September 21, 2021
Dear APS families and staff,
I wanted to provide some reminders for our families and staff regarding COVID-19 protocols and recommendations as we have seen positive COVID-19 cases throughout the district.
STAY HOME IF SYMPTOMATIC
We are advising that all families monitor their children and keep students who are exhibiting any symptoms regardless of vaccination status, stay home from school. Symptomatic individuals are encouraged to have a PCR test performed. Families who do not wish to pursue testing for symptomatic students will be advised to follow the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s COVID-19 protocols for isolation or quarantine.
While we have implemented our Test & Stay and Symptomatic Testing programs at all schools, these tools are not a resource for individuals who exhibit symptoms outside of school or those identified as close contacts outside of the school community. These tests are to be used in cases of identified close contacts or for symptoms that develop during school hours only.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has required all schools to be in-person, full time for the 2021-22 school year. Currently, there are no options for remote learning. At the September 2nd School Committee meeting, Dr. Parvey outlined educational support for students who are quarantined due to COVID-19. Andover’s Public Health Director Tom Carbone strongly advises that families take all possible preventative measures to protect their children and reduce the possibility of transmission, both within schools and while in the community.
A reminder that masks are required indoors in all school buildings, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status. A properly fitted mask covers both the nose and mouth. Along with additional protective measures, mask wearing is considered an important part of preventing transmission.
The district is providing information regarding cases, contact tracing, and quarantine protocols on the COVID-19 dashboard and a webpage.
I hope the above recommendations will serve as a reminder that it is our collective responsibility to ensure a safe, in-person learning environment for all our students this year.
Rita Casper MBA RN NCSN
Director of Nursing
Andover Public Schools