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Avon Grove Charter School News June 2020

We are excited to announce that the Early Learning Center has been recognized as a Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Distinguished School for providing broad access to transformative learning opportunities for students through PLTW Launch in grades K-3.

Of over 100 Primary/Elementary schools across PA that utilize Project Lead the Way’s Launch curriculum, Avon Grove Charter School is one of three schools to receive the honor and one of only 404 schools across the country.

The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs. To be eligible for the designation, Avon Grove Charter School had to offer at least two PLTW Launch modules at each grade level and have more than 75 percent of the student body participating during the 2018-19 school year. AGCS currently offers at least 3 modules at each grade level (K-3) and 100% of our students participate.

Studies show that students decide as early as elementary school whether they like, and think they are good at, math and science. Whether designing a car safety belt or building digital animations based on their own short stories, PLTW Launch students engage in critical and creative thinking, build teamwork skills, and develop a passion for and confidence in STEM subjects.

We are extremely honored to be recognized by PLTW in our efforts to provide students with inspiring, engaging, and empowering learning opportunities.

Congratulations to the Kindergarten Class - This Little Light of Mine

Congratulations to the 8th Grade Class - Graduation Ceremony celebrated on May 31, 2020

Class of 2020 Graduation Announcement

Monday, July 13th at 7:00 PM

Christian Life Center

125 Saginaw Road, Lincoln University, Pa 19352

Senior Parents - please review email sent on June 1st.

Class of 2020 United Together

COVID-19 Updates

As we move into the summer months, remember to regularly visit the AGCS website for updates and resources from Administration.

COVID-19 Resource Page hosts the following information:

  • Information from Governor Tom Wolf
  • AGCS Continuity of Education Plan
  • Health Information on the Coronavirus

Grab N Go Meals Continues Through Out the Summer!

Health Services Information

Health Services continues to support the AGCS community. Questions can be directed to the Nursing Department

Holly Verderame, RN, MSN, CSN hverderame@agcharter.org

Erica Bradshaw, MSN, RN, CSN ebradshaw@agcharter.orgS

Samantha Miller-Hall, RN, MSN, NCSN smillerhall@agcharter.org

Mental Health Awareness Month May 2020

What is Mental Health Awareness Month?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), millions of Americans suffer from mental illness every year. NAMI is working to raise awareness about mental health. “Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.”

"You are Not Alone"

This year’s theme comes at a time that many people feel alone or disconnected from each other. NAMI belives that “Now more than ever before, it is important for the mental health community to come together and show the world that no one should ever feel alone. The campaign builds connection and increases awareness with the digital tools that make connection possible during a climate of physical distancing.”

For more information and resources on mental health, visit the NAMI website, www.nami.org, or call 800-950-NAMI.

Additional Mental Health & Resources By Dr. Shari Mann, AGCS School Psychologist

The COVID-19 Pandemic has certainly impacted us all; disrupting our daily routines, and interfering with our engagement in many important life events. This has been a difficult time for children and adults alike. Yet, in these times, there are many reminders of the support that we are able to provide one another, even from far away.

A favorite go-to resource during this time has been the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) webpage. NASP provides checklists, activities, and podcasts, which offer guidance to families, educators, and clinicians on how to respond during this time.

Mindfulness is a helpful technique for managing stress and anxiety. The Mayo Clinic published a few shorts clips on how mindfulness and other coping techniques can be utilized during this time.

A few key things to remember and practice during this time:

  • Acknowledge your feelings. Don’t discount the negative, and don’t criticize yourself for feeling your emotions. This is an unfamiliar, unpredictable, and unsettling time period, and we’ve had to adjust very quickly to the rapidly changing situation. Providing yourself care and acceptance for how you feel is one of the most powerful things you can do.
  • Recognize how you’ve adapted to this ever-changing situation. Whether you feel overwhelmed, tired, or energized by your efforts, you are making your situation work and are becoming stronger as a result.
  • Identify new things you’ve learned; whether about yourself or in general.
  • Identify positive experiences over the last few months.
  • Communicate with others via phone call, zoom, or 6-feet meet-ups (when/if appropriate). Share your feelings and experiences. We are all in this together.
  • Engage in a family activity at home (e.g. puzzles, cooking, board games). Some ideas for family activities: https://www.cusd80.com/cms/lib/AZ01001175/Centricity/Domain/9753/Instant%20Family%20Positivity%20Booster%20-%20Big%20Life%20Journal.pdf
  • Find your personal balance of social distancing. Remember that each person has their own values and comfort level with the current restrictions and measures. Take time to acknowledge and understand your own values and comfort. Respect yourself and others.
  • Although there is no clear end in sight, the current situation will not last forever.

Special Education Extended School Year

After careful consideration, we have made the decision to hold our Extended School Year in a virtual format. While it has been our hope to return to the building and see all of our students' faces this summer, we feel that prematurely returning to the building could jeopardize the health and safety of our students and staff. Additionally, at this point we do not know when the stay at home order will be lifted. While this decision may be early amidst uncertainty for the future of the state and county, we felt that making this decision now in order to move forward with planning is a necessary next step. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be figuring out all of the details and sending families individual schedules, but we promise to make it as fun and exciting as it would be in the traditional sense. Virtual hugs to all of our families, and we’re looking forward to all of our virtual summer adventures together!

We will be planning special events and activities to honor our essential workers and community heroes. Including writing letters, virtual field trips, guest speakers, and more.

Remember to keep devices at home. Please do not turn your equipment in. We will collect your device at the end of ESY

Students will have Live scheduled sessions in alignment with their IEP goals between the hours of 8:30 - 11:30 am Mon-Thurs similar to the current format.

-Individual student schedules and teacher assignments will be sent home by June 18th. Calendar invitations for these sessions will be sent directly to students' school e-mails from the ESY teacher.

Thursday, June 25th 5:00 pm: optional parent tech training on digital platforms.

Friday, June 26th Teacher Meet & Greet with virtual classroom tour. Invites will be sent from the ESY teacher.

Have Special Education questions or concerns, contact Ryan Taylor (rtaylor@agcharter.org) or Caitlin Leonard (cleonard@agcharter.org)

Special Education Information & Resources

The AGCS tradition of Arts Fest continues this year as the Visual & Performing Arts Department presented the 1st Virtual Arts Fest. Enjoy over 600 submissions from our talented students.
May 4th - 8th, AGCS celebrated Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week. Teachers were honored all week long with surprises from their students & Administration. The week kicked off with a special delivery of stickers celebrating their work & dedication. These stickers, specifically made for their computers, captured their strength and ingenuity during the school closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Inspirational signs blanketed the communities where our teachers and staff live. Lastly, a video capturing the journey of "Teaching from Home" was crafted. Parents and students did not let that week go by without their own celebrations of thanks for their teachers. There were flower deliveries, goodie baskets & car parades. Thank you to all of our families for your support of the AGCS Teaching Staff.

~ Summer Work ~

Josten's Fan Shop is open until Sunday, June 14, 2020

Thank you for joining in the Virtual Parent Series. Please share your thoughts, feedback & suggestions on the Virtual Parent Series and what you would like to see offered in 2020-2021.

This spring, the AGCS Micro Farm welcomed a new arrival into the Shetland Sheep Flock. Ms. Krista Lauterwald shares that Hope is doing well and she looks forward to having the students back at the Micro Farm.

Board of Trustees Information

Board Meeting Recap

Head of School Report

Continuity of Education

We are actively planning for a number of potential scenarios for what school operations could potentially look like in Fall 2020. We appreciate the feedback below on the survey which will continue to help us support our students, families and drive decision making.

Fair Funding Update

Resolution NO 2020-14: This resolution of the Board of Trustees of the Avon Grove Charter School opposes Governor Wolf’s proposed funding cuts directed at charter schools and their families and students.

Graduation Ceremonies

Graduation is an important milestone for Seniors, AGCS has announced that Senior Graduation will be on Monday, July 13th, 2020 at 7:00 pm. This outdoor graduation will allow students the opportunity to walk a stage in their cap and gown and celebrate together with their classmates and families. In order to safely make this happen, there are several guidelines that must take place. We will be sending you information about social distancing and safety procedures in the week leading up to graduation.

Senior graduation will commence on Monday, July 13th at 7 pm. The graduation will take place at the Christian Life Center located at 125 Saginaw Rd Lincoln University, PA. 19352

In the event graduation needs to be cancelled due to weather conditions, the rain date is Thursday, July 16th.

Transportation Form Notice

AGCS requires that families provide an updated transportation request form for ALL students on a yearly basis.

Below is your school district’s specific digital transportation form for the 2020-2021 school year.

This form is required to be completed by every family, for every student, whether you are requesting or declining transportation services by your district.

If your district allows/requires any type of child-care information for alternative transportation you must also fill out the associated questions included in the form.

The deadline to ensure that your students have been assigned transportation arrangements for the 2020-2021 school year is June 1, 2020.

This process is only for returning AGCS students. All new students/kindergarten students for the 2020-2021 school year complete their forms as part of the registration paperwork process.

Communications

Avon Grove Charter School is committed to community communication. We are in the process of updating our website with a launch happening in July 2020. The new website is well designed and will provide even better navigation.

AGCS has been in constant, ongoing communication with its staff, families, students and stakeholders throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The AGCS Community has received regular email communication via SchoolMessenger informing them of school-based decisions related to the school closure, instruction, athletics, events, and activities.

Bishop's Corona Diaries - Day 57

Kristen Bishop, Head of School, shares the last edition of Bishop's Corona Diaries.

Finally, our Communications and Social Media team has been leveraging the school’s social media platforms to keep our community connected and informed. Please continue to visit regularly the school website at

Finance and Facilities Committees Update

The 2020-2021 fiscal year budget was presented to the Board on May 19th, 2020 for the members’ review and consideration to approve at the June 16th, 2020 public board meeting. A copy of the budget and board presentation can be found on the school website, under, May 19th, 2020 board meeting agenda as an attachment.

Policy & Procedure Updates

Policies Approved

  1. Finances Policy 2046: Student Wellness
  2. Finances Policy 4008: Bank Accounts
  3. Finances Policy 4026.1 Travel Reimbursement - Federal programs
  4. Finances Policy 4019: Audit
  5. Finances Policy 4022: GASB Statement 34
  6. Operations Policy 6011: Bonding

UPCOMING EVENTS & MEETNGS

  • June 8th, 2020 Summer Hours Begin 8:00 a, - 2:00 pm
  • June 8th, 2020 ELC & State Road Material Drop Off - refer to school messenger
  • June 8th, 2020 11:00 am - Grab & Go Meals, State Road Campus
  • June 9th, 2020 ELC & State Road Material Drop Off - refer to school messenger
  • June 10th, 2020 11:00 am - Grab & Go Meals, State Road Campus
  • June 10th, 2020 ELC & State Road Material Drop Off - refer to school messenger
  • June 14th, 2020 Josten's Fan Shop Closes
  • June 16th, 2020, 7:30 PM - June Board of Trustees Meeting
  • June 22nd, 2020 Summer Work Sent Out
  • June 24th, 2020, 7:30 PM - Annual Board of Trustees Meeting
  • June 25th 5:00 pm Optional ESY Parent Tech Training on digital platforms
  • June 26th ESY Teacher Meet & Greet with virtual classroom tour.
  • July 13th, 2020 7:00 pm Senior Graduation, Christian Life Center, 125 Saginaw Road, Lincoln University, PA 19352