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October 25th Special Called Meeting Board Brief

Good Evening Students, Staff and Families.  This is Ashley-Michelle Thublin, Executive Director of Communications, with a few updates. 

VACANCY UPDATES

During tonight’s Special Called Meeting, the Asheville City Board of Education heard from Dr. Mark Dickerson, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, about current job openings across the district.  

He explained that Asheville City Schools began the 2021-2022 school year with staff shortages for bus drivers, school nutrition employees, instructional assistants, custodians and some teaching positions. 

At this time, there are 60 vacancies across the district, not including bus drivers.  Bus drivers are not included because, although not ideal, our current staff is able to safely transport our students to and from school by driving double routes.  Ideally, each school needs a substitute driver for each bus to support if a staff member is out.  

As we look to fill these key roles, the district has created several recruitment videos that have been shared on social media, hosted three pop-up career fairs and attended two regional career fairs.  

We invite interested candidates to review our webpage for current job postings or visit us during an upcoming career fair.  Asheville City Schools will be recruiting during the November 4th Western Carolina University Career Fair as well as during its next Pop-Up Career Fair, which is scheduled for November 9th from 3:00 - 6:00 PM in the Board Room located at 85 Mountain Street. 

Dr. Dickerson also reiterated that Asheville City Schools is NOT in a hiring freeze.  

“We’re actively recruiting individuals looking to contribute to our community,” he said.  

He reshared that none of the budget reductions brought before the Board include letting go of current employees

CAPITAL NEEDS

In response to Board Member requests, a presentation was also made about each school’s current maintenance and facility needs. 

Kristy Coats, Facilities Liaison to the Superintendent, explained that, at this time, our nine campuses need an estimated $50,507,261.46 in capital projects.  A breakdown of each school’s estimated capital needs compared to current capacity based on staffing and actual student enrollment can be found below: 

Additionally, she shared each school’s in-progress maintenance projects as well as its critical and high-priority needs.  She explained that critical needs should be completed within one to two years, and high-priority needs should be completed within no more than five.  

  • Using revenue from both our Local Capital Fund and those from the School Capital Fund Commission, maintenance projects are currently being carried out at each of our nine campuses 
  • Besides Asheville Middle School, all campuses across Asheville City Schools include both critical and high priority maintenance needs.  Asheville Middle School’s high priority needs should be carried out within the next three to five years and total $1,215,000. 

For each school, Coats also included photos of current capital needs; the images included were taken this school year between August and October. 

She also gave a breakdown of each school’s utility cost.  She pulled data from the 2018-2019 school year because it was the last full year with all students and staff on campus. 

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

April Dockery, Executive Director of Crisis Management and Operations, also gave a presentation about updated COVID-19 protocols.  Sonita Warren-Dixon, Asheville High School’s Athletic Director, also explained that student-athletes and Cougar Fans will continue to follow the district’s mask mandates once Winter Sports begin on November 1st.  More information about these presentations will be included as part of the Thursday, October 28th Community Update.  Or, we invite you to watch tonight’s meeting here

During tonight’s Special Called Meeting, the Board of Education also selected its new Vice-Chair.  Martha Geitner was chosen for this important role.  

On behalf of Chairman James Carter and members of the Asheville City Board of Education, I also wanted to remind you that, if you have not already done so, all ACS students, staff and families are encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings on the budget by completing this form.  Creating one centralized location to collect feedback ensures all thoughts will be heard by all Board Members.  


All feedback collected through this form will be shared with the Board of Education during its November 1st Work Session.  The meeting will be held at 5:00 PM in the Board Room located at 85 Mountain Street and can also be streamed on the district’s YouTube page