COVID-19 necessitates continual adjustments as students returning to school contract the virus and decreasing state budgets leave less funding for new buses. But there’s good news, as districts innovate in online staff training and alternative fuel buses receive attention. Transportation Director Terry Penn shares the back-to-school transportation plan for Rockwall ISD in Texas, and STN Publisher Tony Corpin previews the new virtual Bus Technology Summit. Register today at BusTechSummit.com.
Conditions for reopening schools, leveraging technology for student safety and education, hand sanitizer on the bus––get the latest on these topics and more on this week’s podcast. Mike Bullman, who oversees maintenance for all South Carolina school buses, joins STN Publisher Tony Corpin & Associate Editor Taylor Hannon to share the integral role that the bus garage plays in prepping for school startup in the age of COVID-19. Meet STN’s 2020 Garage Stars in our August issue at stnonline.com/g
As the discussion on whether schools should reopen to in-person instruction continues, hear what the Republican proposal for COVID-19 federal funding and unemployment benefits could mean for student transportation. Transportation supervisor Anthony Pollard provides details on his Alabama district's transportation plans and shares how good relationships between school administration and bus drivers are crucial to a school restart amid COVID-19. Learn more at stnonline.com/tag/back-to-school.
As federal, state and local guidance varies on reopening schools amid the coronavirus, 2 school districts—one in central Florida & one in southern Alberta, Canada—present solutions they’ve developed for masks, physical distancing, bus cleaning, driver training, routing and more. Dr. Alice Kuo, head of pediatrics medicine at UCLA, shares the science behind the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation for students to safely return to in-person classes. Learn more at stnonline.com/tag/corona
As some medical experts urge holding in-person classes this fall, the STARTS Task Force released guidance to drive student transportation decisions. Consultant & task force co-manager Tim Ammon sheds light on how school districts should use the 70-page report and accompanying toolkit. Additionally, Dr. Lori Desautels of Butler University addresses the mental strain that the coronavirus has taken, especially on students with special needs, and how student transporters can help. Read more at stnonline.com.
Efforts at the federal and state government levels are encouraging a return to school, but what does that mean for student transporters? Katrina Falk, director of transportation for Shelby Eastern Schools in Indiana, discusses her district’s approved back-to-school plan, school bus driver preparation, and technology & contact tracing. Read about Falk at stnonline.com/tag/decade and find more district plans at stnonline.com/tag/back-to-school. Plus, listen for a sneak peek of some exciting STN news!
School transportation departments are finalizing guidelines & processes for when yellow buses start rolling. Parents are likewise concerned about their children’s safety & risk of coronavirus on the bus. Transportation Director Greg Jackson from Jeffco Public Schools in Denver brings unique insights to the conversations of temperature checking students before boarding, as well as routing and bell-time changes due to increased health and safety measures. Read more at stnonline.com/tag/coronaviru
With operational costs rising due to COVID-19 precautions and with budget dollars dropping, school district transportation departments are facing many questions about how to best keep students, drivers and aides safe on school buses while still providing optimal service. Transportation Director Pam McDonald shares what Orange Unified School District in Southern California is doing and brings an uplifting message. Learn how other districts are handling school startup at stnonline.com/tag/coronavirus.
Transportation directors must balance many concerns—including state guidelines, health expert advice, district administration decisions, and parental anxiety—to run school bus routes during the new coronavirus pandemic. Michael Shields, the retiring director of transportation for Salem Keizer Public Schools in Oregon, shares how inserting transportation into the conversation early and investing in personal relationships is key to finalizing procedures and having a successful school startup.
As states release plans on school reopening after coronavirus closures, student transporters must ensure they can stay funded and compliant with health guidelines. Consultant Alexandra Robinson joins Tony and Ryan to discuss inclusivity in the ranks of school transportation leadership, as well as how the yellow bus facilitates educational access for all students, regardless of race or disabilities. Read her blog at stnonline.com/blogs.