What is the S.T.A.R.T. program?
The School Transportation Active-Threat Response Training (S.T.A.R.T.) program, is tailored specifically for school bus drivers, aides, and support personnel. Developed by law enforcement and behavioral health professionals, S.T.A.R.T. equips participants with a comprehensive and consistent best practices training curriculum, supported by the Ohio School Board Association (OSBA) and Ohio Homeland Security.
The S.T.A.R.T. program aims to "target harden" school buses, by empowering drivers to navigate various emergency situations effectively. Led by a diverse team of law enforcement and security experts, behavioral health officials, military personnel, and crisis intervention experts, the program covers response strategies for threats both on and off the bus. Conducted at school district locations across the nation, S.T.A.R.T. offers flexible training formats, either as a two-day, four-hour session or a single eight-hour day. Through classroom presentations, hands-on exercises and scenario-based training, drivers engage in active shooter response, bomb threat assessment, and crisis de-escalation techniques.
The S.T.A.R.T. program increases safety awareness among drivers, provides for enhanced response capabilities, and improves passenger safety. Thousands of drivers have already benefited from S.T.A.R.T., with feedback emphasizing its practicality and effectiveness. "I don't typically pass along programs but this group was amazing! I have always found it hard to find meaningful professional development day for drivers but my drivers are raving about this program on bus safety," said Jon Detwiler, Superintendent of Fremont City Schools.
"I hope every district will hear about this training and get the opportunity to take part in it. I feel that it was extremely educational and it was entertaining"
Shaker Hts Bus Driver
"In my 35 years I have never attended such a great program"
Bedford Schools Director of Transportation
“I observed the training and it was extremely relevant and practical. The drivers were extremely appreciative of the quality training offered and are better prepared to handle crisis situations.”