Back to school in Asheville + WNC


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Many students in the Asheville area will be returning to school full-time in the next few weeks. All schools will be returning to an in-person format, with classrooms, sporting events + other school activities taking place in full capacity in most cases.

Many area private schools return to in-person learning in mid-to-late August. You can find school calendars, COVID-19 guidelines, and other information on each school’s website.

⏰ Upcoming first full days

UNC Asheville: Mon., Aug. 16

Haywood Community College: Mon., Aug. 16, Eligible free tuition

Blue Ridge Community College: Thurs., Aug. 19, Eligible free tuition

AB Tech: Mon., Aug. 23, Eligible free tuition

Western Carolina: Mon., Aug. 23

Asheville City Schools: Mon., Aug. 23

Buncombe County Schools: Mon., Aug. 23

😷 Health + safety precautions

For Asheville City Schools: Masks arerequired at all times indoors + on school buses, except when students are outside. Student-athletes will also be required to wear masks when outside and indoors when they are not actively engaged in rigorous physical activity.

For Buncombe County Schools:Masks are required while indoors for grades K-13, but folks may opt-out of mask-wearing if they volunteer to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. Masks are also required for indoor sports practice; however, athletes do have the option to lower them during intense practice activities and while participating in athletic contests. Face coverings on buses + other school transportation will also be required as this is a federal mandate.

For UNCA: All individuals are required to wear masks in all indoor spaceswith the exception of their own personal office and living spaces. Additionally, all faculty, staff, and students will be asked to share confirmation of their vaccination status.

For WCU: Masks are required in all public indoor spaces on the Cullowhee and Biltmore Park campus. Students, faculty and staff will also be asked to report their vaccination status.

For Blue Ridge: Masks are recommended but will continue to be optional. The college will only request a student’s vaccination status if a positive test or exposure occurs.

For AB-Tech: Masking is optional but encouraged for unvaccinated individuals.

✏️ Where to shop locally?

For adult masks: Kitsbow, Masks of Love, Carolina Textile District, Rite of Passage Clothing, Ramble and Run.

For kids masks: Moonlight Makers, Playdate.

For hand sanitizer: Ware AVL, Asheville Botanicals.

Where are the sales happening?

While NC doesn’t have a tax-free holiday this year, there’s still some sales as well as resources for free or reduced-cost supplies.