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 spots 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 the 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 to 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.

    • We expect student health screenings to be completed prior to boarding the bus in the morning.
    • Our buses will run at reduced capacity to ensure six feet of space or barriers between students are maintained.
    • All students who are able will be required to wear face coverings. Should the student not have a face covering, one will be provided before boarding.
    • Children from the same family will be allowed to sit together when we can ensure six feet of space or barriers between students.

Protocols for bus drivers, monitors, and attendants including:

    • 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 should 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 of how students will disembark from transportation vehicles:

    • 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.
    • Various entries and exits will be used to further separate our students. This will allow students to mix even less by keeping each hallway as separate as possible. It will also decrease the load at the front entry, reduce crowding at entry and dismissal.
    • More time will be built into the daily schedule to account for the additional time to load and unload buses.
    • Although hand sanitizer is not permitted on the buses, it will be available at each entryway for students and adults.

Routing Procedures

  • The district has sent out a transportation survey to all eligible families to establish accurate ridership numbers and to ensure all students’ transportation needs are accounted for.
  • District transportation runs will be established by using one student per seat.
  • District transportation runs will be designed prioritizing the shortest trip possible for students.
  • Non-public transportation runs will be designed in conjunction with HFCSD start and end times.
  • HFCSD does not participate in mass transit.

For more information about the 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.

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