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Safe Roll Out

School district addresses changes to transportation

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Warren Bus Lines buses are ready to roll for the 2020-2021 school year. Warren County School District and its contractors will provide transportation to its students, but is encouraging families to take the online survey about how students will return and whether or not they will need transportation.

COVID-19 is driving all kinds of change.

Transportation of students within the Warren County School District is no different.

In a publication of frequently asked questions, district officials addressed some transportation changes coming in 2020-21.

Masks will be part of the daily transportation procedure.

“Face coverings will be required of all students that ride district transportation,” according to the FAQ. “Guidance is stating that due to the confinement of buses there is a higher risk of transmission if precautions are not taken.”

“Buses will still run with a reduced capacity for the upcoming school year,” according to the FAQ. “There will be a maximum of two students per bus seat. Family members will be seated together.”

That doesn’t mean there will never be unrelated students in the same seat.’

“The district will work to place siblings in the same seat but there will be cases where a student will be assigned to a seat with a non-family member,” Transportation Manager Mike Kiehl said.

“In addition, procedures for boarding and dismissal are being revised,” the district said. “The bus will fill from back to front to minimize the number of people walking by each other.”

Although the changes will result in fewer students on some buses, other factors are expected to cover the shortfall.

“The transportation department is currently revising bus routes with the understanding that buses will be limited to two students per seat,” Kiehl said. “The district has no plans for additional buses or vans for the 2020-21 school year. Bus routes will be revised to evenly distribute the ridership. Some buses will be needed to run double routes.”

The district does not expect as many students to ride the buses this year.

“A district survey to parents is currently asking them to select one of three education options for their child(ren),” Kiehl said. “The survey also asks if parents expect their children to use district transportation. The transportation department is using the results of the survey to determine ridership on the bus routes.”

“Parents are able to drop-off and pick-up students at any of the buildings,” according to the FAQ. “Buildings will be open earlier this year to accommodate an increase in parent transportation. Students that are licensed to drive may also choose to drive to school.”

“The District has waived the parking fee for this school year,” according to the FAQ. “Students do still need to register their vehicle with their home school and get a parking permit.”

“The Transportation department will be sending busing letters to parents in the first week of August,” he said. “Any questions or concerns can be addressed by calling Mike Kiehl at (814) 723-6900 ext. 8.”

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