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NORMAN, Okla. — Norman Public Schools was honored Monday as the first public school district in the nation to receive the Gold Standard Award from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). 

The Gold Standard Award is the highest level of recognition TSA can give to a transit agency for achieving top scores during an annual review of 17 categories of security and emergency preparedness elements. The review evaluates several aspects of a transit agency’s operations, including its security plan, security training, drills and exercise programs, public outreach efforts, and background check procedures.

“In the last 4 years they have continued to partner with TSA in all of the Surface programs that are offered,” said TSA Surface Jonathan Martinez. “That dedication exhibits the kind of partnership one wishes all school districts could see. To find such constant striving to improve their security, so that our children are more secure, is truly admirable.”

“We could not be more proud to receive this award,” said NPS Superintendent Dr. Nick Migliorino. “This is the result of years of hard work and dedication to student safety and to be the first school district in the nation to earn this recognition is truly something to celebrate.” 

Since 2006, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), through its Surface Transportation Security Inspection Program (STSIP), has been conducting voluntary Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement (BASE) reviews in an effort to assess and improve the security posture of mass transit systems in the United States.

The partnership between TSA and Norman Public Schools began during In-Service training of the First Observer Program which is focused on security awareness. In addition to the First Observer Plus Training, the transportation department has completed IED Awareness/Suspicious Package Training, Active Shooter/Active Threat Training, the Exercise Information System (EXIS) tabletop exercise, and the Blue Campaign Training which is to combat Human Trafficking. 

Since the initial training in 2018, NPS and the TSA have worked together to strengthen the overall security posture of Norman Public Schools Transportation Department’s policies, procedures, and every aspect of security all the way down to lighting in the parking lots. 

Using a risk-based methodology developed by TSA’s Highway & Motor Carrier Division, TSA personnel reviewed various aspects of Norman Public Schools security practices based on 20 recommended “Security Action Items” developed through collaboration with our industry partners. TSA and Norman Public Schools have worked together to make sure that all of the action items were addressed, and that they met or exceeded the expectations of the school bus industry nationwide.

“Norman Public Schools Transportation Department is not only the first transportation department for school districts in the state of Oklahoma, but it is also the first in the nation to receive scores worthy of the Gold Standard Award for their excellence in security from TSA,” said Martinez. “Their willingness to participate in our programs, and the willingness to dedicate time and effort into securing our nation’s transportation, has put them at the top of all school districts when it comes to the safety of our children.”

The NPS Transportation Department serves more than 9,000 students daily, covering an area of 183 square miles with more than 162 routes daily. NPS is proud to offer competitive pay and on job training. Those interested in applying can do so at