ADAMS COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - COVID-19 has not only changed how students learn inside the classroom, but it also changed the way many of them get to and from school.
Students at North Adams High School and Elementary have been back in the classroom for about a week now.
Not only are the students experiencing different procedures, but bus drivers like Dan Haslam are also doing things differently nowadays.
For 20 years, he has been driving students to and from school.
This is the first of those years though he has had to wear a face shield.
But even the pandemic couldn’t slow this Adams County Ohio Valley School District bus driver down.
“Most of the kids are a joy to be around,” he explained. “That was one of the reasons why I didn’t want to retire like the 13 that did.”
Danny, as the kids call him, knows his job is more important now than ever.
Just like districts elsewhere, there are changes he enforces to keep students safe in the COVID-19 pandemic while on the bus.
“Everyone has assigned seats,” he says. “Two to a seat, 54 kids would be the max.”
Normally, buses could fit around 80 students.
Both North Adams High School and Elementary students would ride together in years past.
Now they are taken on separate routes.
“We go get the high schoolers first. We drop them off,” Haslam explained. “Then we go back and get the elementary kids and drop them off.”
Masks are also mandatory, and he makes this rule very clear.
As students step on the bus to start and end their school day, masks and fewer students are key elements to ensure a safe bus ride.
Another step bus drivers are taking is they clean and disinfect buses between routes.