Award Year: 2021

Avoca Elementary School

8751 Willow Street
Avoca, MI, 48006-7702

(810) 387-3231

Therese Damman, Principal at time of Nomination

Mrs. Megan Yelle, Current Principal

Title I School, Choice School

Yale Public School District

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Our mission is to be an innovative, positive, and encouraging school that offers exceptional education, and opportunities to learn and excel for all students. We recognize the importance of teaching the whole student and value family and community involvement.

Student Demographics
  • White: 100%
AES First Day of School, Fall 2021

AES First Day of School, Fall 2021

Avoca Elementary School is most notably a strong community that achieves academic excellence through our commitment to developing supportive relationships among staff, students, and families. These strong relationships create an unparalleled sense of family that sustains our building's ability to be a safe and supportive space for individual achievement, growth, and expression. From this familial foundation, our students and staff immerse themselves in rigorous instruction, geared toward the whole child, that thrives on our teamwork yet is focused on the individual learner.

From this basis of connection and belonging, staff and students at Avoca Elementary School engage in research-based best practices that address the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral needs of all students. We are fortunate to enjoy abundant, quality support from our social work and counseling team. Our teaching staff is skilled at data analysis, and we strategically use this information to drive instruction and to differentiate for the needs and interests of our students. Our teachers and support staff are deeply invested in our learning community and are talented and creative practitioners who continuously engage in professional growth.

Avoca Elementary School enjoys a traditionally robust and recently rejuvenated Positive Behavior Intervention Support program where students are celebrated for their behavioral excellence and their contributions to our school community. We have established systems for celebrating and encouraging academic achievement in reading. Our students enjoy exciting music, art, physical education, and technology experiences. The scope of academic and enrichment opportunities that organically develop within our supportive community is exactly what allowed our staff and students to not only successfully navigate the tumultuous terrain of public education during a pandemic, but to excel and continue to grow during this most difficult time.

Avoca Elementary School is an example of what high relational capacity combined with authentic academic rigor can achieve in a rural community. AES demonstrates that it is possible to create a cognitively vibrant and inspirational learning community by engaging in inquiry-based instruction and by intentionally leveraging systems to continuously build capacity. All it takes is a welcoming atmosphere to set the stage for exceedingly impressive academic achievement that leads to bright futures for our students.