Proctor and the Town of Andover: The Context of Reopening

Posted by Scott Allenby

08/18/2020

For nearly 175 years, Proctor Academy has played a central role in the day to day operations of the Town of Andover. Originally a town academy serving children of all ages, Proctor’s evolution to a boarding school in the 1930s initiated growth in both physical plant and the seasonal population in town. Today, Proctor serves as the town’s largest employer and annually welcomes students from more than 25 states and 13 countries to campus. Just as COIVD-19 has shifted each of our lives, the role Proctor plays within the Town of Andover as it seeks to reopen for the 2020-2021 school year must also shift. 

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The Town of Andover and a much smaller Proctor Academy campus circa 1949

In late July, Proctor shared its Reopening Plan with families, employees and the greater Andover community. Over the past month, we have received feedback on this plan, have worked hard to enhance testing protocol for employees and students, and have wrestled with how best to reintroduce students from around the country to campus without compromising the health and wellbeing of the greater Andover Community. Proctor's reopening campus this fall will not happen within a bubble. We acknowledge our ability to test, monitor, and enforce safety guidelines within our school community will have a significant impact on our neighbors in town. We understand the responsibility we shoulder as we welcome families from across the country to campus.

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Specific protocols in place to ensure the health and safety of the greater Andover community include the following shifts in rules and structures at Proctor this year: 

  • Registration Days will take place on September 7 and 8 and will include extensive COVID-19 testing for all students at this time. 
  • On-going surveillance testing, including antigen testing, pool testing, and sewage testing, will continue throughout the school year as added layers of screening. 
  • Boarding students will not be allowed to travel home for weekends while school is in session unless a medical emergency occurs. 
  • Parents/families will not be allowed to visit campus for events (games, performances) and will not be allowed in buildings at any time while school is in session. 
  • Proctor has canceled its Fall Family Weekend events in mid-October. 
  • Proctor students will, initially, not be allowed to travel to or access local businesses in an effort to ensure the safety of the community. 
  • Face coverings and strict social distancing will be required in all Proctor buildings while school is in session. 
  • Mindful that many employee children attend local schools, we are limiting the access of employee children to facilities like the dining commons, gym, and academic buildings. 
  • Classes will be offered remote for students unable to travel to campus (or for whom it is unsafe to travel to Andover). Currently this includes more than 15 international and domestic students. 
  • Academic classes will be held outside whenever possible. 
  • Inter-dorm visitation will not be allowed while school is in session. 
  • Interscholastic Athletics will take place on a limited basis, with specific “play dates” against singular opposing schools to minimize exposure.

We encourage the local community to explore additional details related to testing protocols and safety measures that will be put in place across all aspects of school life in Proctor’s Return to School Plan

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A full spectrum of concerns exist within Proctor's immediate employee and student community. We know these concerns extend beyond the campus boundary, and we believe the importance of on-going dialogue with members of the community to be critical as we navigate this fall together. In an effort to facilitate that dialogue, Proctor’s Head of School Mike Henriques invites members of the community to reach out with specific questions about Proctor’s Return to School Plan and its impact on the community. Email Mike at communications@proctoracademy.org with questions or concerns. 

Explore Proctor's Return to School Plan here.

    

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