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Fall 2020 News

July 11 Return to School Update, Community Timeline & DESE Update

posted Jul 11, 2020, 9:24 AM by Beverly Zagarri   [ updated Jul 11, 2020, 12:55 PM by Hillary Stasonis ]

The  Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) continues to provide us with return-to-school guidance which we will need to incorporate in our return to school plans. I would like to share some highlights on what school may look like in the fall. Please know that as we receive more information or as conditions change, we will keep you updated. As of now, we are anticipating what is listed below; however, we all must remain flexible as we plan for September.

  • DESE placed a strong emphasis on getting as many students back in school buildings as safely as possible.  We are charged with creating three plans. The first plan is for all students to have the opportunity to return full-time to school with safety measures in place.

  • The second plan we must create is a hybrid model, where students would alternate attending school and learning remotely. 

  • The third plan is a remote learning model. This model will be more robust & structured than the spring remote learning model.  Teachers would help students meet all grade-level content standards and practices, and teachers would assess and grade students on their progress.

  • Families may have the option to have their children attend school remotely and DESE is working with districts to address this category. 

  • Students at the elementary schools will most likely remain in the same classrooms for most of the day. They will have opportunities for mask breaks, recess, and outdoor learning space when weather permits.

  • We will do our best to cluster students and reduce travel between classes at the secondary levels. We will provide opportunities for mask breaks and outdoor learning space when weather permits.

  • All students in grades two through twelve are required to wear masks unless there are extenuating circumstances. Mask wearing is recommended for kindergarten and first graders.

  • There will be training for faculty, staff, students, and families on school safety
    measures, including social distancing, proper mask wearing, and hand washing. The health of our students and staff is the top priority.

  • Students on Individual Educational Programs (IEP) will receive Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) whenever appropriate, safe and possible. Additional safety precautions will need to be taken for some 1:1 in person services.

We have been conducting focus groups and surveys to solicit feedback from parents, guardians, students and staff. You may have already completed a survey or participated in a  focus group. We will be asking for additional information through a survey that will go out early next week. 

Using this feedback, our teams are working to apply DESE guidance to the North Andover Public Schools, developing structures, systems, and practices that will ensure the safety of students/staff and maximize their learning and social-emotional development. 

With all the changes we will need to make for the fall, attending school will feel different for students, staff, and faculty than in the past. We will be making every effort to make the school experience positive, safe, and familiar. 

This is a fluid situation that can change quickly and we must remain as adaptable as possible. Although the information is subject to change, we wanted to provide an update on our plans for our return and have included links below to a timeline along with an update from DESE received last night.  In these extraordinary times, we appreciate your partnership, support and patience. 

Best,

Dr. Gregg T Gilligan

Community Timeline:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_DDBC5PIm2mW5oWrniw2IGYoKDc61CXUEMxRLnBk2bs/edit

DESE Update:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tjUKtiyqgRORsCi34YuuY990aHq9yF-BChbg2NiOlpE/edit

 

Parent Focus Group Meetings

posted Jul 2, 2020, 6:06 AM by Beverly Zagarri

Dear North Andover Families,

You may have heard that we are holding focus group meetings for each school in town this week and next. We are looking to gather information about experiences this past spring and ideas for the next steps for the fall based on the guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (6_25 Initial Opening DESE Guidance) 

If you have not already been contacted, you may connect directly with a Parent Advisory Group representative if you would like to contribute. The names and email addresses are listed below by school. If you have a rising student into elementary, middle or high school, please feel free to reach out to the representative at that level to share input. The information gathered will be brought back to the district leadership to help with the planning for the fall.

Thanks for all you do to support your child(ren) and our schools! Enjoy the day.

Dr. James Mealey, Assistant Superintendent

Greg Landry, Director of Human Resources

Parent Advisory Group Representative

School

Email Address

Tracy Beasley

ABECC

beasleyfamilyna@gmail.com

Tim Seibert

Atkinson

timothyseibert@hotmail.com

Marnie McKay

Franklin

mmm5336@hotmail.com

Maureen Hentz

Kittredge

maureench12@gmail.com

Jen Luz

Sargent

jennifer.b.luz@gmail.com

Kate Brown

Thomson

kschru@hotmail.com

Liane Sheehy

NAMS

Lianesheehy@icloud.com

Julie Cox

NAHS

julie.cox@converse.com

Courtney Pham

NAPAC

courtphamily@gmail.com

Parent Advisory Group Established

posted Jun 30, 2020, 7:10 AM by Beverly Zagarri

Thank you to the over 200 parents who offered their support and time to our school planning parent advisory group. We made the decision to select one representative from each school community and NAPAC. We've already held one meeting to plan how we gather advice and input from a larger group. Each representative will be reaching out to specific school communities through the principal and/or PTO in the coming week. Focus group meetings will be held at each school and the information gathered will be brought back to the district leaders. Thank you for your continued support and for your contributions to these meetings as we all try to make our return to school the very best it can be for our students, staff and families. 

Parent Advisory Group Representatives:
ABECC: Tracy Beasley
Atkinson: Tim Seibert
Franklin: Marnie McKay
Kittredge: Maureen Hentz
Sargent: Jen Luz
Thomson: Kate Brown
NAMS: Liane Sheehy
NAHS: Julie Cox
NAPAC: Courtney Pham

Thanks, 
Dr. James Mealey, Assistant Superintendent
Greg T Landry, Director of HR 

NORTH ANDOVER SCHOOL COMMITTEE RESOLUTION: COVID-19 STATE FUNDING

posted Jun 30, 2020, 5:42 AM by Beverly Zagarri

DATE: June 25, 2020 


TO: Governor Charlie Baker 

Education Secretary James Peyser 

Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley 

Senate President Karen Spilka 

House Speaker Robert DeLeo 

Joint Education Committee Co-Chair Jason Lewis 

Joint Education Committee Co-Chair Alice Peisch 


CC: Senator Diana DiZoglio 

Senator Bruce Tarr 

State Representative Christina Minicucci 

State Representative Tram Nguyen 

Town Manager Melissa Rodrigues 


WHEREAS, if schools are to re-open this fall in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the responsibility of each school district to do so safely and responsibly; and 

WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of the state to ensure that each school district is able to pay for the enormous additional staffing, transportation and material expenses required to do this; and 

WHEREAS, the state cannot expect mandatory COVID-19 safety guidelines to be followed without also ensuring that each school district has the funds required to implement these guidelines; therefore, let it be 

RESOLVED: that the state must guarantee every school district full reimbursement for whatever COVID-19 expenses are required to follow state mandates. 

We must ensure a statewide school re-opening that is safe, responsible and equitable. 


THERE CAN BE NO UNFUNDED MANDATES FOR COVID-19. 


Respectfully, North Andover School Committee 


Helen Pickard, Chair

Holly Vietzke-Lynch

Amy Mabley 

Andrew McDevitt

David Torrisi



June 25 - DESE Initial Fall School Reopening Memo

posted Jun 25, 2020, 10:49 AM by Hillary Stasonis   [ updated Jun 25, 2020, 10:50 AM ]

June 25, 2020

Dear NAPS families and staff,

Today at noon, Governor Baker and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner Jeffrey Riley announced preliminary guidance for districts across Massachusetts to re-open schools for the 2020-21 school year. Please see Commissioner Riley’s Initial memo below:

DESE Commissioner provides Initial Fall School Reopening Memo http://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/return-to-school/guidance.docx

  • This preliminary memo is just the first of several updates that DESE will send out on reopening schools this fall, and we are expecting additional guidance in July. 

  • The main focus of the district’s leadership team and the NA Returns advisory groups is to dig into this information in collaboration with North Andover Public Health and Town Officials. This preliminary guidance and future mandates from DESE will serve as the framework for our district as we prepare for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.

  • At NAPS, our goal is to return to school in the fall in a manner that is safe, supportive and resembles a typical fall opening as much as possible. There are many issues to take into consideration including schedules, remote or in-class instruction, transportation, and the health and safety of our students and staff are just a few examples. 

  • We value your feedback, and we will provide an opportunity to participate in parent forums planned for later this summer through our parent advisory group and PTO’s—the dates and times will be announced.  Please continue to check our website frequently for updated information.

Thank you for your continued support as we work to provide a safe learning environment for all  staff and students. 

Gregg T. Gilligan

Superintendent of Schools


June 22 - DESE DRAFT Guidance Expected Soon / NAPS Planning Continues

posted Jun 22, 2020, 1:33 PM by Hillary Stasonis

North Andover Returns 2020


Dear Parents and Guardians,

 

In anticipation of numerous school reopening communications over the summer, our future “North Andover Returns 2020” updates will be in a short bulleted format to allow parents to quickly scan these emails for important updates.  

 

Dr. Gregg T. Gilligan


IN THIS EMAIL

  • Introduction

  • DESE DRAFT Guidance Expected Soon

  • NAPS Planning Continues


Introduction

Thank you for working with the schools to support your children’s education during the covid school closure. Please know that our hope is to return to school in the fall in a manner that is safe, supportive, and resembles a typical fall opening as much as possible. We understand that remote learning has been a challenge for many students. As we plan for the reopening, there are many issues to take into consideration including schedules, remote or in-class instruction, transportation, extracurricular activities and the health and safety of our students and staff to name just a few.  


I hope you enjoy a healthy and safe summer. Please continue to check your emails and visit our North Andover Returns 2020 website for updates. 


 

DESE DRAFT Guidance Expected Soon

  • We are expecting draft preliminary fall opening guidance from DESE this week.  

  • DESE will also publish updates on their website www.doe.mass.edu 

 

NAPS Planning for Reopening Continues 

  • While we have been collaborating regularly with town officials and our school leadership teams, our newly formed advisory groups will build upon these efforts starting with a group of 36 faculty, staff and administrators kicking off a reopening summit today to look at hurdles, options, and proposed solutions for various issues we will face reopening.

  • We will continue working with our PTO presidents group and will finalize and meet with our parent advisory group this week. The role of the Parent Advisory Group will be to meet with the over 200 parents that have indicated they would like to participate by providing feedback regarding remote learning and school reopening. 

  • Our goal is to have as many perspectives as possible across schools, programming and levels. These perspectives would provide insight and data as we plan for reopening.

Like so many other school districts, we are faced with many challenges as we plan to safely reopen the North Andover Public Schools for the 2020-21 school year.  We will use survey information, teacher feedback and input, along with information from our advisory groups, to counsel town and school leadership on the best way to reopen schools safely and in accordance with the directives from the Governor, Mass DPH and Mass DESE. 

 



June 19 - Staff Attending Summer Institute at NAHS

posted Jun 22, 2020, 7:11 AM by Hillary Stasonis

We will begin our work on school reopening next week as NAPS administrators and a wide range of staff will be attending a 4-day Summer Institute at NAHS facilitated by Dr. John D’Auria. In addition to serving as a faculty member of William James College, Dr. D’Auria is a consultant with Teachers21 and is well known for his work on problem solving, school planning and leadership. As a group, we will be working together to look at hurdles, options, and proposed solutions for various issues we will face as schools open under the new DESE guidance (expected by late June). We will be looking at areas such as Health and Safety, SEL, Mental Health, Teaching & Learning, Transition, Operations, Technology, Transportation, Sports and Activities and Communication.

Please continue to check your email over the summer months as we will be sharing any Department of Elementary and Secondary Education updates and guidance regarding school opening procedures as soon as they become available.

June 15 - Participate in the Remote Learning Advisory Group

posted Jun 22, 2020, 7:10 AM by Hillary Stasonis

An advisory group is being created to help develop our plans for Fall reopening. If you are interested in participating in the advisory group please fill out this form. The deadline to fill out this form is June 22. We will be in touch with those that indicated an interest in the advisory group next week.

June 15 - Remote Learning Survey

posted Jun 22, 2020, 6:56 AM by Hillary Stasonis

As outlined in Dr. Gilligan's letter last week, North Andover Public Schools is looking for parent feedback on your child’s remote learning experience. Please take a moment to complete this brief Parent Survey.


June 10 - Awaiting DESE Guidance / Surveys Forthcoming

posted Jun 22, 2020, 6:46 AM by Hillary Stasonis

Dear NAPS School Community, 

I hope that this letter finds you and your family healthy and well. As the 2019-20 school year and remote learning winds down, we have already begun planning internally and with town officials for reopening next year.

At this time we are awaiting information from the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) regarding guidance for the fall reopening of schools. We believe that this will be very structured guidance from DESE that outlines the expectations for the school environment, teaching and learning, operations, technology, food services and social-emotional learning.

DESE has recently released guidance documents that have been featured in many news reports. This initial guidance is important for reopening schools for summer programming based on the public health guidelines in place now, and we are looking forward to receiving updated guidance for the fall from the Commissioner in the near future.

I know that students, parents/guardians, and staff have many questions about a return to school. As a result, we are proactively creating groups that will represent all sectors of our community to help develop our plans. We will be seeking active parent participation. I am meeting with the PTO Presidents tomorrow, and communication will follow regarding parent participation.

You can also help us by providing feedback on your child’s remote learning experience through a survey that will be emailed to you in the next few days.

Like so many other school districts, we are faced with many challenges as we plan to safely reopen the North Andover Public Schools for the 2020-21 school year. Our goal is to use survey information, teacher feedback and input, along with information from our working groups and district leadership team, to advise town and school leadership on the best way to reopen schools safely in the fall.

Ultimately, we want to provide the best educational experience for all of our students, and I appreciate your continued support as we work toward providing a safe environment for our students and employees.

In good health!



Dr. Gregg T. Gilligan, Superintendent

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