Phase 2 planning: bus routes and enhanced transportation safety guidelines

Phase 2 planning: bus routes and enhanced transportation safety guidelines

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) will begin Phase 2 of its reopening plan on Monday, Nov. 9. The school system is preparing to welcome more than 3,200 students back to schools across the county. Part of Phase 2 planning includes enhanced safety guidelines for students using bus transportation. Safety is a top priority for CCPS and transportation staff have implemented additional school bus procedures to keep students safe on the bus. Parents who requested bus transportation should review the guidelines and talk them over with their child(ren) before returning to school.

A video highlighting CCPS school bus safety guidelines is posted here on the CCPS website.

Starting Monday, Oct. 26, parents can find transportation information in their ParentVue account, under the Student Info menu option. The information includes the child’s bus number, bus stop location and estimated drop-off and pick-up times. If a child’s bus information is not in ParentVue on Monday, parents should check the system for updates throughout the week. A student’s information may change prior to Nov. 9 as bus stops and routes are added. Parents should confirm their child’s bus information before Nov. 9.  

The following updated guidelines are in place. Parents with transportation questions should call 301-934-7262 or their child’s school.

Safety and sanitization on the school bus: 

  • CCPS school bus drivers and attendants will receive COVID-19 related training prior to returning to work transporting students.
  • School bus drivers and attendants will review and acknowledge a COVID-19 self-screening assessment before each shift.
  • All transportation staff will receive a checklist outlining the daily school bus sanitization schedule:
    • High-touch sanitization after each school run.
    • Comprehensive sanitization at the end of morning runs and the end of afternoon runs.
  • Drivers will keep the bus windows slightly open (minimum three per side) to allow for adequate air circulation throughout the vehicle during trips, as weather permits. The roof hatch may also be used to increase circulation, as weather permits.
    • An exception to this rule would be if a student must have air conditioning due to IEP/504 requirements, in which case, all windows must remain closed while the air conditioning is used.

Masks are required onboard CCPS buses: 

  • Drivers, attendants and students are required to wear a mask or face covering at all times while on the school bus. This mask must be designed so that it remains on their face unaided.
  • Noncompliant students must be reported to school administration as soon as the bus arrives to school. Drivers must complete a referral for each instance of noncompliance with the CCPS mask requirement.

Behavior expectations: 

  • If your child is sick, please keep them at home.
  • No food or beverages may be consumed onboard the bus by anyone at any time.
  • Students should not open windows, touch glass or any areas outside of their seat compartment.
  • Students will be directed to place all personal belongings on their laps and not to place items on the seats.
  • Students may not store personal belongings on the bus.

Bus configuration:

  • All rows will be used and students will be asked to sit one per seat with mandatory mask use.
  • Siblings or children residing in the same household will be asked to sit together.
  • CCPS has required students to be registered for in-person learning online through Synergy. During registration, parents could request transportation. CCPS transportation staff will use this data for logistical planning to modify routes according to need, social distancing requirements and efficiency to minimize time onboard. 

Loading/unloading school buses:

  • Students and their parents/guardians should practice social distancing while waiting at community bus stops.
  • Students will load and unload utilizing social distancing guidelines:
    • Inbound buses: Load from the rearmost available seat to the front. Students should sit in the center of the seat bench. Once inbound buses arrive at school, they will be unloaded from the front to the back to further minimize students being in close proximity to one another.
    • Outbound buses: Load from the rearmost available seat to the front. Students should sit in the center of the seat bench.

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,000 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.  

CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).

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