Mayor Weighs in on Haverhill School Reopening Plans; Highlights Concerns Like 10-Pupil Bus Limit

Haverhill school bus. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini Thursday weighed in on the city’s school reopening plans, saying “safety” is the top priority and noting a 10-student limit on school buses as an obstacle.

In a video posted on social media Thursday afternoon, the chairman of the School Committee echoed comments school Superintendent Margaret Marotta made over WHAV this week.

“We don’t know yet if the plan will be remote, if it will be some hybrid of remote and in classroom, that it will be all in classroom, and that’s what we’re going to be working on,” he said.

The mayor said the school administration recognizes there are special needs students who cannot go back to school and some parents who aren’t comfortable sending their children back into the classroom.

The mayor outlined some of the questions that must be answered while assembling a plan.

“What happens—heaven forbid—if this virus comes back and there’s a second wave? How do we provide for the children who can’t get back to school, whose parents won’t send them back or don’t feel safe? How do we provide for children who don’t have transportation? How do we provide transportation? We’re going to be limited to no more than 10 kids per bus, and there won’t be enough buses. What do we do if some child gets sick? What do we do if a teacher gets sick?” The mayor asked.

Fiorentini said staff will be meeting and planning over the next few weeks, ready to meet a state deadline of the end of July or early August.

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