Berman: Schools will open in fall, with changes

Andover schools Superintendent Sheldon Berman earned a “proficient” rating from the School Committee, along with a 2% raise at his annual review on Wednesday.CARL RUSSO/Staff file photo

Superintendent Sheldon Berman said he expects schools will reopen on time for the 2020-21 sessions.

"We assume they will reopen in the fall when the pandemic settles down and we can actually put in significant safety measures for students," he said.

On March 21, Gov. Charlie Baker extended the closure of all public and private elementary and secondary schools in the state to the end of the school year.

This is the second time the governor has extended school closures. Schools were initially closed March 15 as part of a set of executive orders that also shut down bars, restaurants and and non-essential businesses, and limited the size of gatherings.

Berman said he'd like to form a task force around re-opening the school system, when that does — in fact — happen.

"First of all we need to think through what are the safety precautions that we have to put into place, that will probably include our nurse coordinator," he said.

"I want to involve people from the town," he continued. "We would like to have administrators as part of that. We will convene health professionals so we actually have an effective opening that doesn't compromise people."

He said the last thing he wants is a re-opening that infects students and teachers with COVID-19. 

"I'm sorry to say this but I believe ... until we have a vaccine, we will be seeing recurrences of this virus," he said. "So we have to minimize that recurrence as best as possible."

Tentative ideas to minimize this at school in the fall may be to require everyone in the buildings to wear masks and to somehow limit the size of gatherings, he said.


This Week's Circulars

Recommended for you