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CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS (As of 8/31/21. Subject to change.)


applicants. Pressures range from wage wars within the industry and outside it, the upcoming federal Entry Level Driver Training regulations, COVID-19 quarantines, and perhaps the biggest issue—managing student behavior. Discuss strategies student transporters can implement to make the job of driving a school bus more attractive by reducing stress behind the wheel. How can you better empower your drivers and staff to become better advocates for school bus service and build relationships within the district to get transportation’s needs met?


The Impact of Seatbelts on the School Bus Ride Facilitator: Derek Graham, DGraham Consulting Panelists: Matt Miles, MSD Lawrence (Indiana) & LaShone Mosley, Des Moines Public Schools (Iowa) NHTSA studies backup anecdotal evidence that lap/ shoulder seatbelts on school buses help improve student behavior. But the safety restraints will only work as good as the policies that school districts implement on required usage and training. Hear from school districts with experience in voluntarily adopting the seatbelts and how they have worked for their students and drivers. They will discuss their policies and how they enforce them.


Monday, October 4 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.


STN EXPO Indy Trade Show + Lunch on Trade Show Floor Indiana Convention Center, Hall C


1:30 – 2:45 p.m. General Session: Ease the Pain of Driver Shortage Without Hiring CDL Drivers Sponsored by


It’s no secret that drivers are in short supply. Bob Malkowski, superintendent of Norristown Area School District, has faced the challenges associated with the industrywide driver shortage first hand. He partnered


with Scott Parker’s team of routing experts at First Planning Solutions to help his district in a major way. Learn how they found success easing the pain of the driver shortage without hiring more CDL drivers.


3 p.m. Addressing an Increasing Shortage of Mechanics Facilitator: Denny Coughlin, School Bus Training Company Panelists: Alan Fidler, Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township (Indiana) & Jason Johnson, Horseheads Central School District / Elmira Heights Central School District (New York) By next year, an estimated 100,000 highly trained truck technician and specialist jobs will need to be filled. That spells bad news for the school bus industry, which is already dealing with other staff shortages tied to COVID-19, planned retirements, and competition from other sectors. Join a panel of school bus maintenance experts as they discuss avenues available to school districts and bus companies to thwart this brain drain in the shop.


The Complex Relationship Between School Buses & Railroad Crossings Presenter: Benjamin Bernhart, Exeter School District (Pennsylvania) According to many state School Bus Driver’s Manuals, “crossing railroad tracks represents one of the greatest hazards in terms of mass injuries and fatalities for students riding in school buses.” Modern safety procedures, training, and education for school bus drivers and the general motoring public have greatly reduced train vs school bus collisions. Yet even with these measures in place, every year collisions still occur. Railroad historian and pupil transportation professional Benjamin L. Bernhart will present and discuss the complex relationship between railroad grade crossing and school buses. This discussion will be much more than a “how to.” Instead, it will provide a well-researched history of school bus train collisions that have occurred over the last 100 years and how these collision have shaped evolving safety measures.


76 School Transportation News • SEPTEMBER 2021

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