Early update for the coming school year…

Greetings all and hopeful that you have had a wonderful summer filled with new experiences and plenty of rest and recovery time.  Hard to imagine, but the new year is almost upon us.  I have a message going to parents shortly but wanted to give all of you a heads up first on a few items.

Administrators return on Monday, but we will be away at a nearby location for our retreat on Tuesday.  New staff members start arriving this weekend (some are already here) and the last will trickle in on Wednesday.  We kick off their orientation activities for them on Thursday in earnest.

The following week, starting on the 10th, we begin the Full Faculty/Staff orientation schedule which we will put out next week.  We look forward to seeing everyone in due course.
We’ve completed our work on the document that will guide our COVID-related efforts at the start of the year.  Clicking on the title above will take you to the published version.

For reference:
We start the year at Risk Level 2 and a Medium posture according to the mitigation document.  We will hold that posture for the first four (4) weeks of school and make further decisions based on our monitoring of the key factors guiding our thinking.  As the document details, there is discretion and we will respond quickly to the external and internal dynamics.

For now, the quick summary based on the above:
  • We start with weekly testing, not yet releasing vaccinated from the process at this time.
  • We start the year with mask-wearing, again whether vaccinated or not.  Please see recent CDC advice that I know will be controversial.  But, we will start with masks for the first weeks of school for all indoors only.  For staff, we will start mask-wearing protocol beginning on Thursday, August 5 at the beginning of New Staff Orientation.  Remember that for much of the summer we have been without masks due to the doctor’s advice of reduced risk due to minimal numbers in the building.  This will make it hard to return to our earlier protocol, but please do your best to return to these practices for the next few weeks until we are sure we can maintain a safe environment for our students and each other.
  • We’ll follow a slightly relaxed format of cohort isolation with continued checking for attestation and general screening for a temperature at entrances.  But, we’ll allow greater latitude on Upper School with some mixing across the MS and HS boundaries and less rigor on pathways and common area access.
  • We will not manage for travel concerns as airlines and government intervention seem to have that better managed.  We will still consider risk situations under attestation on a case-by-case basis.
  • Staff will start using OK4School again before our full staff orientation and testing should have us all “OK4School” by Wednesday.  We will only limit access according to status starting on August 11th.
Other information will be put out in more detail when we get closer to your arrival and after the administrative team has a chance to review our plans one more time next week.
Re-entry testing will be somewhat relaxed, but we hope to have everyone back up on green status under OK4School in short order.  The testing schedule for the next two weeks for returning staff is as follows:

Re-entry testing:
  • Admin (& support staff) – August 2 & 3 (Monday/Tuesday) – 8a to 10a
  • New Staff – Thursday, August 5 – 8a to 10a
  • Full Staff – August 9 & 10 (Monday/Tuesday) – 8a to 12p
You should be tested before attending the Full Staff meeting scheduled on Tuesday, August 10th at 9:00a.  I’m hopeful that some can come on Monday to reduce the load on Tuesday since we’ll have limited time before we begin.  

Student re-entry testing will be scheduled for the weekend of August 14-15 and Monday, August 16, and proceed weekly thereafter.
We are continuing with our vaccination efforts and have set up for both students and adults with another round of vaccination to start the year, this time including everyone 12+.

ASW community members are eligible including staff and their immediate family members still needing vaccination.

Vaccine: Pfizer
Provider: VAXmed – https://www.vaxmed.pl/

Location: ASW Main Entry

First Dose:
August 9, 2021 (Monday) – 5p to 9p
August 21, 2021 (Saturday) – 9a to 1p (time may be extended based on demand)

Second Dose (for all):
September 11, 2021 (Saturday) – 9a to 3p
*vaccination documentation for the child will be presented upon completion of the second dose.

Sign up here: https://forms.gle/pqybLFC7EprVSbry5
I’m back in Warsaw and found airport arrival generally easy.  They asked to see my EU QR code, read it with their handheld devices, and sent me on my way.  Others without the EU code were being asked for testing results or vaccination status and shuffled for documents that were being reviewed.  We have had reports of some who were put into home quarantine for lack of testing or insufficient vaccination status (e.g. short of two weeks post second dose).  But, most are clearing without difficulty and no children are being quarantined if below age 12.

We believe the following is updated as of July 28 and most accurate.  As always, please consult with your airline as they may have additional information on connecting flights and associated requirements.
  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes
  • All travelers who are permitted to enter Poland must undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine at their place of stay in Poland, except for people who qualify for one of the following exemptions:
    • For arrivals from the Schengen Area: travelers who have a negative COVID test result from a test performed in a Schengen Area country within 48 hours prior to arrival
    • For arrivals from outside the Schengen Area: 10-day quarantine can be shortened for travelers who are able to obtain a negative COVID test result no earlier than 7 days after arrival to Poland. (Results of tests taken in countries outside the Schengen Area do not qualify for exemption from quarantine.)
    • Travelers who are completely vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine that is approved for use in the European Union
    • Pupils and students enrolled in Polish educational institutions
    • Service members of the Polish Army or allied military service members, police officers, border guards, customs officers, fire brigade members, State Security Service members, Road Transport Inspection officers, or sea administration inspectors
    • Crew members on airlines, trains, shipping vessels, or offshore drilling platforms
    • Persons performing certain work in the oil and energy sectors
    • Drivers of commercial vehicles transporting goods or passengers
    • Diplomats and their family members assigned to Poland.
  • Individuals who present with possible symptoms of COVID-19 may be required to undergo testing and quarantine.  Individuals who are exposed to a COVID-19 positive person may be required to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days.
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