Student Services

Monday - Thursday 7:30am - 4:30pm

Director: David Thompson 

Office Number: (828) 255- 5918
Office Location:
175 Bingham Rd. Asheville, NC 28806


Student Services is an integral part of the academic and social-emotional successes of our students.  From our focus on Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports, we have learned the importance of layering supports for students per their individual needs.  We are in the last year of a $1.2 million dollar Elementary and Secondary School Counseling grant that has allowed us to build a structure of supports that integrates Comprehensive School Counseling and School Social Work Supports, School Nursing, School-based Mental Health, Compassionate Schools, Mindful Schools, Community Resiliency Model, Community Schools Model, and Community in Schools into a seamless system.  This Student Services Program Model increases the effectiveness of service delivery, the positive outcomes for students and parents, and results in students being able to access the academic and social/emotional instruction necessary for growth and transition to college and careers.
Student Services Support Model

Student Services Program Model

PBIS is “…a framework or approach comprised of intervention practices and organizational systems for establishing the social culture, learning and teaching environment, and individual behavior supports needed to achieve academic and social success for all students.” (sugai, et al, 2010)

 PBIS is a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) framework or approach for assisting school personnel in adopting and organizing evidence-based behavioral interventions into an integrated continuum that enhances academic and social behavior outcomes for all students.

 PBIS IS NOT a  packaged curriculum,  scripted intervention, or  manualized strategy.  PBIS IS a  prevention  oriented way for school  personnel to (a)  organize  evidence-based  practices, (b) improve their  implementation of those practices, and (c)  maximize  academic and social behavior outcomes  for students.  PBIS supports the success of ALL students.


pbis 2

Beginning with the 2007-08 school year, schools participating in the NC PBIS Initiative have been able to apply annually for recognition by documenting PBIS implementation activities. Schools earning recognition are able to document ongoing administrator participation, an active PBIS team and in-school coach. These schools also regularly measure implementation progress.

Three levels of NC PBIS Recognition were created so schools would be eligible to earn recognition in early phases of implementation, as well as in later stages. The three levels of recognition are:

PBIS Green Ribbon Schools have completed Module 1 team training and begun PBIS implementation have attained at least 80% or higher for Tier 1 on the Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI) have a minimum score of 80 on the School-wide Evaluation Tool (SET)

  • Schools:  Barnardsville ES, Bell ES, Candler ES, Early College, Emma ES, Enka HS, Hominy Valley ES, Nesbitt Discovery Academy, North Buncombe ES, North Buncombe HS, North Buncombe MS, Owen HS, Sandhill Venable ES, TC Roberson HS, Weaverville ES, Weaverville PS

PBIS Model Schools have completed Modules 1 & 2 team training and are actively implementing PBIS have attained at least 80% or higher for Tiers 1 and 2 on the Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI) have a minimum score of 90 on the SET

  • Schools: Community HS, Eblen IS, Fairview ES, Haw Creek ES, Johnston ES, Koontz IS, Leicester ES, North Windy Ridge IS, Oakley ES, WD Williams ES, West Buncombe ES, Woodfin ES

PBIS Exemplar Schools have completed Modules 1, 2, & 3 team training and are actively implementing PBIS have attained at least 80% or higher on Tiers 1, 2, and 3 on the Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI) have a minimum score of 95 on the SET have submitted data documenting improvement in academic and behavioral data

  • Schools: AC Reynolds MS, Avery’s Creek ES, Cane Creek MS, Enka MS, Erwin MS, Estes ES, Owen MS, Valley Springs MS


The Compassionate Schools Initiative within Learning and Teaching Support provides training, guidance, referral, and technical assistance to schools wishing to adopt a Compassionate Schools Infrastructure. Compassionate Schools benefit all students who attend but focus on students chronically exposed to stress and trauma in their lives. These schools create compassionate classrooms and foster compassionate attitudes of their school staff. The goal is to keep students engaged and learning by creating and supporting a healthy climate and culture within the school where all students can learn. It is not a program; it is a process and as such is not “one size fits all.” Each school and community will develop their own unique compassionate “personality.”

had a proud moment the other day in a staff meeting. We were talking about our school purpose which is, "Grow Every Child Every Day," and the principal asked teachers how we do this at our school. Teacher after teacher commented that social and emotional skills, plus mental health are as important as academic growth, because kids can't learn when they don't feel calm and safe. The fact that teachers see the priority of emotions changes the way they teach students.-- Katie Wolford.  School Counselor Fairview

  1. What might you see around Buncombe County Schools?
            - Staff trained in chronic stress/trauma (ACE Study) and its impact in individuals and                   communities
              - Connected to Buncombe County ACEs Learning Collaborative
            - Video Explaining Adverse Childhood Experiences

  • Calm Spots located in classrooms and other student spaces.  These are areas reserved for students to take a break in when needed to calm down and get back on track. Calm Spot
  • Calming Strategies are based on brain science and helping students get back their best comfort and learning zone.
  • Growth Mindset being taught in classrooms.
  • mindsetpic
“In a fixed mindset, students believe that their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset, students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think that everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they that believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.” – Carol Dweck founding psychologist

The social and emotional skills assignments encourage me to initiate conversations with my children about things that truly benefit our entire family.  They bridge a gap between my fifth grader and my second grader because most of their homework assignments require independent work, and it’s a nice treat when the entire family can be involved and learn together.  It’s a great program that benefits everyone, and it’s wonderful to know my children are developing both academic and social-emotional skills, every day.   -Fairview Elementary Parent

Additional Information:

Mindful Schools

"Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way:  on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”   - Jon Kabat Zinn 
“Noticing what is happening right now.”  -Buncombe County Student Definition

Buncombe County Schools trained 18 elementary and intermediate schools counselors in the Mindful Schools curriculum as of the Spring of 2017.  Seven middle school and high school counselors will also be taking the training in the Spring/Summer of 2017.   Training consists of 32 hours of online courses including Mindfulness Fundamentals and Mindful Educator Essentials.  In addition to the classes, Asheville Mindful Living was contracted to supervise a Community of Practice where counselors further demonstrated their knowledge and practice of the Mindful Schools curricula.  Some schools have implemented Mindful Schools with teacher groups and focus on wellness skills, while other counselors integrated 15 minute lessons from the Mindful Schools Program into their social emotional curriculum to deliver these skills.

History of Mindful Schools:

Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBIs) have nearly 35 years of research and development behind them.  In fact, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) started at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the late 1970s by Jon Kabat-Zinn.  It has spread to over 200 hospitals, clinics and universities worldwide.  In the 1990s, mindfulness was integrated into the mental health field for clients experiencing anxiety, stress and chronic pain.  By the early 2000s, formalized mindfulness and education interventions were developed mainly as a wellness and resiliency tool for teachers.  A growing body of research in school-based contexts reveals the core benefits:

  • Better focus and concentration
  • Increased sense of calm
  • Decreased Stress and Anxiety
  • Improved Self Awareness
  • Skillful Responses to Difficult Emotions
  • Increased Empathy and Understanding of Others
  • Development of Natural Conflict Resolution Skills

“Through classroom guidance I have been introducing activities that help with self-regulation and focusing since the beginning of the school year, approximately twice a month. We set aside time everyday to do breathing techniques (volcano breath, square breathing), positive self talk, quiet visualization, or other self regulation activities such as 'push-pull-dangle'. I also began introducing more extended Mindful Schools practices with this classroom. We have worked on mindful breathing, mindful body scans,  mindful listening, and being mindful of our thoughts. Her latest report is she has been practicing mindful breathing, listening and being mindful of thoughts at home. Her teacher is aware of a noticeable difference in B's attitude and her behavior in the classroom. She is so proud of herself and reports that she is feeling much calmer and happier, both at home and at school.”   Amanda Herbert:  Counselor. Avery’s Creek Elementary

"Willem Kuyken, a professor of clinical psychology at Oxford University, who is leading the study, said the spread of mindfulness among children could do for the British population’s mental health what fluoride in the water did for its teeth. He said the trial was focusing on children partly because of evidence that half of all mental health disorders begin before the age of 15. He wants to test whether mindfulness can increase resilience to “a core vulnerability” displayed by teens: difficulty sustaining attention in the face of thoughts and impulses that can become overwhelming." - From a Guardian article about the study.

Community Resiliency Model (CRM)

Oops, I got bumped out of my resiliency zone!” - Anonymous Student  It isn’t uncommon to hear elementary students in Buncombe County Schools talk about their “resiliency zones.”  In 2016, Buncombe County Schools trained 15 staff members to train our schools in the Community Resiliency Model by the Trauma Resource Institute.  (

CRM is a set of six wellness skills that builds resiliency in youth and adults when they encounter stress.  CRM helps individuals understand the biological basis of chronic stress/trauma and the impact on the nervous system.  We currently have trained over 800 participants including High School Principals, SRO Officers, Beginning Teachers, Erwin Middle School (overview), Bell Elementary, Enka Intermediate and Community High School.  Counselors have also integrated CRM into their social emotional curriculum.  Buncombe County trainers include:

Michelle Butler           PBIS Coordinator

Deborah Luckett         Grant Coordinator

Shannon Martin          Day Treatment Coordinator

Michelle Smith            Behavioral Specialist

Colleen McKay            Bell Elementary

Laura Cleveland          Woodfin and Candler Elementary

Katrina Oliver              North Windy Ridge Intermediate

Jody Montrie               Enka Intermediate

Megan Gallagher        Eblen Intermediate

Tiffany Kinnaird           Eblen Intermediate

David Craig                 Community High School

Wesley Davis               AC Reynolds High School

Catherine House         Erwin High School



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