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Training on high-risk scenarios offered to bus drivers 

Kent ISD — With the goal of helping local school bus drivers to prevent, avoid and deal with unexpected violence and threats, Kent ISD will be hosting a Proactive Response Training for all school bus drivers July 24.

The free training, developed by West Shore Educational Service District Transportation Director Katrina Morris, will be held at the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center, 600 Forest Hills Ave. SE. The registration deadline is July 14.

Region 1 Emergency Coordinator John Wittkowski said there have not been any serious bus incidents in the Kent ISD region; however, earlier in the year, a non-student attempted to board a bus in order to flee law enforcement. That situation was resolved without incident, Wittkowski said.

That situation was a factor in Kent ISD safety staff deciding to host the training, Wittkowski said. The class will focus on how to deescalate a situation, deal with acts of violence and handle other incidents involving students, parents and community members, he said.

The training is open to all bus drivers in the Kent ISD region, including drivers for Dean Transportation. Those who attend the course may count the hours toward continuing education requirements. 

The Proactive Response Training is sponsored by Dean Transportation, Forest Hills Public Schools, West Shore ESD and Kent ISD.

Read more from Kent ISD: 
Preparing for an emergency, educators undergo reunification training
Building trust critical to preventing gun violence

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Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma is a reporter covering Kent ISD, Godwin Heights, Kelloggsville, Forest Hills and Comstock Park. The salutatorian for the Hartland Public Schools class of 1985, she changed her colors from blue and maize to green and white by attending Michigan State University, where she majored in journalism. Joanne moved to the Grand Rapids area in 1989, where she started her journalism career at the Advance Newspapers. She later became the editor for On-the-Town magazine, a local arts and entertainment publication. Her eldest daughter is a nurse, working in Holland, and her youngest attends Oakland University. Both are graduates from Byron Center High School. She is a volunteer for the Van Singel Fine Arts Advisory Board and the Kent District Library. In her free time, Joanne enjoys spending time with her family, checking out local theater and keeping up with all the exchange students they have hosted through the years. Read Joanne's full bio


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