ABS Thursday Notes- April 27, 2017

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                                    April 27, 2017




How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“Knowledge is the frontier of tomorrow.”  Dennis Waitley


The National Assessment of Educational Progress (“NAEP”) or “The Nation’s Report Card,” is overseen by the National Assessment Governing Board; an independent, bipartisan organization that provides current data to policymakers. The NAEP website states that The Nation’s Report Card is “the only nationally representative, continuing evaluation of the condition of education in the United States.” This data includes the arts, which are considered “an important part of a well-rounded education.” Data from the arts assessments is released every five or six years, at a gathering of national representatives from arts organizations, schools, and government officials, at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

This year’s data release presentation included video of four schools across the nation where the arts are successfully integrated with academics. The Arts Based School was one of these four schools. We were recommended to the NAEP by The A+ Schools Program, of which we are a member.

Attendees watched video of our middle school students, including interviews with students and staff and beautiful footage of kids in action with the arts. I was assigned a scripted question to answer over a live phone broadcast during the event, and then participated on a panel with representatives from the other three schools. Here was my question, and my answer:

     Q: Mary, what skills do you think the students learn from these art classes that can ultimately help prepare them for postsecondary education and/or the workforce?

A: I have a friend who is a biochemistry professor at Wake Forest University. He reports that modern students arrive at college able to ace tests, but they often have tunnel vision. While they are well-prepared for science, they struggle with imagination. They are great at memorizing facts and answering questions, but they lack skills in critical thinking, creativity and communication. These are strengths that the arts develop.

Leonardo DaVinci, Albert Einstein, and Steve Jobs all maintained that creativity was critical to success in science and mathematics. As my friend at Wake Forest says, we need our young people to think creatively. We’ve got big problems to solve in our world, and we struggle to communicate, even within our own culture. The world is always changing! We need to absorb, understand, appreciate and incorporate multiple cultures and viewpoints. The arts help us comprehend and bridge cultures. They help us understand one another. They help create communicators and original thinkers. Math and science without creativity are limited, and lead to redundancy instead of break-throughs.


End of Grade Testing

It’s that time of year again. The flowers are blooming, the days are longer, and the tests are coming! ABS students in grades 3-8 will be taking the North Carolina End-of-Grade tests during the last ten days of school.

The North Carolina End-of-Grade Tests are designed to measure student performance on the goals, objectives, and grade-level competencies specified in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. The End-of-Grade tests in reading comprehension and mathematics are administered to students in grades 3-8 as part of the statewide assessment program. End-of-grade tests in science are administered in grades 5 and 8.


Parents, please help your child do his or her best by following these guidelines:

  • Help your child get 9 hours sleep throughout the weekend and each night before the test.
  • Make sure your child eats a healthy breakfast, including more proteins and fewer carbohydrates.
  • BE ON TIME to school. Rushing around creates anxiety.  Latecomers must take a make-up test.
  • No couch potatoes, video games, or on-line junkies the week before.   Go outside and run and play.  You will rest better, think better, and feel better.
  • Help them arrive at school with a positive attitude.


Testing Schedule

May 19 EOC Math 1

May 22 EOG Reading 3rd & 4th grades

May 23 EOG Math 3rd & 4th grades

May 24 EOG Reading 5th -8th grades

May 25 EOG Math 5th -8th  grades

May 26 EOG Science 5th and 8th grades

May 30  EOG Reading Make Up Tests & RtA-3rd

May 31 EOG Math Make Up Tests

June 1 EOG Science Make Up Tests


EOG results will be shared with parents at the third trimester conferences- June 7 and 8.


Teacher Appreciation Week at ABS!

May 1st – 5th is a special time for students and families at ABS to take a few extra minutes to give extra love and show appreciation for our amazing teachers. This year, the Hospitality Committee was asked to provide guidelines for each day of the week to simplify for families with students in multiple grades or classes.  Feel free to stick to these ideas or go out on a creative limb to show your appreciation all week!

Monday, May 1st Flower Day

Tuesday, May 2nd Yummy Snack or Favorite Drink Day

Wednesday, May 3rd Note, Card, or Picture Day

Thursday, May 4th Sweet Treat Day

Friday, May 5th Surprise Day

Remember that Specialists, office staff & administrators like treats too!

Thank you for helping to make this a very special week for our amazing teachers & staff at ABS!


Water Issue Solved!

This past week’s rainy weather was a great test of the water-proofing and drain work completed over spring break.  The building remains dry! Special thanks to our building owner, Neal Foster and Board Member, Kevin Nunley, for their work in resolving the water issues in the 7th Street Building.


Community Creates – May 6th!

Join us for our 9th Annual Community Creates on Saturday, May 6th from 7-11pm!  It’s a fun-filled evening with dinner from The Porch, drinks, friends and some outstanding artwork! All proceeds from the event support our Artist-in-Residence program (think Mr. Bill, Mr. Bob, Diana Greene, Thao Nguyen and many others!). Checkout  http://www.communitycreates.com to learn what artists are participating, view photos from past events and purchase tickets.  Tickets may also be purchased in either front office (save on the ticket price by buying in advance – see attached flyer for details).


We would like to offer our great thanks to our Community Partner Sponsor Abby Umlauf at Keller Williams Realty!  Visit Abby at http://abbyumlauf.kwrealty.com.  Thank you for your generous support!



Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Cooper on the birth of their baby boy.  James was born April 25, 7 lbs, 14 oz.  Ms. Erin Riegal will be subbing in middle school chorus and band through the end of the school year.


Coming Soon-Great Summer Book Swap!

First Annual Summer Book Swap coming soon to ABS, start looking for books you would like to swap.  More details to come.


National Art Contest

Our Fourth Graders participated in the Crayola Empowering Students Through Creative Leadership National Art Contest.  Three students have moved on to the next round in judging:  Bailey Wickline, Landon Reiman and Lilly Greene.  The curated collection of finalists’ artwork will be donated to the U.S. Department of Education to become part of the permanent collection of children’s art, on display in Washington, DC and the Department’s regional offices.  Good luck to these wonderful artists in the coming rounds of the competition!


Be the Match Walk

The K-Kids are participating in the Be the Match walk this Saturday at JDL Fast Track, 2505 Empire Drive in Winston-Salem. This walk supports those with Leukemia, and looks to match potential donors to those needing donations. All walkers need money and paperwork turned in to teachers and K-Kids advisors by Friday before they come to walk. Participants will meet at 8:30 at the indoor track, and should be finished by 10:00 a.m.


Around Town

UNCSA Preparatory Program Performance on Sunday, April 30th at 1pm in the Gerald Freedman Theatre on the UNCSA campus.  Call the Stevens Center Box Office for tickets 336-721-1945.


UNCSA Preparatory Dance Program Auditions will be held on Saturday, May 6th on the UNCSA campus for rising 3rd-rising 9th graders. See the attached flyer for more information or visit http://www.uncsa.edu/community/preparatory-dance/auditions-registration.aspx


Summer Camp

Registration is open for Camp Shakespeare! July 17-21, 2017 from 9am-4pm at UNCSA.  The cost is:  $230 base price, $275 with lunch, and $15 for a t-shirt. We are looking at the following plays: Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Much Ado About Nothing, Richard III, and Twelfth Night. Mr. Bob & Ms. Heidi are there, along with some new teachers!

Here’s the registration link: https://goo.gl/AnE7jc

Please note that you will have to create a new account for summer 2017, which will generate a new 6-digit password.  See flyer for more info.