Assigned seats, masks on the school bus


By Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative

Riding the school bus will look different for children this September.

They will be required to self-screen for COVID-19, be greeted by a driver wearing a mask, and assigned to a specific seat with siblings or classmates.

Hand hygiene will also be emphasized with drivers using sanitizer enroute.

If a child is in Grade 4 or up, they are also required to wear mask.

According to Kent Orr, general manager for CLASS — the transportation provider for youngsters in Lambton County and Chatham-Kent — the organization has been preparing for schools to reopen for months.

“We’ve been working hard following the directions from the Ministry of Education,” Orr explains.

Orr wants parents to access the CLASS website to find out exactly what is required of student and how the organization is working to keep students safe.

“We want people to know,” he says. “We want people to be informed and link to the parent portal.”

There are approximately 30,000 students attending schools within the Lambton Kent Public School Board and the St. Clair District Catholic School Board.

Around 17,000 of them are transported by CLASS very school day — on 282 routes — manned by a pool of just over 300 drivers.

Orr says other changes include drivers wearing reusable face shields, while sitting, and gloves.

The seat behind the bus driver will always remain empty.

Orr says the buses will be cleaned at least twice a day.

• The Thamesville Herald


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