Principal Stacy McAbee Updates School Board on Buffalo Elementary

Buffalo Elementary School
Buffalo teachers pose for a beginning of the year group photo

Daniel Prince

McAbee lists goals for school, gives updates on activities

At Monday night’s school board meeting, Stacy McAbee, principal at Buffalo Elementary School, updated the board on some things happening at her school.

The school is hosting the Strengthening Families program, which is a joint venture between Healthy U Behavioral Health Services and C4 Services. 12 families are going through the program now, which will last until September 22. She noted hers is the first school in the county to pilot the program, which started in Union this spring at First Baptist Church. For the next session of the program, Strengthening Families may be looking to go into another school.

She highlighted community partnerships that made events such as the school’s Move-In Night for teachers and Fitness Challenge for teachers a success. She said the school got numerous donations toward both events.

She told the board the school will be hosting a critical training on autism through the State Department on September 1st. District Office personnel and other principals have been invited to attend.

She said the school has set three goals, and all that they do are filtered through one of those goals. The first is to focus not solely on text levels but on reading comprehension, which she says data shows has been slipping among students. A second goal is writing for the love of writing. They have moved from emphasizing text-dependent analysis to narrative writing and will incorporate daily writing workshops and writing across the curriculum. The third goal is to increase students’ math scores in MAP testing.

She said the school has around 275 minutes available for instruction time after taking out time for related arts, lunch, recess, and transition times. Of that, two hours each day is devoted to English/Language Arts, an hour and a half is given to math instruction, and the other 65 minutes is for science and social studies, with the hope that standards from those subjects can be integrated into other parts of the curriculum.

She said there are some natural gaps in the related arts schedule that will allow for those teachers to go into classrooms for guided reading or some other activity while the teacher works one-on-one or in small groups with students.

She praised the school’s virtual family engagement events last year and said the school plans to do more this year.

McAbee said enrollment is growing again after dropping to the mid-400s last year. This year, she said the school is back up to nearly 500 students, which is still down from the pre-pandemic time when they had nearly 600 enrolled.

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