"Our future is riding with us!"
The Washington Post (5/19, Meckler, Weiner) reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has “laid out its detailed, delayed road map for reopening schools, child-care facilities, restaurants and mass transit” on its website. The document recommends schools remain closed in “step one” of reopening, and be allowed to operate with “enhanced social distancing” measures in step two. For schools, the CDC “recommended a raft of social distancing policies: desks at least six feet apart and facing the same direction, lunch in classrooms, staggered arrival times, cloth masks for staff and daily temperature screenings for everyone.” Also, buses should “leave every other row empty, bars add sneeze guards and child-care centers limit sharing of art supplies.” The document “does not mention a hybrid model for schooling that would combine in-person and online education, though many districts are considering that.”
School Closing / Budget Vote Update
(Email Sent to Membership 5/4/2020)
On Friday, May 1, 2020, Governor Cuomo announced the closing of all schools and college facilities in New York for the remainder of the academic year. A decision on whether or not summer school will be opened will be decided at the end of May.
By Executive Order # 202.26, the Governor also set June 9, 2020, as the uniform school budget vote day across New York State.
Board member elections will also take place on June 9 by absentee ballot. Absentee ballots will be mailed to all eligible voters within the school district in a postage paid return envelope. There will be no in person voting as we have done in the past.
Schools and colleges must create reopening plans that re-image school facilities in response to the COVID-19 realities. The plans must consider how to contain the spread of the disease in our schools (and school buses), how to provide for student safety, when and how to resume extracurricular activities, among other concerns. Plans must be submitted to the State for approval.
NYAPT will assist in reopening efforts by forming a work group to continue the process of collecting best practices and identifying concerns and challenges relative to transporting students in the COVID -19 environment. Information collected by the work group will be provided to all members and partners via email, website, webinars and other means of communications. NYAPT has also reached out to Regent Rosa, who is forming the Regents Task Force on School Reopening requesting school transportation representation be included on the task force.
We have a lot to do as an industry to resume transportation services. We are confident, however, we will get through this challenge and come out the other side better than when we went in. Let's get ready for opening day!
From the York Department of Health regarding bus cleaning and disinfecting: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/03/cleaning_guidance_public_transportation.pdf
US Department of Health and Human Services https://www.hhs.gov/
The Centers for Disease Control https://www.cdc.gov/
New York Department of Health https://www.health.ny.gov/
US Department of Education https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus?src=feature&utm_source=ECS%2BSubscribers&utm_campaign=dae2840c29-ArtsEd_Digest_4.1.2020&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1a2b00b930-dae2840c29-53618623
John Hopkins COVID-19 Map https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
Preliminary Guidance on the Preparation of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak in New York State
Guidance on Statewide School Closures http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/schoolhealth/schoolhealthservices/coronavirus/nysed-covid-19-third-guidance-3-17-20.pdf
SED Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/schoolhealth/schoolhealthservices/coronavirus.html
From the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT): https://www.napt.org/blog_home.asp?display=34
From FMCSA (USDOT) - Waiver in Response to the COVID-19 Emergency: FMCSA CDL Waiver-3.24.20.pdf
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (19-A information) https://dmv.ny.gov/motor-carriers/information-and-forms-article-19
New York State Education Department http://www.nysed.gov/
FMCSA Expanded Emergency Declaration https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/emergency/expanded-emergency-declaration-under-49-cfr-ss-39023-no-2020-002-relating-covid-19
Governor Cuomo's Executive Orders:
Department of Motor Vehicles Closure Announcement: https://dmv.ny.gov/press-release/press-release-03-21-20
School Bus Fleet - PA passes a law to require school districts to pay contractors during Pandemic closures: https://www.schoolbusfleet.com/news/738006/new-pa-law-permits-school-bus-contractor-payment-agreements-during-covid-19-crisis
Disruption to Drug and Alcohol Testing Due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/drug-alcohol-testing/disruptions-drug-and-alcohol-testing-due-coronavirus-disease-2019
What Bus Transit Operators Need to Know About COVID-19 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/bus-transit-operator.html
Cleaning and Disinfecting Buses - Resources
IK2200091 - Cleaning an IC Bus.pdf- IC Bus Cleaning Guidance
http://www.newyorkbussales.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/20-0326REV-A-SERVICE-UPDATE-Proper-Disinfecting-of-School-Buses.pdf - Bluebird Bus Cleaning Guidance
https://thomasbuiltbuses.com/content/uploads/2020/03/COVID19-Cleaning-Instructions.pdf - Thomas Bus Cleaning Guidance
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