Avoca West News

August 13, 2018

Teacher Placements for 2018-2019

I am thrilled to share that we will NOT be mailing home paper copies of teacher placement letters this school year. Eureka!! We are using technology to make life easier -- and allow our parents and students to enjoy time on vacations or away from their mailboxes this August!

Emails will be sent out to all of our Avoca West parents (including kindergarten!) on TUESDAY, AUGUST 14TH. We will be using the emails provided to us on this year's registration, so hopefully things were updated before you submitted in InfoSnap this spring/summer. In your child's personalized email, you will find a link to his/her teacher's email. While I encourage you to reach out and introduce yourself to your child's teacher, please be mindful that our teachers are also spending these final weeks with their friends and families -- so that they can devote themselves to our kiddos when school begins.

Your child will have a chance to meet his/her teacher at Meet The Teacher & Supply Drop Off on Monday, August 27th. Parent Information Night will be on Wednesday, August 29th this school year (6:00-6:30pm - K & 1st grade; 6:45-7:15pm - 2nd & 3rd grade; 7:30-8:00pm - 4th & 5th grade). We're all looking forward to a collaborative year together and know that a respectful, open, reciprocal relationship with your child's teacher is such a key to making it MAGICAL for your child!

Building and Staffing Updates

We've been busy this summer working on updating three of our classrooms with new carpet and cabinetry. We have also made some adjustments in order to make the best use of our space and talents! Here's what you can expect for the amazing adventure in the year to come (*Note that we pride ourselves on being flexible in education -- which means that this too is subject to change!)

Kindergarten Cast Includes:

  • Mrs. Liz Zebro (formerly 1st grade)
  • Mrs. Susie Walsh
  • Ms. Olivia Kamysz (formerly EL Team)
  • Ms. Erin Dowdle (pending official board approval later this August)

1st Grade Cast Includes:

  • Mrs. Jennifer Stump
  • Mrs. Kelly Reardon
  • Mrs. Emily Hargadon

2nd Grade Cast Includes:

  • Mrs. Heather Lara
  • Mrs. Sara Bader
  • Mrs. Jennifer Greenberg
  • Mrs. Kristi Byrd

3rd Grade Cast Includes:

  • Mr. Tom Erf
  • Mrs. Ashley Krupski
  • Mrs. Stephanie Rick
  • Mrs. Rachel Wilson
4th Grade Cast Includes:
  • Ms. Janis Michael
  • Mr. Brandon Howe
  • Ms. Emily Bierbower
  • Mrs. Amy Anshell
5th Grade Cast Includes:
  • Ms. Niki Marinacci
  • Ms. Lauren Abrams
  • Ms. Becky Cross
  • Ms. Trista Raczyla

I look forward to being your "Head Viking Mom" for the year to come! The beauty of so much change is the ability to stretch and to see ourselves (and one another) in new lights and leadership opportunities. Here's to being B.R.A.V.E. and continually pushing to be the very best we can for our children and community beyond Avoca West!

Setting the Stage - Every"ONE" is BRAVE!

This year we'll continue to focus on making sure we are proud of our academics as well as our ability to live and lead as BRAVE Vikings. Last year I framed the school year with the question:

Is Avoca West a better place because of YOU?!

In the year ahead, we will continue to reinforce and teach those BRAVE traits, but we will focus extra on the notion that each of us is responsible for making Avoca the very best place to learn, love, and grow. The children's book One, by Kathryn Otoshi is a favorite among Ms. Geidner and many of our students! In it, the colors are made to feel less than stellar because of the influence of the color red. Together, led by the brave number 1, the colors learn to find their strength and appreciation for their differences --- standing up to the color red, but also to see that "stand up" as a point to open their arms and to welcome red into their group as well.

The message is one that I hope will frame the school year with a sense of empowering our students to make sure that we stay together and that we see the beauty in the amazing diversity that is inside and outside of our school. That diversity is one of my greatest points of pride for our school and I believe that we should be able to provide a safe place for all students and families. A rainbow is remarkable enough to move observers to pull over cars, to stop and snap pictures, to post on social media -- because of the melding of so many colors in varying shades and levels of brightness. We need to celebrate that same beauty at Avoca West and in the world as well!

As we head into the new school year, I challenge our families and Avoca West community to be BRAVE as well.

  • Be BOLD - Find a new family to connect with that challenges you to stretch outside of your usual "crew." We have remarkable blended families with multi-generations in the same homes...families with same sex parents...families who have navigated the loss of a parent/spouse...families with remarkable grandparents and relatives who help to raise children without being called "Mom" or "Dad." Introduce yourself, ask questions, and make sure we are always modeling that everyone counts!
  • Be EMPATHETIC to how others might be feeling. If you can't put yourself in someone's shoes, ask questions and seek to understand so that you can find the beauty and tolerance in all things. Our students do a remarkable job of asking questions to make sense of their budding worlds -- we can do the same! In doing so, we model that we are learning and growing as well.
  • Be VALUABLE - Everyone has a role to play here in making this an incredible place for our students and for one another. Be someone who others can count on -- our kids deserve it!

And now...a little Bruno Mars to set the stage for a wonderful year together!



Stay Connected to Avoca West This Year!

Stay in touch with us this year through social media! I strongly encourage all of our parents to sign up to the Avoca West 18-19 group on Remind -- which will allow you to get important updates from school in case of an emergency. No need to add the Remind app to your phone, simply send a text using the instructions below!
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Interested in Playing Strings for 2018-2019 School Year?

1st grade officially begins the first time when Avoca West's students can begin playing strings, but sometimes our students aren't quite ready to start so young If you're interested in having your child start learning how to play the violin, viola, or cello in the coming year, please reach out to Michelle Katz at katzm@avoca37.org

We will also be welcoming Ms. Becca Oppenheim (New to staff, but not new to our students!) and Mrs. Mary Rudzinski (from Marie Murphy) to Avoca West for the coming school year. Though it will be impossible to fill the shoes of our Nancy Magill who will be retiring in just a few short days, they bring an eagerness to be with our youngest learners and to keep the bar set high for our students!


Mark Your Calendars!!

8/13 -- Class Assignment letters EMAILED home for 1st-5th grade

8/14 -- Class Assignments emailed for kindergarten


8/29 -- Parent Information Night for Avoca West (No students, please)

  • 6:00-6:30 -- K & 1st grades
  • 6:45-7:15 -- 2nd & 3rd grades
  • 7:30-8:00 -- 4th & 5th grades

8/31 -- 1st day of school for all kindergarten kiddos!

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!