Busing on the Lookout (BOTL) Empowers School Bus Drivers to Help Combat Trafficking

I’m fortunate to be able to travel and attend school bus events, trade shows, and activities across the country. When I come across a program that really makes a difference, I do what I can to get that message out. This is a message that everyone in the transportation industry should receive.

Busing on the Lookout

There are inherently hard topics to talk about or even acknowledge. Human trafficking is one of those topics. Until the 2018 NAPT and NASDPTS Conferences, human trafficking was something I’ve only seen in movies. The reality is that trafficking happens every day and in every corner of the United States (and the World).

  • According to, since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has received reports of 34,700 sex trafficking cases inside the United States.
  • Globally, the International Labor Organization estimates that there are 4.8 million people trapped in forced sexual exploitation globally.
Annie Sovcik

Annie Sovcik, the Program Director for Busing on the Lookout (BOTL), presented to State Directors at the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation (NASDPTS) Conference AND again to delegates at the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) Conference. She also took to the Trade Show floor with DVDs and program materials to relay the message to as many willing ears as possible. The pupil transportation industry, from district to state levels, is already embracing this training.


Busing on the Lookout (BOTL) is a logical expansion of the extremely successful Truckers Against Trafficking training geared toward truck drivers. The program for commercial and school bus drivers broadens the network of observing and reporting individuals that law enforcement organizations rely on to recover victims and make arrests.

From the BOTL website: When building an army to fight a crime like human trafficking, the bus industry has a key role to fill. Through their sheer numbers, extensive travels, and the nature of their jobs, members of the bus industry—commercial and school—are uniquely positioned to provide an extra set of eyes and ears for law enforcement in recovering victims and arresting traffickers.

This is a free training program and certification that should be completed by, frankly, everyone – especially if you frequently travel, are involved in the transportation industry, or are around children. In order to complete the BOTL certification program, you must register, watch the video, and take a short quiz. My personal experience is that it’s a painless registration process to access the material and well worth the effort considering the training empowers YOU to take steps that could end up saving a life.

  • Take action and complete the training.
  • Tell your Safety and Training Coordinator about BOTL training and certification.
  • Help make a difference in the fight against human trafficking.

TL;DR: Take the free Busing on The Lookout (BOTL) training to learn how to recognize and report human trafficking. Free Training.

Posted in Blog, Online Training, Pupil Transportation on November 26th, 2018. No Comments.

School Training Solutions Adds Five More Florida Counties to Its Online Training Community

School Bus Drivers Now Receiving State-Mandated Training Online as Additional Transportation Departments Adopt School Training Solutions’ Curriculum

fl-chalkboard-mapPENSACOLA, Fla., March 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — School Training Solutions (STS) is expanding its online school bus driver training in Florida.  Volusia, Monroe, Okeechobee, Charlotte, and Pinellas are the newest transportation departments to adopt School Training Solutions’ online curriculum.  These counties join Wakulla, Holmes, Walton, Clay, Marion, DeSoto, Manatee, and Hendry, as well as counties in Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa, Wyoming, and West Virginia as part of the STS online training community.

Greg Akins, Director of Transportation for Volusia County School District, has been impressed with the change.  “It is a time saver and very cost-effective for us.  Instead of tying up staff for several days of training, we have applicants take the online course, and then we supplement it with about a day and a half of our district specific policies and procedures,” he states. Akins also finds the online administrator access to reports and training records very beneficial: “It allows staff to keep track of each applicant’s progress and to offer coaching as needed.”  Akin adds, “School Training Solutions’ staff is absolutely phenomenal with their support and immediate attention to our questions and needs.”

Patrick Willi, Director of School Training Solutions, remarks, “We are excited about the expansion of counties in Florida, as word is spreading about our online training.  We remain committed to providing quality education to meet the in-service needs of school districts across the U.S.”

More and more counties are taking advantage of online training to satisfy state-mandated yearly in-service requirements for school bus drivers and support personnel. The benefits of online training are numerous when compared to traditional classroom training.  The flexibility of online training allows participants to complete the training at their own pace and in their own time-frame. Documentation and reports are readily available, thus reducing the amount of paperwork and making it easier to track progress. Students receive instant feedback, and the presentation of information is consistent.  Online training is also significantly less expensive than classroom instruction.

About School Training Solutions

School Training Solutions (STS), a division of Smart Horizons, is a comprehensive offering of online training organized to meet both state mandated in service training requirements and the professional development training needs of all school district employees. The STS catalog contains driver training for bus drivers and others operating school district vehicles, campus security, food services training, and professional development training for administrative, support, and teaching personnel. To learn more about School Training Solutions, please visit

Independence School District Joins the School Training Solutions Online Training Community

School Bus Drivers Now Receiving Training Online in MO, OK, FL, IA, WY, and WV

PENSACOLA, Fla., Sept. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ —School Training Solutions (STS) welcomes Independence School District, Independence Missouri, to its online training community. Independence joins other districts across the U.S. that are already taking advantage of this online training to satisfy yearly in-service requirements for school bus drivers. School Training Solutions partnered with transportation and safety supervisors in Independence to create a custom in-service catalog for its district that drivers began using on August 1, 2013. Read More…

Posted in Online Training, Press Releases on September 24th, 2013. 1 Comment.

School Training Solutions Expands Online School Bus Driver Training in Florida

Transportation Departments in Marion, Holmes, and Walton Counties adopt School Training Solutions online curriculum.

School Training Solutions

Many of our drivers have come up to me and said the course was hard, but that they really learned something.


School Training Solutions (STS), a division of Smart Horizons, is partnering with counties across Florida to provide training for bus drivers and support personnel. Read More…

Posted in Online Training, Press Releases on March 22nd, 2013. No Comments.

School Training Solutions Expands Online Training in Florida

Clay County, FL Selects Online Training for New Driver and In-Service Training

School Training Solutions

The cost savings and value are clear: online training is significantly less expensive than classroom instruction.


School Training Solutions (STS), a division of Smart Horizons, is partnering with counties across Florida to provide needed training for bus drivers and support personnel. Clay County, FL is the newest county to begin using STS online training to satisfy the classroom portion of school bus driver training. Read More…

Posted in Online Training, Press Releases on July 24th, 2012. No Comments.

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