Avalon Middle School has a strong focus on:
High Expectations for Student Learning
Avalon MS works to promote positive student outcomes in academics by placing an emphasis on strong academic rigor and ensuring for the instructional needs of all learners.
• Providing specialized courses to promote students learning in the areas of reading and mathematics for all students working below grade level.
• Use of data driven instruction in regards to course placement and student tracking throughout the year. Data includes FSA testing and i-Ready diagnostic reports.
• Implementation of balanced literacy strategies across the curriculum to reinforce literacy skills in vocabulary, comprehension and fluency.
Student Social and Emotional Well-Being
Developing our students’ social and emotional wellbeing along with our students’ academic skills is important to Avalon Middle School. We have several programs in place designed to help our students with their social / emotional skills.
• Providing a “safe place” support system for students who are struggling with family / friend issues, including our LBGTQ students.
• Providing school wide bullying and cyberbullying prevention lessons and kindness initiative throughout the school year.
• Offering the “Teen Safety Matters” program which educates and empowers teens with information and strategies to prevent, recognize, and respond appropriately to bullying, cyberbullying, all types of abuse, relationship abuse, sex trafficking, and digital dangers.
• Providing the Restorative Justice program which empowers students to resolve conflicts and builds empathy in order to reduce suspensions.
Dedicated and High-Quality Team
Avalon MS has a philosophy that all stakeholders are valued inclusive of students, teachers, parents, and community members. Through the use of shared decision making (i.e. leadership committees) the school works to promote a positive school climate that truly focuses on student outcomes in all areas. We work to provide teachers and staff members with the opportunities to become reflective practitioners and engage in collegial dialogue resulting in changes to our common practices to meet the needs of students.
Positive Climate and Safe Environment
Avalon MS supports this goal in a number of ways. First, through the fair and consistent use of the district Code of Conduct our school works to ensure that all students are aware of their rights and responsibilities. Secondly, our school partners with organizations like SAFE, Student Government, BETA Club, and others to provide opportunities for students to work towards positive solutions. Finally, our school staff is keenly aware of the differences between middle and high school students and will promote positive teacher student relationships that will help foster a safe school campus.
Avalon MS works to support this goal through efficient budgetary operations. Energy and water conservation as well as tracking consumption during non student hours are all being implemented. In addition, our open policy in which we share our school budgeting process with both parents and teachers ensures that we are putting the budget dollars where they matter the most…in front of our students.
Engaged and Invested Community
Avalon MS continually strives to communicate openly and frequently regarding any issues. Through the use of Connect Ed, PTSA, PLC, IB, SAC, newsletters, website and flyers we ensure effective communication between the school and a student’s home. Avalon also strongly encourages parental/community involvement in all areas on a regular basis. We truly value our parental and community family input.
Principal Karen Furno has been with OCPS for more than 25 years. She has served as the principal of Avalon Middle School since January 2015. Prior to that, she served as the principal of Chain of Lakes Middle School and the Director of Leadership Development for OCPS. She began her career in education at Wymore Secondary School as a teacher and administrative dean. She also served as the assistant principal of Meadow Woods Middle School and Freedom Middle School. Ms. Furno obtained her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!) and her Master of Education in Educational Leadership Degree from Nova Southeastern University. Ms. Furno spends her free time cheering on her children on the field and court and traveling with her family.