AMS Cougar News
Sunday, September 25, 2022
Dear AMS Cougar Families,
So far we have had another beautiful weekend. It seems like fall showed up right on schedule. The hint at the leaf changes to come and the brisker nights are not just a hint at the change of seasons, but they are also an indication that we have truly settled in to the new school year. This week teachers will be sending out progress reports for the first nine weeks. We will also be sending home Star Assessment parent reports for math and reading. Feel free to reach out to your student's teachers for help understanding either of these documents.
This upcoming week is Bus Ridership Week. This is the week that an official count is taken of how many students ride our buses. This directly translates into how much funding our transportation department will get next year. If you have a student assigned to a bus who does not ride regularly, it is critical that they ride this week as much as possible.
There are also some changes starting tomorrow to several bus routes. Students who have been riding Bus 637 to the north side of town, including Merrimon Avenue will now ride Bus 628. Students who have been riding Bus 636 to the west side of town, including Virginia Avenue, State Street, and Langwell Avenue will now ride Bus 637. For specific times or for additional questions, you will need to contact the Asheville City Schools Transportation Department at (828) 350-6913.
Between October 3-19 we will be conducting student surveys using Panorama Education during Advisory. These surveys helps measure and support each students' social emotional skills like growth mindset, self-efficact, social awareness, and self-management. A letter with more information will go out this week, and as a parent you will be able to opt your student out of participating, if you so choose. If you have additional questions you can reach out to your student's grade level counselor.
6th grade counselor Jesse Pitt (828) 350-6236
7th grade counselor Rachel Herrick (828) 350-6237
8th grade counselor Karen Evans (828) 350-6238
If you have not already done so, please complete the Annual Student Information Update in the Powerschool Parent Portal. If you are unsure how to do that, please reach out to our data manager, Adrienne David at (828) 350-6211.
On the original calendar that was sent home there was a PTO Open House on the calendar for this upcoming week. That is NOT going to happen this week. The new date is October 11; details are below.
There are a few more important dates coming up in October that I want to put on your radar. First is Tuesday, October 11, which is our PTO Open House event from 5:30-7:00. We will open the gym at 5:15 for folks to grab seats on the bleachers and we will kick off promptly at 5:30 with a PTO meeting. After the PTO meeting, sixth and seventh grade families will begin rotating through classes, while the eighth grade families will remain in the gym to learn about the AMS Culminating Field Trip opportunity for eighth grade students: Washington, D.C. This will not be the only chance to learn more, but this will be a great way to make it to two events at once. Thursday, October 13 is a Required Teacher Workday; there is no school for students. On Friday, October 14, the Asheville City Schools will be having Parent Teacher Conferences; there will be no school for students. Please let your student's teachers know if you are interested in a conference. Because of the volume of students on each team, some conferences may need to be held before or after October 14. Finally, Wednesday, October 19 is our two hour delay for the month. You may wonder how we use two hour delays. This past week we used the two hour delay to analyze the Star data and make plans for how to address standards that need the most attention in reading and math. Here is the Asheville City Schools 2022-2023 calendar with all of this year's late starts.
Finally, throughout the district we are in need of more substitute teachers. Please consider signing up or sharing this information with folks you know who might be interested. When substitutes are not available, teachers are hesitant to stay home when they feel unwell, other teachers end up using their planning period to cover, and it is difficult for us to send staff to professional development opportunities. This is a great way to be a supporter of our schools. Check out more information, here.
Thank you for sharing your students with us! I look forward to another great week!
Asheville Middle School
Twenty Day Rule for Yearlong EOC classes
If your student is completing a yearlong high school course, such as High School Math I, with an End of Course Exam, it is important to know that the student can not drop from that class after the 20th day. Monday, September 26 is the 20th day of this school year. Families would need to let the school know by Friday, September 23 if the student wants to drop out of the course. Here is the official wording from the state:
"Students who are enrolled for credit after [10 days for semester courses or 20 days for yearlong courses], regardless of course delivery (e.g., traditional classroom, NC Virtual Public School, vendor-based online) shall not drop a course with a required EOC assessment and shall participate in the appropriate EOC assessment at the completion of the course."
Academic Competition Opportunity for Students
Asheville Middle School supports our students' passions. Here are two ways to engage your student. We participate in Academic competitions as well as Sports competitions. Coming up in the next few weeks are The Quill and Twelve where we'll compete against other middle schools across North Carolina..
The Quill is a writing competition in four categories: Argumentation, Problem/Solution, Narrative, and Informative/Explanatory.
Twelve is: "Teams of twelve students tackle twelve topics with twelve questions each."
We are looking for students who want to participate for their enjoyment. Our teams are open to all of our students, although in some cases there are participation limits and we have to determine who will go on to represent Asheville Middle School in the competitions. It does not cost anything to participate at the school level. If you win at Regionals, then you can compete statewide at the state site.
Just a reminder from the AMS Family and Student Handbook:
Requests for educational leave should be completed and submitted to the principal at least two weeks in advance of the planned travel. No more than five days will be approved, and families must submit this form and students must submit the assigned work to have the absence coded as educational leave.
ACS Volunteer Training Schedule
ACS Volunteer Training Schedule for 2022-2023
All level II volunteer training will be held virtually for the 2022-2023 school year. There are 20 slots available for each session. The sessions last 30 minutes. Please register at the Sign-up Genius link below
You will need to attend the entire session in order to receive credit for the training. Once the training session starts, you will not be allowed into the Zoom session. Attendance will be taken at the end of each session.
Wednesday, September 28, at 12:00 PM (Virtual)
Wednesday, October 5, at 12:00 PM (Virtual)
Wednesday, October 12, at 12:00 PM (Virtual)
Wednesday, November 2, at 12:00 PM (Virtual)
Wednesday, November 9, at 12:00 PM (Virtual)
Wednesday, December 14, at 12:00 PM (Virtual)
Additional Sessions will be added for 2023
Link to the Background Check form: https://bib.com/secure-volunteer/ASHEVILLE-CITY-SCHOOLS/home
Fall 2023 School Exclusion Criteria
School Health Program
A Division of the MAHEC Family Health Center
When to Keep Your Student Home from School
There are times when your student should not attend school. Keeping your student home at these times will prevent the spread of illness to other students at school. If you have questions, please contact your School Nurse, Lina Lam at 828-708-5328.
ILLNESS WHAT TO DO?
Difficulty breathing or other signs of serious illness - Keep student home. See Healthcare Provider.
Keep student home until they have no new sores for 24 hours AND all sores are dried and crusted.
**During an outbreak of chickenpox, students who are NOT vaccinated for chickenpox (Varicella) and have been in close contact with someone sick with the infection will not be allowed at school for 21 days after they were last exposed to chickenpox, even if not sick.
COVID-19 (positive antigen or PCR/molecular test)
Keep student home until:
• It has been at least 5 days after the first day of symptoms (or specimen collection date if asymptomatic); AND
• It has been at least 24 hours since the student had a fever (without using fever reducing medicine); AND
• Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving
**Student should wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days after the first day of symptoms to minimize the risk of infecting others, unless an exemption to mask use applies. The student may remove their mask sooner following 2 sequential negative tests 48 hours apart.
COVID-19 symptoms, including: • Fever or chills • Cough • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing • Fatigue • Muscle or body aches • Headache • New loss of taste or smell • Sore throat • Congestion or runny nose • Nausea or vomiting • Diarrhea
Keep student home until:
- Student has received a negative PCR/molecular test for COVID 19 OR an alternate diagnosis from a healthcare provider AND: o It has been at least 24 hours since the student had a fever (without using fever reducing medicine); AND
- They have felt well for at least 24 hours
- It has been at least 5 days after the first day of symptoms AND It has been at least 24 hours since the student had a fever (without using fever reducing medicine); AND Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving
**Unless student has received a negative PCR/molecular test or alternate diagnosis, they should wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days after the first day of symptoms to minimize the risk of infecting others, unless an exemption to mask use applies. The student may remove their mask sooner following 2 sequential negative tests 48 hours apart.
Diarrhea that cannot be controlled and/or has blood/mucus in it or with a fever
Keep student home. See Healthcare Provider.
Fever with oral temperature 100.4 F or higher and not feeling well enough to participate in class. Keep student home until fever-free for 24 hours without using fever- reducing medicine such as Motrin or Tylenol
If lice are first found at school, student may stay until end of the day but may not return until treatment has been started and all live lice are gone.
Illness that prevents the student from taking part in class activities easily - Student may return to school when able to take part in activities.
Keep student home until 24 hours after antibiotics have been started.
Keep student home if sore is draining and cannot be covered with a clean, dry bandage. Keep student home if they cannot keep from picking at sore.
Pink eye with white or yellow discharge or eye pain - Keep student home until seen by a healthcare provider and 24 hours after 1st dose of medicine, if prescribed.
Rash with fever or behavior change - Keep student home until seen by a healthcare provider and treated if needed.
If ringworm is first found at school, student may stay until end of the day if it can be covered. Student may not return until treatment has been started. Area must remain covered until completely healed.
Student must stay home until after treatment is complete.
Keep student home until 24 hours after antibiotics have been started.
Vomiting 2 or more times within 24 hours- Keep student home until able to tolerate regular diet.
Two Weeks at a Glance
Monday, September 26- Soccer and Volleyball at Reynolds 4:30 PM
Monday, September 26-Tennis at Home vs. Reynolds (Aston Park) 4:30 PM
Tuesday, September 27- Cross Country at Valley Springs 4:30 PM
Wednesday, September 28- Soccer and Volleyball at Home 4:30 PM
Wednesday, September 28- Tennis at North Buncombe 4:30 PM
Thursday, September 29- Football at Home vs. Erwin 5:00 PM
Monday, October 3- Soccer and Volleyball at Home vs. Erwin (4:30 PM)
Monday, October 3- Tennis at Erwin (4:30 PM)
Tuesday, October 4- School Improvement Team meeting in the media center (3:45 PM)
Tuesday, October 4- PTO Leadership meeting in the media center (5:00 PM)
Wednesday, October 5- Soccer and Volleyball at Home vs. Valley Springs (4:30 PM)
Wednesday, October 5- Tennis at Valley Springs (4:30 PM)
Wednesday, October 5- Football at A.C. Reynolds (5:00 PM)
Thursday, October 6- Cross Country Meet at Home (4:30 PM)
Friday, October 7- 8th Grade Band Night at AHS/SILSA Football Game
PAST TWO WEEKS, BUT IMPORTANT TO PLAN FOR NOW:
Tuesday, October 11- PTO Open House/ Field Trip Info for 8th grade families (5:30-7:00 PM)
Thursday, October 13- Required Work Day
Friday, October 14- Parent/Teacher Conference Day
Wednesday, October 19- Two Hour Delay Late Start