Andover School Board Minutes – December 7, 2021

By Beth Page

Condensed from approved minutes.

Board Present: Adam Jones, Dan Newton, Lisa Burbach, Aimee Menard

Administration Present: Mark MacLean, Randy Wormald, Dennis Dobe, Dennis Audet, Kathleen Boucher, Hilary Denoncourt, Beth Page

Public Present: Donna Crisp Duclos, Caden Heath, Kent Hackmann

Finance Report: Overages within the current budget are due to contracted service needs.

Public Comment: Mr. Heath reported a recent situation where he was recently quarantined from school, and he advocated for changes to the quarantine model.

Mrs. Duclos asked about active cases at AE/MS and the high school. At this time, there have been 15 cases at the high school over the past two weeks. This number includes both students and staff. There have been a small number of COVID-positive students/staff at AE/MS, but no clusters. AE/MS held a vaccination clinic as well last week for the school and general community. There will be a follow up clinic in January.

Chairperson’s Report: Next Tuesday, we are meeting at 5 PM for another budget work session. The presentation will be on Wednesday, December 15 at 6 PM in the Town Office meeting room. Menard discussed goal setting and reviewing goals in April.

Principal’s Report: There are a lot of good things happening right now for AE/MS students: the basketball team is underway, recreation leagues, the drama department is preparing for their production on December 17. 

Dobe spoke of clubs being offered during middle school recess. Dobe spoke of challenges for students and staff returning from COVID with some challenges which appear to be smoothing out. 

The staff/schedule model to support RTI services is moving forward well. Page reported that the IDEA grant has been substantially approved. The budget is in progress. Trimester I grades and progress notes have been sent home. The annual Title I meeting has been scheduled for January 19, which will be a remote meeting.

Audet has completed the shed for the skid steer; the old shed will be removed soon. The heating system is doing its job; no more leaks have happened since it’s been up and running. The DOE came in to review AE/MS’s school safety in regards to facility features; we passed the inspection with minor adjustments needed.

Old Business: Budget timeline was reviewed. Tuition agreement updates are expected in January.

New Business: JLCH is a Do Not Resuscitate policy. GADA is a policy prohibiting aiding and abetting sexual abuse. It’s requested that the second read is waived on these policies. Menard would entertain a motion to approve the JLCH and GADA policies, and waive the second reading. Dan moved, Lisa seconded. All agreed, the motion passed.

2022-2023 AE/MS School Calendar was presented. This calendar is in line with both the Merrimack Valley and Concord school calendars. Lisa moved to approve the School Calendar for the 2022-2023 school year, Dan seconded. All were in favor and the motion was passed.

It was discussed when to re-evaluate the stay-open plan in light of changes with the COVID virus/transmission rate/vaccination rates. MacLean has reached out to other districts; 1 out of 17 districts are coming back to the table to re-evaluate their COVID response plans. This may be useful for ASD to do at some point in the future. 

MacLean also discussed home tests being acquired, which may be more useful than rapid tests. Adams advocated for having this discussion on the schedule regularly. Numbers for COVID new contracted cases for Andover and the surrounding towns over the past 14 days per DHHS data is 1,328 new cases, which is about 13 times the marker (100 new cases) of when we go into substantial risk per the stay-open plan.