The district will conduct transportation activities that are consistent with state-issued public transit guidance and New York State Education Department (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 appropriate social distancing will be maintained to the extent practicable. Students who are medically unable to wear a face covering should contact the Transportation Department or their school principal. 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 and disinfected daily. High contact surfaces will be wiped down after the morning (AM) and afternoon (PM) run, depending upon the disinfection schedule. Spray gun stations will be established at the bus garage for full disinfecting of all inside areas of the bus and will be performed on a scheduled weekly basis.
According to New York State regulations, school buses cannot be equipped with hand sanitizer due to its combustible composition and potential liability to the carrier or district. School bus drivers, monitors and attendants must not carry personal bottles of hand sanitizer with them on school buses.
Wheelchair school buses will configure wheelchair placement to ensure social distancing of 6 feet.
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 provided that their schools are meeting for in-person sessions.
All students are entitled to transportation by the district to the extent required by law. The school district does 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, monitors, attendants and mechanics must perform a self-health assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving to work, consistent with the screening required of all employees. If personnel are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19, they will notify their supervisor per the reporting policies and seek medical attention.
School bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics must wear a face covering. The use of a face shield is optional, but one cannot be worn in place of a mask.
Transportation staff (drivers, monitors, attendants, mechanics and cleaners) will be trained and provided periodic refreshers on the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
The Transportation Department will provide PPE 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, monitors and attendants who must have direct physical contact with a child must wear gloves.
School bus routes will be designed with a reduced operating capacity to ensure social distancing to the greatest extent practical. Students shall be assigned seats based on bus stops in order to avoid unnecessary contact with other students. (Example: The first student to board will proceed to the rear of the bus and be the last off) Students should board the bus one at a time and proceed to their assigned seat. When disembarking, students will unload front to back. All students are required to wear a mask. If they do not have a mask one will be provided.
Schools will be provided with a student list for each bus route. Upon arrival at school, students will unload front to back and observe social distancing where possible. A staff member will then escort students into the building.
In the afternoon, students should be brought to buses in the order of back to front loading. Buses will deliver students to their stops from front to rear as much as possible.
Siblings on the same bus will generally be assigned to sit together in order to maximize bus capacity. In light of limited seating on buses, parents are encouraged to drive or walk their children to school.
Separate buses will be provided to aftercare locations within the District. (ie: St. Kateri, JCC, etc.) Transportation will be provided from a single location and to a single location for each student (e.g. We are unable to provide transportation to different locations depending on the day). Students will only be transported on their assigned bus. There will be no exceptions to this practice while restrictions are in place.
When temperatures are above 45°F, school buses will transport passengers with roof hatches and /or windows slightly opened to provide air flow.
Protocols for bus drivers, monitors and attendants:
- The driver, monitor, and attendant 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 wash their hands with soap and water before and after a.m. and p.m. runs in accordance with CDC guidance to prevent the spread of infection.
Protocols for Students:
- When students embark and disembark the bus, they will follow social distancing protocols. This will increase the time required to load and unload buses at schools in the morning and afternoon. Arrival and dismissal of buses may be staggered.
- Schools may reconfigure the loading and unloading locations for students who are transported by bus, car or are pedestrians.
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.