On March 12 at 11:40 pm, a text was sent to ASL parents informing them that school would be closed the next day due to a parent being diagnosed with COVID-19, which is ASL’s first case of the virus.
Forty minutes later, Head of School Mrs. Robin Appleby sent an email to the ASL community, including students, giving more information about the situation. The email stated that the parent only had mild symptoms and also explained how school was canceled on Friday so that they could assess the situation.
Lastly, Appleby explained how the school will approach the situation and will keep the community updated in the future. “We will consult public health authorities and keep you informed of any recommendations related to this situation, both tomorrow and over the weekend ahead.”
Earlier on March 12 before this case of coronavirus was known, Mrs. Appleby explained what would cause the school to close. “If the government decided to close, we would definitely close because we would be following their guidelines. The school could also make an independent decision to close… “[The school’s closure] isn’t related to the number of cases at all. It would be related to our good judgment about what was in the best interest of the health and safety of our community and also our community’s responsibility to support efforts to lessen the virus in our London area.”
Many students thought that it was the correct decision to cancel the school for the day. Fifth-grader Kyrah Badhwar said, “I think it was a good decision to cancel school because other people could have gotten COVID-19.”
Some students are partially worried about returning to school on Monday as a result of the discovery. Eighth-grader Kaila Brooks said, “I think perhaps I would be worried, but it would not feel like a normal school day. All anyone would be able to talk about is COVID-19, so the community environment would be full of worry.”
However, other students had different opinions. Eighth-grader Sage Sanders hopes school will reopen on Monday to allow students to learn the most effectively. She said, “I don’t want the school to remain canceled because then we can’t learn at such an efficient rate. If school stays closed then we might miss big landmarks, such as our graduation. If the school does open on Monday, I’ll be relieved.”