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Alamance School System classroom

How one school district delivers personalized, online professional development to 1,300 educators

Alamance Burlington School System header

About Alamance-Burlington School System

Alamance-Burlington School System (ABSS) is a public school system in North Carolina serving more than 22,500 students with 1,800 licensed staff. In the 2015-16 school year, the district created an instructional model titled Core Four. This model was based on the belief that exemplary teaching leads to exemplary classroom learning and student success.

Alamance teacher outside a classroom

The Problem

District personnel understood that teachers wanted personalized learning.

  • Previous professional development sessions didn't quite meet the needs of all teachers.
  • The district wanted to structure PD days that provided differentiated learning opportunities at schools around the county.
  • Needed a digital solution to support and track learning during 192 concurrent sessions across the district.

The Goal

  • Provide engaging, personalized professional development across 36 schools to improve teacher learning and student outcomes.
  • Find a digital solution that would ease communication and organization of PD sessions across a large district.
  • Create clear pathways for teacher leadership within the district.
  • Ensure effective classroom implementation after PD sessions were completed.

The Solution

ABSS knew it wanted to take a blended learning approach, one in which online learning and in-person collaboration are used together to expand educator growth.

While district personnel organized on-site PD sessions, Participate provided an online solution for educators to document their learning, create resource collections and host discussions in real time. All educators in the district were placed in a Community of Practice where they could access these county-wide resources and conversations. This created transparency and autonomy between district personnel and educators, and classroom implementation was documented and easily accessible through the community.

The Result

The Participate platform allowed teacher leaders and district personnel to organize session materials online, communicate with one another and ensure session sign up and attendance was easy.  This was received so well that they met their goal and had more than 190 sessions to offer teachers across the district. 
of participants said expectations were exceeded
micro-credentials awarded in the first three days
total micro-credentials earned
Hours of professional development completed
ABSS teachers learning
“Great session on tech integration.”

Rhonda Wood
Math coach

“#abssCoreFour Offered a great opprotunity for teachers to develop a deeper understanding of retelling, recounting, and summarizing.”

Rebecca Belcastro
K-3 literacy consultant

“Loved getting to listen to my teammate @KOhrin_SYE talk about the implementation of data notebooks with her @SmartcookieSYE! I'm ready to set some new goals for myself now. #abssCoreFour”

Mallory Heffelfinger
1st-grade teacher

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