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COVID-19 Claims Latest Conference Victim, This Time NASDPTS

The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services announced that it canceled this year’s annual conference scheduled for this fall because of new coronavirus health concerns.

The event was to be held Nov. 7-11 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to coincide with the annual National Association for Pupil Transportation Summit. NAPT announced the cancelation of its conference and trade show on June 19.

In April, the National School Transportation Association canceled its annual summer meeting and the International School Bus Driver Competition. A month earlier, the National Congress on School Transportation announced it postponed the event on national school bus specifications until next May. Every other state association conference was also canceled, with some moving to virtual meetings.

NASDPTS communicated on Wednesday to its members that a recent survey of state directors indicated a “vast majority” were prohibited to travel out of state because of COVID-19.

“The underlying health reasons, of course, are ones with which we are all, unfortunately, well familiar,” the association added in an email. “We believe it would be neither feasible nor wise to ask or expect our members to travel this year, especially in light of the recent surge in cases throughout the Sunbelt and now in many Midwestern states.”

NASDPTS said it rescheduled the conference for next November in Grand Rapids, and the board will discuss alternative meeting plans, such as a virtual conference, during a meeting later this month.

Meanwhile, School Transportation News is launching the virtual Bus Technology Summit next month, with a focus on utilizing current and emerging innovations to survive and thrive during COVID-19 and beyond. An announcement on in-person conferences postponed until October and November will be made in the coming weeks.

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