Contact tracing of students and school bus staff following a confirmed case of COVID-19 is just one of the new ways aside from managing student and driver behavior that transporters are utilizing onboard video. Source: REI

for [a] staff of 200 and for training existing drivers who must renew certification,” said Matt Sanchez, transportation director for Northern California’s Elk Grove Unified School District near Sacramento, California. “California education code mandates 20 hours

of classroom training for new school bus driv- ers and we are providing classroom sessions through Google Meet,” he continued. “Califor- nia education code also mandated that existing school bus drivers who must renew their school bus driver’s license, attend 10 hours of classroom training, and we are providing this training through Google Meet and/or Zoom as well. We are also having our drivers and bus attendants at- tend Google Meet in-services every day from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., as we provide additional educa- tional opportunities and updates.”

Video on Demand? Video training is unique as it may be used

for Stevens Point Area Schools in central Wisconsin. “We also use online video for a majority of the transportation department’s annu- al training requirements.”

Training May Vary by State Some states provide training to school districts, while others

specifically mandate training on some periodic basis. Because vid- eo training and instruction are so accessible and flexible, they suit the needs of a school district, whatever their requirements may be. “The need for in-person learning is something that we can-

not do without when it comes to training new drivers,” noted Angelo Caputo, the transportation supervisor for the Parma City School District in northeast Ohio. “Video and or virtual learning is something that I can only see being successful for those veteran drivers that are re-certifying.” Caputo added that training is a bit different in Ohio, which has

regional pre-service teams that provide classroom training for all new and existing drivers across the state. Video is used to supple- ment the state-provided training, though documented classroom hours are accomplished in-person by the preservice instructor for the North region. Video helps schools meet training requirements set forth by the cognizant state in which they operate. “We are using Google Meet for training new school bus drivers, providing in-service

“on-demand.” When time allows, drivers can watch videos to catch up on safety training that would otherwise be difficult due to their own schedule restrictions. Some districts are finding that it is useful during the pandemic “downtime.” “We recently implemented audio visual prod-

ucts through School Bus Safety Company,” said Jeremy Wardle, director of transportation for Canyons School District, which serves a suburb of Salt Lake City. “We originally looked at a way that our drivers could be productive while off [work] because of COVID-19 back in March when our district shut down. All our drivers were able to complete all their recertification training while they were at home on quarantine.” Wardle said his district supplemented the School Bus Safety Company training videos with Zoom calls, Google Meet, and even con- ducted the annual in-service driver training meeting via YouTube live. “By using technology, we have been able to completely discontinue the in-person training of our existing drivers,” he explained. “Our new hires are also able to complete most of their training from home and then come in to spend time learning to drive school buses in person. [In] the future, online or video training will continue to be very beneficial. Being able to have our drivers and 25

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