Haverhill Schools Bring Back Field Trips, But Getting Buses May Remain a Problem

Haverhill school bus. (WHAV News file photograph.)

School field trips for Haverhill students will become a reality once again, as COVID-19 infections continue to drop significantly in the city.

The Haverhill School Committee voted last night to reinstate field trips again, following a two-year suspension.  School Superintendent Margaret Marotta told the Committee with coronavirus cases down and student home testing taking place, now might be the right time to bring field trips back. She admitted, however, there may be transportation issues.

“We have very limited buses, but provided that we were able to get the children to the field trips, would the School Committee be interested in returning field trips to our curriculum?” She asked.

The Committee voted 4-0 in favor of reinstating the program. Committee members Gail M. Sullivan and Toni Sapienza-Donais and Mayor James J. Fiorentini were absent.

Committee members also considered whether a ban on visitors to schools should be rescinded. While there was agreement allowing visitors back into schools is appropriate at this point, Committee member Paul A. Magliocchetti questioned whether the opening process should come slowly.

“I’m for opening up, but I’m for doing it in a methodical way. I don’t think you just open up and say okay, we’re open for business,” he explained.

The superintendent responded school principals would look carefully at any visitation requests and consider them on a case-by-case basis.

Members voted 3-1 in favor with Magliocchetti as the lone dissenting vote.

In a separate matter, the Committee voted 4-0 to again submit a Statement of Interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority Core Program seeking the rebuilding the John Greenleaf Whittier School. Committee member Richard J. Rosa explained the deadline for submissions this year is April 28 and the request must be voted on by the School Committee and City Council before that.

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