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9/3/20 Update to Families

The Andover Board of Education has approved our district’s Roadmap to Reopening, our plan for the 2020-21 school year. We believe this plan:

  • Allows our schools to open as safely as possible.
  • Provides a structure for monitoring health conditions that could lead to changes in learning models during the school year.
  • Gives families choice if they prefer virtual learning for the 2020-21 school year.

We will post more information as it becomes available. Please email info@usd385.org if you have a specific question you would like answered.

Family Playbook Now Available

Click here to view our Family Playbook for the 2020-21 year. This document will be updated throughout the year to reflect the most updated information available to help keep our school community safe. This document includes many details about the school year.

Elementary In-Person Learning Model

We will offer in-person learning for all elementary students to begin the school year.

  • Safety measures will be in place, including masks, enhanced cleaning and social distancing when possible.
  • Students will remain in a cohort group as much as possible.
  • If mandated by the health department or government entity, or through action by the Andover Board of Education, pivoting to hybrid or remote learning may be required if conditions warrant.

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

The deadline to complete the Intent to Register form for Andover eCademy has now passed. eCademy can no longer accept additional student transfers. Please email info@usd385.org if you have additional questions.

Registration

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.

New calendar

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.

Safety measures

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:

  • Educating students about proper mask wearing and hand sanitizing.
  • Limiting shared materials in the classroom.
  • Ensuring only approved cleaning supplies are used in buildings, and ensuring there are extra cleaning supplies in classrooms.
  • Encouraging students not to use lockers at the secondary level to minimize congregating in hallways.
  • Eliminating large gatherings of students such as assemblies.
  • Encourage directional traffic in hallways to maximize social distancing.
  • Eliminating the use of cloth furniture that cannot be easily cleaned.
  • Maximizing space and scheduling to allow for social distancing during breakfasts and lunches.
  • Using barcode scanners to pay for lunch to eliminate the need for keypads.
  • Family units sitting together on the bus. Also, students will load from the back to the front of the bus, and unload from the front to the back to minimize potential exposure.
  • Hiring additional custodians to ensure cleaning of buildings.

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. Please speak with your child’s school for more information.