School Districts and Bus Companies take Measures to Reduce Pandemic Risk

Written by on August 17, 2020

School Districts and Bus Companies take Measures to Reduce Pandemic Risk

By Chloe Nouvelle

August 17, 2020

Photo | Chloe Nouvelle / WLVR

School districts are working to keep students safe in the classroom, during a pandemic.  But they also have to consider how to get them to school safely.

Because of the pandemic districts and school bus companies are having to rethink how kids ride the bus. To maintain air circulation, the CDC recommends bus drivers keep the windows open, and to maintain social distancing seat students one per row. And only in every other row. That’s something Denielle Girardat-Myers of the Pennsylvania School Bus Association says could be a challenge.

“…To do a full six feet on a 72 passenger bus. I mean that limits your capacity down to maybe 9, 12 students at the most. And that’s not truly realistic,” she says.

And like schools, Girardat-Myers says bus companies are facing a staffing issue, too.

“As we’re getting closer to opening, some of the drivers are starting to finally say, you know what, I’m not comfortable, and I’m not going to come back.”

And there are financial hurdles as well. Girardat-Myers says private bus companies are looking for guidance from the state department of education — to see if districts will be required to pay them — even if the pandemic shuts schools down again.

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