Updated for 2022-2023
Asheville City Schools
Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services
Asheville City Schools, 2021-2022
Asheville City Schools (ACS) believes that an in-person school setting best supports our student’s growth academically, socially, emotionally, and physically. ACS will serve all students kindergarten through twelfth grade in-person five days per week following the approved 2021-2022 School Calendar. In the event of school or classroom closure due to COVID-19, remote learning options will be used to support the continuity of services.
Updates for 2022-2023: All Asheville City Schools continued with in-person instruction five days per week in the 2022-2023 school year.
With the pandemic expected to only widen existing achievement gaps across the country, ACS is committed to forging stronger, better schools and communities. In response to COVID-19, ACS has prioritized Core Instruction, Equitable Discipline, and the Health and Safety of all students. Every ACS student deserves a great education that supports their accelerated growth and social-emotional well-being.
Updates for 2022-2023: ACS continues to prioritize core instruction, equitable discipline, and the Health and Safety of all students in 2022-2023.
During the 2021-2022 school year, ACS will focus on the well-being of the whole child. Both academics and social/emotional learning will be prioritized each day. Strategies include a focus on acceleration over remediation, data-based problem solving to guide instruction, research-based core instruction, ongoing professional development and support for staff on core curriculum, and implementation of tiered systems of support.
Updates for 2022-2023: Asheville City Schools continue to focus on academic skills and accelerated learning to address learning loss related to COVID-19. Prioritized time for social emotional learning is included in all K-12 classrooms.
In order to maintain stability and continuity of services as we respond to COVID-19 prevention, relief, and recovery, ACS will continue to employ staff aligned with our academic and social-emotional needs.
Updates for 2022-2023: Asheville City Schools has prioritized funds to maintain a low student to staff ratio through a continuity of services focused on improving student academic outcomes.
ACS will continue to serve free breakfast and lunch to all students for the 2021 - 2022 school year following guidance from School Nutrition and the NC Public Schools Health Toolkit.
Updates for 2022-2023: ACS no longer provides free breakfast and lunch for all students, however continues to work with families to complete the Free and Reduced Lunch Application when applicable.
COVID-19 Mitigation and Sanitation
ACS will adhere to guidance from Buncombe County Health and Human Services, the North Carolina Division of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The district will closely monitor updates to the NC Public Schools Health Toolkit.
Updates for 2022-2023: ACS continues to follow local and state guidance to mitigate the effects and spread of COVID-19. A full-time COVID Coordinator works closely with health and human services, staff, and families to communicate updated protocols and support in following current guidelines.
Student Health Needs
ACS will continue to partner with MAHEC school nurses, locally funded student support specialists, community mental health providers, and community partners and agencies to provide services and support to students and families. Counselors, social workers, mental health and other student support staff are available to support the social emotional needs of students as we return from extended remote learning. Social emotional assessments will be used to monitor student well-being, health, and safety and research based interventions will be provided to support students.
Updates for 2022-2023: Asheville City Schools opened two student health centers through community partnerships. This allows student to receive on-site medical care, including mental health services. The programming allows students access to care and the ability to return to classes.
ACS provides access to touch screen digital learning devices for all of our learners. Throughout 2021-2022, ACS will continue to leverage age-appropriate learning management systems (LMS) to provide digital access to grade-level content for both face-to-face and remote learning. ACS will use the Seesaw learning management system for students in kindergarten through second grade, Google Classroom for students in third through fifth grades, and Canvas for students in grades sixth through twelfth grades. In addition, ACS provides homework hotspots to students that do not have internet connectivity available outside of school. ACS also supports internet access for families residing within Asheville Housing Authority Communities. To ensure students can engage with the text on a digital device, ACS is providing Read and Write for Google to all students.
ACS will use rich digital content, both in class and remotely if needed, to accelerate student growth. Digital textbooks, supplemental resources, and core curriculum content are available in digital format. We are able to streamline access to digital resources with the ClassLink identity and access management single sign-on service. Engaging students in core instruction with technology and media resources is a priority for the professional development and instructional support our Digital Lead Teachers and Media Coordinators will provide this year, grounded in the structure of the NC Digital Learning Standards for Students.
Updates for 2022-2023: ACS continues to provide access to technology to all students K-12. This includes the use of a Learning Management System (LMS) and access to engaging digital tools to enhance instruction. Several staff members have engaged in blended learning professional development to strengthen the integration of technology within their classrooms.
ACS will use the Medical Homebound process for any student requesting not to attend school in-person due to medical reasons, including those students who have a condition considered high-risk for COVID-19. For students who are approved for medical homebound for at least a semester, ACS has contracted with a remote learning provider to provide instructional services remotely to students (K-8: Edgenuity, 9-12: NCVPS).
Updates for 2022-2023: Asheville City Schools continues to utilize homebound services for high-risk or health compromised students.
Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funding
ACS will use federal funding in response to district needs as we focus on the prevention, response, and relief efforts connected to the COVID-19 Pandemic. It is our goal to mitigate its effects on the overall school environment, support academic achievement and learning recovery, and prioritize the social-emotional well-being of our students and staff.
Updates for 2022-2023: ESSER funding in Asheville City Schools in 2022-2023 has remained focused on learning loss, mental health, continuity of services, and recruitment/retention efforts.
Public Comment Period
The public comment period for the federal ESSER funding will follow September 20, 2021, through October 28, 2021.
Submit a comment using this form.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and
Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Program
CARES: $ 877,626
ESSER II: $ 3,120,445
ESSER III: $ 6,990,164
State ESSER information site