Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Asheville School opens with record enrollment & launches new 1:1 computer initiative

On Sunday, August 28, Asheville School welcomed a record number of 289 students to campus on Opening Day. This marks the school’s 10th consecutive year with record enrollment numbers.

Director of Admission John Smith credits the school’s welcoming community and focus on academics as the driving force for healthy enrollment. “Asheville School stays true to its roots,” he says. “It is one of the last truly small co-ed boarding schools in the southeast, and we do a great job at focusing on academics and developing students’ character. Parents, through word of mouth, have shared that, and word has spread about what a wonderful place Asheville School can be in preparing students for college and for life.” 

Students are coming to Asheville School from 20 states and from 16 countries. Eighty percent of the students board and 20 percent are local day students from the Asheville area. The average class size consists of 13 students and there is a 4:1 teacher to student ratio.

This year, students have an extra stop on the checklist to get them settled in for the start of the year—each will receive a new MacBook Air in a 1:1 computer initiative. These laptops will be issued by the school and at the end of their time at Asheville School, they will be given the option to purchase the laptop or give it back to the technology department. 

These computers will help strengthen technology programming and create more opportunities to incorporate technology into the classroom at Asheville School. “There are several benefits to our students all using these same high quality Apple MacBook Airs,” said Bob Williams, Director of Communications. “Because of this new initiative and partnership with Apple, Asheville School has the ability to teach our students some extremely marketable technology skills, while emphasizing critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration — all important ingredients for building a meaningful career later in life.”

The computers allow for a new afternoon activity where students will learn to use Apple’s Swift programming language to create apps for Apple devices like iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV. “We can now teach App Development and dedicate more time to robotics, computer science, and engineering,” Williams said.

Students are excited to have a new computer and for accompanying campus-wide Wi-Fi access. “It will be a lot easier to communicate,” says Asheville School junior Ella McIntosh. “It is a much easier way to get things to and from teachers, and you can take them home over breaks, which will be really nice.”

The 1:1 computer initiative is made possible by the work of Charles Long, Bob Williams and the Stonecutter Foundation, which has generously funded the program. “We are thrilled to have the support from Mr. James Cowan ’63 and the Stonecutter Foundation,” Williams said. “The Foundation’s gift allows the school to teach our students skills that are highly valued by companies like Apple, IBM, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon. These are also skills that will prepare our students well for college and beyond.”

Asheville School is a nationally acclaimed co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12. Recent graduates have been accepted to Amherst, Columbia, Davidson, Duke, Elon, Emory, Furman, Georgetown, Harvard, NC State, Rhodes, Sewanee, UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, William & Mary, WashU, Wofford, and Yale among others.

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