Vail Daily letter: Avon Elementary’s a great school
May 23, 2011
I would like to take this opportunity to show appreciation to the teachers and staff at Avon Elementary School. For the past six years, my son has attended Avon Elementary School. I have watched the staff, under the leadership of Principal Melisa Rewold-Thuon, do an exceptional job of educating the students who pass through their school.
During our time at the school, I have faced much skepticism from others because my son goes to a school where he is a minority.
Former Mayor Ron Wolfe once told me that “they should turn Avon Elementary into a magnet school and teach them all in Spanish.” I then invited Mr. Wolfe to visit the school — an invitation that he ignored.
What he would have seen, had he visited, was a group of smart, amazing kindergartners who all spoke English by Christmastime. He would have found second -raders playing violins and cellos (First Notes program) accompanying the Half Notes choir. Perhaps he could have seen a Celebrate the Beat performance at the Vilar Center. Maybe he would have witnessed first-hand how the CSAP score improvements were achieved. I hope he would have seen how dedicated the teachers are. Our PTA meetings fill the cafeteria. The after-school programs are first-rate.
I am confident that Mayor Rich Carroll saw all this during his visit last week — that which Mr. Wolfe refused to make the effort to see.
Each year English-speaking Avon parents ask me about Avon Elementary School. I am always asked if my son speaks Spanish. The answer is no. He knows how to say hello and thank you (something that most people in the valley know how to say). He was in the last class that does not participate in the dual-language program.
Recommended Stories For You
I also hear the concern that their child will be held back because the teacher’s attention would go to English as a second language students. My fifth-grade son reads at an 10th-grade level and tested at above 11th grade in math. Perhaps he could have done better at another school. Maybe. I’ll never know. I’m pretty darn proud, anyway.
So, where does my concern come in when talking about Avon Elementary School? This year, 105 variances (a third of the school) were given to Avon kids to go to other schools within the district — 105! Funding for the school follows those kids out the door. Considering that the town of Avon is roughly 50 percent white and 50 percent Hispanic, I am assuming that almost all of those variances are for white children. My question is why?
There is a wonderful public school in Avon, Avon Elementary. It is a shame that more of our town’s residents don’t realize it.
I would like feedback from town of Avon parents as to what you think would be lacking in your child’s education if you send them to Avon Elementary School. Take the time to visit the school. Talk to Principal Thuon and the teachers. Principal Thuon can give you my number or email if you would like to contact me directly.