The school year is looking different for parents and students because of the coronavirus–including the ride to and from school on buses.
The Waterloo Community School District started classes on Monday and transportation provide Durham School Services carries about 6,000 students each year.
Durham General Manager Sam Barrett tells KCRG TV ridership will be down this year because parents do not want their kids to take the bus, so they will be able to spread the kids out more. “We’ve asked the parents to try to provide the transportation for their students when necessary to reduce the risk of the spread of corona,” according to Barrett.
Workers will spray and sanitize the buses several times each day and the drivers and students must wear a face covering. Barrett for safety reasons they will not use plastic barriers to divide students on the bus. “The actual Iowa law is that you cannot restrict a driver’s view, from Durham’s point of view, putting up a barrier around the driver would be very unsafe for the driver,” Barrett says. “Even if clear Plexiglas could be somewhat distorted at all, we just don’t want to put anybody in harm’s way by obstructing the driver’s view at all.”
School leaders said the parents they have talked to have mixed responses. Some feel safe having their kids on the bus, and others do not. They add that during summer school, students were good about wearing their masks on the buses.