NYAPT School Bus Poster Contest

NYAPT SCHOOL BUS SAFETY POSTER CONTEST

  • Theme:

My Driver-My Safety Hero!

The New York Association for Pupil Transportation operates the School Bus Safety Poster Contest in accordance with guidelines and rules set out by the National School Bus Safety Week (NSBSW) Committee. Deadlines for submittal of poster entries are established to ensure our ability to judge and select posters for entry into the national competition.

WHO MAY ENTER?

Any student enrolled in a public, parochial, or other private school in New York State may submit an entry.

Posters may be submitted under five categories and winning posters will be selected from each division, as follows:  

  • Division #1 – Grades K-2
  • Division #2 – Grades 3-5
  • Division #3 – Grades 6-8
  • Division #4 – Special Education
  • Division #5 – CAD (Computer Aided Drawing) (May include HS entries)

Click here for full details of contest and for submission form.

Nassau County Monitor and Bus Driver of the Year Award – Call for Nominations

The yellow school bus is an American icon. It represents safety and the traditions of our schools and education system. In New York State, over 2.3 million children ride a yellow school bus to and from school each day. The New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) is a professional organization dedicated to the safe and efficient transportation of our school children each day.   We believe that the school bus ride should be a safe and secure ride. We believe that the school bus should be appropriately equipped and carefully maintained for safety. We believe that every School Bus Driver should be fully qualified, licensed and trained to perform his or her duties and every School Bus Monitor should possess the skills, attitude and training to perform their duties as well. We believe that it is our role as school transportation professionals to ensure that all the elements of a safe and efficient school bus ride are met at all times.   

The Nassau County NYAPT Chapter would like to recognize the professionals who are on the front line of providing exemplary school bus transportation service to our community, the School Bus Driver and the School Bus Monitor. Whether it is assisting students boarding or exiting the school bus, dealing with unruly pupils, waiting at a child’s residence and keeping the child calm because no one is home to accept the child, waking up early to begin a route on time, sitting in highway traffic during rush hour, School Bus Drivers and School Bus Monitors are charged with transporting the world’s most precious cargo, our future. They perform their duties with the utmost concern for our students’ safety and welfare, and for this they should be recognized, honored and commended.

We ask that you take this opportunity to nominate any Driver or Monitor that you feel would deserve such an award by May 1st; on the form provided herein. School Bus Drivers and School Bus Monitors will be selected by the NYAPT Driver Appreciation Committee.   Please nominate Drivers and Monitors that you feel demonstrate excellence in the performance of their duties.  The committee will consider all advanced candidates and will select one in each category that provides outstanding customer service, has exemplary attendance and has accumulated an impeccable driving record.  The selected candidates will be celebrated on May 17, 2017; at the Annual Nassau NYAPT Award meeting.  You will be notified if your nominee has been awarded the Driver of the Year or Monitor of the Year.

Thank you.

Keyana Wright

Nassau NYAPT President

Keynote Highlights Legalities of Transporting Students with Disabilities

“Not all children with disabilities are entitled for transportation as a related service, they are entitled to transportation if non-disabled children are provided transportation,” said Julie Weatherly, an attorney specializing in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, during Tuesday’s general session that highlighted the legal and compliance aspects of transporting students with special needs.

IDEA is the only federal law that provides the definition of transportation as a related service for a student, as dictated by their Individual Education Program, or IEP. It is broadly defined by the U.S. Department of Education, as well as by the courts.

Ultimately, the IDEA recognized transportation as a related service necessary for a child with a disability to benefit from special education services, and includes travel to and from school and between schools or special services required for the child’s disability. The IEP can also require the use of special school bus equipment like lifts and ramps, and even special vehicles.

Weatherly noted the big question on the audience’s mind: Who makes the decision about transportation needs and what exactly constitutes related service, and what doesn’t?

Weatherly addressed the issue by stating that a student’s IEP or Section 504 team will make the final decision whether the student needs transportation as a related service depending on the student’s individual needs and disability.

In her experience with special needs cases, Weatherly mentioned the lack of transportation department presence during IEP team meetings, and she stressed the importance of transportation representation during these meetings in conjunction with parents to make the best decision for the student.

There are two approaches behind the decision making for related services. Weatherly explained transportation is not an entitlement.

The primary approach is to pay for the transportation rather than to litigate for it. Most cases have adopted a unique analysis, which is based on the student’s disability. The second is more of an axis approach, she said, deciding if the child needs transportation in order to access their program. This approach, she added is rarely seen in courtrooms.

Weatherly went on to address more practices that can be viewed as discriminatory against children with disabilities. For instance, she spoke about the length of school days and bus rides.

“The next (issue) that I get very often, the school day of a disability student cannot be shortened solely to convenience transportation or for any other reason than the child’s individual disability,” said Weatherly.

Referencing a case from Alabama, which was investigated by the Department of Justice’s Office of Civil Rights, or OCR, Weatherly told of a group of students with disabilities who were released early from school in order to accommodate transportation. OCR deemed the case showed a violation of student rights because the children being treated differently than their non-disabled peers.

Case after case, Weatherly provided the audience with vivid examples regarding transportation policies for special needs students designed to help the audience understand the importance of following set procedures and avoiding unintentional or intentional discrimination. Embracing the thinking-outside-the-box method, Weatherly emphasized the need to take action to avoid crucial outcomes for students with disabilities, such as regarding incidents of bullying.

From School Transportation News – March 2017

by Gabriella Mungaro

Nassau Chapter Steps Up Big

1-27-2017 10-49-50 PM
1-27-2017 10-50-02 PM

Hats off to the Nassau Chapter of NYAPT for its generosity of spirit and treasures! The Chapter recently donated $2,000 to the Winthrop Children’s Cancer Center and also donated hundreds of toys and gift cards for the children’ “Winter Wonderland Room” at the Center. Thanks to James Popkin and Joe Williams as chapter leaders but thanks as well to ALL in the chapter who took up this effort and did so much for the children.

Distressing Safety News: Illegal Passes Exceed 40,000 Again!

The New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) today released the results of a survey taken on December 15, 2016, to measure the incidence of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses. And the results simply cannot be ignored by government leaders, the media and the public.

In the 35 school districts that participated in the survey that day, 765 school bus drivers reported they were passed a total of 678 times, including 101 passes on the passenger (or right) side of the school bus. That represents a marked increase in the number of right side passes reported.

At that rate of passing when applied to over 50,000 school buses in New York State, the total estimated illegal passing rate is 44,314 passes for that day. That same calculation would mean that, of that amount, 6,601 motorists would have passed school buses on the RIGHT side of the bus that day.

This compares with the November 2016 “Count Day” on which NYAPT estimated that 40,654 motorists passed stopped school buses, including 1,479 ‘right side’ passes. During the 2015-2016 school year, NYAPT conducted a similar “Count Day” program and averaged 29,533 illegal passes per day, including a high of 36,857 in May 2016. November and December 2016 mark the first times that the survey has topped the 40,000 mark.

NYAPT President, Lori Ann Savino (Jericho Public Schools), noted that “This month’s rise in the level of ‘right side’ passes is a very serious concern to us. That right side of the school bus is used by our children to board and depart the school bus. They are moving supposedly within the protection of the bus. When a motorist comes up along the right side of the bus, they are creating a high risk situation and endangering the children. This trend is deeply upsetting to us and to every school bus driver in our state.”

NYAPT Executive Director, Peter Mannella, noted: “These numbers continue to rise and this year’s levels are higher than last year’s levels. We need parents and our school partners to help us to increase awareness of the rules of the road or we are going to face a tragedy. We call on the Governor, the state agencies and the state legislature to adopt this issue as a problem we must address together. It’s an easy message: STOP FOR THE SCHOOL BUS! It’s all for the safety of our children!”

Peter Mannella; peter@nyapt.org.

Transporting LGBTQ Students: A Training Program

The Cyr Foundation for Excellence in School Transportation is proud to announce the unveiling of a new educational program that will increase the awareness of and sensitivity of school bus drivers, attendants and monitors to gender-related issues on their school buses.

Designed for the Cyr Foundation by the Pupil Transportation Safety Institute (PTSI) of Syracuse, NY, and sponsored by the Utica National Insurance Group, the course will offer drivers and monitors with an understanding of the laws governing bullying and discrimination of students who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered or questioning their gender.

The program also explores the social trends in this arena in a way that applies to school bus management, and helps the attendees to develop their skills in creating a positive environment for all students who ride their school buses.

The program includes data about LGBTQ students, bullying trends and patterns, violence toward and personal injuries of these students and more. Importantly, it provides participants with practical approaches to gender-related bullying and an awareness of their roles as leaders and supporters on the school bus.

Gender-related bullying has increased in recent years and students who are victims of bullying have been known to avoid school entirely or the school bus ride specifically. The Cyr Foundation believes that it’s critical that drivers, attendants and monitors be provided with professionally valuable information on key social and educational trends. School bus drivers are the first personal contact that students have with their schools and they need to be prepared and ready to greet their riders and to be supportive of them so they are ‘ready to learn’ when the bus pulls into the schoolyard.

“We are so happy to bring this new program to school bus professionals in the state and proud that this effort will help each of them to create a safe place for all children who ride our yellow school buses,” noted JoAnn Martin, Tuxedo UFSD, and past president of the Foundation.

Cyr Foundation Executive Director, Peter Mannella, said that “school bus drivers and monitors are vital to the safety of our children and ensuring that they are prepared to address and support all students who ride their school bus is vital to their effectiveness in the drivers’ seat.”

Peter Mannella; peter@nyapt.org