As school administrators across Acadiana prepare for schools to re-open next month, one of the challenges they face is transportation.
There are 32,000 students in Lafayette Parish. Under re-opening guidelines, buses will only be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity.
"We're really starting with 16,000 and that's not removing the kids who opted 100 % virtual" Chief Administrative Officer, Jennifer Gardner said.
Gardner said during the 2019 school year, they had 18,000 bus riders. To accommodate the thousands of bus-riders, Gardner says the district has 276 buses available. The district is currently working to schedule students, in case, because of capacity issues, a bus needs to make several trips to stay within capacity limits.
"In the morning, the students who live the furthest from the school, will be picked up first and then we will drop them off, then then we'll go get another set" Gardner explained.
Hand sanitizing stations will be installed on every bus. Students on the bus will be required to wear a face mask at all times. To ensure social distancing students will have assigned seats, apart from one another.
"That's very important when it comes to contact tracing, so if someone does test positive for COVID, you'll know where the child sits, who are they next to, and were they next to the driver" Gardener said.
At the end of each run, every surface touched by students will also be sanitized.
Read more about their plan here.