This is February school vacation week, which means parents get to spend 12 additional hours with their children. It’s time that can be spent going to the movies, visiting museums, traveling out of state — otherwise known as things you can’t do this year. At least the weather will be great. Moving on…
The town’s number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to drop. As of last Thursday, 76 residents were in isolation, which is down from 146 on Jan. 11. That’s the good news. The bad news is that town’s health officials remain frustrated at the lack of vaccine doses being shipped down the Southeast Expressway and Route 18. Like every other community, Abington has had to postpone all vaccination clinics indefinitely, much to the intense frustration of the town’s health and emergency response officials. The Board of Health this week will discuss sending a letter to Gov. Baker voicing their concerns with the state’s current distribution plan that seems to favor sports stadiums and for-profit businesses over municipalities and local hospitals.
We may have written about it this week…
Also, in case you missed it, Schools Superintendent Peter Schafer and Abington Education Association President Steve Shannon signed on to a letter penned by the South Shore Roundtable of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents asking Gov. Baker to allow teachers to get vaccinated immediately rather than waiting a couple additional months.
NATIONAL HONORS SOCIETY INDUCTION
Abington High School’s 50 best students were honored recently during the annual National Honors Society induction ceremony. This year’s ceremony was held virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It can now be viewed online.
Any parent or guardian with a child turning 5 on or before August 31, 2021 can now sign their child up for kindergarten. Registration is held on a rolling basis. Families can email registration paperwork to Beaver Brook Elementary School at BBESKReg@abingtonps.org, or fax it, or drop it off at the school. Registration packets were mailed to families in January, but are also available here. School officials ask that this information be shared with any friends/neighbors with 5-year-old children. Your child won’t be denied a space this fall if you don’t register now, but it is helpful for school administrators to know how many students that will have so they can start planning and coordinating.
FALL 2 SPORTS
Believe it or not, the high school football season is starting soon. Preparations are underway for the new Fall II season. Aside from football, this also includes volleyball, track, and cheerleading. Like with the Fall and Winter sports, Abington will play only a South Shore League schedule. Information for parents and players is available here.
The Finance Committee next week will continue its review of town department budgets for the fiscal year starting July 1. So far, no widespread cuts are being planned. But there won’t be much new spending either. If Abington escapes the pandemic’s economic impacts with just a couple flat budgets, we should be grateful.
(Editor’s note: If you really want to better understand Abington’s municipal government, we highly suggest checking out previous meetings. It’s a good way to spend two hours and come out smarter.)
People must be happy with the town’s leadership, because so far there are only two races shaping up for this year’s Town Elections. Three people have pulled papers for two seats on the Board of Selectmen, and two people have pulled papers for one seat on the Abington/Rockland Joint Water Works. But there’s currently only one person running for the two school committee seats.
Here’s a list of those who have pulled nomination papers so far: Alex Hagerty, Board of Selectmen; Christine Henrikson, Board of Selectmen; Tim Chapin, Board of Selectmen; Jaclyn Abrams, School Committee; Chris Schultz, Board of Health; Melissa Pond, Board of Health; Erik Henrikson, Sewer Commission; Bill Cormier, Water Commission; Richard Muncey, Water Commission; Ann Kent, Board of Assessors; Gail Bergin, Library Trustees; Henry DiCarlo, Library Trustees; Mary Gillis, Library Trustees; Jeff Rangel, Planning Board.
Those interested in running for municipal office can still contact the Town Clerk’s Office about picking up nomination papers (Town Hall is currently closed to the public but departments remain open and working). Town Clerk Leanne Adams can be reached by phone at (781) 982-2112, or via email at LMAdams@abingtonma.gov
Council on Aging, 6 p.m., Abington Senior Center. The agenda includes a report from senior center director Suzanne Djusberg.
Board of Health, 6 p.m., via Zoom. The agenda includes an update on COVID-19, any planned vaccination clinics, compost site fees, and an open letter to Gov. Baker regarding vaccination distributions.
School Committee, 5 p.m. The committee will meet in executive discussion to discuss ongoing collective bargaining with the Abington Education Association. The school committee’s next regular meeting open to the public is next week.
Board of Sewer Commissioners, 6 p.m. The board will discuss the upcoming sewer main replacement project.