Bus transportation will look very different as APS transitions to in-person learning. Due to the state’s physical distancing guidelines, buses will only be able to transport a maximum of 11 students at a time. To help manage this process, please be sure to complete the instructional model survey and tell us if your student will use the bus or not.
To meet state guidelines, APS Transportation Services has modified bus service for the 2020-21 school year. Below is important information about how transportation will operate as APS brings students back for in-person learning. As always, if your child is sick or has any COVID-related symptoms, please keep them home.
- Bus rider information (stops and times) will be delivered in ParentVue. Due to the limited time to plan routes, the standard bus letter will not be mailed. Families can also call their child’s school to request their bus stop and time. Students must follow the schedule provided to them.
- To accommodate 11 riders per bus, buses will have to make multiple trips back and forth to school. For stops with more than 11 students assigned to them, there will be multiple pick-up times at each stop. Students will be assigned a scheduled pick-up time. Families should plan to be at the bus stop least 10 minutes before their scheduled time and wait at least 10 minutes after if the bus has not yet arrived.
- Students who are not assigned to a bus may not ride on a bus. Bus attendants will have rosters to facilitate health screenings and check student ride assignments.
- Riders are encouraged to take the bus. Students who do not use the bus will have their slot reassigned.
- Bus attendants will screen students at each stop. Parents/guardians will need to remain at the stop to take home students who do not pass the screening. If a student has a fever or other symptoms, they will not be allowed on the bus.
- Students must wear a mask on the bus.
- Only one student is permitted on each seat due to health and safety guidelines. Seats will be marked for student use.
- Each bus will carry a maximum of 11 student riders.
- Siblings are not permitted on special needs buses.
For routes that typically carry a heavy load of bus riders will require several trips back and forth to school. This change means that APS must also make some changes to where and how bus riders are picked up to allow Transportation Services to focus bus service on routes that are farthest from school and allow them to move more quickly between stops and school.
To help, APS has expanded walk zones at 16 elementary schools. APS will not provide bus service in this expanded area. For those families that live within these expanded areas, we encourage walking and/or biking to school. Not only will it allow families to avoid vehicle congestion and the need to find a parking space around their school, but it will give students an opportunity for some movement before the start of what will otherwise be a fairly sedentary day. APS is developing route maps to help families find their way and will work with the school to ensure families have access to them, and is collaborating with Arlington County to add crossing assistance at critical street crossings