Avoca West News

October 18, 2019

Spotlight on Social Emotional Learning

There are three sub-goals under the overarching SEL Goal 1 of "Develop self-awareness and self-management skills to achieve school and life success." Last newsletter I shared about helping our students to understand their emotions and how to deal with stressful feelings. This edition we'll be zooming in on the other components of Goal 1:


  • Goal 1B - Recognizing personal qualities and external supports
  • Goal 1C - Demonstrating skills related to achieving personal and academic goals



Goal 1B - Recognize personal qualities and external supports emphasizes helping our students to recognize their unique qualities, what to do if they need help (including who to ask), how to be a role model and leader for others. There are a variety of activities we will do with students here at school (ex: draw a picture of an activity you and your family like to do together) which support the standards, but this is an area where our students will begin to see how families can support the school as they learn how they can extend a hand to others as well. Supportive families have always been a high point for Avoca West, but stay tuned for explicit lessons which highlight the importance of just that!


Goal 1C - Demonstrate skills related to achieving personal and academic goals is a critical goal to work towards, as it sets the stage for success at school and beyond. Beginning as early as kindergarten, our students will learn how to choose something they'd like to work on, how to break it up into manageable steps, consider factors that help or prevent them from achieving a goal, and how to evaluate success and reflect on what to do differently in the future.


As we head into Parent-Teacher Conferences next week, this is a perfect opportunity to begin working with your child to consider short and long term personal or school-based goals. How can you model ways to break it down? What supports can you give to your child to make sure he/she is successful? How can you cultivate reflection when there are setbacks and cheerlead to offer your support over any tough spots? All of these skills matter and are ones which we'll undoubtedly partner on for years to come!

Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion at Avoca West

One of our huge points of pride at Avoca is the diversity of our students, families, cultural backgrounds, languages spoken, learning styles, and so much more! How do we make sure that this core value is celebrated and continually cultivated?


  • Our Annual Intercultural Dinner and Talent Show is a great example of ways that we come together to showcase our unique talents and diversity. Families are invited to share a dish, enjoy the company of our community, and to see the wonderful gifts that our students and families offer. Families are welcome to RSVP by using THIS LINK to the registration form.
  • Avoca West has a booming Multicultural Club (over 40 students attending) which meets each week to visit a new country. We also love to engage and empower our parents/families to share their expertise about a particular country/culture with our students. Please reach out to Mrs. Miller, Ms. Cole, or Mrs. Raczyla if you are interested in sharing about your family's culture!
  • Avoca West's Best Buddies Chapter received the award for the Promoter Chapter of the Year in 2018 and has been thriving and growing ever since. This year, our student interest/participation is so large, Mrs. Henson and Ms. Kamysz have split students up by age groups, allowing them to really hone in on what's developmentally best for each group. Best Buddies is an international group that seeks to promote inclusion and interaction with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Learn more about Best Buddies HERE.

Making sure that all of our students feel welcomed and safe is an anchoring value within Avoca. Please know we will continue to foster these values and skills needed to consider the perspectives of others and what makes each of us unique!

Ian (Animated Short Movie)

Veteran's Day Breakfast - 11/11

On Monday, November 11th from 8:30-9:30 at Avoca West our Student Ambassadors will be decking out our school in patriotic theme AND serving breakfast to our Veterans. This is an annual tradition at Avoca West and one which helps reinforce many of our BRAVE tenets.


WE NEED YOUR HELP! We count on our parents, students, and community members to spread the word! Any AND ALL veterans are welcome -- whether they have a tie to Avoca West, Marie Murphy, or not. Feel free to invite aunts, uncles, neighbors, friends. All are welcome, as we want to make sure that they feel the appreciation from our students.


Remember, this is a DISTRICT EVENT - Marie Murphy participants are always welcome!

If you know you will be joining us, please RSVP to Cece Donoghue or Roxann Giovannini -- otherwise, feel free to just drop by and enjoy the time with our kiddos.

Bernie's Book Bank Collection & Upcoming Book Fair

Each year we have our book collection for Bernie's Book Bank to coincide with our Book Fair in the ITC. These books are then donated to the bank so that they are able to gain access to your new or gently used books.


In the winter, our 1st graders spend time at Bernie's Book Bank to learn about community and giving back as a part of their Social Studies unit. It's a wonderful chance for our students to see things go full circle!


The Book Fair will be open to the public during Parent-Teacher Conferences -- Wednesday & Thursday evenings.

Check out the Avoca PTC's Updated Website

Don't forget to stop by the Avoca PTC website for updated information and dates to put on your calendar as well. There are many exciting events going on -- including our Spirit Wear sales!!

Questions? Comments?

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