August 7, 2020
Dear APS families and staff,
I know our families and educators are waiting to hear how our students will return to school in September. I wanted to provide an update on the start of the 2020-21 school year.
At last night’s meeting, the School Committee voted to approve a modified school year calendar based on the guidance provided by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Last month, DESE signed an agreement with the state teachers unions to allow districts to provide professional development for the first ten days of school. This professional development will allow teachers time to prepare for an unprecedented school year, regardless of whether we return in-person, or implement the hybrid or remote learning models.
For APS students, the school year will begin more gradually than it has in the past. This year, DESE also has reduced the number of required days for students from 180 days to 170 days. As a result, the first day of school for students will be September 16, 2020.
Assistant Superintendent Sandra Trach and district administrators presented potential hybrid and remote learning models and transportation scenarios to the committee at last night’s meeting. I encourage you to review this presentation or watch the meeting on Andover TV as it may answer many questions.
The School Committee has scheduled a meeting for Monday, August 10, 2020 at 7 p.m. to finalize the return to school plans for the upcoming school year.
I do want to remind the community we are holding a Return to School Public Forum on Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 6 p.m. Both the School Committee meeting and the public forum can be viewed on Andover TV- Comcast channel 99, Verizon channel 43 or live-streamed at www.andovertv.org. To provide feedback for either of these meetings, please email SCRemote@andoverma.us. Also, please visit our website for updated information.
Lastly, I want to share my deep appreciation for all in the community who have been engaged throughout this process. I recognize the return to school planning has required all of us to be flexible. Our APS Return to School Task Force has been diligent in their efforts to design an instructional program, whether in-person, hybrid or remote, that provides high quality instruction to our students. I am proud of the work they have achieved on behalf of our students. Through all of the planning and challenges they have faced this summer, every consideration focused on our primary goals of keeping our students and staff healthy and safe.