• Week 2: Governor Cooper Announces Stay at Home

    Posted by William Benson on 3/27/2020

    You have probably already seen the news this afternoon that North Carolina Governor Cooper announced a statewide stay at home order that will take effect at 5:00 pm on Monday, March 30.


    While we don't have all of the answers yet, we expect additional extra guidance from the state soon. When we have more details, we will share them as soon as possible.


    I am really proud of the outstanding manner in which our ABSS staff members and our community have supported our families during this unprecedented public health crisis.


    This is a challenging time for everyone and we appreciate your continued support as we work together to do what's best for our students and families.


    We will be successful together.

     

     -WBB

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  • Talking with students about COVID-19

    Posted by Emily-Lynn Adkins on 3/26/2020
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  • South Mebane Elementary: Taking to the Streets

    Posted by William Benson on 3/25/2020

    South Mebane Elementary staff took to the streets in their cars to let their students know they are missed. Judging by the students along the route, the feeling is clearly mutual!

    We will be successful together!

    -WBB

    South Mebane students holding signs of appreciation

     

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  • A message about extended school closure

    Posted by Emily-Lynn Adkins on 3/24/2020
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  • Hillcrest 5th Graders Online

    Posted by William Benson on 3/20/2020

    Not to be outdone by our high school folks, the Fifth Grade Team at Hillcrest launched a Google At Home Classroom this week. I am enrolled as a student. Teachers are interacting with students, posting assignments, providing feedback, and answering questions. The team is hosting a video chat with students this morning at 11:00 a.m.

     

    -WBB

     Online instruction screenshot

     

     

    P.S. Next week is virtual spirit week for 5th graders at Hillcrest as follows: Monday – PJ Day, Tuesday – Superhero Day, Wednesday – Go Outside and Play Day, Thursday – Bright Colors Day, and Friday – Hillcrest Colors Day (Wear yellow and green to show your school spirit!).

     

    P.S.S. Hillcrest 5th Grade Team – You are my superheroes!

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  • High School Courses Move Online

    Posted by William Benson on 3/19/2020

    Today is a historic day for our school system as we launch online learning for our high school students. Our teachers and administrators have worked around the clock to develop a plan to help each of our high school students earn required course credits and stay on track to graduate.

     

    I am very proud of the work our educators have, and will continue to do, to ensure that your high school learning will continue during the mandated school shutdown. We are dealing with an unprecedented situation and the response of our educators is nothing short of heroic. I hope everyone recognizes and appreciates our educator’s immense effort.

     

    -WBB

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  • Week 1: State-wide School Closure

    Posted by William Benson on 3/15/2020

    Earlier today we sent a communication regarding operational details for ABSS in light of the statewide closure of K-12 schools in North Carolina. The ever expanding effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 is unprecedented around the world, across our country, and in our state.

     

    We are a strong community, with many resourced partners who care about improving our county. I am confident that we can -- working together -- take care of each other in the coming weeks. I am hopeful we emerge stronger as a country as we work to limit the spread of COVID-19. I am confident we will do so as a community.

     

    -WBB

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  • Making Music(al ins­­­truments) at A-O Elementary

    Posted by William Benson on 2/5/2020

    Second graders at Altamahaw-Ossipee Elementary School had an engineering design challenge today – build a musical instrument that could be played two ways and produce at least three different pitches. The materials available to them included straws, boxes, rubber bands, bottles, tape, balloons, paper tubes, and much more. Working in teams and using the engineering design process, students asked, imagined, planned, created, reflected, and improved their instruments.

     

    I had the pleasure of sharing a home-made instrument with students to kick things off – a four-string box guitar a teacher made for me a few years ago and a battery-operated box amp I built.

     

    Kudos to the Second Grade Team! It was a great, hands-on, student-centered lesson!! Many thanks to Principal Saunders-Rivera for including me!!

    -WBB

     

    Dr. Benson with students and homemade instruments

     

    P.S. I understand there may be a video somewhere out there on social media.

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  • Running Records at Highland Elementary School …

    Posted by William Benson on 1/27/2020

    …not as in time and distance in a foot race, but as in reading fluency, a critical component of a balanced literacy diet. Reading fluency is important in order to bridge word recognition and comprehension. I had the pleasure of co-teaching with Mrs. Willingham at Highland Elementary School last Friday fluency was our focus.

     

    Upon arrival to class, I caught the last part of a student-led morning meeting where students were offering suggestions for school improvement. Students then participated in a student-led mindfulness, self-affirmation exercise.

     

    After logging reading minutes from the previous evening, students were split into two groups. My group included Princeton, Isaac, Siena, Madison, and Nevaeh. Each student had their own passage to read. The passages were placed in clear folders. Taking turns, students read their individual passages while the others in the group followed along, counting words and recording errors with dry erase markers. At the end of one minute, students provided feedback to the readers regarding errors and total word count. The quality of the feedback from students was exceptional. With that feedback in mind, students read their passages again with fewer errors and movement toward a goal of 120 words per minute.

     

    Great lesson! Great students! Thanks, Mrs. Willingham for letting me help -- and making Highland and ABSS your professional home!!

     

    -WBB

     

    Dr. Benson and students

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  • Lunch with Leaders at South Mebane Elementary

    Posted by William Benson on 1/13/2020

    The ABSS Board of Education had lunch at South Mebane Elementary School today. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by two of the school’s leaders, fifth graders Camila and Cayden. Camila and Cayden took me on a tour of the school, highlighting evidence of Stephen Covey’s seven habits at work in the Leader in Me at South Mebane (1. Be Proactive (You’re in Charge), 2. Begin With the End in Mind (Have a Plan), 3. Put First Things First (Work First, Then Play), 4. Think Win-Win (Everyone Can Win), 5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood (Listen Before You Talk), 6. Synergize (Together Is Better), and 7. Sharpen the Saw (Balance Feels Best)).

     

    Confident and charismatic, Camila and Cayden explained how the seven habits have advanced their school community. And, while they cited synergy (working, succeeding, and celebrating together) as a favorite habit, their personal gains from the program were clearly evident. We talked about music, art, food, current reads, athletic pursuits (running – and I did not bring it up first!), and career plans. Camila would like to become a pediatrician and Cayden would like to become president (or an architect, I suggested that both should not be out of the question). If you are wondering what the next generation might bring to the leadership table, look no further than the student leaders at South Mebane Elementary School -- impressive!.

     

    -WBB

     

    Dr. Benson with student leaders at South Mebane Elementary

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