HISD Transportation strengthens safety commitment through training programs

The HISD Transportation department renewed its commitment to student safety recently by recertifying their training and staff development team through a comprehensive training program offered by the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI). The training program focuses on prevention strategies and helps build confidence in team members to handle challenging situations.

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“During this program, the Transportation training and staff development team learned strategies on how to identify early signs of possible challenging behavior, dealing with unknown situations and anxiety, and how to use various strategies and techniques to prevent or de-escalate situations that may occur on the school bus,” said HISD Transportation General Manager Nathan Graf.

HISD Transportation initially received CPI training in 2012. All bus drivers and attendants learned how to effectively manage student behavior through prevention, along with student management strategies with counterterrorism, an overturned bus and handling an armed intruder. The training also focused on completing a thorough school bus inspection both before and after trips, and engaging students in conversation as they board the bus while observing their behavior and belongings.

In 2013, HISD Transportation partnered with the Houston Fire Department and expanded the program’s intensity of safety and prevention strategy training. The program challenged drivers and attendants as they received hands-on realistic training, including a fire and smoke drill on a school bus and a bus that collided with a train. Preventative student management techniques were reinforced during the drills and supplemented with classroom instruction prior to the event. This training program was recognized by School Bus Fleet magazine among the best in 2013.

For the past two years, the department has also provided bus drivers and attendants with certified American Red Cross first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training. The HISD Transportation training team became certified in 2012 to provide CPR training and the courses are held every year.

“When the first class was held two years ago, one of the drivers came up to me in tears saying that in her 27 years with the department, it is good to finally receive this type of quality training,” Graf said.