Messages from the Superintendent:

August 24, 2016

Dear Parents, Staff and Concerned Citizens:

As families prepare for their children to return to school, I am sending this letter to provide specific information regarding how you can access your child’s/children’s bus routes for the 2016-2017 school year.

This school year, Specialty Transportation will once again be providing bus transport for our students who reside in Avon.  To access bus stop information specific for your child/children, click on the following Specialty Transportation link: http://www.infofinderi.com/ifi/?cid=STI4DVDGA581, type in your street address and zip code (do not include apartment information) on the left hand side information box.  You will be provided detailed information as to where your bus stop is located and the approximate times of pick up and drop off according to your home address.  As bus routes are reviewed and revised periodically, access to bus information will be available throughout the year on the “Transportation” link found under our “Parent” tab of our district website, www.avon.k12.ct.us.

As part of our contractual arrangement with Specialty Transportation, a representative will be available directly via telephone at (860) 470-7200.  Should you have any questions regarding the transportation routes, please do not hesitate to contact the representative at Specialty Transportation or email Kim Bush at kbush@specialtybusco.com.

I look forward to communicating with you again very soon as we draw closer to the start of the new school year.

I remain very truly yours,
Gary
Gary S. Mala
Superintendent of Schools
Avon Public School
gmala@avon.k12.ct.us

 

 

August 19, 2016

To read the superintendent's message regarding Avon's Smarter Balanced Test results, click here.

 

August 19, 2016

Dear Open Choice Parents,

We are delighted to welcome the new Open Choice students who have chosen to attend Avon Public Schools as their school of choice as well as the many Hartford students that are returning from their summer vacation.

As you prepare for the upcoming school year and your child considers the various extra-curricular activities at Thompson Brook School, Avon Middle School and Avon High School and sport opportunities at the middle school and high school levels, it may be helpful for you to know we have arranged for late bus transportation to accommodate the after school needs of our Open Choice students.

Below are guidelines from CREC regarding late buses for after school activities:

  • Late buses will be provided for Thompson Brook School, Avon Middle School and Avon High School students attending supervised school sponsored extra-curricular activities after school.
  • Late buses can only be provided when two or more Open Choice students need the bus for any particular day.
  • Students needing a late bus must alert their school office secretary no later than 10:30 am on that day.
  • Students serving detention may not ride the late bus home.
  • Late buses are not provided if there is an early dismissal at the school.

Below are Avon Public School guidelines regarding additional late buses for Avon High School student athletes:

  • Late bus transportation will be provided should practice run later than normal late bus times.
  • Arrangements will be made to drop off Open Choice student athletes to identified stops in Hartford when participating in “away events.”  You will be notified of the central stops in Hartford once identified according to need.
  • To arrange for this late bus transportation, student athletes must speak to their coach.  All coaches have been made aware of this arrangement for additional transportation.

It is my hope that in providing your student access to late bus transportation he/she will be afforded the opportunity to enjoy all the various extra-curricular activities Avon Public Schools has to offer.

I remain very truly yours,
Gary
Gary S. Mala
Superintendent of Schools
Avon Public School
gmala@avon.k12.ct.us

 

August 4, 2016

To read the superintendent's message regarding Avon's SAT results, click here.

 

August 1, 2016

Avon Board of Education Announces Appointment of Dr. Timothy Breslin to Interim Principal at Avon High School

The Board of Education and Central Administration of the Avon Pubic Schools are pleased to announce the appointment of Timothy Breslin, Ph.D. as Interim Principal of Avon High School. The appointment follows the departure of Christopher Tranberg, who has accepted the position of Director of Teaching and Talent Development in the Granby Public Schools

Dr. Breslin worked as Assistant Executive Director for High School Programs and Services at the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) from 2013 to 2016.  Prior to his work at CAS, he was principal of Farmington High School from 2007 to 2013 and from 1997 to 2003.  He served as principal of Litchfield High School from 2003 to 2007.  In addition, Dr. Breslin was Superintendent of Schools in Litchfield at Regional School District 6 from 1989 to 1997.

During his tenure at Farmington High School he was involved in several important school improvement initiatives, including the design and improvement of a standards-based approach to teaching and learning, the establishment of teaching teams in content areas, the strengthening of graduation requirements, and other programs to support the healthy development of high school students.

Dr. Breslin was named Connecticut’s High School Principal of the Year in 2009 and was awarded a CAS Letter of Commendation in 2010.

Dr. Breslin’s distinguished career included his work as principal of the high schools in Newtown, CT and Gettysburg, PA. Dr. Breslin has also served as assistant principal of the high schools in Chapel Hill, NC, and Mamaroneck, NY.  He began his career as a teacher of English and journalism at Catonsville High School in Catonsville, MD.

Dr. Breslin earned his Ph.D. in School Administration and Supervision from Duke University, a Masters in Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Science Degree from Mount Saint Mary's College in Maryland.

 

August 1, 2016

Avon Board of Education Announces Appointment of Michael Rafferty to Interim Principal at Avon Middle School

The Avon Board of Education and Central Administration of the Avon Public Schools are pleased to announcement the appointment of Michael Rafferty as Interim Principal at Avon Middle School.  This appointment follows the departure of Marco Famiglietti who has been appointed Assistant Superintendent at Clinton Public Schools.

Following his retirement as principal of Old Saybrook Middle School in 2013, Michael Rafferty served as a school administrator in Salem Schools, Salem, Connecticut and has remained involved in education as a consultant and interim administrator in various other school districts.

Mr. Rafferty has served more than 44 years in education, as Principal at Old Saybrook Middle School, Old Saybrook, CT; Dedham Middle School, Dedham, MA; and South School, Holbrook, MA.  He has also served as Assistant Principal at Austin Middle School, Lakeville, MA.  His professional experiences include Guidance Counselor, Guidance Director, Instructor of Speech/Student Services and Instructor of Communications.

Mr. Rafferty was awarded a CAS Letter of Commendation in 2001; CAS Citation of Commendation in 2003; United Stated Department of Education School of Excellence Award 1997-1998; Connecticut Association of Schools Middle Level School of the Year 1996-1997 and 2005-2006; Student Leadership Awards for 2002, 2006 and 2013; New England League of Middle Schools Administrator’s Award 2004; Parent and Community Group Award 2002; and School Spotlight Award from 2003 to 2015.

Michael Rafferty’s involvement in professional organizations include: Old Saybrook Administrative Association (President, Treasurer and Negotiator), CAS (President, Treasurer, and Board of Directors), Connecticut Association of Middle School Principals Board of Directors, Public Relations Standing Committee Chairman, Middle School Programs Committee Chairman and Middle School Student Leadership Conference Committee.  He has also served on the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Middle School Association, New England League of Middle Schools, Education Alliance at Brown University, Collaborative Alliance Network, and National School Leadership Network.

Mr. Rafferty earned his Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (6th Year Degree) from the University of Massachusetts.  He also earned his M.S. in Counselor Education and B.S. in Speech and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin.

 

July 29, 2016

Dear Parents, Staff and Concerned Citizens:

I hope this message finds you well and enjoying some relaxing time with your families.

It is with mixed emotion that I announce two of our building principals have accepted district level leadership positions in other school districts.  Avon Middle School Principal, Marco Famiglietti, has accepted the position of Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the Clinton Public Schools and Christopher Tranberg, Principal of Avon High School, has accepted the position of Director of Teaching and Talent Development (an assistant superintendent level position) in the Granby Public Schools.  These moves, while untimely for our district, are consistent with what both have discussed with me as their professional aspirations.

I know that I speak for many when I say that they will be missed. On behalf of the Board of Education, the Central Administration, students, parents and residents, I congratulate them on achieving their professional aspirations and thank them for their many contributions to their respective schools and the district as a whole.

To address this staffing challenge with only a month prior to school starting, I have secured long-time, experienced, very reputable professionals to serve as interim principals in both schools.  I expect that they will begin their service with us early next week at which time I will provide a public announcement releasing their names and credentials.  Our continued efforts to always secure the very best staff to serve our students, including building level leaders, has allowed us to engage two of the most accomplished principals in our state at the middle school and high school level.  I am confident in their awareness of how to advance the work of our district, our schools and our continued effort to provide highly regarded, rigorous programs to all students.

The process to identify individuals to fill the leadership vacancy at our middle school will commence in the early fall with a goal of filling the position mid-year.  The search and selection process for the high school principal position will begin approximately mid-year with an expectation to identify a candidate by the late spring.  In both instances, the district will use its proven, comprehensive search and selection process that includes forming a committee with membership representative of administrators, faculty, staff, parents, students and a member of the Board of Education. More specific details will be forthcoming in future communications.

With any change, there is a wide range of emotions experienced by all of us.  It is my professional belief that change provides many opportunities to improve and become more resilient and adaptive.  While I do not want to in any way diminish the importance of positional leaders, I have full confidence that our faculty and staff, will continue their excellent and much appreciated work through this period of transition.  I join you in recognizing the wealth of skills, talents, dedication and commitment to excellence of our staff.  I thank each of them in advance of what is sure to be a year of opportunities for us to capture all that is positive in our district and allow it to permeate our conversations as a community.

As always, I continue to appreciate having the opportunity to lead such a fine district and I look forward to our work in the new school year.

I remain very truly yours,
Gary
Gary S. Mala
Superintendent of Schools
Avon Public School
gmala@avon.k12.ct.us

 

July 7, 2016

Board of Education Appoints Dr. Kimberly Mearman, Director of Pupil Services

At a special meeting held on the evening of June 29, 2016, the Avon Board of Education unanimously appointed Dr. Kimberly Mearman to the position of Director of Pupil Services.

Most recently, Dr. Mearman held the position as Interim Associate Director at the State Education Resource Center (SERC) in Middletown, CT.  In her position, Dr. Mearman helped facilitate and support the organization’s engagement with legislative efforts; organize workforce development, facilitate partnership and funding development; provide programming in partnership with the Office of Early Childhood and Connecticut State Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, and also continued her work with program development and research/program evaluation which she supervised as Assistant Director at SERC.   Dr. Mearman began her teaching career as a special education teacher in 1990 in the Southington Public School system.

Kimberly Mearman earned her Bachelor of Science at the University of Connecticut, in Storrs, CT, graduating Cum Laude.  She went on to earn both her Master of Science and Sixth Year degree in Special Education at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, CT.  Dr. Mearman continued with her education earning a Ph.D. in Leadership at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI.  Her dissertation is titled:  “A Statistical Estimate of the Validity and Reliability of a Rubric Developed by Connecticut’s State Education Resource Center (SERC) to Evaluate the Quality of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for Students with Disabilities.”

Dr. Donna Nestler-Rusack, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, stated, "We are thrilled to have Kimberly serve Avon and the families as the new Director of Pupil Services.  Additionally, we are excited with the experiences, knowledge base and commitment to all she brings to the position, which are sure to enhance our practices here in Avon.”

The appointment of Dr. Mearman by the Board of Education was the final step in an intensive search and selection process that began early June, following the establishment of a Search and Selection Committee consisting of faculty, staff, parents and members of the Board of Education.   Based on an extensive interview process the Committee identified candidates to advance to the final interview stage.  Additional interviews and a survey was developed and administered before determining to move Dr. Mearman forward to the Board of Education for the final interview. 

Dr. Kimberly Mearman is expected to begin her position as Director of Pupil Services beginning August 2016 with an exact date to be determined.

 

SPECIAL MESSAGE

June 8, 2016

Dear Parents, Staff and Concerned Citizens:

In keeping Avon Public Schools as safe an environment as possible for our students and teachers, please be aware that there will be asbestos abatement at several Avon Public Schools during the summer months. 

Therefore, there will be no summer programming or occupancy by children under 18 during the abatement process at the following schools:

  • Avon Middle School from July 5th through July 15thAvon
  • High School from August 1st through August 8th
  • Roaring Brook School from August 1st through August 8th and August 10th through August 23rd    

Please feel free to contact Avon Public Schools’ Director of Operations, Myles Altimus, 860-404-4789, with any questions or concerns.

I remain very truly yours,
Gary
Gary S. Mala
Superintendent of Schools
Avon Public Schools
gmala@avon.k12.ct.us

 

To access previous messages from the Superintendent, please click here.