Update – August 5, 2020
On August 4, 2020, Education Minister LaGrange announced that masks will be required when students and staff return to school this fall. The following information has been added to this article:
- Grade 4 through 12 students will be required to wear a mask on buses. Mask use for kindergarten to Grade 3 students will continue to be optional.
- Bus drivers will be required to wear masks. Drivers will also be provided with face shields to use at their discretion ONLY during loading and unloading, NOT to be worn while driving.
The safety of children, students and staff is the foundation of all plans for re-entry. We are now able to provide specific information about busing under both Scenario 1 and Scenario 2.
On July 21, 2020 the Minister of Education announced that schools will be resuming under the conditions of Scenario 1: In-school classes resume (near normal with health measures). Re-entry scenarios may vary by geographic location and can change if an outbreak warrants.
We encourage parents and guardians to read all our re-entry to school on our COVID-19 Information Page.
Transportation under Scenario 1
In-school classes resume with health measures
Parents / guardians are encouraged to drive children to school when possible to decrease the number of students on the busses. We anticipate increased traffic volume before and after school. Please follow the traffic flow instructions for curb-side drop-off and pick up.
Every-day Health and Safety Measures
- Bus drivers and students will complete the Daily Health Check everyday to ensure they do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.
- Stay home when ill.
- Ensure hands are cleaned before getting on the school bus.
- Cough or sneeze into a Kleenex or your elbow (discard the Kleenex, don’t reuse it).
- NEW – Bus drivers will be required to wear masks. Drivers will also be provided with face shields to use at their discretion ONLY during loading and unloading, NOT to be worn while driving.
- NEW – Grade 4 through 12 students will be required to wear a mask on buses. Mask use for kindergarten to Grade 3 students will continue to be optional.
- It is important that students continue to abide by the rules for riding the bus.
- Buses will be diligently disinfected after each run and vehicle cleaning logs will be kept.
If a bus driver is ill:
- A bus driver must not drive a school bus if they have any symptoms.
- We will make every attempt to find a replacement driver.
- There is a chance that a spare driver will not be in place in time for either a morning or afternoon run.
- Families must be prepared to make alternate arrangements if we cannot get a replacement in time.
- Students must not be in the pick-up area or enter the bus if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
- Students will be assigned seats and a record will be kept to assist Alberta Health Services (AHS) with contact tracing if needed.
- Schools will develop procedures for student loading, unloading and transfers that support physical distancing of 2 metres between all children (except household members), when possible and will include:
- Students will load onto buses from the back seats to the front of the bus.
- Students will depart from the bus from the front seats to the back of the bus.
- Where possible, the number of students will be limited per bench unless they are from the same household.
- Students from the same household will share seats unless there is sufficient room on the bus or there is an approved exception.
- Expect some delays at the beginning of this process as everyone gets used to the new protocols.
If a student appears to be ill on the school bus:
- The student will be moved to a separate seat on the bus away from other children if possible.
- On arrival at the school, the driver will inform the principal immediately so that the child can be isolated in the school.
- The school will contact the parent and notify them that they must pick up their child, or their emergency contact must pick up the child.
Alternate Site Requests
Alternate Site Requests will be accepted and reviewed after September 10th. The delay is necessary because adding additional students onto a bus may significantly impact seating plans in some instances. In order to establish cohort groups, alternate site requests may be cancelled if we move into Scenario 2.
Transportation under Scenario 2 – Additional Measures
In-school classes partially resume with additional health measures
The main difference from Scenario 1 is stricter physical distancing, especially through managed cohorts.
The population of students will be divided. While one group is at school, the other group will be at home. The days when a group attends school will alternate.
Parents / guardians will be strongly encouraged to drive children to school each day. This will decrease the number of students on the busses and support the stricter cohorting conditions.
Students will be transported on the school bus on alternate days. This will require an entirely revised transportation schedule.
- Bus routes will change to accommodate alternate pick-ups and drop-offs.
- Pick-up and drop-off times will change.
- The Transportation team will redesign routes geographically.
- Every child in a family will attend school on the same alternate day. If you have children in different grades, they will attend school on the same day.
The Transportation team will prepare to implement Scenario 2 on short notice. We thank you in advance for your patience as we prepare and send the new schedules out to drivers and parents.
Expect some delays at the beginning of this process as everyone gets used to the new protocols.