California Association of School Transportation Officials

All of CASTO's "In-Person" Events have been canceled until March 2021 due to the COVID19 Pandemic.

President's Message

Looking Back-and Focused on the Future

Tony Peregrina | President

Dear CASTO Members, 

As CASTO plans for the future, I had an opportunity to reflect on last year's blessing of holding our annual conference in February 2020, before the global health crisis worsened. Although we embrace change and expect challenges as an industry, this period of change is accompanied by mourning, worry, illness, economic decline, and a lot of day-to-day deprivation of the essentials of our everyday life. It is a sad time, but a crisis is also an opportunity to reinvent ourselves, find solutions, stay positive, and leap forward, taking on today's challenges and forging solutions for tomorrow. Our 2020 conference was a great success thanks to the hundreds of participants, vendors, volunteers, presenters, and keynote speakers who shared their knowledge and discussed the issues related to "World Class Pupil Transportation Services." We had the opportunity to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Department of Education, Office of School Transportation. The Department's success created the definition of World Class in all aspects of pupil transportation and beyond. As we met, learned, shared, laughed, made new friends, and reunited with old friends, the pandemic was entrenching itself in our world and creating roots that would change our lives for years to come, in ways we would never have imagined. As I reflect on our lives early this year, I look at the names of the members that belong to this association, and you are what makes me proud to be your CASTO President at this very trying time.

Every President before me had challenges, dealt with adversity, but the one constant was that they were never alone. Every President had people around them, advising, lifting them up, motivating them, and were there every step of the way to make sure our CASTO family made it through its darkest days. This year has been the worst I have experienced in my lifetime, but even when I live the most restrictive, volatile, and uncertain time in my life, CASTO shines through the darkness and brings the sun on a cloudy day!

CASTO will break the record in the number of members it represents in its history this year. We are positioned to withstand the financial burdens caused by the pandemic, reinvent the way we deliver professional development, and Zoom our way into a future of endless possibilities. Last week at our November State Board meeting, our board of directors authorized the purchase of the Zoom platform, which will allow our association to facilitate virtual events instead of in-person events, reconnect our members with services virtually, and catapulting us to technology never before used by CASTO. Not all this success happened because of your President; this happened because the leadership before me created a network of people that can meet challenges head-on, quickly react with efficient solutions, and are never afraid to fail while the world is watching.

I remind you that you are a part of an association that creates leaders in the industry, and I, like you today, sat and waited for my turn to lead. I learned, I got involved, I served this association and now lead it in a time where all stands still, but CASTO continues to move forward with your success in mind. I am blessed to have an Executive Board, a Board of Directors, and a long list of volunteers that have made this tough time a success.

The pandemic shut down our buses; - CASTO developed the Re-Open California guide to assist our membership and California's transportation departments with a road map to return transportation services safely during this health crisis. The pandemic closed down our workshops, forums, and all other in-person events; CASTO has responded by creating a free webinar series of events that has the capability of reaching every transportation professional in California, by offering Zoom platforms, in combination with YouTube, which facilitates unlimited viewer capability and a library of previously aired programs available for any member to view at any time.

As the pandemic is forcing people to be apart, in return, it is bringing us together even closer than before, all the way into your home! These free events will continue each month until in-person events are possible again. As the pandemic shut our transportation departments down, we create a roadmap to reopen safely and ready to support our students' transportation needs during this crisis. More importantly, this pandemic has brought to light that we are vulnerable but resilient, innovative, brave, and not willing to go quietly. We work hard, never give up, and will fight our way back to a day where we can sit together again, laugh in person too, share a hug and a wonderful big smile again! Until we can realize that goal, only you can get us back closer to that day, so as we celebrate this Thanksgiving, remember to protect yourself, and others by: 

  • Wearing a face covering when leaving your home at all times.
  • Washing your hands as often as possible for a minimum of 20 seconds. Sing two happy birthdays, then rinse. This process washes the surface of your hands of most germs and viruses; it does not kill them.
  • Sanitizing your hands with a product that contains 60% alcohol or more. This process kills germs and viruses.
  • Maintaining a minimum of six feet of social distance from one another.

This year we have so much to be thankful for, and I start and end with you! On behalf of the California Association of School Transportation Officials, we would like to thank you all for being a member of the CASTO family, and wish you a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Sincerely,

Tony Peregrina | CASTO State President


Why Should You Be a CASTO Member?

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Why CASTO.pdf

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Eden Choi, 6th Grade
Fairmont Private Schools
Historic Anaheim Campus
Anaheim California

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Industry News

California Department of Education Guidebook for the Safe Reopening of Schools

This guidance was created through the statewide reopening schools task force that fostered a collaborative process for our educators and stakeholders to lend their important voices. Also informed by the technical assistance and advice of many health and safety organizations including the Centers for Disease Control, California Department of Public Health, California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, the intent of this document is to be a guide for the local discussion on safely reopening schools.

strongertogether.pdf

California Department of Education Virtual Training

CDE IB 20-66 Virtual Training.pdf

Local Chapter Events

Are you in need of inservice training?  Looking for more information regarding local School Bus training events?  Head over to our Chapter Events Page to see what's going on in your area.

Alternative Fuels Tax Credit (AFTC)

The Alternative Fuels Tax Credit for natural gas vehicles and the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Tax Credit for natural gas refueling stations has been extended.  With this credit, America's school districts can provide exhaust-free rides to school.  The program provides for retroactive claims for 2018, 2019 and is extended out to December 31, 2020.  For more information, please visit,  https://www.ngvamerica.org/2019/12/17/ngvamerica-applauds-inclusion-of-aftc-in-year-end-spending-bill/

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Frequently Asked Questions

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