AMS Cougar News

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Big picture

Principal's Message

Dear AMS Cougar Families,

This past week we kicked off the Great Kindness Challenge and our Raise Craze Fundraiser with a Kindness Spirit Week and Pep Rally. At the pep rally, we recognized both academic and athletic teams. Seventh grade won the spirit stick!

Thank you all for your generous support of our Raise Craze fundraiser. So far, we’ve raised $1,485 and completed 237 Acts of Kindness! How amazing is that?! Our goal is to raise $25,000 and complete 1200 Acts of Kindness as a school. We hope to finish strong, so please continue logging your completed Acts of Kindness online. We can't meet our goal without YOU!!! Not registered? Get started at For the latest class results, check the Leaderboard at

Our online auction benefiting this year's AMS Capstone Trip to Washington, DC. ends tonight at 9:00. There are many items still available for bid, including gift card bundles, pottery, and more. Please consider bidding. You can also make a donation through the site.

Monday and Tuesday students will be completing their middle of the year Star assessments in reading and math. Please make sure that students arrive at school on time.

Report cards will go home with students on Tuesday. Please sign and return them by the end of this week. Students will turn them in to their advisory teacher. An Impact Aid Survey form will also be going home with report cards. Please complete the form only if the student's parent/guardian is emplyed on federal property OR is active duty uniformed service on January 20, 2023. Please send completed forms back to school.

Next week we will start an Afternoon Academy support session for students who need support with homework, classwork, or general concepts. It will be held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Monday, February 6 will be the first day. Students will report to the cafeteria at dismissal. Tutoring will end by 5:00. We are still ironing out the details, including a transportation plan to limited locations. By next weekend's newsletter, I should have more information.

Finally, I need to revisit a request that I have made several times throughout the year via video, email, and this newsletter: please do not park or expect your student to meet you at Bethel Seventh Day Adventist Church across the street from the school. While this has been an ongoing problem, this past week was particularly troubling as the church was unable to distribute items from their food pantry because the clients had nowhere to park. When church members tried to speak with the drivers of the cars, several of them responded by saying that they had permission to use the parking lot as a student pickup area. I want to be clear that the only location where AMS students should be picked up is in the carline. Besides the fact that folks were not able to visit the food pantry, there are several other problems with this situation. First, there are students hanging out in the church parking lot and porch unsupervised, sometimes for long periods of time. I am told that sometimes there are students there for more than an hour. This is not a safe situation. Secondly, the church has made clear with signage that there is no parking in their parking lot, which simply put means that AMS families that are using the church's parking lot are trespassing. Church representatives have asked me to communicate with AMS families and state that they are respectfully asking for this practice to stop for the safety of all involved. I join in this request. Please only pick up your student from the carline- not from our parking lot, along South French Broad, or in the church's parking lot. This is critical in order to keep students safe and for us to be a good neighbor to the others in the South French Broad neighborhood.

Here's to another great week at Asheville Middle School!

Jo Landreth


Asheville Middle School

Softball Interest Meeting

There will be a softball interest meeting on Thursday, February 2 at 8:45 AM in the gym.

Track & Field Tryouts

Seventh and eighth grade students interested in running, jumping, and/or throwing, and sixth grade students interested in managing, should take note of these tryout dates:

2/13-2/16 (Mon-Thurs) and 2/20-2/23 (Mon-Thurs)

3:30-5:15 PM

Meet in the gym

Bring running clothes and a water bottle

Please attend all dates

Contact Coach Kathryn Meinert with questions (

February is Career Technical Education (CTE) Month!

The district CTE Team has a whole month of activities planned. We will start the month off with CTE Spirit Week:

Wednesday the 1st: Dress for your future career day

Thursday the 2nd: Hats off for career success day (wear any hat or different career hats)

Friday the 3rd: Wacky for CTE Day (Wear blue, green, orange or black)

There will be more information to come in the following weeks! Happy CTE Month!

Raise Craize Getting Started

Welcome to our Raise Craze fundraiser! This is a unique way for us to raise money for our school while making an impact in our community. During this fundraiser, students ask friends and family for donations via the online Raise Craze platform while paying it forward serving others. What a great way for us to teach our students the importance of kindness and gratitude while raising much needed funds. Students will spend time serving, not selling!

Registration Link:

  • Enter your student’s name
  • Select at least 3 Acts of Kindness
  • Enter 5-10 email addresses of potential supporters. Raise Craze will send all emails, reminders and thank you notes. Emails will never be shared with third parties or used for marketing.

Dates: January 20 - February 3

Our Goal: $25,000

Every student can participate in Raise Craze by completing Acts of Kindness (AOK) so we’re aiming for 100% participation. As a little encouragement, teachers will be recognizing “Kindness On the Spot”when they see students being kind so please talk to your student about ways he or she might show kindness at school.

Need help getting started?

Check out the Raise Craze Instructional Video at

instructional-video/ or contact Blair Johnston at

NCAGT Virtual Coffee Chat for Parents

The North Carolina Association of Gifted and Talented (NCAGT) announces its first virtual coffee chat for parents. Come and share the joys and challenges of parenting high potential, gifted, and multi-exceptional children. This is open for all parents who want to learn more about nurturing and supporting gifted children. (Your student does not have to be formally identifed as gifted to participate in this opportunity.) The session will be moderated by NCAGT Board members. If you plan to attend the session, please complete the registration form.

Time: 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Date: Tuesday, Feb 7, 2023

Facilitators: NCAGT Board Members - Ms.Benna Haas & Dr.Dani Sullivan

Safer Internet Day

Asheville City Schools invites you to join us as we take part in Safer Internet Day. This is a time to support safe internet use by students in our schools and community.

Safer Internet Day aims to not only create a safer internet but also a better internet, where everyone is empowered to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively.

We have joined forces with a company called Linewize as we work to keep our students and staff safe online. Matt Whiteside, Instructional Technology Director for Asheville City Schools is hosting an online information session on February 7th from 6:00 PM to 7:15 PM in partnership with adolescent internet use expert and psychologist Teodora Pavkovic. This event will be held over ZOOM and is free to the public.

At this event, families will learn more about major social media and gaming platforms, the main online safety risks kids encounter today and what to do about them, and some actionable tips on how you can manage online safety and digital wellness at home. There will also be time for families to ask questions.

You can register in advance for this online information session here.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Families can use Asheville City Schools digital wellness hub for additional resources. It contains the latest topics, trends, guides, and timely articles from digital wellness and online safety experts, specifically focused on child development.

We hope you will make plans to join us and as always, thank you for your continued support of Asheville City Schools.

Big picture

Student Grief Support Groups

We are fortunate to partner with Four Seasons Hospice grief services. The program, "Compass," offers free grief support for students and their families. At Asheville Middle School there is an opportunity for students to participate in small grief support groups or individual counseling related specifically to grief. These services are provided at no cost.

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

We love volunteers! Please get prepared now so that when the opportunity arises you can jump in to support our students. In order to work with a student or go on a field trip at AMS, you need to be a Level II Volunteer. That requires a one-time volunteer training AND an annual background check. Please go ahead and register for a training today. Spots are limited!

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.

Monday, January 30, at 12:00 PM (Virtual)

Tuesday, February 21, at 12:00 PM (@Boardroom at 85 Mountain St.)

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:

Big picture
Big picture

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.

Educational Leave Form

COVID Reporting Form

Please complete this form if your student tests positive for COVID-19. Once this is completed, our COVID Coordinator, Josh Rigsby, will reach out to you about next steps.

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.


Difficulty breathing or other signs of serious illness - Keep student home. See Healthcare Provider.

**See COVID-19


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.

**See COVID-19

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

**See COVID-19

Head lice

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.

Strep throat

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.

**See COVID-19

Big picture

Optional Girls' Soccer Workouts are on Wednesdays from 4-5 through February 8. Soccer Tryouts are on February 13 & 14 from 4-5:30 PM. Both days are mandatory.

Two Weeks at a Glance

January 23-February 3: Great Kindness Challenge

January 23- February 3: Raise Craize Fundraiser

Monday, January 30: Star Middle of the Year (MOY) Reading Testing

Monday, January 30: Basketball v. N. Buncombe @ home (4:30 PM)

Tuesday, January 31: Star Middle of the Year (MOY) Math Testing

Tuesday, January 31: Report Cards go home

Wednesday, February 1: Basketball @ Erwin (4:30 PM)

Thursday, February 2: Softball Interest Meeting in gym (8:45 AM)

Wednesday, February 1: Black History Month begins

Monday, February 6: ACS Board of Education Work Session @ 85 Mountain St. (5 PM)

Tuesday, February 7: School Improvement Team Mtg in Room 219 (3:45 PM)

Tuesday, February 7: AMS PTO meeting in Room 219 (5 PM)

Tuesday, February 7: Safer Internet Day on Zoom (6 PM)

Wednesday, February 8: Two Hour Delay schedule

Beyond two weeks, but worth looking ahead at:

Monday, February 13: NC Check-In Reading (6th-8th)

Friday, February 17: Parent Teacher Conference Day; No School for Students

Monday, February 20: NC Check-In Science (8th only)

Tuesday, February 21: Community Night Featuring HW Diner & Superintendent Search Forum (5 PM)

Wednesday, February 22: Two Hour Delay schedule

Monday, February 27: NC Check-In Math (6th-8th)

Tuesday, March 7: Washington, DC Field Trip Parent Meeting (6 PM)