Superintendent's Corner

Avoca School District 37 - April 28, 2022

In this important issue...

  • Congratulations: Science Olympiad Qualifies for Nationals
  • Marie Murphy's School Play - Username: Come See it Friday & Saturday
  • Summer Learning Opportunities with Galileo
  • COVID Monitoring & Mitigation
  • Mission, Portrait, and Strategic Plan - What's Next
  • Interested in Serving on the Finances & Facilities Committee?

Congratulations: Science Olympiad Qualifies for Nationals

Thanks to their dogged preparation and amazing coaching from staff and parents and community members and doctoral students from Northwestern, our Marie Murphy Science Olympiad team has qualified for the National Competition.


Our team competing at Nationals will be one of only 100 teams from across the nation out of more than 4,000 possible teams to start the season to do so.


Congratulations to staff members Jim Gravagna, Darren Persino, and Joyce Kim for all of their work. This also was not possible without a battalion of volunteers stepping in to coach too.

Marie Murphy School Play Friday and Saturday

The Spring Play is back for a live, in-person audience, and sure to be enthralling.


Our amazingly talented students at Marie Murphy are putting on USERNAME_, an of the moment play about social media and technology addiction, directed by our gifted theater teacher Karah Janssen.


Viewed in the MultiPurpose Room at Marie Murphy, showtimes are:

Friday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 30 at 2 p.m.

Summer Learning Opportunities with Galileo

And if you love Science Olympiad, chances are your student will love Camp Galileo running this summer at Avoca West. Galileo is a group well known for offering high quality STEAM experiences for kids in the summer ages PreK through Rising 10th graders. They also have a Counselor-in-Training option for older students.


You can sign your student up for a week or for multiple weeks, running June 27 through August 5 at Avoca West (in the air conditioned rooms):

  • Camp runs 9 a.m. to 3 pm.
  • Extended Care starts at 7:30 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m.


STEAM Sessions this Summer are:

  • Amusement Park Adventure
  • Dinosaur Dig
  • Castles & Quests


Extensive aid is available for families who already qualify for reduced fees this year in Avoca schools. If you believe you qualify for aid, email me directly (see below), and I will send you the appropriate registration code.


To learn more and register, please CLICK HERE.

COVID Monitoring & Mitigation

As of the last update on the CDC website, Cook County COVID Community Level is still "low" (or green) but the numbers are worsening. (Access the CDC tracker by clicking here.)


The IDPH tracking website does not yet indicate any problems for Cook County, but local zip code case numbers are increasing into concerning territory. (IDPH site click here)


Finally, internal numbers are increasing, including a spike in some classrooms, but not at their highest this year. When spikes occur we do consult with the Cook County Health Department and follow their directives, which could include having students in specific classes mask for a limited amount of time and/or other mitigation steps like lunch in a classroom. (You can see the internal dashboard by clicking here.)

New Mission, Portrait of a Graduate, and Strategic Plan

After a process that started in October of 2021 and included feedback from hundreds and hundreds of stakeholders, including our Strategic Planning Committee meeting for over 20 hours - The Board of Education will help us move into the future at its May 5 meeting.


Specifically, the Board is ready to approve

A New Mission Statement...

....that identifies the most important work we do with our students daily.

A Portrait of a Graduate...

...describing qualities we want all of our students to have developed by the time they graduate.

A Strategic Plan...

... outlining our most important actions that make fulfilling our mission possible.


Draft versions resulting from our extensive community engagement process were shared with Board at its April 7th and April 21st meetings. The agenda and items for the April 21st meeting can be found by clicking here.

Shaping Our Future: The Finances & Facilities Committee

One committee that will convene this summer and meet once a month for a year springs directly from two Strategic Plan Objectives. The Facilities & Finances Committee will:


1. Identify how the District's school buildings can best support the physical, mental, safety, and intellectual needs of the students and staff.


2. Identify how District finances can responsibly sustain the District's mission and strategic objectives over the long term.


In June of 2023, the Committee will issue a report to the Board of Education related to these two charges. The committee will be made up of approximately 20 people: 5 staff, 5 parents/guardians, 5 community members, 2 Admin, 1-2 Board members, and possibly 2 students.


Many meetings will be remote, some in person, and some could involve visits to other schools.


If you are interested in serving on this committee or know someone who might be a good fit for this committee, please email me directly at osburnk@avoca37.org