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Important Updates for the 2020-21 School Year

Posted Date: 09/03/2020

Dear Andover Families,

We hope that you found value in the parent-teacher-students orientation conferences that wrapped up Wednesday. It is important that our families are knowledgeable about plans and procedures as students return to school next week. Please remember that we will have a staggered start on Tuesday & Wednesday of next week. On Tuesday, students with the last names starting A-K will attend. Students with last names L-Z will come on Wednesday.

Starting Thursday, our elementary students will attend on-site each day, while our middle and high school students will be in a hybrid environment. A-K will attend on-site Thursday, while L-Z will learn remotely. On Friday, L-Z will be on-site with A-K learning remotely. Our middle and high school teachers will be taking attendance for all students, including those learning remotely, every period, just like they normally would. Please contact the school office where your child attends if you have any questions about the schedule next week.

We want to provide updates and clarity on a number of other topics for you:

If you haven’t already paid your registration fees, please do so by Friday, Sept. 11. Students who do not have fees paid by that date will no longer be allowed to access the district’s computer network. If you have questions about fees, please contact your child's school.

Also, you should have received an email Tuesday afternoon regarding health information for your student(s). Please complete that form or forms as soon as possible so we can be prepared for the school year.

Mask guidelines
The Andover Public Schools Covid Assessment & Response Team, composed of health care professionals, educators and business/community leaders, meets every couple of weeks to review safety guidelines, determine protocols and assess community health data. At its last meeting, the team finalized the mask requirements for district staff, students, and visitors. Please familiarize yourself with these, and make sure that your child’s mask meets these requirements. 

Communication about exposures
This is our plan when we have positive cases among students or staff:

  • We will identify close contacts of the individual who tested positive. Close contacts are defined as individuals who have spent 10 or more minutes within 6 feet of the person who tested positive.
  • Those close contacts will receive a phone call notifying them of possible exposure, with a follow-up email. This will include instructions on next steps, including quarantine.
  • We will not provide information that would personally identify an individual who has tested positive. Also, a positive case will not automatically lead to closure of a school building or classroom.

Gating criteria update
The COVID Assessment & Response Team will be finalizing its recommendations on the data or gating criteria that our district should use in making decisions about possible changes in learning models throughout the school year. We expect our Board of Education to take action on the proposed criteria at its meeting on September 14.

Bus route information will be able to be seen beginning on Friday by logging into Powerschool. Thank you for your patience as shifts in enrollment have lengthened the process of determining routes.

Families will have until Friday, September 18, 2020, to exit the transportation program for a full refund if fees were paid. We are extending this beyond what we do in normal years due to COVID. Notice must be given to Durham School Services (316-218-4621) by the end of day on Friday, September 18. Any exits past that date will NOT receive a refund. Our bus routes will not have more than 45 students on each bus, which will be two students to a seat in many cases, but not three. Masks are required for all riders. Siblings will be seated together. Students will have assigned seats, and buses will be filled back to front as riders are picked up. If you have questions about transportation, you can contact the Durham office by calling 316-218-4621.

It has been almost six months since our students have been in school. We are so excited to see them and begin the 2020-21 school year. Thanks for your partnership in these extraordinary times. Communication will be essential this year, so please reach out to your child’s teachers and principals as questions or concerns arise. Best wishes for a successful school year.