When the school year begins in 2015, students in 6th, 8th and 9th grades will receive a laptop computer for classroom instruction. In the 2016-17 school year, STEP-UP will expand to include all students in 5th through 12th grades.
“We are excited to bring the STEP-UP Program to our schools,” said ACSC Technology Director Jason Brames. “Technology based tools offer greater opportunities for collaborative learning and will enhance teaching and learning in our schools.”
ACSC teachers are receiving specialized professional development and will use up-to-date technology curriculum in the classroom. When students receive their computers, they will receive age-appropriate instruction regarding digital citizenship. Parent education sessions will be held at the schools for Avon families to ensure a smooth transition to STEP-UP.
To learn more about the STEP-UP Program, please visit www.avon-schools.org/stepup. There is a video, FAQ and other details to assist Avon families.
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
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
Goal #5: “Develop ongoing methods to maximize school district revenue and manage resources efficiently in support of the strategic plan.”
The detailed work of the Efficiency Task Force 2015 yielded results that will bring an estimated savings of $350,000 to our school system. A month ago, the School Board voted on boundary and transportation adjustments that will take effect in the 2015-16 school year. Detailed information is posted under the “District News” tab on this website and on the ETF web page (http://www.avon-schools.org/Page/12062).
We continue to look in every barrel and kick every can to seek efficiencies and cost savings for our school corporation. We are keeping a vigilant eye on the progress of the state legislators concerning the Indiana school funding formula. Several of our parents and community members have visited some of the sessions at the State House to listen and to testify. Some of them are a part of the Avon Oriole Advocates. The Oriole Advocates is a group of concerned citizens working to promote student achievement and community engagement in our schools. Their vision is to engage the Avon-Washington Township community and local and state-level leaders to help ACSC remain one of the premier school corporations in Indiana. They are currently advocating for change to the Indiana school funding formula. More information about the Oriole Advocates can be found here: http://orioleadvocates.com/wp/about-us/.
Goal #3: “Enhance communications at all levels to build stronger, richer and more authentic relationships.”
We can never communicate too much. We applaud our community for its in-depth involvement in the Efficiency Task Force process. To summarize:
All of this input led to the Board making very informed decisions for changes in the 2015-16 school year.
Simply put, we could not have done it without you. Thank you for engaging with us to increase efficiencies and manage our resources.
Let’s finish strong. Continue to encourage your children and be sure to thank their teachers for their hard work.
As always, I welcome your feedback. Feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Educate. Excite. Excel.
7:00 PM School Board Meeting