Late today I received word that we will be able to put together a vaccination event here at ASW for 5-11 year olds. The government announced that they will start delivering vaccine for this age range starting December 13. I’ve reserved with Vaxmed.pl the dates of December 14, 15, or 16 depending on supply. We currently envision an afternoon into evening event where we can vaccinate about 40 per hour starting at 2:00p in the afternoon until as late as 8:00p. I’ll be sending more details on this home in the Monday Weekly update along with sign-up instructions. My thanks to Dr. Jakob at Vaxmed.pl for his continued support and partnership in this project. I hasten to add, this is all subject to deliveries coming on time as planned.

Last week’s booster event was a success, but please be advised that they are still working on records and we have been assured that they are working hard to complete them for online access and for the records that will be sent to you directly. Please be patient.

If you are still in need of a booster, you will need to find another provider through your doctor or via Vaxmed.pl’s website. We will not have another booster event for adults at ASW before the Holiday Break.

If you didn’t see it earlier today, I postponed Town Hall to next week, December 8th. We are gathering information on Omicron and other items for the coming holidays. Thank you for your patience and for understanding the late notice.

Finally, my appreciation for all the input received by email or through our feedback form. We are still showing good feedback from the community and I appreciate all of your helpful advice as I work with my team of leaders. Here’s the latest on how you think we are doing according to respondents over the last month or two (1 is low, 10 is high):

Please keep reaching out to me directly by email or via the feedback form!

Thankful and Thoughtful

Katharine LaBanca

Message from our Board Chair

Please see the linked message from our board chair, Katharine LaBanca, summarizing recent decisions and board progress on goals for the year. As always, the engaging work of the board continues in earnest and Kay has provided important insight along with thanks for all who are contributing to our progress and success.

Quick COVID stats update

In terms of our current wave of infections here in Poland, the data is consistent with the projections discussed in our recent Town Hall. We expect, as does the government, that the current wave will peak in the coming weeks. Additionally, we believe vaccinations for ages 5-11 will be approved in Poland starting December 5. That leaves the school in a difficult position relative to supporting vaccination at school given the coming holiday vacation. There is not enough time to get the necessary two doses in before we depart. Currently under consideration is a vaccination event immediately as we return in January. I’m happy to have your feedback on this.

One question that has come up is a request to report the statistics relative to recent infections and vaccination status. I did some calculations today. Amongst students, 19% of our cases have been students who were immunized. That’s understandable since students under 12 are not yet vaccinated. Updating our status on age 12+ students: we have 80% vaccinated. For adults, the number is much higher and confirms the waning immunity and the need for boosters. 76% of our adult cases were vaccinated individuals. This validates our approach to continued testing of both populations equally and helps to guide us in future planning under our protocols. The good news is we can also see a correlation amongst the vaccinated that they experience mild symptoms and this further confirms the importance of vaccination to protect against more serious consequences. We continue to believe that there are three components to overall recovery: vaccination, sanitary protocols, and wider availability of treatment drugs for those who become sick. Progress is being made on all fronts.

My message of thanks

For me, let me just offer my thanks to all in the spirit of the season. For those connected to our American core and heritage, tomorrow marks a key entry into the holiday season ledger. Thanksgiving remains an entry point into the season for those of American heritage and is rooted in family traditional values.

So, during this long weekend, please reflect on the importance of family and the loving embrace of those in your close orbit. We need those strong personal connections where we find strength and foundation. I’m thankful for all of you in the extended ASW family. Again and again, we embrace the challenges and come together in distinctive ways that we refer to as the Warrior Spirit. In the spirit of positive thinking, there is no place I’d rather be and I see nothing but opportunity on the horizon. Hugs to all for another well deserved opportunity for rest and renewal!

Leadership in the Making

I had two aspiring leaders in my office today, representing the administration-for-a-day from elementary. We discussed briefly their plans for the day and noted their organization and skills. My thanks to Rita B. and Harper R. for their service. They clearly understood the main charge of any school administrator – Take care of your kids! I shared some treats with them and their thoughts immediately were considerate of classmates and potential dietary considerations. After a brief dialog and picture session, I offered my help for any of their concerns, but they competently stated they “had this one.” – Something you hope to hear every day from your key leaders.

Small things like this often plant seeds for the future. I’m impressed daily by the opportunities that students have that grow into clear aspirations and dispositions for a life of service and accomplishment. These two young students are fully ready to take on the world!!

The silver lining of our current circumstance may be found in these little victories and the positive outcomes of surmounting great adversity together. We may find in the further reaches of this slow recovery that our children have newfound depths of resilience that they can use to face the unknown challenges beyond the horizon. The excitement and energy is infectious and renewing. I saw it during UN Day with both parents and students. It was evident today in the Formal Day in the high school – the suits, tuxedos, and gowns were brilliant!! Students are gathered across the hall from my office right now (and virtually around the world) starting the Berlin Model United Nations Conference and working to address how we can achieve world peace. I see similar activities every day in the hallways, classrooms, and on the fields and playgrounds around the school.

The mission of self-care and wellness is still center stage at ASW. These activities help us address our healing, but we need to continue our vigilance for the care and concern of others, both in and around our community. The many projects of the season will provide opportunity to bring a spotlight on our community service efforts. Many projects are in preparation, as has been our tradition.

Finally, you will find an announcement below on a unique opportunity tomorrow night to join a virtual conference for CEESA parents throughout the region hosted by the American International School of Vilnius. Dr. Michael G. Thompson is a wonderful author, practitioner, and speaker worthy of your consideration.

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