Transportation has been an area of focus as HCISD continues to prepare a safe atmosphere for the return of students and staff. School buses will be disinfected more frequently, and new procedures will be implemented to make sure students can ride the bus safely.
“All buses will be cleaned and disinfected after each group of students is dropped off,” Assistant Director of Transportation, Francisco Marin said. “High-touch traffic surfaces such as handrails, door handles, seats, windows, AC filters, seat belts, and emergency handles and levers will be disinfected.”
Various CDC and district approved cleaners will be used to disinfect the school buses in a safe manner. New equipment, such as backpack sprayers, hand-held electrostatic sprayers, and portable backpack vacuum cleaners will be used specifically for this initiative.
Antibacterial foaming dispensers will also be installed at the entrance of every bus for students to use as an additional health and safety measure.
Also, social distancing will be enforced on school buses. Students will get their own seat, sit on the side closest to the window, and skip every other seat to maintain their distance.
“Bus drivers will be required to take a proactive role in the seating arrangements and social distancing,” Marin said. “They will assign seats starting from the rear of the bus towards the front. If the students are from the same household, they may be seated together. This arrangement may allow more students on the bus and control social distancing.”
Plans have been made to have buses make two trips, if necessary, to accommodate the limited number of students who can ride the bus at one time because of these new procedures.
“If more than two trips are needed, we’re looking at assigning a second bus to help finish transporting that group of students,” Marin said.
Additionally, the Transportation Department has come up with new school bus rules that take into consideration CDC guidelines. They include reminders such as: wear a mask that covers the mouth and nose, wash your hands, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and stay home if you’re sick or displaying any of the symptoms of COVID-19.