Students, Families, and Community Members:
The days of school buildings lying dormant in July and August are long gone. Between summer enrichment opportunities, extended school year programming, Avon Recreation, Avon Community Theater, community swim, sports camps, curriculum writing, and professional learning workshops, it seems the parking lots and hallways have never been empty. This is a welcome experience because students and staff bring the energy to these buildings. They are our pulse, and we are alive and well.
The other day, I was thinking about the year to come while mowing. Like most property and dog owners, I did a walk about before starting, a perimeter check of sorts, making sure that sticks, balls, frisbees etc. were removed from the overgrown green. Very few items were found. The grass remains uncommonly green for August. Seemed like it was going to be a good run. Sunshine. Light wind. Full tank. Clear yard. Start your engine.
But, sure enough, on the second pass it was clear a baseball was missed. Tooth torn and browned out, surely it would have been spotted had the lawn been mowed five days before. The ‘time saving’ options ran through my head. The lean and retrieve? The lean and flick? The slow nudge drive by? (A delicate operation that uses the mower tires or mower deck itself to gently nudge the ball out of the way while making a slow pass). It was clear that I was avoiding the thing that needed to be done. With the lesser options considered and rejected, I disengaged the blades, stopped the tractor, dismounted, went over and removed the ball while getting a familiar side-eyed stare from the dog as she realized it was not play time. With the obstacle out of the way, the mowing resumed. The small interruption to do the right thing the right way literally resulted in a clearer path while preserving safety. The best outcome.
As an educator and parent, we are trained to look for the lesson, the exit ticket. There it was. Nothing new, but a good reminder: In order to do things right we have to avoid the tempting short cut and stay focused on the actions that lead to the best outcomes.
We are heading into what is sure to be a year of growth and transition due a number of exciting opportunities coming our way. We welcome the school year to come, aware that we are moving toward some happenings that will impact how we “do school.” It is important to keep in mind the idea that progress involves change.
Important Updates for 2023-2024
Instructional Time and Schedule- Through the excellent cooperation of the Avon Teachers’ Association, ACS is able to make adjustments to the staff and student schedules. These changes will result in approximately 15 minutes of additional instructional time each day. Time is our most precious resource. Until this recent adjustment, Avon teachers and students were behind the region in terms of instructional time. The ATA was an excellent partner in examining this issue. The new student and staff schedules for the year are in the table below.
Staff: 8:10 a.m.
Students: 8:50 a.m.
Staff: 3:30 p.m.
Students: 3:15 p.m.*
Staff: 7:40 a.m.
Students: 7:50 a.m.
Staff: 3:00 p.m.
Students: 2:29 p.m.
* Parent pick-up/bus dismissal begins at approximately 3:05 p.m.
Name and Imagery Update- There is a great deal of information on the Avon Central School District website that details the work happening in this area. This page highlights the actions that led to the need for a new direction. Please visit the site for both the background on the process as well as the most up to date information.
Recently, ACS formed a stakeholder committee to explore options for a new name and imagery. At its first meeting, members of the committee advocated strongly for an open period that allowed all Avon community members the opportunity to submit ideas for consideration. We are accepting ideas via a digital survey or by simply calling the district office and speaking with the District Clerk who can be reached at 585-226-2455 x1320. The survey can be accessed via this link which is also on the district website, or this QR code.
Facilities Improvements- In December, Avon community voters approved a $23.9 million capital improvement project that will address a number facilities improvements including, but not limited to, building condition and safety improvements, replacement of dated and malfunctioning communication systems, remodeled physical education and athletic space, improved high traffic student use spaces, the creation of a playground specifically designed for the youngest learners, improved career and wellness centers at both the Middle School and High School, and innovative learning spaces to designed to modernize STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). These improvements will cause some interruptions as the work cannot all be scheduled for July and August. Please know that safety will be our top priority as we develop construction schedules.
In previous communications, I’ve shared one of my favorite quotations. It comes from author and theologian, Robert Fulghum. He asserted in one of his books, “Everything with life in it must change and grow, or die.” We are excited for the opportunities on the horizon, the growth and changes.
We are excited to begin the new year, to greet the students again. Welcome to the 2023-2024 school year. It is going to be a great one!
Ryan P. Pacatte, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Avon Central School District