Berkeley County Schools release bus plans for school year

VIDEO: Berkeley County Schools release bus plans for school year

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCSC) - The Berkeley County School district recently updated its 2020-2021 bus transportation plan to give more information on what students and parents can expect for the upcoming year.

Staff with the district’s transportation office believe they will be able to meet all South Carolina Department of Education guidelines and requirements for occupancy and safety. Parents were asked to request bus transportation on the online registration process. However, if you did not request bus transportation but later need it, you should contact your child’s school.

Staff at the district say school bus transportation should be reserved for families who truly have no other option for getting their child or children to school.

The following is a list given by the district of bus safety protocols for the upcoming year:

  • Students that are ill will not be permitted to ride the school bus.
  • Students will be encouraged to wear masks while riding the bus.
  • Student seating on buses will be assigned with social distancing in mind, as practical.
  • Buses will be disinfected following unloading of students using electrostatic cleaners.
  • We ask that school bus use be reserved for those families who truly have no other option for transporting their children to school.
  • Bus staff will use face coverings and exhibit social distancing when interacting with students and colleagues.
  • Personal protective equipment will be distributed based on need and availability.
  • Bus staff will use gloves and eye protection when using disinfectant supplies. Gloves will be discarded after use.

In addition, these are the social distancing, ventilation and capacity guidelines for buses:

  • Assignment of three students to a seat should not occur.
  • Each student will be assigned a seat on the bus. Each driver will maintain a seating chart as documentation of the students’ location on the bus. When possible, members of the same household will be assigned the same seat to limit the possibility of exposure. When possible, an adult monitor may be used to ensure appropriate seating occurs.
  • The driver will maximize the circulation of outside air to the extent practicable. The opening of roof vents and windows will be utilized as weather permits.
  • Buses will be disinfected prior to starting the next trip.

In addition to these guidelines, the South Carolina Department of Education recommends each bus have no more than 67% of its maximum capacity for students. The department also says there should be only one child on a seat at a time but says to allow for 67% capacity, two students could be seated in the same seat. The department reccomends pairing up children in the same household if this is necessary. The department also reccomends loading the bus from back to front.

The district expects more information to be released by Thursday.

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