Getting Ready

Everything’s getting ready for your return after our opening with staff this week.  We all gathered on Monday and Tuesday to start our work together.  We’ll have a holiday tomorrow and continue with our preparations on Thursday and Friday.  It’s been wonderful catching up with everyone as they return, hearing about summer adventures, new learnings from conferences and classes, and generally getting reconnected.

Our focus this year centers on the Board adopted strategic themes that we will begin our continued development work in the weeks ahead.  These broad themes form around a single significant goal that overarches our strategic design work and captures the work of our Core Values from the year before.

WE ENSURE EVERY STUDENT LOVES LEARNING AT ASW!

The initial take on our ongoing strategic process was received by the board, adopted, and is available here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0thleA1n_fNQWZiM1lBTTlXYjg

Our focus this year revolves around the strategic themes articulated in this guide along with the examples of strategies that we may tackle.  The four broad themes:

  1. Every learner knows exactly what they need to do next.
  2. Our students define the way that we learn at ASW.
  3. We break down silos and promote collaboration at all levels.
  4. We make the financial and other investments needed to reach our long term goals.

I’ll have more to share at our Director’s Welcome Coffee next week on Tuesday, starting at 8:30a. Looking forward to seeing all of you!  Enjoy your final weekend and take note of the divisional directions below!

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Welcome to 2018-2019!!

Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year, everyone!!  We hope the summer break was refreshing and renewing for all of you and that your travels are bringing you safely to our midst in advance of school opening. For those newly joining us, welcome to the family!!

It’s yet another  exciting year for the American School of Warsaw, building on the success of recent years as we refined our programs and employ the results of our successful re-accreditation award from last year.  We continue with our Core Values that will guide our work for the coming decade, the aspirational qualities of ASW and what we hope to become as the future unfolds.  We add to this a recently adopted strategic framework with key themes that will develop through work at all levels and across all of our stakeholder groups, aligned and consistent with the work defined by accreditation.  More about all of this after we get school open and students welcomed by their new classes and teachers.

We continue this year with our combined eNotes newsletter, which will come each week to your mailbox. Please click on the buttons to find your way to important sections, but be sure to scroll through the message each week to scan for all of the important information from each of our divisions and departments.

We have a wonderful team of educators and leaders ready to greet your children on the first day, ensuring a unique experience in the early days of the school year.  We open with an enrolment of about 990 students and are finishing our welcome of 25 new faculty and 2 new administrators, who will be joining returning faculty next week for our annual schedule of preparation meetings.

As usual, all of our summer teams have worked hard to assure that the facility has been prepared for your arrival and you will see a number of changes in rooms and common spaces as you explore the building.  We recently closed the building so that our work can be completed in open areas that make it necessary to protect everyone from potential harm. Facilities will reopen for after hours use when this exterior work is complete.

One important note:  Please be sure to become an active PTO member and look for welcome meetings to attend and committees where you can make a contribution of your time and talent toward enhancing our sense of community.  PTO is, by board policy, empowered to assure that we have a wonderful set of events and activities throughout the year to reinforce and enhance our strong sense of community.  This is an important time of year to build new relationships, renew collaborations, and enhance what we do to make ASW such a special place for all of us.

Here’s a summary of the key events in the first week:

  • First Day of School, Tuesday, August 21, 8:30 am
  • New Family & Student Orientation, Monday, August 20, 9:00a, Cafeteria
  • Director’s Welcome Back Coffee, Tuesday, August 21, 8:45a, Cafeteria
  • PTO Kickoff General Meeting, Friday, August 24, 8:30a, Multi-Purpose Room

School start and end times remain the same as last year.  Wednesday morning late start begins with the first week of school:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday

  • Student arrival – no earlier than 8:00 am
  • School starts for Grades 11-12 at 8:20 am
  • School starts for PK-10 at 8:30 am
  • School ends for Grades 11-12 at 3:20 pm
  • School ends for PK-10 at 3:30 pm

Wednesday (Late Start for students)

  • Student arrival – no earlier than 8:45 am (cafeteria open)
  • School starts for all at 9:30 am
  • School ends for all at 3:30 pm

I encourage all families to subscribe and participate in the Director’s blog – Zimplicity! Please join the conversation here:  https://zimplicity.org  You have opportunities to add your comments and responses to my ongoing dialog with the community.  Each week’s newsletter will include the link so that you can easily find your way. All of the history since my arrival is there as well.  This year, in addition to each weeks newsletter article, I’ll be adding additional posts on general topics, strategic work, student interviews, and information about other educational topics between the Wednesday posts.  Looking forward to our dialog together.

Best wishes to all for your final time at home or in your travels, a wonderful first week, and a successful new year!

Mr. Z

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Closing Ceremony 2018

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Time to Say Goodbye

Saying Farewell

In a home or domestic school, saying goodbye for the summer holidays is not as common as it is in the international world.  When you are in a neighborhood school, the chances are high that you’ll see that person the very next day on a playground or in a local market, or maybe just down the street while riding your bike.

But, in the international school world, saying goodbye in June can be quite profound.  We already know that many will be heading off to new adventures and will find new homes in far away places.  For some, it is a return home after living here and calling it “home” for some period of time.  Students know that our goodbyes, however measured each year, means that some of the people we are bidding farewell may not be near us again for a long, long time.

At least in this world today, unlike decades ago, there are many wonderful ways of keeping in touch.  Technology has helped us keep track of friends around the planet, making us feel at times like they have never left us.  For international students, it’s far more likely that they will experience how small the world is and cross paths with old friends again in their continued travels.  We are, after all, truly global citizens.

I wish you well in your traveling, hopeful that we will either see each other again in August, and embrace like we never left, or we will cross paths again when destiny decides, with powerful memories and a heart filled with joy.  On a distant shore, as you look into a night sky filled with stars and planets, wave to all of your friends, wherever they may be.  Somewhere, another Warrior will also be looking up, smiling, and returning the greeting!

Once a Warrior, Always a Warrior!!

Closing Ceremony Livestream

Friday, the last day of school, on June 22, we offer up again our closing ceremony starting at 10:45 a.m.  We will be Livestreaming the event at the following link:

https://livestream.com/accounts/15498644/events/8237556

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