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 once a day. High contact areas will be wiped down after the morning (AM) and afternoon (PM) run depending upon the disinfection schedule.
School buses shall not 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 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, monitors, attendants and mechanics 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, monitors, attendants and mechanics 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, monitors and attendants who must have direct physical contact with a child must wear gloves.
Transportation protocols and procedures for reopening plan
- Parents are encouraged to walk or drive their child to school whenever possible.
- When students embark and disembark the bus, they should follow social distancing protocols.
- Health screenings must be completed prior to students boarding the bus.
- Drivers will assign passenger seats for contact tracing purposes; these seats will be based upon first on in the morning; i.e. passengers will fill in the seats at the rear of the bus moving forward. They will exit the bus front to back. For the PM return, the first students off will sit in the front seats working their way back based upon their bus stop; first off in the front, last off in the rear.
- Monitors on board each bus to ensure students are social distancing and wearing PPE as prescribed.
- Students will maintain appropriate social distancing while on board the bus, boarding and exiting the bus and at community bus stops to the degree practicably possible.
- The district will stagger the arrival time of buses; when the bus arrives at school, the students off load upon arrival. In the afternoon, stagger dismissal to allow for appropriate social distancing.
- All extra trips and late buses are cancelled until further notice (it will be difficult to contact trace on these buses-different students on late activity buses and extra trip buses).
- Social distance markers will be posted in all common areas including the buses.
- Students will be required to sit in assigned seats.
- Members of the same family will sit with each other.
- Students will not open backpacks on the bus.
- Drivers will note on their daily DVIR the number of times as well as the clock time of their cleaning and sanitizing their buses.
- School bus roof hatches are to be opened as well as windows at least 2 inches for the air flow at all times, while the external temperature remains above 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 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 is 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
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 the reopening plan at https://www.bkwschools.org/bkw-csd-school-reopening-plan-for-2020-21/communication-family-and-community-engagement/