Avoca West News

Week of May 8, 2017

Keeping the Momentum on Kindness

We are in our second week of our Kindness Challenge that Brian Williams set out for our students during his visit. I've added his two videos below, but wanted to remind our parents and community members that we are currently participating in:

  • A Kindness Challenge -- trying to get 5,000 acts of kindness in two weeks! Our students were encouraged to be "Kindness Ninjas," looking to do kind things for others without the need for recognition. All students have a journal (sheet of paper) on which they may write down their acts. When the sheet is finished (10 acts), students are eligible to receive a "Kindness Ninja" t-shirt for free (plus shipping), but can keep the momentum going even longer!
  • A Shoe Drive - Gently Used Shoes are being collected in all classrooms (and staff lounge!). These shoes will go directly to students overseas in Africa who do not have shoes -- the one item that is a requirement to attend school. Brian Williams will be taking our shoes over to Africa this summer and will document the trip and share the reactions of the children and adults. I'm thrilled to see this ripple of kindness in action when we return in the fall!

Shoes will be collected through this Friday. Hopefully some spring cleaning and constantly growing children will benefit others!

A huge thanks to our PTC (specifically Karen Azar and Mina Boruta) for looking and finding such wonderfully motivating speakers for our students this year. We couldn't have made such an impact on the character of our children without your partnership!

Mid-Challenge VIDEO CHECK-IN.

Staffing Update for 2017-2018

This time of year our students and parents (and staff members!) begin thinking about what's in store for the year ahead - including planning for those staff members who are retiring or heading on to other endeavors in their professional lives. As a heads up for our families:

This June, Avoca West will celebrate the retirement Shelly Kelly. Shelly, who has been a staple on our kindergarten team for 27 years, reinforces both a love of learning and a learning of how to love one another. As hard as it is to believe that she has taught over five hundred children during her tenure at Avoca West, it’s even more difficult to imagine a year without her smile, passion for working with our youngest learners, and her singing to fill the classroom and our days with joy!

Mrs. Cortney Meyer has been with us at Avoca West since January, filling in for Heather Lara (2nd grade) and now Hannah Anderson (kindergarten). Mrs. Meyer will be taking up residency in Shelly Kelly's room and bring her years of experience as a teacher to our kindergarten team for the 2017-2018 school year.

Mrs. Adrienne Taylor joined us this year as a kindergarten teacher. Her vast experience teaching primary-aged students was a great asset to the team and to our children. Adrienne will be saying goodbye to Avoca at the end of this school year to spend additional time with her family. We have been lucky to have had Adrienne in several capacities for the past couple of years, and we wish her oodles of luck in all that she does!

Mr. Gabe Paynter has been a staple on the 5th grade team for many years, and is heading to Latin School in the city to begin the next chapter in his life as an educator. Gabe has done a wonderful job providing leadership to an evolving 5th grade team over the past several years, a trait that surely enables him to grow wherever he is planted!

In filling the big shoes left by Mr. Paynter on the 5th grade team, we're lucky to have one of our veteran staff members step up for the 2017-2018 school year. Ms. Jennifer Stefan will be popping up to 5th grade to work with and learn alongside our oldest learners. Her sense of Avoca tradition and many of our families at Avoca West will undoubtedly help to round out a younger team. Here to continuous improvement and exciting new challenges!

Mrs. Gail Brown has been at Avoca West this year working to support our English Learners in the building. She's excited to make the move up to Marie Murphy to play the role of 6th grade ELA teacher and to plan for a classroom of her own. Gail will be a friendly face for our 5th graders who will be making the transition over to Marie Murphy with our 5th graders!

Finally, Mr. Juan Cruz has been with Avoca for a whopping 36 years, taking the helm of the inner workings at Avoca West and truly being the right-hand man. He is everywhere - from directing traffic so that our students can get safely to and from school, stepping in to help drive a bus route, overseeing (and cleaning up!) lunchtime, and simply anticipating where help is needed. Mr. Cruz is an invaluable piece of our Avoca West family and we look forward to making his final months at Avoca West memorable!

Upcoming Dates to Finish Up the Year!

5/8-5/12 - MAP testing window at AW (Ask your child's teacher for specific days & times)

5/9 - Bike to School Day, Bike Rodeo (2nd grade PE) & Bike Safety Day (4th grade PE)

6pm - 1st grade Suzuki Concert

5/23 - 4th & 5th grade Olympics

5/25 - 6pm - Orchestra Concert at Avoca West

5/26 - 9:00am - Volunteer Breakfast (for all District 37 volunteers) at AW

5/29 - No School - Memorial Day

6/1 - 1st-3rd grade Field Day

6/6 - Meet the Team Day

6/8 - Last Full Day of School

End of the Year Picnic -- 11:30-1:00pm

Looking Ahead to 2017-2018

9/6 - Parent Orientation Night at Avoca West

9/14 - Ice Cream Social & Volunteer Fair (at Avoca West, but district event)

Volunteers Needed for Upcoming Student Events!

The PTC is still looking for volunteers for the upcoming 4th/5th grade Olympic Day & 1st-3rd grade Field Day. Please follow the links if you can give of your time!

5/23 4th/5th Grade Olympics (Volunteers Needed)

6/1 Field Days, 1st-3rd Grade (Volunteers Needed)

Current and New Student Registration Update!

I know what a busy time of year this is for all of our families, so take a moment to check an important "to-do" off of your list before the busy season of baseball, soccer, and all things summer begins.

All current parents should have received an email from InfoSnap, our online registration (and re-registration) platform. That email contains a unique "snap code" for all of our current families to use in registering students for the 2017-2018 school year. THIS PROCESS MUST BE COMPLETED BEFORE THE START OF THE SCHOOL YEAR in order for your child to be assigned to a class list. If you need help with the process or do not receive an email from InfoSnap, please reach out to our tech department via haugebee@avoca37.org.

Thank you for your help in completing the registration process in a timely manner. It allows us to have a greater sense of our enrollment and to begin considering bus routes for next school year!

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!