We are very disappointed to share that we have learned of multiple gatherings occurring outside of school involving North Andover High School students. The gatherings involved a complete lack of safety precautions by both adults and students to protect against the spread of COVID. At this time there are 5 confirmed positive cases at the high school with more pending that resulted from the gatherings, and 15 high school students are currently under quarantine.
This is not a case of in school transmission, but instead the result of poor choices being made in our community and among our school family. We have received the results of the swab testing that was conducted to determine the effectiveness of our disinfecting techniques. All school buildings were tested and the results show that our daily disinfecting is working extremely well. Measurements were consistently well below the recommended levels. We will continue to do our best to ensure a safe environment for our students and staff.
In collaboration with the Health Director, Town Manager, and the North Andover Covid-19 Task Force we have made the decision to transition North Andover High School from the Hybrid Model to the Full Remote Model from Friday, October 23rd until Friday, November 6th. We will continue to monitor the situation in hopes to transition back to the Hybrid Model on Monday, November 9th. State guidelines do not allow high school athletics to take place while the school is in the Full Remote Model. Therefore, there will not be any athletic activities through at least Sunday, November 8th.
These cases are linked to North Andover High School students. Our Early Childhood Center, Elementary Schools and the North Andover Middle School will remain in the Hybrid Model.
Collectively we agree that this is the most prudent course of action to take given what has taken place. After the intensity of hard work and planning that has been done to be able to successfully start school with students in-person, we are profoundly disappointed to have to transition back to full remote learning at North Andover High School.
When we brought students back to school we were able to do so by assuring our community that we have done our best to ensure safety in school for all of them and our staff. During this pandemic, it is important to reaffirm that as hard as we have been working, a safe continuation of in-person school cannot be done without everyone in the community doing their part to practice measures known to prevent the spread of COVID. Every person, student or staff, who comes to school, must be able to trust every other person coming to school is doing what they can to prevent the spread of COVID to protect themselves and every other person. If one person assumes risky behavior upon themselves it is not fair or safe to bring that risk upon others in a shared community. We urge everyone to limit your social gatherings and take all the necessary precautions we have all been doing throughout the pandemic.
We are deeply sorry for this abrupt disruption to your and our plans. However, if we want to be able to continue to have our children in school and to enjoy school sports, we must come together as a community to continue to take the necessary precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
While it is not as we had hoped things would go, we are still committed to continuing with our in-person hybrid model. We have been planning for such contingencies since the start of school and are very much looking forward to having our high school students back in school when it is determined it is safe to do so. We need your help, diligence, and cooperation in making this a possibility. Principal Jackson will send additional information to families and staff today.
Brian LaGrasse, North Andover Public Health Director
Dr. Gregg T Gilligan, Superintendent of Schools
Melissa Rodrigues, Esq., North Andover Town Manager
The NAPS COVID-19 Information & Planning Page includes links to district guidelines, protocols, and the NAPS Positive COVID-19 Case Process. Additionally, we have a school When to Stay Home Resource Page and if you have any questions an on-call nurse will be available between 6:00-8:00 am at 978-794-4842, or you can call your school nurse during school hours. We believe this resource will be useful in navigating any questions that you may have. The Town COVID-19 Information Page is also a great resource and any questions about the town's response or about the illness, in general, can be sent to cov...@northandoverma.gov or you can call the Town's COVID-19 Hotline at 978-208-6070.