October 29, 2020
Dear APS families,
Most of us look forward to the occasional snow day in the winter. However, as June rolls around, those snow days can delay the start of summer for our staff and students. This year, the district will be taking a different approach to calling days off due to inclement weather. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is permitting school districts to implement “remote learning days” in lieu of “no school days” due to inclement weather (also known as “snow days”) for the 2020-2021 school year. There are several important factors in making this type of decision, including consideration of potential power outages.
Our students now have the resources and connectivity to continue their learning at home. Based on the weather forecast, it may be appropriate for the district to hold classes at-home during inclement weather, with all teachers and students remotely on-line for a full day of teaching and learning. These days will be announced as “remote learning days” If the district experiences significant power outages that could potentially affect the ability for students and staff to sustain online instruction, we will call a “no school day,” which will be made up at the end of the year. These decisions will be made in collaboration with Andover’s Department of Public Works and National Grid. Typically, these decisions are made in the early morning hours and communicated through a variety of ways.
APS will send a notice out via email, text, voice recording, Twitter and our website under “District News.” We will also alert local Boston media with these details. Channels 4, 5, 7, Boston 25 and NBC Boston have modified their school closing listings to include a “remote learning day” on their websites and at the bottom of their screens during active weather.
The APS website, voicemail, text message and the email APS families and staff receive will have the accurate information on whether the district is participating in a “remote learning day” or has called a “no school day.” We ask that you not contact the police or fire departments requesting this information, as these lines are for emergencies only.
As in previous years, road and traffic conditions may warrant a one- or two-hour delayed start time, which will be announced in the same manner as a “no school day.”
- In the case of a one-hour delay, morning (AM) preschool will not be cancelled.
- In the case of a two-hour delay, morning (AM) preschool will be cancelled. All other schools, including full-day kindergarten and full-day preschool, will begin 2 hours later. School buses and vans will arrive two hours later than a typical school day.
- Remote Academy students will also follow the same schedule in the instance of a 1 or 2 hour delay, in order to allow our faculty and staff time to get to school buildings.
- After any delayed opening, schools will dismiss at their regular dismissal times.
Because each storm is different, the specifics on closings and after-school activities will also change with the forecast. APS will communicate this information with its announcement about school for the day.