September 15, 2002
Distribution of the Instructor's Behind-the-Wheel Guide for California's Bus Driver's Training Course; Make-up Training Course; Instructor and Delegated Trainer Status
The following Instructor Bulletin (IB) outlines the Office of School Transportation's (OST) policy regarding the distribution of the California Department of Education's (CDE) Instructor's Behind Guide for California's Bus Driver's Training Course (hereinafter referred to as the "Behind-the-Wheel Guide" or "BTW Guide'), required Behind-the-Wheel Guide in-service make-up training, and instructor and delegated trainer status of those who did not attend a BTW Guide in-service training session.
Distribution of the behind-the-wheel guide:
Each new instructor who successfully graduates from the CDE's Bus Driver Instructor Training Program in Sacramento, or each delegated BTW trainer who successfully completes certification by the CDE, will receive one (1) new copy of the BTW Guide at the time of graduation or certification. BTW Guides will not be provided to "prospective" instructors or delegated BTW trainers preparing to become certified by the CDE. Organizations and individuals who wish to purchase a copy(s) of the BTW Guide for preparation to become an instructor or delegated trainer, or as a reference document for their organization, may purchase a copy from the OST for the published price of $24.00 including tax and shipping/handling.
Delegated behind-the-wheel trainers who have been issued a copy of the new BTW Guide and attend the CDE's Bus Driver Instructor Training Program will be expected to bring their copy of the BTW Guide to the program.
Status of Instructors and Delegated Trainers Who Fail to Attend BTW Guide In-Service Training:
As stated in CDE Instructor Bulletin 01-08, dated June 1, 2001, the practical, hands-on behind-the-wheel training provided by instructors and delegated behind-the-wheel trainers to trainees is by far the most important element in the overall preparation of professional bus drivers. The Instructor's Behind-the-Wheel Guide for California's Bus Driver's Training Course is the cornerstone of the CDE's Bus Driver Training Program. It is the intent of the CDE in revising the BTW Guide and in providing associated in-service training, to provide instructors and delegated trainers working in California's passenger transportation industries with the most current training materials, theories, and techniques available.
It is the expectation of the CDE that all active instructors (those not limited to classroom instruction only), and all active delegated trainers have attended one of the regular or make-up BTW Guide in-service training session conducted by the CDE. As of April 1, 2002, failure of an instructor or a delegated behind-the-wheel trainer to receive a new revision of the BTW Guide, and successfully complete the BTW Guide in-service training resulted in the CDE changing their status to "invalid" to instruct behind-the-wheel training. This prohibits those instructors and delegated behind-the-wheel trainers from instructing behind-the-wheel training as required by the Education Code. As of that date instructors were limited to "C" classroom only and delegated trainers became "invalid." The CDE has recommended to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) that school bus officers and coordinators must only accept behind-the-wheel training performed by those instructors and delegated behind-the-wheel trainers who are in good standing with the CDE.
Beginning on June 1, 2001, and ending on December 31, 2002, the CDE's Office of School Transportation conducted 41 BTW Guide in-service training sessions. In addition, from January through August 2002 several instructors and delegated behind-the-wheel trainers attended regular scheduled instructor training classes in order to gain the BTW Guide in-service training. At each session the CDE distributed copies of and conducted in-service training on the 2001 revision of the Instructor's Behind-the-Wheel Guide for California's Bus Driver's Training Course. For those instructors and delegated trainers who were unable to attend any of the 41 BTW Guide training sessions and wish to instruct behind-the-wheel training, the following procedures shall be followed.
Beginning January 1, 2003, BTW Guide in-service training will no longer be conducted by the CDE. Instructors must request, in writing, a limitation removal from their instructor's certificate. The letter must be sent to the OST via the US Postal Service, no email or fax requests will be accepted. As part of the limitation removal process, the CDE may require instructors to attend all or part of the behind-the-wheel training classes conducted during the CDE's Bus Driver Instructor Training Program in West Sacramento. Al costs associated with attendance of a training session, such as tuition, travel, lodging, meals, will be at the expense of the individual instructor.
Invalid delegated behind-the-wheel trainers must reapply to the OST as original applicants under the same procedures set forth by the CDE for original applicants.
Questions regarding the recertification procedures or the status of individual instructors or delegated behind-the-wheel trainers should be directed to the Office of School Transportation at 916-375-7100.