Dear ASFM Community,
It has been an emotional and difficult last few weeks, yet I can’t help but hear the lyrics of one of my favorite songs I listened to in high school by Jimmy Cliff, “You Can Get It If You Really Want,” ringing in my ears.
Together, we are rising.
We dared to open on August 9th because we believe that in-person learning is paramount for our students and for all students. The health officials closed us almost immediately, but all of you--parents, teachers, students and friends of ASFM--came together to fight for what we believe in. I’m so proud and happy to be part of this community. While it may be easy to cast blame on our local officials for our recent hardship, I would ask that we not do this. Our local officials noticed, they listened and finally, with accurate information, supported our opening of school. We thank them for their courage and willingness to listen.
We will be opening all levels of school for in-person learning on August 30. We will continue for at least a few weeks in our hybrid learning program. Our goal is to maximize time in class for all students while balancing that effort with a mindful and well-structured approach to opening safely.
Our hybrid model has been approved by the authorities because it allows us to keep the number of students on campus within the recommended guidelines for managing COVID. Just as Prepa has been alternating red and white student cohorts on campus, so will elementary and middle school. We will inevitably identify COVID cases on campus; we are prepared. We will follow our protocols, and these students will be able to follow their class assignments through our online platform.
We will be starting after school sports and activities, but we will wait a week before fully implementing this program. Our cafeteria will remain closed so students will have to bring snacks to consume during breaks. I ask for your patience as we navigate official guidelines for COVID while also attempting to maximize our campus to its full potential.
The final stanzas of the Jimmy Cliff song state “got your mind set on a dream, but it may be harder than it seems.” Let’s use this as a reminder that we have not won against COVID. Transmission rates in schools are low, roughly 2%. We need to stay focused on the prize of being together on this beautiful campus. Towards ensuring a safe campus, we are currently researching a non-invasive COVID testing program that we will require all students to do --more details to come on this topic. This is part of the “shared responsibility” campaign to keep school open.
Again, let’s celebrate the moment now, but be ready to do what it takes to stay open.