A look at the bus safety plan for Tuscaloosa County Schools

Cleaning buses during the pandemic

TUSCALOOSA CO., Ala. (WBRC) - Parents sending their students back to school for in person learning also have to decide how their student will get to school.

Tuscaloosa County School saw more than 13,000 different students ride the bus last school year.

“We are going to provide every means for students to get there,” Tuscaloosa County School Coordinator of Transportation, Craig Henson, said. “We want their students to be just as safe as parents do.”

Henson said the school district isn’t changing any of their 202 bus routes, but students now have to wear a mask. Henson is also asking parents to help keep buses safe by taking their child’s temperature and making sure they don’t have any symptoms.

“Our drivers will not be taking temperatures or acting as medical professionals,” Henson said.

Henson said each of the 200 hundred buses will be cleaned with handheld sanitizers everyday once students are all dropped off. It’ll kill germs in the air and on surfaces.

“Drivers will spray that approximately 6 feet in the air, above window level, and it atomizes the spray as it comes out and then it settles on the seats,” Henson said.

The district isn’t limiting the amount of students on each bus, because there are too many kids.

Henson said guidelines recommend ten people per bus, but many are usually at capacity with 72 kids.

“If we social distance, that one route would turn into five routes. It would become a magnificent number that we would have to overcome, not only in people and in man power, but also in resources,” Henson said.

The district is also assigning seats and making siblings sit together. Drivers will also wipe down high touch areas on the bus throughout the day.

“There is no perfect way to appropriately social distance on a bus,” Henson said. “We are trying our best to do two kids per seat.”

Tuscaloosa County School bus drivers will get training next week on how to properly clean the buses after each use.

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