Plans for the Holidays and Other Items

First, a shout out to everyone involved in UN Day today. We kicked it off with a wonderful starting virtual assembly this morning despite a few technical glitches. Thank you to the many of you who tuned in and the video is now available on our main UN day page. Look further down for the details on the country videos and the quiz competition that carries through the long weekend. Many thanks to all the parents involved in the country videos and the true inspiration of the PTO Board and their guidance throughout!! And special thanks to my team here, administrative, faculty, and support staff for making sure it all came together!

Vacation Plans Now Approved

Thank you to all who provided feedback on our initial planning and thank you for your input on the rolling survey and the staff survey on the projected plan for the upcoming holiday break. We reached our decisions yesterday firming up our plan and confirming this with the Board Executive Committee.

Let me emphasize at the outset that we are not suggesting nor recommending travel during either the coming weekend or during the long holiday break. It is very clear, with recent announcements from the government, that travel, except essential, is not recommended. This is the similar message from governments around the world as we continue to fight growing numbers.

Our plan below is more about managing our return and making sure that we are all safe when classes ultimately resume and we re-enter the building. This guidance is gleaned from our original opening in August as well as our success during the recent October break. These plans worked in a general sense, but with some tweaks, they should work even more smoothly.

We are announcing at this time that ASW will move into full virtual school mode for the week of January 11-15 immediately following the school holiday break. We will be following a mix of synchronous and asynchronous activities for all age levels while we provide for two rounds of drive-through testing of the entire school population. The schedules for this will be communicated well in advance of the holiday along with the plans to make sure that students are fully engaged at home for the week.

Along with this plan is a directive for you to plan to return home to Warsaw no later than January 8th in order to be ready to attend school on Monday, January 18. You should enter your date of return in the app and restart your use of the app no later than the 8th as well. We are following new CDC guidelines on exclusion relative to testing during the exclusion, once at about the third day after return and the other near the end of the exclusion. We believe January 8 gives us the best chance of effectively assuring that there are no infections as a result of any travel. Our testing schedule during virtual week will provide for the recommended two tests to certify this and will put all students back on our regular testing schedule. This schedule will also accommodate those who do not travel allowing for earlier tests on the week prior as well.

Tentatively, we have made similar plans for the two remaining long vacations as follows:

  • February Break – we plan to move the PD day originally scheduled for April 2nd to March 1, the day following the break. We plan to do re-entry testing on Friday/Saturday/Monday before returning to school on Tuesday, March 2nd.
  • April Spring Break – we are following the October model and moving parent conferences for both Upper School and Elementary to April 12 and 13 to provide for Saturday/Monday/Tuesday testing before returning to school on April 14.

These last items are tentative plans and contingent upon assessing the overall environment after the holiday break. We all remain hopeful of better circumstances that might allow us to relax our posture.

More details about the full structure of virtual school for the week in January will be coming as we get closer to the vacation. Look for communication from our divisional leadership as well as our talented Technology Team to make sure we are ready. Please plan accordingly with your own arrangements.

Please feel free to continue providing feedback on our plans through the rolling survey link in your morning daily updates. Happy to hear from you!

A final word…

Finally, a big shout out to Middle School Speech and Debate last weekend. They had a wonderful virtual tournament and I was pleased to be able to help judge and manage Zoom rooms under the leadership of Mr. James and Mr. Sidaway. It was a brilliant event and inspired performances in both speech and the spirited final debate. Thanks to one and all for a tremendous demonstration of resilience!

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