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Northville Public School Transportation Update

Dear Northville Public Schools families,

As we begin this new school year, we want to provide some important information for parents and guardians of students who will be using our Transportation program this year. There are a number of changes that we are implementing this year for your child(ren)’s safety, and we hope you take some time to read this update.
Bus Stop Assignments

Based on the Parent Survey, and responses from those families who are transportation eligible and indicated a need for Transportation services this year, the Transportation Department is establishing bus routes and bus stops for those students. Bus assignments will be available no later than September 18th in the MiStar Parent Portal.
Walk Zones
Similar to most school districts, we have established walk zones of one (1) mile for Elementary students, and one and a half (1-1/2) miles for Middle and High School students. This means that only those students residing outside these distances from their residence to their assigned school buildings are eligible for bus transportation.
In prior years, while we have allowed students residing within a walk zone to board a bus outside the walk zone, we will not offer that option this year for two critical reasons:
  • We are restricting the number of bus riders to (48) students on our 77-passenger buses, to ensure some physical distancing on the bus between students, and between students and the bus driver. This is optimizing the use of our available bus fleet, but in doing so, eliminating any excess capacity for student riders who live within the walk zones.
  • For traceability purposes, it is essential that we transport only those students assigned to a particular bus in the event there is a reported case of COVID. If students ride a bus to which they are not assigned, they could potentially be exposed and not learn of that potential exposure.
    For these reasons, we are respectfully asking parents and students to utilize only that bus to which their students are assigned, and avoid riding a bus if they live within a walk zone and are not assigned a bus stop in the MiStar Parent Portal. Our bus drivers have been instructed to monitor their student route assignments this year, so drivers will ask for student names as students board the bus, to ensure students are boarding only their assigned bus.
Safety Protocols
As required by Michigan’s 2020-21 Return to School Roadmap, there are required safety protocols, and some additional procedures we are adopting, to help ensure your child’s safety while on the bus.
  • As required by the Roadmap, “bus drivers, staff, and all students in grades preK-12, if medically feasible, must wear facial coverings while on the bus”. Please speak with your child(ren) about the importance of wearing a facial covering on the bus, as there is not a full 6’ separation between students on the bus, and the bus driver must be focused on road conditions while transporting students, and cannot reasonably be expected to monitor student wearing of facial coverings.
    In the event students should forget their facial covering, each bus will be equipped with a box of disposable masks for student use.
    Additionally, please note that drivers may need to remove their masks, after students are seated and the bus is moving, to ensure unobstructed vision.
  • The Return to School Roadmap also requires the use of hand sanitizer before entering the bus. Sanitizing dispensers have been installed at the entrance of each bus, and Transportation will ensure that dispensers are full before buses leave the bus yard each day.
  • The Roadmap requires that buses be clean and disinfected before and after each transportation route. Because we utilize a three-tier bussing model – where the same bus will service High School, then Middle School and finally Elementary School students – we have requested that Durham School Services disinfect buses between each of the three tiers. Bus windows will be open when the bus is being disinfected.
  • In addition to these Roadmap requirements, we are implementing some additional procedures to help ensure your child(ren)’s safety:
    • As mentioned above, bus ridership will be limited to (48) students on our standard, 77-passenger buses. Each of these buses have (13) rows of seats on either side of the bus aisle, but we are not seating any students in the first row immediately behind the driver, to ensure physical distancing between the driver and students sitting in the second row. On each bench seat, one student will be required to sit by the window, and the other student will sit by the aisle.
    • For morning bus runs, we will load students beginning at the rear of the bus, and then filling seats moving forward toward the bus driver. This will minimize the number of student interaction and exposure on the bus.
    • This year, we are instituting the use of yellow bus tags for Kindergarten students. Kindergarten students should display the yellow bus tag, which will contain their first name and bus stop, on their book bags. This will alert bus drivers that a student is a Kindergarten student, and must have a parent or legal guardian present at the bus stop before the student is safely released from the bus.
If you have any questions regarding this update, please contact the Transportation Office at (248) 465-2070. Thank you for your cooperation and support.
Mike Zopf
Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations