CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - COVID-19 health and safety protocols don’t just apply to the classroom, which is why Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ bus drivers have been doing virtual training on how to protect themselves and students from COVID-19.
CMS Executive Director of Transportation Adam Johnson says drivers have been doing training since the summer on everything from mask protocol to proper disinfecting techniques.
“They were able to review all of the safety precautions that they normally would use in a regular school day on top of additional safety procedures due to COVID,” Johnson said.
He wants parents and guardians to be assured that their children will be safe both on their ride to and from school.
“We want parents to know that we’re excited to have students back and we are going to take care of them,” Johnson said.
Each driver will be equipped with extra masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and face shields.
Buses will also be disinfected twice a day.
“We’ll also have a special team of drivers that have been trained to disinfect the bus with the same chemicals that we use in our schools,” he said.
Johnson says that elementary school students can ride with up to two to three students in a seat which follows the state guidelines on least restrictive social distancing for K-5 students. Middle and high schoolers can only ride one person to a seat.
Parents will be required to fill out and turn in an attestation form daily, indicating if their child has any COVID-19 symptoms.
“If the parent notices those types of symptoms the district advises the parents to keep those students home and not let them board the bus,” he said.
Drivers will also be responsible for notifying school staff if a child is displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
“If the driver notices any types of symptoms while they’re riding the bus they will alert school personnel as they arrive at the school campus,” he said.
Whether this is your child’s first time on the bus or not, CMS wants you to know they’re in good hands.
“They will be taken care of once we pick them up in the morning and we’ll deliver them back home safely that afternoon,” Jonhson said.
Temperatures will also be checked before students enter the school building and they’re encouraging staff 65 and up to take advantage of upcoming vaccine clinics if they are interested.
Pre-K, elementary, K-8, students with disabilities, and IEP students will return for in-person learning on February 15.
Traditional middle and high school students will return for in-person learning on February 22.