School buses will soon be rolling through Haverhill.
Yesterday, the school administration published the bus routes for this year. School Assistant Superintendent Michael Pfifferling reminded the School Committee last night that because of social distancing and other COVID-19 restrictions, coming up with a schedule was a puzzle and, for the first time, requires students have a bus pass in order to ride.
“A tremendous amount of work has been put in getting us the information we need as far as cohorts and who needs bus passes. There are two different types of bus passes. One is a cohort A bus pass. Those are bus passes for transportation on Monday and Tuesday and a cohort B bus pass, which is good for transportation on Thursday and Friday. Students who go Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday will be issued two bus passes,” he explained.
Pfifferling said about 3,000 passes have been printed and are available for pickup now. He acknowledged not all parents and students will be able to pick them up before Monday, however, so there will be some leniency during the first week.
Christine Valcourt of NRT, the company that provides school bus transportation for the city, explained what steps that company was taking to safeguard the students who will be riding.
“We are fogging the buses daily with a 24-hour disinfectant. We have put markings on the seats so we are one student staggered per seat. The school department is supplying us with spare masks for students that don’t have any, so those will be in every bus along with hand sanitizer and cleaning equipment for spills. Social distancing is being watched at bus stops and I’ve got to tell you, the whole team can’t wait to get back to work,” she said.
Valcourt said the company’s safety department also put together a video on school bus safety and procedures, which the assistant superintendent said will be posted on the Haverhill Public Schools website along with all of the bus routes and schedules.