Calling all Kindergarteners!

We are Gearing up for KINDERGARTEN 2016-2017! Although official kindergarten registration does not occur until March, we are gathering preliminary information about incoming students to get a sense of our enrollment numbers for next year. Please add information about your own children and/or the names of any additional children you think may be attending Avoca West in the fall. FOLLOW THE LINK HERE TO FILL IN OUR GOOGLE FORM.

Mark your calendars to join us for a parent only Kindergarten Orientation on March 2nd at 6:00pm in our Avoca West library. Come to learn more about our kindergarten day and to sign up for kindergarten screening. Parents are encouraged to bring a copy of:

  • Your child’s official BIRTH CERTIFICATE (we will make copies here)
  • 2 Proofs of residency (lease or bill of sale/mortgage and one utility bill
  • Completed ENROLLMENT form and HOME LANGUAGE SURVEY (both linked to the corresponding name)

Thank you for helping us to keep on top of welcoming our new kiddos to Avoca West!


Report Cards, Erin’s Law, Kindergarten Round Up…and More!! (1/28)

All parents should have access to their child’s report cards through the PowerTeacher login, if you’d like to access them online. This Friday, students will bring home our NEW, PRINTED REPORT CARD with them in backpack mail. In the manilla envelope, you will find your child’s report card and a cover letter from Mrs. Hutchison. In order to make sure our parents view their child’s report card, we are asking parents to return the bottom half of the sheet. As a bonus feature, parents are welcome to jot down a comment or question for your child’s teacher. Here’s to a more productive and user friendly form of communicating your child’s progress with parents!!

A huge thanks to those parents who were able to turn out for last week’s parent coffee and last night’s Erin’s Law Parent Information Night. All information that was shared is available on the Avoca West website under the “Erin’s Law Information” page. Additionally, there are copies of all of the texts that will be used at each grade on hand in the office for parents to view if they’d like. Remember, any parent who wishes their child to not participate in the Erin’s Law lesson (in late February) has the right to opt out. You will find the Erin’s Law Opt Out form linked on the Erin’s Law Information page as well. As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns you have.

Do you have a child who will be 5 by September 1st…or know someone in the Avoca district boundaries who does? Our annual Kindergarten Information Night is set for March 2nd at 6:00pm in the Avoca West ITC. Check next week’s blog update for a chance for parents to share their information with the office for any and all future kindergarten communication!

Lastly, if you’re looking for something to do this Friday night, come to the PTC’s Intercultural Dinner and Talent Show at Marie Murphy. It is a wonderful chance for us to celebrate the diversity and talents of our students!

Weekly Updates from Avoca West – 1/14/16

Congratulations to our 4th graders on a wonderful music concert showcasing the efforts of not only the grade level as a whole, but also several of our budding band students, our strings players, and our 4th grade chorus. Kudos to Ms. Weismehl, Mrs. Katz, Mrs. Magill, and Mrs. Farris on building such a lovely community of musicians!

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All are welcome to attend the upcoming Parent Coffee at Avoca West next Friday, January 22nd. Here’s what’s on the agenda:

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Parents should receive a letter home regarding Erin’s Law and an invitation to attend a Parent Information Night on January 27th at 6:30pm.

Erin’s Law Parent Letter

Enjoy the long weekend ahead!

Welcoming a New Year!

Welcome back! It’s been so nice to see many faces and to feel the energy of children back in the building again! I’m sure that many of you set personal and family goals for this 2016 year, and encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher to see how you can help support your child’s academic and social goals. While we don’t have conferences again until March, please know that it’s always Parent-Teacher Conference Day!

Please keep the following dates and events in mind as you plan for a busy January:

  • MAP testing will begin next week for our 2nd-5th graders. This assessment will be given so that teachers can gather information about each child’s progress towards his/her spring goal. We will not formally share the winter MAP scores with parents, though you’re welcome to connect with your child’s teacher to ask about any midyear impressions.
  • As a mom, I know how tricky it is to get our kids to dress for the weather. We have been doing our best at school to make sure that each child has a winter jacket on (and zipped up) when it’s as cold as it’s been. Additionally, a hat, hood, gloves, and other warm add-ons are always a great extra layer to keep the students warm during the 25 minute recess time. Please know that snow boots are also required for any student who wishes to walk on the snow, and snow pants are required for those who wish to play in the snow. We’ve been reminding the students of these snow rules, so feel free to blame it on Mrs. Hutchison when having the morning chat about how to dress. Good luck!
  • Our Second Parent Coffee will be on Friday, January 22nd at 9:00. I will be sharing our new report card improvements for this year. I will also talk a bit about the upcoming Erin’s Law requirements in preparation for our official Erin’s Law Parent Information Night.
  • During the month of February, we will begin implementing state-mandated sexual abuse prevention education for all Avoca District students. Erin’s Law is named after Erin Merryn, a native of Schaumburg, and a childhood sexual assault survivor, author, speaker, and activist. Erin’s Law is prevention-based, bringing sexual abuse education into public schools using age appropriate materials and techniques. On Wednesday, January 27th, an information night will be held at Avoca West for any parent or family member who wishes to better understand what their child will be learning as part of this initiative. Additionally, a separate letter will be sent out (via email and backpack mail) to explain more.

Stay warm, and enjoy the rest of the week and the weekend ahead!

Happenings at Avoca West — 12/10

As our 5th graders are putting the finishing touches on their wax museum for tomorrow afternoon, we were treated to our first musical performance of the year from our Avoca West Orchestra students. It’s no wonder why Avoca has been named one of The Best Communities for Music Education. Kudos to our students, staff, and parents who make it all happen!

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Our 1st graders had an in school field trip this afternoon to wrap up their animals unit in science. Several exotic animals were brought in for students to hear about and to get up close and personal with — even the adults were awed! My apologies to those parents who now have children begging for a chinchilla or a “honey bear” for a holiday gift!

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Wrapping up 2015 at Avoca West

imgresWhile our children countdown the days before the holidays begin, we’ve got a packed calendar here at Avoca West! Keep in mind the following upcoming events and add them to your calendar as needed:

  • Next week begins 5th grade CogAT testing. Parents should have received an email yesterday regarding specifics.
  • Our Orchestra students will have their first performance on December 10th for our student body and for parents in the evening. I look forward to hearing their sounds fill the gym!
  • Next Friday (December 11th) will be the 5th grade Wax Museum in the afternoon. Our students have been working hard on researching and in perfecting their speaking and listening skills in preparation for the big day.

Please bundle up your kiddos and take a moment to jot down your last name on his/her clothing. Our Lost and Found will be donated within the next week or so to those in need of clothing this season. Thank you for your help in making sure things don’t accumulate in the future!

All the best, and stay warm!

A Very Thankful Update from Avoca West – 11/18


‘Twas the Week Before Thanksgiving…

As we are nearly a week away from Thanksgiving, I want to give thanks to those students and staff members who worked so hard to make our first Spirit Assembly of the year a hit! This year’s assembly ambassadors, led by Mrs. Rick and Ms. Stefan, have been organizing around the themes from our Second Step social emotional program. Additionally, they’re using the opportunity to tie the 7 Habits to the themes as well — making nice connections between the two programs and reinforcing vocabulary.


Izza welcomes the students, staff, and visitors to our first assembly!


Several of our strings players lead the school in the Avoca West Song!

An active and attentive audience watches on and practices giving the “quiet cat” sign.


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Our second and third graders are PUMPED to be gathering together.


A HUGE thumbs up to our Assembly Ambassadors (not all pictured here) for a job well done! Keep up the great leadership!

We encourage our parents to view the video that was shown to our kiddos to help reinforce some of these practices and habits at home. You can view their “Skills for Learning” video by following THIS LINK. I encourage you to leave a comment as well so that our students can see the broader impact of their hard work!

Thanks as well to those of you who were able to come out to our first Parent Coffee of the year. It was a wonderful chance to talk through several changes that can be seen at Avoca West this year and to answer any parent questions as they came up. An extra thanks to Amanda Lower, Leslie Meehan, Jane Pankratz, and Kathy Stein for heading up the PTC’s enrichment group this year. They will be focusing on trying to connect more of our families together and to build a strong community outside of school as well. We will be working on building a greater appreciation of what makes our students and families unique in their “We are Avoca!” over the course of the year. Stay tuned for a survey from the PTC group about what might work best to provide a time for parents to gather together and get to know one another. “We are Avoca…” and we are pretty spectacular!

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday next week. We WILL be in school next week on Monday and Tuesday, but will take the time to reconnect with our families and friends outside of school from Wednesday-Sunday. If you plan to be out next week at all, please let your child’s teacher and/or the school nurse know. Many thanks!


Veteran’s Day Breakfast — 2015

Kudos to our student ambassadors who played fabulous hosts to our community veterans this morning. In addition to decking the school out in flags, they greeted our visitors with a warm smile and served them all morning long.

Several of Mrs. Katz’s students played for our visitors as well, and Mrs. Rosic’s kindergarten class wrapped up our entertainment by singing a couple of patriotic songs. What a wonderfully renewing opportunity to come together as an Avoca community!

Weekly Updates from Avoca West — 11/10

Next Monday, the 16th of November, I welcome all Avoca West parents to join me in the Avoca West ITC for our Parent Coffee. We will meet from 9:00-10:30 (roughly) to discuss the year’s initiatives at Avoca West and to brainstorm as a group how we can foster a real appreciation of the many aspects of diversity within our Avoca community. Our diversity, after all, is what draws many new families to our district — the many languages, cultures, types of learners, types of families, and even diversity in the four municipalities from which we draw our students!

There is no need to RSVP. Simply come with an open mind and a collaborative spirit!

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You can also link to our agenda BY CLICKING HERE. I look forward to seeing many of you there!

Building a Safe Community at Avoca West – 11/2

Our Avoca West Safety Patrol would like to sponsor a week of ways to feel safe at school. Though the group will also help to reinforce the physical safety at school,
November 2nd: Wear BLUE to show that you are against bullying. It’s never cool to be a bully.
November 3rd: Wear a MISMATCHED OUTFIT OR TIE DYE to show that you accept differences in others. Everyone is unique, and we like that!
November 4th:  Wear YELLOW OR GOLD to show that you have a heart of gold. Try paying it forward today and doing something nice for someone without expecting anything in return.
November 5th: Wear NEON to show that kindness is bright and should always be seen! Be kind to someone today and every day. Invite a new friend to play at recess or sit with you at lunch. Be kind! It feels better!
November 6th:  Wear RED to show that you will stop, think, and be safe and respectful online. Be a responsible digital citizen and treat people how you want to be treated in real life and online!
Many thanks for your support of our Avoca West Safety Patrol and for helping to making out school a better place to learn, love, and grow!


Movie: Big Hero 6 (Rated: PG)

Time:  Doors will open at 6:15 / Movie will start at 6:45

Place: Marie Murphy Gymnasium

Price:  $5 RSVP ONLY. Maximum $20 per family.

Bring:  A blanket/sleeping bag to sit or lay on. Bleachers & chairs will be available as well. Pizza, popcorn, candy and drinks will be available for purchase! Spirit Wear will also be on sale!

Please note that children must be accompanied by an adult.

Please send in your RSVP no later than Wednesday, November 11th, 2015 (CLICK HERE FOR THE FLIER).  You can contact Marcela Rodriguez Grossman or Stephanie Rick if you have any questions.

AVAILABLE NOW: Movie Night Sponsorships

Looking for a fun way to donate to Avoca? For the first time, we are offering MOVIE NIGHT SPONSORSHIPS!  CLICK HERE for for more information.

Veteran’s Day Breakfast is nearly upon us! Please consider reaching out to your neighbors, family members, and friends to invite them to join us on November 11th for our breakfast. We’re hoping to pack the North Gym with our honorees and to make our daily dose of gratitude spread far and wide across our Avoca community!

Parent-Principal Coffee is set for Monday, November 16th at 9:00. We’ll meet in the ITC to talk about our Avoca goals for the year, including how we can embrace the diversity that makes us such a unique place to learn, love, and grow!

Finally, please consider signing up for Remind (formerly Remind 101) as an easy way to get notified about things going on at Avoca West. The service is free to you and allows me to text parents directly with quick snippets of information. You can text @avocawest to 81010 — quick, easy, and painless!! I will also send parents an invitation to join via email. Feel free to ignore this if you are one of the 100 parents already signed up.

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