Weekly Updates from Avoca West – 10/7

Greetings, Avoca West friends! I have been down in Springfield for the better part of this week learning more about helping to serve our struggling learners best. I look forward to returning to school tomorrow and filling up with energy from our kiddos once again!

Next week we will welcome the Glenview Fire Department on the 14th. They will be talking with our students about fire safety and encouraging the conversation to continue at home. This visit will coincide with our Safety Week at Avoca West. Throughout the week, students and teachers will practice fire drills, shelter in place drills (tornado drills), and a lockdown drill. Although some of our students can become anxious during and in anticipation of these drills, we continue to reinforce the notion that continuous practice helps to make sure we’re ready in the case of a real emergency.

As a reminder, we will not have school on Monday due to the Columbus Day holiday

Thank you to those parents who have been vigilant about getting their children in to school by 8:15 so that they can get into their seats by the time that instruction begins at 8:20. Every minute matters, and I know how harrowing those early mornings can be as you work to move everyone along!

Picture retake day will be the morning of Wednesday, October 21st.

Finally, let’s PACK THE MULTIPURPOSE ROOM for our annual Veteran’s Day Breakfast. I encourage you to invite friends, family members, neighbors, etc. to join us the morning of November 11th so that we can serve them! You can reach out to Cece or Roxann in the front office with any questions or to give them a name for our lists.

Enjoy the rest of the week, and here’s to a Cubs win this evening!!



So Long, September!!

imgresMark your calendars! This year’s Parent-Teacher Conferences will take place on Wednesday, October 21st and Thursday, October 22nd in the after school/evening hours. Parents will all receive an email sometime Thursday, October 1st with directions for how to sign up for a 15 minute time slot through our online Sign Up Genius system. This is the same system as we used at Avoca West last year.

The District’s annual Veteran’s Day Breakfast will take place at Avoca West the morning of November 11th. Rather than taking the day off, we prefer to take the time to honor those who have served our country. This event is open to ALL THOSE who have served our country. The veterans we honor do NOT have to live in our Avoca Community — our doors are open to all! If you have a veteran in your life (or are a veteran yourself), please RSVP to Roxann Giovannini at giovanninir@avoca37.org or call our office to secure a spot for our honored guests.

Innisbrook Wrap (and other treats) Sale has been extended another two weeks. If you’ve not yet been able to turn in your order, there’s still time!

Halloween Guidelines were posted last week in my weekly update. Please look back at them in helping your child plan his/her Halloween costume for our school celebration this year. Additionally, room parents will be sharing information with families about the day’s festivities in the near future.

Finally, as we look to encourage a growth mindset in our children, I thought I’d share an article that was passed on from my daughter’s band teacher. Though it is intended for those of us who are bearing with these squeaky first few months of beginning an instrument, I found the lessons to hold true in all of life’s settings.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 8.25.43 PM

For the full length article (worth the read!!), follow this link to read Three Things Parents Must Tell Their Children When They Begin a Musical Instrument. 

Happy Fall, my friends, and here’s to many more months ahead on this 2015-2016 journey!

Happy Fall

Weekly Updates from Avoca West – 9/21

It seems that fall is finally here, with it bringing a real sense of focus and rhythm as a school community! As we prepare to wrap up the month of September, please keep the following items in mind in your planning.

  • Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for October 21st and 22nd in the evenings (with half days of student attendance). We will be using an online sign up system once again this year. Teachers will send out an email to their classroom parents with a link to sign up for a time slot on October 1st. Please look for the email and feel free to contact your child’s teacher with specific questions or concerns.
  • 3rd Grade CogAT scores were mailed out earlier this morning. The scores will be sent to the parents of last year’s 2nd graders with an explanation of how to interpret the results. Feel free to reach out to your child’s classroom teacher or to our Advanced Learner staff members (Katie Morgan or Diane Bilcer) with questions.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 3.22.56 PM

  • Picture Retakes are scheduled for the morning of October 21st. This is a half day of student attendance. Students wishing to take a retake should bring their other orders with them that morning. A SUPER HUGE THANKS goes out to all those volunteers who made it such a seamless Picture Day!
  • Tardy Reminders: Students need to be in their seats at 8:20 (1st-5th grades) in order to be counted as on time. Those students arriving after the bell rings will enter through the office to let Nurse Theer know they are on time. Please know, however, that merely arriving before the bell does not guarantee your child will be on time. Parents should plan accordingly to make sure students are in the building with enough time to unpack and get into their seats. Thank you for your help!
  • MAP Testing is just about wrapping up for our 2nd-5th grades. Scores will be ready for parents to view and discuss with classroom teachers at October conferences.


  • Halloween Updates! As your child plans his/her costume for this Halloween, please keep the following things in mind for our celebrations here at Avoca West:
    • No Masks or face coverings (this includes morph suits) — faces need to be seen and identifiable at all times
    • No Weapons, please. Please exercise your best judgement in these cases, as those students who wear masks and/or have pretend weapons will not be permitted to use them for our Avoca West celebrations
    • Our parade will commence (in school) at 1:40. Kindergarten classes will celebrate from 12:30-1:30, with the older grades celebrating after the parade at approximately 2:15. Room parents will reach out to classroom parents with requests for names of those who wish to attend ahead of time. This will help in getting visitors admitted while still making sure our students are safe inside of our building.

Thanks so much for your partnership, and enjoy the week ahead!

Picture Day, Sprit Wear, and a Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a lovely day with one another today, and a Happy Rosh Hashanah to all those who celebrated the Jewish New Year today!

Before we head into a busy week, here are a couple of reminders for things to come.

  • Picture Day is Wednesday, the 16th. All students should have brought home order forms last week. Here are a couple of quick tips for navigating ordering this year.
    • Don’t forget to hand in your Stuart-Rodgers Picture Day form and payment to your child’s teacher on or before Picture Day (Sept 16 at AW and Sept 22 at MM) !
    • Payment is due by noon on Picture Day in order to receive the pricing indicated on the SR Photography Form.
    •  If you wish to submit payment after Picture Day, you may do so directly to SR Photography up to 14 days after Picture Day with a $3.75 processing fee (their contact details are on the form). The photos will be mailed directly to your home.  Prices increase for orders placed after 14 days.
    • All photo packages (A through F) include a class photo. If you are buying photos a la carte, the class photo can be purchased separately (see SR photo form for a la carte pricing).
    • Your child’s photo will be taken regardless of whether you have sent in the form or payment on Picture Day.  Therefore, you may purchase the photos at a later date (however, pricing will be different- see above).
    • Picture Retake Day at Avoca West is not yet set for Avoca West, but will be announced in the future.
    • Please refer to the Photo form for other specifics about your photo order, and feel free to reach out to them with any questions you may have. A special thanks to Louise Dechovitz for putting together these helpful tips for our parents!
  • An Important Spirit Wear Note from the PTC:  This is the FINAL opportunity to order Avoca West/Marie Murphy Spirit Wear!


    There are fun new styles and colors for all ages and in all sizes.  Orders can be placed on the website (pay by credit card) or with the attached pdf order forms (pay by check or cash – you or the teacher can leave order in the school office).

    Both schools regularly have “Spirit Assemblies” and “Spirit Days” so don’t be left out! (Spirit Wear also makes great holiday or birthday gifts!)

    PDF FOR ORDER FORM IS LINKED HERE  http://www.headsupapparel.com/collections/avoca-west-2015


    ***Note to Marie Murphy parents: you can also order from the Avoca West catalog.  There a couple of items (“Vikings” heart logo and “Viking Nation” shirt) that have appealed to girls and boys at MM.

    Questions?  Please contact Betsy Harootyan – betsyharootyan@gmail.com or 847-386-6935

    *All sales are final unless item is defective*

  • A special, and HUGE thank you to all of the volunteers and organizers for last week’s Ice Cream Social — including Mother Nature who decided to cooperate so that the students could play outside!!

Enjoy the week, and look for updates next week on what we’re working on this year at Avoca West!

Weekly Updates from Avoca West – 9/9

What a lovely treat it was to find the cooler fall-like air this morning to begin the day! So many of our kiddos were all smiles during recess today, allowing me to capture the camaraderie of a new school year and time outside with friends and nature.

  • I hope to see many of you at tomorrow night’s Ice Cream Social for all Avoca District 37 staff and students. It will be held here at Avoca West from 5:00-7:00pm on the playground and is a wonderful chance to relax and socialize with other Avoca families.
  • I have been working with Ms. Geidner in the ITC this summer to consider ways to bring some healthy school wide reading competition to Avoca West. As we look to boost our overall reading abilities across the board, research shows that the single best way to boost reading is to READ! Classes will compete with one another in their grade level as students complete their normal nightly reading expectations for their classroom teachers. Look for an update and information soon!
  • Mr. Erf and Mrs. Haugeberg are beginning the process of soliciting students who may be interested in writing and performing for this year’s iOnAvoca newscasts. They will be getting parent permission via email (Google form), so 5th grade parents should be on the lookout for correspondence from either teacher in the near future.
  • There are tremendous teachers in our midst here at Avoca West, and here’s a chance to reach out one (or more) who you think is truly a cut above the rest! Per a recent email to our district administrators:

“Symetra Heroes in the Classroom, presented by Arthur J. Gallagher, is a community program that recognizes 16 Chicago-area teachers each year for outstanding leadership and instructional skills.  We are giving you anopportunity to recognize special teachers who have provided exceptional guidance towards student success.  (This recognition takes place during the Chicago Bears regular season). If you know a teacher who deserves to be recognized for their commitment to student achievement, nominate him or her today for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom Award.”

Many of you know what a huge Bears fan I am, and I can tell you that this is such a fabulous surprise for any teacher who receives it. A previous colleague of mine was recognized several years back (ironically, she is a Packers fan!) and it was an incredibly memorable event in her teaching career. Please consider nominating a teacher who has made an positive influence in the life of one of your student! While we’re on the subject…


Go Bears!

Enjoy the weekend, and many thanks for your collaboration!

Parent Curriculum Night Recap – 9/3

Thanks to all of you who were able to make it out to Avoca West last night for our annual Parent Curriculum night. It was wonderful seeing so many of your faces and to feel the positive energy that accompanies the beginning of a new school year. If only Mother Nature would comply and show up with some cooler weather next time!

I hope you all feel comfortable reaching out to your child’s teacher now or anytime during the school year to ask questions, to discuss concerns, or to celebrate your child’s growth. One of the struggles with being a working parent is missing out on several key events for my own kiddos — such as Curriculum Night for my own children. Thankfully, “Super Dad” brought home handouts and survived the my inquisition about all things 2nd and 5th grade! One of the gems that I took from my son’s teacher is smile-worthy and a wonderful reminder of how we can support our children at home — without pulling our hair out!

TO HELP YOUR CHILD — Take from Ms. Musich’s 2nd grade Classroom

  1. Help figure out your child’s HOMEWORK STYLE. What works best for him (and also your family schedules)? Is it right after school? After he has a snack or play a bit? After dinner? Ask for his input. Children are more likely to buy into the SCHEDULE if they helped establish it!
  2. Have a place for SUPPLIES of her own.
  3. Establish a routine such as where the BACKPACK is put, where the contents are emptied, where important school papers and notes to you go, etc. (And be consistent to build the routine for both your child and for you!)
  4. Discuss CONSEQUENCES if work is not done. Don’t make it a battle. If he knows the consequences and still chooses to ignore the work, let the consequences take place! It was, after all, his choice! You can always write the teacher a note and include the unfinished work…the teacher can take it from there.
  5. Go over INSTRUCTIONS patiently to make sure she understands. (**This is especially tricky for us at the Hutchison House!) If they are still confused, call a classmate or jot a note to the teacher.
  6. Have your child DO HIS OWN HOMEWORK! Avoid doing the work for him! It should be CHECKED OVER and you can help your child make the corrections needed. If it proves to be too difficult, jot the teacher a note and have him finish the parts he DOES understand.
  7. Be a positive “coach!” You may have to give PEP TALKS and explain how the work is worth doing.
  8. Celebrate struggles and the effort that it takes to get through them. This grows a mindset that will build resiliency for future tasks and for years to come!

Please know that your children are in fabulous hands and that we appreciate your partnership. Enjoy the rest of the week, and stay cool!

Day One is Complete!! — 8/26

What a wonderful treat it was to welcome all of our students (and parents) this morning to school. Having their energy and voices fill the hallways was so rewarding after a long summer preparing for their arrival!

Before the week gets wrapped up, I want to quickly bring you up to speed on a couple of timely issues:

  • Birthday Celebrations – I will be celebrating student birthdays this year by visiting students in the morning to give a birthday sticker. Additionally, as we look to ficus on reading this year at Avoca West, our students will also receive a “ticket” to come and pick out a birthday book from a large selection in the office. Parents/families are welcome to return the gift back to our ITC (library) in the form of a book donation. If you would like to donate to the ITC, feel free to reach out to Susan Geidner.
  • Birthday “Treats” – In order to maintain the health and safety of our students at Avoca West, we will be implementing the practice of only permitting fresh fruit and/or vegetables for birthday snacks/treats. All other snacks will need to be nut free and produced in a facility that does not contain nuts. Please be vigilant about reading your labels so that our kiddos can learn safely at school!
  • Traffic Update – I know you’ve all received emails about traffic updates and issues around school that appear to be factoring in to our commutes each morning. You’ll notice additional “NO PARKING” signs for a portion of Sherwood north and south of our entrance (Beech). Police will be out in the area, so please be keenly aware of the signage and consider carpooling with neighbors and friends!
  • Chess Update – After considering many possibilities for programs and facilitators to bring to our students at Avoca West, the group/committee of volunteers nominated Chess Ed to work with our students after school this year on Tuesdays. I was pleasantly surprised when I met with their program leaders, as we have a longstanding relationship from my previous school in Park Ridge. I can assure you that I communicated my wishes to support a program that is inclusive, while still offering a differentiated experience for our children — and strongly believe that you won’t be disappointed. Whether you participated in the past or want to give chess a try, you can find out more information HERE from the Chess Ed flier. Thanks to our volunteer parents who sifted through the many options and opinions to find what is the best fit for our community!
  • Raptor Visitor Sign In – Parents and visitors who come to school should be prepared to show ID to our office staff. The new process includes scanning your ID so that we can ensure that our students are safe at all times. Thank you for your patience as we transition from last year’s ID system.

As always, thank you for your support and collaborative spirit as we being a new year. I feel so privileged to be here for another school year and look forward to watching our kiddos bloom. Be well!

Heads Up for a New Year at Avoca West!

After a busy summer hiring and planning, I’m excited to welcome the following new faces to our Avoca team this school year!

New Staff Members

Elizabeth Bowman (Avoca West Creative Drama Teacher): Elizabeth moved to Chicago from Ohio many years ago to pursue her acting career. She quickly discovered a love of working with students and teachers to bringing drama into schools throughout the Chicago area. After spending several years in a consultative role, she joined the staff at Healy Elementary School in the city to begin a creative drama program. Three years later, their loss is our gain! We’re excited to have her bring her expertise and that “grass roots” experience to Avoca West this year!

Rebecca Cross (Avoca West 5th Grade Teacher): Becky is finally back in the United States after spending the past two years in Abu Dhabi at a private middle school level academy. There she headed the math department, but she is eager to return to an elementary setting. Becky loves to travel and was able to feed her travel bug while overseas, visiting several countries on her bucket list. We’re excited to have her bring her multicultural mindset and eight years of prior teaching to our staff and students at Avoca West!

Hannah Edgren (Avoca West Kindergarten Teacher): Though the last name is new, after a wedding this past May, Hannah is a familiar face around Avoca West. She spent the 2014-2015 year filling two maternity leave positions in PE and in 1st grade. Her heart is in working with our primary aged students, and she can’t wait to bring her experiences as a kindergarten teacher to our team. As one of the first faces our kindergarten kiddos will see at Avoca West, I’m confident that we will put each child off on the right foot each day as they see her smile!

Brandon Howe (Avoca West 4th Grade Teacher): Brandon is new to Avoca West, but spent last year at Marie Murphy as an instructional assistant. He is thrilled to get back into an elementary school setting and to stretch his long legs in a classroom of his own. Brandon is excited to bring his love of sports and coaching into the classroom as he coaches his students to be their very best each day. Here’s to an exciting year ahead at Avoca!

Stacie Nanus (Avoca West 4th Grade Teacher):  Stacie is the newest member of our 4th grade team at Avoca West and brings with her eight years of teaching in a variety of grade levels and capacities — from primary aged to middle schoolers. She is a graduate of Western Michigan and has been working to build her knowledge of working with English Learners in her graduate school work. Stacie is not only excited to jump back into a classroom of her own, but to find a new school family closer than her previous Kildeer school! As a testament to her flexibility and positive attitude, Stacie was interviewed by our team via Skype from the country of Columbia. Welcome aboard!

Emily Bierbower (Avoca West English Language Learner Teacher):  Emily is a graduate of U of I at Champaign/Urbana and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with Middle School endorsements in math, reading, science and social studies, and most recently completed her work to add English Language teacher.  A trip to China was part of her U of I educational experience.  She is eager to work with our students and to learn from our incredible staff here at Avoca West.
Olivia Kamysz (Avoca West English Language Learner Teacher):  Olivia is well traveled and fluent in Polish and can converse politely in Spanish.  Her Bachelor of Science is from Loyola University in Elementary Education with a minor in English as a Second Language and endorsements in Middle School math and science.  Dance, biking, hiking and playing tennis are all sports she enjoys.  This summer she and friends took a quick vacation out east to Baltimore.  Olivia is looking forward to the start of school and will have plenty of stories to share from her summer traveling! 

Jennifer Panek (Avoca West Elementary Learning Resource Specialist):  After graduation from Arizona State University, Jennifer completed her Master’s in Elementary and Special Education with DePaul University in Chicago.  Jennifer student-taught 3rd grade at Avoca West in 2013 and has already been serving our students this summer in our Extended School Year Summer Program.  A fun fact. . . the same week she was asked to join Avoca, she also received a marriage proposal (and accepted both)!

Erika Slagel (Avoca West Instructional Assistant): Erika has been out east for the past several years earning her elementary and special education certifications/licenses. She is looking forward to being back in an elementary setting learning from our fabulous staff!  Her warm demeanor and creativity will certainly be a bonus as she works with our primary students and classroom teachers this school year.

Here’s to another fabulous school year!

Winding Down a Wonderful Year at Avoca West!

With so much to share as we wind down the school year, I’ll do my best to keep this blog update short! Thank you for checking in throughout the school year as I’ve looked to update and improve the overall communication from school.

  • Teacher Placement Letters will be sent home Tuesday with the students. Additionally, those students in grades 2-4 will have spring MAP data included in the envelope.
  • Meet the Teacher will take place Wednesday morning. This is a wonderful time for students to spend a short time with their new teacher and classmates for the year to come. I look forward to watching those beginning memories form!
  • Report Cards will not be official until Friday at 3:30. As I’ve shared in the past, the new login process allows parents to login and view prior to then, but know that any progress indicators you see here will still be a work in progress until Friday. Since your child’s courses have officially ended, you may have to click “Show Completed Classes” on the Standards Grades tab.
  • If you have not completed the PowerSchool Single Sign On process, you WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SEE YOUR CHILD’S REPORT CARD. Simply put, please be sure you’ve taken care to create your own unique login, password, and added each of your children to your login. Directions are LINKED HERE AGAIN in case you need them.
  • Have you registered your child for the 2015-2016 school year yet? Chances are, the answer is no. As of Friday, only 200 families in all of Avoca District 37 have registered for the coming school year. Yikes! Should you require those directions again, I have LINKED THEM HERE again — but it requires a PowerSchool login first, so don’t skip the important step above!
  • Online Report Cards…Take 2! Earlier this spring I reported back to parents about anticipated changes for this end-of-the-year report card.
    • The following improvements have been made for the upcoming release:
      • ALL teacher comments can be now viewed through the “Teacher Comments” tab on the left hand navigation bar. You no longer need to toggle between the blue dots and copy/paste them. Parents should be able to simply view all comments in one place and print them from there.
      • There will be course specific feedback regarding the expectations for reading, math, and all core and encore classes available in the “Teacher Comments.” This should give parents an idea of what’s been covered over the last semester and what can be expected of a typical child’s performance.
    • Unfortunately, not all wishes for upgrades can be accommodated on this second installment of the online report card.
      • We were NOT able to reorder the “course” so that they would have all of the classroom/homeroom teacher’s grades and comments followed by the core an encore teachers. This is something we will look to have in place for next year, but doing so halfway through the year would have negated viewing any previous grades and comments.
    • Thank you for sticking with this process of refining our practices at Avoca West. I appreciate it!
  • What’s new for 2015-2016 at Avoca West? In case you haven’t been tuning in to the happenings at the District 37 Board of Education, the work of our Master Schedule Committee has been presented to and approved by the BOE for next year! Kudos to our committee of volunteers for stepping in and researching possible solutions for the year to come. What can your students expect for next year?
    • Social Emotional Learning (SEL) will go back into the classroom. This is in line with best practice instruction and we truly believe our students will benefit from being able to weave the social emotional learning objectives into their daily instruction and across curricular areas.
    • Encore Drama will now be offered in the time slot once held by our SEL course. The hour-long offering will focus on creative process drama, rather than product-driven drama, and will be a chance for our students to delve into another aspect of the arts here at Avoca West!
    • Longer Lunch/Recess will be a new component of the master schedule for the coming year. In order to provide our students with the necessary time to eat, the committee has added time in for transitions from inside to outside for our students. We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of this as a solution for our students.
    • Focus on Instruction During Prime Time! What does this mean? Those first hours of the day are the optimal learning time for our students. The committee was able to realign some of the core/encore blocks so that students spend at least one large block of time in the morning with their classroom teacher. 5th grade will no longer have back-to-back specials, and our kindergarten kiddos will have almost an hour and a half in the classroom with their teacher first thing in the morning. Kudos to our team for thinking creatively on behalf of our students!!
    • Library Check-Out Time will now be left to the discretion of the classroom teachers and grade level teams. This will give Susan Geidner new found freedom to partner with classroom teachers to co-teach and to have the ITC open for our students for a greater number of hours each day.
  • Office Hours this summer will be intermittent throughout the month of July. As a result of our construction projects in the office this summer, we will be relocating to the ITC. Any visitors to the building this summer will enter through the ITC doors (likened to the entrance used for voting days). I will be “in the office” on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, but available through email otherwise. Feel free to reach out and to send a friendly “hello” my way!

I’m looking forward to watching each of your children grow again in the coming year, and thank you for your trust and partnership in my inaugural year at Avoca West. Be well, and have a safe, healthy, and restful summer!

Let the AVOCA WEST! Countdown Begin!!

It is hard to believe that we’re a mere two weeks away from finishing up this school year! I’m sure that, like me, many of you will spend the next two weeks in awe of all that’s been accomplished this year and dream of what’s to come this summer and into next year.

Though our 5th graders are getting ready for their party this Friday and have a slightly different countdown, please encourage your child to celebrate with our AVOCA WEST! countdown.

  • A – Athletic Day
  • V – Viking (sprit) day
  • O – Outside learning time
  • C – Chalk up the sidewalks and blacktop
  • A – Aloha (Hawaiian Day)
  • W – Wacky wear
  • E – Extra recess
  • S – Summer Goals
  • T – Take it home Day
  • ! ; “Wooohooo!!” You’re finished with ______ grade!

I’m excited to watch our 1st grade friends share their learning of their new strings instruments at the Suzuki concert this Tuesday. It’s hard to believe that in just a few short year’s they’ll be at the awe-inspiring level of our orchestra students!

Our younger students are looking forward to a sunny Field Day this Thursday, and I’m excited to get out and watch them in action. Their energy and excitement is always contagious!

Finally, our teachers, support staff members, and I spent last week sectioning for the upcoming school year. I’m excited about the teacher matches and student groupings that we’ve put together, and look forward to sharing your child’s teacher assignment next Tuesday or Wednesday (the 9th or 10th) as we prepare for the annual “Meet the Teacher.” We will have the following changes in staffing here at Avoca West for 2015-2016 school year.

  • Mrs. Grace Roh and her family will be moving out east as her husband pursues exiting new opportunities for his career. Please join me in congratulating her as she joins a new staff as a 2nd grade teacher. I know she’ll be a huge success wherever she goes!
  • We will welcome Mrs. Hannah Edgren (formerly Anderson) to the kindergarten team. She has spent the last year closely tied to our Avoca West students and staff in the maternity sub roles for Mrs. Amy Chun and Mrs. Emily Hargadon. She is excited to continue on in a permanent capacity, and thinks the world of our community!
  • Mr. Brandon Howe will be joining the 4th grade team for the coming school year. Though he is new to our Avoca West staff, he has spent this past year working to support students at Marie Murphy. All those who meet him and have worked with him are eager to have a youthful, fresh perspective and energy join the 4th grade team! He will be here for our “Meet the Teacher Day.”
  • Mrs. Sophia Kondos will be taking time to dive into her graduate studies and supporting her family’s newest adventure! She has done a lovely  job this school year supporting our advanced learners in English Language Arts, and we wish her the best of luck!
  • Mrs. Diane Bilcer will be stepping in to the ELA Advanced Learner position for the coming year and will be also working with our intermediate grade levels through Encore Literacy. She is excited for this new chapter in her teaching career and in supporting a greater number of learners and staff members!
  • Ms. Becky Cross will be stepping into the shoes (and classroom) left open by Diane Bilcer in 5th grade. She is currently finishing up her 8th year teaching, and has been lucky to spend the last two years teaching abroad in Abu Dhabi. The 5th grade team and I are eager to have her share her expertise in both using data an in working with a diverse group of learners!

I will do my best to share any additional staffing information with our parents and community as it becomes available. Until then, thank you for your continue support and trust in our Avoca West staff!

Enjoy the week…and Go Hawks!