Dear Members of the ASW Community (students 6-12, parents, staff),
As you are all aware, a directive from the Polish government was declared this morning in a press conference stating that schools in Poland should close as of Monday, March 16. The declaration noted a transitional period for Thursday and Friday where schools could remain open in order to support parents in arranging care. For the public schools, this means coverage of students, but not providing lessons. Our quick survey of private schools found that some intend to stay in session and follow the government directive for full closure starting on Monday. As a result of this announcement, the Crisis Team met immediately to discuss our options under the government announced plan.
The Crisis Team has made their recommendation to the Board of Trustees and they have confirmed our opinion that school should remain open for Thursday and Friday to finalize plans for virtual schooling and that virtual schooling will commence, as planned in virtual format starting on Monday, March 16, and will continue in that format for the specified two weeks of time until school re-opens on March 30. Since we had already planned to move into virtual schooling for a single day, our plan just shifts to be a two-week virtual school rather than a single day.
Currently, according to our risk matrix, we would not have independently made a decision to close because of the lack of factors affecting our community and on the evidence currently available. We do not have a case of the virus in the ASW community and we have taken steps to protect our community, which has largely been successful.
But, we also understand the prudence of the government in supporting a broader level of concern and their steps to control this outbreak are measured by the actions of other countries around us. We should be clear that this effort of creating “social distance” is a typical and proven strategy. But, it is important to pay attention to the other elements of social distancing and we would recommend, like the government, that all families and students remain isolated in their homes and avoid gathering outside of school. In reality, not doing so could put the school at greater risk when we return on the 30th by increasing exposure to a wider community. So, please avoid allowing students any degree of freedom to gather in groups outside of school. By all reports from China and other parts of the world, this is challenging and you need to plan for it now before the transition begins on the weekend.
Bottom Line: ASW will shifts to virtual school starting on Monday, March 16 and will remain in virtual school until schools re-open on March 30. Starting Monday, March 16, all activities and planned events are canceled as well.
The school remains open on Thursday and Friday with normal classes, all planned activities, and necessary preparation for our transition. We understand that some parents will choose to keep their children home on Thursday and Friday. Students absent on Thursday and Friday will have no absence penalty but will start in the hybrid program with our self-contained students until the virtual school opens on Monday.
Communication will continue daily and we will go forward with the Facebook Live event tonight as previously planned. Look for eNotes tonight for more information on virtual schooling. Login to PowerSchool and make sure of your access to both PowerSchool and SeeSaw (for elementary). I’ve spoken with kids in the Upper School today at both a Middle School Assembly and High School Assembly.
Thank you all for your continued support and for the messages this morning giving me information and insight into your thinking. I look forward to continuing the dialog tonight (click below):