What you can expect after you drop your kids off at the bus stop this year

School officials across Eastern North Carolina say they’re still rolling out their plans, but the least they’ll be doing is following the state guidelines.
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 8:55 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The clock is ticking for schools to finalize their back-to-school plans. With less than three weeks from the first day of school, districts across the East are still rolling out their plans on the first and last part of any student’s day: The school bus.

“Every year, it’s that way because we don’t know who’s riding and who’s not,” said Onslow County Schools Spokesperson Brent Anderson. “The first day of school we’ll figure that out.”

Anderson says the school district is still piecing together their plans for what buses will look like this fall. But, at the very least, they’ll be following state guidelines. That includes required face coverings, temperature checks, as well as social distancing.

“If we can stop fevers and symptoms from coming to school, stop the issues of somebody who’s not feeling well or may have symptoms from coming on the bus or coming to school in the first place, it’s going to make it a safer and much healthier environment for everybody from the get-go,” said Anderson.

The social distancing requirement is the main detail school officials are still trying to finalize. Students will be limited to one-per-seat, unless they’re siblings, and will have to stagger seating, essentially cutting the capacity in half. Anderson says that won’t be a problem this year.

“It’s going to depend on the cohorts, and how many kids we have, and actually how many kids that we’ll have that’ll be taking advantage of school transportation,” said Anderson.

Several districts participating in in-person learning are still surveying parents to figure out how many kids they should expect on the buses this year. They say it will also help to decide which groups they’ll be sorted into.

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