Superintendent's Corner🤶🤶🤶

Avoca District 37

In this issue ...

  • Returning Onsite in January, Means Staying Safe Over Break
  • Learning Schedule Selection (Remote or Onsite) for 2021
  • One Hope United Services Ending - Stay Tuned
  • Going the Extra Mile to Give at Home - Roots & Shoots

Staying Safe Over Break = Returning to Onsite Learning in January

We know that even while COVID spread outside of the school is higher than the past, COVID spread in our schools has remained low. The only way to ensure that remains the same is to keep COVID a low as possible in the community and our schools. For this to happen, over break, we all have to focus on the following:
  1. Minimize or eliminate any non-essential travel
  2. If you travel, quarantine for 14 days after you return and before going outside
  3. Only hold indoor gatherings with people in your immediate household
  4. Wear a mask any time outside your home and maintain social distance (6ft)
  5. If you are experiencing any COVID-like symptoms, stay home except to seek testing
  6. Regularly wash your hands and avoid touching your face

Number 2 is particularly important as we contemplate a return to onsite learning. No one returning to school for onsite learning on January 19 should have been traveling out of state after January 4. And any traveler outside of Illinois for 24 hours should quarantine for 14 days.

Learning Schedule Selection in Second Semester (Remote or Onsite)

Due to the shift to remote learning and the winter break, the Administration determined it would be best to keep the students who are on the hybrid onsite or remote schedules for 2nd quarter to keep those schedules after January 19 for a reasonable amount of time before being asked to choose between onsite or remote learning for 3rd quarter.

Because of that delay, the Administration then determined it would be best to have families commit in February to a schedule for the remainder of the school year, which will foster certainty in planning and continuity in learning.

  • Therefore, when we return to the Hybrid Schedule with students attending onsite or remote learning on January 19, that will operate until February 19 - based on their 2nd quarter selections (students will follow the schedule they followed before Thanksgiving).

  • Between February 1 and February 5 families can choose if their students will learn onsite or fully remote from February 22 through June 11.

  • Between February 8 and February 15, Administration will determine if class rosters need to be adjusted or teaching assignments changed due to schedule selections.

  • Starting February 22, the new learning schedules selected by families (onsite or remote) will be in place until June 11.

While we know this is an adjustment from what was communicated previously, we believe this timeline will foster better communications, better informed decisions, better certainty in planning, and better continuity of student learning.

One Hope United Ending - Stay Tuned

The Administration and families using the program, were notified by One Hope United earlier this week that One Hope United will no longer be able operate any programs Avoca West or Marie Murphy.

Obviously, this is a frustrating development and the timing is very challenging. We cannot guarantee at this time we will be able to provide a before or after school program for families who need it when we return to onsite learning on January 19th.

We understand this might be another source of stress in a very stressful time. My team members and I will be doing our best to secure a quality program for families that need it. Please stay tuned for further communications about our efforts.

Going the Extra Mile to Give at Home

Even in the midst of so much need to take care of ourselves, sometimes the best way to do that is to care for others. Our Marie Murphy Roots & Shoots club is doing just that. Led by math teacher Jenn Rachmiel, last year the students in the club partnered with the Heartland Alliance to provide holiday gifts for families in needs.

This year, the Alliance experienced such an outpouring of support that our kids’ work was not needed there. But working with our Chief Financial Officer, Ms. Dever, we were able to confidentially identify families in need in our own Avoca community, determine their specific holiday needs for kids in their families, and the Roots & Shoots students sought contributions and are now making it possible for over 20 families in need to have a holiday together that includes gifts they might not otherwise be able to afford.

Thanks Mr. Rachmiel and Thanks Roots & Shoots!