August 6, 2020 Update

posted Aug 6, 2020, 4:02 PM by Beverly Zagarri   [ updated Aug 6, 2020, 4:10 PM by ]

To North Andover School District Students, Parents/Guardians, and Staff:

I hope this message finds you well. As the 2020-2021 school year fast approaches, I want to address some concerns that have been expressed regarding what school will look like this fall. First, I certainly understand the frustration everyone feels in not having a finalized plan. As we enter the final stage of this process, we feel very strongly that we must include stakeholder feedback in the fine-tuning of our plans. Initially, we solicited parent/guardian and student feedback through surveys and focus groups, and we solicited staff feedback through participation in our Summer Institute and through surveys and focus groups. This feedback helped inform our draft plans that were submitted to the School Committee last week.

I want to emphasize that these were initial plans, presented knowing full well that they would elicit more feedback. We are thankful for the comments and questions we received in response to the initial plans and are now in the process of adjusting our plans to incorporate some of the feedback we have received. In addition, we anticipate feedback from DESE tomorrow. Given the wide variety of opinions, it would be impossible to accommodate all requests and suggestions; however, we are making adjustments in several areas as a result of the input we received. For example, we have adjusted the end time for our elementary and middle schools so that our students who are in school for the day in the A/B Hybrid model will be at school for a full day. 

Tomorrow, a panel discussion will be available, on CAM and our website, in which school district leaders answer many of the most pressing questions our community has asked. This will be followed by a Frequently Asked Questions section on our website in which we try to capture and answer the questions that have been posed throughout this process. Finally, we will present the revised plans to the School Committee next week in order to meet the State’s requirement for submission of final plans.  

As we prepare our plans for consideration by the School Committee on August 10, 2020, I would like to thank the many people who have helped us through an extremely challenging time. The compassion and commitment demonstrated by our parents/guardians, staff, students, community, and School Committee have been inspiring. While the situation, guidance, and conditions change on almost a daily basis, I am confident that whatever school looks like this fall and this year, it will be the best it can possibly be under the circumstances because of the efforts of all involved, and because it is what North Andover expects and what our students deserve.

Thank you, 

Dr. Gregg Gilligan, Superintendent