You are on page 1of 88

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 1

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 1 Avalon School Annual Report, 2014-2015 Submitted to: Novation Education

Avalon School Annual Report, 2014-2015

Submitted to:

Novation Education Opportunities (NEO) October 1, 2015, by Avalon School Staff

Avalon School Class of 2015 and Their Senior Projects:

Armus, Nate

Personal Choice and Religion

Morse, Anna

Graphic Design

   

Transcendental

Campbell, Carla

Barbies and Film

Peterson, Charles

Meditation

Cantrell, Madison

Killer Whale Captivity Issues

Peterson, Clay

Creating a Small Business

Casper, Logan

Making a Cookbook

Redfern-Hall, Zane

Metalwork

Clark, Nick

Psychology

Ripley, Isaiah

Medicine

Dalton, Lauren

Domestic Violence

Sagarsky, Madison

Beekeeping

Frazier, Siara

Interior Designing

Sagarsky, Robert

Ethics of Torture

Freund, Daniel

Interior Designing

Smith, Wesley

Designing a Card Game

Gorman-Carter,

3D Printing

Strand, Brennan

Oil Painting

Elian

Green, Favion

US National Guard

Sylvester, Samuel

Crafts and Metalwork

Joles, Soren

Fashion Through Film

Tang, Evan

iOS app (for iphone)

Kyle Stickels,

Public Art for Social Change

Victorin-Vangerud,

Digital Music/DJ

Joseph

William

LaFavor, Dane

Marketing & Small Business

Villerius, Peter

Musical

Laing-Geisert,

Artistic Choice

Vraa, Lily

Wilderness Survival

Mirabeau

Mork, Sora

Forensic Geoscience

Wronski-Riley, Jie

Photography

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 2

Avalon School

700 Glendale Street St. Paul, MN 55114 www.avalonschool.org

651.649.5495

This school is one of the hidden gems of the Twin Cities. It deserves attention. This is a groundbreaking school that changes people’s lives.

–An Avalon Parent

Executive Summary

Welcome! This is Avalon School’s annual report for the 2014-2015 school year, Avalon’s fourteenth year of operation. It helps our authorizer (Novation) and other interested parties learn what Avalon School is and how it has been so successful for so long.

We consider this report critical because it serves as both a reminder and as an advertisement that what we do at Avalon – project-based learning – creates a respectful, cohesive environment of individuals dedicated to learning.

This report includes not only the requirements for our annual report as indicated by the Minnesota Department of Education, but also embedded is our World’s Best Workforce Plan, which can be found in Appendix J.

In our annual report, you will see how many students we have, where they come from, and how they perform on a number of assessments. You will see that all of our staff members are licensed in the areas they teach and that on average our licensed teaching staff of nineteen has been at Avalon for an average of 7.5 years. You will also see how Avalon connects with the larger community with other programs in robotics, art, theatre, and numerous connections via senior projects to real experts doing real work in areas our students are passionate to explore. Finally, you will get a glimpse into our dreams for the future as we work toward our new strategic plan, developed during the 2014-2015 school year. This report gives a glimpse into the heart and soul of Avalon.

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 3

I. Table of Contents (page numbers to be updated once final changes are made)

List of Senior Projects

1

Executive Summary

2

I. Table of Contents

3

II. Report Introduction

5

III. Authorizer

7

IV. School Governance

8

A. 2014-2015 School Year Charter Public School Board

B. Policy Additions and Changes

C. Board Training/Staff Development/Evaluation

D. Strategic Plan

V. School Management

11

A. Teacher Governance and the Co-op Model

B. Site Operations Committees

VI. Staffing/Teaching Faculty

13

A. 2012-2013 School Management and Faculty Information

B. Teaching Staff Information

C. Staff Turnover and Staff Longevity

VII. School Admissions and Enrollment

15

A. Admissions/Lottery Policies

B. Student Background and Demographics

C. Student Attrition

D. Student Enrollment and Attrition Rates

VIII. Academic Program/School Performance

23

A. Overview of Academic Program Successes

1. Goals Set with Novation (NEO)

2. Student Testing Results (PSAT, SAT, ACT)

3. Percentage of Students Entering 2/4 Year School

4. Special Student Honors and Accomplishments

B. Report on the Meeting of Goals for 2013-2014

C. Rationale for New and Continuing Goals for School Year 2015-2016

IX. School Climate

31

X. Finances

33

XI. Innovative Practices and Implementation

34

A.

Curriculum

XII. Program Challenges

39

A. Race, Racism, and Whiteness

B. Strategic Plan

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 4

A. Strategic Plan

B. ELL Marketing

C. Grade-Level Projects and College and Career Readiness

D. Conclusion

XIV. Non-Profit Status

42

Appendices Appendix A: Novation (NEO) Site Visit Report Appendix B: Avalon Application Form Appendix C: Avalon Registration Form Appendix D: By-Laws Appendix E: Avalon’s Hope Study Appendix F: Avalon Constitution Appendix G: Financial Document Appendix H: Financial Document Appendix I: Avalon School Strategic Plan 2015 Appendix J: World’s Best Workforce Summary

43

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 5

II. Report Introduction

Since Avalon's founding in 2001, it has been a force for educational innovation locally, nationally, and internationally. While educating students from the Twin Cities, Avalon has also attracted educators from as far away as the Netherlands and Japan to tour and study how the students learn through projects.

Serving 196 students (as of June 2015) grades 6 through 12 at 700 Glendale Street in the Saint Anthony Park community of St. Paul, Avalon has always been a project-based learning school:

students create projects as a way to become independent life-long learners.

Avalon’s mission statement is: Avalon School prepares students for college and life in a strong, nurturing community that inspires active learning, engaged citizenship, and hope for the future. We prepare students by helping them develop their independence; they must learn that doing it yourself is not the same thing as going it alone. We know that a strong, nurturing community is not primarily the result of the staff’s efforts but, rather, is due to the commitment of all members of the Avalon community to work together to build a place in which learning can happen. We push students to interact with the community – of Avalon, St. Paul, Minnesota, the United States, and the world – in order to gain those critical skills that will help each student navigate the post- Avalon environment.

Our vision is to, within five years, have a school grades 6-12 of 200 students, each of whom uses project-based learning to learn about themselves and do meaningful work in their communities. To support that learning, we aim to use our co-op model to best direct staff energies and talents to maintain, sustain, and yet transform the school to realize this vision while also maintaining a significant fund balance. To support that learning, we aim as a staff to model democracy, acceptance, and passion for learning and living with dignity in the world. To support that learning, we aim as a staff to maintain manageable advisory sizes of no larger than 23 students and to use daily advisory check-ins, book clubs, problem-solving activities, and substantive field trips to create roots and wings for each of our students. In sum, we plan to be a school that is more just, more wise, more honest, and more effective in supporting the learning of each student that enters Avalon School.

Avalon School has made all the difference to our daughter Julia, a ninth grader. She came to Avalon knowing no one and nervous about attending a new school. Within days she had made great friends and was happily planning multiple projects to aid her learning. A month later, to our astonishment, she had joined the Academic Decathlon team and was doing her homework independently for the first time. Avalon encourages kids to learn at their own pace through projects that interest them and allow them to use multiple forms of intelligence. The teachers are warm, smart, and supportive and the kids are diverse, fun, and accepting of differences.

-An Avalon Parent

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 6

As outlined on our newly developed strategic plan (see Appendix I), Avalon School aims to foster graduates who demonstrate six critical outcomes: Mastery of Core Content; Critical Thinking; Collaboration; Effective Communication; Self-Directed Learning; and Academic Mindset. These core concepts will guide our direction over the next five years as we work to bring our vision into reality.

Some history: Avalon opened to grades 9 and 10 in the fall of 2001 with Hamline University as its authorizer, and Hamline renewed its contract with us in 2004, 2007, and 2010. When Hamline University found the new authorizer legislation to be too onerous for them to continue in such a role, Novation Education Opportunities (NEO) became our authorizer beginning in the 2011-2012 school year. Also, Avalon is accredited by AdvancED.

Avalon, currently at 700 Glendale Street in St. Paul after many years at 1745 University Avenue, was founded by a group of parents, students, educators, and community members interested in using project-based learning (PBL) as a way to develop skills and explore interests. By using projects in an environment where students met together daily, where peer mediation was used to resolve disputes, where all students could attend Congress meetings to discuss and respond to issues faced by the school, Avalon students developed both strong initiative as individuals and commitment to community as a group. This has been our model, tweaked in some ways but essentially the same, since the beginning.

From the start, Avalon has been committed to creating a supportive community within the school by remaining small and promoting strong relationships: every student has an adult advocate and a personalized learning plan. Students are placed in advisories of 20-23 students. This group will work together for the entire year, and students have the option of remaining with this same advisor (a licensed teacher who balances supporting the independent projects of 20-23 students with teaching classes) for 6 th through 8 th grade years if the student attends the middle school program; if the student is in high school, he or she can elect to have the same advisor for all four years. This small advisor/student ratio allows advisors at Avalon to get to know their students and the families of students well, forging a strong partnership between the families and the school.

The school operates on a teacher-owner governance model and has no principal. Advisors share all administrative duties. In addition, Avalon School is an affiliate member of EdVisions Cooperative, an organization that encourages project-based learning as well as co-operative (flat) management. Avalon School is an active 501c3 nonprofit trust institution as noted in the

Charities section of Attorney General Lori Swanson’s website

(See section XIV.)

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 7

III.

Authorizer Authorizer Information – 2014-2015

Novation Educational Opportunities (NEO) has been Avalon’s authorizer since June 30, 2011. NEO’s mission is to oversee innovative charter schools through consistent, ongoing, and robust evaluation to achieve significant and measurable student growth for the benefit of our school and the community. NEO has published a charter school guide that outlines the conditions for sponsorship and the accountability process for charter schools. You can find it on their website at www.novationeducationalopportunities.org.

For a copy of NEO’s site visit report, see Appendix A.

The main contact for NEO is Wendy Swanson Choi, who can be reached at executive.director.neo@gmail.com or 651-247-9101.

Our contract has been renewed with NEO, and the contract’s expiration date of the contract is June 30, 2019.

.

IV. School Governance

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 8

A.! 2014-2015 School Year Charter Public School Board

This table contains information for ALL board members.

2014-15 Election Date: February 27 th , 2015 (Seated June 30 th , 2015-new members) 2015-16 Anticipated Election Month: March 2016

Teachers continue to be the majority on the school board (four members).

   

Group Affiliation (if teacher, file folder #)

         

Member

Name

Board

Date

Date

Term

Phone

E-Mail

Meeting

Position

Elected

Seated

Exp.

Number

Address

Attend.

Rate

Anna

Trustee

Teacher

Feb

June

2017

651.649.5495

anna

@avalonschool.org

11/11

Wesley

#414321

2014

2014

x257

Brian

Board

 

March

June

   

brian.evans

 

Evans

Chair

Parent

2011

2011

2017

651.690.9788

@yahoo.com

10/11

             

chris

 

Chris

Secretary

Teacher

March

June

651.649.5495

@avalonschool.org

Jandro

#443825

2011

2011

2017

x 202

11/11

Holly

Trustee

Community

Apptd.

Jan.

2015

651-329-8178

Hmarsh1221

@gmail.com

6/11

Marsh

Member

2014

Jo

Sullivan

Trustee

Teacher

August

Aug.

2015

651.649.5495

jo

@avalonschool.org

10/11

#419538

2014

2014

x214

     

Sept.

         

Laura

Savin

Trustee

Community

2011

Appt. /

Sept.

2011

2015

651.221.0579

laura.savin

7/11

Member

March

@gmail.com

2012

Elected

Regina

Treasurer

Teacher

March

2012

June

2015

651.649.5495

regina

@avalonschool.org

11/11

Goldner

#419047

(new

2012

x206

term)

 

Rinal

Trustee

Community

Feb.

June

2017

651.210.2834

Rinalray

8/11

Ray

Member

2014

2014

@hotmail.com

Tim

Trustee

Teacher

Feb.

June

2017

651.649.5495

Tim

@avalonschool.org

11/11

Quealy

#453996

2014

2014

x203

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 9

B.! Board Training and Staff Development

Board Training

All new Board Members participated in initial board training as required by Charter School Law. In addition, Avalon School participated in a one-hour board training on November 11th, 2014, from Booth Law Group, LLC. The topic was Top Ten Best Practices for a Charter School Board.

Staff Development and Evaluation

The Avalon School staff does not have a principal. Therefore, in order to evaluate each staff member, we conduct a 360 review process that includes feedback from staff, students, and parents. That review specifically addresses the annual professional development plans (PDP) created by each staff member. Each staff member at the end of the school year meets with a committee of peers including at least one member of the personnel committee to review the feedback and make a recommendation as to whether or not the staff person should return for the following year.

C.! Policy Reviews, Additions, and Changes

The following policies were updated during the 2014-2015 school year:

!

!

!

!

!

!

!

!

Employee Policy Manual 2014-2015 (Annually updated) Student Handbook 2014-2015 (Annually updated) Safe and Supportive Schools Policy, Appendix 5 Student Handbook, approved September 2014 Enrollment Policy #515, approved November 2014 ELL Policy #1010, approved November 2014 Weather Attendance Policy # 501B, approved February 2015 Avalon Whistle Blower Policy # 408 approved April 2015 Behavior Expectations and Code of Conduct #502, approved June 2015

Avalon Whistle Blower Policy # 408 approved April 2015 Behavior Expectations and Code of Conduct #502,
Avalon Whistle Blower Policy # 408 approved April 2015 Behavior Expectations and Code of Conduct #502,
Avalon Whistle Blower Policy # 408 approved April 2015 Behavior Expectations and Code of Conduct #502,
Avalon Whistle Blower Policy # 408 approved April 2015 Behavior Expectations and Code of Conduct #502,
Avalon Whistle Blower Policy # 408 approved April 2015 Behavior Expectations and Code of Conduct #502,
Avalon Whistle Blower Policy # 408 approved April 2015 Behavior Expectations and Code of Conduct #502,
Avalon Whistle Blower Policy # 408 approved April 2015 Behavior Expectations and Code of Conduct #502,

To fully review Avalon’s policy reviews, additions, and changes, please refer to our website and this link for more information: http://www.avalonschool.org/about/board/avalon-school-board- bylaws/.

D.! Strategic Plan - Avalon School Strategic Plan 2015

Throughout the 2014-2015 school year, staff drafted, revised, and published a new strategic plan to guide Avalon School through the next five years. Always keeping the students front and

center, staff brainstorming began by envisioning the ideal traits of Avalon graduates in the year

2021. Through in-depth consultation and reflection with the local community, the Avalon

School Board, and other stakeholders, Avalon staff began to draft a vision of their ideal school. Borrowing from Monica Martinez and Dennis McGrath’s insightful Deeper Learning (2014), in which Avalon School was one of eight schools profiled, staff focused on six essential traits for deeper learning.

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 10

Guiding Outcomes of 2021 Graduates

1.

! Mastery of Core Content

2.

! Critical Thinking

3.

! Collaboration (Student/Staff/Community)

4.

! Effective Communication

5.

! Self-Directed Learning

6.

! Academic Mindset

Using these traits as guide posts, staff and stakeholders critically analyzed Avalon’s current program. To truly engage students in deeper learning, staff identified four distinct areas that needed to be added, improved or changed.

Overall Goals/Areas Identified

1.

! Deeper Learning/PBL:

Expand opportunities for all students through project-based learning by using the framework of deeper learning to strengthen our project-based curriculum and increase student engagement.

2.

! Community Connections:

Ensure that students have the skills and experiences necessary to feel connected to the community and competent when seeking job opportunities.

3.

! Commitment to Equity:

Deconstruct and identify the privileged systems/networks currently in place at Avalon. Implement new systems to dismantle the privileged systems and replace them with systems that distribute opportunity and resources to all students effectively and equitably, in particular those students in disadvantaged situations and marginalized communities.

4.

! Training/Support/Reform for Schools/Teachers:

Transform education locally and nationally by educating policy makers, teachers, administrators, and students about Avalon’s democratic, project-based learning, and teacher powered model.

(For further details regarding Avalon School’s 2015 Strategic Plan, please see Appendix I)

Avalon is a place where students can find challenge without pressure, where they are given both choice and guidance. Students here are not siloed, funneled, or molded; they are not acted-upon, processed widgets. Instead, students are given the opportunity to become the prime actors and decision-makers in their own lives, with skilled advising, teaching, and support throughout that process.

-An Avalon Parent

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 11

V. School Management

Teacher Governance and the Co-op Model

Avalon School since its inception has used the teacher cooperative model. Every member on the staff regardless of position has equal authority in all decision making. The school is run by committees that staff members join, and the committees work towards solving problems and maintaining the school. No individual staff member may make a decision on his/her own; instead, he or she must work with committees to come up with ideas or solutions. Those ideas or solutions are then brought to the staff as a whole to be examined and voted on.

The staff uses the fist-to-five process so that each decision is made democratically. Because each member of the staff has a say in what takes place at Avalon, that leads to the staff feeling empowered and also leads to staff ownership of Avalon. Staff retention is high (averaging 95% retention) due to the fact that staff does feel empowered and has a stake in the school. The democratic running of the school and the lack of hierarchy translate well to the students. The students see how hard the staff works to maintain the school, and they see how invested the staff is in Avalon. The students understand that the advisors work on numerous committees to get things done and help the school maintain its teacher cooperative model.

Our administrative tasks are shared co-operatively and several staff members include as part of their professional development plans opportunities to further enhance their administrative skills and capacities. For example, our Program Coordinators attend the Charter School Law Conference and our District Assessment Coordinator attends all Minnesota Department of Education training sessions

Site Operations Committees

Administrative Team: Carrie Bakken, Becca Merton, Gretchen Sage-Martinson, and Kevin Ward

Learning Program Team: Carrie Bakken, David Ball, Nate Christopherson, Regina Goldner, Chris Jandro, Tyler Kutscheid, Anna Landes Benz, Lauren Leith, Hamid Masheye, Stacey Meath, Monessa Newell, Tim Quealy, Gretchen Sage-Martinson, Jo Sullivan, Kevin Ward, Mandy Weinkauf, Anna Wesley, Nora Whalen, Andrea Wood, and Becky Yuzna

Personnel Team: Nate Christopherson, Gretchen Sage-Martinson, and Mandy Weinkauf

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 12

Special Education Team: Nate Christopherson, Clinton Ferguson, Becky Yuzna, Brittany Perry, David Johnston, Elizabeth Hanson, Randall Kinnamon, Tyler Kutscheid, Ian Noble , Andrea Wood, Ian Noble, and Anna Landes Benz

Technology: Tim Quealy and Chris Jandro

As a teacher at Avalon School, it is important to me that we operate as a teacher-led coop. We are all personally invested in the nurturing and the success of our school community and possess the agency to help make it happen.

–An Avalon Teacher

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 13

VI. Staffing/Teaching Faculty Information

2014-2015 School Management and Faculty Information

     

Years

   

Name

File

Folder

Number

Assignment

Employed

by the

School

Left

During

14/15

Not

Returning

14/15

Carrie Bakken

393773

Social Studies

14

   

David Ball

468506

Art

3

   

Laura Behlke

 

Promise Fellow

1

 

X

Nate

         

Christopherson

415341

Special Education

5

Clinton Ferguson

 

Educational Assistant

1

   

Regina Goldner

419047

Math

10

   

Elizabeth Hanson

 

Educational Assistant

3

 

X

Chris Jandro

443825

Science

9

   

David Johnston

 

Educational Assistant

3

   

Michelle Kartz

997717

Spanish/Educational

3

   

Assistant

Randall Kinnamon

 

Educational Assistant

2

   

Tyler Kutscheid

463654

Special Education

4

   

Anna Landez Benz

469924

Special Education

1

 

X

Lauren Leith

361091

Science

7

   

Hamid Masheye

404644

Math

1

   

Stacey Meath

412743

Social Worker

1

   

Becca Merton

443483

Office Manager

4.5

 

X

Monessa Newell

425988

Social Studies

9

   

Ian Noble

 

Educational Assistant

1.5

   

Brittany Perry

 

Educational Assistant

6

   

Tim Quealy

453996

Language Arts

7.5

   

Gretchen Sage-

336023

Language Arts

14

   

Martinson

Jo Sullivan

419538

Science

11

   

Kevin Ward

391433

Language Arts

13

   

Mandy Weinkauf

437441

Social Worker

2

   

Anna Wesley

414321

Language Arts

10

   

Nora Whalen

373721

Social Studies

12

   

Andrea Wood

407859

Special Education

1

   

Becky Yuzna

438077

Special Education

8

   

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 14

Teaching Staff Information

All teachers at Avalon are licensed in their area of instruction.

Staff Turnover and Staff Longevity

The nineteen licensed teaching staff account for 143 years of experience at Avalon – an average of 7.5 years of experience at Avalon per staff member.

Of this nineteen, eighteen will return next year – a staff turnover of 5.3%. As remarkable as this retention is, it technically above our average (technically) of 5% annual attrition. With a program as unique and innovative as Avalon’s, this low turnover is critical: it allows for a consistent, reliable core community to make decisions and operate the school.

Avalon is a gem of a school. There is no other like it. The staff are skilled and caring! Avalon provides a whole person education, preparing students for real world experiences. Students and staff together have created a community of caring, creative, responsible, active, inclusive citizens. We are so grateful for our Avalon experience! -An Avalon Parent

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 15

VII.!

School Admissions and Enrollment

I graduated from Avalon in 2011. If not for the staff and students, I may not have graduated at all. It's hard to put into words just how powerful the Avalon community is. I received personal, individualized support there that is rarely found anywhere else. Teachers respect the students, giving them freedom and autonomy which helps them grow as learners, and mature as people.

-Avalon Graduate, Class of 2011

In the past, Avalon School has been able to accept all students who wish to attend the school. There have been waiting lists at times during the summer and into the school year, but families intrigued by Avalon’s unique approach have always found a home here. This changed a bit during the 2014-2015 school year. Some students stayed on the wait list from June 2014 to spring of 2015. We also conducted our first lottery this year for the 2015-2016 school year.

Included below are the admissions policies in the Board manual.

Also included in this section is the demographic information about the students who attend Avalon and have attended Avalon over the last few years. We tend to have more males than females (119/93) and more white students than black or other racial or ethnic backgrounds (152/43). Twenty-nine percent of Avalon students qualify for free and reduced lunch, and 39% of students receive special education services or 504 support at Avalon.

Admissions/Lottery Policies

Policy # 515 Adopted: December 9, 2014 NEW POLICIES

I.!

Definitions:

Parent: The term “parent” as used in this policy refers to the legal guardian of a student as defined in the State Statute. Avalon School: Avalon School may also be known as Avalon or as “the School” throughout this document. Enrolled: A student will be considered “enrolled” at Avalon upon their first day of actual attendance at Avalon. Middle School: Grades 6-8. May also be referred to as MS. High School: Grades 9-12. May also be referred to as HS. Enrollment Team: Small group of Avalon staff members, to be determined at the start of each school year.

II.!

Open Enrollment

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 16

A.! Deadline

ADMISSIONS CUTOFF DATE Avalon School has an admissions deadline of March 1 of each school year for current students and new applicants. If Avalon is over capacity at the time of the application deadline, a lottery will be held for all new applicants who applied by the deadline. If Avalon has not reached capacity, students will continue to be admitted on a first come/first serve basis until we are full.

The application deadline is at 4:00 PM CST on March 1. All applications to be included in the lottery for the upcoming school year must be received by the school no later than 4:00PM CST on March 1.

The lottery will be held on the first Thursday after March 1.

B.! Application The Avalon application is only valid for one lottery. If a parent would like to include the student in subsequent lotteries (upon being waitlisted), that parent must submit a new application.

III.!

Lottery Process

A.! General When the number of applications exceeds the number of openings in a particular grade or program, we will conduct a lottery to determine those students who will be admitted or put on the waiting list. We will follow the steps outlined below to ensure this procedure is equitable to all applicants. A completed enrollment application is required in order to be included in the annual lottery and/or be placed on the waiting list. The Avalon lottery is held within 10 business days of the close of the enrollment period. The lottery is open to observation by the public and will be posted in our school calendar and on the website.

B.! Enrollment Eligibility To be eligible for enrollment in Avalon’s 6th grade, a student must have successfully completed the 5th grade or be at least 11 years old by Aug. 31 of the year for which they are applying. To be eligible for 7th grade, a student must have successfully completed 6th grade. To be eligible for 8th grade, a student must have successfully completed 7th grade. To be eligible for the high school program, students must have successfully completed 8th grade.

C.! Enrollment Preferences

1. Prospective students who are children of Avalon employees will receive enrollment preference provided there is an opening in the grade to which they are applying. If staff members are hired after the lottery, those staff members’ children will be placed first on the waiting list, in the order in which the parents were hired.

!

2. Siblings will be given second priority (after children of employees) provided there is an opening in the grade to which they are applying. Siblings who submit applications after the lottery will be placed at the top of the waitlist (after children of employees).

!

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 17

! Siblings refers to those prospective students who have siblings currently enrolled at Avalon in the academic year in which the lottery is being conducted. ! Any child of a family unit related biologically, by marriage or adoption to one or both parents. ! Any child in ‘long-term’ placement within a foster-care situation with the family of a current student. NOTE: parents must provide to Avalon documentation from their case manager, a judge, or the court. ! If the family of a current Avalon student plans to be a host family to a foreign exchange student, that student will be considered a sibling (see above). ! NOTE: A student will be considered “enrolled” at Avalon after completion of the enrollment paperwork during the April Enrollment Event, or, if enrolling mid- year, after completion of the first day as an enrolled student at Avalon.

D.! Process to determine the number of students to be accepted

1.

The staff of Avalon School will propose and the Avalon board of directors will determine the number of openings in each grade, 6-8, and in the HS program, for the next school year by the February board meeting of the application year. This number will take into account the need to over-enroll grade levels and programs, depending on the projected number of students who will either not return or who will not accept the enrollment offer. This will be based on past data as well as current trends in enrollment.

2.

Names of all new applicants will be entered in to a spreadsheet with information from their applications using a different spreadsheet for each grade in the MS, and one for the whole program in the HS. Note on the spreadsheet which applicants have a sibling currently enrolled at Avalon School, or who are children of employees.

3.

From the applications for each grade (MS) and for the program (HS) with openings, pull out all applications from students who are children of staff members. These names will be highlighted in yellow on the spreadsheet.

4.

Follow the same procedure for students who have a sibling currently enrolled at Avalon. These names will be highlighted in yellow on the spreadsheet.

5.

If there are more children of staff members than there are openings in a particular grade (MS) or program (HS), a lottery must be held amongst the children of employees.

6.

After the children of staff members are admitted, if there are still spaces, move on to siblings. If there are more siblings than there are openings in a particular grade or program, then a lottery must be held amongst the siblings.

7.

For each grade (MS) or program (HS), the number of siblings and children of staff members in the prospective student pool will be subtracted from the number of total students to be accepted. This is the number of openings that will be filled through the lottery process. The appropriate number of applicants from each grade (MS) or program (HS) will then be randomly drawn until the enrollment goals are reached.

E.! Lottery Process

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 18

1. Each remaining student will be assigned a number

!

2. Place the lottery sticks marked with legible numbers equal to the number of applicants into the lottery box.

3. Starting with the lowest grade, draw one numbered stick out of the lottery box and call out that number.

4. Match that number on the enrollment spreadsheet to the stick. Pull all numbers so each applicant receives a number. Highlight the students accepted in yellow.

5. After the total number of applicants to be accepted has been reached, write down the order of the applicants on the waiting list according to the order in which their number is drawn.

6. Repeat this process for all grades (MS) and the HS program, using the number of current Avalon students moving from one grade to the next to ensure that the desired number of students is reached through the combination of re-enrolling and new students.

7. Send “acceptance” letters to all prospective applicants; send “waiting list” letters to the

!

!

!

!

!

!

remaining applicants. Include enrollment agreements or waiting list forms as appropriate. Families will have one month from the mailing date to return the enclosed enrollment agreement accepting their enrollment. Once the process is completed, the spreadsheets will be printed (and saved as a PDF) and an affidavit certifying compliance with this policy and applicable state law will be signed by the two staff members conducting the lottery. All other witnesses will be asked to sign a form indicating they witnessed the lottery. We will attach a copy of this policy to the spreadsheets, signed affidavit, and witness form to complete the documentation, which will be filed at the school.

IV.!

Waiting list

Following the lottery, those students who have not been admitted will be placed on the waiting list and will be admitted as space permits. We will follow the steps outlined below to ensure the procedure is equitable to all applicants.

A.! Underlying Considerations

1.

The goal of the waiting list is to have a list of students from which to pull to maintain maximum class sizes for the next academic year.

2.

All students on the waiting list will know their waiting list number and we will post online which number has been enrolled at Avalon.

B.! Waiting list Procedures

1.

All students will be assigned a waiting list number during the lottery procedures.

2.

Letters to those students on the waiting list will be sent at the same time as acceptance letters.

3.

The waiting list is maintained by the Enrollment Coordinator and updated throughout the year as students are enrolled off of the list. The waiting list will be posted on the website

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 19

4. !

(with no identifying information) and updated monthly. Families may request to be removed from the waiting list at any point.

If a sibling of a currently enrolled student, or the student of a new staff member, submits an application after the lottery, that student will move to the top of the waiting list (behind any other siblings or staff children currently on the waiting list).

NOTE: The waiting list for Avalon School is intended for the sole purpose of enrollment and distribution of information deemed appropriate by Avalon school to be of interest to those parties. Avalon school will not sell, distribute, or otherwise disseminate waiting list information. Avalon will not use this list for solicitation purposes other than to gather interest and involvement in those things related to enrollment, expansion, or related interests at Avalon. The waiting list will be published online- organized per grade level (MS) and program (HS) and identified by student number.

V.! Enrollment of New Students after the Lottery Openings for grades 6, 7, 8 will be filled on a grade level basis. Openings for the High School will be filled on a program wide (grades 9-12) basis.

A.! Confirmation of Opening The Enrollment Team will be notified when a position is open once the school:

1. Receives confirmation that a family is turning down an enrollment offer.

!

2. Receives a withdrawal form or confirmed enrollment from another school.

!

B.! Contact Next on Waiting List As a space becomes available, the Enrollment Team will contact via phone and email the first student next on that grade’s (MS) or program’s (HS) waiting list who has not already been contacted for the current school year. Once a parent has been contacted, they must respond within 72 hours in order to accept the position or the Enrollment Team may offer the position to the next student on the list.

C.! Accepting a Position Mid-Year When accepting a position mid-year, the following must be discussed with the parent:

The student’s start date (not to exceed ten school days from the offering date, unless otherwise noted by the school, such as the beginning of a semester), grade level, transportation needs, and siblings who may be on the waiting list, or want to be added to it. Once the decision has been made to enroll, the parent/guardian(s) must provide the student’s birth date and the name of the student’s current school so that Avalon staff can enter the student into the student information system and request student records. Families accepting a position mid-year will be asked to complete a mid-year enrollment form to provide the school with all required information.

VI.!

Re-enrollment after Long-Term Leave

The purpose of this subsection is to define the actions of Avalon school in the case of students taking a ‘long-term leave’ from the school which under Minnesota state statutes constitutes de-enrollment from Avalon, and the process for those students to be re-enrolled at

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 20

Avalon. This policy is to support families in situations such as an educational sabbatical, family travel, mental health treatment or hospitalization, or a short-term relocation for work. Families who request long-term leave and follow the process laid out in this policy may re-enroll their child at Avalon without going through the enrollment process and the child will be immediately enrolled upon returning.

A.! Long-term leave and re-enrollment procedures All students are de-enrolled from Avalon School after not attending Avalon for fifteen consecutive days. To qualify for re-enrollment eligibility, parents or guardians must request long-term leave from the Enrollment Team at least 30 days before the start of the long-term leave, giving the beginning and end dates of the student’s leave from Avalon, as well as the reason and documentation for the long-term leave. Families who follow this procedure will be immediately enrolled upon return. In the case of hospitalization, treatment, or a court order program, the 30-day notification may be waived, and the end date remain flexible.

B.! Open Enrollment Spots When a student is de-enrolled at Avalon for any reason, their spot will be offered to the next student on the waiting list IF the student is going to be out for longer than 15 days. This may result in the over-enrollment of a class or grade when the student on long-term leave returns. No further offers of enrollment will be made until that grade or program is once again under-enrolled.

C.! Conditions and Limits on Long-Term Leave

1. Students may not miss more than the equivalent of one year. The days on leave must be consecutive.

!

2. No more than 2 students at any grade level or advisory will be granted a long-term leave at any one time. Only the first students to request long-term leave and meet all conditions listed in the policy will be granted long-term leave. This may not include students needing to take a long-term leave to enter a treatment facility, receive medical care, or participate in a court ordered program.

!

VII.!

Student Withdrawal

When a student withdraws from Avalon, a Withdrawal Form should be completed and returned by a parent to the Enrollment Team.

VIII.!

Enrollment Documentation

Before students begin at Avalon School, parents/guardians will complete an enrollment packet. If transfer records from a previous district do not have a verified birth date, parents/guardians will also provide proof of student’s age in the form of a passport, state ID, or birth certificate upon enrollment.

IX.!

Non-Discrimination

It is the policy of the school board of Avalon School District No. 4075 to comply with federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination to the end that no person protected by such law

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 21

shall, on the grounds of race, color, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, status with regard to public assistance, age, or disability (hereinafter “protected class status”) be excluded from participation in, be denied of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any educational program, in employment, or recruitment, consideration, or selection, whether full time or part time under any educational program, employment or activity operated by the district.

OLD POLICIES REPLACED BY THIS POLICY:

515 Sibling Preference (est. 9/18/2001) Avalon will give first priority to enrolling students who already have a sibling enrolled at Avalon

515D Enrollment and Teacher Preference (11/10/09) Avalon School will give preference for enrolling children of the school’s staff members before accepting other pupils by lot.

515B Treatment/Hospitalization/Juvenile Detention and Enrollment (12/12/06)

If a student is (in)voluntarily removed from Avalon for reasons such as hospitalization,

treatment, juvenile detention, etc

at the end of the removal period, Avalon will hold the slot open for the student for a maximum of

30 school days. If the removal lasts for more than 30 days, Avalon will fill the slot with someone on the waiting list and the student will be de enrolled. If there is no waiting list, the student will

have the opportunity to return to Avalon.

and the parents/guardians request that he/she return to Avalon

If the student is (in)voluntarily removed in order to enter a different program, the

parents/guardians must contact staff in a timely manner based on the situation to discuss

re enrollment and reassert student compliance with all the rules of Avalon. If Avalon is not

contacted in a timely manner, based on the circumstances, the student’s slot will be filled with

someone from the waiting list, and the student will be able to re-enroll if we have a space open for them at the time their removal period ends.Otherwise we will place the student on the wait list.

515C Enrollment and Pre-Approved Programs (1/13/09)

A student who is in solid academic standing may choose to take advantage of a unique

educational opportunity like a travel abroad program or other specialized academic program. With pre-approval, a student may participate in the academic opportunity, and Avalon will immediately re-enroll the student upon their return.

Please see Appendix B for a copy of the Avalon Application Form and Appendix C for a copy of the Registration Form.

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 22

Student Background and Demographics

 

2011-

 

2012-

 

2013-

 

2014-

 

2012

2013

2014

2015

 

October

June

October

June

October

June

October

June

Total # of Students

192

188

186

181

190

181

198

212

Females

83

78

77

78

80

78

86

93

Males

109

110

109

103

110

103

112

119

American Indian

7

5

6

6

2

6

4

5

Asian

10

10

15

14

12

14

11

11

Black

33

32

43

33

22

33

14

15

Hispanic

11

9

11

15

16

15

12

12

White

131

132

111

113

138

113

157

152

Free & Reduced

63

60

62

59

57

59

54

57

Special Ed

62

61

81

76

61

76

70

76

LEP

9

10

2

3

0

3

0

0

Student Attrition

We had 212 students enroll with us over the course of the 2014-2015 school year, and ended the year at 196 for a retention rate of 93%. Our Average Daily Membership (ADM) for the 2014-

Some of the students we did not retain only stayed with us for a

week or two, and we were one of many schools on their transcripts. In terms of recruitment of students for the 2015-2016 school year, we were full by March 1, 2015, when we held a lottery and started a wait list. We will be able to start in the fall with a full school in all grades.

2105 school year was 196.49.

Historically, Avalon has had a retention rate at approximately 80%; last year we increased to 89% and went up again this year to 93%. This may be due to a number of factors: increasing word of mouth and positive reputation in the community, a wonderful new building, a stellar special education program, dynamic social workers, and a veteran staff of advisors committed to the success of all students. We want students to find a place at Avalon, especially when they have not been able to find it elsewhere.

Student Enrollment and Attrition Rates

This table identifies the number of students enrolled at the school during the 2010-11, 2011- 2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015 and estimated 2015-2016 enrollment. Data based on October 1 Average Daily Membership (ADM).

2010-2011

2011-2012

2012-2013

2013-2014

2014-2015

2015-2016

181.07

186.05

183.96

193.80

196.49

195

Our goal for the fourteenth year was to maintain an enrollment of 185 in the 6-12 program, and we achieved that goal. Our ADM for 2014-2015 was 196.49.

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 23

VIII. Academic Program / School Performance

I am a Senior at Avalon and my experience there has been even better than I had hoped. I transferred as a Junior because the traditional public schooling just wasn't working for me. I needed to be able to take my education into my own hands, and Avalon proved to be the perfect place to do that! The students are kind and accepting and the staff will do everything they can to help you reach your goals. I never would have discovered all the amazing opportunities I was missing out on in traditional public schooling if I hadn't transferred. My parents have actually taken to calling my school "The Happy Place" because of the noticeable behavioral changes after I started attending Avalon.

–Avalon Senior, Class of ‘15

Project-based learning (PBL) is the bread and butter of Avalon: for a majority of the school day, students work to design, implement, and execute independent projects fueled by individual passion, interest, and state requirements. Students, with staff and family guidance, create the entire project: students assign deadlines, determine how they will demonstrate knowledge gained, and even establish the evaluation criteria. Projects can be any length and cover (almost) any topic. Students may earn credit for a wide-range of activities, encouraged and supported by staff to be rigorous and thoughtful in their approach to fulfilling state graduation standard requirements.

While independent project work accounts for a large percent of student work time, Avalon School also offers a small selection of teacher-led topical seminars and smaller guided projects throughout the year.

Students are supported, recognized, challenged and honored at Avalon. More importantly, they are taught the importance of work-life balance. Achievement is not arbitrarily measured, but rather, based on the whole person, including abilities, goals and passions.

–An Avalon Parent

Avalon uses the state required GRAD and MCA assessments as well as NWEA MAP, PSAT, Accuplacer, and Hope Study assessments among other less standardized approaches including student-generated rubrics and student-parent/guardian-advisor conferences to identify student strengths and needs.

What follows in this section is the identification of student performance as measured by these means.

A. Overview of Academic Program Successes

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 24

Goals Set with Novation (NEO)

Novation (NEO), our authorizer, requires one site visit per year. Avalon’s Program Coordinators worked with NEO to schedule and plan those visits. Please see Appendix A for the Site Visit Report.

Student Testing Results (PSAT, SAT, ACT)

PSAT

Year

Number Tested

Reading

Math

Writing

14-15

30

49.2

43.5

42.6

13-14

33

51.6

46.1

48.8

12-13

30

48.8

43.3

46.0

11-12

34

46.4

42.5

39.7

10-11

36

53.1

50.5

51.3

09-10

27

54.3

47.3

48.4

08-09

39

47.6

46.6

45.1

07-08

42

53.8

47.2

50.3

06-07

n/a

48.8

43.1

44.3

While scores fell from last year, they remain within the scope of the last five years. The writing scores, however, were certainly among the lowest scores we’ve averaged; we will have to investigate any possible cause of this drop.

SAT

Year

Number Tested

Reading

Math

Writing

14-15

2

625

625

625

13-14

3

547

540

530

12-13

7

578

525

521

11-12

10

623

568

548

10-11

10

668

583

609

09-10

11

641

573

611

08-09

13

675

635

602

07-08

5

668

596

638

06-07

11

620

536

575

SAT scores only reflect a small number of students, approximately one-tenth of the graduating class.

ACT

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 25

Year

# Tested

English

Math

Reading

Sci Reason

Writing (Opt)

Composite

14-15

8*

22.8

22.3

22.1

22.3

20 (7 tests)

22.5

13-14

17

23.8

22.1

27.1

24

22.2 (15 tests)

24.4

12-13

13

21.4

20.5

21.3

21.9

20.3 (12 tests)

21.5

11-12

15

24.1

21.5

26.9

21.7

 

23.6

10-11

8

28.0

23.6

30.6

26.9

 

27.4

09-10

8

28.1

25.1

28.1

25.6

 

26.8

08-09

19

26.7

22.6

28.5

23.8

 

25.5

07-08

15

25.4

23.3

28.3

24.2

 

25.4

06-07

12

23

21.3

24.2

21.5

 

22.8

*These scores represent only seniors at Avalon School.

Percentage of Students Entering 2/4 Year School

Of Avalon 30 graduates, 10 (33%) enrolled in 2-year programs and 11 (36%) enrolled in 4-year programs. Seniors reported receiving numerous scholarships and acceptances to schools across the country, including the following institutions:

Augsburg College, Century College, Concordia – Moorhead, Evergreen College, Florence Academy of Arts, Gustavus Adolphus College, Hamline University, Hennepin Technical College, Illinois Institute of Technology, Maryland Institute of Art, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Mt. Hope College, Normandale College, Portland Community College, St. Catherine's University, St. Olaf College, St. Paul College, University of Minnesota – Crookston, University of Minnesota – Morris, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, University of Puget Sound, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Avalon allows students to be who they are in order to become who they wish to be. This freedom allows them to focus on learning, and learning in a way that is comfortable to them. I would love for others who are struggling with the constraints of the traditional school model to find out how great Avalon School truly is.

-An Avalon Parent

B. Review of Avalon School Goals 2014-2015

The staff and Avalon School Board review the goals annually as part of writing the annual report in August. A mid-year assessment of goals is completed as part of the authorizer site visit each year. The data collected is also used to set strategic yearly goals in August as part of the Board retreat and a staff-planning meeting. After reviewing the data, the Board sets academic goals targeted at improving student achievement. The Board also assesses professional development

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 26

needs at this time. The academic and professional development goals are also linked to our Q Comp goals.

Avalon School and NEO set the following eight goals for the 2014-2015 school year.

1.

Graduation Rate

Of the students enrolled as 9th and 10th graders beginning FY15, between 80 and 85% of the students who remain with Avalon through their senior year will graduate from Avalon School within 4 years with the exception of students who have an IEP that allows extended time.

Exceeded: Above 85% Met: 80-85%

Analysis: Met While we cannot yet comment on the students marked in the goal (they will be 10 th and 11th graders!), it is possible to look at our most recent class. Of the 33 seniors that started, 30 graduated at the end of the year (91%). One of those remaining, one dropped out and the other two have plans in place to finish shortly into the 2015-2016 school year.

Of the senior class, 27 of the students were enrolled with us at least since their 10th grade year. Of those 27, 22 graduated within four years (81%).

2.

Participation in testing

Participation in testing will remain at or above 95%.

Analysis: Met Of the possible 186 tests our students were eligible to take, they took 179 of them (over 96%). Those tests were spread out among 60 middle school students taking both math and reading tests, 24 10 th graders taking the MCA Reading test, and 37 11 th graders taking the MCA math test.

3.

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) – Reading

For Avalon students enrolled by 10/1 of a given school year, Avalon will demonstrate improvement over time in the percent of students meeting or exceeding proficiency (scoring "meets" or "exceeds") as measured by all state accountability assessments in reading. Exceeded: More than 70.1% Met: From 58.1% in FY13 to 70.1% in FY19

Analysis: Exceeded Avalon school continued to improve its proficiency levels in reading during the 2014-2015 school year, increasing by 7% from our previous year. Almost 73% of our students either met or exceeded proficiency requirements.

4.

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) – Math

For Avalon students enrolled by 10/1 of a given school year, Avalon will demonstrate improvement over time in the percent of students meeting or exceeding proficiency (scoring "meets" or "exceeds") as measured by all state accountability assessments in math.

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 27

Exceeded: More than 53% Met: From 41% in FY13 to 53% in FY19

Analysis: Exceeded Avalon school continued to improve its proficiency levels in math during the 2014-2015 school year, increasing by nearly 9% from our previous year. Over 53% of our students either met or exceeded proficiency requirements.

5.

Rate of Change – Comparable School (Math)

For Avalon students enrolled by 10/1 of a given school year, Avalon will improve proficiency at a rate of change greater than or equal to St. Paul Public Schools between 2014 and 2019 as measured by all state accountability tests for math. Exceeded: more than five percentage points above the rate of change Met: within five percentage points of the rate of change Attempted: more than five percentage points below the rate of change

Analysis: Met Avalon School outpaced the growth rate of neighboring St. Paul Public Schools as measured by state accountability tests for math. Avalon increased almost 9% from our previous proficiency level (from 44% to 53%), while St. Paul Public Schools fell by almost 2% (for a difference of 11 percentage points). Meanwhile, the state’s proficiency level remained roughly the same.

6.

Rate of Change – Comparable School (Reading)

For Avalon students enrolled by 10/1 of a given school year, Avalon will improve proficiency at a rate of change greater than or equal to St. Paul Public Schools between 2014 and 2019 as measured by all state accountability tests for reading. Exceeded: more than five percentage points above the rate of change Met: within five percentage points of the rate of change Attempted: more than five percentage points below the rate of change

Analysis: Met Avalon School outpaced the growth rate of neighboring St. Paul Public Schools as measured by state accountability tests for reading. Avalon increased almost 7% from our previous proficiency level (from 66% to 73%), while St. Paul Public Schools slightly fell. Meanwhile, the state’s proficiency level increased by almost 1%.

7.

NWEA MAP – Yearly Progress (Math)

Avalon students below grade level as measured by RIT NWEA MAP in the fall will collectively make at least 120% of their expected growth target average in Math as measured by the NWEA MAP spring administration and students who are at or above grade level as measured by RIT NWEA MAP in the fall will collectively make at least 100% of their expected growth

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 28

target average as measured by the NWEA MAP spring administration.

Analysis: Met In the fall of 2013, 27 students (grades six through nine) scored below their grade level as measured by the NWEA MAP test. In the spring 2014, 23 took the test again. From fall to spring, these students averaged gains of over 145% when measured against their expected yearly growth.

In the fall of 2013, 86 students (grades six through nine) scored at or above grade level as measured by the NWEA MAP test. In the spring of 2014, 65 students took the test again. From fall to spring, these students averaged gains of over 162% when measured against their expected yearly growth. (Many of the remaining 21 students took the Accuplacer assessment in the spring instead of the MAP Test.)

8. NWEA MAP – Yearly Progress (Reading)

Avalon students below grade level as measured by RIT NWEA MAP in the fall will collectively make at least 120% of their expected growth target average in Reading as measured by the NWEA MAP spring administration and students who are at or above grade level as measured by RIT NWEA MAP in the fall will collectively make at least 100% of their expected growth target average as measured by the NWEA MAP spring administration.

Analysis: Met In the fall of 2013, 16 students (grades six through nine) scored below their grade level as measured by the NWEA MAP test. In the spring 2014, 14 took the test again. From fall to spring, these students averaged gains of over 132% when measured against their expected yearly growth.

In the fall of 2013, 87 students (grades six through nine) scored at or above grade level as measured by the NWEA MAP test. In the spring of 2014, 64 students took the test again. From fall to spring, these students averaged gains of over 164% when measured against their expected yearly growth. (Many of the remaining 23 students took the Accuplacer assessment in the spring instead of the MAP Test.)

9. Attendance

Of the students enrolled at Avalon School on 10/1 of the given school year, those students will maintain a 90% attendance rate for the year, excluding students who have a documented situation that causes the student to miss five or more consecutive school days.

Analysis: Met Avalon School met this goal for the 2014-2015 academic year, with an overall attendance rate of 94%. Another important milestone to be noted was the fact that no students were referred to the juvenile justice system due to excessive absences.

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 29

10. Hope Survey

All Avalon students will be given the Hope Survey. For students new to Avalon before 1/31 of a given school year, the new students as a group will show at least one point gain in their Hope score from Fall to Spring.

Hope Scale (up to 64) Very Low <42 Low 42.00-45.99 Moderate 46.00-49.99 High 50.00-53.99 Very High > 54.00

Analysis: Met New students’ Hope Score, as measured by the Hope Survey, moved from a score of 43 to a score of 47. This number represents an increase from “Low” to “Moderate.”

11.

School Climate – Families

Avalon will survey individual students and their families concerning school climate each year of the contract term during February conference, and achieve the following results:

At least 95% of families will comment that Avalon School is a safe place to learn

Analysis: Met -100% of parents surveyed agree or strongly agree that Avalon is a positive learning environment -100% of parents surveyed agree or strongly agree that Avalon is a safe learning environment.

This data is even more impressive because our response rate is so high: roughly 90% of families are included.

12.

School Climate – Students

Avalon will survey individual students and their families concerning school climate each year of the contract term during February conference, and achieve the following results:

At least 95% of students will comment that Avalon School is a safe place to learn

Analysis: Met -97% of students surveyed agree or strongly agree that Avalon is a positive learning environment -97% of students surveyed agree or strongly agree that they feel safe at Avalon.

(In fact, of all the students surveyed, only two selected “I disagree” when asked if Avalon was a safe environment.)

This data is even more impressive because our response rate is so high: roughly 90% of families are included.

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 30

Other Measures of success

Avalon School Conferences

For the year, we conducted 579 of a possible 596 conferences - a solid 97%!!! That total number is astounding - 579 formal meetings with families. This doesn't even begin to touch the number of informal meetings and conversations we have with families regarding student progress - walk into Avalon on any given day and you will likely see at least one parent or guardian engaged in conversation with Avalon staff. Again, we recognize and celebrate that family participation and connection with the Avalon community builds and sustains our learning environment.

Q-Comp Goal- Math

Avalon students in grades 6, 7, 8, and 11 who have been continuously enrolled since October 1 of the 2014-2105 school year until scheduled MCA testing of that same year will improve their performance in demonstrating proficiency on the MCA-II and MCA-III mathematics test by increasing grade-level proficiency to 46%.

Analysis: Met As discussed earlier in our authorizer goals, 53.3% of Avalon students earned scores that met or exceeded proficiency standards. This represents a nearly 9% increase from the previous year.

C. Rationale for New and Continuing Goals for School Year 2015-2016

Since we have renewed our contract with NEO and begun to work closely with our authorizer, we have developed goals that make sense for the work we do at Avalon for the foreseeable future.

As the parent of a current 10th grade Avalon student, I am amazed at how she has blossomed at this school. It has truly changed her life - she went from being a shy and bullied girl to a strong, independent leader. Avalon meets students where they are and let's them express who they want to be in a safe, nurturing environment.

-An Avalon Parent

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 31

IX. School Climate

Avalon School continues to have a safe, supportive, encouraging school climate. This is evidenced by the results of our school climate surveys and discussed first in our authorizer goals and repeated below. As the survey is completed by a high percent of our families, we are confident the results are genuine.

From our authorizer goals, first discussed in section VIII.:

School Climate – Families

Avalon will survey individual students and their families concerning school climate each year of the contract term during February conference, and achieve the following results:

At least 95% of families will comment that Avalon School is a safe place to learn

Analysis: Met -100% of parents surveyed agree or strongly agree that Avalon is a positive learning environment -100% of parents surveyed agree or strongly agree that Avalon is a safe learning environment.

School Climate – Students

Avalon will survey individual students and their families concerning school climate each year of the contract term during February conference, and achieve the following results:

At least 95% of students will comment that Avalon School is a safe place to learn

Analysis: Met -97% of students surveyed agree or strongly agree that Avalon is a positive learning environment -97% of students surveyed agree or strongly agree that they feel safe at Avalon. (In fact, of all the students surveyed, only two selected “I disagree” when asked if Avalon was a safe environment.)

These numbers are incredibly high and have been for many years. This is the result of conscious, directed efforts from students, staff, and families to create such a positive school climate. We are proud of our numbers: in our history, families have consistently commented here and elsewhere about how safe Avalon School feels for them and for their children.

Why do we think these numbers are so high? There are number of reasons, a few of which we can note here:

* The advisory model -- a nationally-recognized model that encourages students of no more than

25 in an advisory to connect with and meaningfully communicate with one another every day for at least 20 minutes, the advisory is the Avalon student’s first community. It is here in this home base that feelings of support, encouragement, and safety begin.

* The advisor -- students connect with their advisor(s) by meeting either daily, weekly, or bi-

weekly to check in about student values, goals, and progress. As one advisor put it, advisors

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 32

help students bring the conversation back to what they value and how those values emerge through the work they do. With no principal or director, the advisor(s) are the main source of information and communication for parents/guardians and students. Students stay with an advisor (or advisor pairing) for up to three years in the middle school and four years in the high school.

* The larger Avalon School community -- Avalon students looking for other connections can form or join clubs (such as the Social Justice Club, Young Men’s Group, Knitting Club, and others). These student-run groups help foster the community and school climate that begins with the advisory.

During a recent cold spell in Minnesota when the temp/wind chill was very cold, we gave our daughter the option to stay home (we live 4 blocks away and we couldn't drive her that morning). She chose to walk because she wanted to continue to work on her project and didn't want to fall behind. This was definitely a "who are you and what have you done to our daughter" moment.

-An Avalon Parent

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 33

X.

Finances

Avalon won the Novation Educational Opportunities (NEO) 2015 Stewardship Award in Finance. The award recognizes excellence in legal compliance to both statute and contract fiscal health and sustainability being a good custodian of the taxpayers' funds.

The overall financial picture for the Avalon Charter School at the end of FY15 can be stated as

healthy with a control on revenues and expenditures resulting in a healthy fund balance. Below is a brief summary of the activities associated with the financial management of the school. Oversight and monitoring of the school's financial position occur monthly at the meeting of the board of directors who receive financial reports consisting of a YTD profit and loss, a detailed budget versus actual, a projected cash-flow report, and a balance sheet. The board approved an

adopted FY15 budget before June 30 th , 2014, and modified the budget midyear.

met and continues to meet all guidelines and deadlines related to state reporting including an annual audit of the school and its financial position. Areas of concern are consistently monitored

and procedures put in place to remove potential risks.

healthy, and has set itself up for future growth and sustainability.

The school has

The school remains financially stable and

FY 15 Audit will be shared with Avalon between October 1 and October 15 of 2015.

Information regarding financial data and financial issues related to the school can be found on the school's website www.avalonschool.org and any questions can be directed to Dean Walczak at 612-396-3694.

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 34

XI. Innovative Practices

The Senior Project

The Senior Project continues to be a cornerstone of academic life at Avalon. Spanning the entire school year, seniors are expected to spend over 300-hours on a topic of their choosing. To help prepare students for such an endeavor, several staff join the senior class for a three-day retreat at a farm in Osceola, Wisconsin. Volunteering their labor as the farm works to wrap up the season, seniors spend time gardening, harvesting, building a greenhouse, building and removing fences, and doing anything else the farm needs. During their downtime, staff lead students through brainstorming activities as the initial visions for the students’ senior projects begin to form. Seniors help each other set milestones and deadlines, write clear project proposals, and draft rubrics that will be used to evaluate their work in May.

Once students return, they work with staff, their families, and outside experts to refine their plan, eventually hosting a formal proposal during which they present their project outline to their project committee. Once launched, seniors work tirelessly to complete their projects, culminating in a 30-minute presentation to their peers and the broader community.

Projects this year – like every year - were diverse in interest, scale, and scope. Topics included

17 th century Blacksmithing, Forensic Geoscience, Beekeeping, iOS App programming,

Wilderness Survival, Oil Painting, and many more. Projects are expected to be of professional quality – a statement that rings especially true this year, as we now have a new school logo as the result of a senior project on Graphic Design.

My son graduated from Avalon last year. It was far and away the best place for a hyper creative soul such as him. Avalon is unlike other schools. There is a true community feeling of support. The students all come from diverse backgrounds and interests that would be squashed in a “normal” school setting. The tech kids work alongside the theatre kids who are best friends with the science kids who in turn kick back with the art kids. On top of that, their use of the 'senior project' idea where each senior spends a majority of their final year working on one project that is then presented to the school is simply revolutionary.

-An Parent of a Graduate

Grade Level Projects and Presentations

This year each high school student completed a grade level project and then gave grade level presentation. The ninth graders completed a 50-hour project and presented to their advisories in a 5 minute presentation. The tenth graders completed a 100-hour project and the eleventh graders completed a 150-hour project. They then presented to the student body on March 23 rd . Each student was given feedback on their presentations by staff and other students. Each grade level

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 35

had a rubric for their project and presentation. We are using the rubric this year as baseline data to then show improvement in all parts of the grade level projects. This all will give the scaffolding needed for them to present as seniors their 300-hour project in a formal 20 minute presentation. Seniors gave their presentations in May in either an afternoon or evening program.

Read Brave

For the third consecutive year, Avalon partnered with the Saint Paul Public Library for Read Brave, a program that gets Twin Cities students talking about the same book with each other and with the author of the book. This year How It Went Down by Kekla Megoon was chosen, and high school students read the multi-perspective tale about a murder of an African-American youth by a white man. Avalon students discussed the tale in light of the deaths of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and many others. We also continued to tackle what it means to have white privilege and how that would work in the story and in responding to the story. The month-long activity culminated in a visit to Avalon by the author, who spoke to Avalon students as well as LEAP School, a Saint Public High School for students who are English-language learners.

Opera Residency

Also for the third consecutive year, Avalon School teamed with IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project) and the Minnesota Opera Company to study an opera (in this case, Carmen), make films about a theme or themes in the opera, see the opera, and share our films with the larger community. This year saw the largest group of Avalon students participating (over 40), and one of the films was accepted into the EDU Film Fest. The Saint Anthony Park Foundation contributed a $1000 grant that paid in part for this project.

Improv Group

The Avalon improv group continues to go strong, meeting for a fall and spring session and offering two shows at the Huge Theater in Minneapolis. Over 20 Avalon students participated in at least one class, lead by Twin Cities actor and writer Eric Webster.

Service Week

At Avalon, service learning week is a very important break from the regular day to day activities as it embodies all of our core principles: active learning, engaged citizenship, strong community, and hope for the future. Students brainstormed areas of need in the community and then went out to effect change in the areas that they chose. Students worked as a team to identify problems and work toward solutions, and students saw that they can actually make a difference in their own world.

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 36

To include students in the planning process, advisories worked as a team to come up with service ideas. Advisors helped facilitate contacts, learning opportunities, service projects, and other logistics. Many groups had learning opportunities in their advisories throughout the year. The increased student input and decision-making have been valuable to make service week successful.

Each year advisories come up with varied organizations to work with. Some examples of service opportunities from this year include: Lauren’s advisory, who spent three days at the Audubon Center; and Carrie and Gretchen’s advisory, along with Tim’s advisory, who spent time at Camp St. Croix. Some students picked up garbage from local wetlands, while others learned about the perils to birds along their migratory routes; still others learned all that goes into maintaining a farm, including the immense amount of labor it takes to keep it functioning.

Jo's advisory stayed overnight and prepared an early hot breakfast for more than fifty adults who were staying at Simpson House Homeless shelter. Students planned the menu, raised the funds, purchased the food, and cooked and served the breakfast. They also spent time repairing fences, hauling gravel, and working on other outdoor chores at the Hooved Animal Rescue Center in Zimmerman, MN.

Young Men’s Group

Young Men's Group was held weekly for high school students during the 2014-2015 school year. The open group was facilitated by a school social worker and an education assistant. Attendance rates for the group averaged 15 students per week. The discussion format of the group allowed the participants a space to dialog about effective communication, stereotypes, responsibility, healthy decision making, self-awareness and personal growth.

Robotics

Students at Avalon had an opportunity to participate in FRC and FTC Robotics after school. Avalon co-teamed with Great River School (GRS) and Twin Cities Academy, making team 2491, No Mythic.

This year during the pre-build session from September through December, the team met every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 4:00-8:30 pm at GRS. The FTC team built their robot during this time and competed. The FRC team upgraded the previous year’s robot and went to practice matches with it. During build season the team met T/TH/ S for six weeks to build a new robot. They competed in two regional competitions, one in Duluth and one at the U of M.

The team won a first place at the regional at the U of M qualifying them for the international competition in Missouri. Almost all of the team members were able to attend. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of a worldwide competition.

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 37

The impact on the students that was significant. Several are now mentoring LEGO robotics this summer. The students learned electrical skills, CAD, coding, mechanics, pneumatics, marketing and teamwork.

CAD, coding, mechanics, pneumatics, marketing and teamwork. Solar Boat Regatta This year the Physics class entered

Solar Boat Regatta

This year the Physics class entered two solar boats in Minnesota Renewable Energy Society’s

Solar Boat Regatta.

and the other won all races and won 1 st place. The students that built the boats learned more about buoyancy, force and speed. They learned how to wire solar panels and motors and work with wood. They also learned to work as a team to get a project built so that all parts worked together.

The boats were student built and student driven. One boat won a 4 th place

built so that all parts worked together. The boats were student built and student driven. One
built so that all parts worked together. The boats were student built and student driven. One

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 38

MCIS Career Interest Survey

Per state requirements as well as Avalon School standards, all Avalon high school program students do work to explore future post-secondary education and training options, to become “college and career ready”. To that end, this year Avalon used the MCIS (Minnesota Career Interest Survey) offered by the state to have each 9th grader explore the software and consider college and career options (this included almost 40 students). The online program was used by many high school students, and we plan to continue to have all 9th graders in the fall of the school year create an MCIS portfolio and begin to entertain ideas about where their high school education might lead them.

Kitchen and Garden

Over the past three years, our students have expressed a strong interest in Farm to School (F2S) learning opportunities and so our staff has responded. Currently, Avalon has a raised bed garden and chicken coop which are embedded into our curriculum for both general education and special education students. We use produce from the garden and eggs from the chicken coop for cooking projects and experiential learning opportunities with our students. We have a small, non- permanent kitchen where students can prepare food. Students are familiar with the F2S concepts and they align with Avalon’s existing goals and commitments. Avalon's F2S committee is organizing and working toward the goal of having a full, licensed kitchen at Avalon in the future.

This year we have collaborated with closely-situated urban farms and urban farm coops. These farms operate production plots and facilities within a 10-mile radius of our school. The proximity of these farms, along with our unique project-based learning model, provides students the opportunity to intern as part of their core curriculum. Beginning this summer and into the 2015-16 school year, students will intern at these sites twice per week. These internships will be focused on developing student knowledge and competencies around local agricultural techniques, embedding their activities around state academic standards, and coordinating community outreach and education about the advantages of local produce.

In an attempt to link these activities with ultimate outcomes, Avalon will also, under the Federal Child Nutrition Program, prepare and serve one lunch per week utilizing a large portion of local produce. Produce will be sourced from the same farms where students work along with eggs and produce from our school garden. Avalon students will be actively involved in the preparation and service of the meals, providing them the full experience of growing, distributing and utilizing local produce. To do this, we will use a local incubator kitchen and transport meals back to our school for service. Avalon School actively participates in recycling and organic waste programs available in our city, thus we can easily dispose of garden and food waste in an environmentally responsible manner.

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 39

XII. Program Challenges

Race, Racism, and Whiteness

During the 2013-2014 school year, Avalon School contracted with Heather Hackman Consulting Group for a number of sessions throughout the school year to address white privilege and institutional racism both within and beyond Avalon. Through this training, staff identified the following goals:

1) ! Identifying institutional racism within and beyond Avalon 2) ! Speaking openly and honestly with students about our observations and concerns 3) ! Encouraging reflection and dialogue about race, racism, and white privilege 4) ! Creating more opportunities to both bring people of color to our school and welcome them once they are here 5) ! Supporting our students of color to go out into the community to make connections with people of color to deepen their learning.

Staff continued this work into the 2014-2015 school year in several ways, including leading thematic book clubs, discussing relevant news issues in advisories, supporting a student-run Social Justice Club, and – perhaps most importantly – by continuing to turn a reflective lens on our own practices, attitudes, and culture.

Strategic Plan

For a comprehensive discussion of challenges Avalon is working to overcome, please see section XIII. Future plans, or Avalon’s Strategic Plan 2015 document in Appendix I.

One semester at Avalon turned my seventh grader from a student who saw himself as "not a smart kid" to one who saw himself as a really good student. It challenged his creativity and initiative and gave him the tools to meet those challenges.

-An Avalon Parent

!

!

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 40

XIII. Future Plans

Our son has been at Avalon for two years and has enjoyed it as his best school experience so far. Avalon gives him freedom to be himself and focus his learning on the areas that interest him. Avalon is based on values of respect, exploration, and creativity instead of rules that everyone must conform to. Teachers ask students questions instead of telling them what to do. I appreciate that my son's advisor knows him as an individual and honestly encourages him toward accomplishment for himself. Avalon gives so much to each student and thus in turn to every family involved in this community. Avalon turned my seventh grader from a student who saw himself as "not a smart kid" to one who saw himself as a really good student. It challenged his creativity and initiative and gave him the tools to meet those challenges.

-An Avalon Parent

Avalon School Strategic Plan 2015

To read Avalon School’s Strategic Plan 2015 in its entirety, please see Appendix I.

Throughout the 2014-2015 school year, staff drafted, revised, and published a new strategic plan

to guide Avalon School through the next five years. Always keeping the students front and center, staff brainstorming began by envisioning the ideal traits of Avalon graduates in the year

2021. Through in-depth consultation and reflection with the local community, the Avalon

School Board, and other stakeholders, Avalon staff began to draft a vision of their ideal school.

Borrowing from Monica Martinez and Dennis McGrath’s insightful Deeper Learning (2014), in which Avalon School was one of eight schools profiled, staff focused on six essential traits for deeper learning.

Guiding Outcomes of 2021 Graduates

1.

! Mastery of Core Content

2.

! Critical Thinking

3.

! Collaboration (Student/Staff/Community)

4.

! Effective Communication

5.

! Self-Directed Learning

6.

! Academic Mindset

Using these traits as guide posts, staff and stakeholders critically analyzed Avalon’s current program. To truly engage students in deeper learning, staff identified four distinct areas that needed to be added, improved or changed.

Overall Goals/Areas Identified

5.

! Deeper Learning/Project-Based Learning (PBL):

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 41

Expand opportunities for all students through project-based learning by using the framework of deeper learning to strengthen our project-based curriculum and increase student engagement.

6.

! Community Connections:

Ensure that students have the skills and experiences necessary to feel connected to the community and competent when seeking job opportunities.

7.

! Commitment to Equity:

Deconstruct and identify the privileged systems/networks currently in place at Avalon. Implement new systems to dismantle the privileged systems and replace them with systems that distribute opportunity and resources to all students effectively and equitably, in particular those students in disadvantaged situations and marginalized communities.

8.

! Training/Support/Reform for Schools/Teachers:

Transform education locally and nationally by educating policy makers, teachers, administrators, and students about Avalon’s democratic, project-based learning, and teacher powered model.

Conclusion

Avalon’s philosophy is to meet each student where he/she is currently, to help that student establish meaningful and appropriately challenging goals, and, in the end, to support the student’s accomplishing those goals. The way we support each student is through a combination of projects and seminars to earn credit and complete standards. We work to wed student interests and aptitudes with state requirements and student needs.

We believe each student can be a successful, independent, life-long learner. We believe projects are a useful tool in achieving that end. We also believe that success happens in a supportive, nurturing community that values each member of that community. That’s why we have Congress, a gender sexuality alliance, peer mediation, advisory, and projects that are run for and by students. It is also why we have a co-op to run our school. We do not have a director or principal because we believe we must all come together as a staff to make the decisions that will affect our community. This shared ownership and governance helps focus all stakeholders and fosters a spirit of commitment and dedication to making Avalon an ideal place to learn.

We value respect for individuals, different cultures, the community, and the environment. There is an atmosphere of tolerance, integrity, equity, and safety. Avalon believes it is the responsibility of individuals to be engaged, active participants in their local and global communities. Visitors to Avalon will immediately recognize the sense of purpose, quality, and commitment that energizes this community.

Avalon’s future is bright. It is in this safe, positive learning environment of engaged students that we must continue to help them to develop the skills they need to be successful in the 21 st century.

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 42

XIV. Non-Profit Status

Avalon School qualifies as a non-profit organization, and the appropriate information can be found at http://www.ag.state.mn.us/Charity/SearchResults.asp?FederalID=311743023.

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 43

Appendices

Appendix A

Novation Education Opportunities (NEO) site visit report and contract goals

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 44

Appendix B: Avalon School Application

2014-2015 Page 44 Appendix B: Avalon School Application AVALON SCHOOL 2014-2015 school year (grades 6 –12)

AVALON SCHOOL

2014-2015 school year (grades 6 –12)

or

AVALON SCHOOL 2014-2015 school year (grades 6 –12) or 2015-2016 school year (grades 6 – 12)

2015-2016 school year (grades 6 – 12)

return to:

AVALON SCHOOL, 700 Glendale Street, Saint Paul, MN 55114-1782 Phone 651.649.5495 or Fax 651.649.5462

Avalon Mission Statement: Avalon School prepares students for college and life in a strong, nurturing community that inspires active learning, engaged citizenship and hope for the future.

STUDENT INFORMATION

Date

First Name

Home Address

City

Grade in fall of 2014

Last school attended, year, and city

Siblings at Avalon:

Student Application

Last Name

Zip code

Apartment #

Home Phone#

PARENT/GUARDIAN INFORMATION

Parent 1/Guardian (please print)

Work Phone #

Email address (if any)

Parent 2/Guardian (please print)

Work Phone #

Email address (if any)

Signature of parent or legal guardian:

Last updated on 3.12.13

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 45

Appendix C: Avalon School Registration 2014-2015

Student’s Legal Name

AVALON SCHOOL REGISTRATION 2014-2015 Gender

Grade in ’14-15

 

Last Name

First Name

Middle Name

Date of Birth

Birthplace

SSN (optional)

 

Address

Home

Phone

House Number

Street

Apt.

City

Zip

Area Code

Number

Additional Parent/Guardian Contact Information: Cell

 

E-mail

List ALL previous schools attended (Middle/High): (School Names and Cities)

Does your child have an IEP or 504 plan?

Who does student live with?

Yes, an IEP

Name: (circle one) Parent 1/Guardian

Yes, a 504 Plan

No, neither

Place of employment

Work Phone

Name: (circle one) Parent 2/Guardian

Place of employment

Work Phone

List sisters and/or brothers. Specify if they are attending Avalon School.

Grade

Grade

Grade

Grade

Racial/Ethnic Group (Please circle):

African African American Cambodian CaucasianHispanic Hmong Laotian Native American Somali

Pacific Islander

Vietnamese Other

Home Language, if not English

List any Major Health Problems

Family Physician

Phone

Choice of Hospital

Phone

EMERGENCY CONTACTS (IN ADDITION TO PARENTS): This is VERY important! If your child becomes ill at school or if school closes for an emergency, we must be able to contact someone who can care for your student.

Name

Relationship

Phone

Name

Relationship

Phone

FOR SCHOOL USE ONLY

* FOR SCHOOL USE ONLY

* FOR SCHOOL USE ONLY

*

FOR SCHOOL USE ONLY

ID #

MARSS #

Miles home to school

 

Grade Level

20

Advisor

Records Requested

Records Received

PF

Bus

JMC

Admit Date

Withdrawal Date

To

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 46

Appendix D: Avalon School Bylaws

(This document can also be located here: http://www.avalonschool.org/wp-

content/uploads/2010/07/Avalon-Bylaws-2011.pdf.)

AMENDED AND RESTATED

BYLAWS OF THE AVALON CHARTER SCHOOL (The “Corporation”)

PURPOSE

ARTICLE I

The Purposes of the Corporation are as stated in its Articles of Incorporation, including inter alia, operation of Minnesota public (charter) school (the “School”).

ARTICLE II

OFFICES

The registered office of the Corporation in the State of Minnesota is as stated in the Articles of Incorporation. The Corporation may have such other offices within the State of Minnesota as the Board of Directors may determine or as the affairs of the Corporation may require. The registered office may be, but need not be, identical with the principal office in the State of Minnesota.

ARTICLE III

MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Members: Members of the Board of Directors of the Corporation shall be Members of the Corporation.

Section 2.

Corporation (pursuant to Section IV hereafter) shall be held at such time and location as determined by the Board of the Directors. Board Elections and the Annual Meeting will be held on a day in which Avalon Charter School is in session. Notification shall be by a posting on the Avalon Charter School website, email notice, or postal service notice mailed first class at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting date. Such notice shall contain the date, time and place of the meeting.

Annual Meeting. The annual meeting of the members and Board Elections of the

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 47

Section 3. Special Meeting. A special meeting of Members may be called at any time by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. Notification shall be by newsletter or other first class postal service mailed, email, or posting on the Avalon Charter School website no fewer than seven (7) days prior to date of the meeting. Such notice shall contain the date, time, place and purpose of the meeting.

Section 4.

constitute a quorum.

Quorum.

For any annual or special meeting, a majority of the voting members shall

Section 5. Voting. At each annual meeting of the membership, every voting member shall have one (1) vote. Members may vote in person or by proxy. The affirmative vote of a majority of a quorum of voting members shall constitute a duly authorized action of the membership.

ARTICLE IV

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 1. General Powers. The affairs of the Corporation shall be managed by its Board of Directors. Except as limited by the Articles of Incorporation, these Bylaws, Minn. Stat. 124D.10, and by law, the Board of Directors shall have the power and authority to do all acts and perform all functions that the Corporation may do or perform.

Section 2. Number, Tenure and Qualifications. The Board of Directors shall consist of not less than five (5) nor more than eleven (11) members. A majority of the Board of Directors shall at all times consist of the licensed teachers providing instruction under contract with the Corporation. The Board shall have at least one licensed teacher, a community member (a person neither a licensed teacher employed by the school nor a parent of a student currently attending the School) and one parent or legal guardian of a student enrolled at Avalon Charter School. The Executive Director and the chief financial officer (the person employed by the staff having responsibility for the financial affairs of the School) shall be ex-officio members of the Board. The Board may, but shall not be required to, designate an unlimited number of ex-officio members.

At this date, the members of the Board and terms to which has been elected is shown on Att. 1 hereto. From and after the date of these Restated and Amended By-laws, each director shall hold office for a three (3) year term or until a successor has been duly elected and qualified, or until the director dies, resigns, is removed or the term otherwise expires. The election of the Board of Directors shall be in compliance with Section 124D.10 of the Minnesota Statutes.

a. Nomination Process. At least thirty (30) days prior to the Corporation’s annual meeting, the Board of Directors will solicit nominations for all the Directorate positions that will be filled at the next annual meeting. The Board of Directors will compile the list of nominees and notify the Corporation’s Members of the nominees for each position fifteen (15) days prior to the annual meeting.

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 48

Section 3. Regular Meetings. All meetings of the Board or committees shall be conducted under the provisions of the Minnesota Open Meeting Law, Mn. Stat. 13D.01 et.seq. Regular meetings of the board of Directors shall be held monthly during the school year. Dates will be published on the Avalon Charter School calendar and posted on the Avalon Charter School website. Board meetings may be canceled with notice by email to members and by posting the notice of cancellation on the Avalon Charter School website.

Section 4. Special Meetings. The Board Chair may call special meetings of the Board of Directors at any time, for any purpose. The Board Chair shall call a special meeting of the Board of Directors upon the written or verbal request of one-third (1/3) of the members of the Board. Notice of every special meeting of the Board of Directors shall be posted on the Avalon Charter School website at least five (5) days before the day on which the meeting is to be held.

Section 5. Quorum and Adjourned Meeting. A meeting at which at least a majority of the members of the Board of Directors are present shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of the Board of Directors. If, however, such quorum shall not be present at any such meeting, the director or directors present thereat shall have the power to adjourn the meeting from time to time without notice other than announcement at the meeting, until a quorum is convened, and later enough directors withdraw from the meeting so that less than a quorum remains, the directors remaining may continue to transact business until adjournment.

Section 6. Voting. Each member of the Board of Directors shall have the power to exercise one (1) vote on all matters to be decided by resolution of the Board. The affirmative vote of a majority of a quorum of Board members shall constitute a duly authorized action of the Board.

Section 7. Resignation and Removal. Directors may resign at any time, effective immediately or at a specified later date, by giving written notice to the Board Chair or the Secretary of the Corporation. Unless otherwise specified therein, the acceptance of such resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective. A director may be removed at any time, with or without cause, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of a majority of all remaining directors of the Corporation. Failure to attend four (4) consecutive meetings or two (2) quarterly meetings shall constitute cause.

on

disqualification, resignation, disability, removal or such other cause shall be filled by appointment of a new director by the affirmative vote of a majority of the remaining directors, even if less than a quorum is present. A director filling a vacancy shall hold office until the next annual meeting of the members, or until his successor has been duly elected and qualified, subject to his earlier death, disqualification, resignation or removal.

death,

Section

8.

Filling

Vacancies.

Vacancies

the

Board

of

Directors

caused

by

Section 9. Compensation. Except for licensed teacher directors, directors shall not receive compensation for their services as a Director. In addition, the directors of this Corporation may be reimbursed for the reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred by them in rendering services to this Corporation, as the Board of Directors from time to time determines such services to be directly in furtherance of the purposes and in the best interest of the Corporation.

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 49

Section 10. Presence at Meetings. Members of the Board of Directors or of any committee, as applicable, must be present to participate in making decisions.

Section 11 . Committees of Board. The Board of Directors may, by resolution passed by a majority of the Board of Directors, designate, define the authority of, set the number and determine the identity of, members of one or more committees. Committee members must be natural persons, but need not be members of the Board of Directors. The Board may, by similar vote, designate one or more alternate members of any committee who may replace any absent or disqualified member at any meeting of the committee.

11.1. Authority of Committees. Any committee, to the extent provided in these Bylaws or

in the resolutions creating such committee, shall have and may exercise all of the powers and authority granted by the Board of Directors in the management and business affairs of the Corporation; provided, however, that no committee shall be granted any powers or authority exceeding or the same as that granted to the Board of Directors. Unless otherwise stated in the resolutions creating it, or in these Bylaws, committee actions shall be taken only upon the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the committee. Failure of a committee to reach an agreement upon any issue before it shall require referral of such issue to the entire Board of Directors.

11.2. Procedures for Conducting Meetings. The activities of all committees of this

Corporation shall be conducted in such manner as will advance the best interest of the Corporation. Each committee shall fix its own rules of procedure and other regulations which shall be consistent with the Articles of Incorporation, these Bylaws and the policies of the Corporation. The Board Chair shall be an ex-officio member of all committees, unless he serves as a member of such committee. The meetings of all committees shall be open to attendance by all directors, which directors may participate in any such meeting but may not vote unless such director is a member of the committee.

11.3. Limitation on Authority of Committees. Each committee shall be under the

direction and control of the Board and shall keep regular minutes of their proceedings, and all

actions of each committee shall be reported to the Board of Directors and shall be subject to revision, ratification or alteration by the Board of Directors. Each committee shall meet as provided by its rules or by resolution of the Board of Directors. Notice of all meetings of any committee shall be given to all members of that committee as required by the Minnesota Open Meeting Law.

Section 12. Conflict of Interest. Each director must complete a conflict-of-interest statement for review by the Board’s Authorizer within thirty (30) days of their election, and shall annually complete such a statement on the anniversary of their election or on such an annual date that the Board may select.

12.1. Conflict of Interest Policy. The Board shall follow all laws regarding Conflict of

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 50

ARTICLE V OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES

Section 1. Number; Election. The officers of the Corporation shall be elected for one (1) year terms by the Board of Directors, and shall consist of a President (Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer) and/or Co-President (Co-Chair and Chief Executive Officer), Treasurer (Chief Financial Officer), Secretary and such other officers as the Board of Directors shall determine from time to time.

Section 2. Vacancies. A vacancy in any office of this corporation occurring by reason of death, disqualification, resignation or removal shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term by appointment of a successor by the Board of Directors.

Section 3. President (Board Chair). The president or Presidents shall:

3.1. Act as the chairman of the Board of Directors and exercise the functions of the office

of the president of the Corporation;

3.2. Preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors;

3.3. Perform such duties and exercise such powers as are necessary or incident to the

supervision and management of the business and affairs of the Corporation;

3.4. Sign and deliver, in the name of the Corporation, all deeds, mortgages, bonds,

contracts or other instruments requiring an officer’s signature, unless otherwise directed by the

Board;

3.5. Have the general powers and duties usually vested in the office of the president; and

3.6. Have such other powers and perform such other duties as are prescribed by

Minnesota Statutes, Section 317A.305, Subd. 2, and as the Board of Directors may from time to time prescribe.

Section 4. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall:

4.1. Keep accurate accounts of all monies of the Corporation received or disbursed;

4.2. Have the care and custody of the corporate funds and securities;

4.3. Have the power to endorse for deposit all notes, checks and drafts received by the

Corporation;

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 51

4.4. Render to the Board Chair and the Board of Directors, whenever required, an account

of all of financial transactions as Chief Financial Officer and of the financial condition of the

Corporation; and

4.5. Perform such other duties and have such other powers as may from time to time be

prescribed by the Board of Directors or by the Board Chair related to financial matters;

Section 5. Secretary. The Secretary shall maintain the office of the Corporation and shall:

5.1. Attend all meetings of the members, the Board of Directors and all committees

(when requested);

5.2. Record all proceedings of the minutes of the members, Board of Directors and

committees in a book to be kept for that purpose;

5.3. Preserve all documents and records belonging to the Corporation;

5.4. Maintain a list of all members of the Corporation in good standing;

5.5. Give cause to be given notice of all meetings of the members and all meetings of the

Board of Directors and committees; and

5.6. Perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board of Directors or the

Board Chair from time to time.

Section 6. Management and Administrative Employees. The Corporation will operate as a teacher partnership model based on teacher ownership and shared decision-making. The teacher partnership will define administrative employees as deemed necessary. Such employees shall have the duties and responsibilities and hold their positions for the time prescribed by the Board of Directors.

Section 7. Compensation. The officers and employees of the Corporation may be paid such reasonable compensation, if any, for their services rendered to the Corporation in such capacity, and may be reimbursed for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses, as the Board of Directors from time to time determines to be directly in furtherance of the purposes and in the best interests of the Corporation.

Section 8. Bond. The Board of Directors of this Corporation shall from time to time determine which, if any, of the officers, agents or employees of this Corporation shall be bonded and the amount of each bond.

Section 9. Removal of Office. Any officer may be removed at any time, with or without cause, by the vote of a majority of a quorum of the Board of Directors at any regular meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose.

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 52

Section 10. Resignation. Any officer may resign at any time. Such resignation shall be made in writing to the President or the Secretary of the Corporation and shall take effect at the time specified therein or, if no time be specified, at the time of its receipt by the President or Secretary. The acceptance of a resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective.

ARTICLE VI DISTRIBUTION OF THE ASSETS

Section 1. Right to Cease Operations and Distribute Assets. By a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all directors, the Board of Directors may resolve that the Corporation cease operations and voluntarily dissolve. Such resolution shall set forth the proposed dissolution and direct designated officers of the Corporation to perform all acts necessary to effect a dissolution. Written notice as required by these Bylaws shall be given to all voting members stating that the purpose of the meeting shall be to vote upon the dissolution of the Corporation. A resolution to dissolve the Corporation shall be approved only upon the affirmative vote of a two-thirds (2/3) of a quorum of voting members of the Corporation taken at a meeting during which the resolution is brought before the voting members. If such cessation and distribution is called for, the Board of Directors shall set a date for the commencement of the distribution.

Section 2. Cessation and Distribution. When cessation of operations and distribution of assets has been called for, the Board of Directors and the designated officers shall cause the Corporation to discontinue its regular business activities and operations as soon as practicable, and shall liquidate and distribute all the Corporation’s assets to other entities in accordance with Minnesota Statutes, Section 317A.735 and in accordance with the Articles of Incorporation. Notice of intent to dissolve shall be filed with the Secretary of State pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, Section 317A.723.

ARTICLE VII INDEMNIFICATION

Section1. Indemnification. Each director, officer and employee of the Corporation, past or present, and each person who serves or may have serves at the request of the Corporation as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee, representative or agent of another organization or employee benefit plan, and the respective heirs, administrators and executors of such persons, shall be indemnified by the Corporation is accordance with, and to the fullest extent permitted by, Minnesota Statutes, Section 317A.521. The Corporation shall not be obligated to indemnify any other person or entity, except to the extent such obligation shall be specifically approved by resolution of the Board of Directors. The Corporation shall have the power to advance such person’s expenses incurred in defending any such proceeding to the maximum extent permitted by law. This Section is and shall be for the sole and exclusive benefit of individuals designated herein and no individual, firm or entity shall have any rights under this Section by way of assignment, subrogation or otherwise, where voluntarily, involuntarily or by operation of law.

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 53

Insurance. The Corporation may purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any

person who is or was a director, officer, employee or agent of the Corporation, against any liability asserted against and incurred by such person in his or her official capacity, or arising out of his or her status as such, whether or not the Corporation would have the power to indemnify

such person against liability under Minnesota Statutes, Section 317A.521, the Articles of Incorporation or these bylaws.

Section 2.

ARTICLE VIII AMENDMENTS

Subject to the right of the voting members to adopt, amend, and repeal these Bylaws as set forth in Minnesota Statues, Section 317A.181, Subd. 2(b), the power to adopt, amend or repeal the Bylaws is vested in the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE IX FINANCIAL MATTERS

Section 1. Contracts. The Board of Directors may authorize any officer or officers, agent or agents of the Corporation to enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name and on behalf of the Corporation, and any such authority may be general or confined to specific instances. Unless so authorized by the Board of Directors or these Bylaws, no officer, agent or employee shall have any power or authority to bind the Corporation by any contract or engagement, or to pledge its credit or to render it liable pecuniary for any purpose of to any amount.

Section 2. Loans and Pledges. No loans shall be contracted nor pledges or guarantees given on behalf of the Corporation unless specifically authorized by the Board of Directors.

Section 3. Authorized Signatures. All checks, drafts or other orders for the payment of money, notes or other evidence of indebtedness issued in the name of the Corporation shall be signed by such persons and in such manner as shall from time to time be determined by the Board of Directors or these Bylaws.

Section 4. Deposits. All funds of the Corporation shall be deposited to the credit of the Corporation in such banks, trust companies or other depositories as the Board of Directors may designate and shall be disbursed under such general rules and regulations as the Board of Directors may from time to time determine.

Section 5. Corporate Seal. The Corporation shall not have a corporate seal.

Section 6. Documents Kept at Registered Office. The Board of Directors shall cause to be kept at the registered office of this Corporation originals or copies of:

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 54

6.1. Records of all proceedings of the Board of Directors and all committees;

!

6.2. Records of all votes and actions of the members;

!

6.3. All financial statements of the Corporation; and

!

6.4. Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of this Corporation and all amendments and restatements thereof.

!

Section 7. Accounting System and Audit. The Board of Directors shall cause to be established and maintained, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles applied on a consistent basis, an appropriate accounting and financial reporting system for the Corporation. The Board shall cause the records and books of accounts of the Corporation to be audited at least once each fiscal year and at such other times as it may deem necessary or appropriate, and may retain such person of firm for such purposes as it may deem appropriate.

Section 8. Funding Limits. The Board of Directors shall not allocate more than seventy percent (70%) of the total funding received from the State of Minnesota for wages and salaries. The foregoing limitation does not include benefits such as medical and dental benefits or other benefits deemed necessary by the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE X MISCELLANEOUS

Section1. Gender References. All references in these bylaws to a party in the masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter.

Section 2. Plurals. All references in the plural shall, where appropriate, include the singular, and all references to the singular shall, where appropriate, be deemed to include the plural.

Section 3. Governing Law. At all times the Corporation shall abide the provisions of Minnesota and Federal Law including, but not limited to MN. Stat. §124D.10, MN. Stat. §124D.11, the Minnesota Open Meeting Law and Minnesota Data Practices Act.

Adopted at a properly noticed meeting of the Board of Directors on February 17, 2011.

Certified:

Secretary

Avalon School Annual Report 2014-2015 Page 55

Appendix E: Hope Study Report

Our scores on the Hope Survey this year fall well in line with our last ten years of data. Compared to last year, our overall Hope Score rose a little, reaching a score or 49.89, our second highest score in the last eight years. In several other categories, we were either just ahead or just behind last years scores.

AllSchools

Avg

Spring

2015

49.59

 

3.5

3.57

5.62

 

4.29

3.94

3.23

3.34

 

4.01

2.12

3.8

 

Spring

2015