SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Seminole County is getting ready to welcome students back on Monday -- and they're preparing school buses with new safety measures to keep students safe.
Students who ride the bus to school in Seminole County will have to get used to changes this school year.
Because of COVID-19, all students will have to wear a mask on the bus. If they don’t have one, the bus driver will give them one.
There are hand sanitizer stations on all of the buses so when students get on, they just put their hand underneath it and it’ll dispense hand sanitizer.
“They’re going to come in from the front of the bus and we load all the way to the rear and work our way up to the front,” Seminole County School Assistant Transportation Director Stan McKinzie said. “That keeps us from having to have students crossing each other.”
All busses will be cleaned each day.
The district’s spokesperson says once the bus driver gets an idea of who will be riding the bus regularly, there will be seating charts to keep the kids spaced apart.
“(There’s) no true social distancing on a school but,” McKinzie said. “We’re going to try to do as best we can to reduce our loads.”
Since so many families have chosen virtual learning, about 15,000 Seminole County students are expected to ride the bus this year. That’s half as much as a regular year. The district will try to put no more than 30 students on a bus at a time.
"The bus will be a safe environment for their children. We know that it’s a confined space and we know that those families selected face-to-face so we think that they’re at least a little more comfortable in those safety protocols, but we want them to know what they are," McKinzie added.
The school district has also set up a hotline for parents who have questions about the bus route. The number is 407-320-7588.
“They were asking how we were sanitizing,” bus driver Tina Lazar said. “How the kids we’re going to be seated on the bus? How many kids are on the bus?”
We spoke to a bus driver, Tina Lazar, who said she will have to get used to all the changes but is ready to get back out on the road. Lazar told FOX 35 that "I am a little worried, but I’m excited and I think our county is doing a great job with sanitation and giving us all the PPE that we need and I’m ready."
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