SPECIAL COVERAGE ON THE CORONAVIRUS
As Start of School Approaches, HPS Finalizing Transportation Plans
By: Greg Lane, Hingham Current Staff, September 14, 2020
Hingham Middle School Survey Introduction
Many of Hingham’s students rely on taking the bus to school.
How that will work this year, when the school district is trying to find ways to make sure students are socially distanced to prevent spread of COVID-19, is still unclear.
Due to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) COVID-19 Guidance on transportation, the district has had to rethink their bus routes to ensure they are transporting students in a safely manner.
During a School Committee meeting last week, Superintendent Paul Austin announced publicly for the first time that the district would only be able to provide bus transportation to students in kindergarten through grade 6, as mandated by Massachusetts due to DESE's guidance on transportation.
With the start of hybrid learning model in a couple of weeks, district administrators are still unsure how many students will be riding the buses to school.
To help the schools know what transportation is necessary, the district distributed a survey at the beginning of last week. The survey was intended to inform the district how many students to expect for in-person learning and aid in planning of bus routes for the opening of school on September 28th.
“We understand that families are anxious to have bus route information, and are working hard to get this to you,” said Hingham Middle School Principal Derek Smith in a recent email to parents.
Hingham is in the “green” designation under the state DHS COVID-19 safety scale, which occurred on Wednesday. It is unclear what will happen with buses if the town slides into the yellow or red zone.
The Hingham School Committee voted on August 6th to delay the start date of school a couple of weeks - to this Wednesday - partly to make sure the buses were ready to bring students to school.