The Georgia Association for Pupil Transportation (GAPT) is preparing for its 50th annual conference June 16-19 on the vacation destination of Jekyll Island.
The conference will offer a professional development component, with over 100 hours of information sessions, as well as a trade show featuring new school buses and supportive technology and equipment. GAPT has approximately 350 members, and just below 340 are expected to attend, which is a record number according to Garry Puetz, GAPT treasurer.
Participants can choose information sessions across five different tracks including safety, training and special needs.
Puetz added that the conference will offer much more training and information than in previous years, and believes that the record number of attendees is due to this.
“We’re really excited about our professional learning sessions and how much content we are going to have,” Puetz told STN.
The trade show component of the conference will take place on Wednesday and Thursday. It will feature developments in buses, technology and supportive equipment with over 80 vendors present. Blue Bird Corporation and Yancey Bus Sales and Service will take their latest propane-powered bus out on the road for a demonstration.
“It gives us an opportunity to see the latest and greatest things that our vendors have for us that will allow us to protect our students,”Puetz said about the trade show.
The conference will conclude Thursday evening with the annual business meeting as well as elections for the upcoming year’s officers and Board of Directors. There will also be end awards and recognitions, including Champions from Georgia’s Pupil Transportation Safety Competitions and the Valor Award for bravery displayed by a bus driver, which Puetz added is given to “bus drivers in the state of Georgia who may have done something above and beyond what their normal call of duty would be or demonstrated bravery and heroism in some way.”