It’s a milestone for student transporters planning to attend the TSD Conference held Nov. 8-13, in they will be in Frisco, Texas. They will be helping to commemorate 30 years of specialized training for student transporters who serve students with disabilities and special needs.
The conference was founded in 1992 by Roseanne Schwaderer (STN acquired the conference in 2012) in an attempt to bridge the communication gap that existed between special education and transportation departments. This year’s agenda continues that mission with six general sessions, including keynote addresses by Stephen Sroka on “The Courage to live and Lead in the Face of Adversity: It’s All About Relationships,” which is sponsored by First Student, and “Steering Clear of Legal Hotspots” by special education attorney Vickie L. Coe of law firm Clark Hill.
In addition to a special “Lunch ‘n Learn” panel on Nov. 10 sponsored by the Propane Education Research Council, which will provide student, parent and transporter perspectives of the onboard experiences with alternative-fuel school buses, other general sessions include a Nov. 11 panel discussion facilitated by TSD Tenured Faculty Member Linda F. Bluth, Ed.D., on “Navigating IDEA: Implementing Appropriate Transportation Services for Children with Disabilities.” Bluth will be joined by fellow Tenured Faculty members Alexandra Robinson and Sue Shutrump as well as consultant Launi Harden.
The closing general session the afternoon of Nov. 12 will focus on mainstreaming higher functioning students onto general education routes with speech and language pathologist Jocelyn Taylor, followed by the panel “You Can’t Blame Everything On COVID-19: Managing Extended Services Offered to Students During Challenging Times.”
A roadeo and training competition is also held for bus driver and attendant teams on Nov. 12 at Prosper Independent School District. Concurrently, the special registration “Hands-on School Bus Evacuations for Students with Special Needs & Preschoolers” is also provided at the school district, one of several Unique Experiences planned. Prosper ISD will also host the recently revised Child Passenger Safety on School Buses National Training sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to conclude the conference on Nov. 13.
TSD Conference also brings attendees two-dozen educational breakout sessions to choose from, including the popular “Foundations of Special Needs Transportation” half-day seminar on Nov. 9. Other topics to be presented include: how to develop winning partnerships between vendors and student transporters; appropriate infection control on school buses; creative routing to overcome driver shortages; emergency planning strategies for students with special needs and preschoolers; developing special needs transportation equipment procurement plans; best-practice principles for transporting students in wheelchairs; promoting resiliency for students on the autism spectrum; vehicle and equipment maintenance primer for special needs transporters; the basics of sign language to ease communication on the school bus; and more.
The TSD Trade Show begins the evening of Nov. 10 with a football-themed “Tailgate” networking event and continues the following morning after the “Navigating IDEA” general session.