We as bus drivers/monitors should be: H - Helpful A - Attentive P - Professional P - Patient Y - You
H - Helpful Always be ready to help. (Whether it is part of your job description or not.) Example: one of the students is having a difficult morning getting their seat belt fastened. Instead of: “Hurry up get your seat belt on, we have to go!” You could: “Fred I don’t hear your seat belt clicking, are you having a hard time, do you need help?” Example: driver and monitor have worked out their routine as to who does what. Monitor is having a difficult time getting all of the students loaded in the afternoon. Instead of: driver sitting in their seat buckled up ready to go You could: secure the bus, get out of their seat and assist the monitor with the students.
A - Attentive Be attentive to the students, monitor/driver, parents, teachers Example: a student on your bus has a runny nose. Instead of: saying to the teacher when you get to the school, ”he always has a runny nose!” You could: notice the student has a runny nose, must be the pollen! Get a tissue and wipe their nose. Example: Lou sits in the same seat everyday and rubs her fingers all over the window, leaving behind a slobbery mess. Instead of: Driver ask monitor to please clean the window where Lou was sitting. Monitor says, ”She does this every time she gets on the bus, I will just leave it like that since she will do it again!” You could: realize this is part of Lou’s disability. You don’t want others to have to sit in the seat with a dirty window so you wipe the window when she gets off each time.
P – Professional You are the expert on your bus! Example: The mom of one of your students continually brings her son to the bus late every morning. Instead of: Arriving at the bus stop – see there is no sign of the student – so you leave. You could: “Good morning Mrs. Fox! I know Jane has a difficult time some mornings. I want to remind you that her pickup time is 6:40. It is very important that we be on schedule.” Example: You are the driver of the bus, your monitor is continually reading her book during the route. Instead of: Getting mad at them and talking about them in the bus lane. You could: 1 st talk to the monitor. “Hey George I know that must be a very good book your reading, but we really need to focus on the students. I am sure you will have time to get back to the story when they are off the bus.” 2 nd if this continues to be a problem – let your district supervisor know so that she can professionally talk with them or handle the situation.
P - Patient Calm and understanding Example: Todd is a student with autism. He continually taps the side of the bus. Instead of: Repeatedly saying, “Todd stop” “Todd stop!” “Todd stop!!” You could: Give Todd a book to look at. Get Todd into a conversation. “Todd look out the window and see if you can see a red car!” use it as a game with him. Example: You are at PGMS waiting for your afternoon students. All of the students have come to the bus but Lisa. Mom did not tell you that she would not be riding the bus this particular afternoon. Instead of: Calling in on the radio to ask to check to see if Lisa is at school today. You could: pull to the side, when regular transportation is released to go, you are released.
Y - You You, yourself, the one and only Example: Your route is scheduled to leave at 6:15. Instead of: Staying up all night keeping up with your face book, then oversleeping, allowing no time for washing your face, changing your clothes or being prepared. You could: Turn off your technology and go to bed at a reasonable time. Get up in time to wash your face, brush your teeth, change your clothes and be at work ready to go. Example: You are having a difficult time at home, whether financially, health wise, personal, etc. Instead of: Being grumpy to everyone you come in contact with. You could: Use your job as your haven. A place to get away from your problems. Enjoy the students on your bus. Be thankful that you can be a part of their education process. Be proud that you are a part of the South Special Needs Department. YOU are important!
Make sure to do thorough pre trip/post trip, both morning and afternoon each day. You will not have to do another pre trip on your bus for a mid- day/CBI if you have not been off your bus for more than 2 hours. If you are on the bus the whole day write on form in service all day. When a GPS Pre Trip Report is pulled it will show whoever pulls the information what time you start, what lights were activated and how long it took. Make sure you are doing it properly.
Documenting pre-trip & post-trip form: N/A = not applicable to your bus = properly working = not properly working = repaired Always complete your form at the time you do your pre-trip and post-trip inspection.
Reminders about Pre Trip Forms Pre Trip Forms need to stay with each bus. Example: If you are driving S972 and it breaks down. Peggy brings you S916. Leave the form for S972 on S972. S916 will have a completed form on it. Example: The shop calls S972 to say her bus is ready. She comes to the shop in S916 to get her bus. She will leave the pre trip form in S916 and take S972 getting a new form or continuing the form that had been started. Pre Trip Forms need to be turned in by Wednesday of the following week Example: It is Monday morning with everyone on the job. Team Leader or Lead will be out at school to pick up paperwork. Your pre trip form for the previous week is on the bus where you left it so you give it to them Example: It is Wednesday and you have not seen anyone at any school you are at. Everyone must be on routes or involved in a big project. You will need to drop your form by the south shop or give it to one of your co-workers that parks at the south shop and ask them to turn it in for you.
Loading a Wheelchair Load the w/c facing outward from the bus – making sure you get w/c centered on the lift platform (some buses lift will not work if the load is unbalanced). If the bus has a safety belt attached on the lift it must be connected. Set the brakes. If you have an electric w/c make sure it is turned off and cover the controls with your hand so it can not be accidentally turned on. Tell student that they going up (communicate with student and let him know what is happening). Press “up” on the control box to raise the lift. Your hand must be on the w/c at all times while the w/c is on lift (except while on the ground). Check the head clearance for student before moving him into the bus. Release brakes (continue to have your hand on the chair until the monitor has her hands on the w/c. The monitor should not step out on the lift to help release the brakes. If she can reach the brakes from inside the bus, that is ok. After the monitor has moved the w/c into the bus - Push the fold button on the control and close the lift door.
Securing the Wheelchair Remember to communicate and exhibit sensitivity with the w/c student while you are securing w/c. Center the w/c in the center of the securement station. Set the brakes on w/c. Attach the 4 tiedowns straps to the 4 securement points on the w/c (these should be marked and let your DS know if a w/c is not marked) A tiedown consist of a Q’Straint retractor which has a J hook attached to the strap. Sometimes the tiedowns need to be moved depending on the w/c. A lot of times the tiedowns works better in the rear of the w/c by placing them in the middle set of tracking on the floor and the front tiedowns attached to the two outside tracks. Tiedown straps cannot be twisted or crossed. The tiedown straps should not touch the wheels, if possible Secure the occupant restraints properly (shoulder and lap belt). The lap belt has a stiffener on each section to help in threading it around the passenger and through the opening between the seat back and bottom or between the seat back and the arm rest. The lap belt must never pass over or around arm rests or side panels that will prevent the belt from lying directly on the body of the student. The lap belt should take a direct path from the student and attach to the pin connectors on the top of the rear tiedown retractors. Positioning shoulder belt across student’s collar bone and lap belt across pelvic bone, not over stomach or over arms or tires of the w/c. The female buckle with the release button should always be placed on the aisle side of the student’s hip. Release the brakes. Do a shake test – making sure that the w/c is secured. Student should be alerted of the test beforehand. By performing the shake test the tiedowns will retract and tighten themselves. If you feel that it is not tight enough then you can turn the crank on the tiedown ¼ of a turn. Reset the brakes.
What would happen if you didn’t hook your w/c up correctly???
Child Safety Seat Car seat must fit fully on seat width way and can’t hang over bus seat from back to front more than 2”-3”. Car seat must be forward facing. Never install a car seat, star seat, or safety vest in an emergency exit window seat. When a student is in a car/star seat or safety vest, you can not put anyone in the seat behind them unless they are restrained (at least a seat belt). Also you wouldn’t want to put a student behind the seat with a star seat or safety vest that would try to loosen the straps. Never put an ambulatory student beside the window and a car seat on the aisle side of the same seat. ( This would be a safety hazard)
Pre-K Students in Child Safety Seat Students that are under 4 years old and 40lbs should be in a child safety seat. This could be a traditional car seat or star seat. (if you receive a transportation request that is checked car seat the student may sit in a star seat or a traditional car seat on most occasions. There are some that may need a traditional car seat for extra support. This would be mentioned.) Students that turn 4 and are over 40lbs should be transitioning to the regular bus seat with a seat belt if you feel they are mature enough and will stay in their seat belt. Let parents know “Johnny is doing so good on the bus that you would like to start teaching him to sit in the seat like a big boy.” Start by letting them sit in the seat in the mornings, that is when they are usually more subdued. When they have mastered the morning start with the afternoon. If a student does not ride your bus in the afternoon mention what you are doing with the afternoon driver. Work together to make this transition successful. When student is completely out of the safety seat let your district supervisor know so that notation can be made.
Try this: P – Promote Choice & Trust A – Avoid Power Struggles S – Set Up Everyone for Success S- Seek Pro-Action Rather than reaction (from Dennis Cormier - Student Behavior Class 2013)
Promote Choice & Trust A person in crisis can and will choose alternatives to aggressive behavior if given the opportunity. Fear and a sense of powerlessness often fuel aggression. Trust and opportunities for choice can counteract fear and the sense of powerlessness.
Avoid Power Struggles Human emotions can “tip the scale” in a crisis situation. Present yourself as an ally and assess your body language. Get in you CAR (Calm, Aware, Respectful) before, during and after crisis situations.
Seek Pro-Action vs. Re-Action Timing is essential in effectively managing a crisis situation. Use good judgment in not under reacting or over reacting. Both drivers and students should develop specific pro-action strategies relative to creating a safe environment.
Pro-Active Tips Greet Students as they board Be in your driver’s seat to clearly observe each student as they board Make sure students have been provided a list (either verbally or in writing) of your expectations and basic rules to be observed Make sure students know the levels of offenses and consequences for their actions Enlist the cooperation of parents. Keep parents informed for both positive and negative behavior. BE CONSISTENT
SOAR Most importantly teach your students to SOAR! Safe Orderly And Respectful Always keep in mind that most of the students on your bus have disabilities. Everyone has the capacity to learn. Teach the students how to SOAR on their level. Might not all have the same way of learning. Don’t become frustrated, just keep teaching. They will get it!!
Red Folder Only Items that should be in your Red Folder are: Evacuation Plan – complete and up to date at all times Bus #, Driver Name, Monitor Name, School, Time Students name, phone # and any special information Pull off locations in case of emergency Seizure Action Plan If student has seizures a plan will be provided for you if one is available Medical Action Plan If student has any special medical situation, such as diabetes, asthma, etc a plan will be provided for you if one is available Emergency Rescue Pictures Picture of Fire on bus, fire truck and ambulance need to be included for students that are deaf or hard of hearing. Suggestion: Write in Pencil so you will not need a new sheet every time there is a change.
Panic Button Driver and Monitor need to know the location of the panic button on the bus. If there is an emergency on the bus that you can’t radio in push the button Dispatch will call you on the radio and ask: “Did Garry Puetz ride your bus today?” If there is an emergency and you need assistance answer, “YES”. If there is no emergency you will answer, “NO. Be careful not to hit the button on accident.
Be Aware Of Emergency Equipment On Your Bus: Location Of Fire Blanket Location Of Belt Cutter Location Of First Aid Kit (Make Sure It Has Supplies) Red Folder Fire Extinguisher
Be Aware Of Emergency Equipment On Your Bus Cont.: 3 Reflector Triangles 1.10 feet from the left rear of bus 2.100 feet from the rear of bus 3.100 feet in front of the bus/or if the bus is on a hill or curve not to exceed 500 feet in the direction of hill or curve (This is a time sensitive procedure and you can ask for bystanders assistanc e )
Know Your Students: Is There Any Special Medical Equipment they need? Oxygen Tank – Diastat - Epipen What Sets Them Off? Do They Panic Easy? Would They Be Able To Help In emergency situation?
Reasons To Evacuate: Importance Of Knowing When It Is Necessary Fire Or Threat Of Fire If Bus Is Stopped Near A Fire, Spilled Gas or other Combustible Materials If Stalled On A Railroad - Immediately Evacuate. If Bus Is Stalled Out Of The View Of Oncoming Traffic At A Minimum Of 300ft Bus In Danger Of Rolling Over
What to do if you have to Evacuate: 1. Secure the bus – Engage Parking Brake, Shift to Neutral, Hazards, Key to accessory. 2. Contact Base (Who, What, Where) 3. Place microphone out window, get red folder, and any other medical equipment 4. Stand Face Students – let them know what’s going on 5. Select best exit and evacuation techniques 6. Utilize bystanders 7. Move students 100ft away from bus 8. Check bus
The Bus Driver Must Make The Ultimate Decision If It Is Safer To Be Inside Or Outside The Bus.