Plan C: Asheville City Schools’ Return to Learn update

Press release from Asheville City Schools:

Asheville City Schools’ latest Return to Learn update is below. 

As we look to Fall 2020, we know each of you faces a unique set of circumstances.  At this time, we think that Plan C is the best way forward, with the fewest negative impacts for our community.  We believe our outstanding staff is dedicated to doing just that.

Last Thursday, the Asheville City Board of Education unanimously voted to delay bringing students back to campus.  Instead, all students, Kindergarten – 12th Grade, will begin the school year with remote instruction delivered by ACS teachers from your child’s assigned school.

All ACS students will begin with remote learning under Plan C, at least through the first nine weeks (which concludes on October 23rd).  Therefore, we are not offering a Virtual Academy at this time.  We will be revisiting our Virtual Academy option prior to the end of the first nine weeks and will keep families informed.

Under Plan C: 

  • All instruction for students in Kindergarten – 12th Grade will be delivered remotely with a combination of scheduled, online, whole-class sessions, and independent at-home learning.
  • Each day will consist of scheduled instructional sessions for classes in the morning and time in the afternoon for students to complete both individual and group work as well as meet with their teachers for additional support and feedback.
  • Teachers will be delivering instruction from their classrooms.
  • Staff will be onsite and practicing proper safety measures.  This includes but will not be limited to staff remaining in their classrooms/offices as much as possible and wearing masks whenever they interact with other staff.
  • A sample remote learning school day table is below


  • At this time, we will open on August 17th across all sites with reduced student capacity.  The Director of Preschool Programs, Susanna Smith, will soon be sharing additional information with enrolled preschool families.
  • Face coverings will be required and provided for every teacher, staff member and student.  Symptom screenings will take place each day, and frequent handwashing will be built into our daily schedules.

Kindergarten – 5th Grade:

  • Elementary school instruction will occur from 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM.
  • Each day will begin with a morning community meeting.
  • Core instruction, which consists of math, reading, science and social studies, will occur each day.
  • Students will meet with one of their specialist teachers (P.E., art, music,etc.) each day.
  • A specific remote learning schedule will be released by your child’s assigned school.

6th – 12th Grade: 

  • Middle school instruction will occur from 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM.
    • Because our middle school schedule includes six blocks, real-time, online whole class sessions will occur from 8:30 – 1:30 PM.
    • A lunch break will be built in.
  • Scheduled individual/small group support and office hours will occur from 1:30 – 3:30 PM.
  • High school instruction will occur from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
    • Because our high school schedule includes four blocks, real-time, online whole class sessions will occur from 9:00 – 12:15 PM.
    • Scheduled small group support and office hours will occur from 12:45 – 4:00 PM.
  • A specific remote learning schedule will be released by your child’s assigned school.
  • Schedules will be mailed by the second week of August.

How will Plan C differ from the at-home instruction that occurred in the spring?

  • Remote learning for the 2020-21 school year will focus on a review of prior knowledge, prior concepts and new learning as well as continued connections with teachers.
  • Students and families should plan for rigorous expectations of engagement through instruction, work completion, and project-based learning that is closely aligned to in-person instruction.
  • Attendance will be taken on a daily basis.
  • Student grading expectations will look similar to in-person expectations.  Grades will be entered into PowerSchool on a regular basis.
  • Similar to a traditional classroom experience, students will have daily access to their teachers.
  • Teachers will provide feedback to both the student and the parent about the child’s learning progress. We will follow the district calendar for parent-teacher conferences.
  • The district is creating resources for parents and guardians who are assisting children with remote learning at home.

Our goal and expectation is to resume face-to-face learning as soon as it is safely possible to do so.  Therefore, our current plan will be continuously evaluated and refined based on the latest guidance from Governor Cooper, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and Buncombe County Health and Human Services.

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