Students, parents can expect changes to bus transportation to school

Rapides Parish public schools expected to begin in Phase Two of "Strong Start" plan
When the school year begins, families are being encouraged to drive their students to school when possible.
Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 6:07 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2020 at 7:00 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Rapides Parish School Board Transportation Director Daniel Bryant answered questions about changes to school bus transportation that parents and students can expect in August.

RBPS says that as of right now school will begin in Phase 2 when school resumes in August. In Phase 2 there will be 50 percent capacity on school buses. Bus capacities will go up or down if the phase changes. “If you’re looking at a 71 passenger bus that’s 35 passengers and that includes the driver. With that number, we will have to make adjustments to either shift routes to move people or we may have to make two trips,” says Bryant.

The RPSB Strong Start plan includes different bus capacities depending on the phase.
The RPSB Strong Start plan includes different bus capacities depending on the phase.(RPSB)

While waiting for the bus students should social distance, and when they get on and off the bus they can expect changes. “We will load a bus from back to front and we will offload from front to back and that way the students will not be continually passing one another,” adds Bryant.

Students and drivers are both required to wear masks. Drivers will assign students seats, keeping family members together when possible. “The bus driver also has a list of where that student was seated, who was around that student, just in case that information is needed at a later time.”

Hand sanitizer will be available on buses, and drivers will disinfect the bus between each load of kids and again at the end of the route. "Those areas that the students will be touching will be disinfected very quickly."

Bus drivers will take their own temperatures, and students’ temperatures will be taken once they get to the school. However, drivers will be on the lookout for students with any symptoms of illness. “A lot of these drivers have been driving together for 15 or 20 years and they’ve bonded together and they help one another out, so this is a time that friendship and those relationships will be critical to get through this time,” adds Bryant.

Parents can expect to receive more information on transportation in the coming weeks via the parent portal.

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