March 9, 2018

Dear Avon Families,

As I complete my first week (four days, to be exact), I wanted to take a moment to connect with all of you.  I believe that the success of our students and our district as a whole is based largely upon effective, transparent two-way communication with all of our stakeholders, and I will work to engage all in the community.

With two weather calls in the first few days, visits to walk through all of the schools, and my attempts to meet as many individuals in town as possible, it has certainly been a whirlwind thus far, but, I am working to settle in quickly and everyone I have met and worked with thus far has been incredibly welcoming and helpful.  I am looking forward to meeting more of the students and teachers in the coming two weeks as I spend full and/or half days at each school.  Spending time in classrooms and schools in general will be a regular part of my practice each month, as I believe it is an essential part of my role because it keeps me connected to the true work of the district: teaching, learning, and building positive relationships between students and staff.

In the coming weeks, I will establish regularly scheduled “Office Hours with the Superintendent” each month, and you can drop in to share ideas, ask questions, or just say hello.  Of course, I am always available to meet at other times and/or to have a conversation by phone.  I ask that if you email me, you include a phone number where I can reach you to expedite my response to you.  I have also established a Twitter account as another way to connect with students, staff, families and community members, and while Twitter is not a place for us to have viable conversations, it provides a medium to provide you additional information.  You can follow me at AvonSuper@DrBLHC.

With regard to upcoming events, many of you may have heard that on March 14, there is a national movement of students underway as a response to the tragedy in Parkland, FL.  Various forms of student activism related to school safety are expected, the most common of which is a student “walkout.”  Of course, we as a district want to both support our students in their quest to find their voices and be heard while also being mindful of following our established policies, and most importantly, keeping students safe.  High schools are the primary location for these discussions, but middle schools are also a part of the conversation.  In an effort to provide students with a safe forum to discuss the important issues raised by this tragedy, our high school and middle school principals have been working with students to plan events for that day.  Our high school principal, Mr. Peling, and our middle school principal, Mr. Kimball, will be in direct communication with their schools’ families in the coming days to ensure you are aware of pertinent information relevant to the plans for March 14.

I am grateful for the warm welcome I have already received.  I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible at the reception the district has planned for me at the Avon High School cafeteria on March 12, from 2:30-5:00PM, and, to our continued successful partnership.  Please be in touch if I can ever be of assistance.

Dr. B. Heston Carnemolla
Superintendent of Schools



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