Argyle ISD announced Monday new COVID-19 guidelines for students and bus drivers for when students head back to school.
Argyle ISD schools will be the first in southern Denton County to re-open, on Aug. 17, and the only public schools to be open at any time in August. Some students will begin the school year learning from home, but others will be back in school for at least the first nine-week grading period. And as long as the coronavirus pandemic persists locally, new health and safety guidelines will be required of students, teachers and staff in the schools, and also on the school buses.
Some of the following school bus guidelines are set by the CDC, and others put in place by the Argyle ISD, according to a news release from the district. The following guidelines will remain in place until Gov. Greg Abbott and the Argyle ISD School Board decide it is safe to return to normal:
- All bus drivers will be required to wear a face mask that covers the nose and mouth while driving the school bus or inside any AISD building.
- All students will be required to use the provided hand sanitizer prior to boarding the school bus.
- Students in the 4th grade and above will be required to wear a face mask that covers the nose and mouth while on board the school bus.
- Windows will be placed in the down position, and the buses will not run the AC units until the outside temperature reaches 91 degrees or above measured at the bus barn. This is being done in an attempt to not aide the spread of this airborne virus through the AC units.
- The high-touch points, seatbelts (if equipped), and seats will be sprayed with disinfectant between campuses when the bus is empty.
- The drivers will disinfect and wipe down high touch points, seatbelts (if equipped), and seats upon the completing morning routes, afternoon routes, mid-day routes and after any field trips.
- The drivers’ break room will be closed or have limited access.
- Students will maintain social distance on buses when possible.
The design of the school bus with the high padded seat backs, crumple zones, and compartmentalization features makes it nearly impossible to make any modifications to a school bus without approval and testing by various state and federal agencies, according to the district. School buses are also not designed for social distancing, the district said
Parents are strongly encouraged to take their children to and from school on a daily basis, if possible, so that buses will be less crowded.