Pioneer School Committee discusses bus sanitation, return prep

Staff Writer
Published: 9/15/2020 2:22:31 PM

NORTHFIELD — With special population students scheduled to return to Pioneer Valley Regional School District schools this week ahead of the rest of the student body, the F.M. Kuzmeskus bus company plans to use a new sanitation method to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Director of Finance Tanya Gaylord spoke about the sanitation system, which was developed by BETE Fog Nozzle of Greenfield, during a regularly scheduled School Committee meeting last week.

The new method can fill a bus with a cloud of disinfectant in three to five minutes. The solution, which is reportedly “food safe,” takes 15 to 20 minutes to dry, but only five minutes to kill germs. F.M. Kuzmeskus may also use the technology to combat other seasonal illnesses, like the cold or flu.

“This is something that we funded for our 11 busses through our CARES Act,” Gaylord said. “We funded it at $650 a unit for the 11 busses that our school district uses.”

School Committee member Mike Townsley requested that the safety data sheet (SDS), which lists the chemicals in the sanitizer, be on file in the Superintendent’s Office.

In addition to securing safe transportation for students who return to school this week, Gaylord said the district is also preparing for the next model of education. She said staff are “chugging along with grants” and working to order supplies to get the schools up and running.

Speaking later in the meeting, School Committee member Abigail Pratt and Superintendent Jonathan Scagel commented on the plan to reassess a transition back to in-person education after three weeks. Pratt said the School Committee will not reassess the transition, but rather it will be Scagel, Dr. Ruth Potee, Nurse Carla Simpson and other school nurses, and principals. Scagel noted the local boards of health will also be involved in the decision.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at or 413-930-4579.

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