Fewer students and extra cleaning included in school bus regulations for September
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Social distancing and masks aren’t just for the classroom, for many students back to school starts with the ride there.
There are new rules for school buses come September starting with every student in Grade 4 and up must wear a face mask.
“If a child comes to the bus stop and they are not wearing the mask, they will not be able to ride with us,” said Gabrielle McMillan general manager of Windsor-Essex Student Transportation.
There will be one third fewer students on board, and parents can expect assigned seating with students from the same home or class seated together.
“Whatever cohort they are in the school they will be sitting them together as well so they aren’t sitting with people they aren’t around all day,” McMillan said.
All students will board back to front.
“We will be loading buses starting at the back towards the front in the mornings and at night we will be unloading from front to back so we can limit the number of contact that students are going to have with each other,” she said.
Thanks to extra funds from the province, buses will be cleaned twice a day.
“Once at the end of the morning run high touch surface area such as the handrails, the backs of the seat those will be sanitized and a deep clean at the end of the day,” McMillan said.
Some parents on Facebook tell CTV News they have mixed feelings about their child riding the bus to school.
Martina Apple Cue writes, “My kids will be going to school and take the bus.”
While Alan Saad says, “We live too close to school for busing. Even if we had the option I would not put my daughter on a bus and I would rather drive her because it will be much more challenging to social distance on a bus with no supervision.”
Michelle Lynn comments, “My kids will be going to school, I will likely be driving them to and from.”
McMillan says if your child is eligible for busing and took the bus last year, there is no need to re-register, but you do have to opt-out if you choose to find alternate transportation.
Most importantly, McMillan encourages everyone to be patient.
“Certainly the buses are going to be late,” she said. “It’s going to take longer for children to get on-board. If your child’s bus is late just expect it’s going to be late getting to school particularly the first month or two until we get things on a routine.”
For back to school guidelines for transportation, please visit Windsor-Essex Student Transportation Services website.