Message from our Superintendent
Time to compete
Dear ASFM community,
I feel like I might jump out of my own skin because of my excitement for our first home ASOMEX tournament in two years! Do you feel that way too? As I write this letter, teams are arriving. Before this tournament begins we will ask all the athletes to take PCR tests. Tomorrow at 9:00am we will have an opening ceremony. Teams from nearly all of the ASOMEX schools will be here; I hope you have a moment to stop by and cheer on our student athletes.
Yesterday I spoke at the 5th grade assembly–I’ve been trying to visit all the grade level assemblies. It has been difficult for us to talk about building culture and community as a school because we have had very little opportunity to all be together. Now we can begin having generation wide conversations about our goals as a school. As I’ve detailed in previous letters, we must focus on raising attendance if we expect to compete successfully–compete in class by participating, compete on the fields, and compete to make ASFM the best version of itself. It takes all of us working together. With the 5th grade I emphasized the fact that they may all have favorite sports teams that they support, but here they all play for one team: ASFM. Team ASFM requires commitment, effort, and a willingness to pursue excellence.
Have you all been reading about how the third COVID variant is raging through China, Europe and is now arriving in the U.S.? Shanghai has totally shut down and Germany is in bad shape. I don’t want to stoke fear in us, but I feel it’s only responsible to keep an eye on this. We are testing at a very low level (10%) and monitoring the viral load of campus through a gray water analysis. Our research suggests that if we have a solid understanding of what our healthy benchmark is, that when the next wave of COVID arrives, we will get an early warning and be able to adapt accordingly. In short, your 66 peso cost for testing right now is a kind of insurance policy that will help keep us all healthy if and when we have an outbreak. When you come back from Spring Break (Semana Santa) we will PCR test the entire student body and teachers. In order to accommodate this, we will have Zoom classes on Monday after testing–everybody will be back to in-person learning on Tuesday. This feels like the responsible thing to do. We’ve seen a spike in COVID numbers after vacations.
Effort matters and each of us is competing in a different way. We started the school year with well over 600 students below grade level in math and reading in ELEM. Our teachers, interventionists and administrators have cut this number in half. ASFM is recovering, but it takes effort from all of us. On Friday and Saturday of last week the teachers came together to review the alignment of our curriculum to our goals. The curriculum review work included:
- Develop N-12 philosophy and transfer goals for each department so that we build an aligned understanding of why each discipline is relevant and important in a student's learning journey.
- Align essential standards by grade level to guarantee a learning progression that allows students to build understanding and skills that will set them up for success in each grade level, in other subjects and outside of school.
- Develop conceptual units that engage students in rigorous learning experiences around key concepts and in understanding big ideas with clear criteria for demonstrating success in learning.
- Unpack standards into clear learning outcomes to help students set personal learning goals.
I tell you this because in light of our first ASOMEX tournament wearing the ASFM jersey looks different depending on who you are and what role you play, but we are all competing on the same team. We are a school that expects each of us to not only meet expectations but to exceed them. Please tell your children that playing on the ASFM team is a privilege and an honor and one that requires sacrifice, occasional discomfort (we expect our teammates to do hard things, thus we expect discomfort), and great effort. You get out what you put in and we only rise together.