September 27, 2013

posted Sep 27, 2013, 9:20 AM by Suzanne WARDINI

School Plans Regarding Water 

We are facing challenging and uncertain times with the current water problem in Dakar.  This is to inform you of our present plans, considering several scenarios.  The school administration has been informing itself from many sources.  This is an ongoing situation and it is difficult to predict outcomes, such as the return of water to neighborhoods and the school itself.  New information will inform changes in plans where needed.  Several recent nights this week the water has come on and we have been able to fill the supply tanks overnight, thus enabling us to operate during school hours.  But this past couple of days we have not been able to replenish the water from city sources.  We are looking for sources of water that would be safe to truck in, but even this is not simple, because our main tanks are not approachable by truck.  We can replenish some tanks, but not all. 

Across the weekend we will monitor the water at school, and with some luck we should be able to open on Monday.  As of this Friday afternoon, we are pretty confident we will be able to open on Monday, but only for a half day.  We will send out an SMS on Monday morning early to inform you either way, yes or no, as to school opening.  If water is available we will hold half-day sessions with no after school activities, ending each day at 12:00 for all classes.  Our tanks tend to run out by late morning.  Our support staff has been cleaning toilets with soap and buckets of water drawn from our ground tank.  We will keep up this practice.  We have purchased drinking water and will place it at several sites around the campus.  We require you send your children to school with water bottles that can be replenished from our safe source across the day.  In the case where repairs of the system and return of water can be achieved within this coming week, we would run the school in this fashion, always monitoring our water supply day to day. 

In the event water doesn’t reach us, we will need to close the school campus and this would be announced by email and SMS.  We may need to alternate, each day determining at dawn whether we have enough water to go to the half-day mode. 

In the third scenario, where we find we have to close for a longer continuous period, we would move to a mode of providing lessons over the Internet as distance learning, with some pick up of materials from school, but mostly via digital means.  Teachers would work from the school part of the time, and possibly from home.  This could be for a potentially longer period of two to three weeks.  All the while, we will be seeking the best means to resolve issues of water supply for our teachers, and for the overall operation of the school. 

Within this coming week we should be able to better determine the situation and modify our plans accordingly. 

Here is a summary of the 3 options:

First, we have enough water to operate on a half-day basis across several days to a week.  Day ends at 12 noon.  No after school activities.  Pick up all students at 12. 

Second, we do not have water, and the campus will be closed for students.  During first week, this would be announced day to day on email/SMS. Teachers will prepare portable lessons, and if longer, online lessons that students can complete at home. 

First and Second options may alternate day-to-day depending on availability of water. 

Third, long-term water shortage necessitating two to three week campus closure.  Online courses would be given to students to complete at home.  

Even during closures of types 2 or 3, teachers, parents, and staff will have access to campus for business and meetings.  During the Director Search, parent and faculty meetings with candidates will go according to the schedule.  

During this challenging time the faculty and administration are committed to deliver classes and lessons, both on campus or online, of our traditional best quality.  We will keep students, parents and the ISD community informed by daily emails, the better to foster our educational program, while we ensure the health and safety of our students.  


Paul Olson