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AIS-Salzburg Newsletter

Dear AIS-Salzburg Community,

In Richard Adam's cult science fiction classic, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, one of the characters states emphatically, 'We demand rigidly defined areas of uncertainty and doubt!'  I think we can all sympathize with the frustration inherent in this statement at a time when government officials, health experts and everyone else is trying to get a clear handle on a situation that simply will not allow itself to become predictable—forcing us to find within ourselves more of that dwindling resource called patience.

At present, we will begin online instruction on Monday, January 18, one week from now.  As of January 24th—provided government regulations and requirements allow it—we will invite all day students and residents who are presently in Austria to join us on campus for face-to-face instruction and begin to welcome back all other boarding students able to travel to Salzburg and arrive without the restriction of mandatory quarantine. For those delayed in returning after the 24th, we will continue to provide online instructional assistance to them until they can join us.

In the meantime, please stay safe and set your sights on growing, positive developments as the weeks and months of 2021 progress and vaccinations become available to all.

We hope you enjoy this week's newsletter.  

Headmaster McLean

2020 In Review: A Look Back On A Year We Will Never Forget

The year 2020 was a trying one for everyone across the globe and given the circumstances, we feel we made the best out of the situation while also keeping students and staff safe. This video is a reflection of the second half of the 2019-2020 school year, our 2020 Summer Language Program and the first half of the 2020-2021 school year.

Interview With Senior Student, Ian H.

Ian H. has attended AIS-Salzburg since 2016 and is an active member of our community. He is involved in team sports, has volunteered as a student tutor and currently serves as the Student Council President.
AISS: What do you enjoy most about going to a small boarding school? 
IAN: I really enjoy the small class size that our school offers. This allows each individual to get more attention and help from the teachers, which I believe is crucial for achieving better results. The AIS-Salzburg community benefits from the small size of the school because it bonds us closer together.  
AISS: Describe your experiences playing on the AIS-Salzburg sports teams. How has this helped shape you as a person moving on into adulthood? 
IAN: I have been a part of the soccer and basketball teams since my first year here. For the first two years, I was a rookie that looked up to the older members of the teams and I simply worked hard to improve my skills. I was very flattered when I received the "Rookie of the Year Award" after my first season. That motivated me to keep on pushing and, eventually, in my third year, I started developing leadership skills and having a bigger role in the team. A big responsibility was given to me in my fourth season. I became the captain of the soccer team and a leader of the basketball team, roles that I still hold today. I am very satisfied when looking back at how I started and where I am at the moment. I try to be a role model for my teammates, someone they can look up to, just like I did when I was younger. I will never forget all of the tournaments and traveling across Europe with both teams. These memories last forever. These experiences taught me teamwork is the key to success and that leadership comes with experience and skill. I will move on forward with these factors in my mind.  

Photo: Boys soccer team 2019-2020. Ian H. middle #10

AISS: What do you plan to study at university?
IAN: I plan to study international relations at university.  
AISS: Which university or universities would you like to go to? 
IAN: Some of the universities on my list are the University of Amsterdam, University of Groningen, Vesalius College Brussels, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Webster University Geneva, and Bocconi University.   
Photo: Ian H. and fellow 2021 graduate, Ioannis S., get fitted for their gowns

AISS: Do you know what you would like to do for a career once your studies are complete? 
IAN: I would like to work in a European Union institution and start my career in international relations and policymaking there, which would then lead to further opportunities. 
AISS: There is no doubt that online schooling has been challenging. Are there any aspects of online schooling that have made a positive impact on your study habits? 
IAN: Online schooling has challenged me to schedule my time in an efficient way, thus having a positive impact on my study habits. 
AISS: As a senior who has been at the school for a number of years, do you have any advice for younger students who are new to the school? 
IAN: Younger students who are new to the school should really take advantage of studying at such a school like AIS-Salzburg, with small size classrooms and bright teachers who are always there to help. At the end of the day, these students need to be aware that they need to make the most out of their time here. This does not only mean getting good grades and enrich their knowledge as much as possible but also create meaningful friendships and bonds with fellow students and teachers. Lastly, I want to tell every new student that their voice is heard and they should not be scared to get advice or try to bond with older/returning students.    

Update on Corona Crisis and Resumption of Instruction

Since our last update on January 4th, there has been no movement or decision made by Austrian authorities on several points that are most critical to us at present: When will schools be allowed to open in Salzburg Province; When the lockdown ends definitively; and how long the quarantine restriction on the borders will continue. Despite this lack of definitive information, we can confirm our plan for the resumption of both instruction as well as accommodation in our dormitories, barring government actions that would hinder this directly.

Present Situation:

Since Monday, January 4th, there has been no significant reduction of positive infections in Austria. Although they are down dramatically from where they were 6 weeks ago, we are still averaging around 2,500 positive infections per day this past week. We seem to have hit a plateau at a level that is still too high given the government’s target of less than 1,000 per day and a 7-day incidence rate of less than 50.

Salzburg Province continues to have the highest positive infection rates in Austria, nearly double the national average. Local politicians and health officials are considering plans to address this which may include quarantining whole towns or areas.

The quarantine requirement at the borders is to be continued through this week minimally and stricter controls on the borders between Austria and the Czech Republic have been put into place this past weekend.

All areas of Austria remain at the RED health-risk level presently.

There is some concern that the higher numbers in Salzburg Province may be due to the Covid-19 mutation first located in Great Britain (UK B117) having made its way here to Austria although this has not been confirmed through data collected to date.

Government Plans:

The Austrian government has not yet changed its plans to end the present lockdown on the 24th of January, allowing all businesses, theaters, restaurants and hotels to resume business (perhaps with proof of negative test for consumers upon entry). Schools in Austria are presently online and are scheduled to open their doors for in-class instruction on January 18, depending upon the local infection situation. Given the numbers in Salzburg Province, it may be that Salzburg schools do not begin live instruction in classrooms until the 24th. No particular information has been given concerning when the quarantine requirements for entry into Austria will be ended, but it is assumed that this will be on either the 18th or the 24. Again, the government wants to maintain the possibility of delaying this if the positive infections remain unacceptably high, locally or nationally.

Our Planning at Present:

January 18-22: Online instruction resumes for all students; dorms remain closed through January 22, 2021.

January 23/24 and onward: Dormitories open and boarding students arrive as possible.

January 25 onward: All students in Austria and in the dormitories participate in classes on campus under health restrictions called for by the RED health-risk level as boarding students continue to arrive. Any students not physically present can continue online instruction assistance.

We will maintain a one-week spring break period in April (April 3-11) to make up for the loss of instruction during the extended winter break. There are no other changes in the calendar planned other than the inclusion of the postponed Fall Excursion sometime this spring if possible.

Please continue to bear in mind that we are unable to quarantine any resident students here on our campus. Until the quarantine requirements are suspended, resident students cannot take up residency at AIS-Salzburg. All resident students may move back into the dorms as of the 23rd of January provided the quarantine has been lifted or the students are already inside Austria. Necessarily, all boarding students will need to present proof of a negative Covid-19 less than 72-hours old test upon arrival on campus.

This information is based upon a tentative and changeable situation. Any new, relevant information that we become aware of in the coming days will be posted on our website via the button below and sent to parents directly.

Please reply to this email if you have any questions.

Corona Virus Plans

News & Upcoming Events

January 18-22: Online instruction resumes for all students; dorms remain closed through January 22, 2021.

January 23/24 and onward: Dormitories open and boarding students arrive as possible.

January 29: Midterm, Winter Trimester
Previous Newsletters
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