During his March 23rd press conference, Governor Roy Cooper announced all public schools across North Carolina will remain closed through Friday, May 15th. This, of course, includes Asheville City Schools. However, please understanding that learning is still occurring through at-home pakets and e-learning opportunities. We anticipate returning to school on Monday, May 18 . However, we understand the severity of the coronavirus may impact this return date.
In collaboration with our Asheville City Schools teachers, our Curriculum and Instruction Department created a plan for at-home learning. At-home learning will begin on Tuesday, March 17th - Monday, March 30th.
- Eementary School Families, please know that our at-home learning packets were distributed to your child on Friday, March 13th. These packets are for continued learning at home once our schools close. They should be completed on Tuesday, March 17th - Monday, March 30th. A seond round of at-home learning packets were distributed to families on March 25th and 26th. These packets will provide you with at-home learning materials through the end of April. Your child’s teacher will be in contact to help coach you and your child in how to best use these materials.
- Because the district assigns secondary students with Asheville City Schools devices (Chromebooks, laptops), secondary students will be able to complete online assignments through Canvas as prepared by their teachers. Click here for more information.
Asheville City Schools will be cancelling all facility rentals that involve the use of any of our buildings effective Monday, March 16th at 8:00 AM.
Please know that the North Carolina High School Athletic Association has suspended all high school athletics statewide starting tomorrow, Friday, March 13th at midnight until Monday, May 18th. This decision will include all workouts, skill development, practices and contests. We will follow these same protocols for our middle school student-athletes.
At this time, no Asheville City Schools students or staff members are known to have the coronavirus.
On March 2nd, Dr. Short informed Asheville Primary School families that an APS staff members recently traveled out of the country and had a layover in the Hong Kong airport. Upon their return home, the employee came back to school and, subsequently, developed symptoms of respiratory illness. Based on the symptoms the person had and their travel history, Buncombe County Health and Human Services, the North Carolina Division of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control determined they did not meet the criteria to be tested for the coronavirus. Health officials confirmed there is no indication the individual has the coronavirus.
Asheville City Schools has decided to cancel all field trips - this includes local, in-state, out-of-state and international field trips - for our students and any staff travel outside of the district. These changes will take effect on Monday, March 16th until further notice.
We know this decision will have a financial impact on our students and families. Asheville City Schools has begun working with vendors to determine possible refunds. Specifics regarding fees paid and possible refunds will be addressed at a future date since the circumstance is unique.
As adults, it’s important we remain calm with our actions and words, and share factual information. Sharing accurate information during a time of heightened concern is critical. One of the ways we can protect our community from illness is to keep rumors and misinformation from spreading.
Here are some resources you may use to talk about the coronavirus with students:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus strain that has only spread in people since December 2019. Health experts are concerned because little is known about this new virus.
Reported cases have ranged from mild illness (similar to a common cold) to severe pneumonia that requires hospitalization. So far, deaths have been reported mainly in older adults who had other health conditions.
People who have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus have reported symptoms that may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
Symptoms of the coronavirus are fever, cough and shortness of breath. The virus may be transmitted by being in close proximity with droplet contact (coughing, sneezing, etc.) from an infected person.
Health experts are still learning the details. Currently it is thought to spread:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- Students and staff should stay home when they are sick. If students or staff members have a fever, they should stay home until they are fever-free.
- Avoid other people who are sick.
- Everyone - students, staff, school volunteers and visitors - should wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (about as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice). We will be providing increased emphasis on hand washing in our schools. The CDC says the washing of hands is the first line of defense. In fact, one of our sources states that washing your hands at least five times a day could reduce the likelihood of contracting a respiratory infection by around 15 to 20%.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm. The CDC is not advising the wearing of masks.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
- Parents are reminded to consult their physician if they have any concerns.
- Residents who return from recent international travel with history of travel to affected areas and become ill with respiratory signs and symptoms such as fever and cough should report their travel history to any health professional or medical facility, when they visit.
This is an evolving situation. Stay up to date by consulting the following webpages: