The Ontario School Bus Association (OSBA) is a non-profit association providing advocacy, education and legislative consultation services to the owners of school bus fleets, school boards/transportation consortia and supplier/manufacturer companies across Ontario.  
July 20, 2016 - Issue 15

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Inside this Edition:
  1. P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program - Only Two Courses Left This Year!
  2. Beating the Heat to "Stuff the Bus"
  3. Unique Opportunity for Your School Bus Drivers - CBC Casting Call!
  4. Grant to Allow Mass. Districts to Test Electric School Buses
  5. Order Your OSBA Publications Now!
  6. First Student Donates School Bus For Summer Meals Program
  7. P.R.I.D.E. Program - August Program Sold Out - October Program Filling Up Quickly!
  8. NSTA Announces Winners of School Bus Driver Competition
  9. Attention OSBA Members: We Want Your Contributions for the Newsletter!
  10. Upcoming 2016 Events
P.R.I.D.E. Recertification Program - Only Two Courses Left This Year!

The P.R.I.D.E. Program is an approved course provider to deliver the Ontario Ministry of Transportation Driver Certification Program (DCP) Recertification course. This program is only one day of classroom training plus pre-course study/preparation work.  It focuses on recertifying Signing Authorities (SA’s) on the principles and techniques of effective adult education in a commercial vehicle driver trainer context.  It also provides a refresher regarding the roles and responsibilities of a Recognized Authority, Recognized Authority Official, Signing Authority-Trainer, Signing Authority-Examiner, road test route configurations, marking road tests and an overview of DCP and the Signing Authority Examiner Code of Ethics.  Recertification is valid for a period of five years.  

Five courses have been completed since the program’s inception in January this year.  Two more courses are scheduled for Sept. 28 and Nov. 23, 2016.  Participants from a variety of industries (fire, school bus, public transit, motor coach) attended this year’s programs and provided the following accolades:
  • Keep doing what you are doing; P.R.I.D.E. is the “benchmark of excellence”!
  • Very informative; beneficial to be able to come together with others that are Signing Authorities and get new ideas and how to do new things.
  • Excellent!  Content, pace was very good.  I cannot see anything to improve this course.
  • Well facilitated, constructive atmosphere, lots to learn as a trainer.
  • It was great giving our presentations and receiving feedback from the master trainer and our peers.  A great refresher.
  • Very well presented. Got us to think and do different things.
  • Very effective way to bring peers together and practice skills.
The Sept. 28 program is filling up quickly so send in your registration form today! 
P.R.I.D.E. Programs are held at the Admiral Inn Burlington,  Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact us for further information –
Beating the Heat to "Stuff the Bus"

Article By: The Daily  Ardmoreite (Oklahoma)
Article Date: July 17, 2016

On a hot summer day with customers flocking in to buy various goods, the bright yellow school bus outside was waiting to be filled with supplies.

Volunteers from several groups in Ardmore withstood the heat for the “Stuff the Bus” event July 16th, which helps provide school supplies to area students in need. The event is the midway point for the Stuff the Backpack Drive put on by the Ardmore Young Professionals. Volunteers stood in the wings of Walmart’s entrance and outside beside an Ardmore City Schools bus to hand out fliers, collect supplies from those who chose to donate and offered smiles and thanks to all those who entered the super center.

With the drive entering its third week, Ardmore Young Professionals president Andrea Anderson said the event usually serves as a kickstart to supplies coming in, especially with the “back to school” sales and specials in full-swing. Anderson also said the bus sitting in front of Walmart, along with volunteers handing out fliers, puts the thought of donating in peoples’ minds and can lead to more donations. The convenience of being able to drop the supplies off right after purchasing them also helps.

“It’s amazing,” said Walmart customer Scotta McFarland, who donated several supplies to the drive. “I didn’t initially buy something, but once I saw it was here when I was coming out of the store I went back in and got some things to help out.”

Volunteers from the Ardmore Young Professionals, the Concerned Citizens Group, Partners In Education (PIE) and other groups from the area helped hand out fliers and greet guests with a smile and the idea of donating supplies for children in need. Several children also helped hand out fliers, seizing the opportunity to help children their age in need.

“It’s to help the kids,” said Katelyn Paape with a smile, one of the younger volunteers at the event.

The event, which started at 9 a.m. and ended at 1 p.m., brought in over 4 carts of supplies from Walmart shoppers. The volunteers then loaded all the supplies into a vehicle and took them to be stored until backpack stuffing day, which will be Aug. 6. The backpacks will then be distributed on Aug. 10.

The drive set a goal of filling 1,000 backpacks this year, hoping to provide school supplies to even more children than in previous years!
Unique Opportunity for Your School Bus Drivers - CBC Casting Call!

OSBA recently received the following invitation from the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) requesting distribution to all school bus drivers.
CBC is currently casting for their hit prime-time show, “Canada’s Smartest Person” – an interactive competition series that challenges preconceived notions about intelligence and has inspired a nation-wide conversation about what it means to be “smart”.  This show has been an international as well as a domestic success, with the format rapidly being acquired in various countries abroad.

The focus of this series is to show the country that there is a lot more to intelligence than simply being a math whiz, a trivia buff or having a high IQ score.  Heading into its third season, the Casting Team is searching for Canadians who are ready to put their smarts to the ultimate test!
Seasons 1 and 2 featured some incredibly intelligent and inspiring Canadians from all walks of life:  a firefighter, a YouTuber, a stay-at-home mom, a truck driver, teachers, novelists, a radio host, an artist, grad students, CEO’s and company directors, an Olympian, the youngest surgeon in Atlantic Canada and even a cheese salesman!
CBC is currently scouring the country for ‘Canada’s Smartest People’, so we encourage you to pass this information along to the “best and brightest” in your circles.

“Canada’s Smartest Person” is guided by the theory of “Multiple Intelligence” and the idea that there are many different ways people can be smart. Competitors will be tested in the following categories: linguistic, physical, musical, visual, social and logical.  CBC tests in all of these different areas to distinguish the Canadian with the most comprehensive and versatile overall intellect.  The theory of “Multiple Intelligence” has redefined what it means to “be smart” and only a rare few excel in all of the different categories.
Please distribute this article to anyone and everyone you feel might be interested.  Selected candidates from the application phase will be contacted for an interview with further testing over the months of June and July 2016.

Grant to Allow Mass. Districts to Test Electric School Buses

Article By: School Transportation News (Massachusetts)
Article Date: July 14, 2016

Four Massachusetts school districts are splitting a total of $1.4 million for each to purchase an electric school bus and a charging station as part of a state pilot program.

The Commonwealth's Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs said the intent of the Vehicle-to-Grid Electric School Bus pilot program is "to demonstrate that electric drive technology can help reduce emissions in the transportation sector that has traditionally been dependent on petroleum fuel and demonstrate how school buses can provide electric storage for the grid."

The Vermont Energy Investment Center is administering this first-of-its-kind project.

Amherst Public Schools is one of the four districts receiving the grants from the Department of Energy Resources to purchase a Type C conventional electric bus and charger. The other districts receiving an electric bus are Acton-Boxborough Regional School District, Cambridge Public Schools and Concord Public Schools.

Bill Glucksman, fleet manager for Amherst, said the initial plan is to operate the electric bus on a regular school route, with demonstrations among our schools within the district.

"I'm sure we would make it available to any other school district that may have interest in this vehicle and wish to come to our location to learn more," he said.

Amherst separately test drove an eLion conventional from Lion Bus earlier this year. The feedback from both drivers and technicians, Gluckman reported, has been positive so far.

"The bus is very quiet, and seems to have more than enough power," he said, adding that the maintenance requirements are few, especially the regenerative braking, as it works well, reducing the need for replacement, since "very little braking is required of the service brakes."

Gluckman further added that RFPs for the new bus orders are expected to be published soon with actual delivery later this fall.
Order Your OSBA Publications Now!

As the summer break is upon us, it's the perfect time to get prepared and purchase your publications for the upcoming school year!  Visit the OSBA website at and click on the "STORE" tab from the home page to order the following publications.  Or click on the links below and go directly to each order form:
Once you have completed the necessary order form, scan/email your order to or fax to 416-695-9977.  

First Student Donates School Bus For Summer Meals Program

Article By: School Transportation News (Connecticut)
Article Date: July 5, 2016

To help feed those who are frequently without food, First Student has donated a school bus to deliver meals to thousands of children in New Haven, Connecticut.

First Student Area General Manager Lucille Ayotte saw that as the school year ended, “hunger is an issue for many (New Haven Public Schools) students."

According to the district, a majority of NHPS students qualify for free or reduced price school meals. To help students who go hungry throughout the summer months, the district started a program that delivers free, nutritious food.

However, a key obstacle for the students participating in the program is that many are unable to travel to the meal sites, which is why First Student’s contribution is so vital. 

“Because of this donation from First Student, we hope to reach more children this year. We can use the bus to deliver meals to parks, playgrounds and other locations where families gather,” said Gail Sharry, food services director for NHPS.

The school bus will distribute roughly 1,000 meals to children at more than 90 locations this summer. The program runs through Aug. 26.

“We are proud to support the district by playing a role in providing children in our community access to healthy meals when school is not in session,” Ayotte said
P.R.I.D.E. Program - August Program Sold Out - October Program Filling Up Quickly!

Whether or not you are part of the MTO Driver Certification Program (DCP), the P.R.I.D.E. Program provides unique and unforgettable skills and philosophies for training your new and seasoned drivers. Your drivers are indeed your frontline ambassadors, but your trainers are the key success factor in getting your professional drivers to that front line!  Their skills, expertise and knowledge ensure your drivers are doing the right thing at the right time….where the rubber meets the road so to speak!  By attending the P.R.I.D.E. Program, trainers will learn/refresh about some important classroom and on-road training elements including night driving, eye lead time, dialogue driving, mirror checks, use of mini whiteboards, feedback tools and much, much more!
With the sell-out of the Aug. 7-12, 2016 P.R.I.D.E. program, there is one remaining opportunity to attend a P.R.I.D.E. Program this year – Oct. 16–21.  The program is filling up quickly so don’t be disappointed – register today!
Five courses have occurred since the beginning of this year and once again, the program has received high praise from participants.  Here are a few testimonials:
  • It’s hard to improve an excellent course!  I believe in the “P.R.I.D.E. Philosophy” and its teaching skills, the course, the instructors, the support materials, the buses, the location.  All excellent!  I had a great time!
  • It was fantastic, very interactive, there was never a time that I was bored in any of the classroom settings.  I enjoyed every minute of the work.
  • What I found most valuable was how I was made to feel very confident and comfortable and how to make my trainees feel the same.  It gave me a whole new outlook on how to treat my trainees.
  • It was beyond my expectations. The Master Trainers are phenomenal!
  • The program was great!  It was an amazing experience.
 Send in your registration form today! 
P.R.I.D.E. Programs are held at the Admiral Inn Burlington,  Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact us for further information –
NSTA Announces Winners of School Bus Driver Competition

Article By: School Transportation News (North Carolina)
Article Date: July 18, 2016

School bus drivers from around the United States and Canada assembled at the Thomas Built Buses Inc. grounds in High Point, North Carolina, for the 46th Annual School Bus Driver International Safety Competition hosted by the National School Transportation Association (NSTA).

The NSTA event affords participants the opportunity to showcase their knowledge of the school bus industry and skills driving a school bus, competing in three categories: conventional, small bus and transit.

Drivers with the highest scores in each school bus class for a public and private sector carriers are eligible to compete in the international competition.

“This great event showcases excellence in school bus knowledge, maneuvering and skill…these elite drivers are truly the best of the best,” said Todd Monteferrario, president of NSTA.

Participants began the first day of the competition with a written exam that tested understanding of the rules of the road. The second day had drivers get behind the wheel of a school bus to tackle a road course.

Winners were announced at the NSTA Dinner and Awards Ceremony following the contest. The event was sponsored by IC Bus.

“We congratulate all of the competitors in this international competition as well as the winners in each vehicle category,” Monteferrario said.

The winning drivers of NSTA's 46th Annual School Bus Driver International Safety Competition are as follows:

Small Bus - 
First Place - Virginia Smythe, Greater Albany Public Schools, Oregon

Conventional Bus - First Place - Kristina Raley, Vidor ISD, Texas

Transit Bus - First Place - Mark Miller, Bellingham Public Schools, Washington
Attention OSBA Members: We Want Your Contributions for the Newsletter!

We want to hear your news stories! Tell us about a successful venture or special occurrence in your company, with your drivers, amongst the kids that you transport, within your schools, or a new product/service within your organization. OSBA wants to highlight and share your successes. It’s not about giving away company secrets or blowing a horn too loudly. It’s about being proud of the professionalism within the school bus industry as a whole. Interested in writing a newsletter article for one of our upcoming newsletters? Contact to get more information today! (Please note OSBA reserves all article publishing rights).
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All rights reserved.  This publication is intended for the exclusive use of OSBA Members.  Reproduction without prior permission is prohibited.

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