GFPS bus survey due by Aug. 13

Parents of Great Falls Public Schools students are being asked to call the district transportation office or take the online survey regarding whether they intend to use the bus for the upcoming school year.

Responses are due by Aug. 13 by calling 268-6015 or online here.

The district’s bus system typically moves more than 5,200 students to 21 schools including early learning, elementary, middle and high schools.

GFPS offers update on school reopening plans, fall sports

GFPS officials have said that the plan remains flexible and will be adjusted as COVID-19 conditions evolve and with any new guidance from health agencies.

The district’s initial plan for bus transportation this year includes a seat limit with one student per seat, which has been approved by the Cascade County City-County Health Department to meet distancing protocols. Family members will be allowed to sit together in seats.

GFPS preparing to return to school in August

Masks are highly encouraged for students on the bus and the district will have them available on buses if necessary. Those loaned masks will be collected and laundered on a daily basis on each route, according to the GFPS plan.

“The mask protocol allows for maximum safe seating capacity on the bus,” according to GFPS’ initial plan. “We understand that there may be parents who may not agree with this standard. A logical option would be for parents to transport unmasked children.”

Hand sanitizer will be available on buses and it’s requested that students use it. There will be assigned seating to help with contact tracing if necessary.

Parents are asked to update their health plans for any student with health related issues and provide it to the school before the year starts so the district can make accomodations as necessary.

Routes will be adjusted to help with the required physical distancing and the time to use hand sanitizer. Bus stops that have a high volume of riders and are close to a school will be picked up and delivered separately to free up space for distancing.

According to GFPS, Big Sky Bus Lines has made operational changes including COVID-19 training; health screening; protective equipment; and increased cleaning.