BY ERNEST ARICO
Students riding school buses are expected to wear face masks when classes start Monday, Aug. 24, according to the Brevard Public Schools re-opening policy released last month.
The Brevard County School Board unanimously approved delaying the start of the 2020-21 school year to Aug. 24. Students originally were scheduled to return to school Aug. 11.
"Transportation provides unique challenges for social distancing — parents and staff will need to work together to ensure a safe environment for riding the bus," the district report stated. "Parents must provide guidance to their children on appropriate social distancing at bus stops."
Students with documented medical or sensory conditions that would be adversely impacted by wearing a mask are exempted from wearing one on a bus.
Other transportation safety issues include:
- Students will use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the bus.
- Students will be given an assigned seat. Students must sit in that assigned seat.
- Siblings and those sharing a household will be seated together.
- Students should allow appropriate distance between each other when entering and exiting the bus.
- Seats will be wiped down between routes.
- Windows will be open when the weather permits.
- Misconduct on the bus will result in disciplinary action that might include suspension from the bus.
Thelston and Brianna Robertson, residents of the Six Mile Creek development off Murrell Road in Viera, approve of the district’s new busing policy. The couple’s three children — Logan, 12, Addison, 8, and Reese, 5 — will be bused to the Viera Charter School.
"I’m fine with the safety measures," Brianna Robertson said. "They have the best interests of the kids."
She said her children will have to learn how to use a mask while riding the bus, but that it was more important for them to go back to school, rather than stay at home and do distance learning.
"I don’t want them to get behind," she said.