Upstate schools discussing transportation plans for school year, social distancing on the bus

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CLINTON, S.C. (WSPA) – Classroom plans are becoming more concrete for the upcoming school year but now superintendents are facing another issue. That’s getting your kids on and off the bus, while keeping them six feet apart.

Kingsley Cromer took a pause out of his busy day to check out a Clinton park. A place where he would like to bring his kids. Like all parents, he likes to keep a close eye on them. But he’s concerned about the upcoming school year, specifically the bus ride.

“My seven year old sucks his thumb all the time so that’s my biggest concern with him. Getting on the bus, getting off the bus, him grabbing the rail, sitting on the seats,” said Clinton Father of Five, Kingsley Cromer.

Not taking the bus isn’t an option for a lot of kids, especially in more rural areas.

“A lot of parents, we work so we don’t have a chance to take them to school so they have to get on the bus,” Cromer told 7 News.

It’s an issue the assistant superintendent with Laurens County School District 56 told us they’re trying to figure out now.

“If we have a bus that is over that 50% capacity, how are we going to logistically run that bus twice or possibly three times to accommodate the 50% cap? Those are the logistics we’re working through as we speak,” said the Assistant Superintendent of Operations with Laurens County School District 56, David Pitts.

He told us they’re still exploring different options like having additional routes. But once the bus gets to the school, he said, they’re left with a whole new hurdle to jump.

“In the past, our students have gathered in the gyms before reporting to first period or their first class, that no longer is a recommendation,” Pitts said.

Pitts said they’re talking about a way to fix that by students reporting directly to classrooms.

Leaders with Greenville County Schools told us they are sorting through similar logistics.

We talked with a handful of other school districts in the upstate about their transportation plan. In a lot of cases, school leaders are still trying to figure that out and are talking with parents to see what would make them comfortable to put their kids back on the bus.

Officials with Laurens County School District 56 told us they will be holding a virtual meeting Thursday morning to further discuss transportation.

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