What’s transportation going to look like for North Dakota schools this year?

Good Day Dakota

It’s been a whirlwind for schools across the state to get ready for this upcoming year.
One of the biggest questions is how they plan to transport students safely and effectively?

For many students in North Dakota, the bus is the only way they can get to and from school.
But staying safe and social distancing is a task that has been tricky for schools to figure out when it comes to transporting them.

The CDC is recommending one child per seat on every other row for buses. Bismarck Public Schools tells KX News it’s taking this matter very seriously. They say no policies are set in stone because things are constantly changing.

They tell us they have been sending out surveys and attending numerous meetings in order to figure out the best possible solutions.

BPS Transportation Coordinator Jason Schafer says, “Right now we are getting about 80-percent of the survey that we sent out are saying yes we are going to continue to ride buses, so there is 20 percent of our ridership that we can take out of these routes right now and that’s going to help us look at how we can maybe social distance a little better on the buses.”

Schafer says the basic routes look the same, but they are most likely going to use buses to their full capacity. Everyone will be required to wear a mask and they will have masks and hand sanitizer available on every bus.

Schafer says, “Our drivers and our mechanics are sanitizing the buses as best as possible after every route, and not only do we want to keep our students in the district safe, but we also want to keep our drivers and monitors and mechanics and all the employees and everyone in the school safe too as we are transporting kids.”

With the growing population they will be adding another route for the Bismarck area.
Mandan is still in the process of figuring out what they will be doing and did not want to make a comment at this time.

Schafer adds that he will probably have the windows and top emergency exits open as well to decrease the airflow, which is said to help prevent the spread of germs.

For more information about BPS transportation plans, click here.

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