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The Road to Learning Transportation 101 CASBO November 7, 2013 Shawn Higginbotham, Associate Superintendent Lake Hamilton School District.

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Presentation on theme: "The Road to Learning Transportation 101 CASBO November 7, 2013 Shawn Higginbotham, Associate Superintendent Lake Hamilton School District."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Road to Learning Transportation 101 CASBO November 7, 2013 Shawn Higginbotham, Associate Superintendent Lake Hamilton School District

2 Topics Legal Basis and Authority Drivers Safety Preparedness Equipment Inspections and Maintenance State Reporting

3 Do school buses matter? Safety Traffic Environment Reliability Free access to education

4 Evolution of School Transportation


6 Quick Facts In Arkansas:  Approximately 5,000 route buses  325,000 student passengers  243,000 route miles per day  43,200,000 miles per year  2 fatalities since 2001  922 square miles in largest school district  22 square miles in smallest


8 2011-12 Student Transportation Data  Statewide expenditures: $196,344,334  4.8% of net total expenditures  Range per pupil spending: $115 to $1,123  Avg. per pupil spending: $450.59  Avg. cost per mile: $3.86  $1.64 for driver costs  $2.22 to operate and maintain Compiled from the Annual Statistical Report

9 Funding Included in the per pupil funding model (matrix) Fiscal Year 14 $315.50($6,393) Fiscal Year 15$321.20($6,521) Supplemental Transportation Funding 2011-12

10 Is public school pupil transportation… Required? Necessary? Effective? Efficient? Expected? Part of an “adequate” education? A headache?!!

11 Legal Basis Are public schools in Arkansas required to provide transportation for students to and from school?

12 Authority 6-19-101 authorizes the State Board to set standards to “provide a safe, efficient, and economical system of pupil transportation.” 6-19-102 gives local boards of directors authority to purchase buses and hire drivers, “affording safe and convenient transportation to the pupils…” Not be required but EXPECTED

13 Main State Governing Agency Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation

14 Policy Requirements School Districts must have written policies for: – Transportation eligibility – Student behavior while being transported – Emergency procedures while being transported

15 School Bus Drivers

16 Driver Qualifications 6-19-106 – May not be “physically defective or of unsound mind, known to be a habitual drunkard or of immoral habits” – Cannot have “general reputation of being a fast and reckless operator of motor vehicles without regard to the rights of others”

17 Other Driver Requirements 6-19-107 submit to driving record checks 6-19-108 pass exams required by DPSAFT and ASP – Written/oral tests – Road test – Includes physical exam by licensed physician – Pre-service behind-the-wheel training

18 Driver Licensure Class B CDL (generally) Endorsements required – “S” School Bus – “P” Passenger – Air Brakes Driver records checked twice annually District maintains records

19 Physical Exams Required Condition of employment – Includes pre-employment and random drug and alcohol screens – Negative tuberculosis skin test Physical documented every two years Restricted access to physical results – supervisors and managers

20 Physical Exam Details – Vision – 20/40; field of vision; color blind – Hearing – perceive forced whisper ≥ 5 ft. – Cardiovascular disease – interfere with driving – Lung abnormalities – interfere with driving – Blood pressure – outside normal limits – Epilepsy/seizures – none allowed

21 Physicals (cont’d) Amputation – must be granted a Skills Performance Evaluation Certificate Alcoholism – diagnosed not allowed Drug Use – not allowed Diabetes – if insulin dependent, not allowed

22 Driver Training Local driver training program required Minimum of 24 hours of pre-service training DPSAFT will provide three hours training annually DPSAFT will issue certification of completion

23 Why drive a school bus?

24 Survey Results ReasonPercent Responding Work Schedules24.7% Like Children17.6% Like Buses16.1% Benefits9.7% Only Job Around2.8% Pay2.9% Other26.2%

25 Driver Survey Continued What would make your job more satisfying? – Better pay/benefits (46.4%) – More training – More career development – More hands-on support from supervisor – More feedback/recognition

26 Bus Driver’s Education Highest Level CompletedPercentage Post-Graduate degree2.1% Some College48.4% Less than high school diploma/GED1.4%

27 Drivers’ Benefits Insurance eligibility (6-17-1116) – Defines full time status – 720 hours during the school year (178 days = 4.05 hours per day) – Provides for bus driver eligibility to participate in group health insurance – employee pays full premium – District may opt to pay match Paid sick leave eligibility (6-17-1301) – Works “not less than 20 hours per week” – One day per month or major portion thereof

28 Driver Records Bus driver files should include: – Current CDL – Physical examination – Proof of state & federal background check (after 4/10/1997) – Central registry check (after 7/1/09) – Semi-annual driving records check – TB test results – Proof of pre-employment drug and alcohol testing (after 12/31/1995) – Any random drug testing

29 Driver Recruitment Parents (usually mom) Grandparents Law Enforcement Officers Ministers/Pastors Self-employed (farmers, barbers, etc.) Retirees (bored or broke) Non-insured ??

30 Driver Retention Banquet Awards Jackets/Shirts Benefits Trips Simple Appreciation: “Thank You” Support from Administrators, Parents Equipment Improvement

31 Substitute Drivers Important to provide – training – route description sheet – information about students with special needs – support and TLC – morning departure time – special mechanical quirks Must meet all CDL requirements

32 Safety

33 “American students are nearly eight times safer riding in a school bus than with their own parents and guardians in cars.” Fatality rates per 100 million miles traveled: School buses.02 fatalities Cars1.5 fatalities National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

34 Loading/Unloading Safety 27-51-1004 prohibits passing school bus with lights activated for loading/unloading 6-19-110 and 27-51-1003 define loading/unloading points and procedures 6-19-110 requires bus drivers to report violations and prosecutors to report to superintendents

35 Loading Danger Zone

36 Driver Responsibilities 27-51-1002 requires drivers to conduct pre- trip inspections 6-19-102 requires drivers to use seat belt

37 No Firearms 5-73-119 prohibits possession of firearm on school property specifically including school buses and “at a designated stop identified on the route list published…” – Defense to prosecution under this section if “the person is a minor engaged in lawful marksmanship competition or practice under the supervision of his or her parent…”

38 Prohibited Entry 5-39-214 prohibits unauthorized entry of a school bus and requires signage – A person over 18 may not Enter the bus with criminal intent Disregard the instruction of the driver Enter and refuse to leave Causes or attempts to cause disruption or annoyance Engages in reckless conduct that causes a substantial risk of creating apprehension in any person on the bus

39 Cell Phones Prohibited 6-19-120 prohibits driver use of cell phone while operating bus except in emergency or breakdown

40 Penalties for Drug Activity 5-64-411 enhances penalties for drug activity if committed within 1000 feet of – Public or private school property, including buses – Designated bus stop as identified on the route list published… – Exempts bus stops from posting requirement

41 Passengers Must Be Seated 6-19-119 – Driver may not operate until every passenger is seated – Accountability is assigned to superintendent – Imposes fines for knowingly violating

42 Anti-Bullying 6-18-514 “…shall adopt policies to prevent pupil harassment known as bullying…” “…on school buses, at designated stops…” Requires anti-bullying notices to be posted on buses

43 Seatbelts Passengers are protected “like eggs in a carton.” All a child must do to be protected is to sit down in a seat. Even without seatbelts school buses are still the safest way transport students.

44 Speeding Buses must observe speed limits for other traffic except when commercial vehicle limit is posted differently. Example: Speed limit on an interstate is posted as 75 and 65 for trucks. School buses must observe the 65 mph limit.

45 Being Prepared

46 Evacuation Drills

47 Tornado Procedure Use the best available procedure for your part of the state Consult administrators and others

48 Accident Kit The kit should contain: – Clipboard, ink pens – Blank seating charts – Camera – Laminated business cards with phone/fax numbers and addresses – 100 foot tape measure, – Insurance info – Phone numbers Drug and alcohol testing Wrecker services Area hospital(s) Drivers’ emergency contacts – Umbrella

49 Accident Action Plan Designate employees for these responsibilities: –M–Media spokesperson –D–District spokesperson at hospital –A–Accident kit to scene –I–Interview driver and witnesses –A–Arrange for drug and alcohol test –N–Notify schools and school board of accident

50 Accident Action Plan (cont’d) Notify driver’s family/spouse Notify insurance company Take and log phone calls Operate the radio Dispatch requested equipment and personnel Procedure to release students to parents Post-accident parent notification Official statement

51 Complete seating chart Generate a passenger list – parent name, address, phone number – student name and date of birth Deliver replacement bus Find replacement driver Photograph scene Remove wrecked bus

52 Equipment

53 Special Consideration Pre-school children Special needs students

54 Specifications 6-19-111 design and operation 6-19-113 exempt - motor vehicle registration 6-19-116 mirrors 6-19-117 strobe lights and crossing gates 27-51-1002 color, warning lights, signage

55 Permit Numbering System 9-5-11 First number – County Second Number – District Third number – Bus Statute ACA 6-19-115

56 Special Safety Features Passenger crash protection Better brakes Warning lights Special mirrors Swing-out stop arms and crossing gates Emergency exits Rollover protection Fuel system protection

57 Modernization Gate arms Sleeping child alarms Front window design Increased emergency exit space Reinforced side panels Higher seat backs High visibility exterior markings Video surveillance Satellite tracking and data

58 Equipment Replacement Buses may not be more than twenty years old All buses must pass State Inspection

59 Inspections and Maintenance Records

60 Preventive Maintenance Inspections Four PMI inspections per year Performed locally

61 Bus Records PMI documented on DPSAFT forms Kept as long as the district owns the bus Repair work orders repairs signed by mechanic Driver daily inspection forms


63 Maintenance Files Includes: –A–All mechanical work –P–Parts removed or replaced –Y–Year, make, model, VIN, mileage, bus number, district –D–Date of various inspections, repairs, maintenance Readily accessible to DPSAFT inspectors

64 State/Local Inspections State Inspections – Compliance with Arkansas School Bus Inspection Handbook – Can take bus out of service; can’t operate until state inspector has re-inspected – Inspection stickers District mechanic – 2 inspections per year

65 School Bus Inspection Handbook Criteria for bus to remain in service Local inspection guidelines Technical standards for repair and replacement

66 Inspection Results Fiscal Year 2011  6,742 buses in the state  471 buses grounded  55 buses put on 30 day limited use  8% of the buses inspected were found to have at least one “major deficiency”  861 major deficiencies found  11,310 minor deficiencies found

67 Step Well Crack









76 State Reporting Requirements

77 Transportation Data in SIS Submitted in Cycles 3, 5, 6, and 7 Personnel – Employees reported with CDL (Cycle 3 only) Bus data – each bus in fleet – Inspections – Description – Purchase Details – FY Statistics



80 Driver Data Collected in SIS Name of each employee with CDL SSN CDL # Date of most recent physical Confirmation of – Driving records check – Non-Criminal Background Check – Pre-Employment Drug/Alcohol Screen Annual training date

81 Pupil Transportation Data Distance from school Transportation Eligibility – T= resides at least 2 miles from school – N=resides ˂ 2 miles from school Travel Type – B=bus – G=parent/guardian – D=drives self – P=district paid

82 Other Transportation Data Supplemental Transportation – Choice – Transfers – Special Education – Non-Public School Students Bus Safety Program Extracurricular Athletic Miles Traveled Extracurricular Non-Athletic Miles Traveled Fleet Insurance Carrier

83 Initiatives Mobile Learning Technology Pilot Program Parental Volunteer Monitors on School Buses Safety Equipment Grant Program Compressed Natural Gas Bus Pilot Program Green Ribbon Schools – Alternative Transp.

84 Resources for More Information Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation National Association for Pupil Transportation National School Transportation Association National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation School Bus Fleet School Transportation News National Highway Transportation Safety Administration National Transportation Safety Board US Department of Transportation School Bus Information Council

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