TDOE releases guidance on school bus transportation amid ongoing pandemic

TDOE releases guidance on school bus transportation amid ongoing pandemic
Riders and drivers may be required to wear masks and use hand sanitizer. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Education is considering new guidelines for riding on a school bus amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

According to a press release from the TDOE, riding on a Tennessee school bus may mean daily temperature checks before boarding, assigned seats to keep riders at least six feet apart, and a hired monitor aboard to make sure the new safety protocols are being followed.

Riders and drivers also may have to wear masks or other face coverings, use hand sanitizer when boarding and exiting and, weather permitting, keep the windows open to increase fresh airflow, according to the press relesase.

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Those are among some of the considerations suggested by the TDOE in guidance released yesterday for best practices for bus transportation.

The document is one of 26 “toolkits” being released by the TDOE during the next two weeks with detailed consideration of everything from nutrition to counseling.

Last week, state officials released a general guide on possible scenarios for reopening schools in August.

From the press release:

The new guidance suggests that bus capacity may be reduced significantly and urges districts to survey their families as soon as possible about whether they will need bus transportation.

Routes, schedules, and drop-off and pick-up procedures would need to be adjusted accordingly with possible staggered start times, shortened routes, and additional buses.

Districts would need to clearly communicate the changes with everyone affected.