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School Bus Driver Training

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1 School Bus Driver Training
Unit B Student Management and Discipline This Unit is a general guide to help you manage student passengers. General guidelines are presented which you may need to adapt to meet the specific local policies approved by your school district board of directors. In disciplinary cases, always follow written school district policy. The person ultimately responsible to discipline students is the school principal. Refer to Publication 52 for exercises to complete with your students.

2 Objectives At the end of this session school bus operators will be able to: Describe local policy for appropriate student behavior on the bus Demonstrate essential components of effective driver-student interaction Describe local policy on serious discipline problems Recognize typical behavior patterns for students in different age groups Demonstrate basic concepts of Assertive Discipline

3 Introduction School bus drivers are in the ‘people’ business
Student behavior is a safety issue School bus drivers are responsible for safety The school principal is ultimately responsible for discipline As a school bus driver, you are probably the first contact students have outside of their homes each day. How you greet and interact with the students on your bus can affect their behavior for the day, so positive, professional behavior toward students is essential. Remember that ultimately, your job is to safely transport students. However, their behavior on the bus can impact your focus on safety, so maintaining discipline on the bus becomes a safety issue. Your need to maintain safety necessarily makes student discipline your concern. Remember that the school district and your transportation company have written rules and procedures for maintaining discipline. Learn these rules and procedures, and pass problems up the chain of command. The principal at your students’ school has the ultimate responsibility for student discipline.

4 School Bus Driver Responsibilities
School Bus Driver Training Manual contains a list of responsibilities Driver’s responsibilities fit into several categories: Employer (procedures) School district (procedures, regulations) People (students, parents, school personnel) Bus (neat, clean, obvious mechanical issues) Self (attitude, positive image, preparedness) The last category on the list above is probably the most important, because having a good attitude, presenting a positive image, and being prepared for the work influences how drivers meet their other responsibilities.

5 Characteristics of the Successful Bus Driver
Confident and effective Creates a positive environment for students Has clear rules for students to follow Uses good driving skills Knows and follows the route Provides good customer service Takes pride in personal appearance Keeps a clean bus Knows what makes him/her angry and remaining calm when “buttons” are pushed Does not take student comments personally These behaviors do contribute to presenting and further developing a sound attitude and positive image, improving a driver’s ability to meet their other responsibilities.

6 Some Inappropriate Driver Behaviors
Being confrontational Being sarcastic Arguing Yelling Using brakes to manage students Displaying the behaviors above could make meeting responsibilities to people and employers/school districts, very difficult, if not impossible. Further, these behaviors do not contribute to a driver’s ability to develop a good attitude, positive image, and preparedness.

7 Student Responsibilities
Poor student behavior can distract drivers Clear rules must be established by the driver and followed by the students Students and parents must understand that rules contribute to the safety of the bus Students and parents must understand that breaking rules brings consequences As there are many categories of responsibility that school bus drivers have, students’ responsibilities are limited to a single category – follow the rules. If students’ behavior is distracting to the bus driver, this can lead to crashes involving the bus. Students, and their parents, need to understand that following the rules contributes to the safety of the passengers on the bus and other road users in the vicinity of the bus. Because the consequences of behavior that distracts the driver are so potentially grave, students and their parents also need to understand that the school district will impose and follow through with appropriate sanctions based upon the safety of all the passengers on the bus.

8 Expectations for students
Following all district, school, and bus rules Taking responsibility for their actions Being respectful of other students’ rights Being on time at bus stop locations Following all safety procedures at the bus stop Following all safety procedures on the bus Responding immediately and appropriately to bus driver instructions Students should be expected to follow all rules. These rules should include safety related guidelines that will help prevent injuries and accidents at the bus stop, during loading and unloading, and while riding on your bus. Students need to arrive at the bus stop in a timely manner. While at the bus stop, students must be careful and attentive, and avoid horseplay and fooling around especially as traffic passes and when the bus is approaching or departing. Interactions with others students should be respectful and students should take responsibility for their own actions. Students must immediately follow school bus driver safety and discipline instructions.

9 Some Inappropriate Student Behaviors
Excessive noise Portions of bodies out windows Moving about while the bus is in motion Throwing objects around inside the bus Throwing objects outside the bus Crowding and shoving Pushing, tripping, kicking Despite clear rules, individual students or groups of students may occasionally engage in inappropriate behaviors. Observable behavior that is not appropriate may include putting hands, feet or heads outside the bus windows, moving about while the bus is in motion, and making excessive noise. Students may throw objects around inside the vehicle or throw objects out the windows. When the bus is reaching capacity, more crowding and shoving may occur, along with pushing, tripping, or kicking as other students board the bus and walk down the aisle.

10 Some Inappropriate Student Behaviors
Refusing to share a seat Grabbing the property of others Vulgar language Name calling Bullying and harassment Hitting, fighting Sometimes a student may refuse to share a seat despite room being available. Some students do not respect personal boundaries and grab or steal the property of others. Language use may be inappropriate. For example: vulgar language, inappropriate language, intimidating or harassing language, and name calling can be heard or reported. Bullying, harassment, verbal threats, and physical altercations are serious matters that infringes on the rights of other students and should be stopped immediately.

11 Driver-Student Interactions
General guidelines for interacting with students Remember that “Bus drivers have CLASS” C-L-A-S-S: A student management memory aid Remember – “You have CLASS”: You are a professional, You are the adult and the authority on the bus, You can build morale, You should set the clear, positive expectations for the bus environment -- which can help maintain good student behavior.

12 A Student Management Memory Aid
CLASS C – Consistent L – Limits A – Attitude S – Share S - Support By remembering one word, you may be able to remember five basic rules for student management. C – Consistent – Always be consistent with praise and discipline. Whenever a student behavior problem arises, follow through with appropriate consequences. L – Limits – Set limits and make sure that students are aware of them. Limits should be the same for all students. A – Attitude – Have a positive attitude. A cheerful smile may change the behavior of a student. The attitude of the driver often becomes the attitude of the students. S – Share – Share with students your expectations of them. State the rules and the consequences of violations. Students cannot be held accountable for rules they do not know. S – Support – Support other drivers and exchange experiences. Others may be able to assist with difficult situations. By sharing, common problems may be discovered and new techniques explored. Support is also needed from your supervisor and from the school district, usually through the principal.

13 What a Driver Can Do to Manage Student Behavior
Learn the names of your students Greet students Use different voice levels Be conscious of body language Be conscious of eye language Give positive feedback Be polite Give mature commands Positive steps that school bus drivers can use to influence students include: Being social and interactive. By learning the names of your students, being friendly and greeting students by name as they enter the bus, you can establish a positive relationship with your riders and establish mutual respect. You will also know who the students are if/when you need to discipline them later. Being polite and respectful to students will encourage them to be polite and respectful in return. Make eye contact with your students (in the mirror as needed) and use your voice level and eye contact to maintain discipline. Positive feedback about students’ behavior is helpful. It is suggested that 5 positive things should be said for every 1 corrective or negative discipline statement. When necessary, make clear, direct, mature commands to students in a firm, authoritative tone of voice (without yelling).

14 Successful Techniques of Discipline
My job/your job explanation Teach your students the rules Explain the consequences of misbehaving Give warnings and keep documentation Match the consequence to the behavior and be consistent in both discipline and follow through Give positive rewards for good behavior Students appreciate being treated with respect. Explaining to them what your job is (i.e., safely transport them to and from school), and then explaining to them in clear, age-appropriate language what their ‘job’ is (i.e., to follow bus rules) is one way to set the stage for a positive environment on your bus. Initially, it is very important to clearly teach them what the rules of the bus are and what they are expected to do and NOT to do. For younger children, it may be helpful to have them repeat back to you what the 3-5 rules are. Positive rewards for good behavior (e.g., praise, stickers, radio/music, etc) should be utilized to reinforce their compliance with the rules. Once the students understand the rules, you will also need to explain the consequences of their misbehavior and failure to follow the rules. This may include: A single warning and reminder may be appropriate, but subsequent infractions should have consistent consequences. Make sure to match the infraction with an appropriate consequence. Keep good documentation of the steps you’ve taken to address discipline issues. Make sure to follow through with consequences.

15 Teaching the Rules on Your Bus
Automaticity Mastery Students may need to practice something 24 times or more before they reach 80% competency on a skill (Marzano, 1991, Classroom Instruction that Works) No skill In a classroom setting, multiple exposures to new knowledge and practice with skills are necessary for students to become competent. Bus drivers should keep this in mind and understand that they may need to repeat their rules and expectations a number of times before all students master and follow these rules automatically.

16 Suggestions for Bus Rules
Observable and measurable behavior Positively stated No more than 3-5 rules Stated Negatively Stated Positively “Don’t argue with me!” “Listen to your bus driver.” “No standing in the aisle.” “Stay in your seat.” “Never hit anyone.” “Keep your hands to yourself.” “No yelling!” “Keep your voices down.” Rules for the bus should be kept simple, focus on observable behavior that can be measured, and stated positively. These examples of negatively phrased rules are contrasted the same rules stated in a positive way. Keep in mind the tone you are trying to set on your bus: Punitive (negative) or clear expectations (positive). With thanks to Sprick & Colvin (1992)

17 Applying Discipline on the School Bus
Make initial contact by “noticing” “I noticed you did a great job keeping your hands to yourself today. Keep up the good work!” “I noticed you were pushing Jennifer” “I noticed you were keeping to yourself today and looked really unhappy” You will need to keep an eye on what is happening in the back of the bus throughout your runs to and from school. Frequent visual scanning the rear of the bus and making contact with individual students will help maintain your connection to students. Similarly, be vigilant and aware as students are transitioning on and off the bus. While it may be necessary to address serious violations immediately, other issues may be dealt with more privately. Make initial contact with the student by commenting on what you observed. Your observation can be: a positive observation & praise (“I noticed you did a great job keeping your hands to yourself today. Keep up the good work!”), a rule violation (“I noticed you were pushing Jennifer”), or a concern (“I noticed you were keeping to yourself today and looked really unhappy. How are things going for you?”

18 Ask Open-ended Questions
“What’s the problem?” (The student must explain) “What’s the consequence for spitting on other people?” (The student must give an example of the consequence) Continue the interaction by following up with open-ended questions to which the student must respond with their explanation of their behavior. Asking what the consequence of their behavior is will focus the student on what consequences may occur for their infraction.

19 Quick, Unthreatening Interventions
“What is the rule? What are you supposed to do?” “It looks like you have a problem, how could I help you solve it?” “What do you want from me?” “If you could make this situation better, what would you do?” Sometimes, simply engaging in a quick conversation with the student can help them refocus on expectations and appropriate behavior.

20 Questions to Ask After Intervening
“What are you doing to make this work?” “Have you thought about how to solve it?” “Is it helping to solve the situation?” “If you continue to do what you’re doing, what will happen?” “What could you do to make this successful?” Following up with the student to help them take responsibility for their actions and engage in cooperative problem solving with you can be helpful and may help avoid ‘blaming’ you for the outcomes and consequences that their behavior will result in.

21 Serious Discipline Problems
Follow school district’s procedures Remove the bus from traffic Be courteous, yet firm Do only what is within your power Never touch a student Document incidents as needed Report serious cases to supervisor or school principal Serious discipline problems require more attention from the driver, so remove the bus from traffic before dealing with these kinds of issues. Pull into a driveway or parking lot, or even return to school if close. Doing so will signal to students that the situation is extraordinary. Remain calm, address students directly, and do only what you have the power to do according to the school district policy. Be extremely careful about touching a child. Remember that your responsibility remains to all students on the bus. Refer serious discipline cases to your supervisor or the school principal.

22 Reporting Behavior Problems
Documenting behavior problems is an important component in discipline procedures Use common language Write reported behaviors that are: Observable – What did it look like / sound like? Measurable – How long? How often? Patterns of behavior will emerge more easily when documentation is accurate and thorough It will be necessary to document problem behavior of individual students or groups of students. Based on your observations and recollections immediately after the incident, try to write down what occurred using simple language that describes what happened. Focus on what you saw (or another student reported) and the length of time or number of times it occurred. By providing consistent documentation, bus drivers will be able to share information with other school officials in an efficient manner that will substantially aid in the process of appropriate disciplinary actions, particularly as patterns of behavior occur or repeat.

23 Reporting Behavior Problems
Details to include in behavior reports: What was happening at the time? What did the student do/say? What did you do as the driver / assistant? How did the student respond to you? The details to include in behavior reports are straightforward. These include the Antecedent: what was happening at the time? The Behavior: what did the student do/say? The Intervention: What did you do as the driver, aide or assistant? The Consequence: How did the student respond to you?

24 Reporting Behavior Problems
Possible format for documenting and reporting behavior problems Antecedent Behavior Intervention Consequence What was happening at the time? What did the student do? What was your response? What happened immediately after the behavior? With thanks to Sprick & Colvin (1992)

25 Reporting Behavior Problems
Example: Antecedent Behavior Intervention Consequence What was happening at the time? What did the student do? What was your response? What happened immediately after the behavior? Kids loading the bus John disrespected me Told him I deserve respect He laughed at me With thanks to Sprick & Colvin (1992)

26 Characteristics of Student Behavior
Kindergarten and elementary (K-5) Middle school (6-8) Secondary school (9-12) Children behave differently as they age. Awareness of students’ ages can lend understanding to their behaviors.

27 Kindergarten and Elementary (K-5)
Tend to move about Tend to talk when expected to be still Tend to have limited attention spans Tend to have limited memories Tend to care about adult perceptions of them Tend to actively reject those that do not fit in Generally, elementary age students tend to have trouble staying in their seats. When made to sit they tend to talk, instead. You, the driver, will have to determine how much noise you are willing to tolerate and remain focused on operating the bus. Because of their short attention spans and short memories, elementary age students typically forget events from day to day. This allows them to rarely hold grudges against those that discipline them. Do not allow small infractions to go unnoticed. Consistent response to misdeeds will help children to learn expectations. Elementary age students care about what adults think of them, not so much about the feelings of adults. Children perceived as odd, or with poor social skills, will tend to be rejected by their peers. Special care must be taken to protect special education students if they are transported with general education students.

28 Middle School (6-8) Self-centered
More focused on acceptance and popularity among peers Adolescence brings mood swings Test limits of adult authority Aggression in the form of bullying and harassment Conformity in communication and dress develop Exploration of sexual relations begins Delinquent social activities may begin Middle school age students can be particularly challenging, due largely to adolescence and the onset of puberty. They are prone to mood swings brought on by hormonal changes. These changes can influence all else happening in their lives. They tend to become more self-centered than elementary age students, along with more of a focus on acceptance and popularity among their peers. Middle school age students may also tend to test the limits of adult authority. Behavior on the bus will probably include changing seats and loud conversations. Aggression may occur, primarily verbal, but possibly physical. This aggression can occur in the forms of bullying and harassment. Children of this age group are prone to conformity to dress and communication styles. Children of this age group are also beginning to explore their sexuality and sexual activity. A small percentage may begin to explore gang activity.

29 Secondary School (9-12) Socially self-conscious
Romantic relationships emerge Concerned with their dignity Concerned with conformity to group norms Chronic gossips Secondary school age children are highly socially self-conscious. Romantic relationships may emerge, and students committed to such relationships, at least for the moment, can cause some trouble on the bus. Watch for other students to try to shield couples “making out” in the back of the bus. Secondary school age students are concerned about their dignity, and want to be treated as adults. This age cohort is also very concerned with group norms and requires conformity in dress and behavior. These students are chronic gossips, retelling everything heard, often with embellishment. Be very careful what you say about students, teachers, or administrators.

30 Managing Student Behavior
Keep discipline private whenever possible Stay professional Set discipline standards Work with school authorities Don’t deal with on-bus problems when loading and unloading General guidelines for managing students behavior include the following:

31 Keep Discipline Private Whenever Possible
Individual problem behaviors are best handled individually Avoid showdowns with chronic troublemakers Do not threaten the entire busload for the actions of a few unless the general safety of the bus is threatened Essentially, disciplinary actions are best kept as small, specific, and focused as necessary. Discipline individuals individually, so long as their misdeeds do not threaten the safety of the entire bus. Chronic troublemakers are best handled by school district administrators. The school bus driver is primarily a bus driver – discipline by the bus driver is only to be as is necessary to maintain safety on the bus. School administrators are responsible for discipline. Focus your attention on the misdeeds of those engaged in that behavior. Do not threaten the entire busload of students unless the misdeeds threaten the general safety of the entire bus.

32 Stay Professional Be fair Never lose your temper
Do not be lenient when “good” students misbehave Do not be less lenient when troublemakers misbehave Never lose your temper Know that children will test your limits Be strict at the beginning of a school year and move to general leniency if appropriate Professionalism, in terms of school bus discipline, means conducting discipline according to a known set of rules, applying those rules evenly to all students on the bus. Demonstrating fairness and professionalism will encourage students to live by those rules.

33 Four Steps to Follow When Giving Directions
Make a polite statement, “Jerry, please sit down on the seat.” If the student refuses to comply, state your expectations. “Jerry, you’re expected to sit down on the seat.” If the student still refuses to comply, state the consequences. “Jerry, if you do not sit down on your seat, you will have to ride up here in the front seat.” If there is no compliance at this point, ask the student to give an example of the consequence and the positive alternative and let the student make the decision. Break eye contact and allow them to make a choice. “Your choice is to either sit down or ride in the front seat. Which would you like to do?” Giving clear, direct instructions is essential to maintaining safety on the school bus. Here are four steps to follow:

34 Interrupting Behavior That is Just Beginning
“Are you supposed to be throwing paper on the bus?” (Get students to consider the consequences of their behavior.) “What happens when you throw paper on the bus?” (Get students to focus on a change in their behavior.) “So, what’s your plan?” (“I guess I’ll just ride to school and keep my papers in my backpack.”) If you can catch students early on engaging in preparatory steps that will likely lead to inappropriate behavior, step in immediately. For example, interrupt behavior that is just starting, such as crumpling up paper wads. Immediately ask questions such as these [on slide]

35 Interrupting Suspicious Behavior That Just Happened
You are not sure if this person is guilty, but you are reasonably certain. “What’s your plan?” (“What do you mean, what’s my plan?”) “What’s your plan to stop writing on the seats on the bus?” (“I don’t need a plan.”) “You’re right. But if you continue to write on the seats, you’ll have to follow my plan and ride up here or take time after school to clean the seats.” If you didn’t directly observe a problem behavior but have strong suspicions that a student is involved, try to interrupt this behavior as well. Lead the student through a problem solving planning conversation with you that makes your suspicions clear and lines up the consequences of this behavior continuing. For example [see slide]

36 Controlling Group Behavior
When you deal with groups, talk to the person who gives you verbal resistance Remain focused on the behavior and the person who gives you verbal resistance Make a general polite directive Explain the consequence of the behavior to that verbally resistive person Give that person the negative and positive choice, and let him/her make the choice Dealing with groups of students can be challenging. By engaging with a verbally resistant individual, the rest of the group will also get the message you are conveying. Be polite but direct, and explain the consequences clearly to them, permitting them the choice to make a positive or a negative decision and face those consequences.

37 Use Statements Like These to Respond to a Verbal Attack:
“This is not how you get what you want from me.” “This conversation is not helping. How can we solve the problem?” “I’ll talk to you after you’ve calmed down. We can work this out later.” “When you complain, I only hear how you feel. What do you want?” “ ‘Everyone’s doing it!’ is an opinion. What do you really want?” Students can sometimes verbally attack authority figures such as bus drivers. Remaining calm, keeping your tone of voice low and quiet, and simply refocusing them using statements and questions like these can help defuse some of the anger presented.

38 Broken-record Method If a student is arguing with you or not complying with a direct command Tell the student what you want If the student argues, calmly repeat the command/direction up to 3 times If the student refuses, use a consequence The broken record approach can help halt arguments. State what you want the student to do. If they argue, calmly repeat your command up to three times. Then, if the student refuses, apply a consequence.

39 Echoing-Statements Method of Stopping Arguments
Repeat the statements of arguing pupils to diffuse conflict. “John took my books.” “Mary says you took her books.” “I did not.” “John says he didn’t take your books.” “Yes, he did. He took my books.” “She says you took her books.” Continue this until the book is returned to its owner. Another approach to stopping arguments is to echo the statements of those involved.

40 Set Discipline Standards
Settle problems quickly Settle serious problems when the bus is stopped Seat troublemakers near you Drive smoothly Be firm, fair, impartial, consistent Never lose your temper Treat students as you would like your child treated By setting clear rules and disciplinary standards, you should set the stage for a working relationship with your students. When problems occur, deal with the problem as immediately as you are able to, stopping the bus in a safe place with your hazard lights on if necessary. It may be necessary to create seating arrangements, or more students with behavior problems near you. Continue to drive smoothly and operate the bus in a safe manner. Never utilize brakes or sudden sharp turns to get students attention and compliance. Maintain a calm demeanor and be fair, impartial, and consistent in implementing and enforcing the rules. Keep in mind how you would like a child of yours to be treated

41 Work With School Authorities
Nurture a relationship with school authorities Post a copy of school district rules Follow the school district rules You do not have the power to put a student off the bus – school officials do School district officials are responsible for the discipline of school students. However, they will not be with you as problems occur on the bus. You will have to be prepared to manage the problems in accordance with school district policy. Most discipline problems on the bus will not require district involvement. When you are unable to manage problems on the bus, those problems must be referred to appropriate school district personnel – your supervisor, or the school principal. School district officials will be most ready to assist you when they have a working relationship with you. Demonstrate your professionalism and they may respond with kindness. Again, you will most likely be working with school district officials with regard to difficult discipline problems. If officials seem unwilling to remove a troublemaking student from the bus, carefully but firmly remind them of your interest in the safety of all students on the bus.

42 Don’t Deal With On-bus Problems When Loading and Unloading
Loading and unloading is dangerous All the driver’s attention must be focused on what is happening around the bus If a discipline problem occurs during loading or unloading, wait until loading or unloading is safely completed Because loading and unloading school buses can be a dangerous time and a lot is happening around the bus that you need to be aware of, maintain all of your focus and concentration on loading and unloading. Discipline problems that arise during loading and unloading must wait until those operations are complete. After those operations are complete, address discipline problems.

43 Assertive Discipline Non-assertive discipline Hostile discipline
Assertive school bus drivers A larger percentage of children today have physical and emotional problems than in the past. Also, more children today come from dysfunctional families. Disciplinary techniques that were useful in the past no longer are. Assertive Discipline is a set of guidelines and disciplinary skills. Assertive Discipline is a result of Assertiveness Training, which helps individuals express their needs and wants, and have them met in their personal and professional lives. Originally developed for classroom situations, assertive discipline can be applied to school bus student/driver interactions. School bus drivers need a quiet and orderly bus, while students need a safe ride to and from school. Effectively communicating how to achieve both of those needs would be the focus of assertive discipline in the school bus context.

44 Non-assertive Discipline
Failure to state your needs State your needs, but fail to back your statements up with action Non-assertive discipline is passive discipline. If you do not state your needs, students cannot be expected to comply because they do not know what needs to comply with. If you state your needs, but do not back those statements up with action, students will not comply because they do not have to.

45 Hostile Discipline Stating your needs in negative ways
May violate students’ rights May result in fear, causing aggression elsewhere

46 Assertive Discipline State your needs
Back those statements up with appropriate actions Have a positive outlook Have confidence in your abilities Balance the rights of all parties involved You have to believe you can positively influence students on your bus. You will not be able to influence your student passengers if you do not believe you can. You have to expect appropriate behavior from your student passengers. Even students with many afflictions can behave well – you have to let them know that you expect positive behavior from them. Appropriate actions for reinforcing your assertions include praise for good behavior and consistent, fair discipline for poor behavior. When students continue to misbehave despite your correct and appropriate actions, that is the time to enlist the assistance of others, including teachers or the school principal.

47 Assertive School Bus Drivers
You are the boss of the bus Say what you mean and mean what you say Clearly and firmly tell students how to behave Stay calm – normal tone of voice Have a plan of action for misbehavior Reward good behavior Assertive school bus drivers are a firm and fair boss on the bus. Be direct with students, teach them the rules, and enforce them fairly. Maintaining a calm demeanor and talking in a normal tone of voice is important to show you are in control. By establishing rules and consequences ahead of time, you will know to reward good behavior but also have an action plan when misbehavior occurs.

48 Assertive Discipline Plan
Show the plan to your supervisor Send the plan to parents Introduce the plan to the students Post the plan on the bus Provide consequences immediately Provide consequences consistently Provide consequences in a calm manner Praise students frequently You should create assertive discipline plan and have it reviewed by your supervisor. Notifying parents and introducing the plan to students will keep them informed and more cooperative. By posting the rules and plan on the bus, students are reminded of the rules. Consequences should be provided immediately and consistently in a calm manner. Using positive rewards such as praise freely and frequently will keep students engaged in following the rules.

49 Positive Rewards for Good Behavior
Are the most important part of your assertive discipline plan Should be: Something the kids like Be appropriate for age level Never be taken away as punishment Can be for an individual or group Positive rewards are easy to give. These should be something kids like, and age-appropriate. Do NOT take these away as a punishment. The simplest positive reward is praise. Be specific when praising a student or group of students. The more you praise, the better kids behave. Examples of positive rewards for individuals: Positive note to parents First in line Special seat Awards First off the bus For groups, choose a reward for the whole group to earn. Examples of group rewards might include: Play radio Play CD or MP3 Coupons for fast food Deliver a point for one specific rule being followed by the group. When group receives 25 points, reward is delivered.

50 Difficult Issues Gang activity
Bullying and harassment on the school bus Suspected child abuse or neglect Every bus driver may have to deal with one or more of several difficult social issues affecting their students, chief of which are: Gang activity Bullying and harassment on the school bus Suspected child abuse or neglect The following slides explore each of these issues to help school bus drivers recognize these activities and take basic measures to reduce their impact on the safety of the bus.

51 Gang Activity Gang activity can be found everywhere
Gangs are part of their communities Benign forms of gang dress and behavior are imitated by non-gang children, making real gang members difficult to identify Attempting to treat gang members differently will only lead to problems Treat every student with respect Gang activity has proliferated nearly every community to some degree or another. Further exasperating attempts to understand and manage gang activity is the imitation of the benign forms of gang culture by children who are not gang members, making real gang members difficult to identify. The School Bus Drivers Manual contains good information about gang activity, and how to deal with gang members. Learning about gangs and how they work can be useful, however, the best approach to managing gang activity on or around your bus is to treat every student passenger with the same level of respect. Encourage good behavior fairly and discipline poor behavior fairly. Gangs build intricate subcultures of signs and symbols. Attempts to learn just some of these symbols to have an “in” with gang members really only opens the bus driver up to errors in the deeper meanings of those symbols, inviting problems due to the errors. Further, identifying with one gang opens the bus driver up to problems with rival gangs. Treat everyone with the same level of respect, whether gang member or not.

52 Bullying and Harassment on the Bus
Lead by demonstration Expect children to treat each other with respect Assert your need for children to treat each other with respect Treat everyone on the bus with the same respect Document and report incidents Bullying and sexual harassment are serious matters for which school districts have been held liable for failing to intervene effectively. If observed or reported on the school bus, deal with it directly and immediately. Lead by example, expect students to respect one another, and do not permit students to harass or demean one another. If harassment (of any kind), intimidation, or bullying occur, document and report it to school authorities.

53 Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect
Your School district has policies and procedures for reporting suspected cases of abuse or neglect To report these abuses you need: Name, address, age of child Name, address of custodial parent/guardian Nature and extent of injury Nature and extent of neglect Nature and extent of sexual abuse Evidence of previous injuries Pertinent information supporting reasonable suspicion Law protects person reporting/testifying Should you have reason to suspect that a student you transport is being abused or neglected, school personnel are mandated by PA law to report their suspicion to the Department of Public Welfare. Follow school district policies and procedures for reporting suspected cases.

54 Practice Scenario Mary, a 1st grader, won’t stay seated. She’s usually quiet in the morning, but in the afternoon, she’s wild. I think they give her sugar right before she gets on the bus. She never listens. As a bus driver, what would you do? NOTE TO PRESENTERS: The following three practice scenarios involve similar behavior occurring across different age groups. Discussion of developmental differences, expectations, discipline plans, and approaches to intervention in these cases should be highlighted if participants do not bring these issues up.

55 Practice Scenario Jim, an 8th grader, won’t stay seated. He is a typical middle school boy, and always challenges authority. As a bus driver, what would you do?

56 Practice Scenario Teresa, a 12th grade cheerleader, is excited about tonight’s game, and won’t stay seated. Normally, I don’t even know Teresa is on the bus. She’s always so well behaved. As a bus driver, what would you do?


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