A Superintendent’s Thoughts about Pupil Transportation Services Georgia Association for Pupil Transportation “Meeting the Challenges of Transportation” 44 th Annual Conference Jekyll Island Convention Center June 19, 2008. General Thoughts. No Child Left Behind – literally!.
A Superintendent’s Thoughts aboutPupil Transportation ServicesGeorgia Association for Pupil Transportation“Meeting the Challenges of Transportation”44th Annual ConferenceJekyll Island Convention CenterJune 19, 2008
No Child Left Behind – literally!
High-quality, safe, and cost effective transportation services
Understanding that pupil transportation services is a highly complex operation and a very visible service
Over the past few years, motorists have become more aggressive on the road.
Strongly Agree 57%
Strongly Disagree 12%
Just as teachers are the most critical component for student academic success, bus drivers are the most critical component of effective pupil transportation services.
Bus drivers must manage their “classrooms” with their backs to 70+ students while driving down the road in a safe manner.
Why did you become a bus driver?
What would make your job more satisfying?
School site administrators are actively interested in the behavior of their students on school buses.
Strongly Agree 12%
Strongly Disagree 17%
Building administrators should be required to ride a school bus at least once a semester to understand some of the concerns of the bus drivers.
Strongly Agree 72%
Strongly Disagree 3%
What is your greatest challenge, either inside of the bus or outside the bus?
Violence has increased on school buses in recent years.
Strongly Agree 42%
Strongly Disagree 6%
School bus drivers are adequately equipped to handle behavior problems on the bus.
Strongly Agree 4%
Strongly Disagree 32%
Bus drivers should have the authority to suspend students from the bus.
Strongly Agree 39%
Strongly Disagree 18%
Which area of driver training could use more emphasis at your operation
Passenger management 53%
Behind the wheel 19%
Emergency procedures 16%
Dealing with special needs 11%
The school transportation operation must present an image of professionalism at all times. Often the school bus driver is the only contact a parent may have with the school district for several weeks or months.
Drivers must present a good public image of pupil transportation services at all times.
Practice Five-Star Service
Must be data-driven
Student load counts
Percentage of eligible students being transported
Number of accidents/traffic violations
Employee attendance/absenteeism/overtime pay
Transportation funding in Georgia is woefully underfunded.
No idling policies
Most efficient routes
Field trips/extracurricular activities
Transporting only eligible students
Beginning/ending points for routes/drivers
Amending school calendars
Legal obligations: IDEA and Section 504
Must provide transportation for students to benefit from their IEPs
Accommodating wheelchair students
Providing aides or special assistance
Customizing bus routes
Providing alternative transportation when necessary
Transport with nondisabled peers whenever possible
Section 504 students
Cannot discriminate because of disabilities
Must provide reasonable accommodations
Lack of communication or support
Suspending students from buses
Overly restricting or segregating student transportation
Making blanket, overly rigid rules
Forgetting the small details
Provide adequate/appropriate training
Engage the Transportation Department
Create backup and emergency plans
Open lines of communication
Develop a Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP)
Establish performance standards
Develop a plan for the opening of school
How can you improve your service?
Recruiting, training, retaining quality employees
Being accountable and data-driven
Understanding that Pupil Transportation Services contribute to student success
Presenting a positive image at all times
We all are in this together!