Yancey County School Board Purchases Land for New Elementary School
At the special, called school board meeting on Monday, December 19th, the Yancey County School Board voted 5-0 to purchase a 30-acre tract of land near the Cane River Middle School.
The school board has completed all required tests for the land, including a boundary survey, topographical survey, and soil boring and rock tests, all of which came back with excellent results. A Phase I Environmental Impact Study has also been conducted to determine what impact building on the site might have on the environment. The results of this study did not reveal any environmental issues associated with building a school on this property. Another concern that has been associated with this piece of land is the Native American village and artifacts that have been found in the area. Over the years, tests and archeological digs have revealed where the artifacts are located. The North Carolina Office of State Archeology has determined that the property can be built upon, with the exception of a small area near the river, beside the Yancey County Humane Society. The rest of the tract has been approved for a school building and ballfield.
For the past few months, several sites on the west-end of the county have been considered as possible options for the new elementary school. Tests, studies, and legal and architectural assurances have revealed that the site across from the Cane River Church is the best option. The location allows the school to be added to the county water line running alongside the land; the size of the lot is large enough to build a school that is projected to house 350-375 students; there is room for visitor, staff, and bus parking; the view around the school will be appealing; and the site is large enough to build a multi-purpose, student ballfield.
At the meeting, school board attorney, Mr. Donny Laws, reported the results of his title search and all other related legal requirements. Mr. Laws noted that there was nothing to prevent the school board from purchasing the 30 acres of land for the new elementary school, and recommended that the board proceed with the purchase. Mr. Mike Cox, project architect, informed the school board that based on test results, location of the site, and the lay of the land, this site would make one of the best locations to build a school that he has seen in several years.
After negotiations, the 30-acre site was priced to the school system at $750,000 by the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Bill and Judy Riddle. The land was not on the market to sell; however, the Riddles were willing to sell their land to Yancey County Schools as a site that would help the students of Yancey County Schools have a new elementary school. Over the last few decades, school boards have gradually set aside money to be used for the purchase of land for a new school.
According to Superintendent Dr. Tony Tipton, “There are several different areas of 19E that the new school will be visible from. This land should make a beautiful and functional location for the new, west elementary school.” “Now that the site has been determined,” said Chairman Mike Orr, “the board can focus its attention on designing a building that will match the beauty and function of the site.”
Please Take Notice that the Yancey County Board of Education will Hold a Special Meeting as follows:
Date of Meeting: Monday, December 19, 2016
Time of Meeting: 6:30 p.m.
Place of Meeting: Yancey County Board of Education, Central Office, 100 School Circle, Burnsville, NC 28714
Purpose of Meeting:
New School Board Members, High Regional and State Rankings for End of Grade and End of Course Tests, National Blue Ribbon School Award Winner, and Weather Notification Updates
At the regular meeting of the Yancey County Board of Education on Monday, December 5, 2016, Yancey County Clerk of Court, Tammy McEntyre, conducted the swearing-in ceremony for incumbent school board member, Norb McKinney, and newly-elected member, Edwin Fortner. Upon completing the oath of office, McKinney and Fortner took their seats with Mike Orr and Jeanne Tyner behind the school board desk. Because board member Angie Weatherman was unable to attend due to illness, voting for school board officers was postponed.
For student and teacher-performance during the 2015-2016 school year, Yancey County Schools received exceptionally high rankings in the Northwestern and Western Regions of North Carolina and across the state of North Carolina. Third-grade math scores at Bald Creek Elementary School (Jessica Duncan) tied with other schools in the state for number one; fifth-grade math and science scores at South Toe Elementary School (Margot Atuk) tied with other schools in the state for number one; eighth-grade science scores at East Yancey Middle School (Chris Brocci) ranked number one in all regions and across the state; Career and Technical Education (CTE) ranked at second in the state; and Mountain Heritage High School ranked at number ten in the state for graduation (Please see Angie Anglin’s Press Release for more detailed information.)
Bald Creek Elementary School has been named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School. It is one of eight schools in North Carolina and one of 279 in the United States to place in the top half of the top 1% in the United States for closing achievement gaps. Principal, Sherry Robinson, and third-grade teacher, Lori McCourry, attended the awards ceremony in Washington, DC on November 7th and 8th.
In an effort to streamline our emergency notification system, we will be using the following media outlets when making calls for school delays and closings: WLOS – Channel 13 in Asheville, WKYK Radio, WWNC Radio, www.citizen-times.com, www.yanceync.net, the Yancey County 911 Office pages information over their system, if a home scanner is at used at home, the Yancey County Schools’ Weather Line at 682-7322, and our Blackboard Connect 5 Communication System, capable of phone calls, texts, and emails. All information is included on the Yancey County Schools website: www.yanceync.net.
In an attempt to streamline our emergency notification process and make our system as efficient as possible, we will be notifying and using the following media outlets and communication means when making school delay and closure calls.
WLOS – Channel 13 in Asheville
The Asheville Citizen Times – which posts on their website
The Yancey County Schools website
The Yancey County 911 Office which pages out over their system – if you have a home scanner
The YCS weather line at 682-7322
And of course, our Blackboard Connect 5 Communication System which is capable of phone calls, texts and emails.
If you do not want to receive informational calls from Yancey County Schools, please dial 828.682.6101 ext 320 and leave your name and the number you would like to have removed OR . . . you do have the option to opt-out at the end of outreach calls.
The Yancey County Board of Education held a special meeting on November 14, 2016, to review and discuss qualifications packets received from architects from across the state interested in designing the new West Elementary School.
School Board Recognizes Bill Whiteside
Outgoing Board Member Bill Whiteside was recognized at the November 7th regular meeting of the Yancey County Board of Education for his
eight years of service to Yancey County Schools. hiteside was first seated on the Board in 2008 and won a second term in 2012, serving
his second term as Vice-Chair. Pictured are Superintendent Dr. Tony Tipton, Bill Whiteside and School Board Chair Mike Orr.
Graduation Rate Top 10 in the State
Mountain Heritage High School Principal Kevin Huskins and Assistant Principal Erik Buchanan recently traveled to Durham to be recognized on behalf of Yancey County Schools for earning a Top 10 in the State for a Graduation Rate of 91.8%. Pictured are Erik Buchanan and Kevin Huskins with State Superintendent Dr. June Atkinson.
East Yancey Middle School Volleyball Team
The Board recognized assistant coach Dawn Silver who accepted certificates of recognition on behalf of the East Yancey Middle School Volleyball Team who recently completed their season as Toe River Conference Champions.
East Yancey Middle School “All Panther” Soccer Team
The Board recognized coaches Ric Cedergren and Samantha Murphy as well as members of the first “All Panther” soccer team for finishing with an undefeated season and earning the title of Conference Champions.
Yancey County Schools Holiday Card 2016
The Board recognized middle school art instructor Keli Miller who organized the artwork competition for the Yancey County Schools 2016 Holiday Card. Recognized at the meeting was Cane River Middle School 8th grader, Peyton Shelton, who had the winning design that will be featured on the front of the card as well as finalist - Cane River Middle School 7th grader Cody Whitson whose artwork will be featured on the back of the card with the following students’ artwork who were able to attend the meeting:
Tegan Anders, 6th Grade, East Yancey Middle School
Shaleigh Autrey, 6th Grade, East Yancey Middle School
Jonathan Campos, 6th Grade, East Yancey Middle School
Clint Marlow, 8th Grade, Cane River Middle School
The YCS Holiday Card will sent to school systems across the state as well as local, regional, and state agencies and dignitaries.
Superintendent Dr. Tony Tipton and School Board.
Cane River Middle School Spotlight
Cane River Middle School Principal Miranda Elkins informed the Board of good things happening at Cane River Middle School so far this year including the recent weeklong festivities of Red Ribbon Week, a drug, alcohol and tobacco prevention awareness campaign observed annually in October. Staff and students finished off the week with a “Sock Hop” theme dance that was very popular with the students.
Elkins also reported that the arts department at Cane River are gearing up for their annual trips to the elementary schools for holiday performances.
In GearUp news, Elkins stated that, new this year, all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students were participating in the college visits hosted by the GearUp Program. These tours allow students to visit college campuses and participate in different academic experiences to get a feel for what life is like for a college student.
Also in GearUp news, Cane River Middle School has recently received a grant from Thermo Fisher that will allow the school to purchase new science equipment.
In athletics, Elkins recognized the undefeated conference champion football team, the first ever “All Rebel” soccer team, as well as the start-up of winter sports which includes the participation of several 6th grade students who now qualify to try out for interscholastic sports.
New West Elementary School Update
Dr. Tipton provided a report on the progress of locating a site for the new West Elementary School. Tipton stated that the school board is currently under contract with more than one site and conducting various soil, environment and archaeological tests to determine the best site for the best price.
With the completion of the highway from Jacks Creek Road to Micaville, the Yancey County Board Of Education would like to remind motorists of the rules for passing stopped school buses on different types of roads and highways. Superintendent Dr. Tony Tipton stated, “With the cones removed and the new road and all lanes open for traffic, we felt it was a good time to remind folks to be on the look out for stopped school buses.”
The North Carolina law regarding stopping for buses is contained in General Statute 20-217. A person passing a stopped bus can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor and fined $500. Anyone striking or killing someone while passing a bus will be charged with a felony and fined from $1,250 to $2,500. Misdemeanor and felony charges can lead to revoking of a license.
Motorists should keep the following rules in mind:
Principal of the Year 2016-17
Dr. Barbara Tipton, principal at Burnsville Elementary School, has been named the Yancey County Schools 2016-17 Principal of the Year. Dr. Tipton is in her fourth year at Burnsville Elementary School. She will represent Yancey County Schools as she advances to the Region 8 Principal of the Year interviews.
Micaville Elementary School Principal Michele Laws presented several good news items from her school including a new Leader in Me - SUCCESS Program for students. One element of the program includes adopting a non-profit service organization each year – this year being the Yancey County Humane Society. Each month, one classroom will collect items for the Humane Society, deliver, and perform tasks for the staff to earn an appreciation of what the Humane Society does for our county.
Teacher Melanie Bennett also told about the very popular Father/Daughter Dance & Mother/Son Fun Night events held last year that will be held again later on in the school year. Laws expressed her appreciation to the MES staff for their hard work in educating and creating memories for the students at their school.
Sixth Grade Participation in Middle School Sports
This past summer, the state board of education ruled that each local school system can choose to allow sixth graders to participate in all middle school interscholastic sports, excluding football. MHHS Athletic Director Joey Robinson has led a committee this past month in researching the pros and cons of this topic. On behalf of this committee, Robinson recommended – and the Board approved - the integration of six graders into the middle school interscholastic sports beginning with the winter (basketball) season.
Consolidation / Construction Legal Requirements
School Board Attorney Donny Laws submitted a Request for Qualifications for Architect Services for the new west elementary school. The RFQ, which was approved by the Board, allows architects to submit information indicating their qualifications to design and oversee the construction of educational facilities as required by state statute. Deadline for submissions is November 10, 2016.