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Ramping Up Accessibility With Low-Floor School Buses

School bus accessibility is a major concern among school districts who find themselves with one or more mobility-impaired students. Legally, in nearly all cases, they are required to provide necessary accommodations for riding the bus. But, those accommodations can be extremely expensive to implement, particularly if a wheelchair lift needs to be installed.

Worse, once that student moves or graduates, it could be years before the lift is ever used again, making it a massive sunk cost with no foreseeable returns.

GPS Trackers Versus Bluetooth Trackers: The Major Differences

 There’s a lot of new high-tech devices being used in schools, and it’s easy to get confused about what they do, particularly when they seem to be similar products. So it’s not surprising that we get a lot of questions about GPS trackers versus Bluetooth trackers and what sets them apart.

In fact, pretty much the only thing the two technologies have in common is that they’re radio-based tracking devices. Otherwise, they have very different purposes and goals. Let’s explain:

New Federal Mandates for Entry-Level School Bus Driver Training

 Big changes to how entry-level school bus driver training is handled are coming, with new hurdles that new drivers have to clear before getting their license. These changes are coming from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a part of the Department of Transportation, and have been in the works for a number of years. Originally, these rule changes were to have gone into effect already, but several legal challenges to them delayed implementation. In November 2017, it finally became official: New bus drivers will have higher standards in 2020 and beyond.

Electric School Buses Coming In 2019 - Time To Think About Upgrading?

 An electric school bus is one of those ideas that often seems to sound better on paper than it is in practice. Everyone knows that fossil fuels won't last forever, and they’re bad for the environment. But the costs of moving to electric, and the significant drawbacks of the technology, cause a lot of districts to stick to what they know. Some have even opined that it's just not possible to create an all-electric bus with sufficient range and power to compete with traditional engine technologies.

However, that may soon change. Two major manufacturers, IC Bus and Daimler have recently announced their intention to create all-electric school buses which are fully capable of performing the job. These buses were announced November 2017, and are currently targeted for 2019 release.

4 Tips for School Bus Driver Evacuation Training

 No one likes to contemplate the idea of a school bus being involved in a major accident, such as one which leads to it flipping or rolling. But, the reality is that such accidents are always a possibility. Even the best-trained school bus driver can be undone by circumstances beyond their control.

So, bus evacuation is an aspect of bus safety training that simply can't be ignored. The school bus driver and the students need the best possible chance of escaping a bus, even under crisis conditions.

What Should a School Bus GPS Parent App Include?

More and more districts are starting to adopt GPS tracking systems in their buses, to help them track and optimize their fleets. However, GPS systems can have another big benefit. When paired with the right school bus GPS parent app, it can make life easier for parents while drastically cutting down on "where is my kid?" calls to the main office.

The two go together hand-in-hand, if you're using the right app. There are a lot of options on the market, so here are some of the most important features to look for.

Safe Kids Worldwide Promotes Stop-Arm Camera Advocacy

It’s a situation bus drivers have seen countless times: They bring the bus to a stop, extend the stop-arm, begin to let students disembark – only to see a car behind them ignore the stop sign and speed past. Every time this happens, children are endangered, and estimates are that it happens millions of times a year in America.

There’s one tactic which has shown promise in cutting down on this trend: stop-arm cameras. Much like stoplight cameras, these can capture the details of cars which disregard the bus’s stop sign, sending automated tickets to violators. Tests performed in districts with stop-arm cameras have suggested it can decrease violations by 15% in only a single year.

School Bus Drivers: 4 Bright Recruiting Ideas

Districts everywhere are suffering from a lack of school bus drivers, and the shortage shows no signs of going away. If you’re going to get the drivers you need, you often have to be more clever than other recruiters.

In previous blogs, we’ve covered many of the most obvious solutions to the problem, such as higher wages, better benefits, or more opportunities within the district. Today, let’s get a little more creative. Not all of these ideas may apply to your district, but perhaps they'll give you some ideas.

School Bus Safety: 5 Important Factors When Securing Wheel Chairs

Has your district recently reviewed their policies for dealing with wheelchair-bound students on school buses? Ever since the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1976, schools have been required to make accommodations for children in wheelchairs, including bus accessibility. Dealing with wheelchair-bound students creates unique school bus safety issues, and it's vital to do everything possible to keep them safe.

In today's blog, we wanted to touch on key aspects and best practices when working with your mobility-impaired students. If you haven't checked to ensure you're up-to-date on wheelchair policies, it's a perfect time to do so.

Student Bus Transportation: Four Goals for 2018

 Just as with every other aspect of your district, it’s important to have goals for your student bus transportation in the coming year. Some of these may simply be along the lines of “stay within all relevant regulations,” but some might be a bit more ambitious – areas – you’re hoping to improve, investments you want to make, or new initiatives you’d like to launch.

If you haven't decided on all your goals for 2018 yet, here are a few ideas...

 

 

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