The Den Quarterly
K-12 Quarterly Newsletter - October 2022
Message from the Head of School
Kristen Bishop, CEO/Head of School
The start of this school year came with increased excitement, enthusiasm, and positive energy mixed with confidence and calmness. Please accept my congratulations and continued appreciation for the staff, students, and parents, who all contributed to this year's successful start.
AGCS continues to be recognized for its many accomplishments. We are very proud and will continue to showcase these achievements through our social media platforms.
I appreciate your patience through our transportation struggles. Your home school district provides bussing for your child. We are seeing a bus driver shortage, causing delays or no bus transportation to school. Bus companies are hiring every day. I've included a Kraph bus company flyer. Please help us communicate to anyone looking for a flexible job opportunity.
We appreciate and thank our facilities department, which was busy with our summer projects. With our ongoing Capital Projects, you may have seen new air-conditioning in the State Road auditorium and noticed the replacement of the classroom unit ventilators or the new front parking lot at the Kemblesville campus. We continue to commit to facility renovations. We are working closely with the AGCS Board on completing a comprehensive evaluation and design for a new academic building in anticipation of replacing the existing upper school modular units at the State road campus. This is an exciting project, and we will continue communicating the progress.
Enjoy the positive stories and information within this edition of the AGCS e-Newsletter. Please continue the strong partnership vital to this early momentum of the 2022-2023 school year. I will continue to collaborate with the members of the AGCS community to maintain our strong educational traditions and embark on new initiatives and opportunities to help students realize their potential and become future leaders of our community. It is a pleasure to serve you as your Head of School, and I look forward to working with you to ensure our students are inspired and supported in their learning and positioned to achieve. We are Rising Strong!
New Video: Cooperative Academically Accelerated Program
Strengthening Two-way Communication Between Home and School
We are excited to bring back Talking Points for the 22-23SY. Talking Points is a multi-lingual technology platform that connects families and school staff through two-way translated communication and personalized content. Families can choose to receive their communication in their preferred language and either through text message or the free Talking Points app. Talking Points will not replace our weekly Sunday newsletters sent via Smore, but create opportunities for families and AGCS to communicate back and forth in a seamless manner. K-12 Staff have been trained on the platform and have many exciting ways to make it work for their classes.
McKinney-Vento Act & Supports at School
COVID-19 has caused disruption and challenges to students experiencing homelessness and their families throughout Pennsylvania. Ongoing challenges include:
Concerns about eviction and overall housing instability.
Isolation and unsafe home environments.
Access to mental health supports.
Access to internet, devices and electricity.
Access to transportation.
Academic setbacks, lost instructional time, and lost credits.
Decrease in educational opportunities.
It is important for families and caregivers to know that supports are available through AGCS if you experiencing a situation in which you are no longer living in a fixed, adequate, nighttime residence. If you want to learn more about the resources available, please contact a teacher, principal, staff member, or Mrs. Weaver at email@example.com. Details regarding your housing situation will be kept confidential.
Teaching & Learning
After-school Tutoring at State Road
We are excited to be able to offer after-school tutoring for students at the State Rd campus, for the second year in a row. Tutoring is made possible through ARP ESSER funds, which were provided to schools as a result of COVID-19, in order to recoup skills that may have been lost during the pandemic. Currently, we have over 50 students enrolled and hope to continue offering more spots to include more students. Thank you to the 13 staff members who assist us with the wonderful learning opportunity!
K-8 Benchmark Testing
Benchmark testing in reading and math is taking place the week of October 18th for all students in grades K-8. Benchmark testing occurs 3 times a year and the data is then used to identify students who may need remediation in one or more areas. Students in need of extra academic support will be provided an intervention that is either delivered by the classroom teacher or an interventionist. Your teachers will provide you with more information about Benchmark testing during parent teacher conferences at the end of November.
Save the date! Fall conferences will be held November 21 and November 22. There will be opportunities for either in-person or virtual conferences, day or evening, so that we can accommodate as many families as possible. Be on the lookout for sign up information in your divisional, Sunday Smores. For families that are in need of an interpreter at conferences, Mrs. Weaver will be reaching out to you this week for more information.
Social Emotional Learning
AGCS is committed to the social and emotional well-being of all students. Our mission is that every AGCS student has an adult at school that they can count on. We are proud to report that 83% of our students report that they have this in place. We continue to promote building relationships at the foundation of everything that we do. We focus on promoting Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills and Responsible Decision Making as the foundation of our instruction. We have prioritized half days to include activities and assemblies that promote the above core values and provide opportunities for collaboration, team work and assemblies.
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports
AGCS is recognizes as a school implementing School Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. Our values of Positivity, Accountability, Confidence and Kindness are taught explicitly and reinforced throughout every facet of the school day. Students are recognized for exhibiting these attributes through a variety of methods. We are also focusing on interventions for students such as Check In-Check Out and Group Counseling.
Fundraising through Kindness
AGCS is currently spreading kindness and raising money through our Raise Craze fundraiser. Students. Among many acts of kindness being carried out each day by students, this year we are collecting diapers for a diaper drive, gently used stuffed animals for the Orphan Grain Train and collecting Thanksgiving items for our basket brigade. Our goal is to complete 7,500 acts of kindness and raise $85,000. So far, we have completed 567 acts of kindness, and raised just over $12,000. Our fundraised will close on November 13, 2022 which is also World Kindness Day.
AGCS has received a number of awards and recognitions to kick off the 2022-2023 school year.
U.S. News & World Report designated Avon Grove Charter in their rankings of best schools for the 2022 school year.
AGCS was awarded the Best High School and Best Charter School Designations again this year. Thank you to all of our High School Teachers and Staff for helping our students excel!
Visit the AGCS page on the US News & World Report website to see our ranking information and more!
Avon Grove Charter School is proud to announce that it has been recognized as a 2023 Best School by Niche.com.
This year in Pennsylvania, AGCS ranked as the:
- #4 charter middle school
- #5 charter elementary school
- #6 charter high school
The Pennsylvania Positive Behavior Support Network has recognized Avon Grove Charter School’s commitment to positive behavior interventions and supports for all students in the 2021-2022 school year.
“For AGCS, PBIS is a commitment to proactive and positive approaches to student behavior rooted in values that the school community developed together,” said Ryan Taylor, Director of Student Services. “All facets of the school day are grounded in teaching expected behavior and acknowledging positive behavior through feedback. With these values, we have a common language both within the school as well as at home.”
Avon Grove Charter School has been awarded a Top Workplaces 2022 honor by The Philadelphia Inquirer Top Workplaces.
The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage, LLC. The anonymous survey uniquely measures 15 culture drivers that are critical to the success of any organization: including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few.
Donation from the Southern Chester County Regional Police Department
On behalf of Avon Grove Charter School, Kristen Bishop, CEO/head of school, recently received a generous donation from the Southern Chester County Regional Police Department.
Chief Gerald Simpson said, “Building partnerships in the local community is so important, and we are glad to be able to help in any way.”
Avon Grove Charter School is proud to have many local partners in the community and it is a true testament that we are all working toward the greater good.
Hall and Figueroa Receive Recognition by College Board
Avon Grove Charter Students Students Awarded Academic Honors from College Board National Recognition Programs
Avon Grove Charter School Students excelled in College Board assessments and schoolwork to earn these awards, which colleges use to identify academically competitive underrepresented students.
Avon Grove Charter School students Kaia Hall and Cecelia Figueroa have earned academic honors from the College Board National Recognition Programs. These National Recognition Programs grant underrepresented students with academic honors that can be included on college and scholarship applications and connect students with universities across the country, helping them meaningfully connect to colleges and stand out during the admissions process.
Kaia Hall, a senior from New London, was awarded the National African American Recognition Award. She has been a member of the Academic Competition since 9th and a captain since sophomore year. She was a two-year member of the Girls Advisory Board of the Chester County Fund for Women and Girls where she reviewed grant proposals and completed site visits in order to award grants. She said her 7th and 8th grade English and History teacher Marie Sycalik has made a positive impact on her.
Cecelia Figueroa, a senior from Oxford, was awarded the National Hispanic Recognition Award. She has been on the Academic Competition team since freshman year and is treasurer of the senior class. She has played travel softball for five years and plays softball for Oxford Area High School; last year she was the starting pitcher for the team that made it to state semifinals last year. Figueroa cited her Advanced Placement physics, probability, and statistics teacher Jeremiah Stone for his positive influence on her academic career.
All students receive annual screenings that include height, weight, and vision in all grades, and hearing and scoliosis screenings in select grades. You can find your child’s height and weight information in PowerSchool under “Forms.” Being either overweight or underweight can put a person at risk for certain health problems. A student who is overweight has an increased risk of developing serious conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and certain cancers. A student who is underweight has an increased risk for heart problems, loss of bone mass, and anemia. Underweight may also be a sign of an underlying eating disorder. Many factors, including sports participation or family history, can influence height and weight in children and adolescents. Your child’s health care provider is the best person to evaluate whether or not his/her measurements are within a healthy range. Please share the screening results with your child’s health care provider, who may suggest changes in eating or physical activity or may have suggestions on how the school can be of assistance to your child.
Physical examinations are required for students in Kindergarten, 6th, and 11th grades. Dental examinations are required in Kindergarten, 3rd, and 7th grades. Please submit these forms to your school nurse to ensure your child’s health record is up to date.
COVID-19 remains a reportable disease in Pennsylvania. If your child tests positive for COVID-19, please notify your school nurse for further information and a return date for your child.
Looking for a Vaccine Clinic to receive an influenza vaccine? The Chester County Health Department is offering clinics on the following dates and times.
- October 27, Technical College High School Pennock's Bridge Campus, 280 Pennocks Bridge Road, West Grove, 4 - 7:15 p.m.
- November 3, Tabernacle Baptist Church, 819 Coates Street, Coatesville, 3 - 5:30 p.m.
Safety & Security
We all need to work together to keep our schools safe! Our goal is to provide a safe and secure learning environment and create a meaningful dialogue about school safety. We are taking great steps toward a safer and more secure organization; however, it is going to take all of us working together as a team to keep our students safe. An important part of safety is practicing a variety of drills every year in accordance with state mandates in both buildings to ensure staff and students are prepared to respond to an emergency.
Join Our 2023-2024 Kindergarten Interest Mailing List
To receive information about Avon Grove Charter School’s enrollment process, dates, and deadlines, add your family to the 2023-2024 Kindergarten Interest Mailing List. As soon as updates about the enrollment process are available, we’ll be in touch! Please note that the mailing list is not an enrollment application and does not place your child/ren on a waiting list for enrollment. Join today.
The fall athletics season is winding down, but what a season it has been. The fall season has a full schedule of cross country meets, soccer games, and volleyball matches. Our Wolves represented our school and community beautifully.
Cross Country: Middle School and Varsity Teams
The Cross Country season comes to a close on Tuesday, November 1, at the MIL Championship at Calvert Regional Park in Rising Sun, MD. Our coaching staff Krista Lauterwald and Courtney Thresher have done an outstanding job of leading this program to a season of personal records. Our teams run their home races at beautiful Goddard Park. We recently celebrated our senior runners Paul Lacour, Elena McFadden, Victoria Becerra, and Will Stuhrke as they complete their final season running for our program.
Boys Soccer: Middle School and Varsity Teams
What a season it has been with our MS boys soccer team finishing up their season with a 6-1-3 record. Phil Sechrist does an amazing job teaching the game and encouraging our middle school players.
The varsity team has just secured a home field playoff game after a season full of ups and downs. The parity in the MIL is outstanding this year and our boys have proven to be one of the “teams to beat” in the league. When playing their game, the boys could bring home another trophy. They are led by an outstanding staff of Jay Reyher and Fallon Puppolo. The program recently celebrated their senior athletes Richie Basciani, “G” Lopez, Christian Peredes, Henry Schmaltz, Matthew Roby, and Captain Seth Tilton.
Girls Volleyball: Middle School and Varsity Teams
The MS volleyball team, led by coach Abbie Wilson, has shown amazing improvements in their first year. This was our athletic expansion this year and it has already proven to be a benefit to the athletics experience of AGCS. The team has a record of 5-4 in their first year.
The Varsity Volleyball teams has had its most successful regular season to date with a record of 11-3. One of the best in the league, we have a deep roster, and one that is being developed to be a top-finisher in the MIL for years to come. The girls are led by a phenomenal coaching staff of Kelly Sweeney and Doris Sifer. The program will soon be celebrating their seniors (Monica McGinley, Captain Ella Bannon, Captain Emily Sullivan, and Camryn Anzalone). If you like noise, our home games are the place to be with the most memorable “on top of the action” experience in the MIL.
We also want to thank the AGCS Sports Boosters for their support, encouragement, and passion that they show for our athletics teams.
Dates to Remember
Now - Nov. 13, 2022 - Raise Craze
Nov. 8, 2022 - School Closed - Teacher In-Service
Nov. 8, 2022 - Strategic Planning Committee Meeting
Nov. 15, 2022 - AGCS Board of Trustees Public Meeting
Nov. 17, 18 & 19, 2022 - Fall Play Performance - The Crucible
Nov. 18, 2022 - Early Dismissal - Teacher In-Service
Nov. 21 & 22, 2022 - Early Dismissal - Parent Teacher Conferences
Nov. 23, 24 & 25, 2022 - School closed - Thanksgiving Break
Dec. 2, 2022 - End of First Trimester (Grades K-6)
Dec. 13, 2022 - AGCS Board of Trustees Public Meeting
Dec. 13, 2022 - Strategic Planning Committee Meeting
Dec. 23, 2022 - Early Dismissal
Dec. 26, 2022 - Jan. 2, 2023- School Closed - Winter Break
Jan. 10, 2023 - Strategic Planning Committee Meeting
Jan. 13, 2023 - End of Second Marking Period (Grades 7-12)
Jan. 13, 2023 - School Closed - Teacher In-Service
Jan. 16, 2023 - School Closed - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Jan. 17, 2023 - AGCS Board of Trustees Public Meeting