Jon Zurfluh

Time to Celebrate and an Announcement

Time to Celebrate - A Stroll Around

ASW is pleased to announce that our first Culture of Giving Gala will take place on Saturday, June 4!!  Tickets are now on sale with proceeds supporting the school and our infrastructure of service-related activities. A formal affair to celebrate, showcase, and support the members of our community and the enduring impact their actions have. Proceeds support ASW’s service-learning and scholarship programs, especially the various efforts underway to meet the needs of refugees from Ukraine. In partnership with both the parent and corporate community, we hope that this will inspire a whole range of philanthropic endeavours, expanding important partnerships in how we change the world for the better.  Watch for your personal invitation in your email.

When: June 4, 2022, 6:30P
Where: American School of Warsaw
Catering by: Belvedere
Culture of Giving Website and Tickets: https://www.gala.aswarsaw.org/

Announcement on PSI Collaboration

Dear ASW Community,

We should begin by honouring the work of our community to date and their response to the issues associated with the continuing war in Ukraine. By now, most of us have had firsthand experiences with our efforts through our many thoughtful programs being artfully orchestrated by our Service Learning leadership team and the many parents who have stepped up, including PTO leadership, Board of Trustees, staff members, and engaged parent volunteers. To date, we have demonstrated to the world how instrumental a single school can be in addressing a specific global challenge. We are being applauded and supported by voices from around the world in this regard. It is nearly impossible to ever fully thank you enough for your efforts!

That being said, we also know that our tireless work is far from done. The conflict continues across the border in earnest, changing in scope and scale on a daily basis. It is with this in mind that we must look to the future and take additional sustainable action to protect and defend our partners by continuing our important – and much-needed – work.

Earlier, when the conflict began in late February, we informed you about the school’s initiative to honour our partnership with CEESA regional member schools to support their students in the short term from now until June. To date, we have accepted more than 40 students into our school community, and they are thriving at ASW. Some of these temporary students are now finding their path to staying in Poland and have applied to join our school permanently.

One of the partner schools in this activity is the Pechersk School International Kyiv (PSI). In the background, we have been having expanded conversations with PSI about the potential for establishing a temporary campus for a small contingency of their students here in Warsaw for the coming school year until it becomes feasible to return to Kyiv for the families involved. The two boards of PSI and ASW have adopted resolutions in their Executive sessions to explore this potential and how ASW could provide the necessary infrastructure and legal support to PSI to establish itself temporarily in Warsaw. After some logistical work following this agreement and resolution, we have determined our path forward.

As such, PSI will be supported in establishing its campus jointly with us on the ASW Campus. We have identified the potential to bring portable buildings onto the ASW grounds with minimal impact to our facility for roughly 50 students and a full contingency of staff to operate in partnership with ASW, including collaboration to our mutual benefit in all areas. PSI will also operate a virtual program for its displaced students in other regions and may also offer a small program in Kyiv on their campus for more local students who are still there as the city starts to rebuild. The current plan has PSI with us for a year or less, but this could be extended if the situation demands it with the mutual consent of both governing boards. PSI staff will serve the majority of their students’ needs, but we will also look for opportunities where we can help provide additional opportunities in our own classrooms and facilities where space and available resources allow. PSI will fully fund costs for this partnership, meaning there are no cost implications for ASW.

Rest assured, this partnership will not stall or negatively impact any of our efforts as a school. In fact, with robust enrollment, we stand ready to be strong and resilient in the year ahead. It is fitting and appropriate that we give back in this way. In addition, in partnership with PSI, we expect to pursue options to establish opportunities for Ukrainian refugee children to be educated under their national curriculum by following a model currently being piloted in another CEESA school. The two school directors are committed to supporting the education of refugee children in the greater Warsaw region and are acting in synchronicity with plans already developed under our schools’ Service Learning efforts. 

The resolution of the Board that authorized this effort is attached for your reference and released now for the whole community to review. It is consistent with our core values and mission as a school and yet another testament to how the ASW community believes in the importance of changing the world for the better. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for all you continue to do to help serve our local and wider communities in these unpredictable times. We are stronger – and changing the world – together!

Our best wishes,

Katharine (Kay) LaBanca
ASW Board Chair

Jon Zurfluh
ASW School Director