The Andover Board of Education met this evening and approved two changes in our learning models at the secondary level. These do not affect elementary school students. These changes are based on steadily improving community health data in Butler and Sedgwick County and the COVID Responsive and Advisory Team’s color zone change from orange to yellow at its meeting Jan. 26. Our improving COVID data, paired with the vaccine rollout for staff members, has put us in a position to discuss how best to provide more onsite learning for our middle and high school students.
The approved changes are:
- At the middle and high school levels, Wednesdays will now be hybrid learning days (they have been remote learning days for all students up until now). A calendar of A/B days will be distributed by your child’s school. (The only exception will be Wednesday, Feb. 24 for high school freshmen, sophomores and seniors, who will learn remotely that day. The ACT is administered to juniors that day, and due to testing protocols and staffing needs for the test environment, only juniors will be onsite that day.)
- Beginning Tuesday, Feb. 16, all students in grades 6 and 9 will return to in-person learning. Students in grades 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12 will continue in a hybrid learning model. We know that this year has been especially hard for students who have transitioned to a new school building at the beginning of the year. This is also a logical step in what could be a phased-in approach to having all students return to in-person learning as conditions warrant. Any decisions on changes to learning models for students in 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12 will continue to be made in two-week time increments based on COVID case data, isolation data, vaccine progress and staffing/operational considerations.
We believe that these recommendations show both progress and prudence. Some will think this is too much, too quickly. Others will think this is not enough and that all students should return to school. We believe that an incremental, measured approach with re-evaluation every couple of weeks is the best approach.