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First Student Expands Proven FirstServes Training and Support System for Responding to Student Behavior

First Student Expands Proven FirstServes Training and Support System for Responding to Student Behavior

CINCINNATI, Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — First Student, the leading provider of school transportation in North America, is expanding its innovative FirstServes training and support system for students, making it available to all school districts as a standalone training to ensure a positive student experience on every journey to and from school. In conjunction with the expansion of FirstServes, First Student is also releasing new data showing that in the first year of the program’s implementation, the company saw a 27% reduction in behavior incidents on school buses in districts that utilize FirstServes.

FirstServes is First Student’s premier, expert-backed training and support program, which was developed in conjunction with top children’s hospitals, behavioral psychologists and education professionals. The program is designed to help school districts and on-vehicles staff meet the individualized needs of all students, including those with intellectual, physical or emotional disabilities. The program empowers bus drivers and attendants with specialized training to support students on the bus, respond to behaviors, de-escalate situations and help all children to show up to school ready to learn.

FirstServes provides knowledge about student behaviors and training to driving staff, communication and implementation tools to districts and resources to families to ensure all are well prepared to provide a positive experience for students. First Student announced the expansion of FirstServes today, making it available to all school transportation programs, regardless of their school district’s transportation contract.

“FirstServes empowers drivers and attendants with skills to support students, creating opportunities for individualized care. This reduces incidents and builds confidence, not just for students and drivers, but parents, caregivers and schools,” said First Student Head of Student Services, Will McDermott. “The FirstServes program is a natural extension of First Student’s dedication to providing an exceptional experience for all students, regardless of their school district or individual needs. We are excited to get this model of support to as many students and drivers as possible.”

FirstServes was implemented in select school districts during the 2022-23 school year and immediately resulted in positive behavioral outcomes. Compared to the previous school year, data collected through FirstActs, First Student’s proprietary digital behavior incident reporting system, show a 27% decrease in behavioral incidents.

FirstServes has also boosted the quality of school transportation according to those who have taken part in the program. At Battle Ground Public Schools in Clark County, Washington, school administrators say they feel the difference. The administration wanted to provide the best training for drivers but lacked capacity. With the addition of the FirstServes program, Battle Ground Public Schools was able to give drivers the best resources and training to transport all students, regardless of need, to and from school safely.

“Since FirstServes has been added, I think what we see is just a complete culture shift,” said Tom Adams, director of student services at Battle Ground Public Schools. “The drivers feel like they are a part of the team. Giving the drivers some tools in their toolbox to be able to work with kids, because we know they care about kids, just like anyone who’s working in education.”

The Student Services division at First Student will oversee FirstServes.

About First Student
As a leading school transportation solutions provider in North America, First Student strives to provide the best start and finish to every school day. With a team of highly trained drivers and the industry’s strongest safety record, First Student delivers reliable, quality services, including full-service transportation and management, special-needs transportation, route optimization, and scheduling, maintenance, and charter services with a fleet of about 40,000 buses. For more information, visit firststudentinc.com.

Jen Biddinger

SOURCE First Student

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/first-student-expands-proven-firstserves-training-and-support-system-for-responding-to-student-behavior-302063019.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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