At First Student, caring for students is at the core of everything we do. It’s the reason we put so much thought, time, and effort into our driver training — because drivers play a significant role in children’s lives and have the power to make a lasting impact. They don’t just drive children to and from school — they’re a consistent, compassionate presence whose interactions with each child can shape who that child becomes. 

We hire the right drivers, then train them extensively in programs with care at the core.

Our drivers are carefully selected through a meticulous hiring process that emphasizes a positive, caring approach. They come from a variety of backgrounds and experience levels, so there’s no one-size-fits-all plan when it comes to instilling skills. Because we understand that new and experienced drivers require different training, we’ve developed comprehensive programs targeting each level of experience. No matter the program, a focus on student care is woven into every curriculum to ensure every district will have skilled, respectful, and compassionate drivers. And the learning is never over — instead, drivers participate in ongoing trainings and safety meetings to keep their skills sharp and their caring approach at the forefront.

Our trainings include:

  • Inclusion, Behavior, & Sensitivity Training, where drivers develop an understanding of various learning abilities, learn how to facilitate positive peer interactions, and gain skills in managing extreme behaviors
  • Early Childhood & Developmental Disabilities Training, where drivers learn how to recognize, respond to, and transport students with a variety of physical and emotional needs
  • Equipment Training, where drivers learn how to expertly load and unload and care for disabled students and their equipment
  • Emergency Training, where drivers learn how to evacuate the bus quickly, safely, and without injury in the case of an emergency
  • Liability Training, where drivers stay up to date on laws and regulations, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
  • The Smith System® advanced driver training, a classroom and behind-the-wheel program that focuses on accident prevention

Then, we hand over the keys so our drivers can put their training into positive practice. 

Once they’re behind the wheel and on the road, our drivers bring their comprehensive training to fruition and solidify their roles as significant adults in the lives of children.

What First Student drivers bring to the field:

  • Thanks to cross-disability training, drivers who transport students with disabilities know how to adapt their approach to each child. They’re adept at both verbal and nonverbal communication, the proper handling of specialized equipment, and showing compassion to every individual.
  • When it comes to behavior issues on the bus, drivers implement steps from positive reinforcement behavior programs that focus on conflict resolution. They also tap into technology through FirstACTS® (Active Conduct Training System), a confidential web-based communication tool that proactively addresses student behavior by easily communicating incidents on the bus through cloud-based reporting.
  • Various school districts have bullying prevention programs that align with First Student driver training programs, allowing drivers to recognize and quickly stop bullying through a proactive, rather than a reactive, approach. This allows students to feel safe, cared for, and respected by an adult who is a constant in their lives every day.

When you choose First Student, you choose a transportation partner that puts a compassionate adult in every driver’s seat, and in each student’s life.

Caring for Students: That’s our First Priority.     

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