New School Year Brings New Preschools to Yancey County Schools!

posted by Xan Robinson

     On Friday, August 19th, Yancey County School Board and Administrators met with preschool school administrators, staff, and representatives of Woodmen Life Insurance Society to tour the two new preschool locations and celebrate this momentous occasion for Yancey County Schools.
     Bald Creek Elementary “Lil Eagles” Preschool is housed in the former Bald Creek Region D Building on Pleasant Valley Hill Road, near Bald Creek Elementary School. Extensive improvements and remodeling have been completed over the past year in preparation for the opening of the new preschool. Teacher LynnAnn Hilemon and Teacher Assistant Tyler McIntosh welcome all new “Lil Eagles” who began staggered enrollment on August 24th. Principal Sherry Robinson stated, “We are excited about this opportunity in our community through Yancey County Schools. This Pre-K program will help prepare students for entry into the regular school setting during their kindergarten year.”
     Burnsville Elementary “Lil Bobcats” Preschool is housed inside the Burnsville Elementary School building. Renovations have been completed to accommodate 3 and 4 year old students including a separate entrance, a fenced-in, age-appropriate playground, as well as appropriate size sinks and toilets. “Interest has been incredible in this program,” stated Burnsville Principal Barbara Tipton. “We are to capacity and look forward to other schools expanding and adding their preschool programs in the future.” Preschool Teacher Kim Hodgin and Teacher Assistant Gayla Hughes welcome all new “Lil Bobcats” to the new program at Burnsville Elementary this year!
     Attending the ceremonies were school board members Mike Orr, Norb McKinney, Angie Weatherman and Bill Whiteside as well as Superintendent Tony Tipton, Pre-School Co-Directors Cynthia Deyton and Shane Cassida, PreSchool Data Specialist Becky Tschudy, and staff from each school.
     Also attending were Jason Ratliff and Chris Duncan from Woodmen Life Insurance Society who presented each preschool with a new American Flag to be flown on site.
     “While there are quality preschools in Yancey County, we are excited to add these two new locations to reach more preschoolers,” stated Superintendent Tony Tipton. “While there has been a strong interest from the community, we do still have a few spots available. Anyone interested in enrolling a three or four-year old in the YCS preschool program should contact Becky Tschudy at 682-6101, ext. 319.”
     School Board Chair Mike Orr stated, “These preschools have been a long-time coming and by adding them to the existing “Lil Cougar” Program at Mountain Heritage, Yancey County Schools can now accommodate up to 36 three and four-year old children. We are very excited about this new program.”








Superintendent Seeks Information on Land

posted Aug 1, 2016, 5:06 PM by Xan Robinson   [ updated Aug 3, 2016, 12:35 PM ]

Notice of Special Meeting

posted Jul 28, 2016, 6:48 AM by Xan Robinson

Notice of Special Meeting

posted Jun 30, 2016, 10:15 AM by Xan Robinson   [ updated Jun 30, 2016, 10:17 AM ]

Elementary Facilities Needs Discussion July 21st

posted Jun 28, 2016, 10:39 AM by Xan Robinson

There will be an informational meeting regarding the elementary school facilities needs on Thursday, July 21st in the auditorium of Mountain Heritage High School.

This meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and time will be allowed for a question/answer session.

The two previous mid-month meetings allowed for public input, which by policy, prohibited school board members from answering questions from the public. 

 This informational meeting will allow for a true question and answer session. Members of the community will be able to ask school board members or the architect firm specific questions regarding the evaluation of our elementary schools and future plans.

Facilities Needs Special School Board Meeting Held

posted Jun 21, 2016, 5:13 AM by Xan Robinson   [ updated Jun 21, 2016, 5:14 AM ]

On Monday, June 20, 2016, the Yancey County Board of Education met in the Mountain Heritage High School Auditorium to hear the second report of the Facilities Needs Assessment from Architect Mike Cox and Associate Amy Dowty of Architectural Design Studios.

Attached is the Powerpoint document as presented by Mr. Cox and Ms. Dowty as well as the four-page pamphlet handout provided by Architectural Design Studios.

There will be a public meeting held in mid-July regarding the future plans for our elementary schools.  This meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Mountain Heritage High School.  The date for this meeting will be announced at a later time.

School Board Recognizes Volunteer, Support Person & Teacher of the Year 2016

posted Jun 7, 2016, 8:19 AM by Xan Robinson   [ updated Jun 7, 2016, 11:09 AM ]

Local Principal Completes Leadership Program

posted Jun 3, 2016, 4:48 AM by Xan Robinson

Michele Laws, principal of Micaville Elementary, recently completed the Distinguished Leadership Program (DLP), a year-long leadership development program for practicing school principals designed and provided by the North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principal’s Association in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

The Distinguished Leadership in Practice Program (DLP) uses a non-traditional professional development model that is aligned to the performance evaluation standards adopted by the State Board of Education for North Carolina’s school leaders. This unique cohort-based program is designed to limit principals’ time away from their schools by allowing them to attend face-to-face sessions once every other month while accessing on-line assignments, materials and coaching in between face-to-face sessions. Principals engage in a series of authentic activities throughout the year-long experience that are designed to build the capacity of their schools and their own capacity as “Distinguished” school leaders.

“The leadership of the school principal is by far one of the most important factors in school quality. By completing this very rigorous program, our DLP graduates have demonstrated their commitment to continuous improvement by working to improve their leadership skills as they simultaneously improve their schools. We are proud to include them in the ranks of successful DLP completers,” said Dr. Shirley Prince, NCPAPA Executive Director.

This program is offered in two locations-, Raleigh and Charlotte- in order to serve principals in all eight regions of the state.

The North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals’ Association (NCPAPA), in existence since 1976, is the preeminent organization and state voice for principals, assistant principals and aspiring school leaders. NCPAPA represents 5,000+ members from across the state and serves as the state’s principal affiliate of the N.C. Association of School Administrators (NCASA), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP.)

Summer Resource Guide for Kids and Families

posted May 18, 2016, 11:16 AM by Kay Ball   [ updated May 24, 2016, 5:40 AM ]

The end of the 2015-2016 school year is quickly approaching, leaving our students with time to participate in many free or low cost enrichment opportunities. For more information of activities available for your child, the attached document contains and extensive listing for the entire summer. Thanks to the all the community sponsors for making these opportunities available for our students to have a safe, fun filled summer.

Special School Board Meeting & Preliminary Data from Facility Needs Assessment

posted May 17, 2016, 10:30 AM by Xan Robinson   [ updated Jun 3, 2016, 8:21 AM ]

The Yancey County Board of Education held a special meeting on Monday, May 16, 2016, to hear a preliminary report of the Facilities Needs Assessment from Architectural Design Studio (ADS) Architect Mike Cox and design staff member Amy Dowty. The meeting was recessed and relocated to the upper meeting room of the public library to accommodate several members of the public who attended the meeting to hear the preliminary data and add input. 

A February 29th joint meeting of the Yancey County Commissioners and Board of Education resulted in a contract between 
Yancey County Schools and ADS to complete a Facilities Needs Assessment of the six elementary schools. Particular attention was given to the five oldest elementary schools in the county, some of which are the oldest in the state. 

“All of us are proud of our community schools and the heritage that comes with knowing that our children are walking the same halls that we, and sometimes even our parents, walked as elementary students. But the reality is, most of our elementary school buildings are 80 years old and are needing significant attention to simply remain safe, functional, and suitable for 21st century learning.” said Superintendent Tipton. “We were very appreciative for the Commissioners offer to borrow money on behalf of the school system for our facilities.”

Chair Mike Orr added, “We are very excited for our system as we look toward making this $11.5 million dollar investment in our children. We knew we didn’t have enough money to look at all nine schools, so the consensus of both boards was to focus on the aging elementary schools. Knowing that once the commissioners borrow the money, resulting in a 15 year payback commitment of the county, Dr. Tipton and the School Board take very serious the responsibility of making the best decisions possible for Yancey County Schools now and in the future.” 

In compiling the assessment, Cox and Dowty did a complete tour of each facility, with specific attention to infrastructure as well as safety issues and concerns within each school. A Powerpoint was presented detailing concerns with each school site that ranged from undersized campuses and classrooms to highly combustible construction material and aging infrastructure within the buildings. 

After the presentation, the floor was opened for questions and comments from the school board and then time was allowed for public input. 

Chair Orr announced that the regular meeting of the school board on June 6th will be held at the YCS Central Office and the agenda will not include any discussion of the Facilities Needs Assessment.

There will be a special school board meeting on Monday, June 20th at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Mountain Heritage High School. Mike Cox will present the revised needs assessment data and time will be allowed for public input.

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