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Late April Editorial From the Desk of Avery County Schools Supt. David Burleson

To the Editor,

This school year is quickly coming to a successful close, which indicates that End-of-Grade testing (EOG), exams, awards programs, and other end of the year celebrations are just around corner. It will not be long until our seniors will be graduating and students will be out enjoying their summer vacations. The last day of school this year for Avery County students will be Thursday, June 11. Schools will dismiss on this day at 11:30 a.m., marking the start of another summer vacation. Our students will return to school on August 17.

Supt. Burleson
Supt. Burleson

The end of school also marks a very special time for our high school seniors. The Class of 2015 will graduate on Friday, June 12 at 6:30 p.m. in Avery High football stadium. In case of inclement weather graduation will be held in the gymnasium.

To prepare for these last weeks of school, please note the dates for school testing. Our elementary students will be taking their End-of-Grade tests Thursday, June 4 to Wednesday, June 10 while our middle school students will be taking their End-of-Grade tests from Thursday, June 4 to Thursday, June 11. High school students will be taking End-of-Grade Tests, Vocats Tests, and teacher prepared exams from Friday, June 5 to Thursday, June 11. Some senior exams will be given on Thursday, June 4. I am very proud of how diligent our staff and students are preparing for these tests.

High standards and expectations are visible in day-to-day activities for Avery County students. The system has top-rated testing and accountability programs as well as curriculum, projects and programs to address the individual needs of students.   To further enhance these standards, this summer we will be offering specially designed programs to address academic needs of students as well as offering enrichment opportunities for students

At the elementary level, students will have the opportunity for an exciting and fun filled experience through engagement and hands-on experiences. Our summer enrichment program will be operating from 8 am to 2 pm on Tuesday, June 16 through Thursday, July 16 at Newland Elementary School. Breakfast and lunch will be provided each day free of charge along with bus transportation if needed. Summer opportunities for middle and high school students will operate on the same schedule and will be held at Avery High School

Our new calendar for the 2015-2016 school year has been approved by our local board of education. Our school system has once again been granted a waiver to begin school a week earlier than most other school systems due to our winter weather. As you review our 2015-2016 calendar, we ask that you help us reach the following goals:

NC State law mandates that students attend 185 days or 1,025 instructional hours. Please have your child attend every day.

We will strive to finish first semester or the first 90 days before Christmas break. This is a must for our high school students, and will avoid the carry over into the second semester along with coinciding with the community college calendar. To accomplish these goals we will add the 20 additional minutes per day beginning with the very first day.

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 teachers return to school.

Highlights of the 2015-2016 school calendar:

  • The first teacher workday is Tuesday, Aug. 11.
  • The first student day is Monday, Aug. 17.
  • Thanksgiving Vacation is Nov. 25-27.
  • Christmas Vacation is Dec. 21 through Jan. 1
  • Easter vacation is March 25 to March 28. (weather permitting)
  • Spring break is April 14 to April 19. (weather permitting)
  • Last day for Student is June 2. (weather permitting)

Thank you for your support of our schools. Please remember that our goal is to work together to provide our students the very best education possible. We continue to be committed to meeting the needs of each student in our school system. If we can assist you in any way or answer any questions please do not hesitate to ask.


David Burleson