ABS Thursday Notes- November 9, 2017

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                          November 9, 2017




Veteran’s Day-No School

Friday, November 10


How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“Eyes so transparent that through them the soul is seen.” – by Thèophile Gautier


Last week, I stopped in to speak with 3rd grade teachers about a possible gardening project. When I reached Ms. Campbell’s room, she pulled me in to show me something, and to share a story.

Displayed on one wall, at kid-level, were about twenty postcard-sized art images. Some were well-known paintings. Some were souvenirs of trips she had taken; a carved and painted mask, a lesser known water color artist, a charcoal drawing. She explained that she had invited her students to choose one of these, and to replicate or respond to it, to scale, on a standard 8.5 x 11 piece of paper. They had their choice of various media, and they could execute their copy however they wished. Their version might be a sketch that represented only certain gestures, or it might be an attempt at an exact replica. The main requirement would be to observe the piece deeply. The children’s responsive artworks were posted on the adjoining wall, where it was easy to compare each with the other.

One girl chose to use colored pencils to draw the same dense forest landscape she chose. Although her child’s hand expresses its own eye and heart, you can easily tell which work of art was her partner. It’s clear that she became close friends with that painting.

The following week, Ms. Campbell’s class visited the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit at Reynolda House. They were all enjoying their tour, when suddenly Ms. Campbell heard a gasp. She turned, to see the girl staring and pointing at a permanent collection painting by Worthington Whittredge; one that was not part of the special exhibit. “THAT’S MY PAINTING!” she cried. Her fellow students gathered closer to the artwork with her, and all agreed. Yes, that was her painting.

The girl stood entranced for a moment, then looked up at Ms. Campbell, open-mouthed, eyes shining, and asked “Is that the real one!??” Ms. Campbell assured her that it was. It was the real one. When you have discovered a work of art from the inside out, so that you recognize it as a part of you, isn’t it yours forever?


Ms. Quintal’s Class On the News

Welcome home and thank you to ElleMari’s dad, Staff Sergeant Jocolby Harrell. He’s been stationed in Jordan on deployment for the last year and surprised her at school! His surprise homecoming was shared on WXII-12 News Tuesday evening and then picked up by the Today Show on Wednesday morning.  See the clip: http://www.wxii12.com/article/deployed-for-11-months-winston-salem-soldier-meets-his-infant-son-for-the-first-time/13445500


Conference Time is Coming

Soon your child’s teacher will be setting up conferences to discuss your child’s progress.  Students attending the Arts Based School are assessed using a portfolio system in place of the traditional report card.  The portfolio is designed to illustrate a student’s academic growth and successes as well as guide the teacher in planning appropriate instruction.  Teachers at ABS do not issue letter grades.  Teachers use observation, interviews, analysis of student work and performance tasks to assess student understanding.  Examples of student work, as well as other objective standards of assessments are incorporated into the student’s portfolio to give an enhanced portrait of the student’s progress.  These portfolios will be discussed and presented to parents during the Student-Teacher-Parent conferences.  Please be sure you schedule and attend your conference so that you can support your child’s learning. 

Conference Days- November 17- Early Dismissal

                        K-4 Dismiss at 11:45

                        5-8 Dismiss at 12 noon


Happy Holidays

The holidays can be perplexing for American educators. The North Carolina Standard Course of Study (guidelines for what children should be taught at each grade level) specifies only first grade as a time for focusing on celebrated holidays and special days in communities, while nearly every other grade is expected only to discuss historical figures and practices associated with diverse holidays.  We respect the religious and cultural backgrounds of every student.

Holiday decorations are not used indiscriminately in the classroom or about the school; though they may be used as part of a focused study. We do encourage fun in learning and discovering.  We decorate our walls all year with the brilliant creations of our students. We often incorporate delicious receptions into our art openings and performances. We join together singing songs of peace and understanding. Thank you for supporting us in making every child feel included in the delights of learning together.


Crisis Control Food Drive

K-Kids are sponsoring a canned food drive for Crisis Control Ministries, a non-profit organization which provides food for the needy in our community. Please bring non-perishable items in cans and boxes (no class containers, please). Items will be collected in a hallway location outside each grade level. This  drive will continue until Friday, Dec. 15.


No Parent Council Meeting in November

Parent Council will not meet this month.  Our next scheduled meeting is on Friday, December 15 at 8:15 a.m. in the MLK Cafe.  If you have agenda items for that meeting, contact Parent Council Co-Chairs, Joy Blaser (joy.blaser@gmail.com) and Julee Nunley (julee@thenunleys.net).


Shop for Toys & Benefit ABS!

November 4 – 11 is school week at Toys & Co. in the Thruway Shopping Center.  The Arts Based School will receive 20% of all purchases that are made with flyer that is attached to the Thursday Notes e-mail.  This is a great opportunity to get a jump on holiday shopping and benefit our school!


Picture Retakes

Next Tuesday, November 14 is picture make-up and retake day. Any student who was absent on picture day will automatically be photographed as these pictures are used for our annual yearbook. However, if you are interested in your child having his/her picture retaken, please send a note or email to your child’s homeroom teacher before November 14. Students will only be sent for a retake if the parent sends in a request.


High School Information Night

ABS will host counselors, teachers, and administrators from several area high schools for an information session on December 7th from 6-7pm. This will include a brief introduction from the high school reps and time to ask questions and gather information from a variety of schools. High School Information Night will take place in the 7th Street building and all 7th and 8th grade families are invited to attend.


Giving Thanks by Giving Back

ABS Builders Club will be holding a relief drive for Hurricane Maria’s devastation to Puerto Rico, and for the earthquake in Mexico. This drive will focus on collecting 4 items; bagged rice and beans, bagged pasta, and plastic water bottles. These items will be delivered to Puerto Rico and Mexico through the Piedmont Triad United for Puerto Rico and Mexico.  The drive will last for two weeks for optimal collection. It will start on October 23rd and end on November 17th.  We will be collecting in both buildings.  Thank you for all your support and generosity

-Julian Wilson, President of Builders Club


K-Kids Challenge

At the last Parent Council meeting, Sadie Blalock, our K-Kids President, spoke to the parents about our challenge  to match the amount raised at our skating party for disaster relief. We raised $370.00 and challenge the parents to match that amount. All funds raised will go toward disaster relief through One America Appeal.


5th Grade Dancing Classrooms Exhibitions Next Week!

All performances are at 12:00 noon, at the ABS Ewing Theater

Ms. Leni – Monday, November 13

Ms. Frazier – Tuesday, November 14

Ms. Koza – Wednesday, November 15


Around Town…

UNCSA’s Preparatory Dance Program presents Drosselmeyer’s Nutcracker Tea in our own Alex Ewing Theater!  Tickets go on sale this Friday, November 27th – call the Stevens Center Box Office at 336-721-1945 to get your tickets today!  Performances are Saturday, December 2nd and Sunday, December 3rd.  See the attached flyer with this week’s Thursday Notes for more information.  Don’t miss this wonderful holiday event!