Windows open, when Montgomery Co. buses resume carrying students to schools

Maximizing physical distancing by seating students in every other seat isn’t the only COVID-19 safety precaution being weighed by local school systems and they prepare for transporting students to school — many will open the bus windows.

“When we resume transporting students to school, it will be with windows open,” said Todd Watkins, transportation director for Montgomery County Public Schools.

“We will be running heat also in cold weather and A/C (in those buses so equipped), but unless something changes drastically in the health guidance, it will definitely be with windows open.”

In the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for reopening school systems, the CDC suggested disinfection of bus surfaces, seating children one student per row facing forward and skipping rows between students, and wearing masks.

Drivers can open bus windows to increase circulation of outdoor air, but should ensure that doing so does not pose a safety or health risk (e.g., risk of falling).

Montgomery County, like most counties in the region, will re-evaluate later in autumn whether distance learning will continue into the school year’s second semester, in January 2021.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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