Superintendent's Corner

Avoca School District 37 - May 25, 2022

Inspire curiosity, cultivate academic growth, and nurture diversity.

In this issue...

>Response to the Tragic School Shooting in Texas

>COVID Monitoring & Mitigation: Free COVID Tests

>Looking Ahead?
  • Summer STEM with Galileo Learning or D39
  • CARE SOLACE - Connecting to Mental Health Services Over the Summer
  • Right at School - After Care Sign Up at Avoca West for Next Year
  • 2022-2023 School Year Calendar
>Seeking Finance & Facilities Committee Members. Please consider applying.

Response to the Tragic School Shooting in Texas

We were deeply saddened to hear the news of the school shooting today at a Texas elementary school and the tremendous loss to the Uvalde community. I want to assure you that the safety of our students is our top priority and that our schools have a comprehensive safety plan in place that is reviewed and updated annually in partnership with Wilmette and Glenview police department representatives.


We anticipate that there will be extensive news coverage about the incident in the coming days. In the wake of the event, we know your child(ren) may have questions. In order to support you, we are sharing recommendations from the National Association of School Psychologists on how to best talk to children about violent acts.


The resource advises parents or caregivers to find out if their children know about the event and suggests the following:

  • Reassure children that they are safe, and we work together to make school a safe place.

  • Make time to talk. Keep your explanations calm and developmentally appropriate (see article for details).

  • Avoid graphic details and exposure to media when possible. It is best to share basic information in a straightforward and direct manner. Limit social media and television viewing.

  • Review safety protocols and remind children they have safe adults to turn to at home and at school.

  • Maintain a typical routine and be mindful of changes in behavior, appetite, and sleep patterns, which can indicate a child’s level of anxiety or discomfort.


We hope this list is helpful to you as you navigate potential questions regarding this incident at home.


While we will not set aside time in our classrooms for lengthy discussions, we will allow conversations to develop naturally. If students bring up the event, we will acknowledge the situation, validate their feelings, and move them back to the topic of study. The student support teams in each of our schools, including School Social Workers and Psychologists, will be available to students who may need support. Our teachers are prepared to reach out to members of the team if a student seems to need additional support.


Again, our hearts are with the Uvalde community tonight as they grieve the tremendous loss.

COVID Monitoring & Mitigation

COVID numbers continue to be higher than any period except the height of Omicron in January, especially so among our staff.


In the region, it could be that the current peak of COVID is nearing its end, but it is too soon to be sure.


While masks are currently recommended by the CDC, the two most steps you can take are:

  • If your child is symptomatic, do not send them to school.
  • Test regularly when symptomatic. You can get free COVID tests for home by clicking here.

Looking Ahead?

It is hard to believe that we are looking to the Summer and Next Fall, but just some important reminders for the summer and beginning of next school year:


  • You can sign up for Galileo STEM Camp at Avoca West by clicking here. Please email me if you think you qualify waivers and we can provide with the right info. Don't wait!
  • You can sign up for Wilmette District 39 Summer School by clicking here.
  • If you need support obtaining appointments for mental health services for you or your child over the summer, our District is contracted with CARE SOLACE. At no charge, CARE SOLACE will help you find an appointment with a mental health provider in the area, and they will help navigate insurance issues. All with full confidentiality. Email Ms. Moore at moorek@avoca37.org for more details.
  • If your student needs before/after care at Avoca West, you can register with our provider of these services Right at School, by clicking here.
  • The first day of school for students next year is Wednesday, August 24. You can see the entire school calendar for 2022-2023 by clicking here.

Committee Service: Facilities & Finances

To build a future that reflects the community's priorities, we need participation from community members.


Our new Strategic Plan includes making recommendations to the Board of Education about what financial steps we should take and what facilities should look like to fulfill our mission.


Those recommendations will come from a committee of diverse stakeholders: Staff members, parents and guardians, community members, and students.


If you are willing and able to serve on such a committee - it will meet once per month for starting in July - you would be providing a great service to our whole community. And our future depends on it.


Please email me at osburnk@avoca37.org if you can serve in this way.