School Bus Fleet

July 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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4 S C H O O L B U S F L E E T • J U L Y 2 0 1 4 taken for each child," Bailey explained. "With it, we're able to see how the princi- pals and assistant principals collectively process referrals. Sometimes the adminis- trator won't follow through and I have to fnd out who's dropping the ball, but if we don't track the referrals on our end frst, we have no way of addressing how the is- sue is handled." Reach out to your peers When driver recruitment is necessary, your peers can be a good resource for ad- vice. Jimmy Boone, director of transpor- tation at Tuscaloosa (Ala.) City Schools, started a discussion about the topic on our LinkedIn group page, "School Bus Fleet." Advice ranged from having existing staff distribute fyers at local events (such as job fairs) to posting banners on buses to placing advertisements in newspapers. Boone later said that his operation's re- cruitment plan involved several steps. The frst was to have an existing driver give out "bus drivers needed" business cards. Also, colorful banners were posted at vari- ous school sites, and when potential driv- ers were called in, they were shown a DVD that features existing drivers sharing what they enjoy about their job and why they drive a bus. Boone later provided an update on his operation's progress, writing, "We have had banners up for a month and held our frst meeting with four excellent candidates." To read and join the discussion on SBF's Linke- dIn group page, go to: To access Bailey's PowerPoint presentation on driver hiring and retention, go to: Schoolbusfeet. com/resources/Driver-Recruitment.ppt For more from our 2014 Contractor Survey, in- cluding driver recruitment methods, see pg. 12 in this issue. E ighty-four percent and 85%. These are the percentages of respondents to SBF's 2013 School District Sur- vey and SBF's 2014 Contractor Survey, respectively, who reported having some degree of school bus driver shortage at their operation. With the challenges that school bus drivers face, these statistics are not entire- ly surprising. But there is a silver lining in these fgures: not everyone in the indus- try is experiencing this issue, so there are transportation managers and directors who have found ways to successfully re- cruit and retain drivers. For anyone who is struggling in this area, I hope the following insight is fruitful. Address maintenance, student discipline problems Sam Bailey, director of transportation at Biloxi (Miss.) Public Schools, told attend- ees of last fall's NAPT Summit in Grand Rapids, Mich., that he hasn't run an adver- tisement for school bus drivers in 10 years. He said during his presentation that existing bus drivers are one of the best resources for recruiting new drivers be- cause they can provide information about what it's like to work for the oper- ation, and to that end, it's important that the drivers trust the transportation direc- tor or manager. Bailey has been able to achieve this trust with his staff by tracking bus maintenance and student discipline problems — issues he said can "push drivers to the limit." For example, he has measured patterns of school buses breaking down and for what reason, and when there is a recurring problem with a vehicle component, it will be replaced within the entire feet. "We also have a discipline tracker to check students by name, and we look at the application of the corrective action Tackling school bus driver shortage By Kelly Aguinaldo on the bus VP, Bus and Rail/Publisher Frank Di Giacomo Associate Publisher Mark Hollenbeck Executive Editor Thomas McMahon Managing Editor Nicole Schlosser EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD David Anderson, director of transportation and fleet service, Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Thornton, Colo. Michael Dallessandro, school transportation consultant; human resources manager, Rural/Metro Medical Services, Buffalo, N.Y. Ted Finlayson-Schueler, president, Safety Rules!, Syracuse, N.Y. Tim Flood, executive vice president, The Trans Group, Spring Valley, N.Y. Derek Graham, North Carolina state director of pupil transportation Charlie Hood, Florida state director of pupil transportation Pam McDonald, director of transportation, Orange (Calif.) Unified School District Michael Shields, director of transportation and auxiliary services, Salem-Keizer Public Schools, Salem, Ore. Cheryl Wolf, special-needs transportation consultant, Lafayette, Ind. Senior Production Manager Sarah Paredes Art Director Yuda Chen Audience Development Manager Bill Ciesielczyk For Subscription Inquiries (888) 239-2455 Classified Advertising Sales Donna Stewart (405) 260-1678 Fax: (405) 260-1684 E-mail: Chairman Edward J. Bobit NAPT Hall of Fame, 1999 President and CEO Ty Bobit VP and Chief Operating Officer Cyndy Drummey Chief Financial Officer Richard E. Johnson BUSINESS & EDITORIAL OFFICES Bobit Business Media 3520 Challenger St., Torrance, CA 90503 (310) 533-2587 • Fax: (310) 533-2512 E-mail: Website: VP, Bus and Rail/Publisher Frank Di Giacomo 49 S. Maple Ave. Marlton, NJ 08053 (856) 596-0999 • Fax: (856) 596-0168 Associate Publisher Mark Hollenbeck 3115 NE McDonald Ln. McMinnville, OR 97128 (503) 472-8200 • Fax: (503) 472-8228 PRINTED IN U.S.A.

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