Listening and Learning

Dr. Jackson continued his #45Schoolsin45days tours with a stop in the Erwin District.

Joe P. Eblen Intermediate School is conveniently located in West Asheville and serves almost 600 students in fifth and sixth grades. When Eblen opened its doors in December of 2011, it brought the fifth-grade classes from Woodfin, Leicester, Johnston, West Buncombe, and Emma to join sixth graders from Erwin Middle. When students arrive at Eblen, they are meeting their graduating class for the first time. 

“We have the most unique group of students within Buncombe County Schools,” said Principal Julia Hodges. “Our students speak a multitude of different languages at home including Chinese, English, French, Marshallese, Micronesian, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Ukrainian, and Wolof. Our population ranges from generational farmers who show animals and have the belt buckles to prove it to Ukrainian refugees who have made Asheville home. When our students join Eblen Intermediate School, they are all Warriors!  Some of our students still believe in Santa Claus and aren’t ‘too cool’ to express excitement about school.” 

Joe P. Eblen Intermediate School is one of the three LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) schools of Buncombe County Schools; the LEED project goal is to create a healthy environment that supports education through teacher, student, and staff performance. 

“One feature of this building is the Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard (EEED), which is an interactive learning lab with continuous coverage of the building’s environmental conditions, energy usage, carbon offsets, and status of water storage. Some of the site features include solar thermal panels, day-lighting monitors in the classrooms, a cool roof membrane, an outdoor classroom with an amphitheater, a rainwater cistern and garden, green screen trellises, stormwater filtration, and LED site lighting.”

Joe P. Eblen Intermediate School is a National Beta School of Distinction with a commitment to academic excellence and dedication to preparing students for their future. Beta Club provides a unique learning experience that allows students to achieve lifelong goals. 

“Eblen Intermediate School implemented Club Days for the 2022-2023 school year to build a sense of community among our students and staff. Club Days run every early dismissal day, and every student has the opportunity to participate in a club of their choice. Students are creating murals, caring for chickens, tending to the garden, and learning the importance of sportsmanship skills in various sports clubs. Our gardening club just recently qualified for  The Extension Master Gardener Volunteers of Buncombe County. The mission of that program is to provide monetary grants and support to public schools in Buncombe County that integrate gardening principles into the curriculum connecting students to nature and leading to a healthy, sustainable community. Joe P. Eblen is in the heart of the Erwin Community. Our district is known for the support our families give our students. The 80 staff members at Eblen enjoy getting to know the community. Throughout the school year, our staff has worked to build relationships with students, families, and community partners. For the 2022-2023 school year, we were able to visit the Deaverview and Woodridge communities. We have plans to expand upon this next school year.”