PTOs thanked for vaccination assistance; School Committee approves recommended $61.4 million budget

March 16, 2021 by Carol Britton Meyer

The Hingham All-Town PTO Adopt-an-Educator/School Staff Vaccination Program was a huge success.

Supt. of Schools Paul Austin and School Committee Chair Kerry Ni thanked the volunteers who helped make vaccination appointments last week and into this past weekend for more than 120 Hingham Public Schools faculty and staff members in the wake of Gov. Charlie Baker's March 3 announcement that educators and school staff would be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines as of March 11.

Participation was voluntary, and any staff member could sign up to have a volunteer search for, and set up, vaccination appointments for them. While the program has officially ended, a volunteer will still attempt to schedule an appointment if a staff member reaches out.

The program was initiated by HPS parent Priya Howell and co-coordinated by Howell and Hingham High School PTO Co-President Joshua Ross. PTOs from all six schools participated.

"I want to thank the PTOs for this tremendous effort," Ni said during last night's remote Committee meeting. "They certainly went above and beyond." This included the middle and high school advisory committees, including two physicians -- Dr. David Del Sesto (high school) and Dr. Sush Prusty (middle school).

Austin echoed Ni's appreciation. "We're well on our way [to getting our educators and staff vaccinated]," he said. "We're very excited about that."

In other business at the meeting, the School Committee unanimously approved the school administration's recommended Fiscal 2022 budget of $61,362,019 -- representing an 8.16 percent increase over the current year's budget -- including COVID-19 recovery expenses.

This budget represents a $1.1 million reduction from the initial proposal. The Selectmen and Advisory Committee will vote on the school budget at future meetings. Town Meeting has the final say.

The in-the-works creation of a long-term strategic plan for the HPS will in part provide a guide for the future and an opportunity for school officials to assess HPS's resources and how to best put them to good use.

For full budget details, visit the School Committee link on the HPS website.

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