“I am incredibly honored to announce that Laurie Davies has earned this incredible award,” said Ritz. “She is a true example of how one teacher’s dedication can impact her students and her school community. She works with parents to build personal connections to strengthen her teaching and in her classroom, she focuses on literacy and its importance in all aspects of education. She is incredibly well-deserving of this recognition.”
The Milken Educator Awards, conceived by the Milken Family Foundation to attract, retain and motivate outstanding talent to the teaching profession, is the nation’s preeminent teacher recognition program, dubbed the “Oscars of Teaching” by Teacher magazine. Since 1987, the Milken Family Foundation has devoted more than $137 million in funding to the Milken Educator Awards, including over $65 million in individual Awards to more than 2,600 recipients plus powerful professional development opportunities and networking with leading education stakeholders.
Davies teaches fourth grade at Pine Tree Elementary School in Avon. She teaches Language Arts, Math, Science and Social studies and has focused on the use of data to improve student performance. She also regularly develops creative ways to present curriculum to her students and provides professional development opportunities for her fellow educators.
ACSC’s Broad Based Planning Team hosted a High Ability information session. More than 400 parents, students, and staff attended to learn more about the High Ability programming that is implemented in Avon schools. They learned about programs, strategies of support and what can be done at home to enhance learning for the high ability child. There was a keynote speaker and breakout sessions to help further inform and guide parents through the high ability learning continuum within Avon schools.
Mr. Shockley, AHS principal, gave the keynote presentation. He guided parents and students through the programming at the high school helping to prepare them for the expectations at the post-secondary level. Breakout sessions included:
Parents were very pleased with the information night. Here’s one note:
“I am the parent of an 8th grader at AMSN and wanted to express my appreciation for the effort you and the whole crew made to give us valuable information this evening. I especially want to thank you and the committee for having the breakout with the high school students. They not only represented the school well, but provided valuable insight for me and my daughter as she considers her plans at AHS starting next year. It was a job well done.”
Each entity signed resolutions stating the following:
WHEREAS: Our local public schools are a significant source of quality of life, community spirit, and economic attraction, and
WHEREAS: Quality local public schools are of significant importance to business and home values, community safety, college and workforce preparedness, and
WHEREAS: Avon Schools’ General Fund is among the lowest funded on a per pupil basis in the entire state, and
WHEREAS: Avon Schools are among the highest performing schools yet among the lowest in per student funding, and
WHEREAS: The state’s school funding formula has left behind school communities like ours that are the first versions of school choice in Indiana, and
WHEREAS: Only legislative change to the funding formula can save our local residents from receiving an outlier-low share of the state funding formula to which they contribute through sales and income taxes, and
WHEREAS: Only change of the legislated funding formula can supply local per pupil funding at or near average levels for the state of Indiana without additional taxation foisted upon local business and residential taxpayers, and
WHEREAS: Only change to the legislated school funding formula can stem the tide of higher class sizes and loss of programs due to teacher and other layoffs in communities where per pupil funding is inequitably below the state average, and
THEREFORE: BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Avon Community Schools Board of Trustees supports a legislated recalibration of the state’s school funding formula to serve our local students on par with other Indiana school children.
Copies of the resolution have been shared with local legislative leaders. The school funding formula is a top priority in the current Indiana legislative session.
“We believe that strong schools are critical to the area’s growth and success,” said John Sparzo who serves as a facilitator for the Oriole Advocates. The newly formed Oriole Advocates added community support in promoting and coordinating the resolutions with the various entities. “The Oriole Advocates desire to produce an aligned vision among the public at-large to promote a stronger community,” Sparzo concluded. Members of the community who are interested in learning more or joining the Advocates can email the group at OrioleAdvocates1@gmail.com.
Weather Delay/Closure Information
Recently I took the unusual step of sending a phone message to every ACSC family announcing the formation of Efficiency Task Force 2015. We solicited parent involvement for an influential Task Force that will be recommending operational changes for the 2015-16 school year. (I am happy to report that we had far more volunteers than needed. What involved parents we have!) The Efficiency Task Force will focus on three main areas: potential boundary adjustments, school start/end times, and transportation efficiencies. The Task Force is comprised of parents (one from each school building), teachers and administrators. It will be led by Assistant Superintendents Dr. John Atha and Dr. Maryanne McMahon.
How can you stay well informed about the Task Force? By watching for regularly published minutes which can be found on our webpage: www.avon-schools.org under the District Links tab. We will also report publicly at every School Board meeting.
Change for change sake? No. Despite the many reductions and changes we have made over the last several years we believe there may still be some efficiencies to capture. Naturalist, John Muir said, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” (In short, “Everything affects everything.”) If we change just one thing, it affects everything, which is why the Task Force’s work will be well publicized to keep parents/patrons informed of opportunities for input prior to the School Board acting on any recommended changes.
Thank you for your support as we undertake this challenging work.
As always, I welcome your feedback. Feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Educate. Excite. Excel.