From the Desk of ACS Supt. David Burleson: Spring is Here, Keep Fingers Crossed

Published Monday, March 30, 2015 at 1:38 pm

Even though spring is officially here, last weekend reminded us that winter has not lost its grip. We all that know that late March and early April can bring some snow and bad weather to Avery County. Currently, our last scheduled day of school for students is June 12, and, unless we get more inclement weather, we will be having three days of Spring Break; April 3, 6, & 7.

Supt. Burleson

Supt. Burleson

Our calendar committee is hard at work and in the final stages of developing the school calendar for 2015-2016. We have shared the calendar with faculty, staff, parents, and the community. If the calendar law does not change, students will head back to school on August 17, and the scheduled last day for students is June 2. Our plan for next year is to continue to add the additional twenty to the school day as we have done this year, starting with the very first day. Doing this allows us to not only bank some time for snow days but it will also allow us to finish our first semester before Christmas at the high school. Based on this year’s weather we feel like, along with our calendar committee, that finishing first semester before Christmas is advantageous not only to our students, but to our entire community.

We would appreciate your input on our calendar. A copy of the proposed calendar is posted on our website. You are welcome to call our office to get a copy, and we would love to hear from you, either by email, a telephone call or a visit.

Even though we are not finished with this school year yet, we are already planning our summer programs at this time. Our goal is to provide our students who need a little extra help and support the opportunity to get that during the summer months. Our plan is that summer school for kindergarten through twelfth grade will begin on Monday, June 29 and will run until Thursday, July 16. Again this year, the Read to Achieve legislation requires additional support for students in third grade who are not proficient in reading. Students who do not meet this requirement will have the opportunity to attend summer school. We will provide bus transportation, breakfast, and lunch for all our students who attend summer school. We will have an excellent staff in place, and based on our last three years of summer school it has been a very rewarding experience for our students. Our goal is for this to be supportive and helpful, not punitive in any way. We stand ready to answer any questions you might have about summer school.

Not only are we planning for summer school at this time, but have also geared up for next school year by registering our eighth graders and high school students for the courses they will take next year. This is a very important time for our students and their parents as they consider the courses they need to take next year to prepare them for their future. Our high school and middle school staffs have worked very hard to prepare registration materials and meet with students and parents about their scheduling needs. If any parent has a question about registration or high school courses, he or she should feel free to contract a counselor or principal.

We are also grateful to the High Country Council of Governments, their staff, and the staff of our school system for working together to provide a program for our eighth graders to discuss different career opportunities and the courses students need to select while in high school to prepare them for those jobs and careers. I am especially appreciative of the work Mrs. Kim Davis has done in coordinating the program along with our high school and middle school counselors and administrators. Our goal is to make this process even better year after year so our students are provided the best information possible, and parents are also given the information they need to work with their students and encourage them to take the courses that are most beneficial for them. Our goal is that students’ experiences, especially in the high school courses they take, are preparing them for their life’s career. We have a very strong academic program along with a career and technical education program that provides the foundation for each of our children’s future. We would encourage parents to be intricately involved with their child’s education in the Avery County Schools.

We have lots going on this spring, and we certainly appreciate the support of everyone in Avery County as we work to meet the needs of each of our children that we serve. Thank you for making Avery County such a special and wonderful place for all of us. We wish for you and your family a very Happy Easter!

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