• Return to In-person Learning: Elementary Part II

    Posted by William Benson on 3/1/2021

    I visited six of our elementary schools today. And, I have two observations to share:

     

    1. Our staff has done an exceptional job preparing for student return to in-person learning; and,
    2. Our students are doing an exceptional job following safety protocols in our schools.

     

    At AO, I learned a couple of new terms, roomie and Zoomie, indicating the location of student learning. At Elon, I welcomed students to their first day back to (in-person) school. Students at Highland were learning about adaption in sharks. I asked them what adaptions were made to get students back into in-person learning – the response “masks, physical distancing, and frequent hand washing.”

     

    In each classroom, I thanked staff and students – letting them know that they are leading the way for more students to return to in-person learning.

     

    -WBB

     

    P.S. The only concern I encountered today was related to the increased number of car riders and ensuing traffic. Typically, the first day of schools brings a kindergartener or two uncertain about leaving their families to attend school, not so today.

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  • Return to In-person Learning: Elementary

    Posted by William Benson on 3/1/2021

    We are welcoming back students to in-person learning in grades K-5 today for the first time in almost a year. I was at Haw River Elementary School this morning at 7:20 a.m. as the first students stepped off the bus (after participating in health screening) and entered the building. Masks, physical distancing, and hand sanitizer for all. Safety and physical distancing reminders were clearly visible, and Haw River’s sanitization specialist was hard at work cleaning frequently touched surfaces at entry points. Thanks to all who made the return of elementary students to in-person learning a safe reality – emotional for sure, in a good way.

     

    -WBB

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  • National School Counseling Week

    Posted by William Benson on 2/3/2021

    School counselors have always played a critical role in supporting our students, even more so in the troubling times we have experienced in the last year.  Our school counselors help our students build self-confidence in their ability to succeed, develop a sense of belonging in the school environment, and learn and use coping skills when faced with a problem. Of course, our school counselors do so much more in helping our students prepare for success. The result: resilient students who thrive and are prepared for their futures.

     

    Thank you, ABSS school counselors!

     

    -WBB

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  • School Board Appreciation Month

    Posted by William Benson on 1/28/2021

    School boards play a critical role in improving outcomes for students in highly successful school systems, particularly so in leading innovation and change. High-impact school boards establish leadership and outcome targets, regularly evaluating performance against those targets. They establish and review policy and plans to guide the work, and allocate resources in support of student and staff efforts to improve outcomes. First and foremost, high-impact school boards remain focused on meeting the needs of students, ensuring students are prepared for their futures.

     

    It is difficult work in the best of times, let alone during a global pandemic.

     

    Thank you, Alamance-Burlington School System Board of Education, for all you do to help us be successful!

     

    -WBB

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  • Shout Out to Our Nurses

    Posted by William Benson on 1/14/2021

    The ABSS Board of Education committed to staffing all of our schools with full-time nurses – well before the COVID-19 pandemic – great news for our students, as well as our community. Our nurses have been on the front line as we welcomed staff and a limited number of students back into our buildings. They have been instrumental in our ability to continue to operate safely. Our nurses play a critical role in contact tracing related to positive cases in our school system. Most recently, many have been assisting the Alamance County Health Department in administering the first rounds COVID-19 vaccine. Somehow, a simple ‘thank you’ seems inadequate. I will say it anyway, THANK YOU for helping us stay safe.

     

    -WBB

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  • Eastlawn Elementary: Return to In-person Learning

    Posted by William Benson on 12/1/2020

    While numbers are currently small, I continue to be encouraged by our return to in-person learning for our pre-K and adapted curriculum students. These teachers and students are leading the way to what I hope will be greater number of students in schools in the near future.

     

    Thanks, Eastlawn, for helping lead the way!

     

    -WBB

     

    Students at Eastlawn Elementary

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  • Supporting Our Families, Thanksgiving Style

    Posted by William Benson on 11/24/2020

    Like many of our schools, Andrews Elementary conducts an annual food drive to provide Thanksgiving meals for families in need. In a normal year, student leaders at Andrews make that happen (And by the way, they are all leaders – Andrews is a Leader in Me school.).  With teaching and learning occurring remotely due to COVID-19, teachers at Andrews stepped in to continue the tradition, providing 70 meals complete with turkeys!

     

    Many thanks to all involved!

     

    -WBB

     

    Thanksgiving bags ready for pickup at Andrews Elementary

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  • Return to In-person Learning for Pre-K and Adapted Curriculum Students

    Posted by William Benson on 11/19/2020

    We welcomed our pre-K and adapted curriculum students back to in-person learning this week, the first official return for students since school buildings were closed in March. I spent most of the day visiting classrooms and will do the same tomorrow. Thanks to all who helped make this happen, particularly our teachers and instructional assistants!

     

    -WBB

     

    Collage of return to school precautions and classroom

     

     

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  • Crossroads

    Posted by William Benson on 11/9/2020

    We are at a crossroads. Recent events in our country, state, and community continue to demonstrate a divide. Thrust into the national spotlight, Alamance County is not immune. This is our community. As educators, we have the honor of serving the children and families of Alamance County. Education is our platform; our life’s work. While others may seek to divide, we must recommit to work together in support of our students. We must continue to focus on providing a positive, nurturing and inclusive environment for everyone.

     

    Public education has a valuable role and critical responsibility in every neighborhood. As a school system, we embrace diversity of all kinds and believe it makes us stronger as an educational community and more welcoming as a county. We believe that every individual deserves dignity and respect at all times, in all circumstances. Each school day we are granted the unique opportunity to model our beliefs for more than 22,000 students. It is more important now than ever to let our actions speak loudly for everyone to take notice. We can lead by example.

     

    We have the expertise and experience to help students make sense of conflicting emotions and uncertainty within their worlds. We can show students how to separate facts from emotion, how to research and how to determine reality for themselves. We must use our skills to approach racial and political divides in a calm, positive, and constructive manner. 

     

    With the federal, state and local elections behind us, now is the time for us to recommit to our collective work for improving outcomes for our students, our families, and our community.  As educators, we hold our community’s trust—Alamance County’s future is in our classrooms. Our students are counting on us. Thank you for your continued focus on helping each child achieve his or her personal best. We will be successful together.

     

    -WBB

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  • 2020-21 Assistant Principal of the Year: Ms. Shanise Goldsby

    Posted by William Benson on 10/26/2020

    Ms. Shanise Goldsby has been selected the ABSS 2020-21 Assistant Principal of the Year. As an assistant principal at Broadview Middle School, Ms. Goldsby has been instrumental in building community among students and staff alike. Her work in this area has had a significant impact on teacher retention at the school, decreasing teacher turnover from 60% to 25%. She is an innovative, compassionate, and respected leader who is focused on improving outcomes for students. Congratulations, Ms. Goldsby.

     

    -WBB

     

    Ms. Shanise Goldsby

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