California Association of School Transportation Officials

All CASTO Events have been canceled through September 2020 due to the COVID19 Pandemic.

President's Message


June 2020

As the winter began, and the Holidays season came and went, beautiful memories were created, lots of fun times with family was enjoyed and the new decade began ready to challenge us in the continued effort in providing a world class pupil transportation system. The start a new decade is a special time to renew, retrain, and reinforce the outstanding knowledge and skill our schoolbus Drivers, Transportation Officials, Dispatchers, Schedulers, Mechanics, Bus Attendants, and Management display daily. These attributes are the key elements that ensure all students receive safe and efficient transportation services. We were fortunate to welcome our State Board of Directors to this new decade, whose diverse areas of expertise will build upon the remarkable dedication to excellence in leading the California Association of School Transportation Officials to a future of endless possibilities.

As your association leadership, we continue to be dedicated in making investments that strengthen our association, create an environment and culture of safety for every student transported, and ensure every student receives the opportunity to pursue their passion, dreams, and develop to their full potential. We are committed to position our association’s members toward a future of success.

We were delighted to host this year’s Annual conference in beautiful Sacramento, California, where we collaborated to celebrate our 52nd conference and the 50th anniversary of the inception of the California Department of Education, Office of School Transportation Department. A state agency that created a one of a kind curriculum that molds a simple driver, into an amazing professional schoolbus driver. A department recognized nationally as having an award winning Instructor Training Program that has graduated thousands of the best training professionals in the world. CASTO proudly joined in the celebration of 50 years of greatness in education, and partnership with the CDE/OST’s program!

Although our association was in celebration mode in February, after an amazing State Conference, March became a month of restriction, fear, and uncertainty. The Pandemic Covid 19 Virus spread like wildfire, separating families, sickness and disease was in every state, and to make matters worse, we couldn’t see it coming. This unprecedented disaster closed down the world, including our schools. But with every challenge Americans face, America fights back and heroes emerge, exposing their lives to dangers, in efforts to protect what is most sacred; our families at home and the families at work.

As transportation professionals, we share the special responsibility to keep those students we transport safe, and moving forward to a world of endless possibilities. All that was stripped from us, and now our students are sitting at home, with no educational opportunities, and in many cases without the opportunity to have a meal which they depended on each day when attending school. As the country shut down, our districts understood the need to support all students during this crisis and called upon the heroes in our departments. Transportation departments all over California were called upon to transport food, study materials, Cromebooks, and even medicine to every child that needed the support.

I’m humbled by the acts of bravery our transportation professionals displayed, and continue to contribute to date, and to bring a little normalcy to our children in these chaotic times. For the first time in my life, children would not have a normal graduation, no prom, no grad nights, no opportunity to have their friends, sign their yearbooks! While all these negatives plaque our society, and our children, if we stop and look at the opportunities given to many of us, with all that was taken away… We have this great opportunity to mentor and refocus the bad to all that is wonderful today:

  • Sitting at the table together and eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner, even if it was made in a school cafeteria.

  • Share more conversations with family members, since we have more time together.

  • Become more creative at imagining a vacation, by camping in the back yard.

  • Cooking more often, and eating less fast food, although we are putting on a couple of pounds because the home cooking is so good!

  • The opportunity to ask Mom, Dad, Grandparents or Guardians for assistance during home schooling.

  • If you pray, having a more intimate conversation with your maker, and taking on whatever comes toward you with a strong faith in a positive outcome.

  • For me… To slow down, and enjoy little things that make my life so wonderful. Water the lawn and watch it grow green and full. See my grandchildren awake, instead of sleeping as I return from a long day of work. Hearing my family laugh until we cry together about who knows what… You just laugh because everyone else is laughing and you ask why later.

  • This disaster has brought us together, to laugh, cry, share, comfort, love, and above all, appreciate what we have been blessed with, our family, friends, and the opportunity to make a difference in this world.

I’m blessed to have this platform as your President, to share this terrible time in history, and be able to highlight that we are all here to make a difference, especially during this time. Our members, our industry, “you” are the glue that keeps the education system together. We must continue the fight in providing the support services needed to make it through this pandemic, and help restart our schools once again.

Never feel you are at this alone, CASTO is a family of members that thrive through adversity, and excel in tough times. Our members are the most knowledgeable, professional, and in my experience, the most inspirational group of folks I’ve ever met. We will work together to find the solutions to our upcoming challenges and with your help, make the process a learning experience of a lifetime.

It is my hope and wish that you are all safe and healthy. May we all find the courage to lead and comfort all that may need it along this journey. From the bottom of my heart, I really appreciate all you are doing for our schools and our school children. I’m really proud to have chosen a career that put me in the path to meet, and serve with all of you.  

Sincerely,

Tony Peregrina | CASTO State President


CASTO's Official Address

CASTO

PO Box 348120

Sacramento, CA 95834

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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/

Child Safety Alert Systems

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to view the FAQ from the California Highway Patrol.  

CASTO 2019 Safety Poster Contest Winner


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

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Why Should You Be a CASTO Member?

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Why CASTO.pdf

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