At the North Syracuse Central School District Transportation Department, 140 buses are lined up and ready to roll for the school year. Districts like NSCSD say they making safety their number one priority.
What You Need To Know
- Schools are set to start in September
- Schools have been focusing on guidelines when it comes to transportation
- On the bus, kids will be required to wear masks and maintain social distancing
- The drivers will also be disinfecting the bus many times throughout the day
“The first day of school, the driver will report to his bus. He’ll have all that he needs. We’ll have disinfectant, his mask, masks for students, gloves and wipes," Matt Conti, the Transportation Director for the district said.
NSCSD has been working on transportation plans since March. He says the main concern for parents has been about how to maintain social distancing.
"We’re going to load from the back to the front, so when a student gets on, he’s going to come to one of the back seats, just try to stop criss-crossing for the students," Conti said.
There will be one student per seat, so on a full size bus which normally seats 65, 22 students will be on board with specific windows open.
“We have a mandate to make sure we have air flow in the school bus. What we’re going to do is open the windows and utilize the hatches to get airflow in and out of the bus," Conti said.
On top of that, disinfecting will be happening way more often, especially on the handrails and “high touch zones.” The bus drivers have gone through special training to be prepped to meet expectations.
"Each day when they come back from their run, it’ll be disinfected. After their PM run, it will be disinfected, and then we have disinfection on the bus to make sure any 'high touch zones,' the school bus driver will take care of," Conti said.
Speaking of bus drivers, we caught up with Charmaine Regelman, who works in Watertown and is excited and ready for school to get started.
“We want to make sure we keep the social distancing, the students know they have to wear masks, disinfecting the buses; making sure they’re clean, and ready to go, but making sure everyone is safe and ready to go to school that want to go to school," Regelman said.
Bus drivers also have a plan in place in case a positive test pops up.
“If there’s a positive test on the bus, we’ll want to make sure that we isolate. If we find out after the fact, that bus would immediately be pulled and disinfected the way we need to disinfect it," Regelman said.
Districts like Watertown and North Syracuse have been working constantly to make students and parents feel safe.
“I just want parents to know that we’re taking all these precautions for the safety of the children and I hope they let them ride on the school buses. I hope that they choose to put the children on the school buses because that’s the safest mode of transportation," Conti said.