With many local school districts getting plans ready to reopen to students next month, school bus safety is taking on a while new meaning.
Districts and parents are focused on safe driving and safe pickups, but the coronavirus pandemic is adding still more concerns.
"WITH NEW DISTRICT REOPENINGPLANS COMING OUT EACH DAY --SCHOOL BUS SAFETY IS TAKING ONA WHOLE NEW MEANING.
SCHOOLLEADERS AND PARENTS ARE OFCOURSE FOCUSED ON SAFE DRIVINGAND SAFEPICKUPS..."BUT TONIGHT -- WCPO9 NEWS REPORTER JOSH BAZANSHOWS HOW THE PANDEMIC ISADDING A NUMBER OF OTHERCONCERNS TO THE LIST.WHEN AMY WILSON STARTS PICKINGUP STUDENTS FOR SCHOOL THISAUGUST, THINGS ARE GOING TOLOOK A LITTLEDIFFERENT.FOR ONE, WILSON AND OTHERDRIVERS IN MASON CITY SCHOOLSWILL BE WEARING FACE SHIELDSOR MASKS.
THE STUDENTS WILLHAVE TO WEAR MASKS TOO.
EACHBUS WILL HAVE ASSIGNED SEATINGTO HELP WARREN COUNTY PUBLICHEALTH CONTACT TRACERS IN CASEA STUDENT TESTS POSITIVE FORCOVID-19.
WILSON IS OPTIMISTICSTUDENTS WILL ADJUST TO THENEW RULESQUICKLY."Mason students are very wellbehaved and are very acceptingto having to follow safetymeasures."THE DISTRICT ISLIMITING BUS CAPACITY TO TWOCHILDREN PER SEAT,DISINFECTING SEATS AND HIGHTOUCH SURFACES BETWEEN RUNSAND USING A DISINFECTING MISTTO THOROUGHLY CLEAN ALL BUSESAT THE END OF THEDAY."The one thing that we had todo is we had to sit there andprovide a little bit more timebecause our drivers are goingto be required in between eachroute to pause and go in andsanitize thelocations.""Mason City Schools saysbecause of concerns about thecoronavirus pandemic, it'sseeing a drop in the number ofstudents and families decidingto take yellow buses to schoolthisyear.""But we will not have six feetsocial distancing on a bus.
Itactually probably won't evenbe three feet.
So with thatsome families have said, forthis year, we're just going totake our child to school."PARTOF THAT DROP IS ALSO FROM THE30 PERCENT OF MASON FAMILIESPERCENT OF FROM THE 30 DROP ISALSO FROM THE 30 PERCENT OFMASON FAMILIES WHO ARECHOOSING TO START THE YEARWITH ONLINE INSTRUCTION FROMHOME."Part of the hard piece of allof this was that families havehad to wrestle with a reallychallenging decision wherethere are no right answers."LARGER BUS COMPANIES LIKEFIRST STUDENT, UNITEDTRANSPORTATION SERVICES ANDNATIONAL EXPRESS THAT SERVEDIFFERENT DISTRICTS IN OURAREA SAY THEY'RE FINALIZINGSAFETY PLANS NOW.IN MASON, JBWCPO 9 NEWS.