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Tips for Academic Success

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Academic Success: 5 Quick Tips

At Avon, we understand that boys learn differently.

"Young men benefit the most from experienced teachers who understand how the brain of an adolescent male works and how best to stimulate them in a variety of situations and settings." Art Custer, Dean of Curriculum and Instruction

We strategically position our students to excel academically both in and out of the classroom in ways they wouldn't find in a co-ed school. Follow these quick tips to get a start on achieving the most in your journey to scholarly success at Avon:

1. Utilize your advisor relationship. You will be assigned an advisor who will guide and mentor you here. You will sit with your advisor at Morning Meeting every day and also several times a week at lunch. Your advisor is there to be your personal sounding board and advocate when it comes to your grades, so ask him or her as many questions as you'd like!

2. Visit the Learning Center The Learning Center is a free resource for all students and is located in the Diogenes building. Students will encounter a supportive environment to help them complete their academic course work, in addition to coaching students on time management, organization, study skills, and test-taking strategies. Students are scheduled to attend the Learning Center during their free periods. Approximately 25% of Avon students take advantage of the Learning Center’s resources at a variety of different levels. The Learning Center strives to help boys understand their unique learning styles, and develop the academic skills and confidence needed to be independent learners and also coordinates classroom accommodations and the scheduling of both peer and professional tutors.

3. Actively engage in scheduled enrichment time. Enrichment is one of the unique academic advantages Avon Old Farms provides students. After dinner from 6:45 - 7:45 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, teachers are available in their offices to answer questions and give students extra help. 

4. Find your voice in class. With class sizes of 10-11 students, teachers have the time and space to be more flexible to answer questions during class. When students boldly participate in class with curious intention, the learning atmosphere takes on a charge that is undeniable and beneficial to every student. So, raise your hand and ask!

5. Proactively check your portal. The best way to get an edge on your assignments is to check your individual grades, teacher feedback, and work that is due. If you need help setting up access to your portal on your device, our IT Department can walk you through the steps.

We pride ourselves on our rigorous and diverse academic program at Avon Old Farms. Peruse our curriculum for more information on the varied courses we offer.

Academia FAQs

How do we know what classes to sign up for?

Our Academic Deans carefully review your transcripts from this past year and make decisions based upon what they see and your past teacher recommendations. Then, they will email you with a proposed class schedule. You can approve the schedule, or if you have issues with it, you are welcome to connect with them and they will work with you to place you accordingly. Even if you are worried about your placement level in a certain class, we have a 3 week add-drop period during which you will be able to truly determine whether you belong in a given class-level or not. If you think that the class rigor is too much or too little for you, your advisor and the Academic Dean will be able to move classes accordingly.


I have a question about signing up for classes, who should I contact?
Grades 9-10
Rob Whitty
Academic Dean
whittyr@avonoldfarms.com
860-404-4624

Grades 11, 12, and PG
Graham Callaghan
Academic Dean
callaghang@avonoldfarms.com
860-404-4651

Where and when do I get my class supplies?

You will begin your classes and then your teachers will make you aware of what you need to have for the year. Do not feel pressure to have any supplies when classes first start. All of the materials on your list will be in stock at the Hawk’s Nest School Store. You can also get supplies during school trips to Wal-Mart in the first week of school.


I have a question about class supplies, who should I contact?
Grades 9-10
Rob Whitty
Academic Dean
whittyr@avonoldfarms.com
860-404-4624

Grades 11, 12, and PG
Graham Callaghan
Academic Dean
callaghang@avonoldfarms.com
860-404-4651

If I am a day student, what should I bring to school every day?

Each day student is assigned his own locker. We recommend that you keep a spare change of classroom dress in your locker at all times. You are also given a “laundry loop” upon which you can put your gym clothes after practices so that they are washed for the next day by our equipment manager. It is up to you to determine which books you need to bring back and forth between home and school.



I have a question about day student supplies, who should I contact?
Grades 9-10
Rob Whitty
Academic Dean
whittyr@avonoldfarms.com
860-404-4624

Grades 11, 12, and PG
Graham Callaghan
Academic Dean
callaghang@avonoldfarms.com
860-404-4651

How will I know where to find my classes?

Everyone will be in the same boat during the first few days. The upperclassmen are there to help you, so ask them. If someone sees you looking around like you are lost, he or she will tell you where to go. Also, during orientation, your advisor will walk you to all of your classrooms. Do not be afraid to ask anyone for directions!


I have a question about finding classes, who should I contact?
Grades 9-10
Rob Whitty
Academic Dean
whittyr@avonoldfarms.com
860-404-4624

Grades 11, 12, and PG
Graham Callaghan
Academic Dean
callaghang@avonoldfarms.com
860-404-4651

How do I get my books?

Books can be purchased through our online bookstore and should be picked up on campus during opening day registration. Books are available to rent or buy.


I have a question about books, who should I contact?
Grades 9-10
Rob Whitty
Academic Dean
whittyr@avonoldfarms.com
860-404-4624

Grades 11, 12, and PG
Graham Callaghan
Academic Dean
callaghang@avonoldfarms.com
860-404-4651

Where do I send my final transcript?

Final transcripts should be mailed to:

Admissions
Patrick Miller
Dean of Enrollment
500 Old Farms Road
Avon, CT 06001

Is there extra academic support available?

Yes! The mission of the Learning Center is to guide students in the process of acquiring the skills needed to meet the demands of our college-preparatory curriculum. Our goal is to help provide scholars with the tools and confidence to become independent life-long learners. The Learning Center attracts and works with a wide range of students seeking academic support. While much of our focus is helping students to address particular learning issues, we do have some boys who utilize the Learning Center to assist them with a particularly challenging assignment.

The Learning Center is also the location for Avon’s peer and professional tutoring services. If you are interested in having your son attend the Learning Center, or if your son attended the Learning Center last year, please contact Samantha Jensen, Director of the Learning Center, at your earliest convenience to prepare effectively for the coming academic year.

Also, if your son is eligible for extended time on classroom evaluations, please send the appropriate documentation to Samantha Jensen. For information concerning extended time on standardized testing (PSAT, SAT, ACT), please notify the registrar, Marie Delnicki at 860-404-4285 prior to June 30.


I have a question about the Learning Center, who should I contact?
Samantha Jensen
Director of the Learning Center
jensens@avonoldfarms.com
860-404-4142

How do I get ready for math with Khan Academy?

This August, the Avon Old Farms Mathematics Department is excited to announce an innovative month-long program designed to enrich your mathematics education and supplement your understanding of key topics, specific to your current and future course of study. This initiative will be coordinated using Khan Academy and your assigned "coaches" will be your Avon Old Farms teachers who instruct the course in which you have been scheduled. The math department has tailored and customized the learning objectives that are specific to your scheduled course and textbooks. Each of the Khan Academy courses will have approximately 50 – 60 learning objectives that you can work through at your own pace. The courses which have been assigned in the Khan Academy program are Algebra 2, Advanced Functional Analysis, Pre Calculus and Calculus. Please enroll in the class in which you have been scheduled for the fall. If you have been enrolled in a class that is not on this list, we strongly advise you to utilize Khan Academy or another resource to reinforce required skills for that course during the month of August.

Learn How to Access Khan Academy


 

Meet Man of Avon Matt Wagner '88: Partner, Stamford’s Diserio Martin Firm; Chairman of Intellectual Property Division

“From the nurse at the end of faculty row all the way up to Ken LaRocque – who was my senior course advisor, college counselor, dorm master, and dean – there were people who influenced my time at Avon. Mr. Mac, Mr. Custer, Mr. Chabot, Mr. Mitchell, The Evans', Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Khron, and Mr. Narsipur all stand out as people who mentored me along the way. "

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