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From the Desk of ACS Supt. Burleson

By ACS Supt. David Burleson

In Avery County we can never say winter is over while we are still in the month of March. With the mild January and February we thought that an early Spring was just around the corner, but winter had come back around.  

Closing and cancellations always present challenges. As we meet these challenges, we express our sincere appreciation to everyone for their patience and support as we strive to make decisions that promote safety.

As of Friday, March 17, here is where we are with days missed due to inclement weather:

  1. 8 days have been missed.
  2. 16 hours missed for Delays/Early Dismissals.
  3. The extended instructional time has allowed us to not make up the 9 days we have missed and if the additional time is continued until the end of the year there will be 2 or 3 more days that can be used to makeup time.
  4. We still have our entire Easter and Spring Break in place.
Supt. Burleson

I know we are all hopeful that Spring is now here and we can look forward to the warmer temperatures and the beauty we experience in Avery County during this time of the year.

The time in which we welcome our new class of kindergarteners and have the opportunity to get to work with another group of parents and students is just around the corner. As a school system, we are very excited to announce our schedule for the 2017 kindergarten and Pre-K registration. The registration process is designed to provide necessary information for parents and to answer any questions they might have.

A child is eligible for kindergarten in North Carolina if he/she will be (5) five years old on or before August 31, 2016. A child is eligible for Pre-Kindergarten in North Carolina if he/she will be (4) four years old on or before August 31, 2016 and meets the NC Pre-K guidelines for eligibility. Please contact your local elementary school to put your child’s name on the upcoming kindergarten or Pre-K lists

At kindergarten and Pre-K registration children and parents will explore the classrooms, meet teachers and administrators, make new friends and enjoy a short ride on a school bus while learning about school bus safety. All registering children and parents are invited to have a free lunch in the school cafeteria compliments of a local business. 

Also at registration, each child will have the opportunity to receive a dental screening, vision screening and fingerprinting. For children with medication requirements or special health considerations, a school nurse will be available to meet with parents to discuss medication or health needs.

Kindergarten Registration begins at 8:30am at all the elementary schools on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, April 4 – Banner Elk Elementary School
  • Thursday, April 6 – Crossonore Elementary School
  • Tuesday, April 11 – Freedom Trail Elementary School
  • Tuesday, April 25 – Newland Elementary School
  • Thursday, April 27 – Riverside Elementary School

Pre-Kindergarten Registration begins at 8:30am at all the elementary schools on the following dates:

  • April 26 at Banner Elk Elementary School
  • April 27 at Freedom Trail Elementary School
  • April 28 at Crossnore Elementary School
  • May 1 at Newland Elementary School
  • May 12 at Riverside Elementary School

During the kindergarten registration dates at the respective schools, currently enrolled pre-k and kindergarten students will not be attending school. This allows our kindergarten staff to meet with parents to welcome the class of 2029.

Items to bring to registration

  • Birth certificate
  • Current up-to-date Immunization record
  • Current kindergarten health assessment.  Must be current within one year 
  • Proof of residence

(Complete any forms that are mailed to you by your school principal)

Immunization Information

Students entering Avery County Schools for the first time must be up-to-date with the required immunizations for North Carolina. For most children this will be the 4-year-old shots. Please visit www.immunizenc.org for a list of immunizations required for public school entry. Note that the 30th calendar day for 2017-2018 will tentatively be September 19, 2017; therefore, any student who is not up to date with the required immunizations will be excluded from school until the immunizations are up to date or the proper exemption statements are in place.  These are not considered to be excused absences. (NC Immunization Law General Statues of NC Chapter 130A, Article 6)

Kindergarten Health Assessment 

NC Kindergarten Health Assessment must be completed by a health care provider on first time admission to Kindergarten in North Carolina. If this is not on file by the 30th calendar day of school the student will be excluded until this KHA is current. Information can be found at this website: http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dph/wch/doc/aboutus/KHA_1-11.pdf

Child Nutrition Services

For information on the school lunch program, free and reduced applications, or if your child has a food allergy, refer to http://www.averyschools.net//Domain/15.

A very special thank you to our school nurses, Twila Ingwerson, Dawn Hicks and Andrea Buchanan, along with Angela Vitale, Renee Banner and a wonderful team of kindergarten teachers and teacher assistants who have developed and refined this process.

Don’t hesitate to let us know if we can answer any questions or assist you in any way.


David Burleson