Wabamun School
(K–9)

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PSD's Transportation Services COVID-19 Measures

From the Alberta 2020-21 School Re-Entry Plan

Children and students across the province travel to and from school through a combination of walking, being driven by their parents/guardians, public transportation and school bus services provided by school authorities. Travel/transportation of children and students must follow public health measures in place. Detailed planning is underway and more information will follow.

Scenario 1: In-school classes resume (near normal with health measures)

School authorities determine transportation service levels, ensuring that all children and students legally entitled to transportation are transported in accordance with the resumption plan for the school authority. A full complement of drivers will likely be required for school authorities that are resuming classes. School authorities should adjust routing accordingly. School authorities should discuss transportation plans early in cases of Education Services Agreements with First Nations.

School authorities must also consider additional safety measures to minimize the risk of exposure to the driver, children and students. Considerations include that a protective physical divider may be considered for the driver; fixed seating plans should be implemented to assist contact tracing, students from the same family should sit together, and, when possible maintain physical distancing between students; and additional resources and supplies will be required to sanitize the bus after every route.

Scenario 2: in-school classes partially resume (with additional health measures)

School authorities determine transportation service levels, ensuring that all children and students legally entitled to transportation are transported in accordance with the resumption plan for the school authority. A full complement of drivers will likely be required for school authorities that are resuming classes, even if children or students are attending on a modified schedule (alternate days). School authorities should adjust routing accordingly. Boards should discuss transportation plans early in cases of Education Services Agreements with First Nations.

School authorities must also consider additional safety measures to minimize the risk of exposure to the driver, children and students. Considerations include that a protective physical divider may be considered for the driver; seating plans must be implemented to assist contact tracing, students from the same family should sit together and maintain physical distancing between children and students; and additional resources and supplies will be required to sanitize the bus after every route.

Alberta Education is collaborating with Alberta Transportation and Alberta Health to ensure challenges raised by school authorities are considered.

Parkland School Division’s Regional Response

Parents are encouraged to review and consider all provincial and local measures in order to make an informed decision when deciding on Transportation for their child(ren). The final decision on whether to access the service is entirely parents’ discretion. These strategies include:

  • Students will have assigned seating and the seating plan may be based on the order of pick up in the mornings. (First pickups would be seated at the rear of the bus and continue forward to avoid students walking past each other regardless of Grades.)
  • Seating plans will be strictly enforced by bus drivers in order to facilitate contact tracing should there be a student that contracts COVID-19.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be provided for all drivers. This may include masks, gloves or perhaps a face shield. Any PPE in use cannot interfere with the safe operation of the school bus.
  • Hand hygiene expectations for bus drivers and riders.
  • No food or drinks should be brought on to the bus.
  • Items such as iPads or other electronic devices should not be shared with other students.
  • All waste, (e.g. Kleenex etc.) should be kept with the student and disposed of at home or at school and should not be discarded on the bus.  
  • No guest riders will be allowed. Only designated riders with a valid bus pass will be allowed to board a bus.
  • Enhanced environmental clearing and disinfecting including a cleaning log to be kept on the bus. High-touch surface areas will be cleaned several times a day and regularly scheduled deep cleaning will occur when students are not present.
  • As per the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s recommendation on mask-wearing - Albertans are encouraged to wear non-medical masks in public when it's difficult to maintain physical distancing of 2 metres at all times.
  • Strict stay-at-home policy for any students or staff exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (even if symptoms resemble a mild cold)

Most of the bus stops in Parkland School Division’s regional transportation system are congregated stops in order to create efficiencies. Parents should be aware that there could potentially be large numbers of students at some of the urban bus stops where physical distancing protocols may not be followed.

Bus Transfer stations will be monitored by on-site staff and physical distancing will be in effect but cannot be guaranteed due to the large number of students and buses involved at these sites.  

Scenario 2

Busing for Scenario 2 is being examined and details will be shared once more information in Parkland School Division’s overall Re-Entry Plan is available.  

For further information, contact:

Parkland School Division
Transportation Services
Email: transportation@psd70.ab.ca
Phone: 780-963-8452