Dear AISM Community,

We were glad to welcome Grade 11 & 12 learners back to campus last week as they led us in Reuniting the Herd! I hope you took time to watch the brief video we shared on Thursday. It was easy to hear the excitement in their voices and see the smiles beneath their masks. We are glad that our oldest students can help us prove our new systems and procedures before we bring everyone onto the campus. 

The messages from the Ministry of Education and Human Development (MINEDH) to our specific requests for reopening all our grades have been to "go slowly slowly" and "wait two weeks before bringing other grades on campus." We have not received word in writing that we can reopen all our grades, but we are proceeding on the verbal assurances we received from the ministry last week. Reuniting the Herd as the government allows is a priority, but we are balancing that with protecting the community. We will bring students back on campus in a measured and careful way to minimize the chance of transmission in our community as we all learn how to change our behaviors. That has been the practice at other international schools in Africa that have also reopened their campuses in September or October. 

Our Board of Directors supports the administration's efforts to work within the framework of the government's authorizations and restrictions, and to prioritize health and safety, as we move to open the campus. 

These are our tentative dates for bring all our grades back onto campus in the coming days: 

ELC & KG: Orientation on October 28, classes begin October 29

Grades 1, 2 & 3: Orientation on November 4, classes begin November 5

Grades 4 & 5: Orientation on November 3, classes begin November 4

Grade 6: Orientation on October 28, classes begin October 29

Grades 7 & 8: Orientation on October 29, classes begin November 2

Grades 9 & 10: Orientation on October 30, classes begin November 2

Our online learning pathways will continue as we phase in face-to-face learning on campus. This is a part of the complexity that we are adjusting to as we reunite the herd, and why it is critical for us to do this in a phased approach. It’s also critical for our learners and their families. We'll be ready to pivot back and forth as conditions require for a family, in a 'herd,' or at a grade level. We remain committed to providing excellent learning as we deliver on our mission and learner profile, regardless of the mode of delivery. 

All of our efforts are driven ultimately by our desire to see your learners return to campus for face-to-face learning. There is one aspect of our Reuniting the Herd plan that we believe is vital to our success. The entire AISM community must make a shared commitment to work together and to follow best practices for coronavirus prevention, both at school and at home. A communal commitment to this mindset will be critical to reducing disruptions to on-campus learning due to infections in the herd. More importantly, the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, and all our families, depends on our commitment and work together.

Please join the Board of Directors for our monthly Board Meeting at 6 PM on Thursday, October 22. The link is HERE. We will have more information and details for our reopening plans at that meeting. 

Best regards,

Jim Laney