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Letter from the Secretary

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SD Department of Education August 2014  
Reminder: Requirements for bus driver training and reporting

The Department of Education has received several recent inquiries about bus driver training and reporting requirements.

SDCL 13-29-21 went into effect July 1, 2011, and mandates training for school bus drivers once every five years.

The following are clarifications regarding school bus driver training / reporting:

• Beginning with school year 2011-12, school districts have been required to record the date of their school bus drivers’ training in the Personnel Record Form (PRF). Trainers are to notify the district (employer) that an individual has completed the training, and the district can enter the training date into the PRF at the appropriate time.

• Any training that was completed for school year 2010-11 (timeframe: Summer 2010 through the end of spring semester 2011) serves as a driver’s baseline training for the first five-year cycle.
- Example: If Joe Smith participated in training on July 22, 2010, his deadline to complete another round of training is July 22, 2015.

• The five-year training cycle is mandated by law; however, a district may have a policy that requires training more often.

• The department has also had some questions as to what constitutes “appropriate training” as outlined in the new law. SDCL 13-29-21 reads: “The training shall include classroom instruction in first aid, bus safety, and the management of passengers, and also behind-the-wheel training to enable the safe and efficient operation of the bus.” The department takes that to mean training must include all of these elements; however, it is recommended that districts ask their legal counsel for interpretation.

Contact Carol Uecker, Department of Education, at (605) 773-4771 with questions.

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