Bus driver talks new protocols for upcoming school year

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — Durham School Services with Lubbock Independent School District said they have new protocols for the upcoming school year and that they will be following the Texas Education Agency (TEA) guidelines to ensure the safety of each student.

Portia Lethridge, a bus driver for Durham School Services, said she cannot wait for the new school year to start.

“It’s nothing like getting up early in the morning, sometimes I’m the first face they see,” Lethridge said, “Some of my kids when they get on the school bus because their parents have already gone to work, so it’s just very rewarding.”

Lethridge said one of the main differences on the bus would be the seating arrangements. Due to social distancing, she said each student would be sat in a seat by themselves unless they are seated next to a family member. A bus with a capacity to sit 71 students will now seat 27 students.

Lethridge said although the protocols are new for students, she’s confident students will adjust well.

“One thing about challenges is we have to be positive,” Lethridge said, “I believe as drivers, if we come in positive and excited, our kids will get on board.”

Laura Cortez, general manager at Durham School Services, said that sanitizing will also be ramped up and that they will be using disinfectant A-4562, which she said is used in the school districts and hospitals.

In addition, Cortez said children in fourth grade and up would be required to wear masks on the bus.

Cortez said parents should know Durham School Services is taking precautionary measures and utilizing measures to keep children safe.

“Our first and ultimate goal is the safety of the kids,” Cortez said. “[With] all the communications we have been getting from LISD knowing everything they’re doing to keep everyone safe and knowing everything we are doing to keep everyone safe. Your kids are in good hands.”

Cortez also said they are always in need of bus drivers. For more information call Durham School Services at (806) 219-0780.

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