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.
At a special meeting on September 19th, the Yancey County Board of Education made the historic decision to close three of the county’s oldest elementary schools.
Having spent the past month reviewing the impact study as presented by Superintendent Tony Tipton on August 22nd, the school board voted unanimously to close and consolidate Bald Creek, Bee Log, and Clearmont Elementary Schools into one single elementary school to be built on the west end of the county.
The Resolution as adopted by the Board regarding this action named a projected timeline of closing the schools at the end of the 2017-18 school year (June 2018), and opening the new elementary school with the beginning of the 2018-19 school year (August 2018).
In order to meet this timeline, the school board needs to move forward as quickly as possible in finding land on the west end of the county.
A press release issued August 1st indicating the search for land for a new elementary school did result in a few properties being submitted for consideration, however, with the decision to move forward with consolidation and construction, there is now an earnest focus on contacting realtors and individuals who may have property that meet the required criteria of:
1. 15-20 acres
2. Lie as close in proximity as possible to 19E
3. No flood zone
In addition to finding land, the school board will now begin the process of architect selection. Superintendent Tipton is reaching out to other counties in the state who have had recent elementary construction projects to obtain information on how to be better prepared in moving forward with this project.
6th Grade Participation in Middle School Sports
At the September 6th school board meeting the board heard from the athletic directors and administrators from both middle schools and the athletic director from the high school about the option for local school boards to allow 6th graders to participate in all middle school sports.
In early August the NC State School Board voted to allow individual school systems to decide whether to let 6th graders participate with 7th and 8th graders in all interscholastic sports, except football. Traditionally, only students in 7th through 12th grades in North Carolina public schools were allowed to participate in interscholastic athletics.
At the meeting, the three schools provided the school board members with an overview of how each school feels on the issue. MHHS Athletic Director, Joey Robinson pointed out pros and cons for both sides of the issue. He also urged caution as Yancey County moved forward. He did not want to see YCS make any decision before all options had been studied.
Dr. Tipton updated the school board with information from a joint meeting held August 17th in Mitchell County with representatives from all three counties of the Toe River Conference. At this meeting all three superintendents attended, as well as athletic directors and some school administrators to discuss the pros and cons. This meeting ended with early indications that Avery County will allow 6th graders to participate this school year while Mitchell and Yancey were leaning more towards not allowing them at this time - but being willing to revisit this issue in the future.
After hearing from the superintendent, the three schools involved in Yancey County sports, and concerns voice by parents in attendance, the Yancey County School Board voted to form a committee, chaired by Joey Robinson, with members from the two middle school coaching staffs, athletics directors, and parent representatives to study the issue and present their recommendation at the October 10th school board meeting.
“We know that some of the school systems close to us have decided to allow 6th graders to participate but the majority of the school systems that we have spoken with are doing the same as Yancey County, waiting and studying” said Tipton, “Anytime we make a decision of this magnitude for our students, it will be well thought out and planned.”
This entire 6th grader participation came about over small charter schools not having enough athletes to offer some sports. They wanted to be able to allow 6th graders to participate to have enough players to have various teams. The NC State Board in an attempt to be fair and consistent, decided if they were going to allow charter schools they would give the local public school boards the power to decide for themselves.
YCS Director of Student Services, Angie Anglin, and Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Shane Cassida, presented to the Board the 2015-2016 NC READY Testing results. “We are pleased to report that every public school in Yancey County either met or exceeded expectations for their students’ academic growth last year. All nine schools work towards a common goal, producing a successful high school graduate. Yancey County Schools tied for seventh place in the State for again having 92% of students graduating. The consistent academic performance and student growth we have seen in previous years certainly continued in 2015-2016. However, we are never satisfied, and we are currently working on ways to grow and improve as a system as we strive to reach our own high standards,” said Anglin.
2016-17 Budget Resolution
School Finance Officer Robbie Renfro presented the 2016-17 Uniform Budget Resolution that was approved by the Board.
Return to Learn Concussion Protocol
School Nurse Shea Laws presented a new “Return to Learn” Concussion Protocol Administrative Procedure developed by the school nurses over the summer months. School staff across the county are being trained by the school nurses on the appropriate protocol to assist students, who have sustained a concussion, in a positive and successful return to full academic workload and classroom time at school.
GearUp Program Update
GearUp Director Eric Klein and coordinators Samantha Briggs and Kristen Robinson provided an annual update to the board on the GearUp Program which provides college campus exposure and opportunities to middle and high school students in the county.