The City School District of Albany is asking for feedback from parents and guardians specific to student transportation for the start of the 2020-21 school year.
Your responses to this transportation survey (embedded at the bottom of this story and also available here) will help us work together with our partners at First Student and CDTA to plan for the start of school with appropriate health and safety guidelines in place due to COVID-19.
The transportation survey will be open through Tuesday, July 21 at 4 p.m.
Please note that no decisions have been finalized and the district is still in the planning stages for a return to school in September. Like all school districts in New York, we are working toward the state’s July 31 deadline to submit our plans.
Governor Cuomo has said he will provide final guidance during the first week of August.
Here are some tentative guidelines that the district is considering regarding student transportation for the start of the school year. The district will continue to serve students living 1.5 miles or more from their school, and all students whose Individualized Education Plan requires specialized transportation.
You also can provide your feedback regarding transportation and all aspects of returning for the 2020-21 school year in our reopening survey.
Detailed transportation plans will be finalized and shared out in alignment with the full district-wide plan in early August.
We are planning within the framework of guidance provided by the New York State Department of Health, the State Education Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is important to note that this information is subject to change before our plans are finalized in August.
(For elementary and special education students)
- Following Department of Health guidance, the district is considering operating yellow buses for general education students at a maximum of 50% capacity. This would mean one student per seat on all large buses, with students from the same household allowed to sit two-to-a-seat.
- The district would adhere to strict social distancing protocols on buses serving students with special needs, and is considering a limited capacity of four students on a small bus and one student on a wheelchair bus.
- All students and employees on all First Student buses would be required to wear a mask or other face covering unless there is an underlying medical condition.
- All buses will be cleaned and sanitized in alignment with CDC guidance. Drivers will wipe down all high-touch areas after each run, and First Student also will implement an additional deep-cleaning protocol for all buses.
(For middle school and high school students)
- CDTA currently is planning to limit student ridership on tripper buses to a maximum of 20 (approximately one-third of the normal tripper capacity) to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
- CDTA strongly recommends that all riders, including students, wear a mask or other face covering, in alignment with Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order requiring masks in public when social distancing guidelines of 6 feet or more cannot be observed.
- CDTA also is following guidance from the Department of Health and CDC to keep employees and customers safe. CDTA has modified bus and facility cleaning processes, using a deep-cleaning liquid that contains a hospital-grade sanitizing agent. Bus operators have access to face masks, disposable gloves and sanitizing wipes to do additional wipe downs of their work areas. CDTA also has cleaners in the field doing wipe-downs of buses at layover areas multiple times throughout the day.