Dean Transportation getting ready to take kids to school

Students will be required to wear masks
Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 5:01 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - It’s not a given that school buildings will be open this fall, but mid-Michigan’s largest busing company isn’t waiting to find out.

School buses are designed to haul as many children to and from school as possible, which makes social distancing very hard. That’s why school districts are requiring students to put on a mask before the get on.

“It’s time to get our kids back to school,” Kellie Dean, Dean Transportation CEO, said.

Students in nearly 150 school districts across Michigan ride Dean Transportation buses to and from school.

Dean said they’ve been working on plans to make sure students are taking precautions to prevent COVID-19. Like school district plans, bus plans depend on what economic reopening phase the region is in.

Right now mid-Michigan is in phase four.

“Students are allowed to ride a bus,” Dean said. “The social distancing will be from the protection of a face mask.”

Drivers will not only be wearing a mask, they'll be wearing a face shield as well.

"Their objective is to do everything they can to do to protect all students on board, particularly as it pertains to any virus," Dean said.

The plan even includes steps in case a student tests positive for COVID-19.

“We would be able to, through tracking seating assignments on all the buses, to report any students who maybe near this particular student,” Dean said.

Dean will also be stepping up cleaning procedures to be even more aggressive than the typical cold and flu season.

“All of our buses will have a high level of cleaning, sanitation and also hospital grade disinfectant that will be applied on all buses,” Dean said.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Safe Schools Roadmap only allows in-person instruction during phases four and five of the state’s economic reopening plan.

If the state moves back into phase three, students will learn remotely and bus transportation won’t be needed.

Individual school districts across the state are finalizing their plans and those might vary from district to district.

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