Students at all three Andover middle schools could follow an overhauled school day schedule by 2024-25 if administrators are successful in working towards goals set for the 2022-23 school year.
“We started looking at this in 2018…but it was interrupted in the pandemic,” West Middle School principal Timothy Corkery told the school committee at its meeting Thursday. “We feel now is the right time to bring it back.”
Corkery and other administrators presented goals to the school committee that principals had begun collectively working on over the summer. Middle and elementary school principals are looking for consistency across different schools. In addition to exploring a schedule change, for example, principals from Andover’s three middle schools are working to formalize the process for Multi Tiered Support Systems. “How struggling students are identified right now is very different at the three schools,” Corkery said.
Changes to the middle school schedule will be evaluated this year, which staff preparing for the switch next year. Corkery said the change would include dedicated time for social and emotional learning, and would give students opportunities for project-based and service learning opportunities. He also said the schedule would give students more choice.
“Students have very little choice right now. They can choose between Spanish or French, and they can opt in to orchestra or chorus,” he said. “And that’s pretty much it.”
High Plain Elementary Principal Pamela Lathrop and Carolyn Fawcett, interim principal at Sanborn Elementary School, told the school committee Andover’s elementary school administrators set three goals, including implementing the Eureka Squared math curriculum, improving teaching and consistency of phonetic awareness among kindergarten students and working to improve content-focused coaching for students who are struggling.
Like the middle school principals, the elementary school principals are looking for students to have the same learning experience, regardless of which school they attend.
“Wherever you go to school, you’re going to have the same education in Andover, and that’s really important to us,” Lathrop said.
Andover High School Principal Caitlin Brown she and assistant principals had focused goals on improving classroom instruction. They include more classroom observations and walk-through, as well as self-assessment by staff and students.
Photo: Pamela Lathrop, principal at High Plain Elementary School, and Carolyn Fawcett, interim principal at Sanborn Elementary School, present the APS elementary school improvement plan to the Andover School Committee on Oct. 6 (Screen shot, Andover TV).