Avoca West News

Week of March 15, 2017

Gearing Up for Spring Conferences

As we prepare at Avoca West to welcome our parents and guardians next week for spring conferences, please consider your goals for the time with your child's teacher. Consider the following points to ponder before next week:

  • Ask your child if there are any questions he/she would like you to ask the teacher.
  • Are there any issues at home that might be worth mentioning to the teacher?
  • Talk with your spouse, partner, or other guardians for their insights into things that might be helpful to discuss with the teacher.
  • Consider setting up a way for a spouse or other important participant to dial, Skype, or Facetime in if they can't be there.
  • What do YOU want to discuss during your conference?
  • Jot down a list of questions to bring up with the teacher and prioritize them so you're sure to get to your most important points first.
  • Have a way to take notes during conference (pen and paper, or tablet, etc.)

As a follow up to conferences, consider whether or not you:

  • Know the best way to reach your child's teacher moving forward.
  • Know the areas your child and/or his teacher have set as goals and how you can help at home.
  • Know where your child is excelling and ways to encourage the forward trend at home.
  • Have discussed the meeting with your child, focusing on both points of praise and goals for the remainder of the year.

- Adapted from http://www.parenttoolkit.com/

Please know that every day is parent-teacher conference day. If you ever have concerns or questions about your child's academic abilities, progress towards goals, or social-emotional well being, feel free to reach out to your child's teacher.

Kindergarten Registration -- Up and Running!

This past week we welcomed many new faces to the Avoca West ITC to learn more about life as a kindergartener! Please continue to reach out to new faces in the neighborhood or any folks who may have a child who will be 5 on or by September 1st. Parents are encouraged to stop by the office to begin the paperwork process, including providing a birth certificate (or passport) and two proofs of residency.

Online registration for our returning students is on target to begin in April. Stay tuned for more information!

What We're Working on At Avoca West

Last newsletter I introduced many of you to the concept of Visible Learning and how it impacts our work with our students at Avoca West. One of the foundational idea of being a visible learner is in students being comfortable with the struggle in learning and see the value and will be eager to try even when they are not successful the first time. The notion of "The Pit" as a metaphor for this important struggle is one our teachers were introduced to in a recent professional development session. Like our students, I hope that in their professional collaboration, staff members work together to find their way out of "The Pit" as they make meaningful discoveries in how to best support student learning. I encourage you all to take a moment to watch the video to learn more about "promoting and enhancing challenge and inquiry" in your own lives!


The Learning Challenge with James Nottingham

Upcoming Dates to Note

3/16 - 7:00pm - Sizzling Strings Concert at Marie Murphy

3/22 - 5th Grade - Illinois Science Assessment

3/22 & 3/23 - Half Day Student Attendance -- Afternoon/Evening Conferences

3/24 - Teacher Institute Day - No Students

3/25 - Spring Break!

4/10-4/21 - PARCC Testing Window at Avoca West (Gr. 3-5)

*Please check with your child's teacher for information about specific testing times.

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!