Message from our Superintendent
Omicron Part 3
Dear ASFM community,
We completed our 100th day of school this week, which leaves roughly 80 days left until the end of the school year. Despite the constant struggle we’ve all endured with COVID, this year is moving fast. Let’s recognize this 100th day milestone by celebrating that we’ve been in school and on campus for nearly all of those days. Let’s make sure we cherish our time together–there’s no going back.
We are winning our battle against omicron. On Monday our pool testing positivity was a 0.9%. Our overall campus positivity is 1.8%. Essentially over the last three weeks each time we’ve tested the positivity rate has dropped by half. We are re-establishing the ASFM bubble. At the same time the number of people using our priority tent continues to stay high. We are happy to offer this service, but I want to be clear that we’re not a medical lab. On Monday I personally registered more than 300 people. We feel most comfortable and practiced at managing the pool testing program that’s built for processing on a large scale. It is not an individualized program. I’m getting questions about our priority tent service so I want to make it clear that we are not in the business of managing individual testing. We are four people and an excel sheet.
Here’s an interesting reality we are seeing in school. There are increasing cases of students testing negative on Monday, then they become symptomatic and test positive on Wednesday, but on the following Monday they are negative again. Omicron moves very fast. There is not a 100% solution unless we test everyday of the week at school. We all could be a close contact. Scary. Wear your mask.
Traffic continues to be a struggle so I want to warn you that we will be changing the way the different grade levels enter campus and exit campus. Essentially, the Francisco Villa #1 and #2 gates will be for ELEM (gate #3 will remain closed) and Morones Prieto will be for the high school. Here’s a map of the new pattern we are considering. Among the advantages of this plan is that we will be able to have many more cars on campus which means there will be shorter lines of traffic on Francisco Villa. We will hand out the new pick up and drop off map during PCR testing this coming Monday. The new traffic pattern will officially go into effect on February 15. The Parent Association is working with the school to roll out this new plan.
Walking through the halls of MSHS yesterday I saw lots of student art. I heard students discussing their projects for their AP English class, and I watched students preparing for the iMUNs forthcoming conference. School is buzzing. Despite students’ absences, school feels like it’s running smoothly and our protocols continue to serve their purpose.
Perhaps the final stage of normality is to bring back sports. We are working hard on this. The ASOMEX Athletic Directors are reviewing the calendar, and as Omicron recedes, we will be able to provide afternoon activities. We still need government approval to resume non-essential activities, but we are actively getting ready now. There are several ASOMEX schools that can only point to a total of one or two weeks out of the last 100 days that they’ve been in school. We are fortunate.
The last three superintendent Friday letters have largely been about Omicron, and that is still our unfortunate reality. Yet everyday at ASFM kids are connecting, joyful learning is happening, and kids are growing up, experiencing triumphs and failures along the way, but nevertheless we move forward. We are doing good work together. Stay the course. Keep on going. This is our time to model perseverance. It is a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world and we are all living this reality. The only straightforward answer to most of the questions we’re facing is that we will follow the data, keep revising, and make decisions that protect our students and their learning.
We are close. Let’s keep pushing for health.