AMS Cougar News
Sunday, January 1, 2023
Dear AMS Cougar Families,
Happy New Year! I have enjoyed the opportunity these past two weeks to visit with my family and to enjoy simple pleasures like coloring, not setting an alarm clock, and going on some hikes. I have missed our students, however, and I am getting really excited to see them on Tuesday. Here are a few important reminders as we kick off 2023:
- The Asheville City Schools Board of Education voted the Thursday before break to extend the Winter Break for students through January 2. This means that students will not return to school until January 3. This lines up with the fact that January 2 is the federal and state holiday for January 1 this year. January 2 will be an optional teacher workday for our staff.
- Asheville Middle School is hosting an open house for prospective families from 5:30-7:00 on the evening of Tuesday, January 10. We have extended the invitation past just rising sixth grade families, to rising fourth and fifth grade families, also. Really, any family in the community that is interested to learn about AMS is welcome. The format will be drop-in with opportunities for families to see a short presentation in the media center that I will do on a rolling basis and then take one of many student-led tours. The last tour will leave at 6:30. AMS staff will be in their classes ready to meet and talk to prospective families. Please help us spread the word about this opportunity through personal invitations and your social media. I have included a flyer in this S'more that you are welcome to utilize.
- Optional baseball workouts for 7th and 8th grade students interested in trying out for the baseball team will start Saturday, January 7 and continue through February 18. Workouts will be from 4-6:30 PM on Saturdays in the AMS gym
- If you have not already purchased your ticket for Coverfest II: A Benefit for AMS at the Grey Eagle on January 15, now is the time. This is going to be a terrific night of music, raffles, and fellowship as we raise funds to cover scholarships for our AMS Capstone Trip to Washington, DC that our eighth grade students will be attending in March. We are committed to providing this opportunity to each student who is interested in attending. If you are unable to attend the event or donate an item, but you still want to contribute to the cause, please contact our bookkeeper Tandace Creasman, for options. Tandace.Creasman@acsgmail.net
- Looking toward the spring, we will need proctors for testing and chaperones for field trips, if you have not already completed the volunteer course and the background check, please consider doing this so that you will be eligible for these opportunities. Details are in an article at the bottom of each week's newsletter.
Wishing everyone a peaceful New Year,
Asheville Middle School
Looking for Items for a Silent Auction
The AMS Capstone Trip Fundraising Committee is looking for items from local businesses that they can use in a silent auction to support our eighth-grade students on the Washington, DC Trip. If you are able to provide any items of value that could be used to raffle off/auction at Coverfest II in January, please contact Joe Hooten, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Coverfest II: A Benefit for Asheville Middle School
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.
Friday, January 13, at 12:00 PM (Virtual)
Monday, January 23, at 12:00 PM (Virtual)
Monday, January 30, at 12:00 PM (Virtual)
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
Monday, December 19-Sunday, January 2- Winter Break; No School for Students. (OFFICE CLOSED 12/20-1/2)
Monday, January 2: Optional Teacher Workday' No School for Students
Tuesday, January 3: Back to School for students
Tuesday, January 3: School Improvement Team Meeting in 219 (3:45 PM)
Tuesday, January 3: AMS PTO meeting in 219 (5 PM)
Wednesday, January 4: Basketball v. Erwin @ home (4:30 PM Girls followed by Boys)
Wednesday, January 4: Wrestling @ Erwin (4:30 PM)
Friday, January 6: Asheville City Schools Board Retreat (9:00 AM) 85 Mountain St.
Saturday, January 7: Optional baseball Workouts begin for 7th/8th grade students 4-6:30 PM)
Monday, January 9: Baseketball @ Valley Springs (4:30 PM Girls followed by Boys)
Monday, January 9: Wrestling v. Valley Springs @ home
Tuesday, January 10: AMS tours for prospective families (5:30-7:00 PM)
Wednesday, January 11: Wrestling v. Cane Creek @ home (4:30 PM)
Thursday, January 12: Kindergarten Magnet School Night @ AMS (5-7:30 PM)
Saturday, January 14: Western Region Jazz/Orchestra Auditions
Sunday, January 15: Coverfest II: Fundraiser for AMS @ Grey Eagle (5-10 PM; Doors open @4))
Beyond two weeks, but worth looking ahead at:
Monday, January 16: MLK Holiday (No school for students or staff)
Tuesday, January 24: Early Release at 1:00 PM
Wednesday, January 25: Required Teacher Workday
January 30-February 10: Star Testing Middle of the Year window