Dear APS families and staff,
At last night’s School Committee meeting, the Committee voted to revise the mask policy (EBCFA) to lift the mask mandate in Andover Public School buildings and on school transportation. Beginning today, Friday, March 4th at 5 p.m., masks in school buildings and on school transportation will be optional for students, staff, and visitors.
The vote by the School Committee also revises the policy (EBCFA) to delegate the authority for masking decisions to the superintendent, with notification to the Committee. While we are encouraged with an overall decrease in cases and high vaccination rates, positive COVID-19 cases remain in our community. In collaboration with the town of Andover’s Director of Public Health and APS’s Director of Nursing, we will continue to monitor evolving situations in our district and make appropriate decisions in the best interest of our school community.
While this is a major step forward for the district, we remain committed to the health and safety of our students and staff. The district will continue to offer COVID-19 test kits as part of the DESE At-Home testing program. Families and staff are encouraged to opt-in to this program and masks are still required by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in school clinics. As a reference for families and staff, the DESE frequently updates their recommendations and requirements with regard to COVID-19 and schools.
I anticipate that the shift to “mask optional” will bring a mix of opinions and emotions. Families are encouraged to have conversations with their children before school begins on Monday, March 7th about the choice that best fits their family’s needs. I am confident that all in the community will be respectful and supportive of an individual’s choice to either wear a mask or not.
I again would like to thank our community for their patience and cooperation these past few years as we worked tirelessly to provide a safe learning environment during the pandemic.
Magda Parvey, Ed. D.
Andover Public Schools