- School Committee
Andover School Committee
About the School Committee
The Andover School Committee consists of five members who are elected town-wide, each to three year terms. The terms are staggered so that no more than two seats are set to expire with the Andover town election each March. Per Committee policy, the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Committee are voted by the current members at the first regular meeting after the town election.
Local School Committees derive their authority and responsibilities from the Massachusetts Constitution, from Massachusetts General Law (primarily M.G.L. Chapters 71 and 41, and The Education Reform Act of 1993), and from the regulations of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
The primary responsibilities of the School Committee are: to select and evaluate the Superintendent; to review and approve budgets for public education in the district, and to recommend those budgets for approval by Andover Town Meeting; and to establish educational goals and policies for the schools in the district. (See M.G.L. Ch. 71. S. 37.)
Andover School Committee members work on these important initiatives at public meetings and in full view of the community. Members are also assigned to number of sub-committee and liaison roles, and typically bring this work back to the full committee for discussion and action.
School Committee Meetings
|COVID-19 UPDATE: Beginning March 16, 2020 and until further notice, all School Committee meetings will be held virtually and in accordance Governor Baker’s Executive Order modifying certain requirements of the Open Meeting Law, to enable public bodies to carry out their responsibilities while adhering to public health recommendations regarding social distancing. Meetings are still available for live viewing on public access television and using the AndoverTV livestream.|
Business meetings of the Andover School Committee are typically held at 7:00 PM on the first and third Thursdays of each month. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. Meetings are held in the School Committee room on the second floor of the school offices. The address for the building is technically 36R Bartlet Street, but the building shares an entrance with the Senior Center on Whitter Court. (Please use designated school office parking as to not take spots from those participating in Senior Center activities.)
Meetings follow Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, including requirement for notice of and agenda for meetings to be posted to the Town of Andover website at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting (excluding weekends and holidays).
You can sign up to receive posting notices by email or text using the NotifyMe tool on the town website. More descriptive agendas with materials supporting meeting discussions are posted separately to the district website.
AndoverTV records and broadcasts meetings. You can watch them live on the education channel of Andover public access television (Comcast channel 99 and Verizon channel 43) or by livestreaming from the AndoverTV website. Replays can be viewed from the AndoverTV archive and, once approved, meeting minutes are posted to the district website.
Feedback to the School Committee
School Committee members recognize their responsibility to reflect the diverse needs and wishes of the community. All members of the Andover community are encouraged to contact the School Committee with questions or concerns. There are a number of ways to provide feedback on issues under the purview of the School Committee:
Send an Email:
Emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org will reach all five members of the Committee.
You can also email members directly:
- Lauren Conoscenti: email@example.com
- Susan McCready, Vice Chairperson: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Paul Murphy: email@example.com
- Tracey Spruce: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Shannon Scully, Chairperson: email@example.com
Each School Committee member will read your email, and the Chairperson of the Committee will respond as soon as possible. If the School Committee is not the agent to address your concern, we will direct you to the appropriate resource.
Provide Comment at Regular Business Meetings:
The public can provide input at two opportunities during business meetings.
First, each regular meeting includes public comment as an agenda item. During this time, individuals are given an opportunity to express an opinion on issues within the School Committee’s authority. School Committee policy BEDH and policy BEDH-E go into further detail on the process for public input, including time limitations and appropriate topics.
Please note that, per Open Meeting Law, the Committee cannot deliberate on topics that are not on a posted the agenda because that does not give the community proper notice of such a discussion. Therefore, the Committee will not be able to discuss or have a back-and-forth dialogue about items raised during public comment. Where warranted, items raised during public comment can be added to future agendas.
Second, feedback on posted agenda items is encouraged at business meetings in order to inform decisions. Typically, the public is asked to wait until the meeting comes to each particular agenda item to hear feedback on it as part of the discussion.
|COVID-19 UPDATE: Beginning March 16, 2020 and until further notice, all School Committee meetings will be held virtually.The Committee encourages feedback for public comment and on agenda items to be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org. This email box will be monitored before and during the meeting so that feedback and questions can be heard at appropriate points. Please include your name and address when sending email.|
Attend Informal Forums:
Much like “office hours,” these events allow for a more interactive dialogue than what is allowed at business meetings. These meetings have no set agenda, are attended by only two members of the Committee (as to stay below quorum and, therefore, avoid deliberation), and are typically held on the top floor of Memorial Hall Library. All members of the Andover community are welcome and encourage to attend to discuss any item under the purview of the School Committee.
Informal forums typically take place monthly during the school year and are offered at various times (weekend mornings, weekday mornings, and weeknights).
|COVID-19 UPDATE: As of March 16, 2020, Informal Forums have been canceled for the remainder of the 2019/2020 school year. New dates will be scheduled when distancing guidelines allow in-person meetings.|