Lake Shore Public School transportation staff are delighted to be transporting students again.
ST. CLAIR SHORES – A staple of many school days, the bus, has been missing for the school year at Lake Shore public schools.
But this month the yellow buses are back.
Valerie Harvey, Transportation Coordinator for Lake Shore Public Schools, said she was very happy to be able to bring bus transportation back to the district. With a team of 11 drivers and three replacements covering nine routes, there were concerns earlier in the school year that exposure to COVID-19 or a positive case in the department could have the potential to “bring down the whole department”. But with more opportunities for school staff, including bus drivers, to get vaccinated, there is less fear that this scenario will materialize.
Additionally, Harvey said that since half of the students at Lake Shore Public School have remained fully virtual, the department will only bus about 40% of the students they would transport in a typical year. when service resumes on April 13.
“We only have maybe half a full bus,” she said. “They brought the kids back for four days, so they got used to being in classrooms with other kids and stuff. We think it’s time for them to be able to travel to school.
The district provides bus services to two of its three elementary schools and to middle school students. Students zoned for Violet Elementary School do not meet distance requirements or must not cross a main road to attend school, so the bus is not provided.
When students return to the bus, they will need to wear masks and disinfect their hands when boarding. Each bus is also cleaned with a metastatic hand sprayer after each run of the route, and when weather permits, the windows will be at least partially opened for ventilation.
Harvey said the buses also have extra masks on board in case a student forgets his.
The district has provided bus services to students with special needs throughout the school year and “so far we have been very successful,” she said.
And while she has not heard much complain at the start of the school year about the removal of the bus service, since the meeting of the Education Council on March 22 when the decision was made to take the bus back. , “I only saw happiness”.
“Above all, the parents are finally relieved,” said Harvey. “Our schools are very crowded at the time of layoffs. With three buses full of children, that mitigates that. I have had many extremely happy parents that we are starting.
They aren’t the only ones who are happy with the news. Harvey said she and members of her department missed seeing students regularly.
“We are extremely happy to be able to see – we call them our children – to be able to see the children again and come back to some normalcy, at least,” she said.
Harvey said bus routes in the district had not changed for about 30 years. This year, however, there are more students returning to in-person learning at Rodgers Elementary and fewer students returning to Kennedy Middle School.
“I was able to adjust the bus at the primary school to accommodate more students. It still works – I don’t know how, ”she said. “Our middle school students will be transported home on three buses instead of four, which matches, because that’s how the numbers are.”
Harvey said she hopes for more normalcy for the 2021-22 school year.
“It wasn’t a picnic trying to coordinate all of this,” she said. “I am very happy to get back to the drivers to find out what is happening on a daily basis. “