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Transporter

Transporter
Minnesota Association
for Pupil Transportation
Spring 2014
INTHIS ISSUE
Page 2
Presidents Message
Page 3
2014 Transportation
Administrator of Year
Page 4
Taking Transportation
Into the Tech Age
Page 5
Stop ArmMobile Video
Page 6
ATime for Recognition
Page 7
Driver Shortage?
Page 8
Out on the Road
Page 9
Poster Contest Results
Page 10
Train the Trainer
Page 11
Viewon Outsourcing
Page 12
Challenging Status Quo
Page 14
Post-Trip Inspection
Quality Employees Require Quality Training
MAPT to offer Train the Trainer in July
Training is essential to the achievements
of a district. Perhaps the most positive
benefit comes by way of better employees.
A district develops the potential of an
employee, and part of the way a district
encourages improvement through training.
Often, good training is just as important as a
good benefits package for an employee.
For districts, training allows them to
locate a wider range of people with the kind
of outlook that matches the district mission
statement. The right kind of perspective is a
hard thing to cultivate, whereas workplace
specific proficiencies are easier to nurture.
The other advantage districts should
remember about training is it offers them an
important retention rate. Employees are
more loyal to districts that value their
growth and want to cultivate it, and thusly
provide a better performance and decrease
the rollover rate at any district, no matter
how large or small. If an employee thinks a
district values him or her, the sentiment will
go into whatever the employee is doing -
driving a school bus, training new drivers,
dealing with customers, etc.
However, the kind of training an
employee receives is very important.
Allowing an employee to simply pass
through a sort of substandard 101 training
course does not ensure improvement.
Cheap training will result in cheap work.
Quality employees require quality training
programs. Excellent training programs
emphasize a correlation between personal
development and official evaluation.
Allowing an employee to discern that
success means evolving their expertise with
industry-specific training.
Train The Trainer is not only about
improving skills related to their specific field,
such as government regulations, MDE
updates, safety training, conducting proper
inspections, setting up proper alcohol and
drug testing; but, its also improving skills
related to their interpersonal
communications.
The short-term expense of a training
program ensures you retain qualified and
productive workers who will help your
district succeed.
Thats an investment you can take to the
bank.
MAPT Presents... MAPT Presents...
Train The Trainer
July 711, 2014
Register online at
mapttrainthetrainer.com
- Hardy Minnesotans: Perspective -
Presidents Message
I am sure everyone would agree we had a memorable winter through-
out the U.S. this year. I had the opportunity to be in Nashville for the
Special Transportation Conference this winter, warm weather right?
Wrong! The third day of the conference a storm rolled through, and it
caused closures throughout the city of Nashville, including schools,
businesses, etc. It impacted hotel staff, many of them could not make it
into work, which meant, no housekeeping services. I had a chance to see
this nasty weather that paralyzed a city.
I was amazed when I looked outside to see what we call a dusting of
snow had just shut a city down. Tropical temps of 23 degrees above zero;
yes, above zero - caused a buzz among the locals.
All week people would ask How do you live in Minnesota with those
temps? How many days have you closed school this year because of the
cold?
I would chuckle, and tell them Oh, -20 it is the new norm for us in
Minnesota. We only closed four days this year in my District.
They were amazed that the buses, or even personal vehicles would run
in those kind of temperatures. That experience reminded me that people
from Minnesota are pretty hardy.
After much reflection, I thought about those hardy Minnesotans.
The people that work tirelessly day in and day out in those -20 degrees
temperatures and windchills. They are out starting buses before most of
us think about crawling out of bed. Looking back now, it sure was easy
for me to tell the Superintendent, Yes, we can run today. Its cold, but all
the buses are running. They can do it.
Who is we, and they, and what do they mean?
we [wee]
plural pronoun, possessive our or ours, objective us.
1.nominative plural of I.
2.(used to denote oneself and another or others)
they [they]
plural pronoun, possessive their or theirs, objective them.
1.nominative plural of he, she, and it.
2.people in general:
plural [ploor-uhl]
adjective
1.consisting of, containing, or pertaining to more than one.
2.pertaining to or involving a plurality of persons or things.
...continued on next page
Kala Henkensiefken
MAPT President
Kala Henkensiefken has worked in the
Transportation field since 1989 when
she started as a school bus driver.
She is currently the Transportation
Coordinator for Brainerd Public
Schools (ISD 181).
Kala has been active member in the
MNAPT organization in various
capacities since 1998. She is the
current MAPT President, MAPT
Special Transportation Committee
Chair, and sits on the Train The
Trainer planning committee.
Kala is a certified Child Passenger
Safety Technician, and recently
completed the NAPT Special Needs
Transportation Program.
...Hardy Minnesotans continued
We includes the mechanics who spend hours before dawn starting buses to make sure the fleet is ready to
go. Its the mechanics who replace broken bus parts like they have never seen before. They say it is due to the
extreme cold temperatures these parts are breaking like never before.
We are the school bus drivers who, day in and day out, make sure our kids make it to school, have a warm
bus ride, and make it safely back home. All while the driver feels the chill of -20 each time they open that bus
door. If it isnt the cold, its the snow and ice packed roads they have to deal with, all while safely delivering our
children.
So, the next time you see the we in your organization, thank them for a job well done. Our drivers and
mechanics did an amazing job this winter to get our kids to and from school through wind, rain, sleet and snow!
They have done an amazing job in some of the worst conditions we have had for many, many years.
They need a big Thank You from each of us.
Respectfully,
Kala Henkensiefken
MAPT President
Each year, MAPT solicits nominations for its
Transportation Administrator of the Year Award.
This year, we received four nominations.
After reviewing the nominations and scoring
the achievements of each candidate, the judges
selected Ken Willms, Transportation Manager at
Duluth Public Schools.
Superintendent William Gronseth, along with
Executive Director of Business Services William
Hanson, traveled to St. Paul and were present at
the 2014 School Bus Safety Expo where the award
was presented to Ken.
This award recognizes Kens leadership and
excellence in the area of student transportation.
Ken has worked in student transportation for over
30 years, nearly 25 of them as a manager. He serves
as Region 4 Director for MAPT and is a former
Secretary and President of MAPT.
We are honored to recognize Ken with this
award, noted MAPT Treasurer Greg Liedl. Not
only is he a great guy, but he is also dedicated to
this organization and the field of student
transportation. We applaud and thank him!
Congratulations to Ken Willms for paving the
way for transportation professionals everywhere!
Ken Willms (center) was honored by the Duluth School Board
during its January 2014 meeting. Also appearing in the photo
are Board President Mike Miernicki (left) and Duluth Public
Schools Superintendent Bill Gronseth.
Transportation Administrator of the Year
Ken Willms, Duluth Public Schools, Earns 2014 Honor
Do you know a worthy
NOMINEE?
Watch Facebook for details on the 2015 process.
By John Thomas
Transportation Coordinator
Eastern Carver County School District
Student transportation isnt just getting the kids to
school by 8am and taking them home at 3pm anymore.
Today, we are needed to serve special programs
such as Early Childhood, homeless situations, and
care and treatment needs. We have families with
separate households, single parents, and families
where English is a second language. Students these
days are dealing with bullying, stranger-danger
circumstances, and troubles at home. No, our industry
isnt just getting the kids to and from school anymore.
Its much more.
I think its safe to say that all of us have been asked
by our administration and school board to cut costs,
run efficiently as possible, and often times, go without.
We do everything we can to make this happen, while
still providing a safe, reliable ride for our students.
There have been some significant technological
advances in the transportation industry in the last 20
years, and there are even more on the horizon.
Changing habits and trying new things is hard to do
for some. Finding the funding is always a challenge as
well. But once the newness passes, and we can see
new technology in real time situations, quite often we
embrace it and value it. Most of us use some kind of
computerized routing program now. GPS is
becoming a standard rather than a wish, and internal
camera systems have proven their value over and over
again.
I am a vocal advocate for using technology to keep
our system running efficiently, assist our drivers in any
way possible to make sure they can do their job safely,
and to ensure that our students have the best possible
transportation. Im privileged to be supported by my
administration and school board, and I value the
partnership my department has with our contractors.
Recently, we have rolled out two new services to our
community that were very proud of:
Wi-Fi in our school buses: In the spring of 2013
we installed Wi-Fi units on 25 of our buses that are
designated our field trip buses. We received an
internal grant from the School Board to help with this
project, because they saw the potential of offering
students an opportunity to do school work while on
late night or weekend sports trips. This opportunity
also allowed teachers to take their class out of the
classroom. By using personal tablets, students can
still be doing work while riding the bus on a field trip
and can immediately enter data and work on projects,
instead of waiting until they returned to the classroom.
In the fall, with the assistance of our Transportation
Contractors, we added Wi-Fi to the rest of the fleet, so
now every student is able to access the internet while
on a bus, even during their route.
MyStop bus locator: This winter, we rolled out
MyStop. MyStop is a feature of Versa-Trans On-
Screen program, that allows a parent to log-in on-line
and receive a real time message letting them know
what time their childs bus is expected at the bus stop.
It also gives the parent a map screen with a small
arrow that shows where the bus is currently on the
route. Our intent was to give our parents an additional
tool that will let them know where the bus is, and to
reduce the number of phone calls we receive in our
office. This is especially valuable on days with bad
weather where buses might be delayed.
Initially, you might think, well those are nice to
have, but we dont need them and cant afford that.
The challenge we all have is to find the value, and sell
it to the powers that approve the budget. In the case of
the Wi-Fi, an added benefit we immediately realized
was that our student discipline issues decreased
significantly. Students were engaged and occupied on
long rides, and drivers were able to focus more
attention on driving safely.
Taking Transportation into the Technological Age
I am a vocal advocate for using
technology to keep our system
running efficiently, assist our drivers
in any way possible to make sure they
can do their job safely, and to ensure
that our students have the best
possible transportation.
Our Contractors recognized this and were eager to
help us install Wi-Fi on the route buses. MyStop was a
feature of a program we already had, and our
Superintendent was clear that he wanted to offer it to
the parents as soon as possible. Once word got out
that we were running MyStop, I heard from many of
you that your superintendent had inquired about it
and told you to make it happen. You cant get any
better support that from your own superintendent!
As I stated earlier, once the newness wears off,
and you can see real-time results, I hope you can agree
there are some fantastic technical advances available to
make all of our jobs easier. There will be a day in the
near future, whether its 2 years, 5 years, or soon after,
that Wi-Fi will be standard and expected. Parents are
going to demand immediate answers to where their
bus is at. Well be looking at the next new thing.
So what actually IS in the near future?
At our local and national trade shows, were seeing
student tracking systems, on-board computers that
would eliminate paper route copies, and exterior
camera systems that specifically catch motorists
running stop arms. All of these would make the job of
transporting our students safer, easier, and more
efficient.
And those are good things to look forward to.
Technology: Expectations Increase as Times Change
By Dan Bacon
Director of Property Services and Transportation
Moorhead Area School District
Throughout the 2013-2014 school year, the Moorhead
Area Public Schools began installing school bus on-board
video cameras for the purpose of identifying drivers of
vehicles that violate stop-signal arm laws. To date, this
program has proven to be very successful!
Here is the data that I have been able to acquire with
the cooperation of the Moorhead Police Department.
Benefits:
The school bus drivers are reporting more violations
and experience reporting to court less frequently.
School bus drivers feel better about reporting violations
with the confidence of having all of the correct
information needed.
Bus drivers can prioritize their attention to their
students, rather than trying to record violator vehicle
information.
Law enforcement is able to show violators what the
violation looked like, thus reducing drivers ability to
minimize or contest their responsibility.
Prosecuting attorney is able to produce video evidence
in court supporting the driving violation.
As the public becomes aware of stop-signal arm video;
this heightens their awareness to school bus safety.
Additional considerations:
A policy and video retention schedule must be
developed.
Staff time to manage video collection and providing
copies to law enforcement.
We anticipate seeing continued higher rates of
reported stop-arm law violations until the point that the
driving public learns of this technology. Our ultimate
objective isnt to increase the number of citations, but to
reduce the number of school stop-arm violations that take
place.
Improving Traffic Safety Around School Buses
Stop Arm Mobile Video Recorders First year experience
School Year Violations Reported
2011-2012 68
2012-2013 69
2013-2014
(through May 15, 2014)
94
A Time for Recognition
- Hofschulte earns Life Saving Award -
By Lt. Brian Reu
Minnesota State Patrol
As we near the end of another school year,
companies and organizations are taking time to
recognize outstanding employees. We have been invited
to attend several of these award presentations and
appreciate the opportunity to express our
congratulations to the recipients.
While this year has not been without serious
incidents, crashes and challenges, there have also been
moments when drivers and bus assistants have taken
heroic actions to keep students safe. Two such
incidents involved school bus fires situations referred
to by the NTSB as Thermal Events. In each case, the
drivers and bus assistants used their training to safely
evacuate students from the bus.
These are high-profile events and certainly deserve
recognition and awards, but I also want to express our
appreciation to drivers all around the state for the
actions they take on a daily basis to ensure their
students make it to school and back safely. These
actions include conducting a thorough pre-trip
inspection, managing student behavior while ensuring
that each child is properly seated, driving with due
diligence and attention, and checking the buses upon
completion of each route to ensure that each child made
it to their destination safely. Some might consider these
to be minor things however, if any of these steps are
skipped, the chances of something terrible happening
increase significantly.
The State Patrol held an awards banquet recently,
and I was able to attend as one of our school bus
inspectors was recognized for actions that earned him a
Life Saving Award.
The Life Saving Award is given to employees who
prevent the death of another person under conditions in
which no unusual hazard exists to the employee
involved. I had the privilege of presenting the award to
CVI Ethan Hofschulte at the southeastern Minnesota
Regional Safety and Compliance Outreach in Byron.
It was a great opportunity to present Ethan with this
award in the presence of several of his peers and
associates he works with.
Ethan was nominated for his actions related to a
crash that occurred on February 18, 2014. While he was
enroute to Zumbrota to conduct school bus inspections
CVI Hofschulte came across a rollover crash in the
median of Highway 52. The crash had just occurred; no
one else was on scene and the snow was still settling.
Ethan stopped to assist and advised State Patrol
dispatch of the situation. A Ford Ranger was on its
side, and the driver was buried under the snow and
trapped inside of the vehicle. The doors of the vehicle
were locked, so Ethan used his flashlight to break out
the passenger-side window to gain access. Ethan and
another passerby broke out the windshield to improve
access. They dug the snow away from the drivers head
and face, and she told them that she was finally able to
breathe. Ethan's quick thinking and actions that day
clearly helped save this womans life.
As the year closes, we know this may be a time of
transition. To those who will be off for the summer,
I wish you a peaceful and relaxing break. Some may be
continuing to work throughout the summer,
transporting students, and I wish you continued safety
as you travel the roads. Many are choosing to retire this
year, and Im sure this is an exciting time for you.
I want to say thank you to each of you in the student
transportation industry for your continued dedication
and passion.
Until we see you again, drive safely!
CVI Ethan Hofschulte was honored for his heroic actions in
helping save a womans life in February 2014 near Zumbrota.
By Keith Paulson
Transportation Director
Anoka-Hennepin Schools
BOY ARE WE TIGHT ON DRIVERS!
This seems to be a theme throughout the area and
perhaps nation. We are patching things together to
get trips covered. We are combining teams on buses
and shifting times a little so we can provide options for
athletes. We dont say no we say heres what we
CAN do.
So why are we short drivers? Is it the demand for
transportation services? Is it the economy picking up?
This was a topic briefly discussed at the last Issues
Committee meeting that needs further review and
discussion. My quick answer to this issue is it is all of
the above and then some.
In the early 2000s, when unemployment rates were
at their lowest I had a very difficult time finding
eligible people to even apply for school bus driving.
This seems to be a common problem for our industry
when the unemployment rate is low. As the economy
picks up and unemployment rates decline, we will see
this as a more and more difficult task.
There are other factors that are impacting the
supply/demand for drivers. I will try to mention a few
here.
The supply of drivers may be dwindling As baby
boomers are aging, the supply of drivers will be
dropping. The new normal, where thousands of folks
are retiring a day, may be a challenge. It may also be a
blessing, because not all folks can 100% retire. They
may need a part-time job to help supplement their
retirement income. That could be a population to
recruit.
Another supply issue for us is the low density
transportation that seems to be on the rise. With
desegregation, charter school and students
experiencing homelessness, our ratio of student to
driver is dropping dramatically. Most of our new
service requirements are for a 10 student to 1 student/
driver ratio (or less) compared to the traditional 60
students to 1 student/driver ratio. While our
traditional bus service providers are running a similar
amount of routes each day, the cab companies and
mini buses companies are seeing dramatic increases in
demand. With deseg and homelessness receiving
almost 100% funding, there does not seem to be a
reason to curb this service in the near future. The
demand for more drivers serving fewer students is
drawing candidates from the same driver pool.
The demand for athletic buses continues to be
huge. Everyone needing to get to their event at the
same time on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday increased
the demand on the supply of staff. We are being
creative with offsetting bus times and combining
teams on buses in order to provide students access to
these events.
Another supply issue we may be facing is the All-
Day Kindergarten programs. These are great ideas to
help students prepare for life. The all-day piece means
there will be fewer full-time drivers and fewer
opportunities for drivers to become full-time. Taking
two hours a day from dedicated employees may mean
these folks need to look elsewhere to make ends
meet. We are not sure how this will impact staffing.
Will the healthcare law changes make bus driving
more or less attractive to candidates? Will operation
costs increase, or will some employers reduce
employee hours so they are not subject to healthcare
laws? In both cases it will be different and the fallout
will not be known for a while.
These are just some issues and ideas around this
topic. You may have other items as well. Some of us
are getting together to review the issue and discuss
what we CAN do about it.
Please send me any thoughts you have on how you
are dealing with the shortage.
Food For Thought
Driver shortage or an increased demand for transportation services?
Out on the Road with MAPT
By Ken Willms
Duluth Public Schools
Like a bad house guest, winter came early and stayed
late this year. Snow, sleet, and freezing rain have been a
part of our forecasts from November through early May
this year. Ice covered many of our lakes through the
|fishing opener this spring. Here in Region IV, home to
the largest (sq. miles) and most sparsely populated
districts in the state, drivers were out early and late
making sure kids were delivered safely. Kudos for the
great job they did under less than ideal conditions.
Counties included in Region IV are Koochiching,
Itasca, St. Louis, Lake, Cook, Cass, Crow Wing,
Aitkin, and Carlton. Operating in Region IV presents a
unique set of challenges for pupil transportation. Long
routes through miles of wide open and sparsely
populated areas, narrow roads that wind their way
around lakes and rivers, and then of course there is the
lake effect weather from Lake Superior.
Because we are so sparsely populated and remote in
Region IV, we often have the smallest presence at state
activities. If you are reading this newsletter and not a
member, I encourage you to become involved.
MAPT is one of the most advanced pupil
transportation organizations for professionals in the
country. Our members regularly participate and receive
recognition in the national arena. Our Train The
Trainer program is the best in the nation. We partner
with industry leaders and other professional
organizations to provide current and relevant training
opportunities.
We also partner with state and federal agencies to
keep our members up to date on current and new rules
and regulations. The contacts you will make while
attending a MAPT function are well worth the price of
membership.
If you would like more information about MAPT or
you are not sure if you are in Region IV, give me a call at
218-336-8970. Im not above stealing members from a
neighboring region (wink wink).
Ramblings from Region IV
By Amy Tiedens
Intermediate District 287
The MAPT Special Education
Committee met in February and
featured guest speaker Laurie
Carlson from Can Do Canines. She
brought a black lab currently being
trained to be a service dog.
My sister Debra is disabled and
has a Can Do Canine service dog.
I have witnessed, firsthand, how the
dogs assist their owners, giving their
owners unconditional love and
companionship.
CDC is a non-profit group that
supplies service dogs to people with
different disabilities. The group
charges people who would like to
apply for a dog a $50 application fee.
The waiting period to get a dog is 1
to 2 years. It costs $25,000 to train
each dog. The dogs are placed with a
Puppy Raiser family when the
puppy is 8-10 weeks old until the dog
is 18 months old.
Puppy raisers dont need
experience, but they need to attend
training with the puppy they are
raising twice per month with the
CDC staff. At the age of 18 months,
the dogs go to the CDC training
facility for a couple months to
complete their training with a trainer
and their new owner.
CDC trains service dogs for
clients with mobility issues. The
service dogs pick up objects, open
doors, gets the phone, hit the life
support button and help with
balance. They also train dogs to warn
their owner if the dog may sense that
they will have a seizure or diabetic
attack. CDC trains hearing assist
dogs to alert their owner that the
phone is ringing, or of the doorbell,
smoke alarm, oven timer and intruder
alert. Laurie told the group that there
has become a need for autism dogs to
assist parents with autistic children.
The dogs are tethered to the child. If
the child bolts, the dog will sit until
the parent gets control. The child
calms down while petting the dog.
Laurie said any of the CDC
trainers would be willing to assist
with training a child and their service
dog to help them get used to riding
on a bus. The dogs are trained to lay
under the seats.
CDC would also like to have a bus
brought out to their facility in New
Hope to assist with training.
If youre interested in helping with
bus training or being a Puppy Raiser
or temporary foster care for the dogs,
call Laurie at 763-331-3000 Ext. 113.
Can Do Canines Can Do Wonders
A record setting 173 entries were received in the 2014
Minnesota School Bus Safety Poster Contest, sponsored
by the Minnesota Association for Pupil Transportation
and the Minnesota School Bus Operators Association.
Be Smart. Be Seen. I Wait In A Safe Place was this
years theme and was met by much enthusiasm by young
artists throughout the State of Minnesota.
Congratulations to our National Division Winners:
Naomi Tu, 3-8 grade, Anoka-Hennepin Schools (above);
Akshu Rai, 2-4 grade, Fridley Public Schools (top right);
Cody Crawford, Special Needs, Intermediate District
#287 (middle); and Laura Ickes, Kindergarten, Rockford
Area Schools (lower right).
Thanks to Districts who participated, including
Annandale Public Schools, Anoka-Hennepin School
District, Bloomington Public Schools, Brainerd School
District, Edgerton Public Schools, Fridley Public
Schools, Hutchinson Public Schools,
Intermediate District #287, Menahga Public Schools,
Moorhead Public Schools, Minneapolis Public Schools,
Osseo Area Schools, Randolph Public Schools,
Rockford Area Schools, South Washington Public
Schools, St Francis Public Schools, St Paul Public
Schools and Winona Public Schools.
Record Number Participate
in Bus Safety Poster Contest
Minnesota School Bus Train The Trainer
Instructor Seminars
July 7 11, 2014
Grand Hinckley Conference Center
Training sessions for driver trainers, managers, dispatchers,
bus technicians and special education
Your District cant afford to miss this training!
To learn more, visit www.mapttrainthetrainer.com.
Target. Train. Teach.
MAPT Board of Directors Response to the Minnesota 2020 Report:
More Dangerous, More Costly: An Analysis of Transportation Outsourcing,
March 26, 2014
MAPT Response as of May 16, 2014
1) Minnesota 2020 Transportation Outsourcing Report Conclusion
The transportation outsourcing report is based upon a review of school bus inspection data and financial data
issued by Minnesota Public Agencies. An opinion is stated that outsourcing is less safe for students and more
costly for school districts (page 3). The report urges School Districts to use caution when considering a
change to more transportation outsourcing.
Source: http://www.mn2020.org/issues-that-matter/educationtransportation/more-dangerous-more-costly-an-
analysis-of-transportation-outsourcing
2) School Bus Safety and Transportation Outsourcing
The safety conclusion of transportation outsourcing report is based upon a review of State Patrol school bus
inspection reported failure rates. However, school buses with failures cannot be used to transport students until
after the failure item is repaired.
Furthermore, there are numerous safety indicators including driver training, student training, vehicle safety
features, accident rates, student behavior, and on time performance measurements.
The researchers seem to only use contrived failure rate statistics that support conclusions. Only comparing one
private school bus company with select school district school bus operations is an incomplete analysis.
3) Transportation Cost and Transportation Outsourcing
Likewise the researchers concentrate on one cost statistic, cost per student per square mile, when other factors
affect transportation costs. Those factors include school start times, school district rural/urban characteristics,
geographic features, route analysis, and competition.
Stating school district fleets are twice as efficient as outsourced transportation based upon data that is not
provided makes for questionable conclusions.
4) MAPT Summary
The report oversimplifies transportation operations, uses unscientific sampling, and unfairly disparages
outsourced transportation service, School bus officials from school districts and private school bus companies
are united in promoting school bus safety. The financial decision of whether or not to outsource transportation
service should remain a local school district decision based upon the local school district needs.
MAPT represents School District transportation administrators, for both school district owned school bus
operations and for outsourced school bus operations. The MAPT Lobbyist is Brad Lundell, cellular phone
612-220-7459.
Challenging the Status Quo...
By Ben Cockram
Transportation Manager
Byron Public Schools
I found myself making my annual stroll through the
local Hallmark Store trying to find the right Mothers
Day gift for my wife that says I love you, even though I
waited until the last minute.
I was in good company as I saw many men - and
women - wandering around aimlessly with me until I
found an interesting saying: What would you attempt if
you knew you couldnt fail? It is such an interesting
idea, I thought I would explore how that relates to
leadership within pupil transportation.
For the Byron Public Schools, one of our district
goals is to challenge the status quo and develop new
norms for education. The status quo is comfortable,
stable, and doesnt involve any risk. I would assume that
many of our transportation offices are very status quo.
The routes we run are only changed when we
absolutely have to and we still dont like changing them
even then. When I began in Byron, we had two buses
stopping at the same location; because, several years
ago, there were too many kids there to fit on one bus so
they had a second bus stop and it never changed. The
more questions I asked, the most common answer I
received was thats how its always been done. So, I
changed all the routes in our district. I found many
people happy to see the change while others were not as
happy with the change. But today the new routes are
going without a hitch. What would you do if you knew
you couldnt fail?
The fear of failure can be disabling to any new ideas
or thoughts. It is the fear of failure that keeps us locked
in the past, too afraid to move ahead. Three frogs are
sitting on a log and one decides to jump off; how many
are left? The correct answer is three, because the frog
made a decision but never jumped off the log.
Many of us, myself included, have a myriad of ideas
that could make our departments more efficient and/or
safer, but never go through with it because we are afraid
of failure. We are looking at failure as innately bad.
Thomas Edison said I have not failed. Ive just
found 10,000 ways that it wont work. History doesnt
look at Edison as a failure, but rather holds him in high
regard. Lets be brave enough to put ourselves in
Edisons shoes.
What if you walked into work tomorrow with the
mindset that either you couldnt fail or you give yourself
the permission to fail. What would you change first?
Maybe its a new way to route your students or try an
alternatively powered school bus. Whatever it is, allow
yourself permission to fail.
None of us are perfect, but we can learn from each
other on what has worked and how other managers are
trying new things in their districts. The temptation is to
operate as an island, living with the delusion that no one
else has the same issues that you face.
Thankfully, there are many of us that are in the same
predicament you are. If this sounds familiar, let me
personally invite you to Train The Trainer this summer
in Hinckley. Its a time where transportation
professionals from all over the state meet to learn many
topics, and you will come home with tools to help as
well as contacts to bounce ideas off of. The sessions are
taught by individuals who are experts in their fields and
are known all over the state. You will sit with colleagues
at meal times and we can learn from each other what we
need to bring back to implement in your district.
So, what will you do if you knew you couldnt fail?
The people in your departments want you to lead in our
ever changing world.
Try something new, small or large, and share it with
us this summer at the 24th annual Train the Trainer.
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By Ray Kroll
MAPT Administrative Advisor
Special thanks to the Transportation Staff at
Brooklyn Center High School for hosting the May 21
meeting of the Minnesota School Bus Safety
Committee.
Sgt Paul Davis, representing the Minnesota State
Patrol Office of Pupil Transportation Safety, reminded
us that school bus drivers on wheelchair buses must be
trained to pay careful attention to the proper stowage
of wheelchair retractors, as well as cleaning and
lubricating the wheel chair retractor tracks on the bus
floor. Reference was made to the importance of
consulting the manufacturers specifications and
operation manual for the retractor and tracking
systems installed in the special education school buses.
Daily pretrip inspection of the school bus is the
driver's responsibility and should be monitored on a
random basis. MNSBSC members present reinforced
the value of checking a couple of buses each day. In
doing so, managers and supervisors can lay the
completed inspection report in the bus for the driver to
see. This helps to reinforce the drivers required
responsibility and can even detect errors of inspection
lapses and provide opportunity for further training.
The MAPT Pre-Trip Inspection CD is available from
MAPT Treasurer Greg Liedl, 218-333-3225.
August 21st is the date of the 2nd annual Twins
game where the 2014 Minnesota School Bus Safety
Poster Contest winners will be recognized with an on-
the-field ceremony. Last years event was an exciting
experience for the children and their families. Kudos to
the Twins organization, Lt. Reu's State Patrol Team,
Cindy McKay, School Bus Industry vendors and
everyone who participated in the Poster Contest. One
hundred and seventy three entries were received this
year from 18 school districts.
The problem of school bus drivers who do not
check their buses after completing their trips received
considerable discussion. Shelly Jonas, representing
MSBOA, stated that her members would be meeting
on May 27 to discuss the development of a school bus
training poster to highlight the importance of solving
this continuing problem among school bus drivers.
Deb Carlson with Driver License Section of DPS
noted that she would review appropriate sections of the
Minnesota Model School Bus Curriculum and
consider inclusion of a question on the School Bus
Driver Knowledge Test.
The group discussed the 2014 Train The Trainer.
Registration is now open. This is your opportunity to
receive professional training at the most exclusive
program of its kind in the midwest.
The 2014-2015 schedule for the MNSBSC
meetings were set forth under the leadership of
Chairman John Thomas.
Safety Committee Brings Awareness to
Importance of Post-Trip Inspections
Tips for Post-Trip Inspections
Get out of the drivers seat, proceed to the rear of the
bus, and look down both sides of the bus - right and
left, front to rear, and rear to front - before turning off
the bus engine.
This concept of the Double OO of getting out of the
drivers seat to check the bus for all students before
turning off the engine will put an end to the reality that,
Oh, oh! You left a student on board your bus after you
left the bus and without checking front to rear and rear
to front.
Consequences of leaving a child on the
school bus can and have included:
Traumatized parents
Dehydrated students
Injured students
and even death
As this problem is addressed and visual posters are
created to bring driver attention to this important
responsibility, we all play an essential role in stemming
the tide of this problem in our own state and perhaps
across the entire United States of America.
Time to Hit the Road
Closing thoughts...
Toward Zero Deaths
By Dan Bacon
Director of Property Services and Transportation
Moorhead Area School District
Our local law enforcement agencies, along
with the Minnesota State Patrol, coordinated a
two day event using one of our school buses.
They positioned three officers on board a school
bus and had several other officers positioned in
marked patrol cars at various locations along their
route. The enforcement focus was to identify and
enforce distracted driving laws. During this
event, 80 vehicles were stopped and 50+ tickets
were issued. The Moorhead Police Department
would like to make this a quarterly event.
The goals were:
G First, to promote the event through the local
media to reduce distracted driving incidents
through awareness and education.
G Second, to reinforce the education with
targeted enforcement efforts.
G Third, to heighten the motoring publics
attention around school buses with legal
driving conduct consistent with driving
behavior around occupied marked police cars.
2014 Special Education School Bus Drivers and
Transportation Assistants Awards Program
The Minnesota Special Education Transportation
Committee, in cooperation with the Minnesota Association of
Pupil Transportation, sponsored the 12th annual awards
program. Congratulations to all 2014 winners...
Special Education Drivers:
1st Place Brad Ward
Prior Lake School Bus Assoc.
2nd Place Ken Ulrich
Thief River Falls Schools
3rd Place Stephan Pozel
South Washington County
Schools
Special Education
Transportation Assistants:
1st Place Val Schneider
Westbrook-Walnut Grove
Schools
2nd Place Julie Paulsen
Osseo Area Schools # 279
3rd Place Shelly Twiss
Brainerd Schools # 181
Honorable Mentions:
- Kathy Cusac
Pine River/Backus Schools
- Robert Schwitchenberg
Koch Bus Company
Thank you to all of our
dedicated transportation
professionals that graciously
service all special needs
studentswhether on regular
education buses or special
education buses.
We know that ALL drivers and
assistants touch the lives of
students with special needs.
With our utmost respect and
gratitude for all you do...
By Duane Vornbrock
Central Area Director
It looks like summer is just around the corner (or at
least we hope so). Winter has been tough on everyone -
whether you were trying to get students to school or
getting ourselves to and from work.
I think most of us are looking forward to the end of
this school year. Drivers, directors, and administration
are all at each others necks.
The Central Area Directors, Supervisors,
Coordinators, and Contractors have been meeting every
month in St Cloud and hope to do so starting again in
September. We have been lucky enough to have
members of the State Patrol with us at least half of the
nine months we meet. THANK YOU to them for their
help and attendance.
I would also like at this time to thank MAPT,
MSBOA and the State Patrol for putting together the
Outreach meetings. Sounds like all were well attended
and very helpful. Dont forget to register for Train The
Trainer, July 7-11 at Grand Casino Hinckley.
Hope everyone has a safe summer!
Update from the Central Area
2014 Membership Information
Membership Registration Form
(all fields are required)
Name
Employer
Job Title
Street Address
Email Address
District #
City/State Zip Code
Work Phone Cell Phone
Membership Fees:
Category Fee Please Mark ()
MAPT Base Membership $50
Industry/Vendor $50
We accept all major credit cards through PayPal as well as checks for payment. When payment is received, your
membership will be activated. You can also register online at www.mnapt.org.
Please direct questions to: Ron Meyer, MAPT Membership Chair
Email: rmeyer1@sowashco.k12.mn.us Phone: (651) 768-5308
Membership benefits include:
KNetworking with other professionals in the student transportation industry.
K First hand knowledge of new and proposed legislation that affects student transportation.
K The best and most current training materials available for school bus drivers and trainers.
K Priceless learning experiences through guest speakers and other training seminars at quarterly conferences.
K Quarterly newsletter that updates you on issues directly affecting you and your peers in the student transportation industry.
K Annual trade show that allows members to network with other pupil transportation organizations.
K Opportunity to take a leadership role in a well respected organization.
K Opportunity to demonstrate to your community that you are committed to safety through participation.
K Training material for Student Safety Training.
K Recognition and Award Program for school bus drivers.
Weve joined the Social Media revolution!
Become a fan of our page and get all the latest
updates and pertinent information to the
transportation world immediately.
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Transportation.
Minnesota Association for Pupil Transportation
PO Box 413
Bemidji, Minnesota 56619
MAPT has produced a new membership brochure
to give potential members an idea of what MAPT is
and what it can offer transportation professionals.
If you know of someone who you believe would be
interested in, or benefit from membership to MAPT,
please email membership@mnapt.org and we will send
you the brochure and membership form to pass along.
The MAPT membership committee has also
discussed potential additional benefits MAPT could
provide its members. If you have ideas or suggestions,
we would love to hear from you.
Please email membership@mnapt.org and give us
some ideas on how we can better serve the
transportation community.
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