WAREHAM – School district policy is no variances for student transportation this year.

In the past, such a variance would allow students to be dropped off somewhere other than home where they had been picked up in the morning, like the YMCA, Boys Club or daycare.

That’s been deemed less safe given COVID-19 restrictions since students would be mixing with different groups to make it work and it would also make less space available for the remaining students seeking transportation.

Given social distancing requirements, the district’s 77-passenger buses can only accommodate 25 passengers, or 32 percent capacity, stated Jamie Andrews, director of Facilities and Transportation, during Thursday’s School Committee meeting.

He had been saying that parents could apply for variances but that they could only be filled if space became available.

School member Michael Flaherty said that was a mixed-message confusing to parents and pointed to the committee’s opting to make variances prohibited to everyone this year.

Superintendent Kimberly Shaver-Hood said there hadn’t been a vote to that effect but that the committee had discussed ending variances for this school year for safety reasons and because other students would lose out on transportation.

If arrangements were made where the student was both picked up and left off at the same address, like the YMCA, Boys Club or daycare, an accommodation could be made, she said.

But the district wasn’t supporting picking up students at the home and dropping them off elsewhere later, she said.





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