July 30 - Preliminary Draft of NAPS' Return to School Plan

posted Jul 30, 2020, 3:17 PM by stasonish@northandoverpublicschools.com   [ updated Aug 6, 2020, 12:04 PM ]

Dear North Andover School Community,

We are looking forward to reopening in the fall and seeing all of our students, staff and families again. We certainly know that this fall will look and feel different, but our primary focus continues to be student and staff safety. On June 25, 2020, Education Commissioner Jeff Riley put out the Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance to all public schools across the Commonwealth. This guidance directed each district to develop three models for the 2020-2021 school year:  Remote Learning, Hybrid, and All In-Person. 

Throughout our work, the safety of all students and staff has remained the top priority. Our focus has been on the social emotional health of students and staff, the equity of support and services for all students, and the importance of  teaching and learning. Please understand, as we have all experienced over the past months, our situation may change quickly and we will need to remain nimble and flexible.

We have sent out four surveys: two for families, and  two for educators. In the surveys we asked about the spring Remote Learning experience and about expectations for the fall. In particular, we asked about who might be able to return to school and who may utilize school bus transportation. Additionally, we have been meeting with NATA leadership weekly and Town Officials. Teams, made up of administrators, teachers, and town officials have met over the last five weeks for many hours to provide input and create this initial plan. While these teams were meeting, our amazing parent advisory group representing every school and NAPAC held forums with families and produced a document with valuable feedback. The Summer Institute Teachers Group provided critical contributions to our planning teams as well. The survey results and forums have been extremely helpful. The culmination of this work is in the document before you now.

Plans are due to be submitted to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on August 10th, but may still be subject to change.  We will continue to work closely with Union Leadership,  Public Safety, the Town Manager and the Director of Public Health throughout the planning process. We have created a link on our website for questions and feedback and will be having a roundtable discussion to respond to questions that have been submitted. The discussion will be filmed and will air on North Andover CAM and reposted on our website.   

Thank you for your collaboration and involvement in this important work. Your participation in the forums and responses to surveys has been a vital part of informing the process and the plan. This plan will be a framework from which we will continue to work toward providing the most valuable educational experience in the safest manner possible for all students and staff. We will continue fine tuning our plans through the next several weeks and communicating with staff and families to solicit feedback throughout the process. We are grateful for your patience, involvement, and continued support as we navigate this new school year together. 

Respectfully, Dr. Gregg T. Gilligan