracks and pops. "When you have a tire that has aged even if it hasn't been put into service, the material degrades over time," Kane said.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Transportation costs may dictate school start times (Chesterfield Observer)
School districts cope with shortage of bus drivers (
School district using software to track students on buses (WISH-TV)
Many school buses still don't have seat belts (Orange County Register)
States slashing education spending (24/7 Wall St.)

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

Goodbye to snow days as students study from home
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post
She's no Grinch about it, but Lynn Grewing is the principal who stole snow days. The early arrival of wintry weather in the Midwest this week gave Grewing an opening to test out a virtual class day at St. Cloud Cathedral high school in central Minnesota, having students whip out laptops or iPads and work from home. After a successful test run, Grewing declared that students' cherished snow days are a thing of the past — at least at Cathedral.
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Lack of crossing help from school buses creates concern
The owner of a southwest Portland daycare says school bus drivers who drop off her young clients won't help them cross the street, leaving her and the kids to cross busy Taylors Ferry Road on their own. Amy Pluedeman runs a small daycare out of her home and picks up her young clients at the Tigard-Tualatin District bus stop nearby. Pluedeman said this year the buses stopped helping the group cross the street. Instead of remaining at a stop with the "Stop" sign extended, the buses simply closed the doors and drove off.
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Education Department drops new NCLB waiver guidance
U.S. News & World Report
The Department of Education is letting states apply to renew their waivers from No Child Left Behind, President George W. Bush's landmark education reform law, for three and in some cases four more years, but they'll have to do more to show they're turning around low-performing schools and closing student achievement gaps.
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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

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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