Massachusetts Association Of Pupil Transportation, Drew, Damian discussed on Radio Boston
Their two schools on time so drew. I'm kind of trying to figure out how to feel about this on the one hand. I'm wondering should. I feel particularly heartbroken because the shortage is for drivers of buses for kids who have special needs or should i feel particularly encouraged that the top priority was to provide drivers for buses. That support kids. Who have special needs. Do you understand my question. Absolutely i'm i'm as i said before looking at the glass as half-full i think that the opportunity that has been placed before us now Is an opportunity for us to resume our trip to normalcy. We are now going to be able to say to families as a superintendent said who are concerned about getting their children to school and getting their children to school on time We can now say we are providing a service and i truly believe Knowing the registry of motor vehicles staff myself and how they do their training knowing how companies in this commonwealth including in our t. Do their training that. We are in good hands. I think what's going to come of. This is besides the fact that we are going to Be able to get some kids to school that that would otherwise have to suffer with either no transportation on late or inefficient transportation. I think what's going to happen. Is we're going to create new relationships and we are going to create a new found A do found importance in doing the job of getting kids to and from school every day. I think people now will understand that school day is in fact from the time. The child boards the bus until the time. The child gets home all type a successful school day. We are talking to drew. Damian who is president of the massachusetts association of pupil transportation and superintendent only a beta of chelsea public schools So superintendent a beta now. When will there be regular drivers for lack of a better phrase back in those buses. Is there an end game here. An point here there is we. We have signed You know an agreement and basically what we're saying is we're Until december and so hopefully that gives us enough time or nrt and have time to recruit drivers and Hopefully we'll this will be just the gap. You know the amount of time that we need. I imagine that if if not then we can reassess and drew are the everyday drivers. The people who've been driving along handling this reacting to do they take on extra responsibilities do they. How are they feeling about it. What are you hearing. So you know drivers across the state are You know like everyone. A little bit Surprised at the action however again they they Applaud moving children's safely and efficiently school. They're looking for this to be to be a help. And i know To feed off the superintendent just mentioned that Across the state we are going to be seeing some pretty big Outlays of time and funding to recruit drivers going forward. And what's the long game here drew. How do we get ourselves out of this situation permanently well. I think that we're going to have to be very creative And one of the things that that we have to do is as i said you recruit people into the programs get them in and it may take some pretty Herculean efforts we may have to look at Benefit packages and pay packages especially as we look at the overall effect of people who are working in when not working. Jerry the pandemic We have to look at things totally differently than we ever did before. But i think we're up to it. I think massachusetts is resilient with strong. And i think we'll be one of the states to Emerged i As we always have in school bus transportation we we have one of the best programs in the country and superintendent of. Who's the kid the family that you're picturing in the back of your head that you thought about when you found out thank goodness. We're going to have some help here. Well thought of our families and most of our students who have been in school haven't been in school. A lot of our students with special needs opted to stay home for the entire year during there during last year. So i was thinking we have to. Our schools are open. We have to get doing to school. It's important in it's it to me. It's an emergency And so we worked so hard to bring our students back with cova mitigation strategies. We finally are in school. And i want every student to be in school And i want every soon to get picked up on time and in the liver to school on time. And i think that's so important and that bus ride is important. It's important for families. It's important for our students and so at some of the superintendents that i've talked to like my superintendent colleagues and low will. I texted him. I said i. I guess we're thinking out of the box to and he's like at all costs and that's how we feel about it at all costs and we do whatever we can to make sure that our since receive the services that they need all right. That is superintendent obata of chelsea public schools. Thank you you're welcome. Andrew damian director of transportation facility rental at palmer public schools in president of the massachusetts association of pupil transportation drew. Thanks to you too. Thanks so much. It just got easier. And more affordable for some trans and non binary residents to get gender affirming healthcare in massachusetts. That's thanks to changes by mass health. Effective september first they issued updates to what's considered medically necessary in gender affirming healthcare. And that means they have expanded. What mass health will cover here to talk more about these changes in coverage and what they could mean for our trans a non binary communities is dallas do car. She's a nurse practitioner and ceo of the organization trans health northampton which provides physical and mental health services to trans non binary gender diverse children and adults dallas. Thanks for joining us. Welcome to radio boston afternoon. Tci happy to be here. So dallas these changes in coverage include. I'm just gonna give some examples. Breast reduction surgery genital surgery speech language. Therapy how important are these changes. The ones that went into effect beginning of september. Four trans non binary residence while these. These changes are just really really important. And i wanna have a big thanks here to the trans health. Workgroup at mass health must hope us as these guidelines as you said to determine what care is deemed medically necessary and paid for and these gender affirming services. Really are lifesaving. Medicine right the improve mental health and they also save lives so by being able to cover many of these areas and also increased reimbursement. We're able to really expand care to the people who need it most and really ensure that they trans spokes general gender diverse folks and now binary folks are just able to get this lifesaving care and they don't have to deal with the financial hurdles that often have huge mental health impacts on individuals so dallas. So you've you've just put out the importance of it. So the next thing i want to understand is these changes are they. Incremental changes the next phase in a state. That's very forward thinking or is this tectonic shift in coverage for.