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BOE approves plan to return to in-person learning for secondary students

Posted Date: 03/01/2021

The Andover Board of Education tonight approved a plan to return all students to full-time, in-person learning by Monday, March 22. Students in grades 7, 8 and 10 will return to in-person school on Monday, March 8. Students in grades 11 and 12 will return to in-person learning Monday, March 22, following spring break.

As we shared last week, this decision is based on the following rationale:

  • Positive Covid cases, both in the community and in our schools, have consistently declined since mid-January.
  • A significant portion of our educators and staff have received at least their first dose of Covid vaccine; some have received both doses. This helps to alleviate health and safety concerns among staff members.
  • New isolation guidelines allow for more students to participate in in-person school when we do have a positive case.
  • A phase-in will allow administrators to address the social/emotional needs of students who haven’t been in a classroom full of students in nearly a year and to assess ongoing Covid protocols.

The Board also approved the following items:

  • Changed the Andover Gating Criteria at the middle school level to be onsite or hybrid in the “red” zone. Also, the Board changed high school learning models to be onsite or hybrid in “yellow,” “orange” or “red” zones. These changes were made to align with state Gating Criteria issued by the Kansas State Department of Education.
  • Schools are no longer required to do temperature checks for all students as they enter the building, beginning Tuesday. Based on data from schools, the number of elevated temperatures is extremely low, and there are logistical concerns about daily temperature checks. 

We will continue to monitor and evaluate Covid data both in our schools and community, and will make adjustments to learning models if the situation warrants. For now, we are pleased that we can have all of our students return to in-person learning, Pre-K through 12th, later this month.