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Message from the Executive Director

 
 
Mark Iver Sylte
Executive Director

Dear Members of the ASF Community,

Important and long-awaited announcements of the government regarding their pandemic response and plans for the "new normal" were finally released on Wednesday, 13 May 2020.

It came as a shock to no one that face-to-face classes in Mexico City have been suspended through the end of this academic year. That means that ASF will end our classes on Friday, 12 June 2020, without the opportunity for in-person closing events and farewells. While we are all disappointed and long to see each other again, I am thankful for the support of the ASF community in recognizing that this period of distance-learning has helped to protect our community and support the Mexican medical care providers in the fight against COVID-19.

Immediate questions come to mind regarding visits to campus. We are aware that students need to return books and materials and gather personal belongings. Likewise, our faculty need to close up their classrooms, some for the summer and some for good as they move on next year to their next international school. We are in the process of creating a timetable for these visits in June which continues to enforce the government mandates regarding social distancing and will share divisional and department schedules with you shortly.

For several weeks we have been working on a plan for reopening the school. While we saw little chance that we would be able to use it this June, our thoughts now turn to August. There is a herculean task ahead of us with this planning, and I am grateful for those on the ASF staff who will be sacrificing their summer vacations to prepare for next year. While you may have heard suggestions of staggered starts by divisions, please stay tuned to announcements from ASF as there remains much planning to do before we can release all the details. Our efforts with the SEP authorities will be to begin school as a K-12 institution through our proposed calendar, but this will require SEP approval. 

It is still our hope that our return next year will be to on-campus classes. Certainly, next year will look different, with new safety protocols, restricted travel for at least several months, and “new normals.” Somethings, however, will not change. We will welcome new faces in every grade level from Mexico and around the world. We will continue to teach classes across all disciplines which help students understand the world around them and prepare them for future studies. And we will remember that ASF Bears stand strongest when they stand together and look after each other.

Sincerely yours,

Mark Iver Sylte, Executive Director