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Stevens Point excels with distanced busing protocols

Due to COVID-19 this year, the school limited busing numbers, making it so that only 7 to 12 kids are riding the bus at a time.
Published: Nov. 5, 2020 at 10:53 AM CST
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) -

After three months of school, the Stevens Point School District Transportation Department is feeling great about their new transportation system.

Due to COVID-19 this year, the school limited busing numbers, making it so that only 7 to 12 kids are riding the bus at a time. The rest of the families have been asked to bring their kids to school on their own. With everyone working together, currently, only 60% of students utilize the bus.

At the beginning of the year, the district was nervous about kids getting to school on time, or at all due to new regulations but said they haven’t had any problems. To help their case, the superintendent has been working with local businesses to adjust working times for parents who now need to bring their kids to school on their own.

Drop off and pick up has also run smoothly for the school, which was a surprise to Christian Budzinski with the transportation department as drop off lines can often congest traffic.

“Do not have any complaints from drivers or school saying it’s congested at the building. People are not driving chaotically. More parents are picking up yet they’re doing very good,” Budzinski said.

Due to the lower number of students, the district has not had to worry about bus drivers getting sick, which was one of their biggest concerns. While bus drivers may quarantine themselves every once and a while, so far they have not had any positive cases.

The limited number of students has also helped students behave better on the bus, making it easier for bus drivers to drive, and fill in when need be.

Budzinski said while he knows their current system is more expensive, and not something they will continue with after the pandemic, they have seen many positives come out of it.

“You make the argument, are we better off having less kids on a bus? They’re designed for 77, 65, 72, at max. Well, put three kids to a seat, you can imagine the problems you get on buses. The number of write-ups that we have for misbehaving students is drastically down,” Budzinski said.

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