February 28, 2020 Issue 25, Vol. 56

Superintendent's Message

Good afternoon,

We welcomed back our WAISAL High School basketball teams last weekend. They showed a lot of heart and team spirit by picking up the Best Sportsmanship award of the tournament. Congratulations and well done!

We finished off the week with a wonderful International Day celebration today recognizing over 55 nationalities of AISL. Thank you to our PTO and internationalism committee teachers who volunteered their time to organize the event. Additionally, thank you to all of the parents who donated food or came in to present cultural learning experiences for our students.

Internationalism and international mindedness is more than just being part of an international school with several nationalities. In 10 Ways to Promote International Mindedness, Dr. Chris Muller, former Head of Bonn International School, defines international mindedness as “...a view of the world in which people see themselves connected to the global community and assume a sense of responsibility to its members. It is an awareness of the inter-relatedness of all nations and peoples, and a recognition of the complexity of these relationships.”

One of the ways to grow an international mindset is to participate in service learning opportunities. Why not join us tomorrow? Participate in the Kids Beach Clean-up organized by some of our high school students in conjunction with service learning partners, Kids Beach Garden.

E-Learning Day / Online School Rehearsal

This Tuesday, March 3, we are holding our first e-learning rehearsal day. This is also an early dismissal day. We run this practice drill annually now so that our students, teachers and parents know what to do if we ever have to go to an online virtual school for any emergency.

Middle and high school students do not need to attend school physically, but may do so if their parents decide it is in their best interest to do so. Otherwise, these students should do their assignments online from home as they would in a regular online school environment.

Elementary students will attend school as normal, but their teachers will provide a practice hour of online e-learning during the same school day. Should parents or students have any questions, please contact the relevant teacher for more information.

Updates on Infectious Disease Prevention Protocols

As you should have received an email earlier today concerning the steps AISL is taking against infectious diseases, the following is a repeat of the same information. Last week, I wrote that we are heightening our alert levels from level 1 to 2 on our infectious disease protocol scale. Lassa Fever continues to be an issue (mostly in other regions of Nigeria), and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread to several more countries. The first COVID-19 case was confirmed yesterday in Lagos.

Beginning Monday, we will begin to use infrared thermometers to screen all community members before entering the school grounds. We will encourage everyone to avoid unnecessary hand touching (i.e. handshakes, high fives, etc.) temporarily while continuing to monitor the worldwide and local risks. It will be a good learning opportunity for us to take up other cultural customs that do not involve touching hands to express our cordiality with each other.

Additionally, everyone will be asked to use the school provided hand sanitizers as they enter school. Within the school grounds, hand sanitizer will be made more available and teachers will encourage students to wash their hands more regularly. Our cleaning staff will be sterilizing student desktops at least twice a day in addition to regularly disinfecting door knobs and hand railings.

Parents should keep children home if they are exhibiting any symptoms of illness including fever, sore throat, coughing, etc. Teachers and staff should also follow the same advice. At this time, there is still a very low risk of anyone in our community carrying coronavirus or lassa fever. However, we want to be prepared for any situation and we recognize that our international community could be affected at any time. The safety of our students and community is our top priority.

We have received a few questions regarding our plans for our remaining sports trips and other field trips such as the middle school trips to Europe. At this time, there is no new information. We are in touch with our travel agency, the various field trip service providers and the US Consulate regional security office. We will continue to monitor recommendations and communicate with parents accordingly.

Lastly, please note that we will be sending out a survey next week to track the travel plans for the upcoming spring break from April 4 - 14. Please let us know if you plan on remaining in Lagos, traveling within Nigeria, or if you will be planning to go to another country (along with the name of that country) when we send the survey. Currently, there are four countries where the country or region are at the highest category risk, and therefore, if your family travels there, we would ask you to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return. These countries are currently China, Iran, South Korea and Italy. However, the identified countries can change with some countries being added or dropped from the list as new developments occur. This type of precaution is now commonplace in several countries, particularly in schools. For an example, you may read the UK government’s COVID-19: guidance for educational settings.

Thank you for your collaboration and cooperation. I realize that many are experiencing anxiety over this as there is still so much that is unknown. At the same time, it is important to stay calm and to use the facts to guide us. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Director of Safety and Security, Mr. MacDonald, at mokouboh@aislagos.org.

Parking Lot Changes from March 2nd

Please note that as of Monday, March 2nd, roughly half of the new parking lot (old hospital plot) will be blocked off for future construction work. At the same time, we will open up the back gate for bus and car traffic in the mornings and for busses in the afternoons.

Parent Forum about Campus Master Building Plan

The Board Campus Master Plan Committee will host a parent forum on Wednesday, March 4th, in the Parent Lounge from 7:30-8:30 A.M. to share the new Campus Master Plan. This presentation will contain the different phases and timelines for completion. It is an exciting and ambitious plan that will benefit our students for many years to come. Come check it out!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Yours in partnership,

Sean Areias, Ed.D.

Interim Superintendent


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