Andover Public Schools broke from precedent Monday by saying it would no longer publish bus routes online to “ensure students’ privacy.”
The announcement set off a round of complaints on social media, including concerns that parents will not know where their children are while traveling to and from school and complaints about the timing of the announcement, which came just two days before the start of the 2022-23 school year.
“Student privacy is something districts are legally required to maintain, and the administration believes that this is an important measure for maintaining student and family privacy,” APS communications director Nicole L. Kieser said Wednesday. This decision was based on community feedback and is an operational one under the purview of our Superintendent and her administrative team.”
Kieser said families with concerns or questions can contact Cindy Button at email@example.com.
Monday’s announcement said bus route information was posted on the Aspen education portal on Aug. 15, and bus route information was scheduled to be sent to families on Aug. 22. But families only received information on what bus route their child was on, without details of where each route traveled. In previous years, the complete routes were published in the Andover Townsman.
The decision to not publish routes online was not mentioned when the school committee approved a new transportation contract earlier this month. APS has said it is assessing security at all of its schools and started accepting bids for the initial assessment on Monday. As part of the increased emphasis on security, the district said earlier this summer there will be a resource officer assigned to Andover High School this year.