GCSD 2020-21 Reopening Plan: Transportation

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Transportation Overview

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 within NYS established distance limitations.

  • 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, per medical diagnosis are not required to wear a face-covering but must be appropriately socially distanced.
  • Members of the same household may be seated within six 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 six feet.
  • Whether school is in session remotely or otherwise, pupil transportation will be provided to distance-eligible 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.
  • Parents who may have missed the due date to request out of district transportation due to a reasonable excuse may file a section 310 appeal with the Commissioner of Education. 

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Transportation 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.

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School Schedules

Grades K-6 will have a staggered start and end times.

  • Grades K-2, 7:30 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.
  • Grades 3-4, 8:15 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • Grades 5-6, 9:00 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Grade 7, 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Half of the class “A day” other half “B day” every other day schedule.

Grades 8-12, 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Half of the class “A day” other half “B day” every other day schedule.

  • In the morning, buses will load back to front.
  • In the afternoon, buses will load front to back with the first students being dropped off seated in the front seats and working their way back in order of drop-offs.
  • Twenty students per bus, one student per seat unless siblings ride the same bus; in that event they will sit together.
  • Upon arrival at school students will unload from front to back allowing for the appropriate distance between each other as they exit the bus.
  • If needed the driver and attendant will remind students to keep their distance.
  • Buses will have an ample supply of masks for students who do not have their own. 

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Cleaning of Buses and Safety Protocols

  • Buses will be cleaned between the am and pm routes.
  • Drivers and garage staff will use a combination of disinfecting multi-surface wipes as well as an electrostatic sprayer using a disinfectant solution.
  • While buses are en route they will have some windows and the roof hatches slightly open to allow for fresh airflow temperature permitting.
  • Bus drivers and attendants will be required to wear face coverings.
  • The District will provide face coverings if needed for the transportation staff. 
  • Gloves must be worn if a driver and or attendant has physical contact with a student. Gloves will also be made available.
  • The transportation facility will be equipped with hand sanitizer stations.
  • There will be stations at each entrance, at the dispatch window, in the offices, in the break room and in the maintenance garage and office.
  • Signage will be posted throughout the transportation facility reminding staff to wash hands with soap and water throughout the day and before and after their bus runs.

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For more information about the training protocol for students and staff and how transportation information will be communicated, visit the Communication and Engagement section of our reopening plan.

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