Avoca West News

Week of November 19, 2021

Social Emotional Learning Update

Social emotional learning (SEL) remains a major focus at Avoca West and at Marie Murphy for our students and our staff members. We know that the past 20 months have put a strain on our "typical" school and family routines, changing the way we learn and live, and causing us all to adapt the many ways we support one another.

At school, our staff can see a number of differences among our students -- from how they work with one another, regulate their emotions, and manage themselves. We are intentionally supporting student SEL through a daily morning meeting which provides a chance for students to check in with their teacher, classmates, and to continue building a strong classroom community. Many classes are incorporating the Zones of Regulation into their routines and practices in order to build student ability to recognize and normalize many emotions we all experience within our lives. By building a familiarity and appreciation of emotions, students (and staff!) can better notice which strategies they can use to regulate those emotions and stay within a "zone" that allows for learning and positive relationships with others. Other classes are incorporating Superflex and the Social Thinking curriculum/language into their work with students to better help kids navigate their interpersonal relationships in the classroom and in less structured situations.

We know that the need to support the social emotional development of our students does not end when the bell rings. Research shows that parents are noting new behaviors and needs of their children as well (see graphic below) and we'll continue to seek ways to support you in learning how to broaden your toolkit to support our students beyond the school day. Our District SEL Committee is investigating ways to provide consistent language and practices throughout our district to support self management, emotional regulation, social skills, and much, much more because we know that social emotional learning and academics go hand-in-hand.

For more information about what we learned from our students in this fall's SEL survey, click on the link below to view what was shared at the most recent Board of Education meeting. As always, feel free to reach out with any additional questions or for guidance. We're here to help!

Avoca West's SEL Assessment Update from Board of Education Meeting

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Special Message - Video of Town Hall 2 Meeting and Important Survey

As we head into the Thanksgiving Break, it could be that you have some "down time" when you could take the time to watch the video presentation from our second Town Hall meeting on November 17. The presentation covers District Facilities, Learning Spaces, and Finances.

Most important is the link to the survey at the end of the presentation. If the strategic planning committee is to gather high quality feedback to inform the new strategic plan, many more parents and guardians need to complete these customized surveys.

The video is 30 minutes, but it covers very important topics that are essential to understanding current and future states of the district. You should feel free to pause it periodically and come back to it before taking the survey.

Click here for the video with the survey link at the end

Thank you for your consideration, and please feel free to forward this link to anyone in the community.


Kaine Osburn, Superintendent (he/him/his)

Avoca School District 37


Stay Healthy, Friends!

As we head into the winter cold and flu season, it's especially important to keep an eye on symptoms that your child (or you, as an adult!) may be presenting. Most cold and flu symptoms are also symptoms of COVID and require students and staff to be excluded from school until a negative COVID test is provided -- even if the student or staff member is vaccinated. Any siblings must also remain at home If your child or anyone in your home is awaiting a COVID test. I understand that this puts a strain on our staff, students, and families, and appreciate your collective commitment to out greater community.

You can find the exclusion guidance for schools below, and we will continue to update our families with any changes from IDPH.

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Mark Your Calendars:

Week of 11/22 - No School Students! Teacher Institute Days & Thanksgiving Celebration!

12/7 - Band Concert (More details to follow from Mr. Anderson)

12/18 - Winter Break Begins! See you in 2022!

1/3 - School Resumes!

Follow Us for Daily Smile-Makers!

Questions? Comments?

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