Attendee Registration

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Workshop Details

(As of 2/14/18. Schedule subject to change.)


Browse dates and times for all sessions and workshops by track:


General Sessions

Friday, March 9


Opening General Session: Then, Now & Tomorrow: Shared Wisdom from Special Needs Transportation Experts

(Peggy Burn moderating a panel: Linda Bluth, Pauline Gervais, Alex Robinson, Sue Shutrump)

Join TSD Conference Tenured Faculty and special guests as we kick off the week of intense training with a panel discussion on the major tenets of transporting students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Ask questions of the conference’s founding members and take inventory of the past quarter century, as you prepare your educational and training takeaways for the week ahead.


Sunday, March 11

8:30am-9:45 am

Where Do We All Begin? What ALL Adult Brains Should Know About ALL Student Brains When Responding to Challenging Behavior Demonstrations

(Jo Mascorro)

It is crucial that those responsible for the safe transportation of ALL students have a clear understanding of the dos and don'ts when responding to challenging behavior. This presentation will provide specific techniques to assist you when communicating expectations while keeping in MIND how the student brain learns Strategies will emphasize taking a closer look at how to enrich your intervention practices, as you attempt to provide a safe transportation experience.


Monday, March 12


Navigating Legal Minefields in Transporting Students with Disabilities

(Julie Weatherly, Esq.)

Learn the major issues in special education and results of recent case law that student transporters would do well to steer clear and be aware of, plus ask specific questions of our preeminent legal expert Julie Weatherly, Esq.


Tuesday, March 13

Improving Social & Emotional Student Health on the School Bus

(Lori Desautels, Ph.D.)

Applied educational neuroscience is a framework and discipline that addresses the neurobiology of stress, regulation, engagement and connection. It uses applied educational neuroscience research and strategies to ensure educators are “sitting beside their students in relationship, behaviors, and academics.” School bus drivers are the first and last responders for students each day. Our drivers have the ability to powerfully impact student brain state and behavior before they enter schools each day! Learn the brain aligned strategies, stress response, and brain development bus drivers need to understand so relationship and regulation with the neuro-diverse brains of our children are present and active. All children and adolescents challenged with emotional, cognitive, and social needs will begin to understand that their genius brains are wired for resiliency and change.


Wednesday, March 14


Coffee’s On Us, Tips Are Appreciated

Join TSD Conference staff to debrief and discuss lessons learned, takeaways, things you liked and things you didn’t in this interactive sharing session over a cup of coffee in a complimentary TSD mug.  Attendee feedback directly affects the planning of each session and each event, so we want to hear from you on how we can improve training and networking opportunities for next year.



Hands-On TrainiNG
Friday, March 9



NHTSA Child Passenger Safety Restraint Training

(Fred Doelker, Denise Donaldson, Charley Kennington, Miriam Manary, Sue Shutrum, Charles Vits)

This training session approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration teaches the proper securement of pre-school aged children in appropriate child safety restraint systems (CSRS) on school bus seats. It provides the basic rules of proper CSRS usage and illustrates the most common mistakes made when installing CSRS in school buses. Continuing education units (5.5 CEUs) are approved by Safe Kids Worldwide for all registered attendees who complete the course work.



Emergency Evacuation Strategies for Students with Special Needs & Preschoolers

(Kathy Furneaux & Eden Perez)

This comprehensive look at evacuation planning for students with special needs and preschoolers will cover the water-front of potential issues and hurdles to a smooth and quick evacuation in an emergency on the school bus. Come and expand your strategies for evacuation through 2 hours of detailed considerations for evacuation. Bring your tough questions!



Bus in the Classroom

(Pete Meslin & Tom Rickert)

This program has received a great deal of attention in transportation circles. That’s because it actually makes a huge difference in the safety and education level of bus riders. Students who attend this program actually learn how to behave around the bus. The curriculum is easy to teach and actually trains drivers on how students with disabilities behave. This class will be taught in workshop style. Attendees will leave having completed several of the steps necessary to implement the program in their local districts. The final hour will be spent discussing how this program and others are helping students overcome obstacles to attending school.



Besi Hands-on Securement Training

Receive instruction from company representatives on proper securement of products.



Q’Straint/Sure-Lok Hands-on Securement Training

Receive instruction from company representatives on proper securement of products.



Opening General Session
Then, Now & Tomorrow: Shared Wisdom from Special Needs Transportation Experts

(Peggy Burns moderating with panelists Linda Bluth, Pauline Gervais, Alex Robinson, and Sue Shutrump. Special comments from founder Roseann Schwaderer.)

Join TSD Conference Tenured Faculty and special guests as we kick off the week of intense training with a panel discussion on the major tenets of transporting students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Ask questions of the conference’s founding members and take inventory of the past quarter century, as you prepare your educational and training takeaways for the week ahead.


TRACK: Operations and Safety

Saturday, March 10



Foundations of Special Needs Transportation

(Pauline Gervais)

This session will provide the foundations of special needs transportation including an overview of federal law, training best-practices, the role of Head Start and preschool, McKinney-Vento homeless regulations, and operations. If you are new to transportation or would just like to review why and what is required, then this session is for you.



Personalized Training Strategies for Special Education Transporters

(Fred Doelker)

We’ve decided that the school bus and the infrastructure that has been established around it should be the safest transportation system there is. However, just what  have we decided that this means? Is the mere fact that few children in our care are not killed on board the bus enough to call it safe? If we just knock off a mirror here or there or put a few dents on our vehicle (or others) before returning to base are we OK? And what does it really mean when we tell our employees that it’s their responsibility to provide a “safe” ride? First, we’d better make sure that team  leader  have decided what a “safe” ride means and then established a common language that we can train around.



Survive to Thrive: Making Human Resources Work for Your Transportation Operation

(Mark Hinson)

In light of pressures to maintain a productive and stable workforce, the professional relationship you cultivate with Human Resources and other internal support divisions and departments is critical to your success  This session will focus on strategies you can use to strengthen these relationships, maximize collaboration and translate these efforts into concrete outcomes for you and your team.



Sunday, March 11


Sexual Abuse on the School Bus: We Have to Talk About It

(Linda Bluth, with panelists Launi Harden, Alex Robinson & Tina Spence)

You cannot address sexual abuse on school buses if you are unwilling to talk about it. This session will openly discuss the importance of keeping your eyes open to sexual abuse on the school bus. Become informed about major factors impacting sexual abuse activities on the school bus. Scenarios will be presented for you to learn from actual reported events that have taken place on the school bus. The role of the media will also be discussed.



Wheelchair Securement and Occupant Protection Lessons from the Crash Lab

(Miriam Manary)

Learn the “why's” behind proper use of wheelchair tie-downs and occupant protection systems. This session will give participants insights into the importance of best practice in wheelchair transportation safety and will show crash videos that document the consequences of misuse. The content offers new ways to explain the importance of “doing it right” to colleagues, students and families.



NO! DON'T! STOP! So How Exactly Is That Working for You?

Points to Ponder When Responding to Challenging Behavior Demonstrations

(Jo Mascorro)

Behavior challenges can often be exhausting and create quite the dilemma, especially when you feel like you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work.  This presentation will discuss proactive intervention techniques, and provide points to ponder for safely enhancing the transportation experience of ALL students and staff!



How to Conduct Internal Investigations

(Mark Hinson)

Addressing problematic workplace behavior often involves some form of formal inquiry or investigation. An effective decision-making process coupled with an organizational strategy serve as smart tools to aid in the investigative process. Whether you are looking into misuse of time, sexual harassment, theft, mistreatment of students and/or other policy related violations, all eyes are on "face credibility" of the steps and processes you and others take to address the issues. This session will provide you with clear guidance and a comprehensive approach for conducting internal investigations.


Tuesday, March 13


Minimizing Expenses in Special Education Transportation

(Pete Meslin)

It is widely recognized that transporting students with disabilities is the most expensive portion of our budget. However, there are many options available, which can help reign in this runaway budget item. You can’t afford to avoid attending this cost saving session.



Strategies for Mainstreaming Special Education Students w/ Non-Obvious Disabilities

(Shawna Jones)

Millions of students are facing mental and physical challenges daily but have no obvious characteristics of a disability   In this session, we will learn strategies to reinforce students to succeed in their least restricted environment (LRE) on the school bus   In order to achieve this, we must identify non-obvious disabilities and learn what strategies can use to successfully mainstream students with their non-disabled peers.



Creating a Training Library: Creative Ways to Improve Special Education Transportation Staff Performance

(Leon Langley)

Special needs transportation staff are in need of the most training, so finding adequate time and funding is a challenge. Learn how the Montgomery County Schools Training Unit in Maryland is using video starring its drivers, attendants, and trainers to address key questions or issues such as proper wheelchair securement and use of safety equipment. These videos are available online to all staff. This presentation will describe the process and the many unique ways that Montgomery County is defining a new path to success for its drivers and attendants.



TRACK: Law and Policy

Saturday, March 10


Dispatcher Training - Roles and Responsibilities

(Kathleen Furneaux)

Being a transportation dispatcher can be a stressful job  Receive an overview of how to effectively train your dispatchers to better manage their tim  and respond to emergencies as well as improve the two-way radio, telephone, written and personal communications. What specific techniques do they need to improve customer service and build positive relationships with their customers  How can they better document community and parental complaints? Contribute to and even directly affect positive employee morale?



IDEA Dispute Resolution Strategies for Student Transporters

(Jo Anne Blades)

Difficult emotions usually accompany difficult conversations. Learn information and strategies for communicating with parents when emotions are high   Through examples and techniques, learn what lies beneath those emotions to assist you in communicating with confidence.



Balancing the Burden of Head Start & Pre-K Regulations

(Kathy Furneaux, Kevin Gunn & Tony Pollard)
As school districts are faced with expanding roles in transporting pre-k and Head Start students, it becomes clear that the regulations are not a perfect fit in existing operations. This experienced panel will address the overlaps and differences in governing regulation and how to minimize the potential impact to operations.


Sunday, March 11


Training Resources for Onboard Administration of Medication

(Angela McDonald)

States vary in terms of requirements that school bus drivers or monitors be trained in administering life-saving medication on the school bus. Hear from a school nurse about how to make sure you know your state’s requirements and where you can turn to if your operation needs assistance in understanding legal obligations as well as training.



Reducing Risk & Liability in Special Education Transportation

(Peggy Burns moderating with John Benish, Mark Hinson & Pete Meslin)
Potential pitfalls in providing school transportation can be obvious, but difficult to avoid; subtle, but threatening; easily overlooked, but deadly if you do. This diverse panel will help you avoid a number of risks and legal battles as we discuss the nature and sources of risk and liability.



Making Informed IEP Descisions

(Linda Bluth moderating with Fred Doelker & Launi Harden)

This session will discuss the importance of knowing who is responsible for making special education and transportation decisions at IEP meetings. “One Size Fits All” is not an acceptable approach for making informed individualized transportation decisions. Learn about having qualified individuals at the IEP meeting and raising the right questions to provide transportation in the LRE. Scenarios will be presented to address challenging situations.



Balancing FERPA Compliance with a School Bus Driver’s Right to Know

(Jo Anne Blades)

While information regarding a special education student is confidential, bus drivers often need som  information to properly serve the needs of that student. This interactive session will explore through discussion what information can and should be given to a bus driver; ways a school district could convey this information; how this information can assist a bus driver; Ways that a bus driver can keep and protect student confidentiality.


Monday, March 12


Ensuring FAPE in Student Transportation

(Julie Weatherly)
Transportation’s role as a related service under IDEA is perhaps more well-defined in light of a U.S. Supreme Court decision issued last year that clarified the standard for determining what constitutes a free and appropriate education. Among other things, services must meet the  individual needs of each child, and their appropriateness will be determined in light of each child's unique circumstances.  In light of this important decision, transporters must ponder their role in making the FAPE decision and its outcomes, as well as their role in ensuring that the needs of their individual riders are met.  In this session, practical tips will be provided to assist you in properly fulfilling your role and ensuring that your operations and programs are in lock step with the Court's ruling.  In addition, an opportunity will be provided to ask questions of one of the nation’s pre-eminent legal experts in the area of special education



Transporting Pre-K Students – Improving Child Passenger Safety in Our School Buses

(Charles Vits)
The National Child Passenger Safety Board and its role in overseeing child passenger safety in the US will be described in this presentation   The need for improving child passenger safety in school buses is a growing priority as the number of Pre-K students transported in public school buses increases  Minimum standards for training need to be adapted as new materials covering the basics have been developed and are freely available to all transportation staff.


Tuesday, March 13


Everything School Bus Drivers Should Know Bus Attendants Should, Too

(Alexandra Robinson)
The school bus driver and attendant should be working as a team; their knowledge should therefore be TEAM knowledge. This session will discuss the policies and challenges surrounding this sharing of information and take a deep dive into the things that drivers and attendants should both know but often one always knows first!



Unlawful Harassment: Creating a 'No' Culture in the Department

(Monica Velazquez)

This presentation will examine the elements of unlawful harassment, provide specific examples or relevant case studies, and suggest some practical advice for addressing it and possibly remedying workplace harassment.



Joint Session with Leadership & Collaboration (Identifying Evolving Behavior & Mental Health Issues in Preschool Riders)



Balancing Technology with Training for More Accountable Student Transportation Management

(Theresa Anderson, Arby Creach & Tina Spence)

Do you document how your district uses technology for special needs or pre-K routes? What is your policy for reviewing on-board video footage, reporting incidents and ensuring chain of command onboard video of special needs routes? Do your policies account for staff training? Technology can be a great thing for student transporters but these innovations aren’t a replacement for good procedures and training. Join a discussion on how to ensure technology and training work hand-in-hand rather than separate from each other.



TRACK: Leadership and Collaboration

Saturday, March 10



Utilizing Preschool Transportation to Prevent Homelessness

(Barbara Duffield)

Children in quality preschool programs are more likely to graduate from high school. Recent longitudinal research found that children with access to quality early care and education services such as transportation are significantly more likely to be employed full-time and to have more financial and personal assets by their early 40s, both strong protective factors against homelessness. Learn how the Every Student Succeeds Act amended the McKinney-Vento Act to increase preschool access and stability for homeless children and what it means to you, the transporter.



Wellness Programs for Healthier & Physically Able-to-Perform Employees

(John Benish, Jr. & Arby Creach)

With more than two thirds of the U.S. population considered overweight or obese, now is as an important time as ever to be cognizant of our driver’s health. The rise in overweight and obese adults puts us at greater risk of developing diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This workshop will cover strategies for and challenges to implementing wellness programs, as well as take home ideas from school district and a private bus contractor perspectives for getting started at your own workplace. This workshop is intended to be a discussion about how to assist our drivers in passing their physical exams each year by encouraging them to live healthy lifestyles, how wellness can aid in boosting employee morale and retention, and how wellness can help keep not only drivers but also our children safe.



Transporting Students with Disabilities in Developing Countries

(Tom Rickert)

Learn about what is going on in developing regions of Latin America, Asia, and Africa when it comes to improving the ability of students with disabilities and their parents to ride or walk to school.  Content will be based on a guide on this topic currently being published in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Hindi.  The program will be introduced by a video describing the specific challenges facing children and their parents in Mexico.


Sunday, March 11


Successful Strategies for Transitioning Students with Disabilities to Post-Secondary Education

(Cheryl Grenwelge)

Participants will be introduced to transition services for students and youth with disabilities under IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act. They will also gain a better understanding of opportunities to prepare students with disabilities for success. Presenters will share options after leaving secondary school that relate to education and employment goals. Finally, presenters will also introduce person-centered planning and the importance of student-made decisions.



How to Influence School Administration Policies for a Positive Effect on Transportation

(Shawna Jones)

In most school districts the school board creates policies and individual departments create procedures to implement them. The key to a successful department is in learning how to influence policies. This session will explain the necessary steps to create influence. It is not our destiny just to implement board policies. Rather, we can have significant effect on both policy content and tone.



Roadeo - It's More Than a Competition

(Theresa Anderson)

There are few opportunities for our profession to showcase skills and knowledge. Training for and participating in a Roadeo is the perfect opportunity. This event develops and showcases the best of the best. Not sure what it takes or how to hold a Roadeo? This session will show all the benefits and needs to accomplish this task.


Monday, March 12


Facilitating Transportation Needs for Head Start Students & Families

(Kevin Gunn)

Head Start is the educational foundation that presents many pre-school age students with their first opportunity to ride a school bus. The big yellow school bus can be a little intimidating for the students as well as their parents. As the organizer of transportation, we have an opportunity to partner with parents to promote a safe passage to and from school  This session is designed to help attendees help parents learn what questions to ask relating to their student riding the bus. It will also review specific student needs such as an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), special needs transportation, and the expectations of parents and students.



Tuesday, March 13


Three Ways to Enhance Pre-K Transportation: Planning, Preparation, and Care

(Tony Pollard)

This session will present to supervisors and leaders the information necessary to properly prepare staff, para-educators, and school bus drivers. The discussion will share information needed to understand the Pre-K students in their care.



Collaboration Strategies for Student Transporters & School Nurses

(Angela McDonald)

Learn the importance of a strong working relationship and dialog between student transporters and school nurses to ensure that the medical needs of students are met. This session will discuss the importance of ensuring that student transporters are trained on the care and needs of students with certain health conditions and the importance of including student transportation in the development of student health care plans.



Identifying Evolving Behavior & Mental Health Issues in Preschool Riders

(Lori Desautels)

Explore the brain aligned strategies that school bus drivers can implement in more detail to dampen the stress response while promoting emotional regulation for students. In this hour, attendees will also create different scenarios that drivers encounter with children and how we can promote positive emotion and stay connected to our children with varying neuro-diverse needs.



Joint Session with Law and Policy (Balancing Technology with Training for More Accountable Student Transportation Management)



TRACK: OT/PT/Transporter Forum

Monday, March 12


Help? Hindrance? Or Danger? Assessing Wheelchair Accessories and Components for Their Impact on a Safe School Bus Ride

(Charley Kennington, Miriam Manary, Danielle Morris, Sue Shutrump, Chris Yarber)

Occupation  protection  and transportation safety equipment can only be effective when the passenger is properly positioned and supported. Join us as we explore the role of various common wheelchair and child safety restraint system components in safe transport. Strategies to maximize their effectiveness while reducing the risks when developing individualized transportation plans will be discussed.



Overcoming Perplexing Challenges in Transporting Students with Disabilities

(Charley Kennington, Miriam Manary, Danielle Morris, Sue Shutrump, Chris Yarber)

Bring issues and concerns about real-world securement and student positioning to the forefront, discuss with your peers and set out on a path toward resolution.

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