Wow, this school year sure did start off quick. It’s already October and we have been in the constant process of reviewing the bus routes as more and more students are in need of services due in part to parental schedule changes. It definitely has been challenging and we appreciate your flexibility.
Our schools and communities have been doing well with the state and local regulations surrounding in person learning and we are fortunate to be in an area with very low COVID rates. We have been discussing the increased ridership needs and will after much discussion with administration, medical experts and Hanover Town Health Officer, be evolving from the original plan of 1 student to a seat unless there is familial relationship. The Vermont and New Hampshire regulations both allow for 2 students to a seat as long as masks are being worn, a practice that we will be moving towards with a couple of caveats. If students are travelling 15 minutes in transit or less to their stop, they may be asked to sit together and every effort will be made to place them with a cohort classmate. If students are travelling more than 15 minutes, they will only be placed with a cohort classmate or an approved neighborhood, family friend. If we begin experiencing any higher local infection rates, we will need to revisit the plan and possibly make changes to be sure and accommodate students who live further distances from the schools.
We are working on changing and redirecting some of the following routes (H-1, H-5 and H-7) due to length of ride, pick up times and space needs, the adjusted routes and times will be posted and emailed to those of you affected by tomorrow end of day and we hope to make the changes for a Tuesday, October 6thstart.
The Marion Cross to Hanover High School/Richmond Middle School morning transfer process will also be changing. Effective Monday October 5th, we will be using a direct bus from the Girard Way bus lane location leaving at 7:30 am sharp heading to the Hanover High School and the Richmond Middle School – you will be notified if this is going to be your bus. We need to make this change in order to accommodate students who are riding from remote homes in Norwich into our schools. If we begin arriving too late, we will adjust the pickup time. Students cannot just hop on any bus; all seats are assigned in order to track who is riding and when.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding in these unusual times.
Jamie Teague, Karen Wright, Shannon Howe, SAU 70 & Mike Gaudette, along with the Team at Student Transportation of America/Vermont