Accurate as of October 20, 2020
General Seating Guidelines
- With masks we will be seating one student per bench.
- Without masks we will seat one student in every other row, alternating sides
- Maintain physical distancing, where practicable; members of the same household may occupy the same bench.
- Seats will be marked with tape to show students spaces where they may not sit
- Students will be seated from the rear of the bus forward to prevent students from walking past each other.
- Matrons, nurses and other adults attending to students shall ride with their students and utilize appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to limit the potential spread of any germs on the bus.
Reopening Mandatory Requirements
- The Nassau BOCES Transportation service provides safe and efficient student transport options to its component school districts upon request. The role of our Transportation Department is that of a vendor for our districts. While Nassau BOCES understands the requirement to continue providing services to students who are homeless (McKinney-Vento), in foster care, have disabilities and attend non-public schools and charter schools, those obligations rest with the student’s district of residence.
The School Bus
- Students who are able will be required to wear masks and physical distance on the bus, if practicable. However, consideration will be given to those students who, for a variety of reasons, may not tolerate wearing a face covering. Physical distancing will be emphasized in these cases.
- Nassau BOCES plans to disinfect high touch areas on all buses after each run (performed by the bus driver during the day) and will do a deeper cleaning/disinfection each night. Cleaning protocols shall adhere to all current guidance.
- Nassau BOCES buses shall be equipped with hand sanitizer.
- Wheelchair buses shall be configured to maximize physical distancing at six feet when practicable. The use of sneeze guards, between stations, may be considered to allow for greater capacity.
- Each bus shall be configured with a protective shield “sneeze guard” by the driver’s seat.
- If approved by the New York State Department of Transportation, sneeze guards may be considered for installation between student seats/benches to increase capacity.
- Nassau BOCES bus operators shall use all options (roof hatches, windows, air conditioning) to allow for maximum fresh air flow based on weather conditions (temperature, precipitation, etc.)
School Bus Staff
- Consistent with the requirement for all Nassau BOCES employees, all transportation workers, whether employees of Nassau BOCES or not, including drivers, monitors, attendants, matrons, nurses, mechanics, administrators, dispatchers and cleaners shall perform a daily health screening prior to reporting for work.
- Transportation staff shall wear face coverings at all times.
- Transportation staff may carry their own, personal bottle of hand sanitizer with them on the school bus.
- Due to the special needs of the students transported by Nassau BOCES, it is our intention to provide all support staff on our buses with a complement of personal protective equipment (PPE), which may include:
- Face covering
- Face shield
- Other items based on specific circumstances
- Nassau BOCES shall provide training and refreshers for staff on the proper use of personal protective equipment, the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and proper physical distancing.
- Transportation offices, lunchrooms and garages shall be equipped with hand sanitizer for employee use prior to and after their bus routes.
- Nassau BOCES plans to implement as many of the Best Practice recommendations as possible when providing districts with student transportation services including:
- Encouraging all bus personnel to wear gloves during their routes; gloves are mandated for employees with direct personal contact with students
- Encouraging staff to wash their hands before and after their bus routes and to avoid touching their face, eyes, nose and mouth
Students on Transportation
- Parents/guardians shall assess their student’s health prior to them boarding the buses each day. Students must be symptom-free in order to ride the bus.
- 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. In these cases, physical distancing shall be mandated, and seating layouts adjusted accordingly.
- To the extent practicable, students will maintain appropriate physical distance (six feet).
- Face coverings will be provided to any student who does not have one. Students must be able to secure face coverings on their own. Staff may not assist with this task.
- Siblings may ride together in the same seat on buses.
- Nassau BOCES shall provide training and refreshers for students on the proper use of personal protective equipment, the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and proper physical distancing.
Contact Tracing Guidelines
- Keep passenger logs to enable contact tracing if someone tests positive for COVID 19
- Assign a single driver to the same bus, when possible. When buses are being serviced or repaired, a disinfected replacement bus will be assigned to the driver. All buses will be disinfected prior to servicing and when returning to service.