Return to School for September 2021
Durham Student Transportation Services (DSTS) continues to work with our member school boards, Durham Public Health, bus operators and the Ministry of Education to mitigate health risks associated with COVID-19.
Preparing your Child for Riding the School Bus
Each day, parents/guardians must assess their child(ren)’s health before sending them on the school bus. Parents/Guardians should visit the Public Health Ontario website and click on the COVID self-assessment tool. https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/
Good hand hygiene is critical in mitigating the transmission of viruses. Students are encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly and/or use hand sanitiser prior to going to the bus stop.
Students in Kindergarten to grade12 must wear a face mask while riding the school bus unless they are unable to due to medical reasons or special needs.
Waiting at the Stop
While waiting at bus stops, students and parents/guardians should maintain physical distancing between family groupings.
It is important that students arrive at their designated stop at least five minutes before the posted stop time.
Once the bus arrives, students should not crowd the front door. Rather, students should line up while maintaining a two-metre physical distance between them, where possible.
No more than one student should be on the stairs of the bus at a time. Students should get to their assigned seat and sit down as quickly as possible.
Where possible, and depending on weather conditions, school buses will operate with designated windows down to increase air ventilation.
Primary protocol procedures will be maintained for all Kindergarten students. All Kindergarten students must be met at the bus stop location at the end of the school day by their parent/guardian or caregiver.
Assigned Seating Plans
Seating plans will again be developed for all school buses during the first few weeks of school. All seats will be clearly numbered, and all students will be assigned to a specific seat on their bus. Students will receive their bus seat number from the bus driver.
Every student must sit in their assigned seat during their ride to and from school. Assigned seating will reduce the possibility of virus transmission, and if necessary, the seating plan will assist with contact tracing for Durham Public Health.
These seating plans will be kept on file at the school and a copy provided to the bus driver.
Medical masks and eye protection (i.e., face shields) have been provided for all school bus drivers.
Eye protection for drivers should not interfere with the safe operation of the school vehicle and is intended to protect drivers as students are boarding or exiting the vehicle.
Cleaning of School Vehicles
In consultation with Durham Public Health, all vehicles will be fully cleaned twice per day- once after the morning route and again after the afternoon route.
In addition, all high-touch areas of school vehicles will be cleaned by the driver after each run where possible.