Back to school: For students in Upper Darby, safety starts on the bus

Buses will be sanitized and everyone on board must wear a mask.
UPPER DARBY, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The Upper Darby School District has roughly 126 buses district-wide, and even more bus routes for their kindergarten through 12th-grade students.

"So, last year was a steep learning curve," said dispatcher Justin Brown.

Brown explained that last year, even at points when most of the district was virtual, there were still some special education students attending class in person.

"We had to figure out a very effective way to make sure the buses were sanitized and make sure our parents were comfortable with this as well," said Brown.

Just as there are set-ups for classrooms, plans are in place on buses as well. At the core: social distancing, seating charts and sanitizing.

"After they're done their morning run, they'll come on the bus. We will spray the bus," Brown said.

Buses will not be at full capacity, though this year's ridership is still being determined.

And leaders say planning is key. Bus drivers will also draw up seating charts for kids.

"Some drivers will go as far as take some flashcards and stick them on top of the windowsill, so that way the student can identify the seat a little faster," Brown stated. "Using that seating chart allows us so if we end up getting a positive COVID case we can then see who is in that surrounding 6- foot distance."

Everyone, including the bus driver, is required to wear a mask on board.

"So far, we haven't met anything that we weren't necessarily able to deal with," Brown said. "We stick with what works."
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