BARRIE, ONT. -- With uncertainty heading into the new school year, the Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium is revealing its plan to keep children safe on their way to and from class.

There will be extra cleanings, masks, face shields and seating plans to help with contact-tracing.

“It will be twice daily for the enhanced sanitization, but there will be some extra cleaning of some of the high touch surfaces,” says consortium CEO John Barbato.

The consortium’s 800 drivers will be equipped with masks and face shields to be worn as students board and exit school buses. Drivers will also be responsible for ensuring students in grades four to 12 have their masks on and remain in their assigned seats.

As the Simcoe County District School Board works with the consortium to determine how 725 buses will be scheduled and filled, there is no guarantee physical distancing will be possible with close to 70 students onboard at any given time.

The school board expects to have a clearer picture next week of how many students will be returning to in-school learning and how many will ride the bus.

Last year, 36,000 students across the region rode the bus to school.