Dear ASW Community,
Greetings from the Board of Trustees. I’m writing to let you know of decisions made during the Board meeting on Monday, March 22, regarding this current school year calendar. A wide variety of changes have been suggested by parents, teachers, administrators, staff, and students. The Board reviewed comments from several surveys, observations from Town Hall questions, and a recommendation from the Administrative cabinet.
According to ASW bylaws, any substantive changes to a current or future year’s calendar must be reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees. Changes to the calendar are not expected to be commonplace and should represent conscious and thoughtful consideration of extraordinary factors. Last year’s changes were in response to a period of 12 weeks of virtual school, for example.
This year, ASW has been arguably the only school in Poland to remain in session on its premises for the vast majority of the school year, and one of only a dozen across Europe to manage this feat. As a Board, we made a commitment last year to that goal, and we are proud of the many, many people who contributed towards making it happen. The ASW community has regularly expressed its strong support throughout the year, and our staff and teachers have gone the extra mile to provide both in-person instruction, as well as hybrid learning for our student body who needed it, either permanently or temporarily.
The Board recognizes the need for our faculty and staff to recharge and be refreshed for the next school year, which will remain a challenging year in most of the same ways this year has been. A key element of this is the ability for staff and faculty to return “home” and spend time with extended family. This summer, that element of travel will be impacted and limited by a wide swathe of quarantine, transportation, and testing requirements. As such, the Board recognizes that a conscious investment in resilience makes a difference in these circumstances.
In recognition of the immense burden on our teaching and administrative staff of charting the course through this school year, the Board has decided to reduce the total number of school contact days from the current level of 179 to the policy-stipulated minimum of 175 contact days. No changes will be made to the current schedule for Spring break and other holidays. This change will take effect solely at the end of the semester, which will now culminate on Friday, June 11, rather than Thursday, June 17.
The Board is very aware that our community may hold opinions on both sides of this decision. The uncertainty surrounding what changes might be made has been a source of frustration for many. Please allow me to assure you that this decision is final and the calendar is now considered firm through the remainder of this school year.
This change may cause inconvenience to some community members, and we encourage you to discuss those challenges with the Administration and the Board in an atmosphere of respect and mutual support. Further discussions will take place regarding the summer programs available through ASW and we value your engagement in those decisions.
As always, we remain an ASW community, brought together by our core values and sharing a common vision for the education of our children. More than at any time in recent history, ASW would not have made it through this year as we have without our strong community spirit.
Please join the Board in expressing our deep and heartfelt appreciation to the faculty and staff for their incredible work this year.
Chair, ASW Board of Trustees