Break the code of Silence
   




Target Audiences for All Topics

School Board members

District Administrators

School Administrators

Security Personnel

Faculty

School Bus Drivers

Staff

State Administrators

Staff Development Specialist

  Training Topics
 


Dr. Nancy Blackwelder

There are two kinds of Administrators.

Those who have had a crisis....

And those who will.
 

For Directors/Supervisors/Trainers

You Know You Work in Transportation if…**
Target Audiences: All Transportation Staff (1 - 1 ½  hours)
Description:  There is nothing quite like the school bus transportation industry. There are pitfalls at every turn and our mistakes are transparent to the world. This session takes a humorous look at what is otherwise no laughing matter. Sit back and enjoy a little chuckle as we laugh at situations we know all too well. Infused throughout are suggestions for needed areas in driver training.

Summary of How Bus Drivers Get into Trouble. **
Target Audiences: Directors/Supervisors/Trainers (1 - 1 ½  hours)
Description: This takes excerpts from all 18 topics covered in my 6 DVD series. It makes it clear the types of training topics we need to provide for the drivers and aides. It takes news headlines straight from the major networks and shows what happens when drivers do things that cause them to be fired, suspended, arrested or subject the school district or bus company to law suit. Participants will see video of the actual events and consider options to prevent or react to the situation so that there is the best chance of having a positive outcome.

Summary of Managing Special Needs Student Behavior. **
Target Audiences: Directors/Supervisors/Trainers(1 - 1 ½  hours)
Description: This program is designed to give bus attendants and special needs drivers, the basic information essential to successfully manage special needs students. As a school bus manager or trainer, you should place no employee on a special needs bus without this basic information. Along with substantive, current information, wait until you see the videos clips of what actually occurs on the bus with actual TV news stories where situations have gone wrong. It puts a face on the issues and brings reality to the pitfalls that face bus attendants and special needs drivers

Driver Recruitment and Retention: The Effective Leadership Plan**
Target Audiences: Directors/Supervisors/Trainers(1 - 1 ½  hours)
Description: Your best recruiter is a happy bus driver. Training drivers costs money and once you train them, you need to retain them and help them grow with the organization. Treat drivers like professionals and you will get professional results. Training is key. Give them the tools they need to be successful. Student management programs, leadership consistency, and professional interaction with management top the list of driver complaints. Attendance incentives, safe driver incentives, and consistent student management programs district-wide are a good start. Just like the kids, you can't just catch them doing it wrong and yell at them. You also need to catch them doing it right and reward them. If your supervisors haven't been exposed to leadership training, they will make mistakes that will alienate your people on the front line.

ALICE Active Shooter Response Training**
Target Audiences: Directors/Supervisors/Trainers(1 - 1 ½  hours)
Description: In conjunction with the ALICE training institute: ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) Training instructor led classes provide preparation and a plan for individuals and organizations on how to more proactively handle the threat of an aggressive intruder or active shooter event. Whether it is an attack by an individual person or by an international group of professionals intent on conveying a political message through violence, ALICE Training option based tactics have become the accepted response, versus the traditional “lockdown only” approach. Schools and school buses are a prime soft target for those intent on maximum carnage.

 

For Transporters and Support Staff

How Drivers Get into Trouble - 18 Topic Series: I have taken headlines directly from the news where drivers have been arrested, suspended, fired, or have subjected the school district to law suit and have developed the do's and don'ts around each topic.

Topics include sexual impropriety (driver-student relations), failing to curtail bullying, distracted driving, weapons on the bus, surviving hostage situations, intolerance/acceptance, unprofessional behavior (including lack of confidentiality), social networking with students, bus stop and bus circle fatalities, child endangerment (leaving students unattended, failing to intervene in student fights), inappropriate discipline, angry parents boarding the bus, driving under the influence and avoiding attacks on drivers.

Participants view video of what actually occurred on the bus in these situations and are shown pictures of victims along with the actual newspaper or TV news headlines. It puts a face on the issues and brings reality to the pitfalls that face school bus drivers and assistants.

How Bus Drivers Get into Trouble: Program 1
Target audiences: All transportation staff(1 - 1 ½  hours)

Inappropriate Discipline: Appropriate and inappropriate types of consequences are discussed. Discussion questions for each situation are presented which stimulate ideas about where the driver went wrong and what should have been done instead.
Driving Under the Influence: You would think it would go without saying that this is inappropriate and will result in criminal charges and termination, however, drivers test positive for drugs and alcohol all the time. This is intended to make the driver think twice before making this mistake.
Unprofessional Behavior: Harassment, bullying, lying and arguing are all unprofessional conduct. Lack of confidentiality of student records can not only get the driver in trouble, but open the school district to lawsuit.

How Bus Drivers Get into Trouble: Program 2
Target audiences: All transportation staff (1 - 1 ½  hours)

Concealed Weapons: School districts have developed crisis plans which, in large part, cover incidents that may occur on campus. Lock down drills, code words for the intercom and procedures for teachers to follow are spelled out in detail. Unfortunately, there isn’t the same due diligence spent on procedures for the school buses. Bus drivers need to know where students hide weapons and drugs and make them aware of weapons that they may not have even considered a weapon. A video is included that does just that.
Displayed Weapons: What should they do if there is a hidden or displayed weapon?
Warning Signs: Each time there is a shooting, an in-depth study is conducted on the perpetrator and in retrospect, someone always says, "The warning signs were all there. It's a shame no one noticed." Have your bus drivers been trained on what to look for in a child that may go off and become violent? Not only are the warning signs discussed in this program, but a video of the youngster in the Bethel, Alaska school shooting is interviewed in prison. It is a compelling commentary.

How Bus Drivers Get Into Trouble: Program 3
Target audiences: All transportation staff(1 - 1 ½  hours)

Driver -Student Relations: Drivers are more & more concerned with their responsibility as a school official to exhibit appropriate driver-student relations. It is important to understand boundaries and the nature of a fiduciary relationship, plus know what’s acceptable for appropriate and inappropriate touch and avoiding favoritism.
Social Networking: A new concern has surfaced with social networking issues. This unit provides guidelines for bus drivers and assistants, to include, do's & don'ts of "friending" and message content that can get drivers into trouble.
Intolerance / Acceptance: Drivers need to know tactics for overcoming biases and stereotypes. How do you rectify language patterns & be sensitive to terminology? All our children should be treated with respect.

How Bus Drivers Get Into Trouble: Program 4
Target audiences: All transportation staff(1 - 1 ½  hours)

Failing to Curtail Bullying / Harassment: Schools are largely insulated from lawsuits UNLESS they have been told about a bullying problem & did nothing. Ideas are presented for preventing bullying, and dealing with and documenting incidents.
Angry Parents Boarding the Bus: What can you do when an angry parent boards the bus? Techniques of verbal control and withdrawal are discussed to avert confrontations on the road and re-direct them to a controlled situation at the school.
Student Fights on the Bus: How should drivers & assistants break up fights on the bus? What are your responsibilities when you are told of a pending fight at the bus stop?

How Bus Drivers Get Into Trouble: Program 5
Target Audiences: All transportation staff(1 - 1 ½  hours)

Bus Stop –Route Fatalities: This unit puts a face on the tragedy of bus route and stop fatalities. Of the 17 children killed in 2008-09, 10 were struck by their own bus. The other 7 were struck by passing vehicles. Guidelines for safe stops and routes are discussed along with how each of these accidents could have been prevented. There are pictures of victims along with the actual headlines. It can't help but make bus drivers and assistants think twice about safety.
School Loading Zone Fatalities: The procedures on school property in the loading/unloading zone are slightly different than out on the street at bus stops. Drivers have the responsibility to notify office staff if there is something about the loading zone that is unsafe. Just because school personnel gives you the signal to pull off, doesn’t mean you are not responsible for everyone around you.
Leaving Students Unattended: Child endangerment is the issue and post trip checks using a child alarm system or empty bus sign is essential.

How Bus Drivers Get into Trouble: Program 6
Target Audiences: All transportation staff (1 - 1 ½  hours)

Student Attacks on Drivers: Six different scenarios straight from the headlines provide discussion on what happened and ideas about how it could have been prevented. There is discussion about actions that can escalate major misbehavior & how to avoid major confrontations.
Surviving Hostage Situations: What should they do? This unit discusses active listening skills, such as, effective pauses, minimal encouragement, paraphrasing, emotion labeling, mirroring, open-ended questions, and "I" messages, Survival tips are suggested along with identification tips and on-board procedures during a hostage situation.
Distracted Driving: What is distracted driving? There are 3 main types: visual, manual and cognitive. Research on distracted driving reveals some surprising facts

A Bus Attendant’s Guide to Student Management Program 1:
Target Audiences: Special needs drivers and attendants

Description: Topics include: The Importance of the Bus Attendant, Qualifications and Major Duties, Where you Place Yourself on the Bus is Important, Teamwork between the Attendant and the Driver, Leaving Students Unattended, and Post Checking the Bus.

A Bus Attendant’s Guide to Student Management Program 2: 
Target Audiences: Special needs drivers and attendants (2 - 2 ½ hours)

Description: Topics include: How to Get Students to Behave, Rules on the Bus, Encouragement and Praise, Consequences, Rewards, Reinforcement Density, Tricks of the Trade, Actions That Could Escalate Major Misbehavior, Discipline Tips, and Inappropriate Discipline.

A Bus Attendant’s Guide to Student Management Program 3: 
Target Audiences: Special needs drivers and attendants(1 - 1 ½  hours)

Description: Topics include: The Americans with Disabilities Act, People First Language, Characteristics and Interventions for Children who are: Mentally Disabled, Emotionally Disabled, Learning Disabled, Communication Disorders, Hearing Impaired, Autism, and Physically Disabled. Discipline Tips, Alternatives to Punitive Discipline, FERPA, and Confidentiality of Records.

Professionalism in the Workplace **
Target Audiences: All staff: custodians, food service, transporters, aides, paraprofessionals (2-2 ½ hours)

Description: This unit covers 1. Your work is important, 2. Five factors that demonstrate a good work ethic, 3. Six things you should do to demonstrate a strong work ethic to your employer, 4. Ten signs you are a bad employee, 5. Bad habits at work that you don’t know you have, 6. Violations of professionalism: Bullying, Harassment, Inappropriate use of school board vehicles, Using foul language, Arguing, Pushing political and/or religious beliefs, Lying, Stealing, Lack of Confidentiality, Drug and Alcohol use, 7. Employee/student relations, and Guidelines for social media use as it pertains to work.

Managing the Bus Environment Part 1 
Target Audiences: All transportation staff (2-2 ½ hours)

Description: Are you tired of complaints from principals and parents on driver’s poor student management skills? Are drivers worried about rude student behavior and school safety issues? Bus drivers get a good deal of training on how to drive a vehicle, but are hungry for more information on how to Manage Student Behavior.  This training can help. Don’t hang your drivers out to dry with inadequate student management training. Give them the tools they need to be successful. What is Normal?  Are kids really different these days? Learn the power of Encouragement & Praise. Consequences vs.  Punishment- a key concept to successful behavioral management.  You can’t just catch kids misbehaving and give consequences, you must also catch them doing it right and provide rewards. Basic bus rules using the key concepts of Respect, Responsibility, and Safety can simplify student management. You can’t make kids behave.  You have to make them want to behave for you.

Managing the Bus Environment Part 2
Target Audiences: All transportation staff (1- 1 ½  hours)

Description: In Part 2 drivers and assistants will hear discussion about Adaptive vs. Maladaptive behavior. Concepts that apply to bus drivers about assertive discipline are introduced. Six (6) myths about student behavior, the ten (10) most common mistakes adults make, tricks of the trade, twelve (12) adult actions that can escalate misbehavior, six (6) proven strategies for effective student management, and helpful hints provide substantive ideas for successful driver student relationships and the best chance of creating a safe, controlled, positive bus environment. Youngsters may not remember what we teach them, but they always remember how they were treated.

ALICE Active Shooter Response Training **
Target Audiences: Transportation Staff
Description: In conjunction with the ALICE training institute: ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) Training instructor led classes provide preparation and a plan for individuals and organizations on how to more proactively handle the threat of an aggressive intruder or active shooter event. Whether it is an attack by an individual person or by an international group of professionals intent on conveying a political message through violence, ALICE Training option based tactics have become the accepted response, versus the traditional "lockdown only" approach. Schools and school buses are a prime soft target for those intent on maximum carnage.

Everyday Heros **
Target Audiences: Transportation Staff (45 mins.)

Description: Mainstream media tends to focus on the negative aspects of transportation and the incidents where poor judgement is evident, or circumstances placed transporters in positions for which they were inadequately trained. This program focuses on the heroes in our industry that make a positive impact on our nation’s children every day. It is a motivating look at the good guys.

Managing Special Needs Student Behavior
Target Audiences: Special needs drivers and attendants (2-2 ½ hours)

Description: This module familiarizes the participants with characteristics of students diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, Communication Disorders and high-end ambulatory Emotional, Learning and Mental Disabilities- students who may or may not be mainstreamed on regular education buses.
Students with processing deficits require special strategies and understanding. Participants will learn what modifications and adaptations can be made to accommodate students with processing deficits, such as; Telling Time, Allowing Time for Processing, Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic Learners, Single Directions vs. Multiple Directions, Body Language, Limited Number of Rules, Work on the Worst Behaviors First, Positive Reinforcement, Consistency, Patience and Understanding, Clear Communication, and Concrete vs. Abstract Concepts.
Discipline Tips provide concrete tools to make each student successful on the bus. Information on additional confidential records training is provided for the instructors.

Bullying / Harassment
Target Audiences: All transportation staff (1- 1 ½  hours)

Description: Every day thousands of teens wake up afraid to go to school.  Bullying is a problem that affects millions of students of all races and classes.  Bullying is an activity conducted by both male and female students. Yet because parents and educators don't always see it, they may not understand how extreme it can get. Studies show that people who are abused by their peers are at risk for mental health problems, such as, low self-esteem, stress, depression, or anxiety.  They may also think about suicide. Sometimes the victim of repeated bullying cannot control the need for revenge and the situation becomes dangerous for everyone. Cyberbullying is harassment by use of electronic devices through e-mail, text messaging, blogs, websites, mobile phones and pagers.  This unregulated new forum for bullying is as bad or worse than traditional bullying. This video defines the problem and gives substantive ideas of how to stop the abuse.

Discipline Tips That Work
Target Audiences: All transportation staff(1- 1 ½  hours)

Description: The purpose of this video is to provide your staff with an easy-to-use resource for handling 18 different student behaviors. It takes the guesswork out of their treatment of discipline problems by offering quick actions that work to curtail misbehavior. Not only will this information let them take the right discipline actions with students, but will also let them know why they are taking them. Participants will learn how to identify students who are the agitator, the attention demander, the authority pusher, the last worder, the name caller, the pest, the bully, the fighter, the foulmouthed, the complainer, the negative group, the defier, and more. This module provides a description of typical behaviors, primary causes of misbehavior and substantive suggestions in how to deal with the behavior.

Dealing With Angry People
Target Audiences: All transportation staff(1- 1 ½  hours)

Description: This 80-minute module familiarizes participants with the early, intermediate and advanced levels of aggression.  Participants will learn cognitive vs. visceral questioning as a technique to calm angry people; understand how body language, verbal and para-verbal   behavior affect angry encounters; understand causes of stress, effects of stress and stress busters; take an anger self-assessment test, and understand the nature of anger, dealing with anger, and strategies to keep anger at bay. Whether it be a student, co-worker, parent or motorist - understanding the issue, measuring our own responses, and de-escalating the   situation is critical to being successful.   

Communication: Key to Success
Target Audiences: All transportation staff (1- 1 ½  hours)

Description: Educators will learn key elements to successful communication with parents; to include, questioning techniques, empathetic responses, and the value of "what" questions. They will also learn strategies for dealing with angry parents; to include, feigned confusion, paradox-the unexpected, surprise comment-surprise action, verbal control and withdrawal. It's important for them to learn strategies for communicating with students; to include, the door opener, the power of the question, and the accurate empathy. Other topics, such as strategies for understanding their own conflict style give them insight into improved communications. 

Cultural Sensitivity
Target Audiences: All transportation staff (1- 1 ½  hours)

Description: We live in a world of very diverse cultures with different values, beliefs and practices.  As educators, we need to be certain that we arm our employees with information that will preclude mistakes that offend others out of ignorance for their particular belief system. Participants will learn the differences in values, beliefs, and practices, plus how different cultures interpret body language, eye contact, gestures, space, touch, time, spatial arrangement and other non-verbal symbols. Drivers and assistants will learn the differences between cultures' oral communication, to include, conversational style, understatement and exaggeration, compliments and silence.  Important to the module is understand the value of having bias-free language and understand their own personality style and tolerance of other personality styles.

Cultural Diversity
Target Audiences: All transportation staff (1- 1 ½  hours)

Description: Differences in gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, and race are all potential pitfalls for educators who are not aware of the biases we all possess do to the nature of our life experiences.  These biases can be destructive as we endeavor to build positive relationships with children and parents. Participants will learn the definition, levels & dimensions of culture, as well as, develop an appreciation for the diversity of our culture. They’ll discuss prejudice and tactics for overcoming stereotypes and biases and learn diversity and culture basics and dimensions of diversity. Other objectives include learning the differences between low and high context cultures, their preferred communication strategies, and attention to detail.

It Can Happen Here: Crisis Planning & Prevention
Target Audiences: All school board employees (1- 1 ½  hours)

Description: The past few years have taught educators some hard lessons about safety of our schools.  In order to ensure that our schools are safe havens, educators must now face the reality of planning for preventing violence or planning to react quickly and efficiently to violence.
However unpleasant these options are, all educators must be prepared.  This training features Dr. Nancy Blackwelder who shares her story as a victim of a school shooting.  Please take the time to listen to her story. This one is a lesson no one hopes to need, but cannot afford to be without.

(**) indicates programs only available for live audiences.
Click on, "View and Order Videos" for previews of topics listed.

 

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