AMS Cougar News
Sunday, March 5, 2023
Dear AMS Cougar Families,
I would like to elevate our seventh grade student leaders who organized the period product project. They first introduced the idea to me through a polished Google slide presentation. Next, they wrote a grant to the Asheville City Schools Foundation to get the containers to store the period products in the restrooms. From there they moved on to holding an educational event, organizing the drive itself by contacting businesses and advertising, and this past week stocking the restrooms with the products. Julie Noblitt, one of our media specialists coached these young leaders through this process. I can't think of a better way to kick off Women's History Month.
Tuesday night at 6:00 PM we will be hosting the Parent/Guardian Meeting for all 8th grade students who are attending the Capstone Trip to Washington, DC. This meeting is mandatory. Each student must have at least one parent in attendance. Please consider coming early for a catered dinner and fellowship at our Community Night featuring Homework Diner at 5 PM in the cafeteria. This is open to every student and their family in the Asheville City Schools. Please join us!
Don't forget to sign up your student for Afternoon Academy on Monday, Wednesday, and/or Thursday. Students should report to the cafeteria at dismissal. Tutoring will end right before 5:00 and students will be escorted to the front loop for pickup or go to the bus at 5:00 PM. Please submit this form if your student will attend any of the days this week. The form will be updated each week, but the link will stay the same. Locations available for bus transportation are listed on the form. If you need bus transportation to another location, please contact me in advance so I can make sure that we are able to transport to that location.
Wednesday, March 8 is a two hour delay late start for professional learning and planning. Please plan accordingly. All buses will be running on a two-hour delay. The building will open for students at 10 AM.
Monday is Maintenance Worker Appreciation Day, and while we do not have maintenance staff assigned to our school, we do rely on the Asheville City Schools Maintenance Department to keep our building and grounds in tip-top shape. This upcoming week is also National School Social Worker Week. Ms. Fredericka Pasley does a tremendous job for our students and our families. I want to thank her for her ongoing support.
If you know of a rising sixth grade who is planning on attending AMS or MNSA and might be interested in band, please encourage them to come to the Band Blast Off! from 4-6:30 PM on Monday, March 13. Students just need to drop by which ever school they are planning to attend. (See flyer below for more details.)
Congratulations to Kathryn Meinert, our AMS Teacher of the Year, and Tim Buttitta, our Instructional Assistant of the Year, who were both announced this past week.
Finally, this past week we did a deep dive into our attendance data over the course of the year and over the last two months. We discovered that only 71% of our students have been present for 90% or more of days. In other terms, almost a third of our students have missed ten or more days this year. Why is this important? The National Center for Education Statistics, in an article entitled "Why Attendance Matters," wrote, "Teacher effectiveness is the strongest school-related determinant of student success, but chronic student absence reduces even the best teacher's ability to provide learning opportunities. Students who attend school regularly have been shown to achieve at higher levels than students who do not have regular attendance." We have set a goal to have 80% or more of our students to be present 90% or more of the days from March 1-May 5. In order to meet the threshold of being present 90% or more of the days during this time period, a student needs to miss no more than three days of school. For this goal, all absences count. We have made a list of strategies that we are going to implement to support this effort, and one of them is sharing this information with students and their families. Please partner with us in meeting this goal!
Here's to another great week at Asheville Middle School!
Asheville Middle School
Superintendent Search Survey
As the Asheville City Board of Education continues the search for our district's next superintendent, the board members appreciate your feedback in a survey. Please provide insight through this survey by March 9th.
The BOE will review the survey data and data collected at our seven community input forums at a Board Meeting in March.
Congratulations to our Quiz Bowl Team
AMS Teacher of the Year
Congratulations to Kathryn Meinert, our art teacher, for being named AMS Teacher of the Year!
Both the Teacher of the Year and the Instructional Assistant of the Year received balloons, a flower, and mini-cupcakes to celebrate with their class.
AMS Instructional Assistant of the Year
Congratulations to Tim Buttitta, who works in our Exceptional Children's Department, for being named AMS Instructional Assistant of the Year.
AMS Teacher of the Year
ACS Middle School Athletic Eligibility Guidelines -Spring 2023
To determine Middle School athletic eligibility for spring sports 2023, certain academic, attendance, and behavioral criteria must be met.
The 2nd Quarter report card will be used to determine initial eligibility in the spring sport.
The student must have passed (60% or greater) all 4 core courses (math, English, science, social studies) as evidenced by the 2nd Quarter report card.
If the student failed one or more core courses as evidenced by the 2nd Quarter report card, they will be on probation. They must attend Afternoon Academy at least two times per week. As long as they are attending Afternoon Academy, they may still play. For the 3rd Quarter Midterm on February 24, grades will be reviewed on this date to determine if probation continues. If students are passing all 4 core classes, they will be removed from probationary status. Coaches will monitor progress from week to week. If the student is not passing all 4 core classes, probation continues and students must attend two Afternoon Academies a week.
For the 3rd Quarter Midterm on February 24, grades will be reviewed on this date to determine if students are passing all 4 core courses. If not, the student will be placed on probation. They must attend Afternoon Academy at least two times per week. As long as they are attending Afternoon Academy, they may still play. At the 3rd Quarter Report Card on April 12, grades will be reviewed on this date to determine if probation continues. If students are passing all 4 core classes, they will be removed from probationary status. Coaches will monitor progress from week to week. If the student is not passing all 4 core classes, probation continues and students must attend two Afternoon Academies a week.
For the 3rd Quarter Report Card on April 12, grades will be reviewed on this date to determine if students are passing all 4 core courses. If not the student will be placed on probation for the rest of the season. They must attend Afternoon Academy at least two times per week. As long as they are attending Afternoon Academy, they may still play.
A student must be present more than ½ the school day (over 3.5 hours) in order to practice or participate in a game for that day.
Students must have been in attendance at least 85% of the previous semester.
If a student receives either an ISS or OSS on or for any given day, the student is not allowed to practice or participate in a game for that day(s). They may not dress out or sit with the team.
Coaches are expected to:
Share updated rosters with both AMS and MNSA principals and the Athletic Director upon formation of the team so that eligibility can be determined.
Monitor student athlete academic, attendance, and behavioral progress weekly.
We need volunteers!!!
Field trip chaperones in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades
End of Grade Test proctoring
Please complete the volunteer training process (see below) so that you are ready when we need you! Then let your student's teachers know that you are ready and willing!
Student Grief Support Groups
Grief counseling provided by Four Seasons is time-limited for the purpose of addressing grief that is related to the loss of a person by death. Professionally trained counseling staff utilize well-established, proven techniques. Students and their grief counselor will devise a plan to address their specific needs.
If you think this is a great fit for your student, please complete this form.
If you are interested in learning more, please let the AMS Counseling staff know!
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.
Tuesday, March 14, at 12:00 PM (@Boardroom at 85 Mountain St.)
Thursday, April 13, at 12:00 PM (@Boardroom at 85 Mountain St.)
Link to the Background Check form: https://bib.com/secure-volunteer/ASHEVILLE-CITY-SCHOOLS/home
Applying for Educational Leave
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.
In order for an absence to be considered educational, the student must meet educational goals and standards as outlined in the Standard Course of Study. All standards are available here on the NC Department of Public Instruction website. These standards must be listed out on the form.
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
March 6-10: National School Social Worker Week
Monday, March 6: Maintenance Worker Appreciation Day
Monday, March 6: Baseball & Softball @ N. Buncombe (4:00 PM)
Monday, March 6: Girls Soccer v. N. Buncombe @ home (4:30 PM)
Monday, March 6: ACS Board of Education Work Session (5 PM) 85 Mountain St.
Monday, March 7: 7th and 8th grade vision screening during school day
Tuesday, March 7: Track & Field Meet @ TC Roberson (4 PM)
Tuesday, March 7: Community Night featuring HW Diner (5 PM)
Tuesday, March 7: AMS PTO Meeting (in the cafeteria) (5 PM)
Tuesday, March 7: Washington, DC Field Trip Parent Meeting (6 PM)
Wednesday, March 8: Two Hour Late Start
Wednesday, March 8: NC Statewide Tornado Drill
Thursday, March 9: Baseball & Softball v. Reynolds @ home (4:30 PM)
Thursday, March 9: Girls Soccer @ Reynolds (4 PM)
Monday, March 13: Track Meet @ Cane Creek (4:30 PM)
Monday, March 13: Baseball & Softball v. Enka @ home (4:30 PM)
Monday, March 13: Girls Soccer @ Enka (5 PM)
Monday, March 13: ACS Board of Education Regular Session @ 85 Mountain St (5 PM)
Tuesday, March 14: Community Night featuring HW Diner (5 PM)
Beyond two weeks, but worth looking ahead at:
Monday, March 20: Required Workday
Friday, March 31: Early Release Day; End of Quarter 3 (No School for Students)
Saturday, April 1- Sunday, April 9: Spring Break (No School for Students)
Wednesday, April 19: Two Hour Late Start
Wednesday, May 3: Two Hour Late Start
May 26-June 9: End of Grade and End of Course Testing window
Friday, May 26: NC Science End of Grade (EOG) Test (8th grade only)
Monday, May 29: Memorial Day Holiday (No School for Staff or Students)
Tuesday, May 30: NC Reading End of Grade (EOG) Test (6-8)
Wednesday, May 31: NC Math End of Grade (EOG)/ NC Math I End of Course (EOC) Test