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AIS Communiqué #6 Regarding COVID-19

March 20, 2020
By Jacques A. Weber

Dear AIS Community,

We are writing to you today regarding the evolution of COVID-19 and how our school is adjusting to it. This is a follow-up from the COVID-19 Communiqué #5 sent on March 16th, 2020.

It would certainly be an understatement to say that this past week is not the week any of us had planned. We know you’ve been keeping up to date with everything that has been going on in the world, so we wanted to take a moment to let you know that our faculty and staff are doing well. Though we have been keeping physical distance, we have found comfort in making connections with one another. Living through a moment like this serves as important reminder of the value of the social and community connections we all have. Reach out and connect to your fellow AIS community members to see how they are doing and to let them know what new quarantine-time activities you’ve discovered! I know that I, for one, truly value the messages and calls that I have received during the past week from friends, family, and members of the AIS community.

Yesterday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued executive order GA 08, which – among other things – orders school closures through at least April 3rd. As mentioned in our previous communiqué, our campus will remain closed to students, families, and members of the wider Austin community through at least April 5th, 2020. We will keep you updated about closure extensions and will post them on our website.

Based on a number of indicators, we have decided to move AIS to a Risk Level 4 (High risk) according to our Crisis Management Matrix for Contagious Diseases. As a result, our students and teachers will shift to full distance learning until we are able to reopen our campus. Our extracurricular activities, community events, and field trips will be cancelled until further notice. Though Austin Public Health is now at a Phase 5 and has reported sustained person-to-person spread in the city of Austin, we are thankful that there are currently no reports of confirmed COVID-19 cases in our school’s community. Should this change, you will receive a health notice.

Our Pedagogical Leadership Team has been working -- and will continue to work -- very hard through Spring Break to prepare for a shift to distance learning. The extra time afforded to us by the break has allowed us to build a robust plan to support students, teachers, and families during this shift. Our teachers will be attending a virtual training session with our Pedagogical Leadership Team on Monday, March 30th. In order to allow teachers to prepare lessons and collaborate virtually, Monday, March 30th and Tuesday, March 31st will be teacher work days. The AIS Distance Learning program will begin for students on the morning of Wednesday, April 1st. Next week, our Pedagogical Leadership Team will be in touch with you to provide more details about what students’ days will look like. The most important thing to know right now is that we are here – and will be here – to support you during this shift. I just want to take this early opportunity to say thank you for your understanding, flexibility, and support!

For students in Cycles 1 and 2 (PS through CE2), your point-of-contact for distance learning matters will be Ms. Audrey, the Lower School Principal. For students in Cycles 3 and 4 (CM1 through 4e), your point-of-contact will be Ms. Emily, the Upper School Principal. For any questions regarding the general functioning of the school during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may feel free to reach out to me directly.

Our cleaning crew has been coming each day during the break to complete a thorough deep clean and disinfection of the campus, spending nearly an hour in each classroom cleaning all surfaces, resources, nooks, and crannies. Our cleaning crew will also be washing all carpets during the break. We take the cleanliness of our campus seriously and, as such, I have personally been on-site with the cleaning crew each day, supervising the work that they are doing. Today, before they left, my heart was warmed by the crew sharing with me how important it is to them that all of our students our safe.  They want the same level of safety for your families as their own families.

Again, thank you for your words of support during these trying times. Our school is here and ready to support our families. We are part of a strong network and benefit from daily briefings and support from entities around the globe. We are proud to provide support to other schools and are thankful for the support their provide us. L'union fait la force... unity makes strength!

We wish you a healthy, safe, and happy weekend full of connections with family and friends, near and far.



Mr. Jacques A. Weber, M.Ed.
Head of School/Chef d'Établissement

Posted in Communiqués