Transportation in the 2020-21 school year
PSD’s Transportation department is striving to maximize student ridership while following state and county safety guidelines for bus transportation.
Transportation during Phase 4 in-person learning
PSD will still bus a limited number of students when all students are in Phase 4 (read about the decision to move to Phase 4 in this Feb. 25 update). However, due to current bus driver shortages and health guidelines, among other challenges, PSD is not adding routes and will not be able to return to full busing (approximately 13,000 students in a typical school year) this year.
Busing is guaranteed for students for whom transportation is legally required (i.e. those with Individualized Transportation Plans (ITP) and some foster students), as well as McKinney-Vento students experiencing homelessness.
If circumstances in your family's life have changed and you feel your student meets these criteria, please contact your school to see if busing may be provided. The Transportation Department has continued to evaluate requests and add riders during the second semester.
There is no busing for school of choice students.
Reminders about riding the bus:
- Please ensure your student arrives at the bus stop 5 minutes before the assigned stop time to ensure they don’t miss the bus in the morning.
- Buses will display a four-digit route number in the third student window of the bus behind the entry door. This number should match the route number listed above in your student’s details.
- Buses leave between 5-10 minutes after school dismissal. Please plan accordingly to pick up/meet your student at their designated drop-off point.
Bus routes may be cancelled during second semester
Please be prepared for the possibility that bus routes will be cancelled during the second semester with little notice due to staffing challenges. If a route is canceled, parents/guardians will be notified by email and through a robocall.
Even before the pandemic, PSD was experiencing a shortage of bus drivers despite working hard to recruit and train new drivers. That coupled with challenges due to COVID-19 has made it increasingly difficult for Transportation Services to find drivers to backfill routes and maintain daily operations.
A bus route might be cancelled for the following reasons:
- A driver must quarantine after being identified as a close contact of a person who is positive for COVID-19 (i.e. bus driver’s spouse or household member). Student riders would be considered contacts of a close contact of a positive case, otherwise referred to as a tertiary contact for whom exposure risk is considered very low. Tertiary contacts are not typically quarantined.
- A household member tests positive for COVID-19 and a driver needs to stay home to care for them.
- A driver is out with general illness symptoms (not related to a COVID-19 diagnosis) and will follow PSD’s Return to Learn guidance in order to come back to work.
- If a driver or rider tested positive for COVID-19, PSD would conduct an Initial Assessment Period with the health department to identify close contacts. It is also possible the route would be cancelled until the assessment was completed.
- Drivers, students/riders must wear masks or face coverings at all times when on the bus. Students will not be permitted to board a PSD bus without a face covering/mask.
- Parents will be expected to take their child’s temperature and symptom screen before leaving the house and to ensure that an ill student does not ride the bus.
- When students enter the school bus, they will load the bus from the rear to the front of the bus and unload the school bus from the front of the bus to the back when possible.
- Students must stay in their assigned/marked seat and not shift or change location while on the bus or at any point during the year.
- Windows and vents on the bus will be left open or slightly open at all times to ensure improved ventilation.
- All buses will be disinfected at least twice daily.
- Students will not be permitted to eat or drink on the bus.