Ukraine Update #2

Dear AAS Community and CEESA Friends,

I’d like to provide an update regarding the political situation in the Crimea and Ukraine and the effect it may have on our school community.

Since my last email to all on March 3, 2014, little has changed for the school¹s normal operation.  In the days leading up to the AAS High School Discovery Week we continued to assess the travel risks associated with our trips. Our considered opinion at the time, and this remains unchanged, is that travel in the region is safe and consistent with our guidelines for departure approvals.

The decision to move forward with Discovery Week trips for Grades 9-11 was based on information provided by our founding embassies and other sources in Moscow.  For example, at a recent meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce, which addressed the political unrest in the area, it was reported there is no additional risk apparent for this region regarding travel or security.  The US Embassy Regional Security Officer (RSO) confirms that there are no plans to issue additional travel warnings for any part of Russia other than the existing warnings for border areas near Ukraine. The only bulletins issued from the US Embassy in recent days regarding the Moscow area have been recommendations to avoid select areas where protests are planned, as is their routine practice.

We again caution all about media coverage of current events.  Many items reported in the press are often sensationalized and exaggerated.  Be careful about this in your assessment of the situation.  We also understand that news reporting of this nature has the potential to cause stress for children and families.  Please let us know if support by our counselors would be helpful. Contact them directly at your discretion. They are available to address your concerns.  These events take a psychological toll on all of us.  Please be aware of your family¹s health and well-being. Stay active and try to maintain your normal routine, despite the constant barrage of potentially upsetting news.  Get plenty of sleep and remain engaged in activities that help to relieve stress.  As always, we will keep our normal schedule of school activities in place to provide an atmosphere of engagement, safety, and security.

To our CEESA friends outside of Russia who are preparing to travel to Moscow with various events, we look forward to your visit and providing you with a wonderful and safe experience during your time on our campus and in our homes.

We will keep you informed with additional bulletins as required.  Please be reminded that we have all necessary systems in place for any set of circumstances.  As an international school, we have contingency plans to assure safety for your children and continuation of their education under a wide array of situations.  Our Emergency Plan is on our website in both English and Russian for your advance reference in this regard.

Best Regards,