HomeEvent NewsTSD Conference Highlights for Day 3 — Sunday, March 17

TSD Conference Highlights for Day 3 — Sunday, March 17

The Transporting Students with Disabilities & Special Needs Conference & Trade Show is near, so this is your last chance to attend the popular March 15-20 event at the Embassy Suites Dallas-Frisco Hotel Convention Center & Spa.

Click here to register.

Related: Another Great Speaker at TSD, Heather Hirsch
Related: TSD Conference Highlights for Day 5 — Tuesday, March 19
Related: TSD Conference Highlights for Day 4 — Monday, March 18
Related: TSD Conference Highlights for Day 3 — Sunday, March 17
Related: TSD Conference Highlights for Day 2 — Saturday, March 16
Related: TSD Conference Highlights for Day 1 — Friday, March 15
Related: Star Speaker Patrick Mulick Returns to TSD Conference
Related: TSD Conference Speakers Set


Recent Case Law Impacting Special Needs Transporters: Steering Employees Away from Liability
8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
In this fast-paced keynote address, special education attorney Betsey Helfrich will review recent case law from around the country, discuss hot-topics impacting your job, and provide practical tips for minimizing liability for your school district, company and employees.
Presenter: Betsey Helfrich

Why, Where & How of Using Conventional CSRS on School Buses
9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
In some situations, using a conventional child safety restraint systems (CSRS) is the right choice for student safety. However, whether forward or rear-facing, CSRS is not always easy to install and use on a school bus. This workshop, which is taught by two child passenger safety technicians, will explain when it makes sense to use a conventional CSRS, demonstrate the right way to use one on the bus and provide tips for overcoming common challenges.
Presenters: Denise Donaldson & Jackie Leach Stackhouse

Identifying Solutions to Everyday Issues
9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
This round table style session will discuss today’s most common challenges facing transporters of students with disabilities. So bring your creative solutions and your best questions. Any question, any solution, is welcome. Or simply listen and learn.
Presenter: Launi Harden

Spec’ing Special Needs Equipment for the School Bus
9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Purchasing school buses that are equipped for students with disabilities and preschoolers can be quite complicated. It requires much consideration and collaboration, prior to the bid process. Ignoring these first steps can lead to an unsatisfactory or unsuccessful experience. These considerations will be addressed, as well as proper maintenance of the equipment, both factory-installed and after-market.
Presenter: Cathy Staggs

Knowing Who You Transport
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Have you ever wondered what your students’ disabilities actually are and how they were determined? In this session, discuss the eligibility process for special education, and how a student’s disability determines what services they receive, including transportation. The audience will also examine common behaviors that are demonstrated in transit by a disability.
Presenter: Dayle Cantrall

Understanding Head Start Requirements for Transportation
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Does your program have a thorough understanding of what Head Start Program Performance Standards 1303 Subpart F-Transportation really says? Programs are not required to provide transportation, but they are still accountable to program participants. During this workshop, take a deeper look at the requirements that a program must meet if it does provide transportation services. There are key regulations that grantees and delegate agencies are required to comply with. The objective of this workshop is to provide programs with a snapshot of what these regulations say you must do.
Presenter: Jay Thurber

Importance of Pre-Trip Inspections for Safe Special Needs Rides
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
This presentation will discuss the importance of the pre-tip inspection and how it can impact your transportation operation. Communication with the drivers, shop personnel, dispatch and parents may be impacted by this inspection. Pre-trip is the first line to ensure your buses are in proper working order and safe for the route. Pre-trip will also alert the shop of potential repairs to address before issues arise.
Presenter: Bobby Williams

Balancing FERPA Compliance with a Bus Driver’s Need to Know
2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Special education attorney Betsey Helfrich examines the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, plus how it applies to transportation staff. Practical tips will be shared for how to balance a student’s right to confidentiality with the bus driver’s need-to-know information, in order to keep students safe.
Presenter: Betsey Helfrich

Could’ve/Should’ve: Creating Leadership Accountability in Management
2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
A true leader knows what they’re doing well—but also recognizes what they don’t know. This session will focus on how we can learn from errors, avoid the blame games, and teach or coach responsibility, in order to expect accountability.
Facilitator: Alexandra Robinson
Panelists:  Julie Jilek, Anthony Pollard & Nicole Portee

Where is it Written that I Can/Cannot…?
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Student transporters and therapists come together to discuss the resources they have found most helpful when developing transportation programming for students with special needs. Our experts will discuss how to find and use these resources to support best practices with those who question, “Why?” The session will highlight the American Academy of Pediatrics guidance documents, National School Transportation Specifications & Procedures, University of Michigan Wheelchair Safety Transportation website, manufacturers’ guidelines, NHTSA training manuals, and many other resources.
Facilitator: Sue Shutrump
Panelists:  Laura Blankenship, Fred Doelker, Dianna Gates & Miriam Manary

Use, Access & Review of Video on Special Needs Routes: Developing & Refining Your District Practices
3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
This panel discussion will examine the legal and practical aspects of using onboard video for special needs routes. The panel will discuss the challenges and best practices for proactively reviewing onboard video to respond to students, as well as driver/attendant behavior issues, in addition to handling requests for access to videos. The session will examine the strategies for developing documentation on how video is observed, reported and protected. Join the dialogue and ask your questions of the panel of experts, to help refine your district procedures.
Facilitator: Betsey Helfrich
Panelists:  Dave Armbrecht & Nicole Portee

Three Ways to Enhance Pre-K Transportation: Planning, Preparation & Care
3:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Discuss the role transporters of our youngest students can play in setting parent expectations, and matching those with training, to provide the very best experience for our youngest students.
Facilitator: Betty Hughes
Panelists:  Anthony Pollard & Jay Thurber

Overcoming Perplexing Challenges in Transporting Students with Disabilities
3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Discuss common issues in real-world securement and positioning of students. Come prepared to ask your own questions and share your own stories, as the group forges a path toward resolution.
Facilitator: Sue Shutrump
Panelists:  Laura Blankenship, Fred Doelker, Dianna Gates & Miriam Manary

Browse the detailed conference workshop schedule.

Conference Registration Contact:

Alice Hung Sabedra
Senior Events Coordinator

Last Chance to Exhibit

More than 70 exhibitors will be displaying their products and services. Exhibit spaces are almost completely sold out, but to inquire about reserving a booth, contact: Tony Corpin, STN Publisher, at 310-802-7803 or


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