Transportation Guidance

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 NYDOH.  

School Bus

Any school buses serving SMSA RCS are maintained by local school districts and will be following all of the CDC and NY DOH 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 or walk students to school to reduce density on buses.  

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 the 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

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.

The district will provide protocols that outline transportation activities. Refer to local school districts guidance on transportation

Students on Transportation

Below are  protocols of how students will disembark from transportation vehicles.

  • When students embark and disembark the bus, they will follow social distancing protocols. This will increase the time required to load and unload buses at schools in the morning and afternoon. Schools should consider staggered arrival and departure times to ensure social distancing.
  • Schools should reconfigure the loading and unloading locations for students who are transported by bus, car or are pedestrians. 
  • Since hand sanitizer is not permitted on school buses, schools should consider policy to dispense hand sanitizer when students enter the building or classroom.

Information about training protocol for students and staff and how transportation information is  communicated is included in this document and on our website: smsaschool.org  SMSA reopening plan.