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Mr.  Taran  Gruber
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State of the School Address

Mr. Taran Gruber, Principal
Mr. Taran Gruber, Principal

State of the School Address



Dear Andrew Avenue Community,

Summer brings time to reflect, consider progress as well as areas of need, and plan for the following year. 

The 2014-15 school-year was simply amazing! We had tremendous growth in both mathematics and reading. We joined an elite group of schools benefitting from extra support in partnership with the State of Connecticut, UCONN, The Hill for Literacy and Literacy How in efforts to close achievement gaps and challenge all students to meet their individual potential. This partnership, along with a fantastically talented faculty, made a significant difference. To be specific, we had roughly 20% more students meeting benchmark in the spring than we did in the fall, in both math and reading. We are, without a doubt, on the right track. Andrew Avenue is a Great Place to Be…and keeps getting better.

This past year we implemented a new reading program called Reading Street which will complement our new mathematics program to be implemented this coming year; both are published by Pearson. Both programs are aligned to the Common Core and provide teachers with a plethora of resources which gives them the ability to focus on analyzing data and planning, rather than searching for materials. However, research shows that the teacher is the most important factor in determining student success and we are diligent about teaching to student need/interest, rather than simply following a program. The programs provide differentiated materials designed to challenge all children, at all ability levels.

We continue to utilize our STAR program as a way to encourage positive behaviors. Throughout each day we recognize students and reinforce positive behaviors with STARs given to students who are Safe, Try their best, have an Awesome attitude and are Respectful. Students receiving STARs participate in a monthly raffle. Students also vote on a peer to be Student of the Month. Our school counselor, Meagan Rolla, does an exemplary job of running the STAR Program. Most importantly, all adults at Andrew prioritize forming relationships with children and families. We continue to have minimal office referrals and we are able to maintain a focus on teaching and learning with very little lost instructional time.

Our Parent Teacher Group (PTG) continues to support our school in countless ways. The money they raise through fundraising pays for our field trips and assemblies. We hope to have more assemblies in the upcoming year. The PTG also sponsors many fun events for our families at low or no cost.  On a personal note, I greatly appreciate their moral support and the positivity they bring to our school community. Lastly, this past year, a PTG father took over the Outdoor Classroom and made noteworthy progress. Please consider joining the PTG.

Please join me in welcoming new faculty members:

·         Laura DePaulo, Grade 4

·         Amanda Foley, Grade 4

·         Linda Gregg, School Nurse

·         Susan Yammine (previously 4th Grade,) now Mathematics Consultant

·         New CK3LI Team- Stephney Gonzalez (coach), Jenn McBriety and Jennifer Oliverio (interventionists)

I cannot express how grateful I am to be a member of such an amazing team. Frankly, where I am professionally exceeds my hopes and dreams. Thank you to the families, faculty and students for providing me with such an opportunity. You inspire me to be better tomorrow than I was today!


Mr. Gruber