New guidelines in place to keep Sylvan Lake students safe on the bus

RDCRS and Chinook’s Edge have new school bus guidelines for the COVID-19 era

The back to school season is upon us, and this year it is more confusing than ever. New concerns for health and safety have crept up and both parents and students are wondering how to stay safe in the classroom, at play and on the bus.

New guidelines will be put into place for central Alberta students taking the bus, to keep them safe going to and from school each day.

The new guidelines for both Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools and Chinook’s Edge students follow those set by the province to keep both staff and students safe when returning to in-class learning.

According to both school divisions regular bus safety rules will apply in addition to the new guidelines for the COVID-19 era. These regular safety precautions include: walking, not running to the bus; not using mobile devices until in a safe position; knowing your bus route and arriving at least five minutes early for the bus.

Students are also recommended to know pedestrian safety, and when it is safe to cross the street.

With the new rules in place, all students beginning in Grade 4 will be required to wear a mask while on the bus. Younger students, from Kindergarten to Grade 3, are encouraged to wear masks on the bus but it is not required.

Both school divisions will be implementing a seating plan for the school bus. RDCRS will utilize a first on-first off method.

“I know our older students like sitting in the back of the bus, but that may not be possible right now,” said Kathleen Finnigan, acting superintendent of school for RDCRS.

Meanwhile, Chinook’s Edge will be having file in and sitting from back to front on the bus, and unloading front to back.

According to Chinook’s Edge’s School Re-entry Plan, the “seating plan will be in place while riding to and from school in order to assist with contact tracing in the case of a student being a case of COVID-19.”

All students must complete a daily health screening before getting on the bus. If a student answers yes to any of the questions, they are to stay home from school.

“I am really relying on parents to do the health and wellness checks every morning,” said Finnigan, adding everyone in the school community is part of a team.

The bus drivers, who will be equipped with masks and face shields for their protections, will be able to ask the student to go home if they appear to be sick. If a student becomes sick on the bus going to school, “the driver will contact the school to make the appropriate arrangements for parent or guardian to pick up the child/student as per illness at school protocols,” according to Chinook’s Edge.

Buses will be sanitized after each morning and afternoon run, Chinook’s Edge states in their re-entry plan.

“We are all a team and we need to work together to make sure our staff and students stay safe and healthy,” said Finnigan.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Empty Red Deer hotels could be purchased to create more affordable housing

City and its housing partners will be applying for a new federal program to reduce homelessness

As Agri-Trade neared exhibitors had second thoughts

Agricultural show cancelled rather than fall short of expectations

Central Alberta MPs slam throne speech

Natural resources and agriculture sectors ignored and pandemic response inadequate, say MPs

Updated: Agri-Trade Equipment Expo cancelled

Pandemic-related restrictions to blame for cancelling Nov. 11-13 show

Liberals vow wage-subsidy extension to 2021, revamp of EI system in throne speech

Canadian labour market was hammered by pandemic, when lockdowns in the spring led to a loss of 3 million jobs

Alberta politicians reject throne speech

Premier Kenney disapointed with lack of support for Alberta energy

PM’s sunny ways meet COVID’s darker days

‘We’re on the brink of a fall that could be much worse than the spring,’ Trudeau said

Games go on, but many traditions on hold in college football

Some traditions dating to the 19th century

Canadian international Quinn hopes to start conversation, help young trans folk

People can do to be better allies to the trans community

Beverley McLachlin remembers Ruth Bader Ginsburg in award-winning memoir

Trump and Senate Republicans charge forward with plans to fill the court vacancy

Actor Ryan Reynolds looking to invest in Welsh soccer club

Talks to start with Reynolds and fellow actor Rob McElhenney

Former Wales star Rob Howley returns to rugby with Canadian national team

Former Wales star Rob Howley returns to rugby with Canadian national team

Back to work: NBA’s non-Disney clubs start team workouts

Back to work: NBA’s non-Disney clubs start team workouts

Most Read