ABS Thursday Notes- August 17, 2017

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                           August 17, 2017




First Day of School –Wed, August 23rd


How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“Simply put: when aesthetic purpose precedes exposure and sales, art plays the upper hand.”

– Bill Lasarow, ArtScene 7/26/2010


I re-run this little article every year, because it’s both important and fun to think about.


At ABS we assume that our students get plenty of exposure to popular music, television, movies, commercial art, and coloring books. (If not, it’s usually because their parents intentionally choose to omit these things from the environment.) We try to give our students more exposure to art that requires them to “put some skin in the game.” We don’t dislike entertainment, but we know we have a short time to introduce them to art. When introducing our new staff to this concept, we offer them a sample of a Hostess Twinky, and ask them to compare it with a bite of a handmade pastry from a local artisan bakery. The adjectives they use to describe the two foods are collected on the board, and the Twinky lines up perfectly with descriptions of “entertainment”, while the artisan masterpiece lines up under “art.” The artisan bite is uniformly considered to be satisfying. The Twinky was repugnant to some, but was delightful comfort food to others; it’s predictable taste, texture, and packaging bringing back happy childhood memories. (We hope to create more nutritious memories for your children to recall!) Enjoy the following suggestion of the differences between art and entertainment:



Expects you to “chew”

Provokes and challenges

Changes us

Operates on multiple levels

Is open to a variety of interpretations

Is nuanced and subtle


Puts value on inner depth

Created for meaning




“Goes down easy”

Stays in the “comfort zone”

Amuses us

Makes a single or a simple point

Is more one-dimensional

Is obvious

Satisfies the “sweet tooth”

Puts value on the external

Created to sell.

[- Quoted from Randal Swiggum – the American Choral Directors Association]


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.


Critical Volunteer Need

As of right now, we have 57 of 72 shifts filled for pizza day helpers. There are 3 shifts available for every Friday we’re in school between now and the end of 2017. Here’s the link for parents to sign up…



As of right now, we have 19 of 540 shifts filled for morning traffic helpers. There are 3 shifts available for every morning we’re in school through June of 2018. Here’s the link for parents to sign up…



Parking Lot News

Thanks in advance to each of you for being so careful and patient as we master the drop off and pick up routines in the parking lot.  A few notes…


-To expedite morning drop off, cars dropping off at the 7th St building only can “cut through” the MLK parking lot behind the yellow school bus.    This cut through is only used during morning drop off.


-You will soon have name placards for your dash. Students in the MLK building who are picked up at 2:30 have green cards.  Students in the 7th St building who are picked up at 2:45 have orange cards.  Please display the placard on the dash on passenger side.  Leave the sign in place until your child has been loaded into the car.  Please share your sign with whomever is picking up your child.  If you need additional signs, please email Hannah Brown at hbrown@artsbasedschool.com


-All traffic must turn left out of the 7th St parking lot because of road closures on 7th St.


-Thank you to the amazing volunteers who have helped each morning with traffic.



We 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 need for volunteers for Mrs. Londono (K), Mrs. Fansler (1st), Mrs. Howard (1st), and Mrs. Boaz (8th).  We are also looking for Specialist Reps for Ms. Cooper (Music/Choir), Ms. Hayes (Band),  Ms. McIver (Drama), Mrs. Messick (Art-MLK), Mrs. and Mr. Zayas (Drama).  If you are interested in one of these positions, please email Heather Levinson (heatherdlevinson@gmail.com).



Calling all Class Reps, Specialist Reps, Teachers and Staff!  Please join us Monday, August 21st at 8:30am in the ABS Café for a meeting with Principal Robin Hollis, Assistant Principal Paige Raper and the Parent Council Board.  Breakfast, coffee and juice will be provided. We look forward to seeing you all there!



Fall Festival – Parent Council is looking for someone to coordinate this year’s Fall Festival on September 30. The Fall Festival is such a fun event for our students and families.  Each grade level hosts a game – we just need a coordinator to pull it all together. If you are interested in helping, please contact Julee Nunley at julee@thenunleys.net.  And be sure to mark your family’s calendar for Saturday, September 30, to come out and enjoy the festivities!

Childcare for Parent Rep & Teacher Breakfast– Looking for a fun and easy way to get a jump on your volunteer hours?  The Parent Council is looking for volunteers to provide childcare on the MLK playground while class reps and teachers are making plans for the school year.  The breakfast is on August 21 at 8:30 am.  If you can help please contact, Julee Nunley at julee@thenunleys.net.

BoxTops Committee – The BoxTops committee helps our school by coordinating collections and preparing the BoxTops for submission.  If you would like to serve on this committee, please contact BoxTops coordinator, Gwen Ashburn (gwendolyne.ashburn@gmail.com).



All parents, grandparents, and caregivers are members of the Parent Council and are invited to attend our monthly meetings.  Attending meetings is a great way to learn more about what is happening at school and how you can get involved.  Plus, attendance at meetings counts toward volunteer hours!  Parent Council meetings for the 2017-2018 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 12, October 13,  November 17, December 15, February 16, March 16, April 13, and May 11. There will not be a Friday morning meeting in January.  We look forward to seeing you at our first PC meeting of the year on Friday, September 15!


ABS Garden Back to School Workday

We need all hands on deck! This Saturday, August 19, we’ve got a BIG GARDEN WORKDAY planned and you can receive DOUBLE HOURS for your time. We’ll be there from 9:00-1:00. We need everyone to get the school grounds looking great for heading back to school! Please come for an hour or for all four, whatever you can spare. Kids are welcome!


Back to School Night-Save the Date!

ABS Back to School Night is scheduled for Monday, August 21.  Please note the corrected times for each grade level:


Kindergarten, 5th, 6th grade- 5-6pm

1st, 2nd and 7th grade- 6-7pm

3rd, 4th, and 8th grade 7-8 pm


Activity Fee

Each family is asked to pay $30.00 per year per child to help cover the costs of our extensive curriculum enhancement activities, including field trips and art trips.  Fees are payable at the start of the year and may be paid for the full year or in smaller increments, if needed.  Financial assistance is available to those families with demonstrated need per the approval of the principal.  Checks should be made out to The Arts Based School and turned into your classroom teacher or front office.


Beginning of Grade Test

The State Board of Education requires a standardized reading test  for all third graders in North Carolina.  Third grade students will take the Beginning of Grade (BOG) test in reading.  A student’s BOG score will be used as baseline data to measure growth as well as a screening tool to identify those students who will need remediation to pass the End of Grade test.  The NC Read to Achieve initiative which requires retention for students who do not pass the Reading EOG at third grade.  The test has 42 questions and takes approximately 90 minutes to complete.  It will be administered on September 12.    Testing accommodations will be provided for students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP).  Make-up tests will be required for any student that is absent from the regular administration of the test.