Avon Grove Charter School Spotlight
From the desk of Kristen Bishop, Head of School (email from 2/26)
On February 12th and February 16th, we held board meetings to discuss potential changes to our instructional model and the changes to the Chester County Health Department (CCHD) guidance for in-person instruction. The Board approved the request to begin the planning process for a full-time return to school. The Administration is working diligently with the staff to ensure we can ensure a safe return for our students while still adhering to the guidance, as well as, the interest of our families in returning to school
The updated guidance released from the CCHD will permit more in-person learning after three consecutive weeks of a high, moderate, or low county community transmission rate and in conjunction with continued layered mitigation measures. According to the CCHD, this week would be considered week #1 and current transmission rates put us in the high category. Since the school’s planning depends upon transmission rates remaining at a low enough threshold for three consecutive weeks, we will continue to share our color chart, as we did in the fall. The school’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard information will allow you to follow a timeline for transition.
Earlier this week we sent out the learning intention form. This information is essential in planning an effective transition. We thank everyone who filled out their learning intention form. If you have not completed the learning intention form, it is still active in the Parent Portal. If we do not receive your form by next week, we will assume that your child is staying in their current learning model.
We know there are many questions about how we will phase students back to in-person, full-time instruction. As we continue to work through the logistics with our staff, we will communicate with families. We are confident that we can deliver a safe, in-person instructional model under these new guidelines, pending Board approval. I appreciate your patience and support as we navigate this next course together.
Specific information and data pertaining to transmission dates, responses to the learning intention form, and timelines will be shared with the Board during the next Special Board meeting. During this time we will present our plan and recommended changes to our Health and Safety Plan. Be on the lookout for the date/time of our Special Board meeting.
This week we also received a letter from the PA Department of Education stating the US Department of Education will not be accepting testing waivers. This applies specifically to PSSA and Keystone Exams. The Administration is working on a testing schedule and details regarding the state assessments will be shared in the next couple of weeks.
Lastly, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about the recent news in our community about fair funding in education. If you’re following Governor Wolf’s educational funding proposal, you will see that he recommends changing charter school funding. You have seen that AGCS has made many attempts to educate the community on this topic. We appreciate your outpouring of support when asked to participate in our letter-writing campaigns. It takes everyone to advocate for our right to our choice in education for our children.
What you need to know about fair funding:
It is difficult to single out Avon Grove Charter School when discussing fair funding in all of PA. If you came to our fair funding town hall, you would see that most charter schools reside in cities like Philadelphia and represent various needs.
Avon Grove Charter School educates students from several local school districts with vastly different academic achievement levels. As you know, AGCS is succeeding when you compare our students’ achievement levels with their home school district peers.
It’s disappointing to see Anti-Charter organizations trying to pin Avon Grove Charter School against our local school district. When schools should be working together to overcome a global pandemic and support every student, attempts to divide our community and perpetuate the unhealthy competition between school districts and public charter schools will not be tolerated. Unlike most charters and their authorizing districts, we have a strong relationship with the Avon Grove School District, and our entire community benefits from our mutual respect.
The tuition amounts that flow from school districts to public charter schools, like Avon Grove Charter School, are not the school district’s property. These are funds allocated to the district from the state and local taxpayers to educate students; the money belongs to the students. If a child chooses to leave a school district for a charter school, that district has no right to keep their funding. The bottom line, we should all be accountable for the taxpayer money we use to educate the children we serve.
Avon Grove Charter School
The facts on how charter schools are funded - by Head of School, Kristen Bishop. Response to M.L. Wenecke's letter to editor(Daily Local News, Feb 22, 2021)
New Student Enrollment for 2021-2022
Invite your friends and family to come be a part of the AGCS P.A.C.K.! Enrollment is open and we are currently accepting applications for new students in grades K-12 for the 2021-2022 school year.
Share this amazing school community where your child is experiencing a caring, nurturing and rigorous academic learning environment. Share our standards for academic excellence, positive learning environment, high behavioral expectations, and dedicated staff that will help your child reach their full potential.
Any prospective family seeking enrollment or looking to enroll a sibling of a current AGCS student for the upcoming school year, can complete an initial Enrollment Application.
Children entering Kindergarten next year and their parents are welcome to join Mrs. Johnson, our ELC Principal, for a Saturday morning virtual series, giving you a glimpse of Kindergarten at ELC.
PA Department of Education Update
Recently, AGCS received a letter from the PA Department of Education stating the US Department of Education will not be accepting testing waivers. This applies specifically to PSSA and Keystone Exams. The Administration is working on a testing schedule and details regarding the state assessments will be shared in the upcoming weeks.
From the desk of Dwayne Degler, President AGCS School Board
The Board appreciates the AGCS community for their feedback, support, and commitment to all students.
Learning Intentions & Intent To Return Form Update
For any family that has not completed the AGCS Parent/Student Learning Intentions and Intent to Return in Parent Portal please note that a representative from the school will be contacting you to expediate the process.
This form contains questions related to:
- What your learning intention would be if AGCS meets specific guidelines and community transmission rates are at a point where we can offer 4-day/week learning for students.
- What your learning intention would be if AGCS cannot meet specific guidelines and/or community transmission rates are at a point where we must continue our current hybrid instructional model for the remainder of the school year.
- Students 2021-2022 Intent To Return election.
- Students initial 2021-2022 instructional model intentions (in-person or remote)
All of this information is essential to the school’s efforts to plan for effective transitions for the remainder of the school year and for next year.
As we work through this process we know that parents, students, and staff will have a number of questions. We will continue to communicate with our school community on a regular basis to ensure that all are informed as to the school's plans. Since the school’s planning is dependent upon Chester County’s transmission rate data, we will begin to send weekly updates (typically on Fridays) that share this information.
The COVID-19 Data Dashboard is available for you to review 24/7. On the dashboard, you will be able to find cumulative AGCS data, data attributed to the rolling 14-day period which will be used to inform our instructional model decision.
Information Technology Update
If you require assistance from IT, please enter an IT Support Ticket here.
Kids of all ages are swiping and scrolling, totally transfixed by screens of all sizes. Welcome to the new frontier of parenting. If you have questions on how to take control of the technology in your kids' lives, you came to the right place.
Health & Food Services together share information on National Nutrition Month
March is National Nutrition Month
Savor the Flavor of Eating Right! Tips for a healthy lifestyle
Personalize your plate
- Choose fruits, veggies, grains and proteins for well balanced choices!
Pack your plate with color and variety
Fruits: strawberries, bananas, apples and grapes are just some examples of delicious fruits that are also good for us!
Vegetables provide us with the vitamins we need to be healthy! Green beans, carrots, broccoli and bell peppers are all beneficial to a healthy diet!
Protein - allow our body and our bones to be strong! Chicken, beef, turkey, salmon and beans are important for a healthy diet!
Grains - bread, oatmeal, popcorn and Cheerios add fiber to our diets and provide us with energy!
Dairy - cheese, yogurt, and milk help our bodies build strong bones!
Variety - How can I incorporate healthy choices into my meals?
Pizza toppings can include fresh veggies!
Make a delicious veggie wrap!
Have crunchy veggies and hummus or low fat dressing easily available for snacks!
Eat fruit with your morning cereal or oatmeal!
Fruit smoothies give our bodies lots of beneficial nutrients!
Water - drinking water is essential for our kidneys and other bodily functions!
Physical Activity - Being active helps our heart and our minds!
Take a walk!
Play on the playground!
Throw a frisbee!
Play in the snow!
Shoot some hoops!
Raise Craze - Thank you for your support and generosity.
Raise Craze is about spreading kindness during these unprecedented times while staying safe. Thanks to your generosity, 93% of the proceeds will go directly to our school!
Total Acts of Service Completed - 5,975
Total Raised - $82,530
Net to Our School - $77,097
We are incredibly proud of our students and the amazing ways they shared kindness with our community. Here are just a few of the ways we brightened people's days:
- Shoveling driveways for neighbors and family
- Writing thank you notes to teachers, first responders, and healthcare workers
- Decorating mailboxes to say thank you to our mail carriers
- Returning neighbors' garbage cans on trash day
- Leaving water & snacks by the front door for delivery drivers
- Baking cookies and checking in on our neighbors
- Donating canned goods and soup to the SOUPer Bowl
- Donating shoes to the Booster Club Shoe Drive
- Donating toiletries to the Shevlin Family Foundation
- Donating items to Canine Partners for Life
- Donating items to Lasata - A quiet place
- And so much more!
Avon Grove Charter School & AGCS PTO
Signs of Spring AGCS Micro Farm
What signs of spring can you find in your community? For a fun family activity, check out this Spring Scavenger Hunt. Let us know how many signs of Spring you were able to find. https://www.cbc.ca/parents/play/view/printable-spring-scavenger-hunt
Athletics are back at AGCS. AGCS is offering two sports this year for our spring season. Girls soccer and boys lacrosse had planned on beginning last spring, but seasons were cut short due to Covid-19. This is the first official seasons for these programs and they are offered to all AGCS 8th-12th grade students.
Tryouts begin the week of March 8.
PIAA Physical Forms (forms found here) are due by Friday, March 5
Season schedules are on the school website. Home games will be played at Harmony Park in West Grove for the 2021 spring season. Fans are welcome to attend, please wear a mask and social distance as necessary.
Questions can be directed to Jay McGehean at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clean out your closets & donate any new, gently used or shoes in good condition. Ice skates & roller skates are not able to be accepted.