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Posted on: September 14, 2020

Return to School Update from Dr. Berman - September 14, 2020

Dear APS Parents and Guardians,

When we announced the district’s closure in March, no one knew the course this pandemic would take.  As we approach the beginning of the new school year, the hard-won experience of last spring has left us better prepared and better positioned to offer the level of instruction that Andover families have come to expect.

I know our families are starting the year with a sincere desire to have their children see friends and teachers—either in person or remotely—and to experience some sense of normalcy in the education process. Parents and guardians may also feel a degree of trepidation about allowing their children to walk into a new physical environment while the threat of the virus is still present. The special precautions that the district has put in place are critical to maintaining the health and safety of both students and staff. I hope that you can speak with your children about the importance of adhering to these new procedures at all times in order to keep everyone safe and to maintain the availability of in-person learning. Your support is critical in reassuring our students in this new environment.

Last spring, everything was new and uncertain. Over the summer, we have expended time and resources to procure new tools for teaching and learning and to provide extensive professional development in order to strengthen both the curriculum and our approaches to individual instruction.

I’m confident that this year will be better than last spring, and I ask for your patience and indulgence as teachers begin to apply these new tools and develop their skill in unfamiliar approaches. We will make mistakes and adjustments as we learn, and we will continue to seek your advice, feedback and support. Feel free to share ideas and especially kind words with your child’s teachers. Your input and suggestions will help us do a better job. Give us time to work out some of the initial bumps along the way and we will get it right.

As I visited schools over the past two weeks, teachers repeatedly expressed how excited they are by the prospect of seeing students again in-person or connecting with them remotely. We will do our best to meet the needs of all students and families in both the hybrid and remote environments. As we move forward, I thank you again for your support of our APS team. I also recognize how difficult it is for families to provide the extra support and attention that your children need in these extraordinary times. We appreciate your partnership in this effort.

I understand that you probably have questions and would like to know more details about the plans for your child’s school. Principals are in the process of disseminating information to parents, so please watch for that information to arrive. Also, you should feel free to contact your school if you have specific questions or concerns that are not covered in the general information.

Finally, I want to express my gratitude to the entire APS staff for everything they have done and continue to do to provide a smooth start to the new school term. We are all looking forward to offering your children a fun, interesting, and productive year of learning about themselves, about each other, and about the world in which they will make a difference.

Sincerely,

Signature SB

Shelley Berman

Superintendent

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