Training is the Key to the Success of Providing Transportation

Head Start bus drivers and monitors are extremely important to the success of Head Start. They often establish close relationships with children and parents on their routes. Drivers and monitors see children the first thing each morning, and often learn things about children’s personalities and needs that even classroom teachers miss. Sometimes drivers and monitors are the only contact between a child's family and the Center.

Drivers and monitors can set the tone for the child’s whole day of learning. For some children, a smile from the driver or monitor might be the first one they see that day. A caring driver and monitor establish the first bonds of trust with parents and guardians.

Ensuring children's safety on the ride to and from Head Start, in challenging weather, road, and traffic conditions, takes tremendous skill, concentration, and dedication. Without truly professional drivers and monitors, it would be impossible to provide services to children in need in most areas of the country.

A caring, professional driver and monitor make a huge difference to the success of Head Start.

What is Success?

  • The achievement of something planned or attempted.
  • Something that turns out as planned or intended.
  • Transporting children safely with no mishaps. 

It takes just one

  • minute to write a safety rule.
  • hour to hold a safety meeting.
  • week to plan a safety program.
  • month to put into operation.
  • year to earn a safe driving award.
  • lifetime to make a safe worker.
  • Second to destroy it all with one ACCIDENT.

Training Documentation

Documentation is so important in our jobs today. Become creative and complete your own documentation form to your individual staff needs. Set clear expectations and implement and enforce policies and procedures. Be sure to document the training topics in your transportation personnel’s employee file. The following is a list of other documentation that should be maintained for transportation personnel.

  • Attendance Roles
  • Signed for Personnel Policy Handbook
  • Training Sign-in Sheet 
  • Employment Agreement
  • Transportation Handbook
  • Performance Evaluations
  • Policies/Procedures
  • Memos
  • Job Description
  • Laws & Regulations

The following is a sample form for documenting bus driver and monitor staff training: Full text»

Training is a major cornerstone to operating effective transportation services. As the transportation manager, training is key to transportation success and is built around having the following things in place: 

  • Job descriptions
  • Job task analysis
  • Proper training
  • Performance goals and evaluations
  • Documentation
  • Current policies and procedures
  • Conflict resolution
  • Communication strategies
  • Public Relations
  • Clear expectations

The following sample form can be used to document Bus Driver employee file: Full text»

Well-trained employees are your biggest asset. Keep the following tips in mind when establishing policies and procedures to support you in your training efforts:

  • Job descriptions are based on key skills and functions and are reinforced in training.
  • Performance goals and evaluations are based on criteria set from your training program.
  • Policy is set on your training program. Policies and procedures governing your transportation services are key to transporting children safely to and from the center and center-related activities.
  • Communication skills are practiced and learned during training.
  • Clear expectations are set in mission statements that are reflected in everyday work. 

Source: Adapted from Launi Schmutz, CDPT, Washington County School District
School Transportation Administrator, School Transportation News (STN) Expo 2007