Avoca West News

Week of April 10, 2017

Current and New Student Registration Update!

Earlier today, our online registration (and re-registration) platform, InfoSnap, should have sent out an email to all of our parents. That email contains a unique "snap code" for all of our current families to use in registering students for the 2017-2018 school year. While we can assume that most of our students will be returning, this step makes it official. Welcome aboard! The process also allows parents to double check parent/guardian and emergency contact information. 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.

Parents of students who will be enrolling for next school year (kindergarten or otherwise) will receive an email from either Mrs. Hutchison or Mrs. Beneda shortly. It will contain a link to InfoSnap to create a new student profile.

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!

Math Talks to Build Number Sense

This year we've been working hard to identify the best resources to use with our students to teach the Illinois State Standards (also the Common Core State Standards, since Illinois adopted the CCSS directly). One of the biggest changes with the standards is making sure that students know the WHY behind the math -- the conceptual side of things. This is a big shift for those of us who learned a different way in school and who perhaps even taught it a different way when we first began teaching! Baffled parents across the country have posted in social media "new, Common Core math" methods that seem far less efficient than a traditional algorithm. Why the shift to something that seems more complicated? The answer lies in the need to build conceptual understanding behind getting the right answer! This is essential for making sure that students are college and career ready, not simply able to compute.

Jo Boaler, a Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford and co-founder of youcubed, has been a professional resource our Avoca West team this year. Several teachers saw her in Wilmette this fall and her messages of what practices and mindsets to teach and reinforce with our students resonated with our philosophy of math instruction. I've included a video below that will give parents insight into how we're diving in and changing the conversation around mathematics. Enjoy!

From Stanford Online's "How To Learn Math for Teachers and Parents": Number Talks

Parent Input for 2017-2018 Sectioning

How can you share your thoughts about next year's placement? When we return from Spring Break, I will officially open up the door for parents to share their thoughts about placement. If you'd like to think it through before then, the following blurb will run in the Avoca West news beginning the first week we return.

As as we look to plan for a positive 2017-2018 school year, I wanted to extend an invitation for those parents who would like to provide parent input for sectioning. Please do NOT rely on your child’s teacher to communicate your wishes for next year — they are asked to stay focused on making matches they think are positive and that will provide balanced classes. Our sectioning process includes the classroom teachers, special area teachers, next year’s teachers, and all of the many support staff we have at Avoca West. The hope is that with careful planning, we can design heterogeneous classroom groups to make sure that all of our children are successful! The staff considers and balances many factors including:

  • Individual learning style
  • Student Combination
  • Support service needs
  • Social/Emotional needs
  • Gender balance
  • Teacher’s teaching style
  • Pupil service needs
  • Class size
  • Academic characteristics
  • Chronological age

If you would like to share information or specific needs that may help us in the sectioning process, you may do so in writing. Please keep your reasons tied to the factors above and refrain from making special requests for placement into a specific classroom for your child. If there is a teacher or student(s) with whom you have had a less than positive experience with in the past, you may share that in your communication as well. Parent input must be received in the office by May 5th.

Upcoming Dates to Finish Up the Year!

4/13 - Cub Scout recruiting during lunchtime

4/14 - No School - Good Friday

4/17-4/21 - PARCC Math Testing Window at Avoca West (Gr. 3-5)

See PARCC testing schedule below.

4/20 - 6pm - Suzuki Concert at Avoca West

4/24 - 6pm - Choir Concert at Avoca West

4/27 - 6pm - Band Concert at Avoca West

6:30pm - Board of Education Meeting at Marie Murphy

5/3 - 7:00pm - PTC Meeting at Avoca West ITC

5/4 - 6pm - 3rd Grade Music Concert

5/8-5/12 - MAP testing window at AW

5/9 - 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 27 volunteers) at AW

5/29 - No School - Memorial Day

6/1 - Kindergarten-3rd grade Field Day

6/6 - Meet the Team Day

6/8 - Last Full Day of School

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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!