Murrell Martin, the steering committee chair for next year's 16th National Congress on School Transportation, announced the Manual of Operating Procedures is now available that outlines the schedule of activities and deadlines arriving in the next several months.
NASDPTS also is now hosting the NCST website. Martin added that event registration will begin in October.
Martin, who is also the pupil transportation specialist for the Utah State Department of Education and Western region director on the NASDPTS executive board, explained the compressed schedule was necessary following the retirement last year of Ben Shew from the steering committee chair position and the West Viriginia Department of Education. Murrell was named Shew's successor.
NASDPTS is soon starting the process of selecting state delegation chairs. The actual selection of the full state delegations is expected to begin later this month and conclude by the end of July. Meanwhile, the 12-person steering commitee will meet at the STN EXPO in Reno, Nev., "to coordinate progress in all areas."
Aug. 30 is the deadline for public submissions to the writing committees of additions, revisions and deletions to the National School Bus Specifications and Procedures manual that will be read and debated next May at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg.
The steering committee is scheduled to reconvene in November at the NAPT Summit and NASDPTS Annual Meeting in Kansas City to review procedures and progress with the writing committees. By the end of November, writing committee draft proposals should be completed and sent to the operations, body and chassis coordinators for review. Dec. 12 is the deadline for coordinators to submit the draft proposals to Martin, who will submit them to the university.
From Dec. 15 through Jan. 9, the editing and technical assistance committee will review the draft proposals before submitting edited versions to Martin and NASDPTS. Jan. 12 is the expected date for NASDPTS to post the edited proposals to the NCST site and it's also the deadline for public submissions.
More information on remaining deadlines leading up to next NCST next May is available on page 4 of the MOP.
Martin noted the "Chronicling Innovations in School Transportation Committee" has been restructured to include the executive directors from NASDPTS, NAPT, and NSTA. He added that all three associations will supply the industry with information about committee functions and work together on processes to record innovations in pupil transportation.
A new special committee has also been formed to "unite the inudstry" in providing student transporters with different formats for increasing public awareness of yellow school bus benefits and contributions. It is called "Telling the School Bus Story." The steering committee is accepting nominations for a chair to the committee, "and has a desire to open this committee to all interested parties who may contribute in meaningful ways," said Martin.
In addition to Martin, the NCST steering committee is made up of representatives from NAPT, NASDPTS, NSTA, the School Bus Manufacturer's Technical Council, the National Safety Council's School Transportation Section and the University of Central Missouri.