Home to School/School to Home Bus Transportation
“Home to School/School to Home” buses will have limited student capacity, and transportation guidelines for safety are intentionally designed to be structured and restrictive. For the families who need bus transportation, we will be providing it only to and from each student’s designated bus stop.
The following diagram illustrates a seating plan for a standard-sized 77-passenger school bus at the recommended 32% capacity.
Due to the listed constraints, we will be unable this year to continue our prior practices of permitting students to travel on different buses and providing transportation to locations such as Patton Park, the Community House, or the library.
According to the DESE bus transportation health and implementation expectations:
"All persons (regardless of age) on the bus and waiting at the bus stops are required to wear masks that cover the nose and mouth at all times and to follow distancing requirements...Bus driver assignments will remain as consistent as possible."
Bus windows will be kept open at all times during operation, with the exception of extreme weather conditions.
Masks should be provided by the student/family, but buses will be provided with extra disposable masks should a student need one.
All students will be assigned to a single bus and to an assigned seat. Students from the same household may sit together.
Students will be expected to face forward at all times and refrain from eating or sharing items.
If children become sick during the day, they will not be permitted to travel home on the school bus.
Arrival and Departure
Each school may modify its drop-off and pick-up schedules and procedures as necessary. Schools may stagger drop-off and pick-up times, designate entrances by grade level and classroom, and modify pedestrian, car, and bus traffic flow to and from school.
Given the restrictions of bus capacity being reduced by 68% under guidelines published by the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District recommends that parents plan for alternative modes of transportation to and from school.
"Walking School Bus” -A walking school bus (WSB) is a safe and fun way for children to get physical activity as they travel to and from school with adult supervision. Each “bus” walks along a set route with one or more adults leading it, picking children up at designated stops along a predetermined route and walking them to school. The process is reversed in the afternoons on the way home. It is that simple. Some families may have already done this with their children and would be happy to help more students get to school in this healthy, safe, and fun way.
Walk & Bike to School - Walking and bicycling to school enables children to incorporate the regular physical activity they need each day while also forming healthy habits that can last a lifetime. Regular physical activity helps children build strong bones, muscles, and joints, and it decreases the risk of obesity. In contrast, insufficient physical activity can contribute to chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children and adolescents get one hour or more of physical activity each day. Research suggests that physically active kids are more likely to become healthy, physically of developing the habit of regular physical activity early.