Superintendent's Corner 😎 🏫 😎

Avoca District 37

In this issue ...

  • The Importance of Principals
  • Illinois School Report Cards
  • October 25 Teacher Institute Day
  • Strategic Plan Spotlight - Evaluation of Services
  • Board Meeting - Review/Preview

The Importance of Principals

October 20-25 is officially Principal Appreciation Week with Principal Appreciation Day on the 25th. If you have a chance, drop a note of thanks to your student's principal. Principal Hutchison and Principal Palcer are amazing advocates and supporters for our students, staff, and families, and they are an integral ingredient in our success (see Report Card Update below). Every example of meaningful educational research on the subject illustrates how important a good principal is for school success and ours make Avoca West and Marie Murphy shine. Thanks Jessica and Matt!

Illinois School Report Card Update

The first week of November the Illinois School Report Cards will be publicly released by The Illinois State Board of Education. There are more than 3,100 public elementary schools in Illinois. In terms of academic achievement Avoca West and Marie Murphy both place in the top 2%. The state report card measures multiple aspects of achievement. The administration always identifies areas to grow (see the October 10 Board Presentation on the Illinois Assessment of Readiness and on The Strategic Plan), but overall our schools simply continue to be among the best on The North Shore and in Illinois. To see the Board presentation on the Report Card, please click here.

October 25 Staff Institute Day

Many of you erroneously received an email from me (oops) about staff Institute Day on October 25. Thank you for your patience with my error. Still, it is important you know that on those days our staff works to improve and grow in order to serve you and our students better. For each Institute Day (October 25, November 25 & 26, and March 20) we will focus on the following important areas:

Social Emotional Learning

Strategic Plan Initiatives

  • English Language Arts Curriculum
  • Social Studies Curriculum
  • Science Curriculum
  • Continuum of Services Evaluation
Technology & Instruction
Enhancement of Teacher Websites

If you are ever curious about our collaboration as a staff, please do not hesitate to reach out. I am always happy to share the good news of the staff's work together.

Strategic Spotlight - Continuum of Services Evaluation

At our October 24 Board Meeting, I presented an overview of our process to conduct an evaluation of continuum of services. I encourage you to review this presentation's slide deck here. The impetus for this evaluation came directly from parents, board members, and staff.

In a nutshell, we will be looking at the processes, systems, and practices (in place or not) for stakeholders to collaboratively evaluate student behavioral and learning needs, then identify and implement the right instructional and behavioral supports, and finally monitor the success of those supports.

To conduct a comprehensive, research supported evaluation, we are partnering with the North Shore Special Education District (NSSED), an expert organization that has worked with districts before to conduct this kind of work.

Our timeline will run from October 25 through early December and will include parent and staff feedback in the form of surveys, with limited face-to-face interviews conducted by NSSED. Additionally, we examine extensive available data both for District 37 and comparable districts. Finally, we will be implementing research-based self-evaluation tools. The process will conclude in late January and early February when we share the conclusions and recommendations for improvement. All of the above will be shared with all of our stakeholders.

Kristen Moore, Director of Pupil Services, will be leading the process, and we look forward to sharing our findings with the whole community.

Board Meeting Review / Preview

Board Meeting Review/Preview (most items for 10.24 are linked to more details)

October 24

November 14

  • Continuum of Services - Ideal State - Presentation
  • Tentative Tax Levy - Action
  • Board Legacy and Agreements - Action
  • Preschool Tuition
  • Transportation Fees Review