Posted Date: 07/30/2020
At a special meeting this evening, the Andover Board of Education approved our district’s Roadmap to Reopening, our plan for the 2020-21 school year. We believe this plan:
This email is intended to outline the high-level Roadmap. While there are many details we now know, there still are many that will be decided in the coming weeks at both the district and school level. On Friday, we will launch www.usd385.org/roadmap where we will post updates, FAQs and other information. Of course, we will continue to email updates to our families and staff as well. Please email email@example.com if you have a specific question you would like answered.
Elementary In-Person Learning Model
We will offer in-person learning for all elementary students to begin the school year.
Elementary students also may choose virtual learning through Andover eCademy.
Middle and High School Hybrid Learning Model
Our hope and goal is for secondary students to attend every day. However, we believe health conditions at this time warrant starting the school year in a hybrid model in which students attend in-person instruction two days a week, work remotely two days a week and receive interactive virtual instruction one day a week. Following the staggered start on September 8-9, middle and high school students will begin the year in a hybrid learning model from September 10-25. At that point, our COVID Response and Assessment Team (see below) will meet to re-evaluate learning models for the period of Sept. 28-Oct. 9.
We opted for the hybrid model at the secondary level to begin with for three primary reasons: 1. Class schedules at the secondary level make it difficult to remain socially distancing in cohort groups, 2. Data shows that older children are more likely to spread COVID than younger children, and 3. In general, secondary students are more likely to have success learning more remotely than elementary students.
When in person, safety measures will be in place, including masks, enhanced cleaning and social distancing when possible.
Like elementary students, secondary students have the option of enrolling in virtual learning through Andover eCademy.
COVID Response and Assessment Team
We have assembled a COVID Response and Assessment Team to help us make decisions throughout the year about the most appropriate models of care given current community health data.
This is a group of health care professionals, business and community leaders, parents, Board of Education members and district staff who will convene every two weeks to analyze health data. This group will recommend to our Board of Education whether to remain in our current models of learning or to move to either less restrictive or more restrictive models.
The Assessment Team’s first meeting will be September 22, when they will make a recommendation to the Board of Education about whether a shift to an in-person learning model for all students should be made for the weeks of September 28-October 9. This evaluation process will continue throughout the school year.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment also is developing guidelines that will help schools make these decisions.
Andover eCademy offers students a virtual learning experience with optional in-person learning experiences. Andover Public Schools is making adjustments in staffing to allow for an increase in eCademy enrollment this year. If you are interested in attending eCademy for the year, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.andoverecademy.org. We are requesting all student applications to eCademy be complete by Monday, Aug. 10.
Registration for the 2020-21 school year opens around noon on Monday, Aug. 3. Parents/guardians will receive an email with instructions for how to complete registration. If you are unsure about which learning model you will choose, we would encourage you to wait to complete registration until that decision is made. Registration will close at the end of the day on Friday, Aug. 14. This change will allow us to allocate additional staffing to eCademy if enrollment warrants.
The Board of Education approved a revised district calendar that reflects the new start date of Sept. 8. The majority of professional learning days will be before the start of school so educators can better collaborate and prepare for the various scenarios they may face during the school year. We were able to complete this calendar while leaving holidays and breaks (including winter break and spring break) untouched, and still dismissing the school year before Memorial Day.
Our schools also plan to implement staggered starts for students on Sept. 8-9 to help teachers and students make connections with one another, and to help students learn new safety procedures. More information on staggered starts will be distributed closer to the start of school.
In addition to the safety measures mentioned above (wearing of masks, enhanced cleaning and social distancing when possible), many other safety measures will be taken throughout the district. Those include, but are not limited to:
Equity for All Students
Our special education, English language learners, and students who meet at-risk criteria may require more onsite instructional time when schools are operating in a hybrid learning environment. The Board of Education approved the flexibility to meet individual learning needs through additional onsite instruction.
More Info to Come
We will distribute more information as it becomes available. Thank you for your patience, understanding and grace as we navigate these difficult times.