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Remote Learning Extends Beyond Students to District Support Staff


Written By Ryan Gray | ryan@stnonline.com S


ocial distancing guidelines are affecting stu- dent transporters in more ways than potentially reducing passenger capacity on school buses and requiring additional runs to and from school. A


new era of distance learning gripped the nation as a result of the COVID-19 crisis that extends beyond students and their teachers, and the effects on school bus routes. While virtual classrooms aren’t feasible for all subjects,


such as hand-on training to obtain CPR or child passen- ger safety technician certification, they are a proving to be an invaluable method of interacting with school bus drivers and other employees as well as keeping their skills sharp during closures. Those school district transporta- tion departments that are utilizing online resources to train school bus drivers and staff told School Transporta-


28 School Transportation News • AUGUST 2020


tion News that they are working out well though not quite a replacement for the real thing. “It’s not quite as good as face to face, but they still get


that opportunity to ask questions,” shared Zada Stamper, the transportation director for Laurel Public Schools in Montana, which has been providing training videos to school bus drivers via Zoom. “The interaction is missing a little bit because you don’t have that human contact.” But it’s better than nothing. Laurel Public Schools located


northeast of Yellowstone National Park is one of the many districts in the state that have partnered with the Montana Association for Pupil Transportation to deliver the remote learning opportunities on Zoom in one-hour increments. COVID-19 forced MAPT, like other state associations, to cancel its annual conference in June.


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