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Is it safe to ride the school bus? Local school districts outline new health & safety protocols for kids

Several new protocols are in place as students transition back to campus — that includes changes when it comes to your child’s transportation. 

“We are so excited,” said Jessica Koahou, Interim Transportation Manager, DSUSD. Koahou explains school bus drivers play an important role each morning: they’re often the first face your child sees on the way to class. 

“It’s such an opportunity. You make such an impact as a school bus driver. It is a family,” she said. 

But is it safe? To send kids back to school on buses? Local school districts say they’re going the extra mile to make sure that it is. 

“We are no longer allowing the buses to be maxed out at 65 passengers,” said Koahou. 

Desert Sand Unified School District says they’re averaging about 10 students now per bus, creating space for social distance. 

Siblings or those from the same household will be asked to sit together on the bus to help save space, everyone else will be at least six feet apart. 

Students will be given hand sanitizer at the door and face coverings are required. “We have PPE for the students just in case mom or dad forgot,” added Koahou. 

Staff members are also sanitizing buses before and after each route. 

Similar policies will be in place on Palm Springs Unified School District buses when they begin their hybrid learning on April 12th.

“There are going to be at least three windows on each side of the bus that have been opened to allow cross ventilation,” said Robert Spinuzza, Coordinator of Transportation, PSUSD. 

He says PSUSD will be reducing their bus capacity from 78 kids to about 25.

As for Coachella Valley Unified School District families, the district says they’ll release their revised bus safety plans once a decision is reached on whether to continue with distance learning or return to campus with hybrid learning. 

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Madison Weil

Madison Weil joined the KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 News Team in June 2018. Learn more about Madison here.


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