The school will conduct transportation activities that are consistent with state-issued public transit guidance and NYSED School Reopening guidelines. Students and school staff must wear acceptable face coverings on school buses (e.g., entering, exiting, and seated) and maintain appropriate social distancing at all times. All students who receive transportation from the public school district are encouraged to adhere to CDC and NYSDOH guidelines.
Students who are able will be required to wear masks and social distance on the bus; however, students whose physical or mental health would be impaired are not required to wear a face covering but must be appropriately socially distanced. Members of the same household may be seated within 6 feet of each other. Parents and legal guardians are encouraged to drop off/pick up or walk students to school to reduce density on buses.
All buses that are used every day by the school and contract carriers will be cleaned/ disinfected once a day. High contact spots will be wiped down after the morning (AM) and afternoon (PM) run depending upon the disinfection schedule.
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.
Wheelchair school buses will configure wheelchair placement to ensure social distancing of 6 feet.
Whether school is in session remotely or otherwise, pupil transportation will 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.
All students are entitled to transportation by the public school district 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.
School Bus Staff
NOTE: Holy Spirit School does not own or operate any buses, and does not employ any individuals to operate buses or provide transportation to our students. Through the Diocesan School Board and the Catholic School Office, we contract with a private company to transport students from Columbia County. All other students are transported by the public school district, or by their parents/guardians or their designee. Each bus rider should comply with the policies and procedures established by the district or company transporting that student.
A member of the Holy Spirit School staff, or a volunteer, will perform health checks on all students arriving via bus.
GENERAL GUIDELINES THAT SCHOOL BUS STAFF SHOULD COMPLY WITH:
NOTE: Please contact your transportation provider for a copy of their policy and guidelines, which supersede the guidelines below.
School bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics are required to perform a self-health assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving at work. If personnel are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19, they will notify their employer as per the reporting policies 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 need to 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.
Students on Transportation
NOTE: Please contact your transportation provider for a copy of their policy and guidelines, which should be followed by our students whenever on a bus.
When students disembark from transportation vehicles, they should follow social distancing protocols and all guidelines from the transportation provider.
Students exiting the bus will undergo a temperature check upon arrival, and should use hand sanitizer immediately upon entering the school building.
Parents and family members whose children are transported by a public school district should monitor the district’s status for information on changes to transportation (closings and delays, bus schedules, differences between the public school district calendar and Holy Spirit School calendar, etc.)
Parents and family members whose children are transported by our private bus company from Hudson should monitor the company’s website for changes to transportation.
Students on Transportation (Section added 08/31/2020)
In line with the updated guidance released by the New York State Education Department on August 21, 2020, Holy Spirit School has added the section below to our Transportation section of the Reopening Plan.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as students in NYS get ready to go back to school, school districts will have the authority to install hand sanitizer dispensers on buses as well as allow students and district staff to have personal-size quantities while aboard the bus. Installation of such dispensers will only be allowed in the area of the driver and must be secure to withstand any sudden stop or impact. The dispenser will not block any aisles and will not present any obstructions to passengers getting on and off the bus. The sanitizer will be ethanol-based, and the dispenser can be no larger than 40 ounces. Students and personnel on the bus will also be authorized to carry personal-size bottles of sanitizer, whose contents should not exceed 8 ounces in volume. These should be secured when not in use. Holy Spirit School requests that families sending hand sanitizer with their students on the bus, especially younger students, should notify the school so that we are aware that the child is in possession and can appropriately supervise this during the school day.