Avoca Accomplishments, Graduation Speech & Thank you!

I am afraid that I haven’t updated this blog recently, but if you continue reading I think you will be able to see why. You will also see that I am making up for lost time! I hope you take your time to read what’s below.

Avoca Accomplishments:

The Avoca staff has truly experienced an incredible year of growth and accomplishment during the first year of the 2016-2021 Strategic Plan. Click here to link to the Strategic Plan Dashboard.

At the staff’s end of year awards dinner, I rattled off an impressive list of the their achievements, which I have included below. I know that some of these are written in “educationese,” but don’t worry if you don’t know what some of them mean, the power is in knowing how much was addressed:

  1. Avoca West has a newly approved mathematics curriculum.
  2. Math essential standards have been identified K-8.
  3. The Core, Encore and Allied Arts teachers have all identified their essential standards and have started vertically aligning their programs.
  4. The Social Studies Department at MM compared the alignment of their current curriculum against the C3 Framework for Social Studies.
  5. The MM Science Department identified, and aligned their curriculum to the Next Generation’s essential standards and developed an aligned assessment inventory.
  6. In Math and Writing classroom and department teachers made tremendous progress towards aligning our vocabulary, instructional practices and curricula, K-8.
  7. The MTSS Committee identified our current practices in Math and is currently working to improve those intervention programs.
  8. The Workload Plan Committee has drafted a new Workload Plan.
  9. The Technology Innovation Committee is wrapping up work on the Technology Strategic Plan and is already recruiting members for the 1) Refresh and Device Team, 2) the Technology and Innovation Learning Team and 3) the Website Revamp Team.
  10. All certified staff members were trained in the area of formative assessment.
  11. The Professional Development Committee planned and implemented three of the best received Teacher Institute Days that we have had in years.
  12. For the first time certified staff and the administrators who evaluate them implemented student growth in the evaluation process.
  13. The Community & Engagement Committee presented their findings and recommendations to the BOE.
  14. Avoca West launched Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  15. Avoca West’s Weekly Newsletter and the District’s Avoca Weekly e-blast were completely revamped.
  16. Since January of this year, we have had 32 Avoca specific articles or press releases published in our various local media outlets.
  17. In facilities news, the decision was made earlier this year to terminate our leases at Avoca Center.
  18. By the end of this summer, we will be ~95% done with work from our Life Safety Survey.

Not bad for year one of our 5-year strategic plan!

Graduation Speech:

Last Tuesday evening, we said goodbye to a great group of students at our 8th Grade Graduation Ceremony! Their graduation theme was How Far I’ll Go, which came from the Moana motion picture soundtrack. They are a very impressive group of students, who will be greatly missed. From How Far I’ll Go came the message for my speech to the children that they will go farther together, and I encouraged the group to continue to value, appreciate and take advantage of all of the benefits that they experience from their diversity. Click here to access the text of the speech.

Thank You:

The school year always seems to disappear before I am ready for it to end! Avoca is an amazing school community with so much to celebrate and be proud of. I would like to thank the staff for their unyielding dedication to our students! I would like to thank the community members who joined several of our committees this year, participated in focus groups, shared their thoughts at Board meetings, and supported our car washes, pancake breakfasts and other fundraisers! Parents, thank you for working in partnership with us to make Avoca one of the best school districts in the country, and for sharing your children with us! Have a happy, safe and exciting summer!

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