Avoca West News

September 9, 2020

Acclimating and Innovating

With the second week of school almost halfway complete, it’s the perfect time to pause, exhale, and notice the many accomplishments from this year so far. Despite years in education, this year has been like no other — requiring all new game plans and rule books to come into play. Our kids and staff are doing an incredible job adjusting to so much newness. The good news is, with kids in the mix, there is some element of normalcy for us all! A quick glance around the building in action shows a few obvious changes:
  • New drop off and dismissal procedures — that change sometimes from day to day, and sometimes within the same day when Mother Nature brings rain on Day 1!
  • Kids and teachers adjusting to how to best communicate safely with masks and social distancing.
  • Using outdoor spaces to teach and unwind whenever possible — and prioritizing this within the day.
  • Morning meetings as a structure for our students and teachers to connect with one another as we process it all and form new friendships.

THIS IS HARD WORK! We have uncovered several things in the process that we think we’ll even look to keep on long after the protocols and safety measures go away as well. Most importantly, we’re all getting more comfortable with trying something...even if we’re not 100% certain it’s going to be a home run. Though stressful, this mindset is one that will serve us all well far into the future as we continue to learn and grow.


Finally, we know our students pick up so much from our modeling. We know that putting a mask on as you near school and cannot maintain social distancing for drop off takes more work. We know that using the crosswalk to cross over takes a bit more time. We know that waiting to drop off at the drop off area can add a minute or two to your morning routine. We also know that these little moments to model being mindful (even when it feels inconvenient) are HUGE moments in the long run.


Thank you for your support and encouragement as we work through a year of many firsts! Please take a moment to refresh yourself on the following important reminders below.

Parent Night at Avoca West!

Thursday, September 17th will be our annual Parent Orientation Night! The schedule for the evening is as follows:


  • 6:00-6:30 - Kindergarten and 1st grade Teacher Zooms
  • 6:35-7:05 - 2nd grade and 3rd grade Teacher Zooms
  • 7:10-7:40 - 4th grade and 5th grade Teacher Zooms


We know that by now our parents have usually had a chance to get into the building and meet the teachers to learn more about what life looks like as a ________ grader. Like most other things this school year, we have made some adjustments to the timing and the format to fit our current circumstances.


Teachers will use the Zoom platform (links to be sent out by classroom teachers next week) to share about the curriculum for this school year. Some grade levels/teachers may send out curriculum information ahead of time and may use the time with families to help families get more familiar with how Google Classroom and/or Seesaw will be used both in school and while your student is at home, and to answer questions that come up along the way. We know that each family’s needs and wants are different, so don’t hesitate to reach out and follow up with your teacher if your questions aren’t answered next Thursday night.

Drop Off and Dismissal

Arrival

  • Drop off begins at 8:50 and finishes when the bell rings at 9:00. Our families have done a wonderful job learning the routines of heading to grade level doors and figuring out the timing of drop off. Once the bell rings at 9:00, our staff head inside and the back gates close. At that time, all students need to be dropped off at the front of the building so that Nurse Theer can check for stickers and note who might be tardy.
  • The back drop off area is new this year, allowing for more students to get out at once. Safety comes first though — even if our parents are running late. Please do not let your child out before he/she gets into the gated area and be sure that he/she exits out the passenger side.
  • If you child is not yet independent with getting unbuckled and out him/herself, consider finding a parking spot in the lot or at a nearby street. The system functions at its best when we can keep the cars fluidly moving in and out of the lot. Thanks for your help!
  • Amazing job remembering the stickers! I know this is a new routine for even us as staff members, and thank you for helping to keep us safe. Rest assured that Nurse Theer is in front each morning and I (Mrs. Hutchison) am in back to help with anyone who forgot the sticker and to help our students get off to class without missing a beat!


Dismissal

  • In order to streamline the back pick up process even more, students will be coming home with two pieces of paper with your last name on them. Please have the sheet in your front, passenger’s side window (or on the dashboard) so that our staff can quickly and easily get your student(s) to the car. One new innovation for pick up is having students line up by last name. 🙌🏼 This helps us quickly locate students and get them loaded into cars while also spreading them out more than previous years. Win!
  • In the past, students have been able to ride home with friends on the bus after school. Because seats are assigned to keep safety in mind, this cannot happen this year. No bus rides home for students who are not on the bus route. If your child is riding home with someone else, parents should still send a note so that we can make sure he/she has your permission.

From the Business Office — Lunch & Fees News

Lunch ordering is all done online this year. You can find the links to the monthly menus and the google form to order at the bottom of the Remote Learning Hub. The orders need to be placed by 7:00am if you’re ordering the same day, but can also be done at any time. The google form changes as the days change to include updated dates and menu choices.


Instructional fees need to be paid by 9/15 (next Friday). If you are a bus rider, bus fees are past due, so please be sure you have contacted the business office with any questions or needs related to bus service.

Questions? Comments?

Please feel free to reach out to ask any of our office staff for help!