A national benchmark in
Educational excellence through integration of the arts

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First Grade Summer Letter

First Grade Summer Letter

Dear First Grade Families,

We are excited to have you join the first grade! Partnering with you will make this year fun, meaningful, and enriching for your child. There will be many interesting highlights for your child in the coming year, such as:

  • Taking field trips related to our standard course of study
  • Experiencing theatre in and out of school, both as an actor and an audience member,
  • Experiencing the traditions and customs of our families and people around the world
  • Writing and performing a class play and building giant puppets

Plus a myriad of other engaging learning experiences concerning habitats, plants, the moon, fairy tales, and fables!

We hope you and your child are enjoying summer vacation. As an enjoyable and enriching way to prepare for this coming year, we encourage your child to read often (on his or her own, and with you) and join a summer reading program at your local library.

Ms. Claire will be joining us in first grade this year. She has worked in kindergarten at ArtSpace for the past three years. One of her favorite things is traveling and she was lucky
enough to teach English in China this summer. Ms. Claire also loves her little dog named Luna, who is a true princess at her house. She can’t wait to meet you and is looking forward to the school year.

Ms. Melanie will also be a first grade teacher for the 2015-2016 school year. She has worked at ArtSpace for four years. A few of her favorite things are phonics, puppets, and painting. She is so excited to begin the school year and looks forward to starting our adventure together.

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, August 12th, at the required Meet the Teacher & Registration Night. You can drop in any time between 4:00-6:00 pm. Your first day of school will be Thursday, August 13th.

Ms. Claire and Ms. Melanie

Nominate a Parent to the School Improvement Team

Nominate a Parent to the School Improvement Team

Hello ArtSpace Families,

This post is to request nominations for an ArtSpace parent or guardian for our School Improvement Team (SIT). This team’s purpose is to create and implement our school’s School Improvement Plan using guidelines required by the Department of Public Instruction. The committee is comprised of people in various roles in our school community. Each member of the team is nominated and then elected to serve on the committee. The SIT meets about once a month, usually on Thursdays after school.

We are very thankful to Jennifer Nielson who has served in the capacity of parent representative on this committee for the past three years and to Duane Honeycutt who served during the 2014-2015 school year and will continue next year. We are in need of one new parent representative to join the team.

If you have questions or would like to nominate someone or yourself to serve on the committee next year please contact Ms. Lori @ gro.retrahcecapstranull@izzoc.irol. All nominations must be received by 3:00 pm on Friday, August 14th. Thank you!

Ms. Lori
Executive Director
ArtSpace Charter School

ArtSpace Summer Letter

ArtSpace Summer Letter

Click here for grade-specific Summer Letters and School Supply Lists.

July 2015

Hello ArtSpace Families,

I hope this letter finds you all enjoying your summer!

As always, there have been many great things happening here at ArtSpace during this break.   In addition to several awesome camps and trainings here, our custodial staff and volunteers have been busy deep cleaning and painting the building.   Improvement projects this summer include renovations to the south wing boy’s bathroom, installing a water fountain on the field, adding netting to the fence along the field and many, many more!

As the summer progresses, the Asheville Design Center has been busy analyzing stakeholder feedback from students, staff, parents and Board members to develop a deep understanding of what our community needs and wants for our campus.  They have begun work on our master plan and we can hardly wait to see what they come up with. Mark your calendars for a stakeholders meeting on Friday, August 28th at 8:15. We hope many of you will be able to attend this meeting, catching a “first glance” at this important work.

This year you will note there is a substantial amount of transition with our staff.   At first glance it might seem concerning that several staff members are leaving ArtSpace, but as you will see many of our departing staff are leaving in pursuit of personal goals, dreams and to support family.  We always hate to see our colleagues leave our ArtSpace community, but we are happy to see each of them move forward and continue to grow.

Fortunately, there is always a long line of outstanding teachers eager to be a part of this innovative and caring community.   We have hired some amazing individuals who are top-notch educators, and I am looking forward to all that they will bring to our school.  I am excited to tell you about these new staff members and about returning staff members who will be assuming new roles this year.

Ms. Hollis McKeown, who has taught 3rd grade here are ArtSpace for six years, will now be our Assistant Director for grades K-4.  You will still see Dr. Cheryl Frey, who was formerly in this position, around through the fall as she will be mentoring Ms. Hollis and covering the position while Ms. Hollis is on maternity leave.  We are so fortunate that Dr. Cheryl is willing to slowly transition into her retirement and share her talents and skills with us for a few more months.

Mr. Jack Manning is moving to the eastern side of our state to be closer to family.  Mr. Jack served in many roles here at ArtSpace growing professionally as he moved from AfterCare, to Teacher Assistant to EC Teacher.  You will be missed Mr. Jack.  Mr. Eric Florence will be our new EC Teacher, working with students in our Intensive Intervention (II) Classroom.  Mr. Eric has many years of EC Teaching experience in both McDowell and Buncombe County and lots of great experience in outdoor education.  After many years in Kindergarten, Ms. Tara Reese will be moving to the

II Classroom this year bringing her wealth of skills and talents to this classroom.  We expect great things from this new Team!

First grade teacher Ms. Jill Fine will be moving to Raleigh to be closer to family.  We are sad to see her go and are so grateful to her for her five years of service to ArtSpace.  Ms. Claire Spence will be moving from kindergarten to first grade; a transition that’s certain to be smooth as Ms. Claire is quite an expert in the area of early childhood education.

We welcome Ms. Andrea Giglitto to ArtSpace as our new Kindergarten teacher.   Andrea is a National Board Certified Teacher with many years of teaching experience.  Ms. Heidi Blozan will join the Kindergarten team as their teaching assistant this year.  Ms. Heidi is a licensed teacher with many years of experience including Montessori education.  Joining Ms. Andrea and Ms. Rebekah, we know this is going to be a great team!

Ms. Amy McDuffie will transition from teaching assist to Student Support Coordinator this year and Ms. Elise Fuller will move from third grade to second grade teaching assistant.

Thank you to Ms. Diane Silver for her work as the Interim 6th grade Math and Science Teacher this past year. Ms. Lyn VanOver will be moving from third grade to 6th grade this year.  Ms. Lyn is energized by the idea of teaching math and science exclusively, as these are two of her passions!

Welcome to Ms. Melissa Redden who will join the third grade team.  Melissa has taught third grade for 8 years and is excited about working in an environment where arts integration is promoted and supported.  Ms. Bri Harnish will be moving from fourth grade math and science to third grade and she’s excited about the opportunity to teach all the subjects.  Also joining the third grade team to support as teaching assistant is Ms. Julie Williams.  Ms. Julie is a familiar face at ArtSpace having been an AmeriCorps Volunteer and substitute teacher here.  Welcome back Ms. Julie!

Joining our fourth grade team is Ms. Victoria Baxter who recently moved here from Raleigh.  Ms. Victoria has 6 years of teaching experience in elementary and a recently acquired Master’s Degree in reading.  Also joining the 4th grade team is Mr. Chris Williams who will be the team’s teaching assistant.  Mr. Chris has many years of experience working with youth.

Ms. Joie West will be leaving ArtSpace to pursue a dream of teaching English in a foreign country.  Good luck Ms. Joie.  We are going to miss you.

We are sad to see two of our north wing teaching assistants leave.  We wish Ms. Emily Auman well as she sets off to be married and start her new life in California this summer, and we wish Ms. Anne Martin well at her new employment.   Mr. Clay will be moving from the II Classroom to join the 5th grade team as their teaching assistant and he will also continue to offer his talents to the EC team as well.  Ms. Sue Levinsky will once again support the 6th grade team as their teaching assistant.

Ms. Catrina Dillard will be our new Art Teacher.  Ms. Catrina taught art for many years in the Atlanta area and has also been an Environmental Educator.  We are so excited she will be joining our Arts Integration Team.  Ms. Blythe Brown who served as our Interim Art Teacher this past year, will be returning to her hometown in South Carolina.  Thank you Ms. Brown for your great work and a successful first year of teaching!

And finally, our beloved Mr. Chris Larson, who started at ArtSpace during his student teaching, taught 3rd grade and kindergarten, and most recently supported students as our Behavior Specialist, is moving to Indiana.  Mr. Chris and his family will be pursuing their dreams of being organic farmers.  You will be missed by many Mr. Chris.

It is certainly sad to see so many of our colleagues leave, but I am also truly excited about all these new folks and new positions.  I believe they will all contribute to a wonderful 2015-2016 school year.  Please join me welcoming all of them.

I am looking forward to seeing all of you at Meet the Teacher and Registration Night on Wednesday, August 12th (drop in, 4:00-6:00) and can’t wait to start another awesome school year at ArtSpace!


Lori Cozzi
Executive Director
ArtSpace Charter School

Second Grade Summer Letter

Second Grade Summer Letter

Greetings from 2nd Grade!

We are so excited to learn and grow with you in second grade. You will get to spend time with both Ms. Ali and Ms. Annabell, as well as participate in activities with everyone in 2nd grade. This year we will learn many exciting things, go on great field trips, and explore other cultures and countries in our “World’s Fair”. Please practice your reading, writing, and addition over the summer!

About your teachers:

Ms. Annabell is originally from France but has lived in the United States and Asheville for over 15 years. She went to Warren Wilson College, and loves taking students on hikes on the beautiful college campus. She loves all forms of dance, music, drama, and visual arts, especially painting and drawing. Outside of school, Ms. Annabell enjoys hiking, gardening, and swimming with her son, Coltrane. Students enjoy the French and Spanish lessons she gives throughout the school year. This will be Ms. Annabell’s twelfth year teaching 2nd grade at ArtSpace.

Ms. Ali is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, and has lived in Asheville for twelve years. She began her teaching career in California, and has taught Kindergarten, 2nd, and 3rd grades. She enjoys gardening and grows vegetables, herbs, and flowers! Ms. Ali loves all animals (especially dogs), reading, art, and hiking throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains. She also loves spending time at her Swannanoa home with her friends and her two dogs, Owen and Lulu. Students enjoy Ms. Ali’s sense of humor and hugs. This will be her eleventh year teaching 2nd grade at ArtSpace.

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, August 12th, at the required Meet the Teacher & Registration Night. You can drop in any time between 4:00-6:00 pm. Your first day of school will be Thursday, August 13th. We hope you have a fun and relaxing summer and can’t wait to meet you!

Ms. Ali & Ms. Annabell

Adopt-A-Street Reminder

Adopt-A-Street Reminder

It’s Adopt-A-Street time again!! This Saturday, July 18th, we will meet in the Azalea Rd. Dog Park parking lot at 9:00am. Wear your work gloves and comfy walking shoes. We have everything else you’ll need!

Please keep in mind that this is an activity best suited for adults and older children due to the heavy traffic, blind curves and total lack of sidewalks on Azalea Rd.
It usually only takes us about an hour, so if you’ve got an hour to spare I hope you will consider joining us for this very worthwhile community service!

Recycled Flower Garden

Recycled Flower Garden

Every student from the 2014-15 school year created a flower for this garden. Flowers were created from recycled vinyl records. The Old Depot Association in Black Mountain donated the money to finance this project. It was installed by Ms. Lori with the assistance of Ms. Blythe, Mr. Chris and many others!

Fourth Grade Claymation Videos

Fourth Grade Claymation Videos

4th Graders have created some awesome claymation videos. Click below to view each video.

Wolf adaptations

Red Wolf adaptations

White tailed deer adaptations

Some more deer adaptations

Raccoon adaptations

Some more raccoon adaptations

Beaver adaptations

Some more Beaver adaptations

Bear adaptations

Some more bear adaptations

Bat adaptations

Some more bat adaptations




THANK YOU to anyone who donated to Ms. Claire’s and Ms. Annabell’s DonorsChoose projects. Both were funded over the weekend which is so very exciting for the students who will benefit from the tools purchased through these grants. Mr. Steve still has a grant posted to purchase a VHS/MiniDV converter so that we can have access to fantastic videos that are in outdated formats. This week if you donate and enter the word INSPIRE DonorsChoose will match your donation dollar for dollar. To date ArtSpace has received over $10,000 from DonorsChoose.

Visit our DonorsChoose page!


Pisgah Field Day

Pisgah Field Day

On Saturday, August 30, Pisgah Brewing will be holding a “Back-to-School” field day!  There will be games, races and lots of fun for the whole family!  Pisgah has been an excellent community partner helping us with our annual Cabaret event, donating beverages and gift certificates.  Pisgah is committed to supporting local schools and plans to host two “Field Days” per year, one in the fall, and one at the end of the school year. Proceeds from this inaugural event will go to support our friends at Swannanoa Valley Montessori School, and the spring event will benefit ArtSpace!  Please show your support for our partners and enjoy some time on the field at Pisgah, Saturday, August 30!  150 Eastside Drive, Black Mountain (just off Old Hwy 70).

Registration for field events begins at 12:00 and ends at 1:00.  More information can be found at this link. http://www.pisgahbrewing.com/shows/black-mountain-field-day