School bus drivers in the state can now satisfy their recertification requirement by taking online courses through the Oklahoma Association of Pupil Transportation.
The new online courses are curriculum released in August by School Training Solutions to help bus drivers meet a new recertification requirement by the state Department of Education. So far the courses have made it easier to meet the needs of drivers who need to recertify because they have neglected to get the needed in-service and state certification, said OAPT Executive Director Kim Hamilton. The online courses are for school bus drivers whose certification has expired for more than a year.
“Before, I was trying to find an available night class to enroll them in. Now I can enroll them in the course, and they can start class the next day,” Hamilton explained, and added that the online courses have helped alleviate other issues. “You also have the issue of having enough participants for the face-to-face classes, usually around 15 people,” she noted. With the online courses, the number of participants is irrelevant.
With the addition of these new recertification courses, School Training Solutions, in conjunction with the OAPT, now offers three different online options to school bus drivers in the state. They can take courses for certification, in-service, or recertification at their own pace and time as courses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Patrick Willi, director of School Training Solutions, said the company offers similar training to other school districts across the country.
Hamilton said she’s noticed more and more drivers are no longer afraid to take online courses.
“A lot of districts will call and are not sure if their elderly drivers will like it. In the end, they love the online courses, and even ask what else they can do online,” she said. “Drivers don’t have to be apprehensive. This is a very encouraging and user-friendly product.”