SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As schools prepare to welcome students back into the classrooms, many rely on buses to get them there. However, operating those buses might look a little different.
School Bus Inc. is preparing to to transport about 9,000 students to and from school each day in the Sioux Falls School District. As part of the Return to Learn Plan, many safety expectations are in place for both students and transportation staff.
“Safety is always our number priority and that’s true any year, but this year, even more so, because with the COVID-19 virus, we are going to take all the steps we possibly can to make sure that those kids are as safe as we can possibly have them as we transport them to school starting in a couple of weeks,” School Bus Inc. president Steve Hey said.
As the students board the bus, they’re expected to have a cloth mask on and to use hand sanitizer. They’ll board from the back to the front.
“All of our staff will be required to wear cloth masks whenever there are students on the bus,” Hey said. “As students enter the bus, they’ll be expected to wear cloth masks also. If a student appears without a mask, we’ll have a quantity of disposable masks on the bus, so we can offer that student a mask.”
They will also have family members and classmates sit together. The windows on the bus will also be open to allow for more airflow, weather permitting.
“After each route, we’ll have disinfectant wipes available on the bus so that our staff can wipe down hand railings and all other contact points,” Hey said. “And once a day at the end of the day, we’ll do a more thorough disinfectant cleaning of the bus to spray that down and let that dry overnight, so it will be ready for the next day.”
If a staff member or student does test positive, the bus they were on will not be used again until it’s been cleaned and disinfected.
“We will work very consistently and diligently with our partners at the school district to implement all measures that we possibly can to ensure that we can transport students safely and we’ll continue to do that really throughout the school year,” Hey said.
School Bus Inc is still looking for drivers for this upcoming school year. Find out how to apply here.