July 1, 2000
California Department of Education Instructor Bulletins
Over the past several years, the Office of School Transportation (OST) has been seeking ways to better communicate with state-certified instructors working in the field. Currently, OST staff members attend Driver Training Advisory Councils, (semi-organized local or regional instructor groups), workshops, district inservice days, and conferences. Often we are made aware of instructors who, for reasons beyond their control, were unable to attend such meetings and, as a result, are unaware of sometimes critically important changes in laws, regulations, or policies. This lack of knowledge and understanding could potentially have catastrophic results -- affecting the drivers the instructors train and the organizations the instructors represent.
The new "instructor bulletin" system is an attempt, along with the OST Web page, to inform instructors of changes in Department procedures, policies, and opinions and of proposed changes in regulations and statutes. Instructor bulletins will be posted on the OST Web page, and OST staff will hand out these bulletins at traditional instructor training venues.
There are many excellent sources of information available to instructors, however, the OST's instructor bulletins will focus on the Department of Education's area of expertise and responsibilities. Such areas of focus will be the instructor's Classroom Manual, the Behind-the-Wheel Guide, T-01 cards, documentation options, selection and training of delegated behind-the-wheel trainers and instructors, and so forth. We are not attempting to be all-encompassing in our efforts to provide instructors with new information affecting our industry. The commitment of OST is to make every effort to keep the state-certified instructors in California informed of significant changes brought about by the Department of Education.
Any questions regarding the instructor bulletins should be referred to the California Department of Education's Office of School Transportation at 916-375-7100.
Note: Communication is a partnership, a two-way street in which the OST and the instructor have a responsibility to stay informed. For an instructor to be truly effective, he or she must have the latest information regarding the subjects he or she instructs. Conversely, the OST needs to know what is happening in the field; please keep us informed with what is happening in your area and how OST is doing in keeping you trained and informed. Together, we can keep the passenger transportation system in California the safest form of vehicular travel in the nation.