The district will conduct transportation activities that are consistent with state-issued public transit guidance and NYSED School Reopening guidelines. Students and school staff must wear acceptable face coverings at all times on school buses (e.g., entering, exiting, and seated) and should maintain appropriate social distancing to the extent practicable.
Students who are able will be required to wear masks and social distance on the bus to the extent practicable; however, students whose physical or mental health would be impaired are not required to wear a face covering, but must be appropriately socially distanced. Members of the same household may be seated within 6 feet of each other. Parents and legal guardians are encouraged to drop off or walk students to school to reduce density on buses.
All buses that are used every day by districts and contract carriers will be cleaned/ disinfected regularly. High-contact areas will be wiped down/sanitized between each run depending upon the disinfection schedule.
School bus drivers, monitors and attendants may carry personal bottles of hand sanitizer with them on school buses.
Whether school is in session remotely or otherwise, pupil transportation will be provided to nonpublic, parochial, private, charter schools or students whose Individualized Education Plans have placed them out- of-district whose schools are meeting in in-person sessions.
All students are entitled to transportation by the district to the extent required by law. Transportation departments do not have the ability or the right to deny transportation for children who are in foster care, homeless or attend private or charter schools. Parents who may have missed the due date to request out of district transportation due to a reasonable excuse may file a 310 appeal with the Commissioner of Education.
School Bus Staff
School bus drivers are required to perform a self-health assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving at work. If personnel are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19, they will notify their employer as per the reporting policies and seek medical attention.
School bus drivers must wear a face covering along with an optional face shield.
Transportation staff (drivers, monitors, attendants, mechanics and cleaners) will be trained and provided periodic refreshers on the proper use of personal protective equipment and the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
Transportation departments/carriers will need to provide Personal Protective Equipment such as masks and gloves for drivers, monitors and attendants in buses as well as hand sanitizer for all staff in their transportation locations such as dispatch offices, employee lunch/break rooms and/or bus garages.
Drivers who must have direct physical contact with a child must wear gloves.
Every student and driver must wear a face covering at all times. Students will sit one (1) to a seat, unless they are siblings; they will be permitted to sit together. All school buses will adhere to no more than 50% occupancy at any given time.
A marking will be placed on each seat where a child may not sit. Students will be staggered (aisle, window seat) with one (1) child to a seat. COVID-19 Screening attestation app will be completed by students/driver prior to boarding the bus. Students will be loaded back to front and exit the bus front to back.
Drivers will sanitize buses every morning, in between runs and at the end of every day. They will pay close attention to high-traffic areas such as hand railings and windows/roof hatches will be open for extra circulation when temperatures are above 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Protocols for bus drivers:
- The driver may wear gloves if they choose to do so but are not required unless they must be in physical contact with students.
- Transportation staff will be encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water before and after am and pm runs to keep healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory and diarrheal infections from one person to the next. Germs can spread from other people or surfaces when you:
- touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- touch a contaminated surface or objects
- blow your nose, cough, or sneeze into hands and then touch other people’s hands or common objects
Protocols for how students will disembark from buses:
- When students embark and disembark the bus, they should follow social distancing protocols. This will increase the time required to load and unload buses at schools in the morning and afternoon.
- Both schools will have staggered arrival and departure times to ensure social distancing.
- Schools will reconfigure the loading and unloading locations for students who are transported by bus, car or are pedestrians (walk to school).
- Routing needs have been addressed due to an increase in school bus runs. Pick up and drop off times have been staggered as well as implementing a remote learning option for students.
- We have worked closely with our transportation contractors/department as well as using our routing computer system to reroute buses when necessary to ensure all eligible students have access to a bus and to limit the number of students on a bus at any given time.
For more information about training protocol for students and staff and how transportation information will be communicated, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.