Transportation Health Plan
Last updated November 23, 2020
The Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) Transportation Services Department will implement the following measures in order to keep students and staff as safe as possible while using ACPS bus transportation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, Transportation Services believes the partnership between parents, drivers, assistants, and school staff will be essential to keeping our students and staff safe.
Communication and Education
ACPS will provide communication and education to families prior to the start of school and throughout the school year about changes in transportation policies, practices and expectations. ACPS needs the support of families to ensure social distancing at the bus stop prior to the arrival of the bus; proper health screening prior to boarding; and reinforcing expectations for student behavior while on the bus.
Health Screenings Prior to Boarding
It is the parent/caregiver’s responsibility to conduct a health screening of their child prior to placing them on the bus. If the child is symptomatic or has been exposed to an individual who has COVID-19, they should remain at home and not board a bus. Ongoing communication, training and support will be provided to families on this topic.
All riders will sanitize their hands each time they board and exit the bus. To support this practice, each bus will have an adequate supply of sanitizer, which will be located in the seat directly behind the driver.
To limit the number of students on a bus at a time and to provide physical distance between riders, occupancy will be limited to one person per seat. Family members may be seated together, but no more than two per seat.
Students and other riders (such as athletic coaches) will have assigned seats and will load back-to-front, and unload front-to-back. These procedures limit contact and interaction between riders.
Since a full six feet of distance between riders cannot be achieved, the driver and all riders will be required to wear face coverings while on the bus. A supply of masks will be on each bus in the event a student forgets theirs. Compliance with this requirement ensures the safety of other riders. If not followed, transportation will not be provided.
Weather permitting, windows on buses without air conditioning will be open to promote ventilation and airflow on the bus. Buses with air conditioning will have a window in front and a window in back, on the opposite side, open slightly to provide ventilation. The roof hatches on all buses will be open slightly to promote airflow.
Seats and handrails will be disinfected between trips and after unloading. Drivers will use disinfectant products that are approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for effective use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Per Virginia High School League (VHSL) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH) guidance, all riders are responsible for keeping individual equipment with them at all times. Community storage of equipment on the bus (in a seat or a compartment under the bus) or in a separate vehicle will not be allowed.
All drivers and aides will be trained on all health and safety protocols and practices.
Note: These guidelines do not affect Students with Disabilities whose IEP requires transportation accommodations. Transportation Services will work with families and the Special Education Department to provide these accommodations. Transportation aides who must work in close proximity to students who are unable to wear a face covering will wear a medical grade mask and face shield.
Questions? Please call Transportation Services at 434-973-5716 with questions about the transportation health plan.