Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tewksbury Public Schools (TPS) has adopted several new procedures and protocols with respect to School Bus transportation for School Year 2020-2021. TPS has used Guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Massachusetts Association of Pupil Transportation (MAPT) among other agencies to assist in providing timely and quality school transportation while addressing student and driver safety to the greatest extent possible. TPS has worked closely with our Transportation Contractors to ensure safety procedures and protocols are successfully implemented.
PLEASE CHECK THESE ROUTES REGULARLY AS ADJUSTMENTS ARE MADE FREQUENTLY DUE TO CHANGES IN STUDENT POPULATIONS.
TPS has adopted a hybrid school model for school year 2020-2021. Bus Routes posted here will be followed on all days when school is in session, regardless of the cohort attending. Drivers will adjust schedules slightly depending on which cohort of students is attending. Drivers are aware of all students’ cohorts. As always, the TPS asks that parents and students arrive at their bus stop 10 minutes prior to the published time, to allow for uncontrollable fluctuations in exact pick up times. Undoubtedly, a pattern will be established that families should recognize and adhere to.
NEW SAFETY GUIDANCE
ALL guidance regarding school buses includes language that MASKS ARE MANDATORY for anyone riding a school bus, regardless of age. The TPS is requiring MASKS on buses and vans for both students and drivers, in the interest of student and driver safety. Please reference our Mask Protocol Policy for further details. REMINDER: Bandannas and Gaiters are NOT considered appropriate per TPS Mask Protocols.
The TPS is following guidance that only one student be allowed per bus seat. Students will be staggered in each row by seat assignment as shown below. This greatly reduces bus seating capacity. However, based on parent survey results, altered scheduling, and some adjustments to bus routes all families who requested transportation on their parent survey have been assigned to buses at their respective schools.
Bus seats have been labeled as per above with seat numbers. Further, each seat has been affixed with a WHITE SQUARE where students will be expected to sit during their bus ride. Seats are being assigned in order of student pick up and drop off, factoring in the number of students expected on the ride in order to minimize student-to-student exposure to the greatest extent possible. In the interest of student safety, these seating assignments supersede the past practice of seating all K students in the front of the bus at our K-4 schools.
Student and driver expectations and cleaning and ventilation protocols are contained in our comprehensive STEP 2: School Re-opening Plan on pages 29-32, which can be accessed here:
Due to the complexities of safely transporting students during this pandemic, bus change requests will take longer to implement than in the past and MAY not be able to be accommodated. Requests need to be reviewed with respect to passenger capacity, seating assignments, and timing of routes among other factors prior being approved or implemented. Please understand that changes will take time to process and families should have alternate plans in place while that process is occurring.
NEW: Basic Transportation arrangements have been posted on each student’s STUDENT PORTAL. AM BUS ROUTE CODE and PM BUS ROUTE CODE will indicate one of the following for each student: A BUS ROUTE, VAN, WALK, CAR or REMOTE. Please check these fields for accuracy. If families recognize incorrect transportation arrangements, they should contact their schools to address the issue.
NEW: Bus Seating assignments are complete. Seat assignments ARE posted to the STUDENT PORTAL in ASPEN
Students who utilize special education transportation services should be contacted by their driver or bus contractor and will be notified of pick up and drop off times individually.
If you have any questions regarding transportation, please email Dave Libby at firstname.lastname@example.org