Transportation Tiers

The Department of Public Health (DPH) has identified a tiered system (illustrated above) to assist school leaders in their decision making regarding transportation. At the present time, we are awaiting guidance from the state regarding changes in bus capacity and protocols in the event that it is determined there is a moderate or high transmission risk. With the current COVID-19 conditions in our state, we are currently planning for a return to school based on the “
Low Status” guidelines provided by the DPH: “bus transportation can operate up to full status with mask requirements and loading and unloading restrictions.”

Under our current conditions, we are not required to limit the number of students on the bus or vans as long as face coverings are worn by the driver and passengers. As a result, all students must wear a mask when boarding and riding on the bus. The district is currently researching the practicality of securing bus monitors.

While school districts are required to provide transportation for all students, we are encouraging families to transport their child if possible. This will assist us in maximizing social distancing. Parents will be asked to indicate their transportation choice in the SWPS School Reopening Registration Form in PowerSchool. Only those students who are registered for bus transportation will be scheduled on a bus.

Additional guidance regarding bus protocols and special transportation requests or changes will be provided prior to the start of school. The following are a few important points worth noting for families:

  •  At pick-up, students will board the bus and proceed to the first available seat in the rear of the bus. This may be different than what students are used to, and parents are asked to remind children of the importance of following bus driver instructions which have been created for the safety of everyone.

  •  Parents should expect changes in traffic patterns resulting in potential delays during parent drop offs and pick ups at each school. Any changes or specific instructions will be conveyed to families by principals.

  •  Parents may choose to have their child rejoin the school bus later in the year; however, the district requires at least five (5) days notice to plan for this change. As always, no bus changes or special transportation requests can be processed the week before and the week after school begins (no changes between August 31—September 15).