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SPECIAL REPORT The Impact of a


A BUS DRIVER’S BUS  Entrance door and window area designed for maximum visibility  Engineered for easy maneuverability, comfort and operation


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UNMATCHED VERSATILITY


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 Bolted safety-cage provides enhanced crash protection


PEACE OF MIND  Best in class 3-year 60,000 mile warranty protects your investment  Altoona Tested for Safety and Durability


Simple Smile Building a relationship with the students you transport has a positive influence on school bus behavior.


Written By Taylor Hannon | taylor@stnonline.com The school day starts the minute the child leaves his


or her home and boards the school bus. The bus driver, then, has the ability to influence the child’s day in a positive and welcoming way. The driver influences the student’s be- havior on the school bus, and later, in the classroom. The school bus driver is one of if not the first adult


that many children meet in the morning. At the very least, the school bus driver is the first school district representative to interact with student-passengers each day. Some have even reasoned that the school bus driv- er is the child’s first teacher of the day. The atmosphere they create on their bus will impact the student’s day and even the rest of the school year. While student behavior on the bus is a topic that is


widely discussed throughout this industry, experts have developed their own styles to try and combat these is- sues. These start with the bus drivers creating a positive relationship with their students. Amy Tiedens, transportation manager for Intermedi-


ate District Service Center 287 in Minnesota, told School Transportation News that it is the driver’s responsibility to build that relationship and stay consistent, no matter what the mood is of the kids. “It’s a relationship. The driver stays calm, is kind, has a


smile on his or her face every day, greets the kids every morning and says goodbye every afternoon,” Tiedens said. “Even if they are in a bad mood, if you can just try to stay consistent for them, you can let them know that they are safe and in a positive environment.” She said when the kids get used to the new, positive


environment and expectations, they will start to repli- cate that better behavior. John Odom, director of transportation at Warren


County Public Schools in Bowling Green, Kentucky, agreed. “I think that our kids need to know that you care. If our kids know that you don’t give a crap about them, then they are not going to behave anyways,” he explained. Odom observed that bus drivers have plenty of op-


portunities to build that relationship with their students. Drivers notice the sport team jerseys they are wearing


See Us At Booth #410 20 School Transportation News • MAY 2019


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