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Frequently Asked Questions

How can my child be promoted to the next grade level?

The following are the relevant State and local requirements for a child to be promoted to the next grade level:

https://www.ncleg.gov/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/ByArticle/Chapter_115C/Article_8.pdf  

See pp 15-28 in the link above regarding retention, promotion, alternatives to show reading proficiency, etc.

What is my child learning at school?  How can a parent review these materials?

In North Carolina, all schools use the same Standard Course of Study, determined by the State Board of Education.  These standards are the knowledge and skills students should understand by the end of each grade/course.  

The standards can be found on the NCDPI Office of Academic Standards websiteThere are standards for:

  • Arts Education,

  • Career Technical Education,

  • Computer Science,

  • English Language Arts,

  • English Language Development,

  • Student Success Standards,

  • Healthful Living,

  • Information and Technology,

  • Mathematics,

  • Science,

  • Social Studies, and

  • World Language.

Local districts, schools and teachers determine how to teach these standards, including curriculum, supplementary materials, books, etc.

In Alexander County Schools, more information can be found here: Curriculum

Each district must also have a Literacy Intervention Plan (LIP).  The plan must include Reading Camps as an extension of what occurs during the school year.

Alexander County Schools also offers courses in the area of Career and Technical Education (CTE).  These courses allow students to explore careers and earn credentials.  CTE Career Clusters, Pathways, Course Information, Credentials, and Course Standards may be found at this link: Course Management System

How will a parent learn about my child’s progress in school or with a class?

Alexander County Schools shares progress of students through a variety of ways, including quarterly report cards, progress reports, and assignment/test feedback.  Feedback on conduct is also included. Progress reports and report cards are sent home with your child. Grades are available through Parent Portal.  Students also take IReady three times a year at the beginning, middle, and end, which include results sent home to parents. 

State Assessments:

Individual Student Reports for end-of-grade/course tests and other state assessments (English language proficiency assessment) are accessible in the parent portal of the NC-SIS (PowerSchool).

In NC, all students take end-of-grade assessments for reading and math in grades 3-8.  Students take end-of-grade science assessments in grades 5 and 8.  In high school, students take end-of-course assessments in English II, Biology, NC Math 1, and NC Math 3.

Students in Grade 10 take the Pre-ACT.  Students in grade 11 take the ACT.  Students who are CTE Concentrators in Grade 12 take ACT WorkKeys.  Those results are shared by ACT.

An Individual Reading Plan (IRP) shall be developed for any student in kindergarten through third grade demonstrating difficulty with reading.  An IRP will have specific strategies/ideas that can be done at home.

Parents and caregivers may view Alexander County Schools aligned literacy resources at this site.
North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) selected mCLASS DIBELS ® 8th Edition as the state’s K-3 Literacy Assessment. mCLASS is an integrated literacy system based on the Science of Reading. mCLASS has been revised and upgraded from the assessment NC districts have used in the past, based on the latest research and the Science of Reading. It is a valid and reliable assessment, supporting universal literacy screening, screening for risk of dyslexia, and progress monitoring.

What are the qualifications of my child’s teachers?

Parents may look up your child’s teacher licensure status at this website: Link to the licensure website(You may get a message of Timed Out when you go to the licensure site. Simply choose Main menu on the licensure page and begin your search.)

Substitute teachers (either short or long term) may not hold a NC teaching license.  Please contact your district’s Human Resources office to verify an educator’s licensure status.

What are the requirements for school enrollment?  What are the immunizations needed or recommended for children?

The following are required by state law to start and stay in school; this includes required immunizations:  

Admission requirements:  GS_115C-364.pdf (ncleg.gov)

Information on required health assessments and immunizations for students are available through the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).

NCDHHS Immunizations Resources

How can a parent help their child learn and make progress?

Engaging with your child about school and what they are learning is pivotal to their learning process.  

  • Ask questions daily about your child’s school day.

  • Inquire about topics and assignments they are learning.

  • Connect with teachers to understand your child’s progress.

  • Ask the teachers how you can help your child learn.

  • Attend different events at your child’s school to stay connected and learn how to support them.

Local Resources:

Parent Guides for Academic Standards:

The following grade level guides contain information to support parents and caregivers with understanding the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.  The purpose of these guides is to inform parents about the standards, as well as provide useful strategies to incorporate at home.

ELA Parent Guides

ELD Parent Guide

Math Parent Guides: K-5, 6-8

Social Studies Parent Guides (coming soon)

Science Parent Guide (coming soon)

Reading and Literacy Support:

This following site provides resources for families to practice and reinforce important literacy skills with their children who are being assessed with mCLASS reading assessments: Amplify Parent Resources

Home activities, printables, and games to support reading and literacy are also available at North Carolina’s Digital Children’s Reading Initiative (DCRI).  These activities include the following topics, Pre-K-Grade 5:

(1) Phonemic awareness

(2) Phonics

(3) Vocabulary

(4) Fluency

(5) Comprehension

(6) Oral language


Printable activities will be made available for students who do not have digital access at home and may be provided to all students as a supplement to digital resources. For paper copies, please contact your child's school. DCRI Printables for Families

How can a parent help their child develop citizenship, social skills and respect for others?

Alexander County Schools embeds Portrait of a Graduate skills in the classroom and school setting.  These durable skills were developed by NCDPI and will support a child’s understanding of citizenship, social skills and respect for others.

Grade level specific resources, including developmentally appropriate milestones can be found in the following resources.

NC Portrait of a Graduate - Durable Skills.  

How can a parent strengthen the child’s realization of high expectations and setting lifelong learning goals?

Alexander County Schools embeds Portrait of a Graduate skills in the classroom and school setting.  These durable skills were developed by NCDPI and support a child’s realization of high expectations and setting lifelong learning goals.

How can a parent strengthen communication with the school/teacher?

Parents Right to Know

Parent and Family Involvement

Alexander County Schools uses the following platforms for communication between home/school: ClassDojo, Mass notification, School Newsletter

Parents can view students' grades in the PowerSchool parent portal.

The following are NCDPI developed parent guides that provide suggestions for building strong relationships with your child’s teacher and supporting communication between home and school. 

Building Strong Relationships with Your Child’s Teacher (NC Rethink Education Program)

How You Can Use Questions to Support Your Child’s Learning (NC Rethink Education Program)


Additional general parent guides and parent resource webinar recordings can be found at the following website.

What services are available for parents and their children?

After-school tutoring is paid with ESSER funds for 2023-24. Here's a list of tutors recommended by the district. 

What are opportunities for parents to participate with school?

 Need info here: for parental participation, such as parenting classes, adult education, school advisory councils, and school volunteer programs.

What are the rigorous academic programs available to my child?  How can I learn more about them?

Alexander County Schools offers a variety of options for students to pursue their interests, skills at their academic level. 

Career and Technical Education (CTE):

NC has made a significant investment in developing students and programs to meet the needs of the future workforce.  Through Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, Public Schools offer opportunities for students to develop career awareness in 5th grade, explore careers in grades 6-8, and experience leadership, career development, and career-aligned content in grades 9-12.  

In Alexander County Schools, students are able to explore these career pathways from grades 6-8:

(PSU provide list)

In Alexander County Schools), students are able to experience leadership, career development, and career-aligned content from grades 9-12:

(PSU provide list)

For more information on CTE in NC, and to learn about Career Clusters, Pathways, and Course Information, Standards, and applicable Credentials please visit: Course Management System.

In our district, there are the following programs available that are more rigorous and challenging than the standard content for students:

Academically and/or Intellectually Gifted (AIG): 

In NC, school districts must identify and serve academically or intellectually gifted (AIG) K-12 students. These are students who are performing, or have the potential of performing, at high levels of accomplishment in intellectual and/or specific academic areas, such as reading and/or math when compared with other students of their age, or in their grade level, experience, or environment. 

The Alexander County Schools Local AIG Plan outlines specific opportunities for differentiated, rigorous instruction and accelerated programs. You can find the plan at (insert link to Local AIG Plan).

The Alexander County Schools has developed an (AIG program brochure/ AIG Parent Handbook or AIG newsletter) to help parents better understand the AIG program.  This describes how students will be identified and served across grades K-12.  Visit (Insert link to AIG Brochure/Handbook link) for parent information.  

In Alexander County Schools, students are often provided the following services:

  • Differentiated curriculum and instruction with flexible student groups;

  • Accelerated opportunities (subject and/or grade acceleration, credit by demonstrated mastery (CDM), AP/IB/CIE courses, dual enrollment courses;

  • Enrichment experiences, which may be during the school day or beyond, and may be within the regular calendar year or may include summer opportunities; and 

  • Other opportunities for extension of content standard.

Services for AIG students may be provided by AIG personnel or within the regular classroom by teachers trained to meet the needs of gifted students.  (*Share other service delivery personnel as needed)

Contact the district/school AIG Coordinator (Andrea Robinette, 828-632-7001) with questions.

Honors Level Courses:

In Alexander County Schools, students have access to a variety of honors level courses in high school.  These courses are available in the course catalog located at (insert link).

Honors level courses typically have a faster pace than standard level courses.  They offer additional rigor, complexity and creativity than standard level courses.  

Career and College Promise (CCP): 

Alexander County Schools partners with Catawba County Community College to offer dual enrollment opportunities through the CCP program. If your high school student qualifies, students may earn high school credit by completing community college coursework.  

CCP courses may be taken in the College Transfer or Career and Technical Education pathway.  These courses count for both high school and college credit.  Tuition is free for families. 

To learn more about this program, contact Crystal Hoke at 828-635-3324.

Additional information is available on the NCDPI CCP website.

Advanced Placement (AP) Courses: 

Advanced Placement (AP) is a program developed by the College Board to offer college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. 

In NC, 40 Advanced Placement courses are offered in public high schools. Alexander County Schools offers (Insert number) of AP courses in the following schools: 

Several AP courses satisfy graduation requirements for NC students as outlined in State Board policy

AP exams are free for NC public high school students enrolled in these courses. If a student registers for an exam late, there will be a (jnsert amount) fee. 

Colleges and universities may likely offer college credit for these courses if your child scores a 3 or above on the exam. All of the colleges in the UNC System offer credit.

(Insert local resources)

Accelerated Access

NCVPS:

More information is available on the NCDPI AP website.

North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) is NC’s state supplemental program and leader in online education, providing inclusive learning opportunities for students across the state. Founded in 2007, with a strong commitment to ensuring quality education for all students, regardless of location, NCVPS has over 16 years of experience serving diverse learners.

Students may enroll in NCVPS courses for a variety of reasons.  Work with your school counselor if you are interested in taking an NCVPS courses.

Alexander County Schools offers the following courses through NCVPS:

(Insert registration information)

Credit by Demonstrated Mastery (CDM):

Alexander County Schools offers opportunities for students to earn credit for a high school course without enrolling in the course.  All high school courses, with a few exceptions as noted by the state, are available for students to try to CDM.  There are two phases of assessments that a student must go through to earn credit for the course.

(Insert local information).

Visit (insert local website) for more information.

Governor’s School: Each summer, NC Governor’s School offers a unique opportunity for high-achieving rising juniors and seniors to learn with their peers from across the state in an 4-week residential program at two college campus sites. 
For more information on eligibility and the application process, contact Megan Calhoun at 828-632-7063 or visit the Governor's School website, www.ncgovschool.org.

What school choices are available for my child?

Students in public school districts are assigned to certain schools based on a local assignment plan approved by Local Board of Education

Alexander County Schools offers an early college option for students/families:

There are other options for families to choose for their education:

Charter Schools

Charter schools are public schools of choice that are authorized by the State Board of Education and operated by independent non-profit boards of directors. State and local tax dollars are the primary funding sources for charter schools, which have open enrollment and cannot discriminate in admissions, associate with any religion or religious group, or charge-tuition. Charter schools operate with freedom from many of the regulations that govern district schools, but charter schools are held accountable through the State assessment and accountability system.

If you are interested in NC charter schools, visit NC charter school for information, resources, and contacts. 

Nonpublic Education and Scholarship Grants

Nonpublic education is overseen by the NC Department of Administration

For a list of private schools, visit this NC Private Schools.

For information on how to start a homeschool visit:

Homeschool Information

What rights do student with disabilities have based on the law?

For students suspected of or identified with a disability by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the following links provide important information regarding the procedural safeguards available to ensure a free, appropriate, public education.

Parent Rights Handbook

Parent Rights Handbook (Spanish)

IDEA Dispute Resolution

Special Education Surrogate Parents

Project Child Find

(Insert local policies and practices)

What is the contact information for the schools and district office?

ACS (Central Office) 828-632-7001

ACHS 828-632-706

AEC 828-632-8221 (ext 301)

BES 828-495-8198

EAMS 828-632-4866

HES 828-632-2503

Stony Point 704-585-6981

Sugar Loaf 828-632-2192

Taylorsville 828-632-3072

WAMS 828-495-4611

WES 828-632-2395

Student Success Center 828-632-5101

Head Start 828-632-3809

What are some resources to support my child’s health and wellbeing?  What immunizations are required and when should they be scheduled?

 

(Insert local resources here, as you likely already have)

Information on required health assessments and immunizations for students are available through the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS)

Immunizations 

Health Assessment

Annual Health Assessment and Immunization Compliance Reporting