Jul. 9—ANDOVER — Crouching down to meet with elementary schoolers doing summer school activities, Andover's new superintendent is diving in, getting to know everyone in the district during a listening tour.
"I've been touring schools and visiting with principals listening because I want to learn what people are experiencing and looking forward to," said Magda Parvey, Andover's new permanent superintendent, at High Plain Elementary School Wednesday.
Parvey joined the district on July 1 coming from Middletown, Connecticut, where she was the chief academic officer for the town's school district. Parvey was one of the 10 applicants for the position after former Superintendent Sheldon Berman resigned at the end of December, citing family obligations. Former Superintendent Claudia Bach stepped in as interim superintendent for six months while the district searched and ultimately hired Parvey.
In her first few days, she's been touring all of the schools and meeting staff, teachers and students.
"I'm loving it," she said.
Parvey is also meeting with other local leaders and will soon be opening up the district's office for drop-in office hours.
Ensuring people feel heard is central to Parvey's communications plan with everyone in the district. It will be important to listen to people who are directly impacted by the decisions she makes as superintendent, whether it's administrators, teachers or parents, she said.
"Communications have to be consistent and there has to be an opportunity for people to participate," she said.
This is a critical year in the schools post-pandemic, so participation and listening to everyone is even more essential, she said.
It's also a time when district officials will have to reevaluate learning, she said.
"We are never going to catch up on two years of interrupted learning, but teachers should be able to help students by implementing the scaffolding of lessons to catch them up and teach them what they need to know," Parvey said.
It will be a three-part approach of looking at social-emotional skills, equity and academic excellence to ensure students are adjusting well, she said.
"We are going to need to pay attention to how we integrate students back into school," she said.