Dear AISS Family,

The last few weeks have been very challenging with all of the uncertainty in the world surrounding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). On March 11, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that the COVID-19 outbreak was characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

AISS would like to assure all of our AISS Parents, Scholars and Partners that we are committed to providing a safe, healthy environment for everyone in our community. This is also the belief of our property managers, RIVERROCK. Everyone’s safety and well-being are of the utmost importance to us. Our staff have been following general hygiene practices in our offices and classrooms provided by the CDC. We have been communicating these practices to our volunteers and Scholars to ensure that they are aware and also practicing these necessary prevention measures.

According to the CDC, there is an ongoing investigation to determine more about the outbreak. Furthermore, you can find out about: How the virus spreads, Prevention & treatment, and What to do if you are sick. In addition to the CDC and WHO, we have also been monitoring the State of California’s website and the Santa Ana Unified School District’s (SAUSD) site for their guidance on “gatherings”, which currently recommends cancelling large gatherings of 250 or more people. SAUSD mentions that they are following the lead of the OC Health Care Agency, which states that the risk of infection to public in Orange County is believed to be low,. However, if any AISS Parent or Scholar have any concerns about attending our class meetings, please feel free to contact me.

During this time, it is crucial that everyone receive accurate and updated information about the COVID-19 outbreak. Over the last year, we have engaged in various learning objectives and activities with our Scholars including how to do research and investigate topics of interest. We have also encouraged our Scholars to keep their parents, loved ones and neighbors informed based on facts. This is a time for them to be leaders in their community to help reduce panic and misinformation. My belief is it is better to be informed and prepared, and not panicked. Last Saturday our scholars participated in a thought-provoking COVID-19 Activity led by AISS Board member, Dr. Jacqueline Rojas, that helped clear up misconceptions about the virus. As STEM scholars, situations like this tends to challenge our Scholars to think about creative and innovative ways to help prevent this situation from occurring in the future and to try to find a cure. I am very confident that one day one or more of them will.

Sincerely,

Debbie Wells, Executive Director
 
The mission of the Achievement Institute of Scientific Studies (AISS) is to guide high achieving, economically disadvantaged high school students interested in pursuing a career in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. We not only help students get accepted into college, but also with the years beyond - through graduation and establishing their careers.
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