Inadvertent Fire Drill and Water Update

A short note after a very successful weekend at our wonderful PTO BBQ!  Fun was had by all and even though it was a slight bit wet in the early hours, we finished strong with lots of entertainment, plenty of time on the bouncy castles, amazing food from around the world, and a spectacular dodgeball tournament where the parent team emerged victorious!  Thanks to all who helped make it so special on the day.  I’m sure more notes about that below in the PTO section of our eNotes.

Inadvertent Fire Drill

As you probably heard from your students, we had an evacuation drill on Monday when a faulty sensor caused a multi-trigger event that ran our alarm just around lunch time.  But, we matched our previous record and had everyone present and accounted for in around 6 minutes.  We’ve had the companies in to address the fault and double check the alarm delays.  Any conjecture that someone pressed the alarm or that a trigger was bumped has now been eliminated and all is well.  Good news, this means our next drill can be postponed a bit!

Water Update

We are waiting on the most recent round of tests and our bottled water routine is still in place.  We should have new numbers by end of week in order to make our next decisions.  One point of clarification on Manganese is that we have to remember the this mineral is actually expected to be part of our diet and we get Manganese in various foods that we eat in much larger quantities.  While the drinking water limitations for key minerals that we are tracking has been established, it is a secondary limit set by the World Health Organization and is therefore a less strict guideline.   We’ll keep you posted on the updates as they become available.

Board Meeting on Monday

First Board of Trustees meeting is Monday, September 24th at 6:00 p.m.  More information on Friday and a reminder that you are always welcome to attend.

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Weekend Fun and Water Update

Please join us this weekend for the PTO BBQ!!

Lots of “PTO – Join the Fun” enjoyment on tap.  Chances to win valuable prizes and also support the PTO in their main fund raising activity of the year.  This is family fun at its finest and we hope everyone will come out and join us!  Saturday, September 15, starting at noon.

Yours truly will be doing time as a target on the Dunk Tank at around 1:15p.  Principals, Teachers, and others will be before and after me.  Later in the day, we will have a tournament dodgeball game as well. Come join us for all of this!

If you can still help for a short time during the day, we have needs for additional adults on Raffle Sales and in the PTO Wear-House for a shift.  These online sign-ups are here:

Please help if you can for just 30 minutes.  Or sign-up to do a couple of slots if you are able.  Thanks in advance for your assistance!!

Water Update & Hydration

Hopefully you received my message on Tuesday detailing our actions taken while dealing with our high Manganese levels in recent water tests.  We are waiting on the next round of tests after the application of remedies by GTC and will inform you of the results.

In the meantime, our protocols seem to have worked well with the deployment of bottled water throughout the building.  Our supplies seemed to be sufficient to the need and I appreciate all the flexibility of students and staff as we adjusted to these changes.

One thing that struck me, and I’ve been reflecting on this both before and after the current situation.  I’m concerned that children, in general, may not be hydrating enough.  I reminded myself of the health benefits of good hydration and would suggest that we could do better, both at school and at home, with encouraging good hydration habits for our children.  Children are much more prone to dehydration due to their size and body weight while growing up.  I know for early childhood, we often have to remind students to get a drink before continuing an activity.  Symptoms of dehydration are some or all of the following:

  • Headaches
  • Poor concentration
  • Thirst
  • Cracked lips
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Lethargy

Like sleep and good eating habits, good hydration habits are important for growing and learning.  We should all make sure that children have water bottles and that they use them effectively in making sure that they get the necessary fluids each day.  Recommendations for children under 8 is 4-6 glasses of water per day.  Over 8, the recommendation climbs to 6-8 glasses.  That means refilling the water bottle (depending on size) 3-4 times per day at a minimum.  Weather conditions and temperature can certainly affect this recommendation up or down a bit, but it is clear that all of us may need to rethink how much water we get per day just like we reflect on how important a certain am0unt of sleep is to our health and well-being.

At school, we will always make sure that we have necessary supply.  Even in this current situation, our supply will meet the needs of our kids.  Make sure kids have a water bottle and encourage them to make hydration a good habit!  By the way, it should be noted that the PTO Wear-House has a few remaining ASW branded water bottles available! They’ll be ordering more soon. 😉

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Weekly Update

PTO Mixer – FRIDAY!!

We are hopeful of rivaling the turnout of the prior two years for this successful traditional event!!  The PTO mixer is a wonderful opportunity to connect with other adult members of the school community across all boundaries and have a great time together in a social setting.  This year, due to the generous donation of the Marriott Hotel, we will be in the wonderful Champions for our gathering this year!! Come join the Fun!

Friday, September 3, 7:00p to 12:00a

Student Handbooks

We’ve developed comprehensive handbooks this year for both our Elementary and Upper School Divisions.  The first chapter of each handbook is common content that is the same for both divisions, followed by a chapter for the specific division.  You can find these two documents on our website and via these links:

   

Please refer to these documents for important information regarding the implementation of policy through systems and procedures.  It is an important first reference when any question or concern emerges.

General Data Protection

This week we continue to remind parents who have not yet completed their update of health information and stipulation to key provisions of data protection.  You only need to login to PowerSchool and we would encourage ALL parents to regularly login to PowerSchool to check attendance, review health room information, and to update contact information to assure we can reach you in the event of an emergency.  At the beginning of each year, we have a one time form that all parents must complete in order to grant us permission that is necessary to provide educational services to your child.  If you have not completed this initial process yet, expect that we will call you in the near future to make sure we get this important information.  We consider it a condition of enrollment that parents are able to access PowerSchool and that you check this portal regularly as part of our partnership.

Parent Survey Sharing

I’ll be looking for opportunities to share information from our Student/Parent Satisfaction survey that we completed in June.  With over 836 responses for the full school section of the questionnaire, here are some important highlights of the agreement on the statements in the survey:

  • “When I have questions or concerns, someone in the school responds in a prompt and helpful fashion.”  46% Strongly Agreed and 48% Agreed for a total agreement of 94%.
  • “My child is engaged and interested in learning at school.” 53% Strongly Agreed and 43% Agreed for a total agreement of 96%.
  • “My child’s classes have helped her/him learn to collect, organize, analyze, and communicate information.” 37% Strongly Agreed and 57% Agreed for a total agreement of 94%.
  • “My child has access to various up-to-date technology-based tools and resources.” 40% Strongly Agreed and 56% Agreed for a total agreement of 96%.
  • “My child is developing digital citizenship to use technology in a safe and responsible manner.”  33% Strongly Agreed and 60% Agreed for a total agreement of 93%.
  • “School facilities meet my child’s needs.”  54% Strongly Agreed and 43% Agreed for a total agreement of 97%!

In terms of the full school portions of the survey, the lowest scores were still all above 80% agreement, but the lower results suggested that work in the following areas was warranted:

  • Assuring sufficient challenge for students in all their classes. (83%)
  • Refine our reporting of student progress (already planned this year). (86%)
  • Improving our ability to give timely and effective feedback (part of our PYP/MYP implementation). (89%)

As we continue analysis of the data from this survey along with your comments and the divisional statements, we will look for more opportunities to turn your feedback into action plans and enhancements in many aspects of the school.  We believe improvement is an ongoing, living process and your partnership in this regard is essential part of maintaining our cutting edge level of performance in service to your children and their educational goals and aspirations.

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Time to talk safety…

Last week, I made one note at the PTO meeting regarding safety updates and reminded all in attendance that they should be wearing their Parent identification at all times.  There was a mad digging into purses, but we had everyone wearing their badge in short order and after more than a few giggles.  My thanks to all the parents in attendance for their help in checking.  I reminded everyone that we would be asking all to be more diligent about this in order to assure that all adults on campus were authorized to be here.  Further, I suggested that I would hate to embarrass anyone when a student comes up to us to ask, “who is that?” when a badge is not visible.  Staff will rigorously approach you if they don’t see it in order to show students we are checking!

In addition, we have updated all of our records for safety and background checks.  This is also required for all non-parent class leaders and tutors for all of our various activities before, during and after school.  In order for these individuals to renew their badges for access to campus, they will need to provide a criminal background check and are required to stipulate to our Code of Conduct:Further, we have updated many of our manuals and procedures to assure that we are in full compliance with all standards in Poland as well as international standards on Child Protection.  We have identified Child Protection Designated Leads for this year and have chose a co-lead model.  Our two Designated Leads are Agata Kielczewska and Iza Skoczylas, both Upper School Counselors who work out of the Middle School office.  They will serve the entire PK-12 population in this area of Child Protection.  All potential concerns are reported to them and further action is taken based on our child Protection Policy and operations manual.  Parents, students, and staff are all encouraged to approach them if they have any concerns about the treatment or safety of any student at ASW.

Parking Lot Update

Finally, on the safety front, we have updated parking safety guides and we would remind parents again of our rules and regulations.  We are all doing very well for the start of the year.  New this year are reminders that we will send via email with pictures of your vehicle if you have broken any of our rules.  This will include a reminder that the Parent Handbook clearly notes that cars will be restricted from accessing the campus if there are repeat offences of parking or moving violations while on campus. Our new guides offer good advice. English version and Polish version(and other languages coming soon) are available on the ASW website and at the security desk.  Don’t forget also, when waiting, to turn your engines off and protect our environment.  Thank you!!

   

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