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First Week of School Wraps Up
First Week of School Wraps Up
Posted on 08/27/2021
Buncombe County Schools welcomed students back this week for in-person learning.BCS Communications Department

Buncombe County Schools welcomed students back this week for in-person learning.

Across the district, students met their teachers, interacted with their friends, and took part in dynamic learning environments. Here are some examples! You can see these posts and more photos by following the BCS Facebook page.

Weaverville Primary
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The first day of school at Weaverville Primary School is in the books. Students enjoyed being back in the classroom with their friends, teachers, and staff. Students got to know their classmates better and learned more about the dynamic year of learning that awaits! It was also a big first day for the school's new principal, Nicholas Honeycutt.

“I’m excited to see students back in the building,” said Principal Nicholas Honeycutt. “I’m excited about developing future leaders and working closely with our neighbors to make our community school even stronger.”

Pisgah Elementary
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Teachers welcomed curious minds back to Pisgah Elementary School on Monday!

Like any school year, students got to know their teachers, new classmates, seating charts, hallway expectations, and overall learning structures. They also felt the warmth of a loving atmosphere that teachers have cultivated at Pisgah for years.

“We’re so excited to be back,” said Ms. Katie Harris, Pisgah’s new principal and an alumna. “It’s really awesome to be back where I went to elementary school, to see everyone in person, and to give back to this school that gave me so much. We’re building the best for tomorrow!”

A teacher hugs a group of students.North Buncombe Elementary
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At North Buncombe Elementary School today, the excitement of the new school year was everywhere! Students enjoyed the day filled with reading, writing, singing, moving, creativity, exploring their school, and making new friends.

“The first day of school is always a special time,” said Principal Debbie Devane. “It’s wonderful to see our students again, and we’re ready for a new school year full of growing, learning, and succeeding together!”

The school also had a memorable visit from WLOS ABC 13 news! Ms. Kelly Penley’s classroom was featured during the Aug. 23 Never Stop Learning segment.

Hominy Valley Elementary
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Whether playing fun games in the gym or reading exciting books in the media center, Hominy Valley Elementary students loved their first day of school this year!

“It was a wonderful first day of school!” said Principal Jeanann Yates. “Our students were so excited to be here and ready to learn. We were equally thrilled to see them and have them in the building. The Hominy teachers and staff are dedicated to meeting our student's academic and social and emotional needs. We have rolled up our sleeves and have hit the ground running today in the true Hominy Valley way! We are looking forward to a great year filled with learning!”

North Buncombe Middle
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North Buncombe Middle School welcomed students back on Monday to begin a memorable year of new experiences, friendships, and learning! After the bell rang, Principal Jamie Johnson used a live video feed to personally introduce herself and kick off the day. She assured students that while their campus is large and bustling with activity, teachers and staff would be there to help them find their way at each step. The Blackhawks are looking forward to another wonderful school year together!

A student raises her hand in class.T.C. Roberson High
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The Rams charged into the new school year Monday at T.C. Roberson High School! Students met their teachers, greeted their friends, and dove into new subjects, grateful for a more normal start to the fall semester. Principal Nathan Allison was thrilled to see his school filled with the sights and sounds of learning and community.

“The Rams are back! What an awesome day,” he said.

In Theatre Arts class, Mr. Ryan Ledwig introduced himself to students with a special flare. After setting up his DJ equipment, Ledwig showed off his turntable skills and taught students some basic techniques. This school year, Ledwig plans to teach an enrichment class on this technology and musical genre.

Johnston Elementary
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At Johnston Elementary School, families took “first day” photos of their kindergarteners this week and walked them to the front door, where friendly faculty and staff greeted them with a squirt of hand sanitizer and a friendly wave.

Substitute teacher Lisa Gray was thrilled to see several students who attended school virtually last year.

“Look at how much they’ve grown,” she said. “We’ve all missed each other, and I love that these kids are getting the chance to socialize and make some new friends and get connected to their teachers this year.”

Enka High
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Enka High School students soared into the new school year this week!

Across the campus, they met their teachers, chatted with friends, and dug into engaging discussions and activities – from principles of governance to food preparation to game art design. The Enka Jets were grateful to be back in person and ready for a successful year.

We are beyond excited to have our students back in the building,” said Principal Jeffrey Burleson. “We look forward to a renewed focus on academics and relationship building. Now, more than ever, we realize the value of face-to-face instruction, and we are ready to re-engage our students. We are not going to focus on what COVID brought us but what COVID taught us.”

William W. Estes Elementary
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It has been a beautiful week for the new school year! At William W. Estes Elementary, students explored their playground and outdoor areas, enjoyed lunch in the shade, and celebrated the opportunity to see their friends and teachers. From the cafeteria and gymnasium to classrooms around the building, it has been a week full of the joy of learning and community!

“We are so excited to have our Estes family back together for the fall semester,” said Dr. Paula Pinkerton, Estes’ principal. “Go Rams!”

A student raises her hand in class.North Windy Ridge Intermediate
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Spirits are high at North Windy Ridge Intermediate this week as another school year is underway!

Tuesday was the second day back for students, and they were already more comfortable with their schedules and classmates. Students laughed and enjoyed each other as they attended classes, worked in groups, played get-to-know-you games, and explored the spacious campus.

Principal Brent Wise said it has been refreshing to see his community reconnecting.

“It’s been a real pleasure watching kids as they are able to socialize and create new friendships this year,” he said. “Learning and curriculum are extremely important, but even more important is the ability for students to make those connections with each other and their teachers.”

Valley Springs Middle
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From the bright sounds of the strings ensemble echoing through the hallways to the appealing aroma of a tasty lunch in the cafeteria, it has felt like a normal first week of school at Valley Springs Middle School! As students reacquainted themselves with their classmates and beautiful campus, Principal Benjamin Alexander challenged them to be their best this school year, no matter the circumstances.

“At Valley Springs, it is our belief that the opportunities we have for our students are because of our high expectations,” said Alexander.

“We are incredibly fortunate and thankful to have our kids back in the building,” he added. “It’s the best, and we’re doing it safely.”

Fairview Elementary
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At Fairview Elementary School, students and teachers can't 'mask' their excitement about being back together! As the new school year begins, everyone is ready to learn, grow, explore, and make memories.

"The halls at Fairview Elementary have been filled with excitement this week," explained Dr. Angie Jackson, Principal. "The students were eager to get back in the building with their friends and have been fantastic about following all safety protocols. Fairview Cardinals are soaring high, and we can't wait for all the great things this school year will bring!"

Glen Arden Elementary
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Students are off to a great start at Glen Arden Elementary as the school year begins! So far, students have explored their playground and beautiful campus, reconnected with classmates and teachers, made new friends, and enjoyed plenty of interactive lessons in math, reading, science, physical education, Spanish Immersion, and more. And it's only the first week of school!

“It’s wonderful to have our students back together at Glen Arden,” said Principal Kristina Specht. “Our teachers are ready to safely give students a school year full of new opportunities and experiences.”

Johnston Elementary School Principal Anna Austin helps a student during drop-off on Tuesday morning.A.C. Reynolds Middle
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The Rockets were ready to shoot for the stars this week at A.C. Reynolds Middle School.

Students enjoyed lots of valuable time together learning a wide variety of engaging activities. They practiced free-form drawings in art class, learned new scales in chorus, tested their design skills by applying math concepts, and got back together with friends.

“I hope the kids find enjoyment in being back in school and especially find enjoyment in math,” said seventh grade math teacher Gillian Tart-Snyder. “We’re going to work together and create a community in this classroom, and that will lead to success!”

Oakley Elementary
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At Oakley Elementary School this week, students are getting back into the ‘swing’ of learning! On Thursday, students shared plenty of smiles as they played, collaborated in class, got to know one another, and poured creativity in their projects.

“It’s been a great start to the new school year,” said Principal Dana Haney. “All the staff and students were very excited to be back together again. We are looking forward to growing as learners and leaders this year.”

Joe P. Eblen Intermediate
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Students felt right at home at Joe P. Eblen Intermediate School this week, sharing lots of laughs and excitedly raising their hands to answer review questions.

They enjoyed the playground and the gaga pit outside, while inside, they got started in special subjects like strings, art, and band. All the while, they remembered to be “ready, respectful, and responsible.”

“We’re all super excited to have the students back in the building and to create opportunities for them to engage with their teachers and each other,” said Assistant Principal Dr. Wendy Hannah. “We’ll be better able to teach the whole child – socially, emotionally, and academically. We’re reestablishing routines and getting everyone comfortable in the building. We’re also working on promoting leadership skills and giving the students opportunities to demonstrate that leadership.”

A.C. Reynolds High
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The A.C. Reynolds High School Rockets let their can-do attitude shine during this first week of school.

It was busy – there were orientation assemblies, Digital 1:1 device distribution, teacher introductions, and outlines of new materials in classrooms throughout the campus. Through all the hustle and bustle, the Rockets kept their trajectory toward a successful school year.

As the Buncombe County Schools Nutrition staff prepped lunch on Tuesday, new Cafeteria Manager Wendi McAbee looked forward to being part of that success.

“We want the kids to be fed and happy, and we want to create that daily sense of normalcy again,” she said. “And I look forward to working with this awesome team and doing our best for the kids.”

Woodfin Elementary
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Woodfin Elementary School welcomed students back this week for a safe return to in-person learning.

On Thursday, teachers made sure to give each student individual attention and love. The students, in turn, were excited to learn, to make new friends, and work together.

“Lots of eyes smiling at Woodfin Elementary this week!” said Principal Wright. “Together, staff, students, families, and the community are celebrating that we have this opportunity for in-person learning. We have worked this week to establish routines for safety, building community, and growing our brains! Go Woodfin Wolverines!”

Cane Creek Middle
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Cane Creek Middle School's first week back to school was a ‘hurricane’ of activity! (Go Canes!) Students and teachers reunited, and learning, exploration, friendship, and opportunity filled every corner of the campus.

“It has been an awesome start to this school year,” said Principal Kim Mason. “We are very excited to have all of our students in the building, and we are looking forward to a successful year.”

Haw Creek Elementary
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The Hawks are soaring at Haw Creek Elementary this new school year! Students are back in action in every classroom as teachers engage, encourage, and nurture them toward success. On Friday, students practiced reading, writing, and mathematics, and explored their playground, gym, and art spaces.

Principal Jay Dale said his teachers are ecstatic to have the students with them to start the year.

“Our students bring so much energy to our school that we really missed last year,” he said. “Just having them here with us is probably the biggest thing we’re excited about. We look forward to seeing their smiles and the learning and creativity they bring each and every day.”

Portions of the school are being updated this year, and Haw Creek students have enjoyed seeing the interesting trucks and workers on site. Kindergarteners are already attending school in their brand new classrooms this fall, and can look out their windows to see the progress.

“Once it’s all said and done, students are going to get a brand new school on the inside that is up-to-date and state-of-the-art,” added Dale, pointing to a spacious room that will one day be a STEM* lab for exploratory problem-solving.

*STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Weaverville Elementary
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Weaverville Elementary School students and staff are getting back into the swing of learning, leading, and having fun! Their first day was an exciting one as students toured the building, met their classmates, and enjoyed the fresh mountain air during recess and snack breaks!

"I am so excited to see our wonderful Weaverville Elementary leaders in the building again," said Principal Heidi Allison. "I am looking forward to seeing their excitement as they learn new things and see them run and play on the playground. We've been working hard to get everything ready for our new bunch of leaders. It's going to be a fabulous school year!"

Charles D. Owen Middle and Charles D. Owen High
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Charles D. Owen Middle School (OMS) and Charles D. Owen High School (OHS) students and staff had a great first week of school!

"We are so excited to be learning in-person this year," said OMS Principal Jim Lewis. "Students are learning well together and getting to know one another. We are looking forward to a great year!"

    Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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