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Getting students to school safely has always been a
priority, and with the return to class, the Surrey School District is
taking greater measures to ensure safety during the pandemic.
To continue protecting students from COVID-19, the district
has enacted a number of protocols that are consistent with provincial
guidelines to ensure physical distancing among students and effective cleaning
and disinfecting on buses.
“Regular cleaning of the buses has always been a priority
for us, but now we’ll be using a disinfectant spray on high-touch surfaces
after every run,” said Greg Forbes-King, Director of Facilities &
Transportation Services at the district. “We also have an electrostatic sprayer
on site to clean and disinfect surfaces. Once a day, the buses will be disinfected
Following every run, drivers will wipe down high-touch
surfaces on buses with disinfectant, including seats and seatbacks, handrails
and the driver’s area. After all students have been dropped off at school in
the morning, the buses will undergo a full hour of cleaning with the electrostatic
sprayer, which sprays an electrostatic disinfect to kill bacteria on surfaces.
Staff will fill out a daily sign-off sheet to record cleanings.
The number of students taking the bus has also decreased
this year, largely due to limits on ridership eligibility based on walking
distance from school. While the district has previously allowed “courtesy
riders” (paying students who live outside the 4 km elementary or 4.8 km
secondary walk zone) to ride the bus, ridership has been restricted to eligible
“We’ve had to limit ridership to eligible students only so
that’s a huge change for us. We’re restricting who can get on the bus so that
we can maintain sufficient space between students,” said Forbes-King.
Students will have assigned seats on the bus, with the goal
of one student per seat. Students will board the bus, filling seats from the
back of the bus to the front. If seat sharing is needed, students will be
paired with siblings first and members of their cohort second.
Students sitting at the front of the bus will exit first,
with students exiting row by row while maintaining physical distance. As
mandated by the Provincial Health Officer, secondary students will be required
to wear masks on buses.
For more information on the district’s transportation
program, please visit the department’s