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HCPSS Athletics and Transportation Updates, Sept. 5, 2023

September 5th, 2023

The following is a message sent by HCPSS Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano to HCPSS staff, students and families on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023:

I am proud of the way students and staff returned from the long weekend and handled today’s heat. I continually receive updates about the wonderful teaching, learning and supports that are taking place in our schools. Thank you to all of the staff, parents/guardians, and family members who are working so hard to make this school year a terrific experience for our students.

Tonight’s update contains information related to heat as well as transportation updates.

Afterschool Athletics

All outdoor athletics contests and practices are canceled for Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023.

Athletics and Activities Managers and coaches will communicate with teams if activities are able to be brought indoors. More information for the remainder of the week will be provided in a community message sent Wednesday.

An email related to transportation was sent on Monday and provided adjusted start times for athletic contests this week. We anticipate that those will take effect beginning Thursday, Sept. 7, unless further adjustments to the athletics schedule must be made.

Restored Bus Routes

We do not anticipate any additional routes being restored for Wednesday, Sept. 6th. Unfortunately, there were a number of drivers who did not report this morning and five morning routes had to be suspended. We want to be sure all current routes are covered before suspended routes are reinstated but do not expect the same number of cancellations to occur tomorrow.

Bus Delay Information

Reported bus delays are continuing to be posted online during the morning and afternoon commutes. Updates and FAQs also are posted to that page.

The HCPSS Office of Communications will continue to list buses that are delayed by 15+ minutes and information that is reported by transportation contractors.

Zum Transportation Driver Hiring

As of today, Zum Transportation has 31 pre-certified drivers in their hiring pipeline awaiting processing that includes background checks and drug testing. Additionally, 11 drivers will be testing for the Commercial Drivers License (CDL) this week and a new driver’s class for interested drivers who are currently without a CDL began this morning with 55 potential drivers in attendance.

This is a positive development to being sure all routes can be restored and covered for the duration of the school year.

School Breakfasts

The transportation delays have created challenges for students who wish to receive breakfast at school. To ensure that all students are fed, cafeterias will continue serving breakfast for an additional 15 minutes beyond normally scheduled time, and schools are working to implement grab-and-go options where delays greater than 15 minutes are being experienced.

Howard County Police Support

I greatly appreciate the support by Chief Der and the Howard County Police Department. Officers and other staff have stepped up to serve as crossing guards and to help coordinate traffic in areas of high congestion. Their professionalism and responsiveness have been exemplary, and they have served as a wonderful support for our students and schools. Thank you HCPD.

We continue to work toward solutions to our transportation problems and it is my expectation that the solutions will be successful and long-term.