Announcing K-6 Digital Summer Learning Page!
The balanced calendar addresses summer loss statistics by reducing time away from school relative to traditional calendars.
Two months away from school may still have an impact on all learners, especially younger children. Keeping your child in a
routine of learning and exploration is just a click away this summer!
For this reason, the Digital Summer Learning page is being provided to our families to promote continuous learning
throughout the summer months. A wealth of resources may be accessed through the ACSC website and do not require
an ACSC student login. Make summer learning sizzle and boost your child’s learning confidence by engaging in these fun activities!
Link to Digital Summer Learning Page: http://www.avon-schools.org/Page/7693
DreamBox Learning: 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Grade
Parents and students at River Birch can access DreamBox Learning by clicking here:
Parents can set up access to review progress and receive updates by using this information
We believe River Birch is a pretty special place for several reasons. Those reasons include our learners, families, and community. We want to highlight our teachers as another reason River Birch is a very special place! They constantly re-evaluate the learning experiences and opportunities they plan and implement. As practicing professionals we value the time we have to reflect and plan in order to make our school the best it can be. Why? One reason:
In December we reviewed the new content learned and dialogued about the implementation in our classrooms. Afterwards, we enjoyed a breakfast together to celebrate a successful semester. In January, we renewed our commitment to our vision of River Birch in the year 2020. Our teachers deepened their understanding of a phase-in process to help children be more successful and independent in their learning stations. In addition we reviewed educational theory and worked to find common ground in the type of learning experiences we offer in all our classrooms.
As always, we thank you for the adjustments you make to your morning routine which allows us this time. As we continue the journey in this school year we'll further focus on Bridges in Mathematics and the 6 Standards of Effective Pedagogy. If you ever have questions please connect with your child's teacher.
Partners in your child's education,
Mr. Kingery, Principal
Mrs. Gorgas, Assistant Principal
Our River Birch Learning Leaders gathered again this morning to continue our learning in the 6 Standards of Effective Pedagogy. In our previous blog posts we've shared our belief in how important dialogue and collaboration is for our learners. Joint Productive Activities (JPA) are ways our learning leaders are encouraging student collaboration and co-construction of learning products. In addition to JPA we've learned more about Language and Literacy Development (LLD). Elementary school classrooms are ripe for learning about language and literacy, and we've spent time planning to be most intentional about how we activate that learning in our school.
This morning, we introduced Contextualization (CTX). Our teachers were introduced to the construct of contextualization and how student's lives outside the classroom impact learning inside the classroom. In this professional development session, our teachers were asked to consider how they'll consciously and deliberately create learning experiences that acknowledge, validate, and build upon students' lives and experiences from their homes, communities, and individual cultural backgrounds.
This morning during our professional development session our teachers were asked to consider the complexities of language and literacy development in their classrooms. They were introduced to the standard of Language and Literacy Development (LLD). Dalton (1998) listed the characteristics of LLD:
• Students talk, read, and write in authentic ways.
• The teacher assists language development through for example modeling, questioning, rephrasing, and clarifying in purposeful reading, writing, and speaking activities.
• The teacher specifically connects student language with academic language.
• Students frequently talk and interact with other students in academic settings.
• Language is taught and used in the classroom.
• Teachers can purposefully designing activities for language and literacy development for all students and in all content areas.
Every activity in the classroom requires language and literacy experience. Our teachers are asked to consider the “invisible” nature of language and literacy development. In each lesson, teachers provide implicit and explicit clues as to how a language and literacy task is to be completed. Students who understand the unspoken rules of a classroom task or have prior knowledge of the language and literacy necessary to do the task have an advantage over those students without the required knowledge. All teachers work and consider themselves language and literacy teachers rather than only content area teachers. They are teaching the vocabulary, sentence structures, and discourse patterns of their content areas.. No teacher can afford to ignore the complexities of language and literacy in their subject areas.
This session spent our time engaging teachers in the analysis of their spoken and unspoken expectations when it comes to understanding and using language. Again, thank you for the time we receive on our one hour delays for professional development.
Friday September 9, 2016
Student Leadership Convocation for September
WATCH ME LEAD
At River Birch our learning leaders are united and committed to providing the education every child needs along with the life and learning experiences they deserve! Today we held our first student leadership convocation of the year. It was titled Watch Me Lead, because we believe every child is a leader and can make a positive contribution to our school family.
If you’ve been a part of our school family in the past you know we’ve celebrated Success Willpower Attitude and Goals (SWAG) in our students. While we still recognize those traits in our school, we’ve evolved and no longer make that the central focus of our positive behavior efforts. Instead, we’ve shared four rules that all learners can share:
Every day, inside and beyond our classrooms, the students in our school work hard to demonstrate positive actions and choices. Today we communicated how students can earn leaves for their individual leaf collections, and how we’d celebrate their accomplishments. We’ll share more with you very soon about our first leaf collection challenge which concludes on September 30th.
At the dinner table or in the car ask your child:
Here are some ways our students are demonstrating leadership currently:
Kindergarten: Mrs. Prewitt’s class are 4-star leaders in the hallways. Ask your child what this means!
1st Grade: Mrs. Stewart has bilingual language leaders in her classroom who are helping a new student access learning in their classroom.
2nd Grade: Mrs. Mirise’s class is leading a recycling effort to collect bottle cap lids. Once they have enough they’ll take them to a meltdown facility and we’ll create brand new Buddy Bench for our playground. Every kid deserves someone to play with at recess!
3rd Grade: Mrs. Kennard’s class is finding individual passion in order to serve, contribute, and MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
4th Grade: Our Ambassadors will lead learning in K-3 classrooms beginning next week!
Leadership & Learning: August 3, 2016
Welcome to our Leadership & Learning blog! We are happy you've found yourself on our homepage, and we want you to know more about our leadership and learning at River Birch. Each month we'll update our blog with a post about the hard work we accomplish during our one hour delay for professional development.
On the first Wednesday of the month we engage in professional learning as a community of learning leaders. Did you know the one-hour delay for professional development is the only time we are together as a K-4, related arts, and special education staff for longer than 30 minutes? We value our time together, and want you to know we sincerely appreciate the arrangements you make in order to help us with the time.
This morning we dedicated time and energy to communicating our vision and engaging in dialogue about our core values. We led a conversation and reflection on our core belief that to be a learning leader at River Birch means we are united and committed to providing the education every child needs along with the learning and life experiences they deserve. The learning experiences a child receives in our school are highly intentional and designed with a child in mind. We adhere to, meet, and often times exceed the minimum grade level requirements outlined by the Indiana Academic Standards. In addition, we work diligently to make sure school is a place where kids connect, engage, and enjoy the process of learning.
Another critical part of our foundation at River Birch is the 6 Standards of Effective Pedagogy. We’ve trained nearly half our teaching staff in the pedagogy while supporting all others through local learning in sessions like today. Our teachers are taking risks and modeling for students that life will not always be easy, but trying new things – even if we fail - makes life a little more exciting! You’ll hear more about our journey with the pedagogy as we isolate and focus on individual standards during our future professional development days.
We invite you to partner with us to make River Birch the very best learning institution in Indiana and beyond. We are so happy to have you as a part of our learning community, and we are determined in our relentless pursuit of helping every child connect and love coming to school!
Partners in your child’s education,
Mr. Kris Kingery, Principal (Twitter: @RBPRincipal)
Mrs. Heather Gorgas, Assistant Principal (Twitter: @Educate_HMG)
Make sure to follow us on Twitter as we share glimpses of leadership and learning during our school day!
Virtual Option Learning Day
Avon teachers and students have been preparing to use the Virtual Option learning days which gives schools the flexibility to schedule these days to meet the requirements of traditional make-up days. This school year, the Virtual Option may be used to make up a snow-day which may occur after January 16th. Please visit our Virtual Option Information page to learn more.
Keith Ziolkowski Named Middle School Orchestra Teacher of the Year
The Indiana American String Teachers Association has named Keith Ziolkowski as Middle School Orchestra Teacher of the Year. Mr. Ziolkowski is the Orchestra Director at Avon Middle Schools North and South. He will be recognized at an upcoming awards ceremony.
Mr. Ziolkowski directed the Avon Middle Schools Chamber Orchestra last year at the Annual Midwest Clinic. The Orchestra Program at Avon Schools is in its 10th year serving more than 700 students in grades 6 through 12.
Bridges in Mathematics: Reporting Update
Changes are coming to how families will receive progress updates for math with our new math program, Bridges in Mathematics. In follow-up to the letter from the school’s principal in early November, you may visit http://www.avon-schools.org/Page/13315 to watch a short video that explains the changes and to view sample reports. Please contact your school’s principal with questions. Support for families with Bridges in Mathematics can also be found on the following website: http://www.mathlearningcenter.org/support/bridges
AHS Student Selected as U.S. Senate Youth Delegate
Avon High School Student Rushi Patel has been selected as one of only two students to represent Indiana as a delegate to the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). The program will be held in Washington, D.C. March 4 -11, 2017. In addition, Rushi will receive a $10,000 college scholarship!
The USSYP was founded in 1962 through Senate Resolution and each year two of the highest-achieving students from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education system overseas are selected through an extremely competitive merit-based selection process held at the state departments of education nationwide.
“This is exciting news for Rushi and the entire AHS student body,” said AHS Principal Matt Shockley. “Rushi is a hard-working, diligent student and this exemplary recognition is a reflection of his work inside and outside of the classroom.”
In March, Rushi will spend a week in Washington experiencing national government in action. He, along with other student delegates, will hear major policy addresses by senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of other federal agencies, as well as participate in a meeting with a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
For more information about the USSYP, please visit www.ussenateyouth.org.
AHS Marching Black & Gold Win 2016 ISSMA Championship
The Avon High School Marching Black and Gold won the 2016 ISSMA (Indiana State School Music Association) State Championship (Class A)! This is the 13th championship (13 state titles in 16 years) for AHS. The band is led by Director Jay Webb. He is now the winningest band director in Indiana’s 200-year history.
“The Band program is a great deal of pride for the school & community,” said AHS Principal Matt Shockley. “Winning 13 straight championships doesn’t happen by accident. There is no group who works harder.”
During the intense competition, ACSC Superintendent Dr. Maggie Hoernemann said she saw nothing but “beauty and competitive grace” from the students. “They make all of us better and I could not be more proud!”
The ISSMA (Indiana State School Music Association) Marching Band State Finals were held at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis. This event is the culmination of many weeks of marching band competitions across the state of Indiana, bringing together the top 10 bands across 4 classes (A, B, C, & D) chosen from the Top 10 in each class in Semi-State competition during the previous weekend. This event typically attracts more than 20,000 marching band fans from across the state throughout the day.
Here are links to media coverage of the event:
Indy Star: http://tinyurl.com/jx8shf4
Here Comes the Bus is FREE to Avon Families
Winter weather is right around the corner! This can make for slower than normal traffic and occasionally cause buses to run a little behind schedule. Be sure to download the free Here Comes the Bus app from the App Store or Google Play. Just sign up and you will know exactly where your child's bus can be found. You can even receive alerts when it is near your home.
Here Comes the Bus is offered as a FREE service to ACSC families. A school code is needed to sign up for the program. The code, further instructions and additional links can be found on the ACSC Transportation web page at http://www.avon-schools.org/Page/157.
Highly motivated individuals are encouraged to apply via the Applitrack application system located on the Avon Community School Corporation Human Resources home page: http://www.avon-schools.org/Page/9708. Salary Benefits: $80 for a whole day and $40 for a half day.