August 10, 2020
Dear APS families and staff,
At tonight’s meeting, the School Committee approved submission of the Andover 2020/21 school year reopening plan required by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), and voted to begin the school year offering a Hybrid model for all students along with a Remote Academy for students who require or choose to learn remotely.
We would like to thank the APS community for their engagement and feedback throughout this process, and the Return-to-School Task Force for their thorough analysis of learning models. Each potential option studied has benefits and drawbacks, but we believe the adopted models allow the best opportunity to provide students an engaging, high-quality education and related services under current circumstances.
This decision was difficult. There is no model that will satisfy everyone’s interests for returning to school during a pandemic. We realize the impact this decision will have on our students, families and staff. The APS plan prioritizes the health of our staff and students while offering the benefit of as much in-person learning as logistically feasible.
In the Hybrid learning model, APS students will be assigned to attend school in-person two full-days per week, either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday being a remote learning day for everyone to allow deep cleaning of schoolhouses. Additional in-person learning will be offered to high-needs students identified through the special education process. In the Remote Academy, APS students will attend school remotely full-time. Parents will be asked to choose between these two options for each student in the coming weeks.
In the coming days, the district will provide more details on both the Hybrid and Remote Academy models on our website and via email.
Additionally, we invite you to a public forum led by the Return-to-School Task Force on Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 6 p.m. The forum can be viewed on Andover public access TV (Comcast channel 99, Verizon channel 43) or live-streamed at www.andovertv.org. To provide feedback or questions for this meeting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
School administrators will continue to monitor metrics related to COVID-19 rates, guidance from state and local officials, and updates from medical experts. As conditions change, the learning models offered by the district will be reassessed. We appreciate the community’s support and flexibility in responding to changing conditions.
Thank you for your engagement and patience through this process. We look forward to welcoming our students back to school on September 16th.
Shannon Scully, Chairperson
Andover School Committee