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Ozark Adding 7 Buses to Fleet

Ozark School District is excited to announce that the Transportation Department has added seven buses to its fleet for the 2020-21 school year. 

“This is going to allow us more resources to better serve students,” Transportation Director Dean Wake said. “Ultimately, this will help us reduce the number of students on our regular bus routes, which is always a positive thing, but certainly this school year in light of COVID-19.” 

The District leased three new small buses, which hold up to 30 students, and purchased four pre-owned regular-size buses, which hold up to 71 students. 

The three small buses were acquired through a state reimbursement program, which will pay 100 percent of the lease on the new buses — no cost to the District. These buses will be utilized for Tiger Paw Early Childhood Center allowing the District to shift three regular-size buses into the general route. 

The four regular-size buses were added through a regular budget item. However, purchasing pre-owned buses — all with less than 30,000 miles — gives the District more bang for its buck. For the price of two new buses, Ozark purchased four pre-owned buses. 

Having additional buses, and thus more space for students, is just one way the Transportation Department is working to keep students and staff safe when school starts Aug. 20. Bus riders will be strongly encouraged to wear a mask, and disposable masks will be available when a student enters the bus. Student family members will be asked to share seats, and buses will be disinfected after each route.

“Drivers will disinfect between the secondary and elementary routes and again between the morning and afternoon routes,” Wake said. “All of our bus drivers are trained on cleaning procedures, and buses are held to the same high cleaning standards as the classrooms.”

Parents are also encouraged to drop off/pick up students to help decrease the number of students on the school bus. 

“While none of these precautions will prevent the spread of COVID-19 by themselves, all of them combined will help minimize possible spread,” Wake said. “We are excited to have these additional buses and we appreciate the support of our families to make this coming school year safe.”

new buses

Pictured are two of the three 30-passenger buses the District purchased through a state reimbursement program. The District also purchased four regular-size buses that hold up to 71 students.