Keeping it clean to and from the classroom: Local school district talks busing during COVID-19

Coronavirus

Students at Lisbon Schools aren't allowed to sit anywhere they want on the bus anymore

LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – Ed Duko, who works in maintenance for Lisbon Schools, dons his mask, gloves and sprayer as he makes his way up and down the aisles of Bus 1, spraying disinfectant on each seat that was occupied by a student moments ago.

“We disinfect the buses after every run. After we dislodge at the high school, we sanitize before the elementary run and do so before we take the buses out the next morning,” Lisbon Schools Superintendent Joe Siefke said.

It takes him about 30 seconds per bus, and then the seats must remain vacant for a while to make sure they’re properly cleaned.

“It goes further than just them spraying on buses in between our runs,” driver Glenna Rader said. “We as drivers also come back, we also clean our buses. We want just as much safety for the students as the parent does… I will sanitize my bus; I will do what I need to do to keep my children safe.”

Duko explained the disinfectant goes above and beneath the seats, so parents need not worry about their children’s safety.

“They shouldn’t be concerned; we are taking every proper measurement that we can,” Rader said.

According to Siefke, 77% of students in the school system are in-person and the remaining 23% are remote.

He added that 26% utilize the buses while the others are dropped off, which helps social distancing on the buses.

“But the ones who are, I feel, are very safe,” Siefke said.

Students load the bus from front to back and aren’t allowed to sit anywhere they want.

“They have assigned seats, to some degree, and that’s something new,” Siefke said. “Coming on the bus and going to the back of the bus and creating space in between seats is something new for them.”

Rader said the children have been doing good with the adjustments, and she barely has to remind them of what to do to stay safe.

“They’re already coming to their bus stop with their masks on, and we appreciate the parents’ help on that because it is very difficult for them to understand,” she said.

It’s the second week of classes, disinfecting and adjusting for everyone, teachers, drivers and those helping keep everything clean.

“Kids have been great, flexibility and understanding of the parents and community has been super,” Siefke said. “They’re glad to be back, and we’re glad to see their smiling faces.”

For any parent still concerned about their children’s safety on the bus, Rader assured that the children’s safety is the driver’s goal.

“We aren’t just a driver, these are our kids with different last names is basically what we’ve always thought,” she said.

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