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. Clay County joins Wakulla, Hendry, Manatee, and DeSoto counties as part of the STS online training community. These counties join others in Oklahoma, Iowa, West Virginia, and Wyoming for online access to various catalogs and courses that satisfy training requirements for school bus drivers and other school support employees.
Pat Jones, District Transportation Coordinator for Wakulla County Florida, values the program and has endorsed the training at the 2011 Mid-Year Directors’ Meeting. Ben Shew, West Virginia’s Executive Director of Transportation, calculates that Smart Horizons‘ online training saves their state nearly $1000.00 per driver. “It’s always very exciting to bring on a new county,” says Patrick Willi, Director of School Training Solutions. He adds, “We’ve been working with Clay County to provide a tailored in-service curriculum, and we’d be happy to do the same for other counties.”
The cost savings and value are clear: online training is significantly less expensive than classroom instruction. State, county, or district entities responsible for yearly school bus driver training commonly use the online curriculum to standardize their training and use it in addition to on-the-road training or driving course sessions. This strategy frees up instructors for on-the-road training and makes paperwork and reporting more efficient.
STS also partners with the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) to provide an online option for NAPT Professional Development Series(PDS) certifications.