JA is deeply appreciative of the uncertainties facing everyone...and meanwhile continues its commitment to its mission and students. JA's greatest hope for all its donors and supporters the world over is that they and their families stay healthy on all levels.
I'm taking this opportunity to inform all of our supporters of the impact of Coronavirus on our students, applicants, staff, and all protocols.
Current students: JA has urged all of its students to be safe, and has rapid social media communication channels in place. JA views the crisis as a tremendous learning opportunity for its students in community and family leadership. Mentors have all been advised to meet online with their students, or if they choose to do so in person, to do so only with social distance protocols, preferably outdoors.
All schools in Mexico are formally closed until April 20th at the absolute earliest. More technically advanced schools are holding online classes. The immediate priority for all universities is those students due to graduate who would normally be taking finals and moving onto their practicums: Online exam protocols do not currently exist, and most practicum opportunities are temporarily suspended by providers. University personnel are still working until April 3rd to develop their own contingencies. Until JA knows more, all its students are to follow their university online classes or assignments if given, and otherwise to use the time for intensive online English classes if they have a safe, online access. JA suspended any penalty for students who chose to return home prior to school closures.
Financial impact: at this time JA cannot predict the financial impact on current students from loss of work for themselves or their families. JA stands ready to accept petitions for further assistance, budget permitting. This may include funding internet service for households so that students can maintain coursework.
Incoming class 2020 applications: JA anticipates the entire intake process will be delayed. However, step one of reviewing 269 applications proceeds on schedule; 2nd phase, face to face interviews with students if at all possible will be conducted with staff, board members and a dramatically smaller group of willing interviewing teams over the course of a couple of weeks. Interviews would be held in controlled, social distance protocol, outdoor environments. If not possible, online interviews will be required. Third phase onsite home interviews with families are off the table and alternatives are under review.
Staff are working from home but plan to implement a shift schedule so one or two persons is in the office at least a couple of times per week.
JA’s students rely on the financial support of its extended community of supporters who take the long view that investment in the brightest students ripples through entire families and communities, changing life trajectories for all. Counting on that continued support, JA maintains its annual goal of taking between 25 and 30 new students for the incoming class. Sponsorship commitments currently stand at 24. There has never been a more important moment for JA to stay on course, to the greatest extent its long term and new supporters, and financial resources are able.
Thank you for your enduring support and again, all of us at JA express our hope that you are well and safe.