Amesbury Public Schools Update

From the Office of the Superintendent - November 25, 2020

Dear Amesbury Public School Families,

As many of you know, on Monday night the School Committee voted to begin the hybrid learning model at both Amesbury Middle School and Amesbury High School on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Since Wednesday will continue to be an asynchronous learning day in this model, the first day that cohorts will be in-person is Thursday, December 3, 2020. Amesbury Elementary School, Cashman Elementary School, and Amesbury Innovation High School will continue in their hybrid models on Monday, November 30th, as each of their schedules dictates.

At AMS, the TEAMS that will be in-person on Thursday are Lime, Red, White and Orange. At AHS, the White Cohort will be in person on Thursday. Each building principal has sent out more detailed information. If after reading that information, you still have questions, please reach out directly to that school. They will be able to provide you with additional details.

I understand and appreciate that there is a significant amount of anxiety surrounding the return to in-person learning. On Monday night, I shared with the School Committee how proud of, and thankful, for the Amesbury Public Schools community that I am. All of our staff members, including our maintenance staff and cleaning company, our staff, and our families have collaborated to develop a plan and protocols designed to keep our students and staff safe. The thoroughness of these plans is evident at AES, CES and AIHS. Through the diligent implementation of those protocols at AMS and AHS, the level of our anxiety will begin to subside. We will continue to monitor the health of our students and staff members. To assist us in maximizing the safety in our school communities, we ask that as families, you do your part (or continue to do it). The simplest way to do that is:

  • to follow the daily checklist (see below) before sending your child(ren) to school,

  • to keep your child(ren) home from school if they have any COVID symptoms, and

  • to communicate with your child(ren)'s school if anyone in your family has come into contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID, is going for a test, or has tested positive for COVID themselves. In short, please over communicate with your child(ren)'s schools.

If you have any health related questions or concerns, please contact the school nurse and/or your school’s main office (see contact information below).

I hope that you all have a safe, relaxing, and happy Thanksgiving,

Elizabeth McAndrews

Acting Superintendent

Amesbury Public Schools

Safety Protocols in Place

We would like you to know:

* That in every building desks are at least 6 feet apart from one another.

* When seated, students will be facing in the same direction. This includes in classrooms as

well as the lunch room.

* Students will be wearing masks at all times with the exception of when they eat or when they

are on a mask break.

* Students will have designated areas outside for mask breaks.

* Students will practice social distancing at all times including whenever they move from one

location to another.

* Hand hygiene will be incorporated into the daily routine. Hand sanitizer is available in every

classroom and throughout the halls.

* Windows will be open in all areas where they exist and air purifiers are distributed throughout

the building.

* All touch surfaces and areas within the school are sprayed at the end of each day.

the building.

* Each classroom has a cleaning agent and paper towels so that desks can be wiped down

between students.

* Students will have assigned seats in each classroom as well as in the lunchroom.

* Students from different grades will enter the buildings from different entrances.

* Dismissals from classrooms and from school will be staggered.

Daily Checklist

The single most important thing to do if any of the following symptoms are present is to STAY HOME. Our collective health relies, in part, on individual attention and responsibility. Note that some symptoms of COVID-19 are the same as the flu or a bad cold; please do not assume it is another condition. When in doubt, stay home and contact your child(ren)'s school(s).

Below is the full list of symptoms for which caregivers should monitor their children, and staff should monitor themselves:

  • Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills (CDC has lowered the temperature from 100.4 to 100.0)

  • Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Headache when in combination with other symptoms

  • Muscle aches or body aches

  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

  • Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms

  • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms

If staff or students have any of these symptoms, they should be tested and must follow the protocols outlined in the following pages. DPH and the CDC share guidance around testing.

Please contact your school nurse and/or main office if any of the above signs are present.

Change of Learning Model Form

Our District Remote Learning Plan calls for the use of a Change of Learning Model Form when a family is looking to change from one learning model to another. In addition, it requires up to a three week window of time for this transition to take place. Once the form is filed with the appropriate school, a member of that school's administration team will respond to your request within a reasonable time frame.

Contact Numbers for Each Building

Amesbury High School

Main Office 978-388-4800

Nurse's Office 978-388-4800 ext. 4222

Amesbury Innovation High School

Main Office/Nurse 978-388-8037

Amesbury Middle School
Main Office 978-388-0515

Nurse's Office 978 -388-0515 ext. 8888

Amesbury Elementary School

Main Office 978-388-3659

Nurse's Office 978-388-3659 ext. 116

Cashman Elementary School

Main Office 978-388-4407

Nurse's Office 978-388-4407 ext. 21

Bus Transportation

Students will have the opportunity to take buses to and from school. Buses will drop off students at AHS and AMS at 7:30 am and will pick students up at each school at 2:10. Please see the daily schedules at each building for information around drop off and pick up for students who do not ride the buses. Students are socially distanced on buses and must wear their masks at all times.

Thanksgiving Travel

As we enter the Thanksgiving break, many families will choose to travel out of state to be with family. While we cannot underestimate the importance of spending time with family during this time it is important that everyone complies with all of the Massachusetts travel rules.

Please review the link below for updated and constantly evolving travel advisories for all Massachusetts residents who plan to travel out of state.

Here is a summary of important takeaways:

  • Currently, only Vermont is considered a low risk state that does not require quarantining upon return to Massachusetts (please monitor for changes).

  • You must quarantine for 14 days upon returning home to Massachusetts. Children age 10 and under do as their parents do, i.e. if the parents quarantine, so does the child. Children 11 and over must quarantine as is required for an adult.


  • You may obtain a negative PCR molecular test no more than 72 hours prior to your return and provide the school with documentation of said test. Children age 10 and under do not require a test if their parent has tested negative. Children age 11 and over must be tested as an adult.

If you have any questions or need additional clarification, please contact Nurse Leader Rita O'Neill at

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and assistance with keeping our school community well!

I hope that everyone has the chance to relax and enjoy some down time during this Thanksgiving break. Please take care and be safe!