Parent Survey

It’s time to launch our parent survey, as we do annually. Please watch your mailbox tonight for your personal invitation to our annual customer satisfaction survey. There are some changes, but here’s a summary for your awareness:

  • We’ve simplified the survey so that each parent will only complete one survey for the entire family. Based on questions at the beginning, you will then fill out common questions followed by divisional questions and selected items based on the ages of your child(ren) at school. This means a more customized experience and only one survey to complete rather than filling out the entire survey from each child’s perspective. For some of the common questions, you will have to consider them from the whole family’s perspective and then add comments at the end where an individual child’s experience may have been different than the family average.
  • We have added a section of questions on our COVID mitigation response.
  • We’ve kept 80% of the rest of the survey the same to support year-on-year comparison. We removed one or two questions because they are no longer relevant and added some for similar reasons.

We are hopeful of your early attention to this task and would love to see a strong response rate. As in prior years, I will send periodic reminders to those who have not yet completed the survey until we close the survey in early July. We will compile the results and communicate them to the community in the Fall along with any related plans.

Thanks in advance for completing this important task!!

Mothers.. and a few other things…

I wanted to include a message of thanks this week for all of our mothers out there. We celebrated Mother’s Day in the U.S. and many international places throughout the world last Sunday and Polish Mother’s Day is coming soon on May 26th. It means that a pause to share our praise and adoration of mom is necessary and appropriate. For me, it means preparing the traditional morning breakfast for my wife (all of her favorites), particularly now that we are “empty nesters” and must connect with our children virtually in distant corners of the globe. There was also some long distant communication with both our moms, one on the West Coast in the U.S. and the other in Guangzhou, China. In all of these conversations, it is always amazing the deep and profound memories of care and nurturing that emerge when considering the one who first brought us the breath of life and who is, legitimately one of the most important teachers in our lives.

For all of you thinking about mom during this time of year, and particularly as we approach graduation, and other life transitions, please keep in mind the following from an unknown source:

“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.”

I know that’s true for the moms in my life. Thank you to all the moms out there for your tireless efforts on behalf of your children. We love you all!!

COVID Mitigation Adjustments in the Coming Weeks

We have two adjustments coming to our protocol that were cleared by Crisis Team after recommendation by medical consultation this week. In light of the reduced trend in case numbers and other factors, these changes are warranted and consistent with additional changes that will be considered for our return to school in the Fall. We will share that plan with the community for comment and feedback while we continue to monitor conditions throughout the summer break.

The current announcements from the government along with our tracking of critical data has led us to the following two changes to be implemented as follows:

  1. Starting Monday, May 17, mask-wearing in outdoor areas will no longer be required while remaining optional for those who prefer to continue wearing them outside. This includes free blocks, lunchtimes, and sporting activities. The government mandate on outdoor mask-wearing is being lifted on Saturday.
  2. Starting Monday, May 24, the school will relax the testing frequency back to once per week testing. This is consistent with current community spread caseload reporting and the clear trend in reduced cases amongst the ASW Community. Testing schedules will be adjusted and communicated next week before implementation the following week. Test expiration will crease to 7-days from the current 5-day limit.

We’ll watch numbers next week and hope we remain on the same trend. If we need to adjust or pull back on these adjustments, we will. As I noted in the Weekly message, we still need to be cautious and maintain our safety bubble, so please don’t read this as allowing or encouraging risky activities. Further, please remember that all other restrictions in daily attestation and protocols at school remain in full force.

Cancelation of June 5th Culture of Giving Events

First, let me thank all of you who participated in our survey over the weekend. It took some time to process all of the information that you shared with us, and in the end, we decided that the better decision at this stage was to postpone our plan and begin work on it for the fall under hopefully better circumstances. The events on June 5th are now canceled.

The response was mixed and for the daytime event; we actually had about 50% that were either willing to or might have decided to join us for the activity. But, for the level of organizing required and out of deference to the conflicts of the long weekend, we decided it was simply not viable in the time we have remaining. I think we are all hopeful of a more capable return to activities of this nature after a summer of vaccination and additional information that will reassure our community and we look forward to your support for these!

Many thanks to those on the organizing committee and the members of PTO who helped to draft the plan and make initial arrangements. Their efforts have paved a path to our Fall events with capable preparations and contacts. Thank you!!

Relay for Life

We are still moving ahead with our student-run activity of Relay for Life benefit on June 4th. As in any Relay for Life, teams of 5-10 people will be walking the track, in celebration, honor, and memory of cancer survivors and those we have lost to this horrible disease. The event will look similar to the one that took place two years ago, in 2019, but in the circumstances that we have been put in due to COVID, we will run this activity under our managed protocols. Originally planned for only students, we are opening this activity to other members of the ASW Community to participate in this outdoor memorial event.

For the purpose of this event, Epixpert, our key partner, is donating onsite testing of all adults (parents) who would like to join us at this event. You will need to be tested once just prior to the start of the event and can leave and return to the event throughout. Students and staff will need to be OK4School green to participate, as would normally be the case.

The entrance fee per person is 75 zloty, and all money will be going to our beneficiaries, the oncology ward at a children’s hospital here in Warsaw. More details on the times and forming of teams will come in next week’s eNotes and through other messages. Please pencil in the day if you would like to join us. I’ll be there honoring my father who lost his battle with cancer in 1995 and will be remembering many friends and relatives who have faced this enemy over the years. It is an important time for reflection and fellowship. Get your walking shoes ready!!

The Days are Dwindling

A bit of a summary of current items:

Vaccination

At this stage, I’m only sending update messages for our two parent groups directly to them. But, to keep everyone in the loop, the following is our current status:

  • For staff, second dose is on May 14, 12:00p to 4:00p. Communication on this is coming directly through staff channels tomorrow.
  • For the 50+ group, your second dose is on May 14 starting at 4:00p at the main entrance. We’ll have additional doctors here, so the process should go relatively quickly.
  • For the 40+ group, as communicated today, your first dose has been postponed to May 14, 6:00p to 8:00p. at ASW! Your second dose will be on June 18. Please look for a message sent to you earlier today for details.

We have also become aware that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is now becoming available here in Poland. I don’t know how to guide you on this, but please check with your medical provider for more details on availability. Otherwise, please return to the government website for guidance on scheduling other options.

Cookbook

The PTO Cookbook is noted below in the PTO section in eNotes. Don’t forget the ASW Foodies Facebook section as well. Details on the cookbook in eNotes.

PYPx

Please see the information in eNotes on PYPx for our Grade 5 students. One of our significant waypoints under the IB umbrella and worthy of your attention. Check out the Elementary section below. My regards to all of the students and their amazing work bringing agency and culmination to their learning!!

Corporate Sponsorship – One Immediate Item

Each year we receive grant funding from the U. S. Government to support various initiatives that are part of the State Department’s support of programs. This year, additional funding was provided for COVID-19 mitigation and we have reported on this to the board at various junctures as part of our overall mitigation funding. It is important to express publicly our thanks to the US Embassy for their ongoing support through these channels over multiple years.

I have a new project currently underway that is an extension of our mitigation program which is yielding positive results. As reported to the board in January, we have been piloting, with some of this grant funding, new air recirculation filters in selected classrooms and spaces throughout the school. When additional funding recently became available, we added to the number of units and expanded our pilot.

I’d like to expand this program faster/further and wondering if there are corporate entities that might consider grant funding associated with expanding our purchase of these units. If you represent a corporate entity or want to be a donor yourself, I’d be happy to speak with you about this interesting project to enhance health and well-being throughout the school. We have the product and have proven its capability. We have a budget already dedicated to spending on this project further over time. But, donations would help us accomplish our goals in this area faster and allow us to redirect committed resources to other necessary projects. If you are interested in discussing this and the potential branding opportunity, please reach out to me via director@aswarsaw.org. I’d be happy to discuss it with you.

Summer Camp

Please see the Summer Camp information in eNotes. We’ve had a great sign-up so far, but a few spaces are still available. Please scroll down in eNotes to hear about our program and find the links for signing up.

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