Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


May 2, 2013

Saturday make-up classes pass test

70 percent attendance for special high school session


Kerry Costello, president of the Andover Education Association, said all the teachers showed up but that a lot of students were missing.

“Staff was here and ready to engage,” she said. “But from the classrooms I saw, I didn’t see many that were full.”

She said 70 percent was “better than I thought.” However, she said she hadn’t heard much feedback from teachers.

“Teachers knew attendance would be down, so they didn’t go too far with the curriculum,” she said.

A number of students were dismissed early for a variety of family activities, Lord said, something that’s expected on weekends.

He noted that next year, the school calendar starts on Aug. 26, the week before Labor Day, meaning school will end June 16, unless there are more snow days.

“Hopefully, this problem won’t come up again,” he said.

Costello agreed. “It was a hard week,” she said. “We had one day off and then we were back in school.”

She noted that the system was forced into holding classes on Saturday because state law prohibits holding classes after June 30. The early start next year, which was approved by the teachers union, should help avoid a similar problem for the 2013-2014 school year.

Meanwhile, she said, a group has formed to look at religious holidays in general.

“A lot of factors played into all of it,” she said.

Superintendent Marinel McGrath, who could not be reached for this story, spent the whole day Saturday at the high school.

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