Mother’s Day Around the World

Belated wishes to many of the Mothers of our community and their celebrations last Sunday in honour of your special day.  We recognize the importance of celebrating all that you do for your children.  In that regard, I hope that the children of ASW took this opportunity to cherish and care for you in essential ways with extra hugs and much lovingkindness to show their awe and appreciation for all that you do.

But, we should also be quick to mention that many countries celebrate Mothers on different dates.  Poland officially celebrates Mother’s Day on May 26.  France follows shortly thereafter on May 29 along with the Dominican Republic and Sweden.  Spain, Portugal, Romania, Hungary, and Lithuania celebrated on May 1st.  Other dates in various countries include February 13, November 27, August 12, October 16, and June 12 in 2022.  In our diverse community, it means we are celebrating Mother’s Day throughout the year, as it should be! 😉

Wishing you all the best and thank you for all that you do!!


Hoping you have had a chance to check out our website and consider joining us for an elegant evening here at ASW in support of our programs at our inaugural event.  We are moving quickly towards our date, so please consider joining us by purchasing tickets either as an individual or as a group or corporate sponsor.  Our partnerships are very important to us, and would be so happy to have you with us at this important event!


We had a wonderful PYPx for our Grade 5 students last week.  Each year this constitutes a significant capstone of the elementary experience where years of learned skills are brought together into a multi-disciplinary project.  We should applaud the talented and capable staff of the elementary school and all the volunteer adult mentors and experts who helped to make this a robust and rewarding experience for our students.  The projects were a dazzling array of ideas and actions that will have a profound impact on our school and community, demonstrating a key part of our mission – changing the world for the better.  See below for more information in the elementary section of this eNotes.

Welcome Back!

I hope you all had a wonderful spring break. Certainly, students have shared great stories of their time travelling or just exploring local parks, playgrounds, and backyards during this early part of spring. The joy of getting back to school was wonderful for all of us!

Faculty and Staff Appreciation

I want to personally thank all of the PTO volunteers who made it such a special day today. The array of treats, the expression of joy, and the appreciation of all that we do for your children was enjoyed by all!!   Our partnership as a whole community really shines during traditions like this and the beautiful plants, like our collaboration, will continue to bloom and grow!!

To all Faculty and Staff at school, my earnest thanks and appreciation for all that you do.  Like parents and children, I’m particularly thoughtful on this day each year when I ponder all that you do every day to enrich and nurture young lives.  I am so proud of all that you have accomplished, through adversity and always.  Please accept my acknowledgement in this public forum of our collective awe and regard!!

Upcoming Changes for COVID Mitigation

Here’s the current summary list that we will discuss tonight as well during Town Hall (recording available tomorrow as well).

  • Questions on the Daily Survey will be changing this weekend and will be simplified.  But, the importance of the daily survey needs to be reinforced as the best way of protecting us from an increased spread as we move into the endemic phase of this disease.
  • Masks become optional starting on May 2nd and continuing only as a mitigation strategy if we have an outbreak in a grade level or cohort.
  • We open further for cross-cohort access starting on May 2nd
    • Primarily in common areas of hallways and spaces like the library and cafeteria.
    • Begin transitioning back to a single Health Clinic located in the elementary hallways – open hallway in that area to Upper School access (starting on May 9).
  • Relax seating and distancing limits – use facilities at an 80% capacity level
  • Open access for parents attending outdoor events
  • Indoor Events – all parents may attend under test-to-attend in one of the following ways:
    • Testing here at school for the usual cost of 50 PLN on the day of the event
    • Test from outside provider accepted if done within 24 hours of the event. Present documentation and you will be allowed entry.
    • No testing is required for students, staff, and registered volunteers who are “green” on OK4School
    • No testing will be required for individuals within 4 week grace period of their recovery
  • Cafeteria increased open hours and expanded menu starting May 10.  8a to 4:00p
  • Parent access to the central core – main entrance, hall of flags, cafeteria, PTO Store – limited to 8a to 10a M-F – starting on May 10.
  • Health screening testing continues once per week – 25% of the school population each day, M/T/Th/F. (Next week, Tuesday shifts to Wednesday due to the Constitution Day holiday.)
  • Temperature check at main entrance only for unbadged individuals or individuals not using OK4School

We’ll talk about this more tonight, but we’ve only seen a limited impact from travel and the only cautionary point regards the number of cases we are seeing based on a family transmission that starts with parent infection.  That is the one remaining factor that keeps us slightly cautious and requires a test-to-attend program for parents in the short term.  We’ll monitor this over the next week or two, but we believe this to be the prudent approach for the time being.  If we can relax further, we will do so based on observed results.

Thanks, as always for your continuous feedback which is reviewed regularly.  We are still working hard to find the right balance and be responsive to your hopes (ours too) while not going too far beyond the comfort level of our various stakeholder groups.  I know most understand this and will allow us some space for incremental steps that are meant to keep our students and staff safe.

From the Director – 13/04/22

COVID Planning for After the Break

We’ve been working on our plan for COVID mitigation after spring break in recent days while evaluating the results of our recent changes.  We have seen a minimal impact from our incremental relaxation so far and feel like we are ready to continue down this path a bit further.  Thank you for your patience as we apply government decisions to a decidedly more vulnerable setting with greater expectations for moving cautiously and thoughtfully toward what that data increasingly supports.

At the core, we believe, based on multiple sources of advice, that we are moving slowly from a pandemic to an endemic phase of the virus.  There are many sources to this opinion and it is becoming clearer based on reduced hospitalization and continued study.

As such, the school will move from the original strategy of Stop/Protect/React to a lower level mitigation strategy of Protect/Identify/React.  The original goal remains – to keep us all in school.  But, under the original model, our goal was to avoid infection while under the new structure, the primary goal is to reduce and respond to infection.  It maintains many of our layers but reserves some of them more as mitigation measures rather than as daily expectations.  This also shifts some responsibility to the individual in determining how they manage risk.  We still have to be concerned about the potential for more serious illness. So, in some areas, we will still take a moderate approach until there is greater clarity in Europe and around the world.  We have to maintain a readiness to be more restrictive if conditions demand.

Right after the break, we will be slightly more restrictive until we complete a week of precautionary testing.  Testing is an area where we are able to adjust when the situation demands.  With many travelling next week, all agree that we need to be prudent with testing following the break.  While we have not scheduled a re-entry testing day, we have developed a schedule for testing the entire school population in the first 48-hours of our return and a second time that same week to be sure we identify any cases as early as possible.  Since we did this same strategy recently for our long weekend, this is the choice for the upcoming break as well.  All of our other changes, listed below, will start on May 2nd as follows:

  • Mask optional for all staff and students on all days unless identified as part of a group or cohort where masking is applied as a mitigation strategy for an identified case.
  • Additional relaxation of cohort isolation.  Maintain cohort areas, but allow students to cross cohorts more freely, particularly in shared spaces
  • Move all health services back to its original location and re-open transit for Upper School students to this area
  • Expand access to events through the Test-to-Attend program.  More details on this after the break.
  • Outdoor events access for parents without testing.
  • Relax seating limitations and distancing
  • Allow access to parents for limited areas and times.  More details on this after the break.
  • Cafeteria expand open hours to 8a to 3:30p and continued relaxation of cohort mixing – primarily at Upper School
  • Continue attestation with some changes to survey
  • Reduce temperature checking at the main entrance by excluding staff students using OK4School.

All of the above may be modified or retracted if the situation demands based on the results of testing in the week following the break or in the case where information suggests we should increase protocols due to new concerns (e.g., community spread, a new variant, etc.).  This would be based, as usual, on medical advice and Crisis Team consideration.

Parking Lot & Pick-up

It’s always good at this time of year to remind everyone about expectations in the parking lot.  Please remember that yellow zones are not parking areas.  You may not leave your vehicle for more than 30 seconds and you must move your vehicle if directed by staff at any time.  That means that you must always be within a line of sight to your vehicle and move it as quickly as possible.

I should hasten to mention, that it is polite and good etiquette in a parking lot to move out of the yellow zone and circle the parking lot to allow others to pick up their students if your child is delayed for any reason.  The intent of the yellow zones is to maintain the flow of traffic.  While some degree of waiting in your vehicle with the engine off is generally tolerated, we would expect you to move to a parking space if your child is delayed in exiting the building.  In this regard, our security or other staff may ask you to move and circle the parking lot to open a space for others and you should obey their instructions at all times.  This is critically important in the mornings near the elementary entrance as busses are also using this area to drop children off for school. No car may remain in this yellow area for more than 30 seconds.  Staff are on duty for this purpose to monitor your children at the entrance to the building or playground as appropriate to their age.  Kiss-n-Go was always meant to be done AT the vehicle to avoid any delay.

All of the above has safety implications and we should add that you must control your speed in the parking lot at all times to less than 10km/h.  Stop for crosswalks and pedestrians.  Always watch carefully for children emerging from between cars.  You must follow the directions of security and other staff at all times and I would also ask for courtesy in this regard as well.

In the case of concerns about any vehicle, the school always reserves the right to deny entrance to any vehicle that is unwilling to follow our directions or protocols.  When an infraction occurs, our security coordinator will notify you and this will serve as a warning that future incidents may require suspension of your access privileges. 

Thanks to all who help us maintain a smooth flow each day, both morning and afternoon.  We are generally very efficient and I appreciate your efforts in this regard!

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