January 4, 2021
Dear APS Families,
With this letter, I write to tell you how honored I am to begin service as the interim superintendent for Andover Public Schools for the next six months. I return to the district that I care about deeply at a difficult time, as COVID-19 surges, and with important projects underway. Despite the many challenges, I begin the work with enthusiasm and commitment to supporting our students in every way possible while continuing to move our district forward.
The most important task I have is ensuring the health, safety and welfare of all students and staff in our schools. This task always has to come first, and is especially important this year, given the pandemic and recent news of a particularly contagious strain of the virus. And right behind this task, is exploring ways of getting our students and teachers back to school - in person, five days a week. I know how difficult these last 10 months have been for our families, as you attempt to help your child(ren) attend school virtually, while working remotely yourself, or providing childcare as you leave home for jobs elsewhere. I know some of you have lost jobs and are now looking for work. And honestly, I know some of you are worried about the lack of financial resources to feed the family. These are terrifically difficult times.
Some of you are both parents and educators, so the push and pull you are experiencing is especially challenging. Teaching virtually is a daunting task, so I know educators are as eager as the students to be back at school. You are concerned about mental health issues your children are experiencing. We know that school is the safest place, but will schools remain safe if we are able to adjust any of the protocols in place in order to get everyone back? I live in Andover, so I know how difficult this time has been for all of you and how exhausted you are.
I am looking into the best ways for you and me to engage in conversations, so that I hear firsthand the challenges you are experiencing, and most importantly your ideas about how we can keep our students and staff safe, while getting everyone back to school. I look forward to listening to you, to thinking creatively, and to exploring fully all possibilities.
Let’s commit to working together. I look forward to that engagement.
Claudia L. Bach, Ed.D.
About Dr. Bach:
Claudia Bach’s career spans over 20 years with experience in management, strategic planning, and analysis in public education. Dr. Bach served as the superintendent of Andover Public Schools from 1998-2010, and was a Lecturer on Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), teaching a course entitled, Managing Negotiations. She was the Director of Education Policy, Preparation and Leadership for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) from 2010-2015. Formerly, she served as the superintendent of the Milton-Freewater Public School District from 1995-1998. Currently, Dr. Bach serves on the Education Pioneers Alumni Board of Greater Boston and the Alumni Council of HGSE. Additionally, she is a consultant for Empower Success Corps (ESC) in Greater Boston. She is a proud founding member of Andover Tomorrow, a citizen’s initiative that sponsored the creation of the Historic Mill District.