Editors Note: This article contains information that is now out of date. Please read “Remote Learning Extended to End of Year, Commencement Put on Hold” for the lastest updates on the Andover administration’s responses to COVID-19.
Following recent developments to the COVID-19 pandemic, students are projected to return to campus on April 30 and resume in-person classes on May 1. While remote learning will still begin on March 30, students will arrive on campus nearly a month past the originally delayed return date of April 6.
According to a school-wide email sent by Interim Head of School Jim Ventre ’79, Spring Term classes will be assessed on a pass/fail basis in order to best support the new learning environment and alleviate stress. Ventre also noted that the College Counseling Office (CCO) is confident that college admissions offices will accommodate this change to the grading system considering the exigent circumstances.
As students prepare to turn to online learning, the Shuman Office of Admissions announced to newly admitted students on March 10 that Spring Visits will take place on a virtual platform led by Peter Ling ’20, Lizzy Glazer ’21, and Nishani Clarke ’23. In the meantime, new students will have access to online Q&A sessions with current students.
Ventre’s email made no mention of the upcoming sports season. However, in an email sent on March 12, Linda Carter Griffith, Associate Head of School for Equity, Inclusion, and Wellness, wrote that the administration is continuously reevaluating Andover’s athletic program.
According to Ventre, an individual attending the Nepsac Girls Ice Hockey Tournament, which was attended by many members of Andover Girls Hockey, tested positive for the virus. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has asked attendees of the tournament to evaluate themselves for symptoms and practice social distancing.
The Andover administration is currently working to ensure that all students have returned home or will return home soon. They are also working to address the residential status of international students facing travel restrictions. Jennifer Elliott ’94 P’22, Assistant Head of School for Residential Life and Dean of Students, sent a survey to students to clarify the individual travel and residential situations of every student.
These efforts to clarify travel plans come as governments around the world impose limits on travel. On March 11, the U.S. government banned the entry of foreign nationals coming from China, Iran, and most countries in the European Union, with exceptions for certain cases. Additionally, several countries have closed their borders, and according to CNN, the European Union will halt all non-essential entry.
As of March 16, there are 197 cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, including one each in the towns of Andover and North Andover. Governor Charlie Baker announced on March 15 that all K-12 public schools will officially close on March 17 and remain closed through April 7.
The administration plans to make a final decision about the Spring Term academic schedule by April 6.