ABS Thursday Notes- April 12, 2018

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                             April 12, 2018




How We Do It and Why

by Mary Siebert


“Misbehavior and punishment are not opposites that cancel each other – on the contrary they breed and reinforce each other.”  ― Haim G. Ginott

Anyone who volunteers during a school day can see that, even with our wonderful kids, managing a large group of children can be challenging. At ABS, we teach self-discipline as a basic skill.  At ABS, we teach self-discipline as a basic skill. To help our students grow into productive citizens, we avoid rigid tools of punishment and reward. Our teachers are experts at Positive Discipline, which recognizes behavioral mistakes as opportunities for learning. The word “Positive” in this title does not mean that we wink at disruptive behavior. We strive to be clear, firm, and nurture growth. Rewards are intrinsic to accomplishment, and do not appear in the shape of little candies or toys. We recognize that self-management must be taught with the same individualized instruction that we apply to math or reading.

Corporal punishment is legal in North Carolina but is rapidly disappearing. (It has never been used at ABS.) In lieu of paddling, schools try a variety of other techniques. In many traditional classrooms, there is a “card” system, providing each student with four colored cards, or perhaps a little boat on a little ocean. The cards or boats are placed in a wall display, labeled with each child’s name. A child who makes a behavioral mistake is directed to walk reluctantly before uncomfortable classmates, to flip the card from green to yellow, regressing through the colors, if the objectionable behavior continues. (The boat might progressively sink.) The card or submerged vessel is a constant reminder of an earlier error, permanently discoloring the day.

Most students never flip a card, but can predict who will, day after day. Often no progress is made – the same student is still card-flipping at the end of the year, and the only thing everyone (including the card-flipper) has learned is: that student is “bad.” There are many reasons why a child misbehaves, including (but not limited to) immaturity, lack of food, lack of sleep, trouble at home, allergies, hormones, habit, illness or boredom. It is never because the child is “bad.” There’s no such animal. But if a child is taught that she is bad, she might very well attempt to grow into that expectation.

Regardless of the cause, each student must learn how to function productively and positively in a classroom setting, and must allow others to learn, unobstructed. Positive Discipline recommends that a regular class meeting is one tool for learning how to strengthen social skills. Guided by the adult, the group considers how to resolve a disagreement. Sometimes this solution takes care of the problem. Sometimes it works for only a few weeks, and then must be revisited. The acknowledgement that problems can be solved, and participation in the hard work of learning to communicate frustration and create a resolution builds emotional, intellectual, and moral “muscle.” Children who have no difficulty following social rules learn empathy for those who struggle. They learn how to define and defend their own boundaries. All students learn that the intrinsic rewards for self-discipline include friendship and self-esteem. Once again, you won’t see these skills in the end-of-grade tests, but they will be tested every day in real life. We are grateful to our teachers for extending our students’ learning well beyond the important academic subjects we do test. Our teachers really do it all, brilliantly.






Dear ABS Families & Friends,

We would like to express a HUGE heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who joined together to reach these record-breaking totals in our 2018 Annual Giving Campaign!  You donated, you pledged, you spread the word and as a result, you helped every single child at ABS.  Our giving results this year are truly remarkable! We raised more dollars during this campaign than ever before, along with the highest school wide participation rate in the past 5 years.

Just six years ago, our campaign was in a much different place.  We had only 8.6% participation from our families, 8.3% participation from our Board and had $4,400.00 in total donations.  Since that time, the support for the annual giving campaign has continued to grow each year.  Our families know the importance of supporting our school and they demonstrate that more each year.

A special thanks goes out to our ABS Board for their 100% participation!  Our Board is comprised of community members, most of whom have never had a child attend this school but truly believe in our mission and how we achieve it.

Also, a BIG thank you to the class reps who made the calls, sent the emails, spread the word and rallied their classes to support the campaign. The success of this campaign would not have been possible without each of you. We can’t thank you enough!

Our community is what makes ABS a special place – the families, teachers, staff, and friends.  Last month, we came together to support our community.  Your participation and generosity during this campaign has been inspirational.  What you have given to the ABS community is tremendous.  Our feelings of gratitude are immeasurable.



Jennifer Bender & Brandi Cleveland

Annual Giving Coordinators



Congratulations to Mrs. Mcnamara on the arrival of her baby girl, Maisie Elizabeth!  She was born April 8, 2018 at 7 lbs 12 oz,  20 inches long.  Mrs. McNamara will be out on maternity leave for the remainder of the school year.  Her team teacher, Ms. Farrell will take care of classroom responsibilities until she returns.


Teacher Opening at ABS

Spanish Teacher K-8

Our ideal candidate will be passionate, energetic, creative and innovative; a team player who will plan together with other disciplines to connect with the Spanish curriculum. We seek someone who would be excited to work with the music teacher to coach Spanish lyrics for traditional songs, and to integrate vocabulary and cultural studies with other disciplines. Interested teachers should email Asst Principal Paige Raper praper@artsbasedschool.com


Community Creates!  

Saturday, May 5th from 7-11pm

Please join us for an evening of amazing art, cool people and funky festivities!  Our annual Community Creates art auction supports our school’s artists-in-residence program – think Mr. Bill, Diana Greene, Thao Nguyen and all the other amazing artists in the community that work with our kids! Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door and include hors d’oeuvres and dinner from our friends at The Porch & Alma Mexicana as well as some tasty adult beverages (yes, this party is adults only!).  Go to  http://www.communitycreates.com for more information and to purchase your tickets now!


Yearbooks are here!

Pre-ordered yearbooks will be sent home in Thursday packets today.  We will have a few extra copies available for purchase beginning Wed, April 18 at either front desk for $20.


Last Call for Money for Jump Rope for Heart

We have been running, jumping and making our bodies and hearts healthy all day long! All money for this event is now due. any checks should be made out to the American Heart Association.   Thank you for your support!


SAVE THE DATE: Spring Band and Chorus Concerts are coming up! The concerts will take place in the ABS Ewing Theater as follows:


BAND – Monday, May 7

8th Grade – 10:30-11:00

7th Grade – 12:00-12:30

5th Koza – 2:00-2:30


BAND – Tuesday, May 8

6th Grade – 12:00-12:30

5th Leni – 2:00-2:30


BAND – Wednesday, May 9

5th Frazier – 2:00-2:30


CHORUS – Thursday, May 10

8th Grade – 10:30-11:00

7th Grade – 12:00-12:30


Parent Council News:

April Parent Council Meeting

Please join us for the April Parent Council on Friday, April 13 at 8:15 in the MLK Cafe.  All ABS parents, families, and caregivers are part of Parent Council and are welcome to attend!  Don’t forget that attendance at Parent Council meetings counts toward volunteer hours.  The agenda for this meeting is attached to the Thursday Notes e-mail.

Nominations for Parent Council Board
Nominations for Parent Council Board positions are now open and elections will be held at the May Parent Council meeting.   Serving on the Parent Council Board is a great way to get more involved at ABS and to earn volunteer hours. We are seeking candidates for the following positions:

  • Co-Chair (2 year term)
  • Parent Representative Coordinator (1 year term)
  • Secretary (1 year term)
  • Technical Support Coordinator (1 year term)
  • Annual Giving Coordinators (2 year term, Both positions are filled for next year, but we would love to find a parent of a rising 5-8 grade students to work with this team.)

If you are interested in running for one of these positions or have any questions, please contact Parent Council Co-Chairs, Joy Blaser (joy.blaser@gmail.com) and Julee Nunley (julee@thenunleys.net)


Summer Camps at ABS
All rising 7-9th grade students are invited to participate in the first-ever VAST summer camp. This fun-filled week joins Volleyball (with Mrs. Meeks) with Art (with Mrs. Gledhill) and Science/Technology (with Mrs. Dickson). Supplies must be purchased in advance, so a strict deadline for registration of May 15th must be enforced. We look forward to hosting a tremendous week full of activity!  See attached flyer for more information or email Mrs. Dickson at kdickson@artsbasedschool.com


Around Town…

Walkertown High School is inviting everyone to the showing of Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age ,April 12th at 6pm.  $5 ticket can be purchased at link below.