Recently, the Avon Board of Education, along with all public schools in New York State, received a memorandum issued from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) related to the use of Indigenous (Native American) names, imagery, and mascots. Specifically, the communication conveyed that by July 1, 2023, public schools are to establish a clear timeline to discontinue this practice of using these Native American references.
The Avon Board of Education has not made any official decisions about any of this, but they continue to stay apprised of developments and gather more information. We recognize the importance of the coming work given Avon's proud traditions.
Background information can be found here.
Most recent updated information can be found here and here.
Timeline of communication can be found here.
As we continue to further navigate the NYSED directive, we are using Thought Exchange to allow everyone a chance to share their perspectives and to help our district to understand what’s most important to members of our community.
Most recently on this thread of the Thought Exchange, there were 560 participants, 313 of which shared their thoughts, 376 rated thoughts, and 315 participants explored thoughts.
The Stakeholder Team Will Create a Process To Select Name And Future Imagery-
We value the supportive relationship that exists between the district and the Avon community. The BOE recognizes the importance of gathering additional perspectives about Avon’s historical use of Indigenous names and various images as it also considers its responsibilities. To help lead the work ahead, Dr. James Colt and Mr. Timothy Hayes, both life-long Avonites, will establish and deliver a collaborative process that will help ensure the district meets its responsibilities while also gathering community input. It is anticipated that the charge to the facilitators will be to:
●Form a representative stakeholder planning team;
● Research and articulate an official record of Avon’s historical use of names, images, and logos;
● Plan and facilitate a process that gathers additional perspectives regarding Avon’s historical use of names, images, and mascots; and
● Develop a proposal for review by the BOE that considers community input while appropriately addressing the charges from NYSED and the Board.
It is anticipated that the charge to the stakeholder committee will be to:
● Explore options and identify a name (nickname) to be formally adopted via resolution by the BOE and used for the future of the district;
● Establish the appropriate process to gather additional feedback from the community to identify new official images to be used in association with the agreed upon name (nickname) for the district;
● Catalog all uses of imagery that need to be respectfully addressed and recommend a process and timeline for implementing the changes as practical.
Please click the link below or use your phone to scan the QR code to fill out our survey to gather ideas from our community. All ideas will be considered by our committee. The survey ends at the close of business on September 7, 2023. Thank you.