School Bus Fleet

November 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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50 S C H O O L B U S F L E E T • N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 4 assist them through the maze of paperwork. This list could include information on such items as the Social Security of- fce, other mid-day or weekend employers who should be notifed, and points of contact for retirement systems, fnal checks and life insurance. Another much-appreciated resource is providing meals. While this is usually handled by family members, it is al- ways good to volunteer to provide a meal. Drivers and staff will want to contribute, and this is a comfortable way in which they can help. Coordinate with a family member and set up a meal de- livery program. There are websites dedicated to creating a calendar of meals and providers, such as, that serve as an excellent and free link to help with such impor- tant family needs. Route 5: The service Working closely with the family and introducing your- self and your drivers will allow for possible consider- ations on the timing of the funeral and memorial services. Weekdays are diffcult, as drivers do have other pressing responsibilities, such as their routes. Generally speaking, weekends work best for everyone, especially as it relates to travel and availability. Keep in mind that some of the driver's own students may be interested in attending the service, too. Making their families aware of the details is in order. There are countless steps that you can take to allow for a grieving period for your staff and to support the driv- er 's personal family. These can be as simple as a condo- lence card signed by all the drivers and staff, as well as a collection to help offset some of the unexpected expenses — and there will be lots of them. Again, there are a num- ber of online resources that can help with this important need., and are just three examples. Another simple (but potent) action could be to hang a 5x8 picture of the driver in the drivers' room as a local me- morial. Another ftting tribute is to plant a tree in honor of the driver. One of the most meaningful and touching actions I have seen is to provide transportation, in the school bus of the deceased driver, for drivers who wish to attend the ser- vice. Of course, getting permission from the district and approval from the family is important. Route 6: Follow-up and follow-through Once the memorial services are done, add a reminder to your calendar to check back in with the family after a week or so and then again after a month or so. On the one- year anniversary, be sure to make a call or even stop by the home to simply check on the driver's family. As for your drivers, set aside a remembrance time, and the driver's home. No matter how full calendars may be, or how many "can't miss" meetings are pending, this must take priority. The only thing you need to bring to this frst meeting is an understanding heart and a willingness to be available. Take some time to survey the driver's locker, inbox and school bus. There may be important personal items that the family would need and appreciate. The importance of this timely interaction cannot be over- stated. Your response and follow-through will mean the world to the family and your staff. It is also good to keep in mind that some families may opt not to have any contact with the former employer, with the exception of the required notifcations and documentation — we must abide by that request. Refer all media requests to the appropriate channels. Route 4: Provide resources Along with your cell phone number, it is a good idea to have a "go to" list of resources for the family as a means to Foughty, seen below putting snow chains on a bus tire, was a "well- loved and highly respected" driver at Washington's Centralia/Chehalis Pupil Transportation Cooperative.

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