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Avery County Schools to Open 2023-2024 Academic Year for Students on Monday, August 14

By Tim Gardner

An anticipated 1,843 students will head back to classes in Avery County Public Schools on Monday, August 14, to open the 2023-2024 academic year.

That first day of school will run the entire day.

Public schools in Avery County include: Avery High; Avery Middle and Cranberry Middle; and Riverside, Banner Elk, Crossnore, Freedom Trail and Newland Elementary schools.

Classes will start and end at the following times Monday through Friday (excluding early dismissal days) at each of the county public schools:

  • Banner Elk   7:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Crossnore   8:00 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
  • Freedom Trail    8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Riverside: 7:25 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Newland: 7:45 a.m. to 2:35 p.m.
  • Avery Middle: 8:00 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
  • Cranberry 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Avery High 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Avery teachers and related staff officially began their new school year with required workdays that started on Monday, August 7.

Schools Superintendent Dr. Dan Brigman sent the following greeting to students and teachers for the new school year: “The 2023-2024 academic year has arrived!  We welcome each of you back to a new school year.  I hope you made some great memories and recharged over the summer break.  For all of our new employees, welcome to the Avery County School System!  

“As the summer breeze fades, we eagerly embrace the start of a new school year.  Our dedicated maintenance department, custodians, and staff have toiled tirelessly to ensure that every classroom and school is ready for an exciting journey ahead.  This time of year is truly special, with the scent of freshly waxed floors and fresh paint lingering in the air. Soon, around 1,900 or 1,843 students according to exact current school data, will step into our schools, full of enthusiasm and aspirations as they embark on their Kindergarten through Grade Twelve (K-12) journey.

“To our staff and administration, last year most of you participated in a book study centered around the book ‘Relationship, Responsibility, & Regulation’ by Kristin Van Marter Souers and Pete Hall. The book emphasizes the significance of forming meaningful connections with students, and fostering a safe and nurturing environment where they can thrive.  Building a sense of responsibility, self-worth, and competence empowers students to conquer the challenges of learning and mastering the curriculum.

“Souers and Hall also stressed the significance of grace.  As we gear up to welcome our remarkable students, let us remain mindful of their unique backgrounds and emotions, approaching them with love and empathy.

“To our students, we express our heartfelt appreciation for your commitment and dedication to making this school year the best ever. Embrace good decisions, show gratitude, and support your peers as we provide you with the academic, social, and emotional support needed for your success.

“Once again, welcome to the new school year!  Let’s make it a year of growth, achievement, and joy!  Together, we can make it the best school year ever!”

The Superintendent also noted that he, along with the help of who he called “several amazing individuals,” created a welcome back video for all staff and students to view as the new school year gets underway. To view the video, log onto the Internet and use the following link: https://www.averyschools.net/page/a-message-from-the-superintendent

Students who have attended other school systems and wish to transfer to an Avery County School may register to do so by meeting with officials at the school they want to attend.

Fall sports team practices are either, or soon will be, underway in Avery County public schools.  The Avery High varsity football team will open its 2023 football season at home in MacDonald Stadium in Newland versus Cherryville, NC High on Friday, August 18. The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m.

The last day of the 2023-2024 Avery County school year is listed as May 30, 2024. However, that date could change depending on how many days students must make up (via North Carolina Department of Public Instruction guidelines) that they miss due to inclement weather or other uncontrollable happenings.

The complete 2023-2024 Avery County Schools master calendar can be assessed by logging online to: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vl5fP7v65EqUCMVP8f89mss4Cvqsu_HVhcFGm6At2ZQ/edit#gid=1888535311

For further information about Avery County Schools, phone (828) 733-6006 or log online to averyschools.net.