Aspiring Board Training and Epixpert Testing for Parents

Each year, I offer training sessions for aspiring board members. This can include our Board of Trustees, who are always recruiting new members, as well as service on other non-profit boards for charitable organizations. There is general information about serving on the board and specific information about how ASW governance works.

If you would like to participate, you can sign up by clicking here: 

https://forms.gle/h9VnAN1f32wSRTvo6

The BoT is always seeking candidates as new Trustees (U.S. citizens and Non-U.S. citizens) who could serve to fill open positions mid-year or run for elections in the spring. This process, overseen by the Board of Trustees Governance Committee is ongoing throughout the year. The link to that form is here:

https://forms.gle/2XwED5usBYeL94BB7

EpiXpert Testing for Parents

We are ready to deploy testing for parents onsite starting on Monday. Parents can be tested at school for the following costs:

Individual antigen test – 179 PLN (valid for 7 days in OK4School)
Individual PCR tests – 399 PLN
Individual Antibody tests – 85 PLN

The results will be reported through the app and payment can be done at the time of testing at the main entrance. We expect the deployment of pre-ordering via the website sometime shortly after the break. Parent testing would provide for access to cohorts if parents are also compliant with daily attestation through “OK4School”.

Once the website is ready, parents will be able to subscribe to weekly testing for a further discounted price. If we have sufficient parents that choose to participate, we can move parents to pooled testing and lower the price even further for the subscription. More information from Epixpert coming soon.

Events

I want to thank PTO again for helping to manage as we change some of our plans for the time between now and the October Break. As the notes below will share, we’ll need to forgo traditional activities, but still find some joy in the holiday. I trust PTO and parents to find some creative options that are safe and viable under the circumstances.

Final Words

I need you all to be thinking about safety out there. We are getting close to our break and case numbers continue to rise along with the reported numbers today in excess of 6000. Warsaw is on the verge of being declared a red zone. We have our own illnesses that we are tracking, although isolated and contained. For the most part, all of you are doing a great job of reporting on the app and keeping kids home when they are ill.

Please take my words as literally as possible: now is the time to STAY HOME (yes, I used capitals again). We are OK at school and I know you are doing everything you can at home to protect the community. The cases are being largely caught at the door or early enough to prevent spread. Stay safe and stay cautious. We can get through this together.

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PTO! PTO! PTO!

A big thank you to PTO for their amazing efforts in keeping a tradition alive and well with a wonderful weekend Raffle. I hope our live event on Sunday wasn’t too jagged for you and that we got enough announced to make it a fun and engaging afternoon. Thank you to all of the bidders and for the final tally: US$6265!!

PTO is planning away for upcoming events and I value their energy and enthusiasm. They are working hard to preserve our traditions in new ways, consistent with the challenge of a pandemic — no easy task! But, we certainly have the right people to take this on. You only need to look at the banner on their new “chalet” to understand how we turn lemons into lemonade. Please join me in thanking them for their efforts. Best way to thank them? – Volunteer!!

Students, similarly, are trying to find the silver lining of our restrictions and plan new ideas and involvement. At MS Student Council, one of the big questions was how can we do charity work and continue to serve others. We might not be able to organize a dance right now, but we are still concerned about how we can give back. Many are seeking agency under a new set of limitations — let’s not call them regulations — and the ideas are flowing.

As a school, we welcome collaboration and resilience. We love life and learning at ASW, always looking for ways to bring meaning and coherence to what we do!

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It’s Not Normal Yet

I know you are probably sick of me writing it, but the reality is clear that we are not normal yet and it is likely that we will have to adopt a new normal for the long term. With another case identified today, we are reminded that the prevalent nature of potential infection is always with us. There were major milestones that hit around the world in recent days and yet many questions remain unanswered. We are trying to understand something that may not be understandable. We are struggling to do our best and harness the odds.

I fear we will now find ourselves in a constant cycle of identifying new cases and doing our best to minimize exposure to the rest of our community. There is no one solution that is possible, but it is clear that the path of infection is impossible to predict. Thus far, we have stopped further spread in its tracks and our protocols on that front are working. But, the odds that we would see nine infections by this point in the year were low. This means that community spread is higher than what is reported and there is risk that exists around us. Our learning from recent cases is not crystal clear.

Some were certainly travel related, either by a relative or a family member. Travel increases risk, that much is clear. With some planning trips even this coming weekend, I can only offer a word of caution and note again the stipulations of our rules adjudicated through our survey. October Break brings another layer of challenge to this and we are hopeful of your attention to these parameters.

Some of our infections were simply community exposure. As we move about, we need to be thoughtful about risk in the general public and avoid outside activities that bring potential harm to the community. We can never be sure about where this might emerge. The government announced changes to address this by lowering the number allowed in public gatherings from 150 to 100 – an attempt to limit these vectors of potential exposure. Our OK4School app is about informing and educating you on these potential lines of concern so that you can protect yourself.

At school we can’t avoid risk entirely. We stated that at the outset and students are here in these hallways through informed consent, with parents understanding the risk.

On the long weekend, we will be making updates to the OK4School application and will communicate these tomorrow after final checking. It will tighten some areas and make some parts easier for you to address. We are growing as a community in our response and our thoughtfulness. Step back to assess as numbers climb and understand the difficult task we face of unifying around a new normal of consistent practice and holding our families and our community close and protected.

Recent Evening Events All Successful!

Want to thank everyone for their participation in key orientation events provided by both the Upper School and Elementary, the traditional Back-to-School. Many thanks to the teachers for their creativity and energy in delivering this content in a new format and to the administrators, coordinators, and counselors who all had a hand in making it memorable and relevant. As always for virtual events of this nature, many thanks to the IT folks in the background working hard to make all of this function effectively! And, thanks to parents for your interest and your partnership again renewed.

Remember that the side benefit of doing these virtually includes being able to watch this content over and over again in the video archives. Please ask if you don’t know where to find it or check eNotes in the relevant sections below for guidance.

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