• Back to School

    August 2, 2021 

    Good Evening Students, Staff and Families.  This is Ashley-Michelle Thublin, Executive Director of Communications, with a Back to School Update.  

    Last week, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services updated its StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit

    Following many meetings with school and district-based leaders as well as discussions with Buncombe County Health and Human Services to discuss how COVID-19 is impacting our local community, the Asheville City Board of Education has determined that, at this time: 

    •  All Pre-K thru 12th Graders will be required to wear face coverings consistently while inside during the school day regardless of a student’s vaccination status.  
      • On Wednesday, July 28th, Buncombe County Health and Human Services shared that about 41% of Buncombe County 12 to 17-year-olds have received the first dose of the vaccine.  35% are fully vaccinated.  
    • All staff, both school-based and district-wide support positions, will be required to wear face coverings consistently while inside during the school day regardless of their vaccination status.  
    • In alignment with the Toolkit and current CDC recommendations, all students, Pre-K thru 12th Grade, will be required to wear face coverings on school buses
    • Students and staff will NOT be required to wear face coverings when they are outside for recess, PE or when learning in an outdoor classroom.  However, student-athletes will be required to wear face coverings when they are not actively engaged in rigorous physical activity, regardless of whether their sporting event is taking place indoors or outside. 

    Additionally, please know that our schools will be having Meet the Teacher events prior to the 2021-2022 school year; however, ACS will NOT be hosting large, school-wide, indoor gatherings, as they do not allow for proper social distancing. School leaders are organizing Meet the Teacher events based on their space and school community.  More information will be coming directly from your child’s school. 

    These decisions fall in alignment with recommendations made by staff during tonight’s Board of Education meeting.  A copy of the district’s Back to School Safety Protocols presentation can be found here

    Furthermore, please know the district has also updated its Questions & Answer Page to reflect these updates and will share more information as it becomes available.  As your questions arise, please continue to email me at ashley.thublin@acsgmail.net.   And, should you have any specific questions about your child's school, please feel free to reach out to their principal directly.  

    The 2021-2022 school year begins in less than three weeks.  As we countdown the days until August 23rd, you can be sure Asheville City Schools continues to have a strong focus on implementing health and safety measures that will best support our students and staff.  

    In alignment with the Toolkit and our local health experts, we know and understand that “vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”  Therefore, if you are over the age of 12 and have not yet received your COVID-19 vaccine, we highly encourage you to attend one of Buncombe County’s no-cost, upcoming vaccine events.  

    Have a great night, and thank you for your continued support of Asheville City Schools.  Together, the Cougar Family is taking a stand to stop the spread!


    July 12, 2021 

    Good Afternoon Students, Staff and Families. This is Ashley-Michelle Thublin, Executive Director of Communications, with an update about next school year. 

    During a recent meeting, the Asheville City Board of Education unanimously approved beginning the 2021 - 2022 school year under Plan A.  This means all students, Pre-K thru 12th Grade, will receive in-person, direct instruction from their classroom teachers five days a week beginning Monday, August 23rd. 

    Asheville City Schools will continue to have a strong focus on implementing health and safety measures for our students and staff.  We will continue to collaborate with Buncombe County Health and Human Services as well as follow all guidance from Governor Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.  

    In making our return to learn plans, Asheville City Schools is closely following the #StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit, which was last updated on June 11th.  We anticipate that the Toolkit will be updated later this month, which will give us further direction as we start our upcoming school year.  

    Specific details about Plan A begin on page 6 of the Toolkit linked above.  As these guidelines are updated at the state level, ACS will make adjustments.

    The district has also created this Question & Answer Page and will share more information as it becomes available; however, should you have any specific questions about your child’s school, please reach out to their principal directly. 

    Thank you for your continued support of Asheville City Schools.  We hope you’re enjoying this time away but are already counting down the days until we’ll have our entire Cougar Family together again.