Asheville School is a private, coeducational, University-preparatory boarding school in Asheville, North Carolina founded in 1900. The campus sits on 300 acres (1.2 km 2) amid rugged mountains and currently enrolls 275 students in grades nine through twelve.
Fifty-three boarding students from grades 5–12—called "forms"—were enrolled that first year.
Asheville School's academic course of study stresses a traditional core curriculum of the humanities, sciences, mathematics, foreign language and the arts. Classes are small, with an average size of 12 students, and the student to teacher ratio is 7:1.
Asheville School has a unique Humanities program that integrates the study of literature, history, religion, art, music, architecture, film and dance into a series of four year-long courses: Ancient Studies, World Studies, European Studies and American Studies. English and history teachers may team-teach these courses, sometimes with the assistance of the school’s music teacher and other guest lecturers. The academic program is writing intensive, culminating in a final research project known as the Senior Demonstration demands that seniors produce two papers on a topic of their choosing and complete an oral defense for twenty minutes.
Honor and school life
Students at Asheville School are expected to live by high ethical standards and to uphold an honor code. The Asheville School Honor Code stipulates that no student will lie, cheat or steal, and that he or she will report any student who does. When submitting any independent work, students "pledge" that they have adhered to the honor code. Six students are chosen by their peers to serve on the Honor Council, a body composed of these students as well as a handful of faculty members that hears all violations of the Code. The Honor Council is largely didactic rather than disciplinary, and is complemented by a Conduct Council that hears cases involving infractions of school rules not pertaining to honor.
All students must participate in an "afternoon activity" after the academic day ends. Students participate in one activity during each of three seasons, and all third and fourth formers are required to participate in one team sport during the course of the year. Each student can participate in art, drama, music, life fitness, equestrian, mountaineering, or an interscholastic sport.
Asheville School has a well-established mountaineering program that participate in backpacking, rock climbing, whitewater kayaking, snow skiing, caving and mountain biking. Many students take mountaineering as an afternoon activity for daily on-campus instruction and practice. On-campus facilities include a high-ropes course, an Alpine Tower, a bouldering wall, a swimming pool (for kayak instruction) and 200 acres (0.81 km 2) of forested land with miles of trails for biking and exploring. Off-campus trips are frequently offered to places such as Looking Glass Rock in Pisgah National Forest, the Tuckaseegee and French Broad rivers, and the Tsali Recreational area. All new students go on at least one overnight camping trip during their first year at Asheville School that introduces students to the school's mountaineering program.
Asheville School offers a variety of musical groups, including chorus, chamber choir, handbell ensemble, instrumental ensemble, and a cappella group. Students may also pursue musical endeavors on their own by taking music lessons.
Dance is offered as an activity during the winter and spring seasons. Dancers often design and choreograph their own shows, and typically collaborate with thespians on the winter musical.
The Asheville School student body is made up of approximately 80% boarding students and 20% day students. The school values diversity, and has students from 26 states and 13 countries. Roughly a quarter of the students receive need-based financial aid. The school has about the same number of males and females.
Boarding students live in one of three dormitories: Lawrence Hall, Anderson Hall, and Kehaya House.
Asheville School students are expected to maintain a well-groomed, well-dressed appearance. For boys, classroom dress includes jackets and ties; for girls, a dress skirt, sweater, or dress pants with a blazer.
The school stresses the need for a strong community, and the concept of "seated meals" perfectly exemplifies this belief. Most weekday lunches, as well as dinners on Thursday and either lunches or dinners on Sunday, are "seated:" students sit at a circular table headed by a faculty member, and are served by a student waiter. The composition of these table changes every two weeks so as to allow students to get to know nearly all members of the student body.
The entire school community gathers several times a week for chapel services and convocations. Sixth formers are required to deliver a ten-minute chapel or convocation talk on a topic of their choosing, an event that (along with the Senior Demonstration) represents the capstone of a student's career at Asheville School. Following the talk, the entire student body exchanges handshakes with and congratulates the speaker. Chapel and convocation services may also feature guest speakers ranging from Buddhist monks to notable authors.
The headmaster, in consultation with teachers and former student leaders, appoints proctors and prefects to serve as the school's representatives amongst the student body. These fifth formers (proctors) and sixth formers (prefects) represent the most responsible members of their respective classes, and assist faculty members in running the dorms, managing study hall, and enforcing school standards. Prefects are also expected to serve on the Conduct Council (see "Honor and School Life").
The football rival of Asheville School (the Blues) is Christ School (the Greenies). The rivalry reaches fever pitch each year in autumn, when the two teams meet for an annual football game. At Asheville School, the game is preceded by a week of festivities that culminates in a pep rally the evening before the Blues take to the field. The Asheville School-Christ School rivalry represents North Carolina's longest-running high school athletic rivalry.. The traditional Asheville School dessert is the Asheville School banana: a banana is sliced in half lengthwise, then coated with lemon juice and sugar (the order in which the two are added is a subject of much lunchtime debate). The dessert is also featured on Vineyard Vines ties, bags, and belts, all Each September, the entire student body heads to Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain, NC for a day of fun and relaxation. Traditionally, a game of hide-and-seek between the headmaster and the members of the sixth form class takes place. The headmaster attempts to conceal himself somewhere on the grounds of the camp, and the seniors attempt to discover his location so that they may toss him into the camp lake.
Notable alumni of Asheville School include:
- Pete Dye
- James Hormel
- H. C. Robbins Landon
- Samuel Curtis Johnson, Jr.
- Charles P. Ries
- Edward Gaylord
- James Hormel
- Langdon Brown Gilkey
- Marisha Pessl
- Harvey Samuel Firestone Jr.
- Stephen A. Jarislowsky
- James Arthur "Art" Pope
- Roy Sangwoo Kim
- José Antonio González Anaya
Total number of faculty: 64
Number of teaching faculty: 43
Percentage of teaching faculty with advanced degrees: 72%
Overall student-faculty ratio: 4 to 1
Average class size: 13
Overall faculty residing on campus: 80%
SAT Reading - Middle 50 percent range (class of 2013): 590-670
SAT Mathematics – Middle 50 percent range (class of 2013): 630-690
SAT Writing – Middle 50 percent range (class of 2013): 600-690
Number of AP classes (2013-2014): 16
Percentage of AP exams with scores of "3" or better (2013): 72%
Number of students designated as AP Scholars (2013): 66
Percentage of students intending to enroll at 4-year colleges: 100%.