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COVID-19 Transportation Resources and Q & A
CDE's top priority is the health and safety of all students, educators and communities in Colorado. The department has compiled school transportation-related resources below to help provide guidance to schools and districts during this time.
COVID-19 School Transportation Q & A
Jump to a section:
- Annual Inspection Exemptions
- Drug and Alcohol Testing
- Annual Driving Performance and Pre-Trip Evaluations
- In-service requirements for the 2020-2021 school year
- Required Evacuation Drills
- CDC Recommended Signage
What procedures should we consider for cleaning and disinfecting school buses before and after they are returned to service?
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have resources that provide guidance on safe, effective materials and procedures for cleaning and disinfecting school facilities, including school buses.
Generally, current guidance recommends cleaning and then disinfecting high-touch surfaces at least daily on buses that are in service, using common cleaning products, followed by approved disinfectants. When possible, workers should use personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, gowns, eye protection, and masks.
What are the bus manufacturer recommendations regarding bus cleaning?
Bus manufacturers have posted comprehensive school bus cleaning and sanitizing/disinfecting procedures on its website, including specific recommendations for the types of products that may be used on different bus interior surfaces without damaging them. Avoiding degradation of bus interior materials, such as safety belts and seat covers, is an important consideration.
Has CDE approved any extensions to the Annual Inspection requirements for vehicles transporting students?
Yes, Pursuant to 1 CCR 301-26, rule 10.00 school districts, charter schools, and service providers must ensure that school transportation vehicles have an annual inspection conducted by a CDE certified annual inspector. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it may not be feasible for districts, charter schools, and service providers to perform annual inspections in a timely manner. On March 23, 2020, CDE granted an exemption for annual inspections, extending the annual renewals until August 30, 2020. At this time, CDE is granting a three-month extension past the current annual inspection due date. This exemption replaces and supersedes the exemption provided on March 23, 2020. For example, a vehicle that had an annual inspection completed in July 2019 would normally be required to complete a new annual inspection no later than July 31, 2020. This exemption would permit a threemonth extension to that date requiring that the new annual inspection be completed no later than October 31, 2020. The Annual Inspector Re-Certification Process will remain the same. Annual Inspectors will be required to maintain their certifications to perform annual inspections. If you are an annual inspector and your certification will expire prior to August 30, 2020, contact Fred Stewart at Stewart_f@cde.state.co.us for 303-866-6655 for re-certification testing material.
I want to become a CDE Annual Inspector, can I do that now ?
Unfortunately, you cannot. The process requires in-person contact, so it is not currently available.
We will advise districts as soon as this available and also post it on the CDE Transportation website.
What is required of districts that have CDL Operators enrolled in random drug and alcohol testing?
Please refer to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCS) (PDF)) regarding all questions pertaining to drug and alcohol testing.
Random Controlled substance and alcohol testing determination https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/emergency/notice-enforcement-discretion-determination-random-controlled-substance-and-alcoholReturn to Top
Our school stopped in-person instruction prior to the end of the school year, and we were unable to completed the required driving performance and pre-trip tests/evaluations for our drivers. What do we do?
CDE has provided an exemption - Route Operators Annual Driving Performance Test Pursuant to 1 CCR 301-26, rule 5.01(g), rule 5.02(h), and rule 5.03(i), school transportation vehicle operators must successfully pass a driving performance test prior to transporting students and annually thereafter. Following the suspension of in-person learning during the spring 2020, some may not have been able to complete driving performance tests for some school transportation vehicle operators. Therefore, districts are exempt from conducting annual driving performance tests from March 2020 through June 2020 for current school transportation vehicle operators. Districts, charter schools or service providers will be required to place documentation in each driver qualification file for the operators that did not receive their annual driving performance test.
1 CCR 301-26 requires that districts provide as minimum of 6 hours of in-service annually. How can we do that if we can not meet with all of our staff at one time? Does the online training we provided to our staff when our schools closed this spring due to COVID 19 count toward in-service hours?
CDE has approved an exemption - Six-hour In-service requirement Pursuant to 1 CCR 301-26, rule 5.01(e) and rule 5.02(f), school transportation vehicle operators shall receive a minimum of six hours of in-service training annually. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it may not be feasible for districts, charter schools, or service providers to meet the in-service training requirement in the typical classroom setting. Additionally, many districts provided school transportation vehicle operators with training following the suspension of in-person instruction earlier this spring. Therefore, districts, charter schools or service providers are exempt from the six-hour in-service training requirement for the 2020-2021 school year to the extent that applicable training was provided to school transportation vehicle operators during the spring of 2020. As such, in-service training requirements can be met with training taken from March 2020 through June 2021. Consistent with 1 CCR 301-26, rule 4.02, training documentation must include the trainer name, date of training, description of training, duration of each topic covered, and the signature of attendees. For online training courses, documentation can be provided collectively or individually, as appropriate. Electronic signatures or other evidence of individual participation is acceptable in lieu of attendee signatures for online courses
We were unable to complete the required 2 evacuation drills prior to our school closing last spring due to COVID 19, What do we do?
Also, due to the CDC recommendations we are to practice safe distancing, how should we conduct rear door evacuations if students are not advised to touch each other?
CDE has approved an exemption and guidance for the 2020-21 school year - Emergency Evacuation Drills Pursuant to 1 CCR 301-26 rule 18.01, emergency evacuation drills must be conducted with students at least twice during each school year; once in the fall and once in the spring. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it may not have been feasible for districts, charter schools or service providers to conduct these drills in the spring 2020 due to the suspension of in-person learning due to COVID-19. Emergency evacuation documentation should indicate that the Spring 2020 evacuation drill was not conducted due to the suspension of in-person instruction as a result of COVID-19. Additionally, in light of the public health requirements which may be in place during the upcoming school year, districts, charter schools or service providers should consider conducting front door evacuation drills and also providing instruction for evacuations conducted via all remaining emergency exits. Emergency instructions, pursuant to 1 CCR 301-26, rule 18.02, requiring emergency evacuation instructions prior to departure for students on school related events shall remain in effect.
Is it REQUIRED that districts place signage on school buses about the signs and symptoms that students should not have prior to boarding the bus? Where are we permitted to put this signage?
No, it is NOT REQUIRED, it is recommended. CDE has given some COVID 19 Signage Pre-Approvals