ABS Thursday Notes- August 11, 2016

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                           August 11, 2016




First Day of School –Wednesday, August 17th (Kindergarten students start on a staggered schedule.  Please check your paperwork to know which day to come.)


How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“Do not keep children to their studies by compulsion but by play.” – Plato


Yesterday, our staff gathered to review changes in policy. It was a blast! No kidding! After leading us in an exercise of appreciation for one another, Principal Hollis launched into a Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! “Bluff the Listener” game from the studios of ABS radio. She handed each of two volunteers a slip of paper. They sat on stools in front of the audience and read aloud to a “caller,” (on a non-existent phone,) who had to decide which of the two was reading a true statement On one of the slips of paper was written an actual policy change (ie: all visitors, including regular parent volunteers, must sign in at the front desk, acquire a “Visitor” badge, and be announced to the teacher before visiting a classroom,) and on the other slip was fake policy (ie: a new zipline will be installed between the MLK and 7th Street Buildings, and all staff and children who use it are required to shout “Wheeeeeeee!!! All the way home!” when riding the zipline. In case you’re wondering…this latter choice was the fake. No zipline.)

Each volunteer “caller” adopted a character voice, without being directed to do so…just for fun. The participation was immediate and spontaneous and hilarious. Like our students, the teachers feel safe enough together to take risks and play, and in the process we all gained a bit of important knowledge. This required some detailed preparation by Ms. Hollis, who knew that if she could get us to join in and play, she would have our full attention. Theater was integrated into her instruction, and it worked like a charm.

The staff has just returned from a two-day “A+ Schools” training seminar, where fresh ideas for effective arts integration were shared, developed, and honed. ABS is beginning our fifteenth year of operations and our thirteenth year as a member of the A+ Schools Program of the North Carolina Arts Council. The A+ organization defines itself as “a whole-school reform model that views the arts as fundamental to teaching and learning in all subjects.” Our school developed independently and unaware of the network, until we discovered their parallel values and goals, and joined them in the summer of our third year of operations. Now, we have built friendships and relationships that buoy and inspire us, and we benefit from our membership via regular staff development, visits from A+ Fellows, (our dance teacher Jan Adams is among them,) meetings and on-line connections with like-minded educators. With those teachers, we sing and dance and draw and improvise, and we investigate how to deliver content, even something as dry as new policy, playfully and through the arts. Bring on the kids! We are ready to play!


To learn more about the A+ Schools Organization, visit http://www.aplus-schools.ncdcr.gov/


ABS Family Work Day

Saturday, August 13

9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Come out Saturday and help get the campus cleaned up and ready for a new school year! Bring your kids and snacks, along with hands willing to work.  Also, earn double credit toward your volunteer hours for this work day. It’s a VOGO!  RSVP is appreciated though not required: Matt Mayers (mlmayers@gmail.com)


Back to School Night-

Please note changes in times and format.

ABS Back to School Night is scheduled for Monday, August 15.  To ease parking and crowding, we have scheduled three sessions- Kindergarten and 5-6 grades will attend 5-6pm. 1,2, 7th   grades will attend 6-7pm. Grades 3,4 and 8  will attend Back to School night from 7-8pm.  The first part of each session will be an opportunity to take a self-guided tour and visit arts classrooms.   The second part of the session will be a presentation in your child’s classroom.

Parking for Back to School Night

Goler Church has graciously approved our request to use their parking lot on the evening of Back to School night.  Overflow parking will also be available on the grass playfield adjacent to the MLK parking lot.  Street parking is also available.  Please be thoughtful and courteous of our neighbors where ever you park.


Important Forms Available Online

If you want to get a jump on filling out your form, check out these online links.


For new students:



For all students, please complete Field Trip Permission Form and Household Income Form.




Household Income Form


All forms will be available at Back to School night and sent home in Thursday Packets.  If you have them completed, turn them into your classroom teacher.


ABS Student Handbook

The updated Parent/Student Handbook is now available on our website

Parent/Student Handbook

If you would prefer a printed paper copy, stop by the front desk.



We only have a few more teachers still in need of a Classroom Representative.  Serving as a Class Rep (or Co-Rep with another parent) is a fantastic way to stay involved in your child’s classroom – it’s also a great way to get to know your teacher and the other parents!  We are looking for volunteers from the following classrooms: Ms. Tarmey (6th grade) and two reps for 8th grade.  We are also looking for Specialist Reps for Ms. Cooper (Music/Choir), Ms. Hayes (Band), Ms. McIver (Drama), and Mr. Zayas (Drama).  If you are interested in one of these positions, please email Julee  Nunley (julee@thenunleys.net) or Lindsay Deibler(lindsaydeibler@gmail.com).



Fall Festival – Parent Council is making a casting call to fill leading roles at this year’s Fall Festival!  If you think you have the talent…to attend a meeting or two and be present on October 1…please let us know!  Our Fall Festival Planning Committee this year will share the responsibility of hosting a wonderful event for our ABS families and community and is an easy way to earn your volunteer hours!  Please contact Emily Ball at emilynball@gmail.com or 704-996-5762 to volunteer.  Mark your family’s calendars for Saturday, October 1, to come out and enjoy the festivities!

Book Fair – We’re looking for a co-coordinator to work with our seasoned Book Fair pro, Mackenzie Calhoun, in the 7th Street building.  Contact Julee Nunley (julee@thenunleys.net) if you are interested.

Class Rep & Teacher Breakfast– We need volunteers to provide childcare on the MLK playground while class reps are busy getting things done for the school year – August 15th 8:30am-9:30. (Bring your own children and let them run around too:)  If interested please contact, Lindsay Deibler (lindsaydeibler@gmail.com) and thank you in advance.


Parent Council meetings for the 2016-2017 school year will be held monthly on Friday mornings from 8:15 – 9:15 in the MLK Cafe.  The meetings will be held on the Friday following the ABS Board meeting (which are held the second Tuesday of each month) so that Principal Hollis can update parents on board decisions.  Meeting dates are : September 16, October 14,  December 16, February 17, March 17, and May 12. There will not be a Friday morning meeting in November, January, or April because of conflicts, but we may schedule evening meetings on topics of interest in those months.  We look forward to seeing you at our first PC meeting of the year on Friday, September 16!


After School Options

ABS families use a variety of local after school options.  The following programs have bus service that will pick up your child from ABS and transport him/her to their facility.  To find out more about their services, please contact the program directly.


Creative Palooza 970-5102

First Baptist  723-7071

YWCA 722-0597

St. Peter’s 784-3126

Mudpies Downtown East 448-0341

Positive Image Performing Arts (PIPA) 893-6571


The YMCA operates an afterschool program on campus at ABS.   YMCA- 724-9205