Andover Public Schools will begin addressing problem areas identified in a December 2021 Department of Elementary and Secondary district review that highlighted low graduation rates for Hispanic, disabled, and low-income students.

“It is something that needs attention, and we will be working on it,” Superintendent Magda Parvey told the Andover School Committee Thursday.

DESE completed its review in December 2021 and released its report in May 2022.

The district’s overall graduation rate was 92.4 percent in 2021-2022, a five-year low and down from 92.4 percent. The average over those five years was 95.3 percent and reflects a spike in rates in 2021 during the coronavirus pandemic, when the state lowered graduation requirements.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Chair Tracey Spruce said.

“And we’ve already started doing the work,” Parvey said. “It’s not as if ‘here’s everything’ and we are just now starting from scratch. We’ve started, but we do have more work to do.”

The presentation was similar to one Parvey gave to staff on the opening day of school. None of the committee members had specific questions for the superintendent after her 30-minute presentation at the committee’s first meeting of the 2023-24 school year.

“I think Andover has always operated at a very high level, but even organizations that operate at a high level can always look at how they can do things better,” Spruce said.

District Enrollment Drops For 2023-24

Parvey also shared the district’s opening day enrollment number of 5531, down 1.4 percent from 5610 last year. Enrollments at all Andover schools, except for High Plan Elementary and Doherty Middle Schools, saw enrollment drops from last year’s opening day.

The numbers are preliminary, as students often enroll in and out of different district’s at the start of the year. The count will be finalized next month.

Charts and data: Andover Public Schools