school bus

In an on-going effort to keep families up-to-date on the preventative measures and mitigation strategies in place, Marion County Schools is providing information about various department's  protocols in place as we welcome our students in grades 1 through 12 back to school on August 25.

Marion County Schools

Transportation Protocols School Re-Entry 2021-2022

Updated 3/15/2021

To ensure the safe re-entry of both students and staff, the transportation team is enacting many procedures and practices. Due to the fluidity of the situation and to the evolving of the best scientific practices, the transportation team is determined to stay abreast of the most current practices and make changes as they are necessary for the good and safety of the students and staff. 

COVID – 19 Cleaning/Disinfecting/Sanitizing Protocol

1.    Marion County School Buses are always to travel with windows partially open and roof vent open to increase air circulation when students are on the bus and when the bus is empty.

2.    Foaming hand sanitizer has been purchased by the Transportation Department and will be placed in a dashboard mounted bracket so students can sanitize as they enter your school bus. There are 945 hand sanitizing foam applications per bottle.

3.    Face masks are mandated for students on school busses. 

4. No more than two students to a seat unless all three students are family members and/or live in the same household.

5.    A student who attempts to enter your bus without a mask will be given a paper face covering that drivers will have in stock.

6. Seating charts will be utilized on all busses daily.

Bus Parked at Garage or at Home Each Evening - Daily Sanitization Routine:

(Bus sprayed with sanitizing mist one time per day)

7.    Drivers will have their bus sprayed each evening with a sanitizing mist.  There are different methods for sanitization.  A few employees may perform sanitization for all buses each evening or drivers may be asked to perform sanitization. 

8.    After the first morning route sanitization must occur by drivers which will include wiping the top and back of the seats were students will put their hands as well as handrails. The sanitizing wiping solution will consist of bleach and water mixture, 1/3-cup of bleach per gallon of water.

Bus Loading at Bus Stops

1.     Masks/face coverings must be worn at all times by all occupants.

2.     Hand disinfectant must be used and thoroughly spread throughout the hands and fingers upon entering the bus. 

3.     One student will load at a time. The next student waits until the previous student turns down the bus aisle.

4.    Social distancing is strongly encouraged at the bus stop, will be taught to all students, and will continue to be encouraged if the bus operator finds this is not the case as s/he pulls up to the stop.

Bus Seating

1.     All students will have an assigned seat.

2.     Students will be seated two per seat unless living in same household, then possibly three.

3.     Bus stop groups of students may be seated in the same section of the bus.

4.    Windows will be open to increase air circulation

5.    When possible, seat assignment will be based on location of the bus stop. (Students loading first will be seated behind the grade level section of the bus. Students loading last would be in front of the grade level section.)

Bus Unloading at School

1.     Students leave the bus by assigned seat, right side to left side, front to back, one seat at a time (i.e., right front seat, then left front seat, and so on). 

2.     If more than one bus arrives at a school, the front bus unloads. When the front bus starts to move away, the next bus moves up and unloads. 


1.     Infractions of protocol will be handled as in the past years, with an emphasis on following COVID safeguards.

Bus Passes

1.     Students will ride the bus as assigned by their home location.

2.     Rides to day care or to another “permanent” option will be available based on capacity and must have a bus pass on file with bus operator.

3.     Bus passes for the same bus but different stop will be honored.

Sick Student at Bus Stop

1.     Preschoolers to 3rd graders – Are to return home with the parent/approved adult.

2.     4th graders to 12th graders – The bus operator will radio the bus garage to inform the parent. Ill student will immediately return home only if the parent is quickly contacted.

3.     If parent is not contacted, ill student will be taken to his/her school.

4.     The student must wear a mask during the route.

Sick Student During Bus Route

1.     Per WVDE Office of Pupil Transportation, due to safety standards and testing, school bus manufacturers have not recommended any change to school buses such as plexiglass or see-through plastic. Should a manufacturer recommendation become available, changes will be made.

2.     After the bus pulls over, the ill student will move to the front seat opposite the driver. 

3.     The bus operator will radio the bus garage.

4.     The bus garage will call the parent to meet the student at his/her assigned school.

5.      The student rides to his/her assigned school where s/he meets the parent.

6.      Should the parent not be available to pick up the child or cannot be reached, other arrangements will be made per individual school protocol.