Covid-19 Information Page

The Department of Transportation Services is working hard to ensure the safety and sanitation of our school bus & school vehicle fleet during COVID-19. This page will be updated frequently with new information regarding bus policies.

Student Ridership Responsibilities

The health and safety of our students, drivers, and attendants remains of the utmost importance.   In order to provide a safe riding environment for students attending Extended School Year programs, the School District of Philadelphia Department of Transportation Services has developed the following requirements for students being transported on a school bus, van or sedan/cab.  These requirements were developed based on guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH), and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). These protocols will adhere to the CDC’s health, safety and social distancing guidelines for riding the bus.

Please read this document carefully and in its entirety in advance of the start of transportation services for your child.  As conditions and public health guidance may change, these guidelines will be updated and communicated to our school communities.  At this time, the following guidelines apply.

Prior to Boarding the Bus or School Vehicle

Parents/Guardians will be required to affirm their child is symptom-free and has not had recent exposure to someone with COVID-19 prior to boarding a school bus, van or sedan/cab.  Please screen your child for symptoms and check their temperature daily.  A variety of symptoms have been associated with COVID-19, and their impact on health has ranged from mild to severe. Symptoms may appear 2–14 days after exposure to the virus. While we continue to learn more about the virus, at this time, symptoms of COVID-19 are listed below.

Please keep your child home and consult your child’s medical provider if your child is experiencing:

  • Fever above 100.4℉
  • Frequent dry cough (not due to a pre-existing illness)
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Please keep your child home and consult your child’s medical provider if your child is experiencing two of the following:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose or new nasal congestion (not related to a pre-existing condition)
  • Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Generally feeling unwell, fatigue, and/or muscle aches
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • New foot sores

If your child experiences the onset of symptoms, notify your School Administrator and/or Pandemic Coordinator immediately, return home and call your healthcare provider.

Boarding the Bus or School Vehicle

Apply hand sanitizer to your child’s hands prior to boarding, if possible.

Your driver will arrive to pick up/drop off your child at the time listed on the parent notification letter.  Your child is required to wear a mask while riding on a school bus, van or sedan/cab.  Wearing a mask with your child’s mouth and nose covered helps reduce the spread of the coronavirus by reducing respiratory droplet transmission between people.  Acceptable forms of masks include:

  • disposable surgical or N-95 masks
  • cloth masks
  • neck gaiters
  • face shields

Please ensure your child has a second mask secured in a clear, ziploc bag, labeled with their name, to ensure that they have a replacement if one becomes unusable.  Remember to clean masks and clean face shields daily.

If your child is unable to wear a mask as a result of their disability, or a health or medical condition, please contact your school’s Pandemic Coordinator immediately.  You are required to provide documentation certified by a medical professional.

Perceived inability to wear a mask without medical documentation will result in the re-evaluation of the type and method of transportation service for your child.

All drivers and attendants must wear a face mask that covers the mouth and nose at all times while in direct contact with your child. The driver’s mask may be removed when the vehicle is in operation to facilitate operation of the vehicle.  Where necessary for the safe transport of the students on the bus, drivers for some routes may wear transparent masks or face shields to facilitate communication with the students on the bus.

To ensure social distancing and in accordance with CDC guidelines, students will receive a seating assignment.  There will only be one child per seat.  Children from the same household will be allowed to sit together.  No students will be assigned to the seat immediately behind the driver. Routes that are serviced by sedan/cabs will only have one student assigned to each vehicle to ensure social distancing.  Children from the same household will be permitted to ride in a sedan/cab together.

Cleaning Protocols

All vehicles transporting students for summer programs will be cleaned daily using EPA-approved disinfectants. At the conclusion of transporting your child to school, drivers will be required to immediately clean and disinfect high touch areas such as the handrails, top of bus seats, and door handles.   At the end of each day, a detailed cleaning will be completed.  Details of our cleaning protocols can be found by visiting www.philasd.org/transportation.

COVID-19 Reporting

You are required to report if your child tests positive for COVID-19, if they develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or are self-isolating due to suspected or known exposure to COVID-19.  Please immediately notify your  School Administrator and/or Pandemic Coordinator and email transoperations@philasd.org with your child’s name, route number and the school he/she attends for summer programming.

If the Department of Transportation Services is notified of a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, the vehicle will be immediately removed from service. If your child comes into contact with  another student, a driver or an attendant who tests positive for COVID-19, the Department of Transportation Services will immediately notify you and your school’s Pandemic Coordinator by phone and services will be placed on hold for your child through the 14 day self-isolation period.. It is important that the contact information on file at your child’s school remains current and correct while they are  participating in summer programming.

All vehicles transporting students for summer programs will be cleaned daily using EPA-approved disinfectants. At the conclusion of transporting your child to school, drivers will be required to immediately clean and disinfect high touch areas such as the handrails, top of bus seats, and door handles.   At the end of each day, a detailed cleaning will be completed.