COVID-19 Information for the 2021-22 School Year
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley recently announced new at-home COVID-19 testing options.
Andover Public Schools will be participating in this new At-Home testing program. DESE will begin delivery of test kits the weeks of January 24 for staff and January 31, 2022, for students. Once we have the tests on-hand, we will notify staff and families when they can anticipate test kits. Kits will be distributed at school buildings.
Students and staff who participate will receive one kit every two weeks to test themselves – each kit contains 2 tests and each individual should test once per week. Individuals can choose which day they would like to administer their weekly test, based on needs or symptoms.
For additional information on DESE's At-Home Covid-19 testing program; click here.
|Masks||Effective Monday, August 16, 2021 – all students, staff, and visitors at Andover Public Schools will be required to wear masks while indoors per school committee policy EBCFA. This is regardless of vaccination status and applies to all grade levels (PreK-12).
Accommodations will be made for those individuals for whom face masks are not possible due to medical conditions, disability impact, a significant impediment to communication or other health or safety factors, which for students, may include behavioral challenges. A written note from a physician submitted to the school nurse is required to request an exemption. If families have questions, please contact your school nurse directly. Families may not excuse their child from the face mask requirement by signing a waiver.
|Additional Health Protocols||This school year, all families are required to acknowledge and agree to the COVID-19 attestation in the Back-to-School forms. When logged into your family ASPEN account, look for the “Family-Connection - Back to School Forms” link. We continue to ask staff and families to self-assess for COVID-19 symptoms, stay home if they are symptomatic, and contact their primary care physician immediately.
Students and staff who arrive at school and display COVID-19 symptoms will be sent home immediately and may return if they have a negative test or will be required to present documentation from their primary care physician verifying a non-COVID-19 related illness.
|Learning Models||The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released guidance on May 27, 2021 and updated information on July 30, 2021 noting that all Massachusetts districts and schools will be required to be in-person, full-time, five days a week for fall 2021-22.
At this time, APS will not operate a hybrid or remote learning academy for 2021-22.
At the September 2nd School Committee meeting, Dr. Parvey outlined educational support for students who are quarantined due to COVID-19.
|COVID-19 Test and Quarantine Information||
A decision tree on quarantine protocols is here. (Updated January 11, 2022)
Vaccination is highly encouraged for eligible individuals. Vaccinated individuals who are asymptomatic and identified as a close contact do not need to quarantine but need to continue to self-monitor for symptoms.
APS plans to offer Symptomatic Testing, as provided by DESE.
This testing will be available at all schools to students and staff who develop symptoms while at school and will require permission from a parent/guardian for students. Staff will need to sign a consent form to test. Consent form for both students and staff can be found here.
Results will be available in 15 minutes. Any student who tests positive for COVID-19, or has symptoms that require further attention, will be dismissed as soon as possible and will not be permitted to travel on any school transportation.
|Transportation||By federal public health order, all students and staff are required to wear masks on school buses at this time.
|Lunch & Food Services||
Social distancing of three (3) feet will be maintained at all elementary school cafeterias during lunch. Andover High School and middle schools can accommodate lunch periods outdoors, weather permitting.
Through a partnership with the USDA, APS will continue offering free meals for all families through June 2022. These meals will be available for all students at all grade levels and include one lunch and one breakfast per-student daily.
Families of pre-K to grade 5 students must pre-order at this link: https://onlineordering.linq.com/ in order to receive meals. Families of grade 6-12 students do not need to pre-order meals but are recommended to do so at the link above.
If your family qualifies for the free and reduced lunch program; we ask that you still complete the on-line application for this year. The application can be found at https://www.lunchapp.com/
|Arts, Athletics & Extra Curricular Activities||
All athletics, performing arts, after-school, and other extracurricular activities are required to follow the district’s EBCFA-Face Coverings policy. Masks are required for any sports related activity for student-athletes and coaches when indoors, in alignment with guidance provided by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA).
|Vaccinations||COVID-19 vaccination is highly encouraged for eligible individuals to reduce the risk of quarantine and illness. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health provides resources on where to get a vaccine here.
DESE has lifted its mandate regarding the influenza (flu) vaccine, however, we strongly encourage eligible individuals to vaccinate. We plan to offer influenza vaccination clinics for students and staff later this fall.
|Town of Andover information||Andover's Public Health Division is providing data each week to provide appropriate information to our residents and businesses. It is important to note that town data may be different from the district's data. Town of Andover COVID-19 updates can be located at this link.|
|Department of Elementary and Secondary information||DESE has created a 2021 Back to School webpage with resources for families.|
- Town of Andover COVID-19 weekly updates
- CDC- Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K12 Schools - updated January 6, 2022
- DESE & DPH COVID-19 Guidance for Fall 2021 - July 30, 2021
- American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations for Fall 2021 Opening - July 19, 2021 @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>