Following a COVID-induced hiatus of two years, the National School Bus Training developed from the experiences of operating the South Carolina statewide fleet is set for both the STN EXPO Indianapolis and STN EXPO Reno.
The eight-hour classroom seminar provides information and techniques that go above and beyond the federally mandated school bus inspections as well as those mandated by state departments of transportation. Marshall Casey, the retired fleet director for the South Carolina Department of Education, developed the training and taught it to STN EXPO attendees in 2019.
Then COVID-19 hit. Health and travel restrictions forced the cancellation of the program in 2020 and 2021, but the training will return on June 4 at the Indiana Convention Center, under the direction of Bobby Williams, the assistant director of transportation for fleet services at Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in Houston. Williams served as a co-instructor in 2019 alongside Casey and Joe Scesny, the retired lead school bus inspector for the New York State Department of Transportation. Williams will be joined in Indianapolis by Mike Bullman, the director of transportation at the South Carolina Department of Education.
Williams will also teach the class in Reno on July 16.
The intent of the training is to help student transporters ensure their school buses remain in operation and on the road, not broken down alongside it. This program details all aspects of how to conduct a thorough, internal bus inspection that exceeds the minimum requirements of federal and state programs. It looks at every item on and inside the school bus — from the driver’s seat through the interior of the bus to the outside (including the engine compartment, wheels wells, etc.).
The training seeks to address the everyday issues that maintenance personnel right never think about until it’s too late and the vehicle breaks down. For example, the bus might technically run if a hose is rubbing against another part. Over time, the friction might result in a major failure that necessitates the bus being removed from service. During this daylong training, attendees identify various issues that if corrected immediately will avoid costly repairs or worse. Student safety can hang in the balance.
The training is a free add-on for registered STN EXPO attendees. Attendees who are already registered for the full conference and wish to add the inspector training may log in or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.