Bus transportation is one of the most difficult services to provide in the COVID-19 context. Providing enough seats at a proper social distance to keep bus transportation a useful form of transit is extremely difficult. Even during typical school years, employing enough bus drivers to adequately fill all routes is a difficult task. Once the division returns to in-person instruction, we cannot guarantee appropriate social distance on the bus. Rather, we are strongly encouraging parents to transport their students to school by car and to carpool with the same cohort of students to reduce the number of students requiring school-provided transportation.
In the past, bus transportation has been planned and provided for all possible riders. Between recent resignations and retirements, and drivers that have indicated intent to file for ADA accommodation or applicable leave when we return to in-person instruction, we must have a more efficient routing method. The division distributed a Family Commitment Form in late July. One of the commitments requested was for parents to register for a bus seat if unable to provide their own transportation. Routes will be planned based on learning models and students registered through the Family Commitment Form.
Parents have been informed that routes will be planned with a goal of no more than one student to a seat but with an absolute limit of (2 to a seat all levels). When loading, all buses will have assigned seating with the first on board in the morning filling seats at rear of bus and moving forward from there.
No Social Distancing
Wearing masks is mandatory on buses unless medically exempt. Drivers and Assistants will be supplied masks, face shields and reusable gowns for some special education personnel. Drivers will also be supplied with extra masks.
All bus surfaces will be coated with a Microban protectant that lasts 90-120 days. Protectant will be reapplied every 90 days. Frequent high touch surfaces (e.g. stairwell rail, van doors and seat belts) will be disinfected between all routes including vans.
Hand Sanitizer stations will be placed at school parking lots as well as one dispenser for use getting on the bus in the morning and off the bus in the afternoon.