Avoca West News

June 26, 2020

Check Your Mailboxes

Report cards for remote learning were mailed home to all families earlier this week. Parents and caregivers can expect to find information about what was a focus for instruction and learning during remote learning, a snapshot of each child's progress in that area, and suggestions for summer learning and continued growth/practice. As with all things during remote learning, this was a new adventure of reporting out to parents. Thank you for your patience and hard work in supporting your student(s) and teachers during this unique 2019-2020 school year!

Planning for Re-Opening School

Our administrative team has been working since earlier this spring to develop plans for different scenarios of what school might look like this fall. Earlier this week, the State Board of Education released guidance for the opening of school. However, as Dr. Osburn outlined in his June 19 post, we anticipate finalizing our opening plans and communicating them in mid-July. In case you missed it, here is Dr. Osburn's June 19 message:

Planning for Re-opening School

In a few days the Illinois State Board of Education will release guidance regarding the re-opening of schools. Our primary responsibility is always to maximize the health and safety of our students and staff and community. Our three basic options to re-open will be:

1. Open with all students at school and putting in place many safeguards, protocols, and practices that will make it possible to operate school in the safest way possible.

2. Open with fully Remote Learning, which would be an improved and streamlined version of Remote Learning from Spring 2020.

3. A hybrid version where some students would be onsite, while some would learn remotely, and students would alternate between the two so every student received an equitable in-person/remote experience that maximized health and safety.

However, we will not finalize until at least mid-July which option we will utilize for a number of reasons. First, the status of the COVID-19 spread changes rapidly and each week brings new learning about its spread and the research teaching us how to combat it. This learning affects which option might be best. Second, state guidance has typically changed over time, and we want to wait as long as possible to determine if that guidance changes from June through July. Third, more time means we can plan each option in detail rather than committing to just one right now.

I am grateful for your patience. My administration is keeping the Board informed, and I will be conducting more ZOOM parent focus groups in late June or early July. Please keep an eye on these updates and the website for more information.

Kaine Osburn, Superintendent

Avoca School District 37


Supporting Social Emotional Learning & Empowering Action

SEL had been a major focus of our learning and leading at Avoca West this past year and we continue to forget ahead with summer learning in this area. Now more than ever, the call to make sure we care for ourselves and for one another is LOUD AND CLEAR -- and is evolving even in how we consider how to frame what's most important in our social emotional learning.

This summer, all New Trier Township school districts are partnering with CASEL, THE leader in social emotional learning, to build a consistent, shared knoweldge of how to best prioritize social emotional learning in our schools. I was thrilled to notice that their definition of SEL has changed from a standard definition of SEL to one they call "Transformative SEL" -- and the impact and call to action is energizing! I invite you to watch the first of several in a series about SEL as a Lever for Equity and Social Justice. I'll continue to share others in future AW Newsletters this summer for those who would like to learn a bit more about SEL and the many things we're thinking and acting on as an Avoca crew.

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CASEL CARES: SEL As a Lever for Equity and Social Justice

Questions? Comments?

Please feel free to reach out to ask any of our office staff for help!