School Bus Fleet

September 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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industry news 8 S C H O O L B U S F L E E T • S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 4 District aims to get parents on board with new bus code of conduct (BY THOMAS MCMAHON) DANVILLE, Va. — Danville Public Schools has launched a new conduct policy for its school bus riders that seeks to better inform and involve parents. "We believe that punitive action alone will not achieve the results we seek. We want to promote behavior change with students," said Michael Adkins, the district's director of trans- portation service. "To do that, we be- lieve that parental engagement to help modify the behavior is a key element to success. This policy was designed around that." Development of the new code of conduct took seven months. Adkins re- viewed policies from other school dis- tricts across the country, and he sought input from a wide variety of stake- holders, including school bus drivers, teachers, school administrators, par- ents and school board members. "All of the information they provid- ed helped us craft a policy for what we all felt was our need," Adkins said. The district piloted the basic policy on four buses from three schools over a six-week period and monitored the results. Adkins said that student be- havior on the pilot buses improved considerably. "The dramatic changes we saw on those buses are what encouraged us to move forward with this adoption," he said. Adkins said that the key goals of the new policy, which goes into effect for the 2014-15 school year, are to: 1. Give parents and school adminis- trators a simple, understandable docu- ment of bus behavior expectations. 2. Require a written contract be- tween schools and the parents and stu- dents to ensure understanding of ex- pectations. 3. Provide school administrators with an approved policy to help them deal with behavior issues and punitive consequences. 4. Promote an opportunity for pa- rental engagement to modify the be- havior and return students to the bus. 5. Provide a safe and pleasant bus ride for all who ride the bus each day. 6. Establish trust and confdence with parents and citizens that children are safe riding the bus. 7. Provide an alignment of response throughout the entire district so that regardless of what school a child at- tends, the parent will know and un- derstand what bus behavior expecta- tions are and what consequences await for failure to follow the rules. Danville Public Schools' new conduct policy for school bus riders took seven months to develop. Blue Bird has unveiled a new school bus window — which company offcials said has a smoother, more ergonomic design — and other enhanced features in luggage compart- ments, air conditioning and brakes for the company's buses. Blue Bird offcials said that the new window, dubbed the E-Z Window, was made with transportation personnel and schoolchildren in mind. According to the company, the ex- clusive window is easy to adjust and features interlocking construction with leak-resistant seals. Made with hollow frame construction for superior strength, the ergonomic dual-grip latches with Super Spacer technology are made of glass-flled nylon that can reported- ly withstand more than 50,000 up-and-down cycles over the life of the bus. Blue Bird offcials said that the kid-friendly windows are outftted with greater weather stripping, which further reduces noise, wind, dust and water intrusion. The E-Z Window is featured on the Vision and All Ameri- can buses. The manufacturer of the E-Z Window is Lippert Compo- nents Inc., which has signed a multi- New school bus window among Blue Bird's enhanced features cont. on page 12 Danville Public Schools' new bus conduct policy and its contract for parents and students can be viewed in the district's overall student code of conduct via this link: schoolbusfeet.com/sep14p More online

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