Sadness and Solidarity

Gdańsk Mayor, Paweł Adamowicz, who served the public for over 20 years, was lost to us in a brutal attack at the culmination of a celebration of life and charity in the Great Christmas Orchestra charity event last weekend.  This charity was announced at our High School assembly on Monday as highly successful in our own community with contributions of over 30,000 PLN.

Many of us are still reeling and trying to understand how someone who was such a defender of those who would be marginalized or who were less fortunate should fall to such hatred.  As always with a loss of this nature, we are sensitive to the feelings of our students and the broader community.  We will provide, as always, a safe harbor for their expressions in the context of this tragedy.

A national day of mourning is planned for the coming weekend, beginning at 5pm on Friday and continuing until 7pm on Saturday.  In the shadow of this horrible loss, I hope for light in the memories that remain.  Let’s find an opportunity to discuss, as families of many nations, our commitment and earnest attention to modeling peace and harmony for our children.  Speaking for myself and for all who are guests in this wonderful, warm, and welcoming country, I offer my sincere condolences to the Polish people, hoping that, together, we find peace and harmony in the midst of our shared sorrow.

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Welcome Back!

Welcome to 2019!

Hoping you are all finding your return from the holidays both refreshing and renewing as we consider the path that lies ahead. As we move into the final days of the semester, which officially ends on January 25, we have clarity on goals and aspirations for the remaining days of the school year. We are also fully engaged on planning for next year. As we consider 2019 a critical year of key operational work bringing accreditation goals into central focus, we are looking ahead to 2020 as a year of clarity that will build on this work of refining and development. May your planning for goals and accomplishments in the year ahead be equally engaging and fulfilling. January has always been a time of looking back to look forward, setting goals and resolutions of ever greater accomplishment. Happy that we can collaborate on helping our students to consider their goals similarly, assuring them of future success.

Calendar Survey

Reminder to complete our calendar survey.  We are taking input on the school calendar for 2020-2021, consistent with our methodology of planning out two years in advance.  Board will make their final adoption in late January, but you have a chance now to give us feedback.  Other adopted calendars are viewable on our website at We’d like your feedback by January 14th at the latest. This is the final call for submissions. We encourage all staff, students, and parents of ASW to join us in giving your input to this process:

Cafeteria Survey

It has now been 4 months since we selected our new cafeteria provider,
Solivoda. There is still time to get your feedback in order to prioritize our expectations for continued refinement of their service during the remainder of this school year.

You can access the open survey at the following link:

We are looking to get your input by January 14th at the latest. This is your final reminder. Thanks in advance for your participation!

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Christmas Message and Calendar Survey

Ho Ho Ho!!

And what a joyous holiday it has become!  Voices were raised in song yesterday at the Grade 2, 3, and 4 Holiday concert.  Tremendous praise to our elementary team for their work in helping the kids raise their voices in harmony, a wonderful reflection on the spirit of the season.  Ms. Andrews and Mr. Minasz – thank you for framing the season!!

We have but a few hours remaining before we head off into an extended break.  When we return it will be 2019, the last year for a very long time that will have -teen on the end.  I have to pause and wonder what things may look like in 2113, when the -tweens return.  It brings back memories of the turn of the century in Y2k when we all concocted our predictions of what this century would hold for us.  And, flash forward, almost 20% of the century is gone.  How are your predictions going?

It is hard sometimes to find ourselves trapped in the current moment, and we should live in the moment when spending time with family and friends.  But, with much acrimony around us, it can be challenging and stressful at times.  I hope that this holiday season brings you two unique opportunities.

First, I hope for you time to pause in the moment with loved ones all around.  May your days of celebration and cultural connection bring you joy and renewal.

Second, I wish for you some time to dream, stepping out of the moment as the new year approaches and wonder with intention about what might be made of the year ahead.  This is not the fodder of resolutions, but more the territory of what could be possible if we take the love and kindness of the moment and use it to craft our way forward.  The most important thing we do in school is to ask students to be mindful of their intentions before taking on a challenge.  I wish for all of us, and particularly our students, and opportunity to make these dreams come true.

Whether traveling or relaxing into home here in Warsaw, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Calendar Business

One bit of business and I’ll remind you in January as well.  We are taking input on the school calendar for 2020-2021, consistent with our current methodology of planning out two years in advance.  Board will make their final adoption in January, but you have a chance now to give us feedback.  Other adopted calendars are viewable on our website at

Here’s the link to our survey.  We encourage all staff, students, and parents of ASW to join us in giving your input to this process.

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Cups, Cars, and Air Quality


Pleased to announce today that a change is coming in January to address a longstanding concern about plastics in the school environment.  Many projects are under consideration, but the HS Environmental Club has made a case for taking one bold step after the holidays that is now fully supported by the school.  Please see their message:

ASW will take till take a step forward in an effort to reduce waste! To combat single-use plastic waste, ASW will no longer buy white plastic cups used at water dispensers. This means that plastic cups will no longer be available at any water dispensers starting from January 7, 2019. It is important as a school to make environmentally-conscious choices and to teach students to take charge of their futures. Therefore, please remind your children to bring reusable water bottles to school to stay hydrated, as many are doing in elementary classrooms. We would love it if students continued to use water dispensers (or water fountains) rather than resorting to buying plastic bottles in the cafeteria.

Please note that plastic cups will not be purchased through the school for school-sponsored events. As well, our next steps will be to work closely with students and other vendors to limit plastic usage.

We all know that plastic of all kinds pollutes our oceans and landfills, and we recover only 5% of the plastic we produce in the world. In 2017, 96,000 cups were bought, and then thrown out at ASW. By making a change that reduces that number to 0, ASW is showing their commitment to taking steps to improve our commitment to the environment.

If you have any questions or concerns,
please email

HS Environmental Club thanks you.

We’ll continue looking at other areas of plastic reduction throughout the school in the form of packing materials, cafeteria usage, etc.  Incremental steps is the best way to achieve sustainable action and I applaud the HS Environmental Club for helping us take this important step.


Just a reminder, again on the environmental front, to turn engines off when waiting for students at the end of the day. Doesn’t matter whether in winter cold or summer heat, you engine must be turned off when waiting for more than a minute.  Guards will remind you.  There are NO excuses.  I’ll be back out today and the rest of this week to help monitor and remind.

Air Quality

Again, on the environmental front, we have added an additional air quality sensor to the building in the internal area of the library entrance.  Below is a reprint of an article from last year with regards to air quality, edited for the added sensor:

To help in monitoring air quality, we have installed two small monitoring devices just inside the building at our front entrance and outside the library.  These units are now sharing data through the AirVisual interface.  You can now monitor the school’s devices on your own applications via the sharing tool that this online system provides.  The “Node” for the school has the following sharing code:


In order to monitor this node, you’ll need to setup an account on AirVisual.  Then, point your browser here:

Follow the instructions for adding a node, entering the share code above.  The instructions may be slightly different online vs. the mobile applications.  You can then follow the school’s sensor and compare with the monitoring points in nearby Konstancin or in the city center of Warsaw.

We’ll keep monitoring and reflecting on our practices in this area.  Your thoughts, as always, are welcome.

Happy to have you monitor and know that we have policy and procedures in place to address reduced activity when air quality is challenging in the local area.  Our Health Office actively monitors this and assures good practice in protecting the health of our students.

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