Spring Cleaning

Happy Spring Break Parents!

This newsletter is a SPECIAL Supplemental version because we will be instituting A LOT of changes in order to better facilitate our students and parents. We launched credit card payments this month and that has coincided with our new Point of Sale system, so it will be easier from this point forward to generate reports and retrieve reports of transactions. We were in communication with various vendors and were unhappy with either the contract terms, equipment fees, processing fees, or software/hardware interface/features. We are STILL working on online payments and a better ACH/Bank option and that should be ready for the new school year (August 2021).

Tax season is here and we have been getting queries for reports – anything before January 2021 is from an exported CSV file from our old POS/transaction management solution. Populating reports is a very arduous process for 2020 transactions, so IF you need a report, PLEASE notify us AS SOON AS POSSIBLE because it will take about 1 week per report – we will need to manually go week by week and extract the relevant data for that student. We can provide a report that details your weekly rate and that your student was enrolled from a certain date to present or a certain date to a certain date and that has been sufficient for MOST tax purposes. Going forward, it will be easier to export reports and for 2022 it will be streamlined to the point where parents can access their reports online. 2021 will also be an easier process as we have inputted all 2021 transactions into our new POS system.

Unfortunately, we are STILL in COVID-season and we need to remain vigilant, we have noticed that some of our parents have become lax with masks and we need to reiterate that masks are mandatory for picking up your student! The new UK variant of this virus is extremely contagious and we are doing our best to mitigate our school from exposure.

We will start doing basic computer/desktop/laptop lessons with our VPK students in April. We have noticed with our Andover Alumni how essential remote/virtual learning is and it is imperative that our students have a cursory knowledge of how to use a mouse/trackpad for grade school. Simple things like double-clicking and pressing down on the left mouse button to hold and drag is foreign for students who have grown up using a tablet. Remember that Miami-Dade and Broward counties were equipped with a remote learning infrastructure pre-pandemic for hurricane closures, so there is a pretty big chance that if your child is staying in South Florida, there will be more remote/virtual learning post-pandemic. Some schools have been provisioning tablets instead of laptops – we will ensure that Andover students have basic knowledge of BOTH tablets AND trackpads/mouse input devices.

We have been exploring a plethora of options and as previous newsletters have expressed we are constantly looking and reviewing our process and protocols. We will be launching contactless sign-in/sign-out on Monday April 5th. This will be accomplished by utilizing your smartphone device and downloading an app (more details below) opening the app and selecting your child will produce an icon where you can scan a QR code using your camera (you need to allow the app to use your camera). A QR code will be displayed on the front desk…a video of the process is below (it sounds complicated, but we assure you its a simple process). For our parents/extended family without smartphones – there will be an iPad available where you will tap in your personal PIN code – each authorized pickup will have a unique PIN code.

We plan on soft launching this method for next week (we have some technical issues with our specific install since we did a very thorough trial) so hopefully by Tuesday (March 30th) next week we can walk you through it, so there isn’t mass confusion on Monday April 5th. Parents that want to participate in the soft launch – please email us at info@andoveracademy.net with the subject line Procare and we will reply on Monday (March 29th) with the onboarding link for you to sign up. 


The Child Care management software we will be using is Procare – there is quite a few of options in this space and we have explored and researched most of them; we have always been hesitant to utilize these kinds of programs because we don’t want our teachers looking at an iPad or an iPhone and NOT looking at our students. We will only be using this software to better communicate and create reports more efficiently; we at Andover Academy will not be artificially manufacturing moments to broadcast to parents, we believe in organically creating an enriching educational experience for our students. Accident Reports, more commonly known as #4s – will now be done primarily via the app. This will be an ongoing venture that we need time to acclimate to, so SOME of our teachers will be more comfortable doing it the traditional way with paper/pen at first until they are comfortable with the iPad, in some instances there will be times where an administrator sees the written #4 and uses that information to send out to the parent via the app…but there will be situations where its hectic, or our internet is out/intermittent, the app/service is down or under maintenance, etc. and we resort to the “traditional accident report”


We have consulted with our partners in the child care industry and Procare comes highly recommended, different facilities have used it in different capacities – some purely on the administrative side for billing/contact/database info and some JUST for the parent engagement. We will be utilizing Procare differently depending on the program of the student. Infants will get more detailed information regarding things like meals, bowel movements, nap times, etc. compared to our VPK students – this is EXACTLY how it is done currently; we do not have daily reports for our VPK students – we are preparing them (and our parents) for grade school where there is a tremendous transition. It will be an ongoing process and we have (thanks to our teachers) even found ways not intended to use the software during our evaluation/trial period – we look forward to sharing with you and we are eagerly anticipating our parents feedback with this new tool we have added to help our students and parents.

Parents will have the option to completely opt-out of Procare if they are not comfortable having their children’s information online in any capacity. We will always provide an option for our parents who do not want any information online and want maximum privacy. There will be a fee associated to this opt-out option, but it will not be effective until the start of next school year (August 2021). Please email us at info@andoveracademy.net between now and April 1st 2021 with the subject line opt-out and the initials and class of your child and we will relay with you on the opt-out process. The privacy policy of Procare can be found at this link (https://www.procaresoftware.com/privacy-policy/)

Remind is also an essential communication tool that we will continue to use along with Procare. Parents DO NOT need to download the app to utilize Remind, parents can opt to use Remind purely as a text message service; so even parents/extended family who do not have a smartphone can use Remind. We will utilize Remind for school announcements – like the emergency incident we had earlier this month (where a vehicle lost control and hit our transformer at 1:25 AM and we had no power/electricity), or for hurricane/weather related closures, COVID-exposure/quarantine, lockdown notifications, etc. we will also use it when there is pertinent info – dates on parades, graduation, etc. Teachers will use it for their specific classrooms to notify/remind parents to wear red a certain day or to bring in a shoebox for a project. Instructions for how to sign up to Remind is on the website (where your child’s weekly class letter is found). Please email info@andoveracademy.net if you are having any issues signing up or would like the instructions emailed to you. Weekly class letters can be found by going to the newsletter section of our website and clicking on your child’s program/class – each classroom has a specific password.

It is VITAL that we have your current email – we have acquired most when parents signed up for our virtual parent/teacher conferences and that is what we will be using to onboard parents onto Procare. Please email us if we don’t have your current email address with the initials of your child and class and/or class teacher so we can update our records.

We are also working on a more robust media release form that will be online to review that will be part of our new registration forms as social platforms have become more ubiquitous and parents sharing their children’s activities has become more prevalent. We will be very transparent and flexible with what we do as a school and be very careful on what we put out on our social media channels, there will be opt-out options on our new iteration of our media release form but certain events like VPK graduation and class photos we can only dissuade other parents from sharing/broadcasting – we traditionally say the students’ names at graduation and the normal class photos have the students name in the caption. We are looking at various solutions and options to maximize privacy for the parents who don’t want other parents unintentionally invading their child’s privacy but we can only control what we do on our pages/channels. We will have a “total” opt-out option where students are not recorded or photographed at all but we will ensure that those students will continue to participate in all activities and even have the photographer take a fake picture so those students don’t feel left out.

There will also be addendums to the registration packet for the 2021/2022 school year – input from our teachers that will help facilitate an optimal educational experience and foster a productive day. Nutrition and late arrivals will be some of the areas addressed in the addendums – disruption during reading/circle time is very distracting to the class. We understand that there are emergencies and we will come up with a process – having the student stay in the office/lobby until reading/circle time is over is one possible solution.

The new version of our registration packet with the new addendums, remind instructions, Procare app information, and the more detailed media release form will be online July 15th 2021.

We will also be launching a new section to our website called Andover Affiliates – many of our teachers have ventures or projects that they do in addition to teaching your children, so we will be highlighting their websites, Etsy stores, eBay listings, GoFundMe links, Venmo, Cash app, Zelle, PayPal, etc. to support their efforts. We will eventually be opening up Andover Affiliates to our Andover Alumni and Andover Parents to develop a community network that we can all support and use as a resource. Andover Affiliates will launch on April 15th and be exclusive (featuring only our teachers) until November 15th 2021. In October 2021 – Andover Affiliates will be its own dedicated website.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Thank You for reading this VERY LONG update – Mr. Chris promises the next newsletter will be much shorter!