Click here for previously recorded "Best Practices" webinars. These include previously recorded NAPT webinars, NYAPT webinars and other Transfinder free Best Practices: Covid-19 series webinars.
Click here for the latest live “Best Practices” webinars and other training webinars being offered. Those marked as “Free Public” are available to everyone.
Software Solution Tips
Transfinder Stopfinder Communication App
- Communicate District Updates
- Food and Medical Drop-off Locations and Schedules
- Homework and Homeschool Details
- And so much more.
To take advantage of Stopfinder Communication contact your Account Executive by calling 888.427.2403 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
District Administration COVID-19 Impact Map: School District Operational Status
US Dept. of Education - Return to School Roadmap
STARTS Taskforce Report - A Reopening Plan Resource For School Transportation Professionals
NHTSA Letter Regarding Installation of Plexiglass Barriers and Clear Plastic Shields in School Buses
NYS Hand Sanitizer Guidance on School Buses
NYS Guidance on Pupil Transportation for Non-District Instruction
NY SED: Health and Safety Guide for the 2021-2022 School Year
What You Need to Know About COVID-19
- CDC - Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools
- CDC - Vaccines for COVID-19
- John Hopkins University & Medicine - For trustworthy information on the progression of COVID-19
- NPR - Coronavirus Maps: How Severe is Your State's Outbreak?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- What you need to know about COVID-19 Fact Sheet
- CDC COVID-19 Situation Summary
Returning to Work
- Cleveland Clinic: Returning to Work Soon? Here are Some Ways to Make the Process Easier
- SHRM: COVID-19 Back-to-Work Checklist
- OSHA: Guidance on Returning to Work
Resources, Information and Articles for Reopening and COVID-19
- STN-CDC Joins FDA in Promoting COVID-19 Booster Shot for At-Risk Employees
- US Dept of Ed - Improving Ventilation in Schools, Colleges, and Universities to Prevent COVID-19
- Education Week: Fighting the Delta Variant: School Reopening Just Got a Lot More Complicated
- The Washington Post: School year will begin with mask mandates in suburban Maryland
- Syracuse Post Standard: Schools could become 'super spreaders' in fall, NY still reviewing masks (Cuomo briefing)
- Auburn Citizen: Cayuga County Health Department: COVID-19 and back-to-school immunizations
- Harvard School of Public Health: Schools for Health; Risk Reduction Strategies for Reopening Schools
- STN: CDC Prioritizes Safe Return to In-Person Classes for New School Year
- STN: Round Up: School Bus Companies Offer Bonuses, Double Wages in Response to Driver Shortage
- STN: Transportation Not Mentioned in Latest Distribution of Federal K-12 Relief Funds
- Education Week: Data: School Districts' Reopening Plans: A Snapshot
- The Council of State Governments - State Reopening Plans
- CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response and the President's Plan for Opening America Up Again
- CDC Considerations for Schools
- CDC: Screening K-12 Students for Symptoms of COVID-19: Limitations and Considerations
- White House Guidelines for Opening Up America Again
- CDC-Guidance for Schools and Child Care Programs
- CISA Guidance on Essential Critical Workers - Bus Drivers Included
- CDC - What Bus Transit Operators Need to Know
- CRPE database presenting information collected on districts' approaches to summer school and planning for fall reopening
- American Federation of Teachers - A Plan to Safely Reopen America's Schools and Communities
- Alexandria City Public Schools - Planning Process
- Los Angeles Releases Guidelines
- Indian River County Schools Reopening Plans
- Duval Schools Superintendent Presents Plan for Reopening Schools in 2020-21 School Year
- Capital Region NY BOCES Guidance on Reopening Schools
- Texas Advises School Districts That Barriers Are Prohibited on School Buses
- Education Week: Managing Buses May Be The Hardest Part of Reopening Schools
- Gallagher Insurance: Guidelines for Reopening School Transportation
- Gallagher Insurance: K-12 Education: Reopening Guidance for Schools Amid COVID-19
- American Academy of Pediatrics: COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Re-entry
- TEA (Texas Education Agency) Guidelines for Return to On-campus Instruction
- CDC Considerations for Testing in K-12 Schools
- Washoe County School Board Approves Plans for 2020-21 School Year. Click Here for story.
- Minnesota Explores Options for a Safe Return. Click Here for story.
- Education Week: Getting Kids to School: Tackling the COVID-19 Transportation Problem. Click Here for story.
- WSBT22 Reports: Local School Districts Figuring Out Transportation Procedures for the Upcoming School Year. Click Here for story.
- Seminole County Approves Back-to-School Options, Pushes Back Start Date. Click Here for story.
- WVLT8: Knox County Schools Unveil Plan to Return to School. Click Here for story.
- Fox10: Baldwin County Public Schools Updates Parents on Return-to-School Plans. Click Here for Story.
- The Advocate: How Many Kids Should Ride on Buses Amid Coronavirus? Louisianna Schools Working on 'Arduous' Task. Click Here for story.
- The Herald: Local School Reopenings 'A Moving Target'. Click Here for story.
- CBS Denver: Back to School: State Health Department Issues Guidance. Click Here for story.
- JD News: Q & A: Onslow School Official Answers Return-to-School Questions. Click Here for story.
- New4Jax: Here's What We Know About Reopening Plans for Southeast Georgia Schools. Click Here for story.
- 10Boston: Mass. School Officials Release Guidlines for Bus, Building Safety Amid Pandemic. Click Here for story.
- Tuscaloosa News: School Leaders Clarify Reopening Plans. Click Here for story.
- WMAR Baltimore: Face Coverings Will Be Required For All Students And Staff in Maryland Schools. Click Here for story.
- Taunton Daily Gazette: One Student Per Seat, Masks for All, Windows Open; DESE Releases School Transportation Guidance. Click Here for story.
- Texarkana Gazette: L-EISD Sets Procedures for Upcoming School Year. Click Here for story.
- WCAX3: NH School Districts Chart Their Own Reopening Plans. Click Here for story.
- Daily Mountain Eagle: County BOE Releases Plan for Reopening Schools. Click Here for story.
- Courier & Press: COVID-19 Forcing Evansville, Henderson Schools to Rely on Parents to Screen Bus Riders. Click Here for story.
- The Morgan Messenger: In-person or Virtual School? County Schools Release Draft Plan for September. Click Here for story.
- The Times: L-P Approves Back-to-School Plan with Mix of Remote, On-person Learning. Click Here for story.
- The Village Green: South Orange-Maplewood School District Releases Reopening Plan. Click Here for story.
- The Sun Chronicle: Norfolk Schools ro Start Sept. 14 With Blend of Instruction. Click Here for story.
- KLFY: Some School Bus Routes and Schedules May Change Due to CDC and Phase 2 Guidelines. Click Here for story.
- Washington Post: Going Back to School: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Click Here for story.
- Ballotpedia: School Reopenings in the 2020-21 Academic Year After the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. Click Here for story.
- Charlottesville Tomorrow: COVID-19 Pressures Orange Schools to Increase Routes. Click Here for story.
- STN: School Buses Roll Smoothly in Arkansas School District During COVID-19. Click Here for story.
- STN: As California Schools Reopen, State Association Issues Transportation Guidance. Click Here for story.
- Okaloosa News: 'Generational Shifting': How a Rural School District Changed Busing for Costs, Staffing, and Students' Safety. Click Here for story.
States' Guidelines for Reopening Schools
- Ballotpedia - School responses to the coronavirus pandemic during the 2021-2022 academic year. State by State guidance updated on Tuesday and Thursdays.
- Alabama Roadmap for Reopening Schools
- Alaska Smart Start 2020
- Arizona Roadmap for Reopening Schools
- California - Guidebook for the Safe Reopening of California's Public Schools
- Colorado - Bus and Suburban Transportation Guidelines
- Connecticut's Plan for Reopening Schools
- Indiana Considerations for Reopening
- Kentucky Department of Education Considerations for Reopening
- Louisiana School Reopening Guidelines & Resources
- Maryland Together: Maryland's Recovery Plan for Education
- Massachusetts Memo on Required Safety Supplies for Reopening
- Montanna School Re-entry & Recovery After a Pandemic Event
- New Jersey DOE - The Road Back
- New Mexico
- New York Education Department Guidance
- North Carolina COVID-19 Guidance for Schools
- North Dakota
- Oklahoma - A Framework for Reopening Schools
- Oregon - Guidance for School Year 2020-21
- Pennsylvania - Preliminary Guidance for Phased Reopening of Pre-k to 12 Schools
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
- Tennessee - Reopening Schools: Overview Guide for LEAs
- Washington - State and District Planning for Fall 2020
- Washington - Reopening Schools: District Planning Guide
Grant Funding Available for School Districts
- Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund FAQ's
- NCSL - Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund Tracker
- Office of Elementary & Secondary Education - ESSER Awards by State
- Education Stabilization Fund Discretionary Grants
- COVID-19 Rapid Response Funds
- GrantWatch Disaster Relief Grants
- Article: School District Receives Match of Title 1 Funds
- Georgia Foundation for Public Education and Innovation Fund Foundations Award Grants, COVID-19 Response Fund
- San Antonio Area Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund
- COVID-19 Response for Northern Virginia
- Philanthropy Roundtable - Giving in Response to COVID-19
- Gates Family Foundation, Colorado COVID Relief Fund Application
- Virginia Disaster Grants
CARES Act/ESSER Fund Information By State
- Alabama FAQ's
- Alabama Application
- Alaska FAQ's
- Alaska ESEA Federal Programs
- Arizona Grant Resources
- California Allocations
- Colorado Relief Fund
- Florida CARES Act
- Idaho CARES Act ESEA Federal Programs
- Illinois Coronavirus Updates and Resources
- Indiana CARES Act Webinars
- Indiana FAQs
- Iowa Fund Allocations
- Iowa Guidance and Information
- Kansas Applications and Allocations
- Kentucky Federal Grants
- Kentucky ESSER Award Notifications
- Maine ESSER Funds Application and Guidance
- Massachusetts Allocations and Application Information
- Michigan ESSER Important Information
- Minnesota CARES Act Funding Information
- Missouri CARES Act Funding Information
- Montana Guidance, Allocations and Fund Coding
- Nebraska Allocations, Information and Application
- Nevada ESSER Fund Overview
- New Hampshire Application and Information
- New Jersey Application Information for Cares Act Funds
- New York Information
- North Carolina Information
- North Dakota ESSER Funding - Information and Application
- Ohio Information
- Oklahoma Opportunities
- Oklahoma FAQs and Information
- Oregon FAQs and Forms
- Pennsylvania Applications for ESSER Funds
- South Carolina ESSER Guidance, Application and Information
- South Dakota Guidance and Information
- Tennessee Information
- Texas Guidance and Information
- Utah Information
- Virginia Information
- Wisconsin Information
- Wyoming Information
Taking Care of Your Health
- What to do if you are sick with COVID-19 Fact Sheet
- CDC: Manage Anxiety and Stress
- Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health During an Infectious Disease Outbreak
- CNA's - Guide to How to Properly Wash Your Hands
- Purdue University Global: Working from Home: 5 Environmental Factors Affecting Your Well-being
Disinfecting Your Vehicles and Facilities
- Preventing Vehicle Contamination - Clean porous (soft) surfaces (e.g. seat covers and carpet) by removing visible contamination if present and using appropriate cleaners.
- Thomas Built Buses - COVID-19 Bus Cleaning Instructions
- IC Bus - COVID-19 Bus Cleaning Recommendations
- Blue Bird - COVID-19 Bus Cleaning Instructions
- CDC - Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility
- EPA - List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2
- NAPT Update on COVID-19
- NASDPTS Information report on the Coronavirus and student transportation.
- California School Boards Association has released a suite of tools designed to identify the impact of COVID-19 response on public education and inform its advocacy work.
- US Department of Education shares COVID-19 Resources for Schools and School Personnel.
- COVID-19 and the Fair Labor Standards Act Questions and Answers
- National Governors Association - current information on the actions of Governor's statewide.
- Education Commission of the States. COVID-19 Update: State Policy Responses and Other Executive Actions to the Coronavirus in Public Schools.
- National School Public Relations Association - Tips, resources and news to help communicate about coronavirus
- The Coronavirus Communications Crisis for Public Schools guide
- CDC K-12 Schools and Child Care Progams; FAQs for Administrators
Relevant Articles and Podcasts
- School Bus Fleet reports on Education Stabilization Fund providing relief to continue to pay school employees and contractors.
- School Bus Fleet reports on new PA law permitting school bus contractor payment.
- CARES Act Analysis: 17 Takeaways for Applicants. School Bus Fleet reports.
- School Transportation News: Indiana Governor Provides Student Transportation Departments with Flexibility
- District Administration - How to reorganize the school day when buildings reopen.
- STN Podcast Episode 2 - COVID-19: Delivering Hope & Handling Challenges of School Transportation Staff Pay, Wellness
- STN Podcast Episode 3 - Make Noise: Supporting School Transportation As It Supports Students During COVID-19
Want to share your story or provide feedback? Please send to MyStory@transfinder.com.
I wanted to send you a message about your employee Henry Mora. He did an outstanding job of getting me all setup for home bus deliveries. He walked me through and troubleshooted some data flow issues, also helped me setup a new data source, and new filters for food delivery. Henry stayed on the line with me until everything was completed, which was for over an hour. Our district fed 800 meals the first day with 250 routes and 7 buses, we couldn’t have made this happen without Transfinder’s help. Henry was very patient, easy to work with and trained me on what I needed to instead of just doing it for me. I’ve been with the district for 3 years and he was by far the best Transfinder representative I’ve worked with.
Thank you for all of Transfinder support during this time and we couldn’t do it without you!
- Jen Maki, Central Printing/Transportation Assistant, Winona Area Public Schools, MN
Recently, Maple School District in Wisconsin set aside 3 days where parents could go to their child’s school and pick up supplies for e-learning. Around 200 parents were not able to make it. So Stacy Fudally in transportation had been tasked with creating 4 to 5 routes to drop off supplies at their doorsteps.
Last week she used Routefinder Pro to create door-to-door stops in mass, dividing up the map into quadrants, routing all 200 students. “We were able to get the routes created and ready for review in a half days’ worth of work.” She was able to accomplish this from home, in-between caring for her children who are also home. Transfinder's Jeff Sager said, "This shows the balancing act many of us are facing and Stacy gets my props for sure."
- Stacy Fudally, Main User of Transfinder, Maple School District, WI
Immediately as we were instructed to send kids home, we moved into driver's work. As ICS was put into place and determining the districts needs and instruction from Governor Inslee, we aimed to provide Professional Development for our staff. It only took 1 day before our Lunch program was implemented and drivers were delivering to hubs. In the meantime, we were able to determine our high needs areas and created routes into housing developments and moved to group stops. Getting the word out via social media and email notification, we paired up our volunteers and sent out our staff and in the first 4 days doubled our meal deliveries to 810 lunches via school bus and 552 via hub locations.
As a state board member, I have been extremely proud seeing our yellow buses out in our community, giving back. As our Superintendent, Janel Keating says, "Is it good enough for your child?"
- Elizabeth Fisher, Transportation Supervisor, White River School District, WA
Since you requested stories of what is happening during this time here is a message from our Superintendent Dr. Fagen of Humble ISD. Just a quick note that we have utilized Routefinder and Viewfinder to assist in the decision of making for food distribution locations, need for computers, and also the need for Internet connectivity. We did this by taking survey responses, importing the answers into user defined characters in Routefinder while matching to student ID'S. We modified our new databases created for these needs. Viewfinder allowed us to study this data to better meet the needs of our community.
- Steve Silence, Routing Supervisor, Humble ISD, TX
This is a First Nations District. When asking about what his drivers are doing he told our Jeff Sager something really interesting. They employ drivers year-round as part of its emergency services offering. Access to transportation is low so when the public needs to be evacuated they use school buses. This is true during the COVID-19 pandemic and also the fast-approaching fire season (which starts in 30 days).
Jeff said: "I could hear it in Ryk’s voice that he truly cared about the people in his community and put a strong emphasis that he does it to serve the families. First time I have heard anything like this."
- Ryk Badger, Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council Education Authority, Alberta, Canada
Good afternoon. I'm Marc Medina, Supervisor of Transportation in the Farmingdale School District. First off I wanted to thank you for the webinar and information. I'm proud to be a part of the transportation community in the State of New York.
Here in Farmingdale we have delivered food to our McKinney Vento students from The Bronx all the way to Lake Ronkonkoma in Suffolk County. Transfinder has been such a tremendous tool as I have created two routes (East & West) that myself and my dispatcher, Troy Hill, have used to deliver food and ChromeBooks.
I also created parade routes for our elementary school teachers to ride through the school zones and say hi to the students.
Thank you to Transfinder and NYAPT and to all of the great transportation professionals who are doing service and battling this pandemic on the front lines.
- Marc Medina, Farmingdale UFSD, NY
As with all districts, we are struggling to navigate, and with my Transfinder software, I have been put to task. Our District is using what are called flexible instruction days to help to continue keeping our students up to and moving forward with their educational endeavors. That being said, a large amount of our instruction is through online instruction, Zoom Meetings, etc. For the most part things have been working well. Sadly, many of our students do not have internet access, as we are in a bit of a rural area. As those students have been Identified, and with my Transfinder software, we were able to place them on a map and see where the vast majority of students are and get much needed hot spots, and in some instances free internet access to them.
"Our teachers are creating a parade in their cars where they are able navigate through the neighborhoods via my rosters and directions, to drive by their students houses, maintaining social distancing, but honking and waving, spreading cheer. "We continue to move forward, and I will hopefully be turning my sights onto next year’s bus routes.[Transfinder's own] Bob Jabonaski, you will be hearing from me soon.
- Maggie Schearer, Conrad Weiser Area School District, PA
4-H students made masks for the Minisink Valley Central School's (in Orange County, New York, just north of New York City) transportation department. Click here to see the story.
- Laura Goedebuure, Minisink Valley Central School
Stories of Acts of Kindness
- NY schools send truckloads of gloves, masks, goggles to local hospitals. Click here for story.
- Volunteers and local restaurants work together to provide meals for students. Click here for story.
- Woman helps elderly couple get food when they were too scared to go into a crowded grocery store. CBS Reports. Click here for story.
- Two little girls use their tooth fairy money to buy tissues and toilet paper for the elderly. And 11 year old boy donated 1,150 hand sanitizers to his community. Click here for story.
- Restaurant prepares free lunches for children. Click here for story.
- Using Facebook to help individuals in need. Click here for story.
- Freelance writer creates postcard for vulnerable members of society to help them with certain errands or a friendly chat on the phone. Click here for story.
- Atlanta comes together through many acts of kindness, including scavenger hunts for children. Click here for story.
- Georgia bar removes over $3,000 worth of bills stapled to walls to give to unemployed staff. Click here for story.
- Cherokee County family throws at home prom for daughter. Click here for story.
- Landlord gives New York pizzeria free rent for donating hundreds of pizzas a day to overwhelmed hospitals. Click here for story.
- School Bus Driver, Grandson Save Family From Gas Leak During Meal Deliver. Click here for Story.
- Long Branch BOE in Long Branch, NJ school bus driver and football coach team up to feed students. Click here for story.
- Be The Light MN. School Districts honoring seniors and athletes. Click here for Herald Review story.
Best Practices for Working from Home
When COVID-19 first spread in China, Transfinder had to adjust quickly to protect our employees in Shanghai and establish a system for them to work from home while being productive. We learned a lot during that time, and it has helped us to mobilize our US team quickly and efficiently while not compromising our client response time in these critical days.
These are some of the practices we have put in place to remain an effective organization that we would like to share with you.
- Create an environment as close to your office environment as possible
- Make sure there is no TV or other home distractions. Your workspace should be quiet
- A comfortable chair!
- A reliable Hi-speed Internet Connection
- Communicate, communicate, communicate… daily team meetings, share regular updates on your accomplishments.
Working from home articles for morale, engagement and stress/anxiety relief