Quote for the Week
"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (civil rights leader and minister)
Accomplishing Great Things by Putting Our Grain of Sand and Hearts into It
Sometimes when we face complex times and major challenges that we cannot overcome as individuals, we can often feel overwhelmed and powerless. During these particular moments, we must remind each other that our collective power as a CNG Community can help accomplish the truism that "the sum is greater than its parts" in the bigger scheme of things!
As we currently face some uncertainties in beginning this second semester, we need to understand that while we certainly can't do it alone, if each one of us contributes our individual grains of sand in the small things that we do for each other and for the greater community, then we will be able not only to create but also to move mountains together. Without any question, we have demonstrated during this past year that advance planning, focused preparation, and collective resolve and effort have put us on the forefront of ensuring everyone's health and safety as well as providing the best educational programs possible for our students.
In looking ahead at the amazing possibilities awaiting us this second semester, I encourage everyone to continue contributing to this big community effort in our own small and unique way with greater commitment and a bigger heart. If each and every one of us commits to doing the small things in a great way, then much greater things clearly lie ahead of us that can and will be done together given our mindset of continuous improvement and the pursuit of excellence.
Expansion to a 6-Hour School Day Begins on Monday, February 8th
Although we are currently in a "virtual" holding pattern due to the ongoing red-alert status in the city as well as pending decrees on the requirements and limitations for schools to return to in-person classes, CNG will be moving ahead in our continuous improvement efforts by expanding to a 6-hour instructional day across all grade levels. Our academic teams at each building level have already begun working on the organizational components to add 1 ½ hours to our daily schedule with implementation set to begin on Monday, February 8th. You can expect to receive more information next week from your respective leadership teams at each divisional level.
Regarding our current projections on a potential shift back to hybrid modules, the recent announcements this week about the continuation of strict quarantines in multiple areas of the city suggest that red-alert status will continue through February 12th at a minimum, and we will thus remain in virtual mode until further notice. Once we receive specific information about when schools in Bogota will be allowed to return to on-campus instruction, you will receive soon thereafter our standard Opt-in/Opt-out form, timeline for completion, and hybrid start dates. Due to the unknowns at this time about possible restrictions and/or limitations for the number of students who will be allowed on campus at any given time, we will continue with our previous Group A and B designations until we have more information that might allow for us to make other determinations on groupings and increasing the length of the school day.
Projected Daily Timetable for Our Extended School Day
With our new extended daily schedule being adopted for both virtual and hybrid, please know that our projected timings for the school day are mainly driven by the central operational issue of transportation. Due to turnaround times on routes, citywide traffic patterns, and the need to disinfect our buses between groupings, our scheduling changes for the extended school day will require approximately 2 ½ hours of transition time between routes. Given the above requirements, we are currently working on the draft logistics for the following daily start and end times: 1) PS and ES from 7:00 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and 2) MS and HS from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Please make note that we have not yet finalized these exact times, but we wanted to give you a tentative idea for your advance planning purposes.
Additionally, the change in daily schedule will also entail a reorganization of our extracurricular activities such as sports/athletics, Condor activities, and clubs/organization schedules. We are also looking to expand options for student participation and engagement in these areas too, with major planning underway for on-campus activities once we return to hybrid, so please encourage your kids to remain involved right now. As one final advance notice, we are also making plans to provide food services for students once we return to full hybrid mode.
Scenario Planning and Logistics for Our Hybrid Restart
Regarding CNG's projected hybrid start, in speaking with Gressa (our biosecurity consultants) and our contacts in the Secretaria, current projections range from mid-February to the beginning of March. Once we receive some type of official announcement, we will simply backward plan for teacher testing and Group A/B testing with the five-day optimal timeframe as per our previously announced plans. Until such time as we receive the green light for in-person classes, we will continue our scenario planning in preparation for the prescribed percentage of students allowed on campus (aforro) and in-class distancing requirements (currently set at 2 meters).
In advance of that time, we are already prepping the campus for hybrid return, and PCR testing took place earlier this week for our administrators and service personnel. We tested members of CNG's Administrative Team and General Services/Transportation staff along with our third-party personnel in security, maintenance, and cleaning services. Out of 165 total tests, we had only 8 positive results (4.8% positivity rate) with all of them being asymptomatic at the time of testing. We remain committed to ensuring a safe start when the government allows us to move forward, and you will be receiving additional mask options, including surgical masks, once those school specific guidelines are finalized and shared with us by the Secretary of Education.
In closing, we are looking forward to working with all of you to accomplish great things this semester with all of us doing our own small part in a great way, thus transforming the improbable into the totally possible. We truly believe that great things lie ahead, and you can count on us to put our entire hearts into making it happen!
Dr. Eric H. Habegger