PDS Course Listing

All Courses with an asterisk (*) are available online.

*Please note that online courses have different time requirements than listed below - please view the course catalogue for our online course provider for more information regarding online classes (pages 35-41).

100 Level Courses

  • 101* - Student Transportation Orientation: An eight-hour workshop providing a comprehensive introductory overview of all aspects of contemporary pupil transportation. This course provides the foundation for all of the NAPT Certificate programs.

200 Level Courses

  • 201* - Business Writing: A four-hour writing skills workshop, focused on practical tips to help you write clearly and professionally. Learn how to present yourself as a professional in writing to parents, supervisors, staff, and school boards.
  • 202* - Presentation Skills: A four-hour course on how to prepare and plan a presentation, including how to reduce anxiety, create openers and maintain interest, use visual aids, handle questions, project a polished appearance and present material in a professional manner. This course is highly recommended for all transportation personnel who present safety lessons or do training.
  • 203* - Communications Skills for Transportation Professionals: This four-hour course is about how to project self-confidence, how to recover from mistakes, and how to get ideas accepted and implemented. This is an important class for transportation personnel who want to give quality presentations, hone communication skills and enhance their careers.
  • 204* - Team Communication Strategies: This four-hour, activity-based training session will help you identify and understand your communication style, learn how to improve communication and teamwork among staff, learn how to clarify responsibilities, run productive team meetings, relay progress reports to a team and celebrate successes. This course is a must for all Transportation Managers.
  • 205* - Managing the Media: Basic principles for managing the media ranging from what is news and the importance of working with the media to media interaction guidelines. This informative four-hour course will provide the basic skills needed to successfully prepare for interacting with the media.
  • 208* - Parent, Administrator, Board and Public Outreach: This four-hour class gives tips on working with the media, school staff, community groups and parents to promote understanding of student transportation issues and needs. Learn how to identify problems and develop appropriate messaging using both time-tested and innovative mediums. This is a valuable course for transportation managers who want to strengthen community relations.

300 Level Classes

  • 301* - Basic School Transportation Accounting: This four-hour introductory seminar reviews basic bookkeeping functions, such as recording debits and credits, making correct entries and closing a set of books, and covers the elements of balance sheets, budgetary accounts, governmental funds, state and corporate transportation fund allocation systems, and Governmental Accounting Standards. This course is for entry-level administration and transportation staff that have the responsibility of tracking finances.
  • 302* - Budget Development: A four-hour introduction to school district transportation budgeting, including understanding the budget cycle, short and long-range planning and enrollment projections for budgeting purposes.
  • 303* - Procurement and Budget Management: This four-hour course explores how to do more with less and how to identify and obtain traditional and non-traditional sources of funding for school transportation. Subjects covered include purchasing practices, the bid process, and finding alternate sources of fuel savings. The course is designed for experienced administrators who need to broaden their budgetary expertise. 
  • 304 - Best Practices When Collecting, Analyzing and Using Data: This four-hour course will help you decide what data to measure, how to measure it, the best way to collect the information you need, how to analyze it and, ultimately, how to use it to improve your decision-making.

400 Level Classes

  • 401* - Managing Human Resources I: This four-hour course is a must for transportation professionals with human resource responsibilities. Topics include the legal framework of human resource management, including due process, equal protection and non-discrimination, disability law, leave of absence, drug testing, record management, wage and working conditions, collective bargaining, employment eligibility and retention.
  • 402* - Managing Human Resources: Employee Relations: A four-hour practical overview of human resource management for pupil transportation managers and supervisors, focusing on employee evaluation, training, and discipline. The course also covers the "how to" of developing accurate job descriptions.
  • 403* - Labor Contract Negotiations and Management: Basic elements of labor contract negotiations including theory and negotiation styles, how to plan for bargaining, contract language and bargaining table behavior. This four-hour course concludes with basic strategies for managing the labor contract you have successfully negotiated.
  • 404* - Strategies for Preventing Sexual Harassment, Bias and Child Abuse/ Neglect: This four-hour course explains your responsibilities as an employer with regard to sexual harassment, diversity and child abuse/neglect. Learn how and why strong leadership, transparency and accountability will help prevent a critical incident. 
  • 405* - Student Needs & Management: A four-hour look at student behavior issues from the management perspective. A brief review of "normal" student characteristics and behavior management strategies is followed by an in-depth look at preparing drivers and attendants for student management, working within the school district structure, developing district policy, procedures, and forms, and understanding nuances of working with students with disabilities and children from other cultures.

500 Level Classes

  • 501* - Overseeing a Fleet Maintenance Program: A four-hour workshop covering the fundamentals of fleet maintenance, designed for those interested in or with a responsibility for shop operations. This workshop is designed for all managers, not just those already familiar with fleet maintenance.
  • 502* - Advanced Shop Maintenance (Please Note: PDS course 501 - Fleet Maintenance & Management is a pre-requisite for this course.): This eight-hour workshop is a comprehensive overview, essential for every head mechanic and transportation manager interested in learning practical, cost-effective and safe practices for a school bus fleet operation. Topics include: vehicle replacement, preventative maintenance, parts acquisitions and accountability, fuel and hazardous materials management, records and documentation. 
  • 503* - School Bus Specifications: A four-hour workshop providing practical guidelines for "spec'ing," bidding, and receiving school buses best suited to your specific needs.
  • 504* - School Bus Manufacturing: Why are school buses constructed in the manner they are? What is the bus chassis construction process? How are the bus bodies made? This four-hour general overview of the bus manufacturing process will answer these questions and many more.
  • 505 - School Facility Planning: A four-hour workshop designed to familiarize the transportation manager with topics to consider when evaluating an existing, or planning a new, school bus loading or unloading zone. This course will discuss different types of schools, users, parking areas, construction considerations and placement concerns. The class is highly recommended for anyone planning or embarking on a school facility construction project. 
  • 506 - Transportation Facility Planning: This four-hour course will familiarize transportation managers with many areas of a school transportation facility, and provide an overview of needs to be considered for a new facility design or renovation project. This course is intended to bring forth a number of issues that should be considered by school transportation representatives when working with qualified architects and building code officials on the new design or renovation of a transportation facility.

600 Level Courses

  • 601* - School Bus Routing & Scheduling I: A four-hour workshop that examines theories and strategies for successful routing. Route types, stop choice, and multi-trip options will be discussed as well as the development of policy and procedures and their implications for economy and safety. Computer-aided and manual routing strategies will be evaluated and compared.
  • 602* - School Bus Routing and Scheduling II: This four-hour course explores the practical knowledge needed to efficiently manage your school bus routing and scheduling operations both manually and computer assisted. Areas that will be covered include: staggering of school bus routes, computer assisted routing and scheduling including GIS systems and organizational impacts.
  • 604 - Prioritizing & Evaluating Operational Safety: This four-hour course explains and explores “safety” in essential areas of your operations, such as staffing, routing and scheduling, student management and training, vehicle maintenance and customer service.
  • 605* - School Transportation Contract Management: What is the difference between a bid and request for proposal? What needs to be included in the document and how do I draft a bid or request for proposal? Obtain the answers to these questions dealing with this complex process, as well as tips on effective monitoring contractor performance in this four-hour course.
  • 606* - Emergency Planning & Risk Management: An eight-hour workshop designed to help transportation professionals identify and manage risk. The course covers risk management policy, risk management procedures and the elements of training to avoid risk. There is a special section on emergency planning and crisis management. 
  • 607 - Legal and Regulatory Fundamentals in Pupil Transportation: Overview of federal laws and guidelines regarding school bus transportation including FMVSS, Guideline 17, commercial vehicle license, drug and alcohol testing and much more. Obtain the broad stroke on special education laws – ADA, IDEA and Section 504; 94-142. This informative four-hour course will conclude with a look at ISO 9000.
  • 608 - Developing a Safety Program: A four-hour workshop designed to help you launch or revitalize an effective and systematic safety and training program. This workshop is essential for understanding the safety fundamentals of school transportation.
  • 609 - Accident Investigation: This eight-hour course provides an overview of all elements of school bus accident investigation, skills needed to manage the scene, reconstruct the accident and much more.

700 Level Classes

  • 701* - Introduction to Leadership & Management: A four-hour workshop that defines the role of leadership for both experienced and novice managers. The course reviews different leadership models and explains how different models must be used with different individuals and in different circumstances. Learn strategies for developing your work force into a committed team that has the preparation to get the job done right and the creativity to find even better ways to function.
  • 702* - Personal Skills for Managers: A four-hour workshop designed to give a manager or an individual working towards a management position the personal skills necessary to be successful in a leadership position. Professional demeanor, email and phone etiquette will be discussed as well as the importance of setting a positive tone and handling negative or difficult people. Learn how to handle conflict successfully. Time management and personal work habits that will improve managers' efficiency and effectiveness will be outlined.
  • 703* - Personal Skills – Time Management: Excellent personal skills are needed to overcome the challenges of time and communication. Learn how to conduct effective meetings, avoid procrastination, delegate authority and more to meet the time crunches you face daily in this four-hour course.
  • 704 - Strategic Planning for Transportation Departments: This four-hour workshop explains the importance of strategic planning in school transportation. It reviews an 11-step process to formulate a strategic plan that includes customer feedback. This course is a must for every transportation manager who has the responsibility to plan and implement a reasonable budget each year.

800 Level Classes

  • 801* - Transporting Students with Disabilities & Special Needs: This four-hour course serves as the introductory course for the series of five Transporting Students with Disabilities and Special Needs courses. It highlights laws, policies and best practice procedures regarding students with disabilities and special needs including: pre-school, head start, school age, nonpublic, charter school and homeless students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In addition, this class focuses on understanding the specific characteristics of children with disabilities and special needs and how those characteristics may impact their school bus ride. Hot topics and best practices are presented and discussed. This course is a recommended prerequisite to 802, 803, 804 and 805.
  • 802 - Positioning, Seating & Securing of Students with Disabilities & Special Needs: This four-hour course emphasizes the importance of proper positioning, seating and securement in providing safe school bus transport for students with disabilities and special needs. Participants will learn how to determine when passengers are in need of additional occupant restraint or specialized seating or positioning and how to implement best practice guidelines as well as comply with Federal, State and Local regulations in this area. Preschool students will be a focus due to their need for additional occupant restraint and procedural supports throughout their transportation experience. When it comes to seating, one size doesn’t fit all. Appropriate team decision-making for the selection, fit, and use of child safety restraint systems for children of all ages will be presented. This course will also pay special attention to the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process, and the importance of case-review by qualified personnel.
  • 803 - Specialized Equipment on the School Bus: This four-hour course reviews the vital role of school bus specialized equipment and related best practice procedures in the safe transport of children with disabilities and special needs of all ages. Participants will learn how to determine when specialized equipment, accommodations or modifications are needed for the school bus environment to meet individual developmental and healthcare needs in the least restrictive manner. A review of commonly used specialized equipment and supports will be accomplished while taking into account the entire transportation experience from bus stop to drop off, loading/unloading, proper securement of student adaptive equipment and mobility aides, daily in-bus supports and those needed in an emergency evacuation. The Individualized Education Program (IEP) decision-making process, school bus staff ratios (driver and attendant) and documentation of individualized transportation plans in order to maximize school bus safety will be a focus.
  • 804 - Products, Services & Equipment Options for Transporting Students with Disabilities & Special Needs: This course stresses the importance of exploring the school bus marketplace. Each individual completing this course is required to complete an onsite assignment. Individuals may take this course at the NAPT Conference Trade Show or at a pre-approved State Association Conference with a Trade Show. Each participant must attend a fifteen-minute course orientation where materials will be disseminated. In order to receive course credit, vendors must be visited and products reviewed, and the NAPT assignment must be returned for review. 
  • 805 - Supporting Safe Behavior on the School Bus for Students with Disabilities & Special Needs: In order to plan for a safe school bus ride, this four-hour course addresses the individual behavioral differences of various student disability categories under the IDEA and special needs addressed under Section 504. The role of the driver and attendant is discussed along with the allowable use of child safety restraint systems to address unsafe behavior on the school bus. Understanding the rules pertaining to discipline under the IDEA will also be presented.

900 Level Classes

  • 901* - School Transportation Security Assessment: This four-hour program will teach you how to use a security assessment that has been specially created for school transportation service providers to evaluate all critical areas of your operation, including your transportation facility, buses, operational procedures, staff, and communication systems, as well as your school/community planning and cooperation.
  • 902* - Crisis Communication: Crises – however you define them – are inevitable. It is therefore important to have a crisis plan ingrained into your organization's culture. A good crisis plan creates a process that enables quick reactions and intelligent decision-making throughout the ordeal. In this four-hour course you will learn about the importance of pre-planning, especially information gathering and information dissemination, and how thinking about issues in advance will help you make the best of a crisis situation.
* Course is Available Online