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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Dear FISW Community,

My heart is full of gratitude for the support of our incredible community: our teachers and assistants who are teaching online, our administrative team working relentlessly to be ready to open the school in September, our Board Members and volunteers who continue to support the school in these difficult times, and our families who have their children at home and provide the support so that their children can continue to learn online.


It is very important for me to keep our FISW family informed, and to that end, every week since we closed our campus, I have given updates about the situation in the Petit Journal.  Marco and I have held Coffee Socials per cycle on online learning, as well as town halls per cycle on our plans for next year. We also hold weekly office hours every Tuesday at 8:30 am and every Wednesday at 3:30 pm.  Please log in to join us and ask any questions that you might have.  Since our campus closed, it is important to maintain a sense of connection and to not feel isolated.  To that end, in the next two weeks, I will personally call every enrolled and reenrolled family to answer their immediate questions, talk about their contract for next year, and review any possible need for financial aid.


Today, I have two important announcements about next year and summer camp.


Regarding summer camp, we have decided not to hold an in-person summer camp this year, including preschool.  We will keep our campus closed until September so that the administration and the pedagogical teams can focus on being ready for September.  However, we will hold a K-5th grade online summer camp for 4 weeks ( June 29 to  July 24).  This online summer camp will focus on the development of language and oral communication in French.  Students will be paired in small groups of 8.  Marco will provide a description of our online K-5th online summer camp soon. Families who enroll in the online camp will receive a price adjustment for the difference in cost between in person and online camp. All families who had registered for our in-person summer camp and prefer not to stay enrolled for the online camp will be refunded.


Regarding next year, we have established a reopening task-force that is developing a comprehensive plan, that encompasses a number of scenarios for our return to campus. These scenarios take into account the probability that King County will experience continued outbreaks of COVID-19. Therefore FISW must prepare for the potential of localized, rolling closures of 14-28 days, triggered by additional waves of infections.

All our scenarios are based on the most current guidance from public health officials, and the international experiences of schools that have reopened in France, Germany, Denmark, Canada, etc. Every aspect of our school day and school operations will require modification, including our physical campus, our academic calendar, daily schedules, educational experience, and social interactions. These transformations will be implemented within the framework of our mission. They  may include physical distancing, wellness checks, masks, frequent disinfection of classrooms. Different scenarios will be put in place in Preschool and Elementary School. Please find below some of the possible expected modifications in preschool and elementary school.

Specific to Preschool (guidelines from the Department of Early Learning are already published)


  • Smaller class size.

  • Extended outside hour time.

  • Dedicated teacher/assistant pairing to reduce multiple adult exposure.

  • Redesigned drop-off and pick-up procedure in the recess area.

  • Consistent cohorts throughout the day, including afterschool care.


Specific to Elementary School (we are still waiting for guidelines from OPSI, the district, and the Health Authorities)


  • Greater spacing between student desks, which may require larger classes to be split or reassigned to bigger spaces

  • Flexible scheduling and scattered drop off to limit interactions between classes/cohorts

  • Recess scheduled to keep cohorts separate

  • Enhanced hygiene practices built into the rhythm of every classroom

  • Bathrooms stalls assigned to particular classes to maintain cohort separation

  • Specific assessment in every grade to determine academic gaps


Common to both divisions (Elementary School and Preschool)

  • Intensified cleaning and ventilation protocol.

  • Enhanced hygiene practice built into the rhythm of every class.

  • Redesigned afterschool care

  • Testing, tracking and documenting

  • No parents on campus

  • Intermittent closures with enhanced online learning (in the case of a Stay at Home order)

  • Focus on social-emotional well-being as we return to school


The different scenarios created by the reopening task-force will be reviewed this week by our think tank committee, composed of Board members, faculty, administrative staff, and community members and will be communicated to parents as soon we receive more guidelines from the Health authorities. There remain too many unknowns to offer at this time exactly what the school experience will look like in September, but please know we are striving for flexibility and transparency.



Barbara Greiner

Head of School

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