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NAPT and School Bus Fleet Launch School Bus Xchange
Longtime allies to co-host unique educational event in April 2015

An innovative new professional development opportunity was announced today crafted to bring industry thought leaders together with product and service providers for two days of interaction in an intimate, educational setting called the School Bus Xchange (SBX):

The National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) and School Bus Fleet magazine, published by Bobit Business Media, will co-host the unique, exclusive annual event to provide still another dimension to NAPT's educational programs for members. The inaugural SBX will be April 6-8, 2015, in the Dallas, Texas, area. If you're interested in participating in this event, please contact NAPT headquarters at 800.989.6278 or

"For nearly 60 years School Bus Fleet has provided the pupil transportation industry with a wealth of information on the safe and efficient management and maintenance of school bus fleets," said Ty Bobit, President & CEO of Bobit Business Media. "We're excited to continue that tradition by partnering with NAPT to explore the essential components of data driven decision-making in all aspects of school transportation and procurement."

"More and more, pupil transportation professionals are using hard data, especially key performance indicators (KPIs), to make decisions," said NAPT President Keith P. Henry, CDPT, Director of Transportation for the Lee's Summit (MO) R-7 School District. "Metrics help school administrators and taxpayers understand what we do and how well we do it. This event will explore the nexus between products and services that help student transportation professionals make more informed and therefore better decisions about the services they provide and the technology they use."

SBX will explore the foundations and parameters of data driven decision-making with the goal of enhancing communications among the network of school systems and their service providers that utilize KPIs to evaluate and improve performance. Keeping the group small will enable a relevant exchange of information amongst attendees.

"Each year, SBX will be part of NAPT's ongoing emphasis on data-driven decision-making. It will be structured so participants can work collaboratively and connect the dots between operational challenges and the necessary solutions, many of which already exist or can be created quickly," remarked Mike Martin, Executive Director of NAPT. "We'll have a diverse group of attendees and suppliers in one place exchanging ideas, exploring challenges and solutions, learning from one another, and as a result building and strengthening relationships."

For further information about participating as a Public or Private Operator at the 2015 or subsequent SBX sessions, please contact NAPT headquarters at 800.989.6278 or For Industry Supplier opportunities please contact James Blue, 310.533.2449, or visit the website:

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NAPT announces first webinar of 2015!
Mark your calendar for January 28 at 1pm ET for the first NAPT member webinar of the year. The title is Secrets of Subrogation and Maximizing Claims Collection, and during this webinar you'll learn:
  • why the School Bus Industry needs to focus more attention on auto accident claims collection
  • how to collect property damage, loss of use, towing and diminished value
  • how to recover damages on cases several years old
  • the benefits of outsourcing the claims collection work
  • a model procedure
Online registration to open shortly ... save the date!

About our Presenter: Kevin Lowry has been an attorney since 1990 and he has practiced all facets of auto accidents and claims collection. Mr. Lowry is also a retired Police Chief from a 4,000 member Department, so he knows his way around an accident report. Now Kevin heads a claims collection company called TranSubro which stands for transportation subrogation. TranSubro specializes in assisting transportation companies nationwide and is a member of both NAPT and TLPA.

NAPT's LED webinar series kicks off TODAY
Space is still available ... register online!

Join your colleagues and leaders in the industry for NAPT's 2015 Leading Every Day (LED) webinar series beginning TODAY at 2pm ET. Online registration is still open!

World-renowned George Pitagorsky will serve as our facilitator for the series of 6 webinars covering Project Management and Long-Term Process Initiatives, with a focus on behavior skills. Click here to learn more about each webinar.

No need to travel! NAPT's 2015 LED initiative is easily accessible from the comfort of your office, home, and even your tablet! And all sessions will be recorded, so if one doesn't fit your schedule you'll still be able to access the recording.

Reserve your spot today!

Thinking about the 18th Annual National Special Needs Team Safety Roadeo
Co-presented by the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) and School Transportation News (STN), the Roadeo is held in conjunction with the Transporting Students with Disabilities Conference and Trade Show, which takes place March 20-25, 2015, at the Embassy Suites in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas. Click here to register your team for the Roadeo today! We note: registration for the Roadeo and for the TSD Conference are separate.

What's Included with Roadeo Registration? Teams consist of one driver and one attendant. Registration for Teams and Judges includes:
  • Complimentary breakfast in the Embassy Suites' hotel lobby (hotel guests only)
  • FREE training sessions on Friday and Saturday as part of the TSD Conference
  • 2 lunch tickets for Saturday, March 21
  • 2 entry tickets to the Roadeo Awards Banquet on Saturday evening
  • 2 T-Shirts
Looking for NAPT CSNT (Certificate of Special Needs Transportation) credit? The TSD Conference offers NAPT-approved training courses with credits toward the Special Needs Transportation (SNT) Endorsement program and the new Certificate of Special Needs Transportation (CSNT) program. These Professional Development Series (PDS) courses require additional fees separate from the conference registration cost. Follow these steps to ensure you receive credit!
  1. Register for the TSD conference — click here
  2. Register for credit for NAPT-approved courses — click here
Questions regarding NAPT’s PDS registration process should be directed to NAPT at 800.989.6278. Questions about registration for the TSD conference should be directed to STN at 310.802.7802.

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Fleet maneuvers: Keeping school buses running when winter hits
The News-Gazette
You know winter is finally here when the "STOP" arm on a school bus freezes. "It's just one of those things you can run into," said Jeremy Roark, director of transportation for the Mahomet school district, which has a fleet of 25 buses that was about to start its 18 daily routes, the first day back from holiday break, when that happened to one. Fortunately, Roark had a spare bus ready to go. "You just never know," he said.
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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

New Administrator brings renewed safety push to NHTSA
U.S. Department of Transportation
Anthony Foxx, a contributor for the U.S. Department of Transportation, writes: "It was my great pleasure earlier this week to participate in the ceremonial swearing-in of Mark Rosekind as the Administrator of our National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. I made this simple task one of our first post-holiday activities for one reason: it may be a new year, but our commitment to safety as DOT's number one priority remains firm."
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Are you considering a 4-day school week in your district?
By: Dr. Sheri Williams
The shift to extended-day, four-day school weeks started in New Mexico in the early 1970s. The New Mexico Legislature approved the change "to deal with the high transportation and electric costs during the energy crisis." Is your district considering moving to a four-day school week and unsure how to proceed? Take some time exploring the benefits and potential pitfalls before proceeding. The decision to move to a shorter week requires careful examination.
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The price at the pump bring smiles to a school district
For many of us, watching the price of gas go down is a nice welcome to our wallet. But how have prices affected those who rely on fuel every day? On days like Thursday, being outside can be tough on both you and your car. And it can be tougher on bigger vehicles like school buses. Winter takes a toll on the buses, and what type of fuel going into it's tank can be the difference between a school day and a snow day. Officials with the Hinton School District say when ever they need to fill up, they shoot for low prices.
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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.

What should we expect from the 114th Congress?
Education Week
Welcome to the 114th Congress! Recently, lawmakers gathered on Capitol Hill for the start of the new legislative session, one which we at Politics K-12 hope will be exciting on the education policy front. Republican leaders in both chambers have highlighted immigration, the Keystone pipeline, and a veterans' jobs bill as early priorities. But our hope for a busy education calendar is bolstered by the education committee chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who has signaled his intention to send a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to through committee by Valentine's Day.
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Miss an issue of the NAPT Dispatch? Click here to visit the NAPT Dispatch archive page.

How school superintendents decide to close
We know it's going to be dangerously cold, but how cold does it have to get for schools to close? Talking with school superintendents, the most popular threshold for cancelling school seems to be 20 degrees below with the wind chill. Ken-Ton already used three snow days during the November snow storm when staff members weren't able to make it in. The district has two snow days left. "But that isn't so much a factor as safety when we're making the decision," says Ken-Ton Superintendent Dawn Mirand.
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School districts prep buses for cold weather
Many districts are making plans to make sure school buses are warmed up and ready to hit the road, despite the extremely cold weather. "We have a plan," David Weissman said. When word came about arctic air moving through the Southeast, Lexington-Richland 5's Transportation Director David Weissman started making preparations. "We've got extra maintenance staff on hand tomorrow morning, we've already pre-positioned some additional buses," he said.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    School buses: America's largest transit system (The Heartland Institute)
What is bullying? (District Administration Magazine)
What to do for kids with no Internet at home? How about parking a Wi-Fi-enabled school bus near their trailer park? (The Hechinger Report)
Busting the student data privacy myth (Scholastic Administrator)
Is racial deisolation costing Worcester, Mass., millions in school transportation? (GoLocalWorcester)

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

Report: New York's school schedule wastes billions of dollars
The Huffington Post
School schedules with afternoon dismissals and long summer breaks contribute to an achievement gap between low-income and wealthier students and waste billions of dollars a year, according to a report from ReadyNation, which advocates education policies that prepare students for work. Students tend to forget what they've learned over summer break, according to research, and low-income students lose more because their families are less likely to afford care and activities that promote learning. ReadyNation says low-income students lose an average of two months of education each summer — more than higher-income students.
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Schools take extra precautions to keep students warm
Some school districts called crews in early to make sure buses will start properly during the dangerous cold. Channel 2's Richard Elliot was at the Georgia's Marietta City Schools bus barn to see how school officials prepared for the cold. Bus drivers arrived early to get their buses nice and warm before they headed out to pick up children. School transportation director Mark Lindstrom said the bitter cold offers a lot of challenges, including the possibility of dead batteries.
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Schools on guard as flu deaths rise
The Wall Street Journal
Schools are taking precautions such as disinfecting buildings and reminding parents to keep sick youngsters at home as an intensifying flu season nationwide has led to a higher number of deaths among children so far. At least 21 children have died from influenza, the federal government said, compared with six at the same point a year ago. Still, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was too early to ascertain whether this season would be worse than in years past. Cases may rise as students return after winter break, school officials said.
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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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Hailey Golden, Senior Education Editor, 469.420.2630  
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