January 14, 2013
I am pleased to communicate with you again and hope you are enjoying this unusual stretch of balmy weather.
The following is an update regarding the district’s continued review of all safety and security protocols and additional recommendations being contemplated and discussed with the Board of Education for possible submission to the Town Manager and Town Council.
On Monday, January 7th, Brandon Robertson, Town Manger; John Spang, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations and I attended a state-wide Security Symposium sponsored by many professional organizations representing school boards, superintendents, school business officials and other school based leaders. The symposium featured a number of national experts who provided participants a deeper understanding of the steps that should be considered when developing crisis prevention plans, emergency response plans and incident recovery plans. Many of the specific points made by the presenters validated much of the recent work in which we have been engaged and reaffirmed our methodical, systematic approach which we have utilized to review the various elements associated with the safety and security of our schools. If you are interested in reviewing the materials presented at the symposium, you may do so under the Security Symposium link at www.ctasbo.org (Connecticut Association of School Business Officials).
The information obtained at the symposium was used to guide a meeting I requested of all Town of Avon emergency department leaders on Wednesday, January 9th. There were many obvious purposes for requesting such a meeting. One of the primary reasons was to have each of our local trained experts review and comment on a comprehensive list of additional recommendations I am presenting to the Board of Education for their consideration in response to a preliminary safety and security audit led and conducted by John Spang, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations. Once the Board of Education receives the recommendations at its next meeting, Tuesday, January 15th, if it is appropriate to do so we will communicate those decisions. As noted in my last communication, I ask for your understanding that it may not be appropriate to share with you all of the procedures to be implemented to enhance the safety and security of our schools in the future.
Once again, I extend my sincere appreciation to all who continue to share with us their thoughts, opinions and concerns regarding the safety and security of our schools. All of what has come forward is being given our full attention in totality as we plan for additional security measures. I am also deeply appreciative to all town emergency department leaders for contributing their time, skill and expertise to advance in our work together in light of the most recent events.
With respect to other school district business, the annual joint meeting of Avon Parent Teacher Organizations, during which the 2013-2014 Board of Education Proposed Budget was reviewed, was held before a small audience last week. A summary presentation may be found on the school district website at www.avon.k12.ct.us. We also continue to maintain an email address to which you may send questions regarding the 2013-2014 proposed budget. All questions and answers will be posted on the district website.
Kindergarten registration for incoming students for the 2013-2014 school year is scheduled to begin. Children whose 5th birthday falls on or before December 31, 2013 are eligible to attend kindergarten in the Fall of 2013. Parents of eligible preschoolers are asked to register their child no later than Friday, March 15, 2013 at the Avon Board of Education Offices, 34 Simsbury Road. Registration information and the necessary forms are available on the district website. The Avon Board of Education registration office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you have any questions, please contact Cindy Werner at 860-404-4700, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by stopping by the Avon Board of Education Offices. Kindergarten parent orientation meetings will take place at Roaring Brook School on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. (snow date of Thursday, March 7) and at Pine Grove School on Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. (snow date of Thursday, March 14).
Last and certainly not least, the district is planning to host an additional informational session in the very near future at which The Common Core State Standards will be reviewed by Donna Nestler-Rusack, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. The “Common Core” continues to be the impetus driving the district’s curriculum revision work and also serves as a part of the rationale for some of the recently proposed program additions. We will be sure to send advanced notice of the informational session for your planning purposes.
Thank you for your continued support and enjoy a productive week.
Gary S. Mala, Superintendent of Schools