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Message Regarding Student Transportation

August 31, 2020

As we prepare for students’ return to on-campus instruction, our Transportation Department is focusing on implementing the health and safety protocols outlined in our Return to School Plan (see below). We are asking parents for their support in the area of transportation.

● TEA Public Health Planning Guidance states, “School systems should encourage families to drop students off, carpool, or walk with their student to school to reduce possible virus exposure on buses.”
● Students must register for transportation services if transportation services are necessary.
● Students will be assigned seats based on the route.
● Siblings will be seated in the same seat.
● Hand sanitizer will be used when entering and exiting the bus.
● Masks will be required for all students on the bus as social distancing cannot take place.
● Buses will be cleaned and sanitized twice per day with a focus on high-touch surfaces.
● The current recommendation is that some bus windows remain open to permit fresh air circulation.

Additional Reminders:
● Please remind your child of the masking requirement to ride the bus; students will not be permitted to board the bus without one.
● Please remind your child to practice social distancing at their bus stop.
● While on the bus, students are required to remain seated at all times and keep their hands and arms to themselves. Students should not touch each other or share any items.

How Parents Can Help:
As noted in the TEA Public Health Guidance above, we encourage our families to use other transportation options to and from school if possible (drop students off, carpool, or walk with their student). Lower ridership will allow for greater social distancing on our buses and enable us to focus on meeting the needs of our families that do not have another transportation option.

Parents who indicated during enrollment verification that their child would be riding the bus and have another option available to use, were asked to email the Transportation Department by the end of the day on Wednesday, Sept. 2, so we can update information before finalizing bus routes. Once we have final data for in-person learning and bus ridership, routes can be completed and should be available Sept. 8, 2020. To view, select the Bus Routes button on the DSISD homepage or log into Family Access.

Transportation staffing has always been a challenge at the beginning of the school year, and this year we have more vacant positions than normal. In addition, we are experiencing longer-than-usual turnaround times for the state’s driver certification process if new drivers are hired. We have typically been able to cover shortages with substitute drivers and existing staff members. Currently, our substitute pool is very limited. Please be aware that we are trying very hard to maintain the level of service our families expect, but adjustments may be necessary for routes. It is possible that, as the school year progresses, we may need to further adjust routes if drivers become unavailable due to absences, illnesses, or quarantines.