AVOCA SCHOOL DISTRICT #37 Community Newsletter January 2015 Volume 18 THE VISION Dr. Kevin Jauch, Superintendent 2921 Illinois Rd., Wilmette, IL 60091 847-251-3587 http://avoca37.org Avoca Celebrates Its Diversity at Intercultural Dinner & Talent Show Article contributed by Lourdes Cornelius, Intercultural Dinner and Talent Show Co-chair With the full support of the Avoca PTC, Avoca School District 37 celebrated its first Intercultural Dinner and Talent Show. The event took place in the gymnasium at Marie Murphy School. Seventy-five families made dishes representing 30 different countries. “Originally we wanted each country to have its own table at the dinner. As the emails continued to pour in, we knew we would have to combine countries on a table in order to leave room for the guests,” recalled co-chair Miyako Hasegawa-Seals. Knowing that there would be several families representing the same country, Country Ambassadors were assigned. Sarika Jathar, Country Ambassador for India, began hosting weekly meetings in her home for 12 families. “We quickly divided responsibilities for food, decorations and talent show.” The talent show portion also proved to be a success. “We were counting on children performing a talent that they were comfortable with and therefore would not need much rehearsal time,” said co-chair Lourdes Cornelius. “We complemented our children’s acts with outside cultural performers.” The event’s objective was to be a community builder. Families worked with other families to make dishes, create country poster boards and decorate their tables,” reflected co-chair Colleen Rosenthal. While typical census statistics lump students into five categories of race, this evening left everyone excited and in amazement of just how diverse Avoca is! S&P Assigns Avoca AAA Bond Rating In preparation for issuing Life Safety Bonds to address roofing, security, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and other necessary life safety projects, the Avoca School District reached out to Standard and Poors Financial Services to procure a bond rating. The process involved a 50+ page preliminary official statement (POS) that was compiled by District Administration and the District’s Financial Advisor from PMA Securities, as well as an extensive telephone interview. Citing Avoca’s historical trend data to guide revenue and expenditure assumptions; monthly budget-to-actual financial performance reports; and a five-year long-term financial plan, Standard and Poors issued Avoca School District 37 a ‘AAA’ long-term bond rating! In its summary to the district, S & P stated that the ‘AAA’ long-term rating is a reflection of their assessment of Avoca’s: Very strong income levels and extremely strong market value per capita indicators; Very strong available fund balance; and Good financial management practices and policies. This bond rating was sought by the District in preparation for the issuance of approximately $3,700,000 in general obligation, Life Safety bonds. To learn more about that topic, see the Board Brief blurb on page 3 titled Avoca Bond Issuance to be paid back at 1.25%. X-Country Team Article contributed by Tyler Ackerman, 7th Grade Student and X-country Team Member Coming Events: PARCC Parent This season Marie Murphy School set up a fun, little cross country Information Meeting - MM team for the first time ever! A group of parents, along with Mrs. Tuesday, February 3 | 7:00-8:00pm Geidner, the librarian from Avoca West, came together to form the MM - JMP Community Center running club. PARCC Parent Information Meeting - AW It didn’t matter if you were the fastest one there or the slowest; all Friday, February 5 | 7:00-8:00pm that mattered was that we were out there having a good time. We AW - North Gym practiced before school every day except Monday. I knew I was good at running before this, but I viewed running as an individual PTC Meeting sport. Now I see and understand how running is a team sport. Not Wednesday, February 11 | 7:00pm AW - ITC only is it a team sport by depending on your teammate’s times, but it is also a team sport because you need the support and AW 2nd Grade Music Performance encouragement from your team. In every race I ran there was always someone on the sideline cheering me on. I was surprised by how many kids got up and were motivated to come early. We mostly ran outside even on cold days. For meets we wore fun, neon shirts that were super cool because you could see them from far away and recognize our team. Thursday, February 12 | 6:30-7:30 pm AW - South Gym President’s Day Monday, February 16 | No School Teacher Institute Day Tuesday, February 17 | No School PTC Meeting Wednesday, March 4 | 7:00pm MM - JMP Community Center AW Kindergarten Orientation For Incoming Kindergarten Families Wednesday, March 11 | 6:00-7:00pm AW 1st Grade Music Performance Monday, March 16 | 6:00-7:00 pm AW - South Gym Sizzling Strings Concert We had cross country meets about once every two weeks, and they were really fun. In the morning on the day of the meet we would all go to the Marie Murphy community room and have a satisfying pre-race breakfast. We raced against other schools that had been preparing a lot more than we had, and surprisingly we did pretty well. Thursday, March 19 | 7:00-8:00pm MM – Main Gym Parent Teacher Conferences ½ Day Student Attendance Wednesday, March 25 Thursday, March 26 Teacher Institute Day Friday, March 27 | No School Spring Break Saturday, March 28 – Sunday, April 5 PTC Meeting Wednesday, April 8 | 7:00pm AW - ITC Board Briefs Summer School Tuition Chief School Business Official, Beth Dever discussed the summer school fee structure. Her recommendation for 2015 is below: Course Cost Days Per Week Trans. Cost Basic $170 5 $115 Science/Writing $160 4 $100 D39 Summer Enrichment $300 3 NA Life Safety Bond Parameters Resolution Tammie Beckwith Schallmo from PMA Securities discussed with the Board of Education and the Avoca Administrative Team the life safety bond parameters resolution recapping the current debt owed by the Avoca School District and how that debt was structured. Board of Education Goal Updates Dr. Jauch updated the BOE regarding the research that had been conducted and improvements that have been implemented towards enhancing Avoca’s communication. Dr. Jauch also updated the BOE on the district’s efforts to audit its technology policies, security and infrastructure. DLA Architects for Life Safety Project for 2015 Chief School Business Official Beth Dever discussed that DLA Architects would facilitate the completion of the following items in 2015 for the Avoca School District: Replacement of six (6) air handlers at MM Replacement of (8) exhaust fans at MM Security renovations at MM Security renovations at AW Replacement of eight (8) unit ventilators at AW Reconfiguration of the existing Nurse’s toilet for ADA compliance at AW Work related to thirty-eight (38) new doors under life safety for the following reasons: Fire rating Poorly functioning hardware Hardware missing Miscellaneous floor, wall, casework and ceiling replacement and modification as required Tax Levy The Board approved the adoption of the 2014 Tax Levy. The rate of increase was 3.0% for the 2014 operating levy. 2015-2016 School Calendar Proposal Superintendent Dr. Jauch presented to the Board of Education six drafts of the 2015-2016 school calendar. Dr. Jauch explained that the school calendar aligns with New Trier High School and the surrounding sender districts for winter and spring breaks. Avoca Life Safety Bond Issuance to be Paid Back at 1.25% Previous discussions detailed Avoca’s extensive Life Safety Survey, highlighting the work that needed to be done to address issues regarding security, roofs and heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). On November 20 the Avoca Board of Education (BOE) held its state mandated Bond Issuance Notification Act Hearing and passed a resolution to issue General Obligation Limited Tax School Bonds at its regularly scheduled December BOE meeting. The BOE chose to structure the approximately $3.7M bond issuance in a manner that extends the district’s debt at the exact same level that it has been at since tax levy year 2002. Since that time, the district has annually paid approximately $731,000 towards its debt service. With this latest bond issuance, the District will continue to pay this amount through fiscal year 2022 in order to address these essential building projects. Upon the advice of PMA Securities, the District pursued a competitive bond sale on January 14. So attractive were the district’s ‘AAA’ general obligation municipal bonds to investors that Avoca received 48 bids from seven financial houses in the approximately 20 minute window in which the bonds were offered. This highly competitive event led to Avoca eventually offering just under $3,700,000 worth of bonds to be paid back at an interest rate of 1.25%! Public Hearing Date for Amended Budget for FY Beginning July 1, 2014 At its January 22 meeting, the Board approved to schedule a 2015 public hearing date for amended budget for FY beginning July 1, 2014 on March 19, 2015, at 6:15 p.m. in the Joseph M. Porto Community Center at Marie Murphy School. Upcoming Board meeting dates include: 2/2 5:30 p.m. – Committee of the Whole 2/19 5:30 p.m. – Board Finance Committee 2/19 6:30 p.m. – Board of Education 3/2 5:30 p.m. – Committee of the Whole 3/19 5:30 p.m. – Board Finance Committee 3/19 6:15 p.m. – Public Hearing 3/19 6:30 p.m. – Board of Education 4/6 5:30 p.m. – Committee of the Whole 4/28 5:30 p.m. – Board Finance Committee 4/28 6:30 p.m. – Board of Education Technology Hour of Code Article contributed by Kelli Lane, Technology Facilitator During Computer Science Education Week last December, Avoca School District 37 participated in the global initiative Hour of Code. Created by Code.org, Hour of Code is a one hour introduction to computer science, designed to show that anyone can learn the basics of programming. Celebrities, computer techs, students, and even President Obama participated! Hour of Code, though only two years old, has become a phenomenon with over 75,000 unique coding events world wide registered this year alone! Sites such as Kahn Academy, Scratch, and other computer science organizations created spin-offs using the same easy, block-based, one hour programming model. At Marie Murphy School, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students worked individually or in groups to explore their choice of coding websites such as the official Hour of Code website, Made With Code by Google, Kahn Academy: Hour of Code, and Scratch. They created their own version of the popular Flappy Bird app, built avatars, programmed the lights on a tree in Washington D.C., and created drum beats using elements of various programming languages such as HTML, Java, and J <Finish>. But coding is not just a one time event at Avoca. Science teacher Jim Gravagna uses Lego Mindstorm, an icon based programming kit, in his 8th grade class. Science Olympiad has to program a controller for a robot using C++ as part of their competition. 2nd grade learns Scratch, a block based coding program developed by MIT. 3rd grade uses PicoCrickets, another program developed by MIT, which allows programming of mini units with motors, sound boxes, and LED lights. If you would like to view the sites students used, check out the Hour of Code list on www.avoca37.org/lanek. We invite the Avoca Community to: Marie Murphy Science Olympiad e When: Where: Time: Cost: a Saturday, February 28 Marie Murphy School 8:30am - 12:00pm $5 includes pancake breakfast, coffee and/or juice Raffle for incredible items! $1/ticket or 6 tickets for $5 Watch demonstrations of Gliders, Wheeled Vehicle, Robocross and more! Hands on activities for kids of ALL ages! t Mark your calendars, because you’re Invited! The Avoca Orchestra Presents: Sizzlin’ Strings Thursday, March 19, 2015 The Avoca Orchestra Program will be featured in a performance entitled Sizzlin’ Strings on Thursday, March 19, 7:00 pm, with a repeat performance on Friday, March 20, at 9:00 am. Both performances will take place in the Marie Murphy School gymnasium. Join almost 200 string instrument players in grades 3 through 8 from Avoca West Elementary and Marie Murphy Schools! The performance will feature four orchestras, plus a Strolling Strings ensemble. Pieces performed will include pop songs, classical music and traditional fiddling tunes, including Best of Green Day and All About that Bass! Marie Murphy School 2921 Illinois Road, Wilmette March 19, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. March 20, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Join us for this fun, not-to-be-missed concert! Community members welcome! Marie Murphy Students Receive Top Writing Honors Article contributed by Kathy Pagakis, 7th Grade Language Arts Teacher Marie Murphy 7th grade writers, Zach Stein and Jules Brown, were awarded 1st and 2nd place respectively in the Wilmette Optimist Club’s annual creative writing contest. Zach was awarded first prize for his action story titled Horror Gone Wrong, a humorous and creative take on childhood fears. Jules won 2nd prize for Freak, a dark tale with a unique twist on social acceptance and the perspective of others. This annual contest sponsored by the Wilmette Optimist Club gives young people an opportunity to express themselves through the process of creative writing, and is open to all students who attend school within the village of Wilmette. Both Zach and Jules will be awarded a monetary prize and will have the opportunity to read their writing at an upcoming Wilmette Optimist Club meeting. Their stories will also be featured in upcoming issues of the Marie Murphy Newspaper, The Voice of the Vikings, at http://avoca37.org/mariemurphy/voice-of-theviking/ AVOCA BOARD OF EDUCATION 2921 Illinois Road Wilmette, IL 60091 Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 49 Wilmette, IL “The Mission of the Avoca School District is to maximize the unique potential of each child we serve.” You’re Invited to Avoca West’s Kindergarten Parent Orientation Who: When: Where: Why: Parents of those students who will be 5 by September 1st, 2015 Wednesday, March 11th 6:00-7:00pm* Avoca West’s ITC To welcome you into our Viking family! We hope you’ll make plans to join us to learn more about kindergarten life in District 37. The evening will be a time for our kindergarten teachers to share with parents a bit about a typical day in kindergarten, how to prepare your child for kindergarten, and to answer any questions you may have about making the transition to elementary school. This is a wonderful time to meet new families and to begin this exciting process. We hope to see you there! Additionally, our DOORS WILL OPEN AT 5:30 for those parents who wish to begin the registration process. In order to do so, please come with your child’s birth certificate and two proofs of residency. *Please reach out to those friends and neighbors who may not see this invitation. Thank you!
© Copyright 2018