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COVID team update: No change in learning models through the end of the calendar year

Posted Date: 12/01/2020

The Andover COVID Response and Assessment team met this evening and determined the district remains in the “orange” zone on its Gating Criteria. That means current learning models — hybrid at middle and high schools, and in-person at elementary schools — will remain in place through the end of the calendar year.

The team bases this decision on a variety of data points, including community and school health trends, and information from health care professionals who are advising the district. 

While concerns remain with the prevalence of COVID cases and hospital capacities in the area, several criteria that the team reviewed improved in the past two weeks. Those included the percent positive rates in both Butler and Sedgwick Counties, the two-week positive case rate for both counties, and ICU capacity in the region.

The team considered many factors in making its decision:

  • Data showing the total number of student and staff cases at this point remains relatively low. Often, positive cases lead to additional students and/or staff quarantining due to close contact with the individual who tested positive. The close contacts learn/work remotely, but very few of those quarantining based on classroom contacts end up testing positive.

COVID data

  • The district’s medical advisers have said that, at this point, school is one of the safest places children can be because of the emphasis on mask-wearing, hand sanitizing, social distancing to the extent possible and other safety measures.
  • Several area districts have gone to remote learning because they have been unable to maintain adequate staffing levels for in-person education. At this point, Andover Public Schools has been able to maintain staffing levels that allow for in-person or hybrid learning.

The COVID team will meet again Dec. 15 to discuss health conditions as we head into 2021.