ACSC Rolls Out New Initiative:
STEPUP: Strategic Technology Expansion Plan and Upgrades
Avon Schools is pleased to announce a new program for students in grades 5-12 beginning in the 2015-16 school year. The Strategic Technology Expansion Plan and Upgrades (STEPUP) Program is a new initiative that will focus on preparing Avon students for a technology-rich future while expanding learning outside the traditional classroom.
The main components of the program include:
1. Increased technology for all students in grades 5-12 over the next two years. Beginning in the 15-16 school year, students in grade 6, 8, 9 will receive a computer for classroom instruction as a part of textbook rental and student fees. In the following year this program will expand to students in grades 5-12.
2. Delivering professional development for staff and training for students and parents.
3. Upgrading the technology infrastructure in our buildings. The infrastructure upgrades will benefit all building/schools and will be paid for by refinancing existing debt without increasing or extending debt.
Look for more information updates this spring on our corporation webpage and from your student’s school.
· In early fall, Avon High School students will be billed course fees for the entire academic school year, and statements will be mailed to each family.
· Avon High School statements will NOT change throughout the school year as a result of schedule changes.
· Avon High School students who enroll/withdraw after the fall billing cycle will have their course fees calculated at a prorated amount.
· Course fee payments can be made in the form of cash, check, or credit card through the Avon High School Treasurer’s Office.
· Course fees that are not paid in full by the due date will be sent to a collection agency.
· Beginning in the 2015-16 school year, all Avon schools will begin charging $25.00 for any returned checks.
The NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation has recognized Avon Community School Corporation (ACSC) for its outstanding commitment to music education with a Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) designation. ACSC joins 388 districts across the country (and one of only eight in the state of Indiana) in receiving the prestigious distinction in 2015. There are currently 13,588 school districts with music programs.
Now in its 16th year, Best Communities for Music Education affirms school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of the schools’ core curriculum.
Avon Community School Corporation’s performing arts program serves students in grades K-12 in 12 buildings. With a staff of 18 music educators, ACSC serves almost 7,500 students daily in a performing arts course. Curricular courses include general music, band, choir, orchestra, music theory and composition, keyboarding and percussion ensemble. Extra-curricular programs include Marching Band, Jazz Band, Show Choir, Honor Ensembles (6th, 7th and 8th grade levels), along with specialty ensembles for all instruments.
The BCME survey requires districts to answer detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Center for Public Partnerships and Research, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.
The announcement of this year’s Best Communities for Music Education designation brings attention to the importance of keeping music education as part of schools’ core education and music’s vital role in student success in school.
ACSC students are excelling in Music Education. Three ensembles of the Avon Performing Arts Program have been invited to the prestigious Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic later this year. This will include the Avon Middle School Chamber Orchestra (Grades 7 and 8), the Avon Saxophone Orchestra (Grade 9-12) and the Avon Brass Choir (Grade 9-12). The Avon Performing Arts program continues to grow by providing collaboration between art and music, music and dance, and several other venues. The high school Performing Arts Department will travel to New York City in May for a performance.
Community music programs have been drawing increased attention this school year because of a landmark study by Northwestern University brain scientists. These researchers found new links between students in community music programs and academic success in subjects such as reading. Beyond the Northwestern study, other reports indicate that learning to play music can boost academic and social skills, such as processing math and learning to cooperate in group settings. For more information about the NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.
Dear Avon Community School Families,
Avon Schools strive to help our families feel at ease when transitioning children to the next school level. This document contains important information to ensure a smooth conversion. Also, as a result of Intermediate school boundary adjustments, additional information is included for our 5th and 6th grade families.
4th GRADE TRANSITION ACTIVITIES:
Students will tour Intermediate school buildings
ØMay 19-Maple to AIS-East; Pine Tree to AIS-West; White Oak to AIS-East & AIS-West
ØMay 20-Sycamore to AIS-East; Cedar to AIS-West
ØMay 21-River Birch to AIS-East; Hickory to AIS-West
Parent Meetings at 6:30 p.m.
ØMay 12-AIS-East Parent Welcome
ØMay 20-AIS-West Parent Welcome
UPDATED INFORMATION REGARDING AIS-WEST & AIS-EAST BOUNDARY CHANGES FOR THE 2015-2016 SCHOOL YEAR
At a recent board meeting the following was approved: The boundaries for Intermediate East and Intermediate West will be changed for the 2015-2016 school year to match the boundaries of AMS North and AMS South. Thus, 5th/6th grade students who currently live south of US Highway 36 will attend Intermediate West and 5th/6th grade students who currently live north of US Highway 36 will attend Intermediate East. This will affect this year’s 5th graders as approximately 370 5th graders will switch to the opposite intermediate for their 6th grade year. If parents of current 5th graders prefer their child remain at his/her current intermediate school and the parents are willing to provide transportation, they should make a request in writing to Dr. Maryanne McMahon by April 20, 2015. If class size allow, ACSC will try to accommodate those requests.
5th/6th GRADE TRANSITION ACTIVITIES:
ØApril 21-Current 5th graders who are switching intermediate schools will be walked over during the school day for a tour as well as a meet & greet session.
Parent Meetings at 6:30 p.m.
ØApril 21-AIS-East Parent Meeting (Café)
ØApril 21-AIS-West Parent Meeting (Café)
If you have any additional questions, please call the school offices:
AIS West – 544-5900
AIS East – 544-5800
6th to 7th GRADE TRANSITION ACTIVITIES:
ØMay 22-AIS-East 6th grade students visit AMS-North and AMS-South at 9:30 a.m.
ØMay 22-AIS-West 6th grade students visit AMS-South and AMS-North at 12:45 p.m.
Parent Meetings at 6 p.m.
ØMay 28– 6 p.m. at both AMS North and AMS South
A dedicated group of Avon Community School Corporation (ACSC) educators have completed the first year of learning the 6 Standards of Effective Pedagogy. Model sites are being created in two Avon Schools. With the assistance of IUPUI Professor Annela Teemant and other consultants, teachers participated in professional development seminars and instructional coaching to implement this specialized method of practice and teaching.
The 6 Standards for Effective Pedagogy were originally developed to help English Learner students achieve greater success in the classroom. However, the practice has been found to benefit all learners. The 6 Standards include: (1) Joint Productive Activity; (2) Language & Literacy Development; (3) Contextualization; (4) Challenging Activities; (5) Instructional Conversation; and (6) Critical Stance. The 6 Standards give focus to the areas where teachers are able to increase engagement and achievement among diverse learners.
“I am very proud of the teachers and administrators who have been participating in this voluntary training,” stated ACSC Assistant Superintendent Maryanne McMahon. “Our teachers do this with the goal of providing the best educational experience possible for their students. It demonstrates two things: (1) the desire to model life-long learning, and (2) a willingness to take risks as others observe their new pedagogy in action and provide feedback. This is an exceptional example of how Avon teachers go above and beyond to reach all learners in their classrooms.”
Staff from Avon Intermediate School West and River Birch Elementary are all commended for completing the first year of a two-year process. They are:
River Birch: Bobby Coppadge, Maryanne McMahon (ACSC Administrator), Kellie Guernsey, Heather Gorgas, Sam Smith, Amy Stowers, Jill Mirise, Kris Kingery (bottom photo)
Cedar Elementary 544-6200
Pine Tree Elementary 544-6500
Hickory Elementary 544-6300
River Birch Elementary 544-6800
White Oak Elementary 544-6700
Maple Elementary 544-6400
Sycamore Elementary 544-6600
If you are unsure which school your child will attend, please call the ACSC Transportation Center at 544-6140 or the ACSC Administration Center at 544-6000.
Hendricks Regional Health Donates Technology to ACSC
In August 2013, Hendricks Regional Health expanded its partnership with Avon School Corporation to include a wider spectrum of health and wellness initiatives. As the school system’s exclusive healthcare provider, the hospital provides sports medicine care and athletic training for student athletes and the Avon High School marching band. In addition, the collaboration includes health programming for school employees through an on-site wellness clinic and healthy lifestyle support by certified wellness coaches.
The donated technology includes 412 desktop computers and 25 monitors. The computers were replaced as part of a hospital-wide infrastructure upgrade. The provided devices are compatible with the latest operation system and programs, and are ready to be put into service.
ACSC is already replacing the oldest computers throughout the district. The computers will be in use in classrooms allowing students to access learning applications that were not previously available because of the age of some of the equipment.
“We have embraced our role as the exclusive healthcare partner to Avon Community School Corporation and want to support the organization’s efforts – whether it be on the playing field, in the community, or the classroom,” said Hendricks Regional Health President & CEO Kevin Speer. “Technology is a critical component in the learning environment, and can help engage students in their education. We are truly excited to be a part of that.”
“We certainly appreciate such a generous donation from our partners at Hendricks Regional Health,” stated Dr. Margaret (Maggie) Hoernemann, Avon Community School superintendent. “The computers will enhance the learning environment for thousands of our students. Having updated technology is a crucial component in the education process.”
Since 1962, Hendricks Regional Health has served as the area's leading healthcare provider by delivering innovative care with a personal touch. The hospital strives to be the indispensable healthcare partner to patients, payers, physicians, associates and employers. Licensed by the Indiana State Department of Health and accredited by the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program, Hendricks Regional Health staffs a full complement of physicians in a variety of specialties at locations in Danville, Avon, Plainfield, Brownsburg, Lizton and Bainbridge. To learn more call (317) 745-3627 or visit www.hendricks.org.
Avon Community School Corporation offers children high quality educational instruction with a keen focus on improving student achievement. More than 9,000 students are being served during the 2014-15 school year in grades K-12 in 12 schools (seven elementary; two intermediate; two middle and one high school). ACSC operates on a balanced calendar schedule. Visit the ACSC website at www.avon-schools.org.
March 13, 2015
The Board of the Avon Community School Corporation is grateful to the 28-member Efficiency Task Force (ETF) for its work. The ETF (comprised of parents, teachers, and administrators) was convened to assist Avon Schools to identify ways to increase efficiencies while maintaining excellence. The work of the ETF culminated on Wednesday, March 11, when the Board took action.
We are grateful for the significant engagement of our community as we discussed ways to be more efficient by examining feeder schools, boundaries, transportation efficiencies and school schedules. Here are some details about the level of engagement of our parents/staff/students/community:
March 2-Public Forum Presentation/Discussion
240+ in the audience
March 2-Videostreaming of Public Forum Presentation
344 unique viewers
Videotape of Public Forum
331 watching online
Comments at Public Forum
12 pages unique comments
677 comments, 49 pages
Efficiency Task Force webpage
14,000+ unique views
The Board carefully considered all of the input and took the following action:
1. There will be no changes to K-4 schools’ boundaries for the 2015-16 school year. Opinions about combining Maple/White Oak to one campus and adjusting the other K-4 boundaries to address building capacity were quite varied. The Board’s biggest concern, however, was that we were unsure as to how long the proposed boundaries would be effective. Despite the detailed research of the ETF, only a professional demographic study will provide the level of detail about projected growth that will allow us to confidently change the boundaries. A demographic study will be undertaken later in 2015 and the Board will revisit the issue of boundaries for the 16-17 school year (at the earliest).
With the East/West boundaries changing as indicated below (#2), we will be closer to having K-4 feeder schools. Three schools will feed into East and three into West with White Oak split evenly between East/West.
2. The boundaries for Intermediate East and Intermediate West will be changed for the 2015-16 school year to match the boundaries of North and South. This will affect this year’s 5th graders as approximately 370 5th graders will switch to the opposite intermediate school for their 6th grade year. This decision does not affect current 6th graders going to middle school next year. The middle school boundaries will not change. Thus, 6th graders who currently live south of US Highway 36 will attend Avon Middle School South and 6th graders who currently live north of US Highway 36 will attend Avon Middle School North.
We have a past practice of allowing parents to request exceptions to boundaries. If parents of current 5th graders prefer their child remain at his/her current intermediate school and the parents are willing to provide transportation, they should make this request in writing to Dr. Maryanne McMahon by April 20, 2015. If class sizes allow, ACSC will try to accommodate those requests.
Transition activities are being developed to assist our current 5th graders and their parents to get to know and feel comfortable in their new schools. Watch for information after spring break.
3. School Schedules: This topic was perhaps the most challenging in that parents/staff/administrators/students all had very differing opinions. Ultimately the Board selected Schedule 2 (approximate times are listed below). Knowing that this schedule did not increase the important collaboration our professional teachers desperately need, the Board elected to increase the number of delayed start days from five to ten. These days will be once/month on a consistent day so as to provide some structure. The dates will be announced in the coming weeks after consultation with the administration.
Schedule 2 - Older Students First/Collaboration Time Difficult for MS/HS
AMS South & North 7:35/7:45/2:35
Sycamore, White Oak, 8:20/8:30/3:20
Maple, Pine Tree
Cedar, Hickory, River Birch 8:45/8:55/3:45
AIS East & AIS West 9:05/ 9:15/4:05
Times listed are an approximation. The Board has challenged the administration to work diligently to tighten up the routes and efficiencies so that we can release AIS East and West earlier if at all possible.
The combined savings for our school system will equal approximately $350,000.
We appreciate your patience through this transition period. If you should have any questions, please contact your building principal.
Again, thank you to all the members of the ETF. Your contribution has made our community a better place to educate our children. Also, thank you to all who contributed by offering your opinion; you have been invaluable.
Anne L. Engelhardt, President
Board of School Trustees
5:30 PM Evening of Excellence
5:30 PM School Board Working Session
7:00 PM School Board Meeting
4:30 PM ACSC Retiree's Celebration