“I’m really struggling with this process as a parent, as a councilor,” said Asheville City Council member Sage Turner, as her colleagues considered how they would appoint three members of the Asheville City Board of Education. “I’m really struggling with us not listening to teachers.”
Health departments across the state have been relying on community colleges’ facilities, faculty, and students to run vaccination clinics.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners directed health staff to set aside 975 vaccine doses per week — half of the weekly 1,950 doses that North Carolina has been sending the county — for school employees starting Wednesday, Feb. 24.
Signed by Asheville City Schools Superintendent Gene Freeman on Feb. 5, the agreement with Raleigh-based Forthright Advising drew the concern of Asheville City Board of Education member Joyce Brown during a Feb. 15 meeting of the board.
In Transylvania County, the public school district is realigning reading instruction with the science of reading, a body of decades-old research on such subjects as how kids learn to read and best instructional practices. But teacher knowledge in that science is widely varied.
Daniel Withrow, president of the Asheville City Association of Educators, says that his organization had been preparing to make its first-ever endorsements for Asheville City Board of Education seats this year but was caught off guard when Asheville City Council voted to trim the candidate pool ahead of its posted schedule.
“Many items that are now standard construction practices have been removed from our checklist, while we have added opportunities to gain points for new technologies,” explained Maggie Leslie, the nonprofit’s program director.
Gene Freeman, Asheville City Schools superintendent, gave contradictory statements regarding the potential sale of Asheville Primary School at several meetings over recent months. Xpress has also experienced delays in obtaining basic records of the school system’s discussions.
New policies from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction recommend all elementary schools open for in-person learning under Plan A, which does not require 6-foot social distancing between students and teachers. Middle and high schools are encouraged to reopen in-person under Plan B, which requires 6-foot social distancing at all times.
“You can’t keep doing that year in and year out. You need to keep an eye on that,” external auditor Michael Wike told the Asheville City Board of Education about the school system’s spending at a Dec. 7 work session. “What happens when you don’t have a fund balance is almost like an individual living paycheck to paycheck: You can’t plan for the future whatsoever.”
If Asheville City Council wants to bring any legislation before the state General Assembly this year — including the creation of an elected board for Asheville City Schools or changes to the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority’s room tax allocation — its members need to make those decisions in the coming weeks.
Xpress is now accepting submissions for the 2021 Kids Issue! The theme: “My Great Idea.” Deadline is Friday, Jan. 29.
Writer Molly Horak reflects on her 2020 reporting.
It’s time for local K-12 students to shine! The theme for Xpress’ 2021 Kids Issue is “My Great Idea.” Deadline to submit art and writing for possible publication is Friday, Jan. 29.
Spanish immersion teacher Karen Martín hails from Colombia. At the Buncombe County Schools, she says she has met “talented and caring teachers here that do so much for this community and inspire me every day!”
“Over and over, the pre-K program in Polk County — a district known for high student performance — is lifted up as the best of our best,” writes Mebane Rash in this look at Polk’s program for education journalism nonprofit EdNC.
Jodie Williams, a teacher at Bell’s School for People Under Six in Fletcher, recently received a Henderson County award for supporting student health and wellness through gardening. But with many students learning online due to COVID-19, Williams and other local educators are digging deep to keep their school gardens viable.
Xpress has compiled election night summaries for each of the contests previously included in our general election voter guide. The Buncombe County Board of Elections will not officially certify results until Friday, Nov. 13, and the state board will not issue certification until Tuesday, Nov. 24.
According to a presentation available before Board of Commissioners meeting on Thursday, Nov. 5, 67 lodging businesses have been delinquent in reporting or remitting occupancy taxes due March through September, with an additional 29 establishments yet to report at least one month of taxes during that period.
Black Folks Camp Too founder Earl B. Hunter Jr. said new marketing collaborations would help him develop more interest in camping among the Black community. And later this month, Asheville-based artist Matthew Willey will begin work on a giant mural of honey bees at Hendersonville’s Hands On! Children’s Museum.
Now in its fifth week, the PODS program aims to address the opportunity gap between Black and white students in the Asheville City Schools. Students meet in small groups to receive support with online learning; PODS staff act as a liaison between ACS teachers and students to engage and offer additional enrichment for kids who are struggling academically.