A+ Schools Spotlight: Great Things Are Growing!

April 25, 2022

Our A+ schools cultivate engaging learning environments for students every day, and we love highlighting the creative work that is happening across the A+ network. Here are a few of the initiatives, projects, and lessons taking place in A+ schools. If you have interesting news from your A+ school, please contact us and let us know.


Meadow View Elementary

Students at Meadow View Elementary School in Onslow County are showing kindness and offering encouragement to those in need through their Hearts of Hope project. Fourth and fifth graders created hand-painted “heart” art for people in their community struggling with grief or going through a difficult time. Sandra Whaley, a teaching assistant at Meadow View, initiated the project following the loss of her daughter in June 2021. Students created more than 300 original hearts which were sent to community members who could use a lift.


The Arts Based School

Sixth-graders at The Arts Based School in Forsyth County, along with visiting artist Thao Nguyen, choreographed a live dance performance based on math and science concepts. This annual performance is dynamic and exciting, but ultimately, the process is the real highlight. Students become more fluent in the vocabulary of functions, equations, and molecules as they rehearse, embedding them into body memory and the musical mind. The performance and process have the power to transform a student's learning about math and memorization.


Reynolds High School

Reynolds High School’s Parent Teacher Student Association (Forsyth County) has been developing an arts lending library, procuring musical instruments, costumes, cameras, and other arts resources. Students will be able to check out materials after they identify their choice and explain why they are interested in exploring this genre. This process is meant to create a more thoughtful use of the resources. Each arts resource is accompanied by a description of how each piece fits into the collection and its relationship to the content standards and to the school’s arts magnet pillars.


Pinewood Elementary

Arts integration and collaboration abound at Pinewood Elementary School, in Gaston County. The fifth-grade math team and physical education teacher collaborated to plan a lesson focused on forces of motion and design. Allowing students to embody the concepts and principles of these fifth-grade standards provides more ways to learn and retain the information. Kudos to these educators for working together and modeling collaboration for their students.


Banner Elk Elementary, Avery Middle, and Cranberry Middle Schools

Students and educators at Banner Elk Elementary, Avery Middle, and Cranberry Middle Schools, in Avery County, participated in a week-long residency with Black Box Dance Theater. Students took part in dance classes that integrated dance standards with science standards and social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies. Avery County educators participated in workshops to learn how to infuse dance in their curricula. Cranberry Middle hosted a performance of Black Box Dance Theater for more than 500 students to round out the week.