From the Desk of Avery County Schools’ David Burleson: Notes Before Christmas Holiday

Published Monday, December 7, 2015 at 10:01 am

Dear Community,

As the Christmas holiday season approaches, I want to thank you for assisting us in making the Avery County Schools a caring and inviting place for our students. It is an honor for me to work with a community that understands the mission of our school system is to help and support students and give them every opportunity to be a success. In my opinion, the most powerful statement about the success of any school system is what we do for our students every day and how we encourage them to be the best person they can be.

Supt. Burleson

Supt. Burleson

Remember, students watch what we do much more than they listen to what we say. Our actions speak volumes and it is incumbent upon us to model and display the character we feel is important in the world in which we live. If we want to make our world a better place, we must start with one child at a time because our children are the future of our world.

In the next few weeks the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction will be releasing a report card for each school in the state. These report cards reflect the end of year results on the end of grade tests in elementary and middle schools. The high school report cards reflect student performance on end of course tests, graduation rate, ACT test results, math completion and Work Keys testing. We welcome any questions or suggestions our parents or community might have on these report cards.

If anyone wants to learn how our local schools along will all the state’s public schools performed in the last school year, the North Carolina School Report Cards offer a one-stop information source that puts a comprehensive collection of data at your fingertips with the click of a mouse. The 2014-15 Report Cards feature state-, district- and school-level information about student performance and attendance, class size, school safety, teacher quality and classroom technology.

State Superintendent, June Atkinson said, “This is the 14th year North Carolina has provided a comprehensive resource for information on public school indicators. The information contained in the NC School Report Cards will help parents and the public better understand how schools are preparing students for the future.”

For the second year, school performance grades (A-F), as required by state law, are included on the school-level Report Cards for traditional and charter schools. In addition, the statewide end-of-grade and end-of-course test results are reported for the five achievement levels. It is important to note that additional data such as educator effectiveness, state-level scores from the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in reading and math, and college course completion will be added to the Report Cards when it becomes available. The North Carolina School Report Cards have been produced annually since 2001 to provide the public with information about local schools, districts and overall state data. The Report Cards site is searchable by school or school system name or by selecting desired school characteristics.

School principals will be distributing local Snapshots, summary versions of the Report Cards, to parents during the month of December. The Snapshots also are available on the NC School Report Cards website at www.ncpublicschools.org/src/ (School Report Card → School Profile → School Snapshots). Parents and others are encouraged to contact teachers for information about grade level and course curriculum while questions about school and district performance should be directed to principals and me. Questions regarding the NC School Report Cards may also be directed to NCDPI Communications at 919.807.3450.

I truly believe if we work together and remain committed to the task of educating children, nothing is impossible. Our goal should be to see every student, with the potential, be on grade level and to be prepared for the future that lies ahead for each of them.

High standards and expectations are visible in day-to-day activities for Avery County students. To further enhance these standards, each of our schools continue to offer specially designed programs to address academic needs of students as well as offering enrichment opportunities for students.

We are in the preparation stages of the calendar for the 2016-2017 school year. Two years ago the General Assembly of North Carolina approved a calendar modification that required 185 student days along with additional requirements. A few of these additional requirements are as follows:

NC State law mandates that students attend 185 days or 1025 hours. Please have your child attend every day.

Start Date – Earliest for our school system is the Monday closest to August 19 (for the 2016-2017 school year that will be August 22)

End Date – Latest is the Friday closest to June 15.

By law, school calendars must include 9 workdays for teachers in addition to 10 vacation days and 11 holidays.

According to the law the only day that students are required to be out of school is Veteran’s Day in November.

Lastly, there must be 30 days between the time students are dismissed for summer vacation and the time when teachers return to school.

We will be surveying our school community to get ideas and suggestions regarding the new calendar that will be shared with our calendar committee.

I wish for each of you a very blessed Christmas season and my prayer is that you will have an opportunity to spend time with friends and family. Thank you again for what you mean to our school system. All you do for our children is appreciated.

Sincerely,

David Burleson

Superintendent

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