School buses adapt to keep students safe during pandemic

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)— With the new school year just around the corner, there are still lots of questions about what back to school will look like as we battle the coronavirus.

“We are using disposable masks and every employee will be given a new one every single day,” Durham School Services manager Brian Gibson said.

And that includes how students will be kept safe, when wheels on buses must continue to go around.

“Unfortunately on school buses to be able to bus the number of kids that we need to get to school because they need the transportation social distancing isn’t really something that we can make happen,” Gibson said.

Durham School Services provides school buses for the entire WFISD and general manager Brian Gibson said his company is ready to do whatever it takes.

“So we are going to do everything else that we can control,” Gibson said

“When we come to the bus we want all students to go ahead and put their mask on before they board the bus, and they’ll be able to come on in and use the provided hand sanitizers, get your solution rub your hands together and then go on and have a seat,” Gibson said

Over at City View ISD, volunteer bus drivers like Juanita Rivas are excited to see kids for the first time since late March.

And for the first time, City View ISD will have aid on the larger buses to make sure students are following the new safety rules.

“Every kid when they enter I’m going to have sanitizer and I’m going to put it in their hand and then they are going to go and sit. Another thing is that every time that I finish with my route, I’m going to spray it and it’s going to be ready for the kids,” Rivas said.

Both Rivas and Gibson believe the biggest challenge on the bus will be children keeping their masks on, so they’re urging parents to have those conversations with them so they’ll be more comfortable wearing those masks during the ride.

Gibson said only a little more than half of the amount of students who usually sign up, signed up this year to ride the bus.

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