Dear ASFM community,
I continue to ask for your input in the Strategic Planning Process (SPP). Your voice matters. In this letter, I hope to provoke you enough that I ensure you participate. Get ready.
Next week you will begin to see what we will refer to as Nests, which will essentially be tents where you can contribute your voice to the SPP. You will also see QR codes along the entrance to campus indicating how you can reach a virtual site to leave your thoughts. And, I’m going to try my hardest to join the ranks of our Gen Z crowd and be an influencer on Instagram; come follow me at https://www.instagram.com/george.stewart.asfm/ ! I’m not a fan of InstaSnapFace, but I will use this channel in an effort to keep you informed about our Strategic Planning Process as well as solicit your feedback. Look out, Mariana Rodriguez and Samuel, El Dir. General de ASFM les va a quitar seguidores!? I think I have four followers as I write this note...
Here are a few examples of the questions we hope you will help us answer:
- What works well at ASFM? What would you really like to add to the ASFM experience?
- How should we define useful learning?
- How might our students take greater control of their learning and achievement?
- In what regions of the world should our students be most competitive in order to achieve admission to their university of choice?
- How can we include more real life experiences as part of our core program?
- Invent your own question and answer it!
We ask our students to speak up and embrace the Socratic Method in class by participating because we understand that class dialog will take us to deeper understanding. I’m asking you to enter the conversation. Your voice matters. Help us guide ASFM into the future. We’ve hired a consulting firm called Notosh to organize, synthesize and make meaning out of this process. Of course, we will not be able to act on all the suggestions, but if we know what matters most to people we can design our school’s future together. ASFM is your school, let’s design it together.
My letter would not be complete without giving an update on COVID. Again, we found only a few positive cases, and they were successfully screened out on Monday. We will continue testing every member of the community for the next two weeks, before we move to testing a random sample of the community.
I would like to make a distinction between “screening” and “monitoring.” By testing everybody on Mondays we are screening out COVID positive cases. When we move to a random PCR testing program, we will be testing 50% of the school population. With this approach we are monitoring the viral load of the campus, rather than screening out anybody who’s positive before setting foot on campus. This has proved to be a very successful way of monitoring COVID on school campuses, and it’s less costly. Of course, if the number of positive cases increases, we would move back to testing everybody--a screening process. I was happy to host the leadership team of San Roberto on Monday as they too will be looking at a similar approach to managing COVID. Many schools in the US are already doing this as well as mandating that every student be vaccinated.
It’s ironic that the least amount of traffic congestion can be found on the day where the most cars come to campus, PCR testing day. I frequently feel when traveling to school that I missed the announcement that today’s commute is a win or lose battle; have you seen the last Mad Max movie? Yesterday an ASFM mini van literally cut through a construction zone to my right in order to beat me and a string of cars to the stoplight. Well done? Just relax. I want you to find a mindset that feels like this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLyVdjGx1VY
Be respectful. Don’t block people. Pick a different battle. Let’s encourage carpooling and I’ll look into bringing back buses.
PS There are over 1200 students participating in sports every afternoon. #GoEagles!
PPS Try this playlist from last night’s ASFM MUN concert in the amphitheater.