Transportation

The school bus is an extension of the classroom; therefore, many of the recommendations that apply to school buildings (like social distancing and frequent cleaning) should be applied to the school bus, as well. Pupil transportation also presents certain unique challenges, especially with regard to the transportation of homeless students, students in foster care, students in nonpublic and charter schools, and students with disabilities. So, it is critical that schools and school districts must be sure to include Transportation Department staff in all school re-opening planning.

School District Policies/Practices

East Rochester UFSD will fulfill existing mandates regarding the safe and effective transportation of students who are homeless (McKinney-Vento), in foster care, have disabilities and attend non-public schools and charter schools.


The School Bus

East Rochester UFSD and its transportation providers will follow School Bus Mandatory Requirements and makes the following assurances::


  • Students who are able will be required to wear masks and social distance on the bus.  Buses will have a supply of masks available for student use in the event a student forgets to board with a mask.

  • All buses (conforming and non-conforming to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Standards, as well as type A, C or D) which are used every day by districts and contract carriers will be cleaned/ disinfected once a day. High contact spots will be wiped down after the a.m. and p.m. run, depending upon the disinfection schedule. (For example, some buses might be cleaned between the a.m. and p.m. runs while other buses may be cleaned/disinfected after the p.m. run);

  • School buses shall not be equipped with hand sanitizer due to its combustible composition and potential liability to the carrier or district. School bus drivers, monitors and attendants must not carry personal bottles of hand sanitizer with them on school buses;

  • For wheelchair school buses, wheelchair placement must be configured to ensure social distancing of 6 feet.


The East Rochester UFSD will follow the school bus best practice considerations implemented by its principal transportation provider, East Irondequoit Central School District. These include opening roof hatches and windows when temperatures are above 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Note: The NYS Department of Education recommends Installing sneeze guards on buses as a best practice. However, the NYS Department of Transportation has not approved mounting sneeze guards on buses. Therefore, no sneeze guards have been installed on buses transporting East Rochester students.


School Bus Staff

East Rochester UFSD and its transportation providers will follow School Bus Staff Mandatory Requirements and makes the following assurances::

  • School bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics shall perform a self-health assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving to work. If personnel are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19 they shall notify their employer and seek medical attention;

  • School bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics must wear a face covering along with an optional face shield;

  • Transportation staff (drivers, monitors, attendants, mechanics and cleaners) will be trained and provided periodic refreshers on the proper use of personal protective equipment and the signs and symptoms of COVID-19;

  • Transportation departments/carriers will provide Personal Protective Equipment such as masks and gloves for drivers, monitors and attendants in buses as well as hand sanitizer for all staff in their transportation locations such as dispatch offices, employee lunch/break rooms and/or bus garages.

  • Drivers, monitors and attendants who must have direct physical contact with a child must wear gloves. 


The East Rochester UFSD will follow the reopening plan best practice transportation considerations implemented by its principal transportation provider, East Irondequoit Central School District. These practices include:

  • The driver, monitor, and attendant may wear gloves and gowns if they choose to do so but are not required unless they must be in physical contact with students;

  • Transportation staff are encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water before and after a.m. and p.m. runs to keep healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory and diarrheal infection from one person to the next. Germs can spread from other people or surfaces when you:

    • touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

    • touch a contaminated surface or objects

    • blow your nose, cough, or sneeze into hands and then touch other people’s hands or common objects


Students on Transportation

  • As was outlined in the Health and Safety section of this plan, all parents/guardians will be required to ensure their child/children are not experiencing any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and do not have a fever of 100 degrees or more prior to them boarding their method of transportation to school;

  • Students must wear a mask on a school bus if they are physically able. Students who are unable to medically tolerate a face covering, including students where such covering would impair their physical health or mental health are not subject to the required use of a face covering;

  • Students must social distance (six feet separation) on the bus;

  • Students who do not have a mask can NOT be denied transportation;

  • Students who do not have masks must be provide one by the district;

  • Students with a disability which would prevent them from wearing a mask will not be forced to do so or denied transportation. 

 

The East Rochester UFSD will follow the best practice “Students on Transportation Considerations” implemented by its principal transportation provider, East Irondequoit Central School District.  These practices include:

  • Siblings or children who reside in the same household will be encouraged to sit together.

  • Students will be assigned where to sit on the bus, rear to front, based on morning routes.

  • A student without a mask will be provided a mask by the driver/monitor/attendant.  Students who are unable to medically tolerate a face covering, including students where such covering would impair their physical health or mental health are not subject to the required use of a face covering. In such a situation the seating will be rearranged so the student without a mask is socially distanced from other students.

  • Students who are transported in a mobility device will be distanced at least six (6) feet from other students to provide the required social distancing.

  • Students will be reminded of the bus rules, including reminders to not eat or drink on the school bus, which would require them to remove their mask.



Protocols Once Students Disembark from Transportation

The East Rochester UFSD will follow the following protocols implemented by its principal transportation provider, East Irondequoit Central School District.  These protocols include:

  • Students will be instructed to exit the bus one seat at a time, while maintaining social distancing.

  • When students embark and disembark the bus, they will be expected to follow social distancing protocols. This may increase the time required to load and unload buses at schools in the morning and afternoon.

  • Since hand sanitizer is not permitted on school buses, hand sanitizer in dispensers shall be made available at school entrances when students enter the building or classroom. 


Pupil Transportation Routing

  • When East Rochester UFSD is in session remotely or otherwise, pupil transportation will continue to be provided to nonpublic, parochial, private, charter schools or students whose Individualized Education Plans have placed them out of district whose schools are meeting in in-person sessions when/ if the district is not;

  • All students are entitled to transportation by East Rochester UFSD to the extent required by law. Transportation departments do not have the ability or the right to deny transportation for children who are in foster care, homeless or attend private or charter schools. Parents who may have missed the due date to request out of district transportation due to a reasonable excuse may file a 310 appeal with the Commissioner of Education.

  

East Rochester UFSD will continue to utilize the following routing best practices in its reopening plan, and will add those below that are specific to reducing the spread of COVID-19:

  • The District’s principal transportation provider, East Irondequoit Central School District, will route to a capacity of one (1) student per seat on buses. The District concurs with this standard.

  • East Rochester UFSD utilizes contract transportation. The District will continue to work with its contractors to make adjustments to contracts as they are impacted by COVID-19. All contracts contain a per-pupil rate, based upon monthly utilization, which covers most increases and decreases to service.

  • East Rochester UFSD will continue to pursue every avenue to provide transportation for its student population using creative means of district routing, to include:municipal contracts, piggybacking contracts, parent contracts or public transportation.

  • East Rochester UFSD does have students who use public mass transit. The District encourages students on these vehicles to wear masks and practice social distancing. If a mass transit vehicle is used solely for pupil transportation routes, all the applicable mandatory requirements and considerations must be applied.


For more information about training protocol for students and staff and how transportation information will be communicated, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.