This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted August 19, 2014
- a teacher
I work at Avalon, and I don't think I've met a more satisfied and passionate teaching staff. I respect the teachers and school leaders so much. Clearly I'm a little biased since I work here, but I'm also thrilled to see how much students are learning and growing. Three years ago, Avalon had the lowest CPS rating, and after many changes in the school, Avalon is one of the fastest growing schools in the city. I'm so excited to kick off an even better new year!
CICS Avalon has truly improved significantly over the past two years. The school went from having approximately 23 fights within three months to only 1 or 2 a year. The academics improved significantly! Change isn't easy, but the changes have made the school better for children. When children perform well on assessments they increase their likelihood of getting accepted into a better high school and college. We use data to drive instruction, because it matters. Teachers have to know if students have mastered the content, so that we can reteach. CICS Avalon focuses on best practice, and we implement techniques that are proven. If you want to be developed into a great teacher, then this is the place to be!
Since Victory took over management of Avalon two years ago the atmosphere at the school has really changed. Teachers and staff as well as students and families are not shown respect by administration. Morale is low and turnover is high, both among teachers and students. Teachers are given zero control over what or how they teach and there is a heavy focus on test preparation. Everything is about appearances and the students scoring well enough on assessments to make the administration look good, no matter the cost to students. Students do not have recess and are rarely if ever given any time to socialize or engage in creative activities. There is an extremely strict discipline policy enforced even in the primary grades. There is no school council or PTA for parents to get involved in decisions made about the school, and the general opinion among the administration is that it is a "school of choice" and if parents/teachers don't like it, then they have the "choice" to go somewhere else. I would not recommend this school as a place to work or send your children.
My daughters attend CICS Avalon Campus and have been here since 1st and 3rd grade. They are currently in 6th and 8th grade and love it. What drew my attention to this school was the size of the student body. The students are more acquainted with the staff and each other and not just another student like a school of a larger size. The principal has been making every effort to make this school number one in academics and I believe he can do it. I would recommend this school to others.
My son started kindergarten there in 2012 and he has learned so much. My sisters went there years ago and it has changed a lot. The directors are great. His teachers were awesome. They tried going in a different direction and so far in my opinion they have succeeded. He will definitely stay in Cics-Avalon until 8th grade.
My grandchildren started this school for the 2011-2012 school year and they enjoy going to school. I like that the curriculum is challenging and exciting to them. The staff is great and caring that is important to me as it creates a good learning enviroment. GREAT JOB!!!!
My daughter is in K and I LOVE her teacher and the entire staff. I was nervous when she started school but was comforted by the dedication and commitment the staff has towards the students. The school has a family atmosphere and I Love the fact that their are male teachers the students can view in a positive light. Ms. Hill and the entire staff is doing a Wonderful job!!!
My children have attended CICS Avalon since it opened in 2005. I love the hands on attention that the administrative staff and teachers give the students. Ms. Hill, I believe has done in excellent job in her position as Director. She seems to have a genuine care for her students. I love this school and I would recommend it to anyone!
CICS Avalon is a GREAT school!! My children are in 4th and 1st grades and have been here since kindergarten. They are both excellent students. The curriculum is challenging and fun. The environment is safe. The security staff knows each student and parent by name. The school has a full computer lab and each student has access to a computer. As a result the students have a great opportunity to excel in technology. The principal is AWESOME she is very active with the students and staff which makes a great learning environment.
As a teacher at CICS Avalon, I can say that it's one of the best schools on the south side. We have great administrative support at all times, we are held accountable for the success of each of our students, and we are rewarded for our accomplishments. I've been here for nearly 6 years. I will not trade this for any other. I truly enjoy the atmosphere and "family like" community we have at Avalon.