Tue. Dec 1st, 2020

Massachusetts officials released guidelines Wednesday night about how to safely transport children to and from school during the pandemic.

The guidelines include details about:

The logistics of riding school buses

  • All students — no matter the age — will be required to wear a mask.
  • Each student will have a bus bench to themselves for at least 3 feet of distance between students; students will be assigned bus seats. The guidelines include example diagrams of seating for various-sized buses.
  • Bus windows will be kept open at all times, except in “extreme weather conditions.”

School bus capacity

  • School buses will range from 31 to 43 percent capacity. For example, an 83-passenger bus will have a maximum of 27 passengers (33 percent capacity), and a 14-passenger bus will have a maximum of 6 passengers (43 percent capacity).
  • Schools may need to add buses to routes or stagger start and end times of school to ensure there are enough buses for all students, with limited capacity on each vehicle.

Helping districts create transportation plans

  • Districts may consider adding bus monitors to ensure social distancing and mask-wearing is adhered to on buses.
  • Districts are encouraged to put together plans that consider the expected ridership for the academic year, options for alternative modes of transportation, safety protocols, and plans for pick-up, drop-off, and boarding.
  • Parents may be encouraged to transport their own children to school, if they can.

Read the full Fall Reopening Transportation Guidance here:


Felicia Gans can be reached at felici[email protected] Follow her on Twitter @FeliciaGans.

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