Alston-Bailey Elementary School is helping all students to develop the world class skills as well as the life and career characteristics of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate by creating an environment of excellence and high expectations for all students. Alston-Bailey Elementary School is a Title I school located in Summerville and serves approximately 715 students in grades 4K-5. Alston-Bailey Elementary School continues to carry on the legacies of our namesakes, Dr. John H. Alston and Mrs. Clemmie Strother Bailey. We take PRIDE in the hard work our staff, our students, and their families put forth to rise up to every challenge we face. Our community has pulled together to put the needs of our children first and, through this communal effort, we work toward fulfilling the dreams left behind by Dr. Alston and Mrs. Bailey.
We carried over our four instructional goals this year: To increase student achievement in all content areas; increase recognition opportunities for students that demonstrate would class citizenship; continue our literacy focus; and increase opportunities for student leadership, service learning, and mentorship. These goals have helped us stay true to our mission statement, which reads “Alston-Bailey Elementary School prepares all students for college and life by providing a rigorous curriculum that is relevant to students’ lives in a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment.”
In an effort to increase student achievement, our teachers immerse students in opportunities to use technology by utilizing it within their classrooms. Technology is seamlessly integrated by using Interactive Flat Panels, iPads, and Dell laptops. Students can be seen daily interacting with technology on various instructional and learning projects, using them as tools for research, collaboration, creation, and presentation. However, the hallmark of our STEM program is our “Collaboratory” where students can be found engaged with ongoing, open-ended problems that require teamwork and innovate thinking. Students complete Google Expeditions with our virtual reality headsets, solve complex learning puzzles through our Breakout EDU boxes, and expand their 21st Century skills through Dot & Dash Coding Robots. The “Collaboratory” is a space for creative and critical thinking to become intertwined so that students can develop their problem-solving skills in an authentic environment.
To produce world class citizens, our students follow our PRIDE matrix: Positive Attitude; Respect Myself, Others and my Campus; Invest in my Education; Determination is exhibited by all; Excellence is strived for daily. To recognize positive behaviors, we hold monthly Terrific Kids ceremonies and PBIS celebrations; many classrooms use the Class Dojo platform to reinforce positive student behavior by issuing Dojo points. Students with exceptional behavior are awarded for demonstrating citizenship.
We have also been named a Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase School for the second year in a row, continuing our mission to provide students a “safe, supportive, and nurturing environment.” Through CKH, we have redoubled our efforts on meeting the socioemotional needs of our students by cultivating an atmosphere of interconnectedness through meaningful, reciprocal relationships.
Over the course of the year, we have hosted many virtual events that focused on literacy. Each grade level hosted Zoom meetings with families to keep them informed and help them better support their children. Prior to these past two years, we held book fairs, reading buddy opportunities, and author’s teas, and we are looking forward to bringing all of them back. We also distributed hundreds of free books to our students and their families for their home libraries.
Our PTA helped us host our very first Read-a-thon in which students logged 15,000 minutes of reading sessions in a single month! We also raised money toward the purchase of a book vending machine that will allow students to earn free books through demonstrating their PRIDE expectations. Our Health & Wellness committee, headed by our phenomenal PE teachers, helped us reach fourth in the district for money earned for the Kids Heart Challenge as well! Our community believes in giving back to support important causes.
In addition to our strong literacy focus, we have also partnered with Engaging Creative Minds to further develop our fantastic creative arts program. Students participated in transdisciplinary inquiry that integrated the arts into their coursework. In past years, our students also had opportunities to participate in clubs and have leadership opportunities such as student safety officers, yoga club, technology club, and robotics club, which we plan to bring back in full force this upcoming year.
We have promoted College and Career readiness by having college days, a career day, and college research projects. Our students have learned about a variety of degrees and career fields, thanks to our volunteer speakers and members of our staff.
To ensure that students reach their maximum potential, we assess our students frequently throughout the year to determine their academic strengths and weaknesses. Our students use computer programs such as Waterford, Compass Pathblazer, Voyager Math, Voyager Reading, Dreambox, Imagine Learning and Imagine Math.
We celebrate academic success with our Exemplary Awards and Quarterly Awards Programs. We also offer enrichment activities, support personnel, and have hosted special programs such as monthly ABES Academy and afterschool virtual tutoring.
To build parent-student-community relations, we communicate with parents often and host events monthly at our school in conjunction with our PTA and SIC. We partner with area churches and organizations. We also hold Parent Information Nights, Grandparents’ Meet the Teacher, Day of Caring, monthly PTA meetings and events, Fine Arts exhibitions, and a Veterans Day program to welcome all stakeholders to our school. While this year offered challenges in this area, we still engaged our community through virtual grade level parent workshops and drive-through events such as our Holidays Around the Loop. We also hosted some in-person events such as our STEAM Night and Fine Arts Showcase. We also have a robust school Facebook and webpage that highlight successes on our campus and provide families with at-home learning resources.
Alston-Bailey Elementary has a phenomenal faculty and staff. By working closely with parents, the PTA board, School Improvement Council, business partners, community members, and school faculty, Alston-Bailey focuses on achieving excellence together!
Vernisa Y. Bodison, Principal
Shayla Toliver, School Improvement Council Chairperson