Thursday Notes – August 20, 2015

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“In order to create, there must be a dynamic force, and what force is more potent than love?”

– Igor Stravinsky


Welcome, familiar friends and new! Our first day of school breezed by smoothly. I am the Arts Director at the Arts Based School, and nearly every Thursday you will find an article from me about our unique methods, the research supporting our philosophy, and inspirational moments in the classroom and school community. If you would like me to explore a particular topic, please suggest it by e-mailing me at

We believe that our approach “levels the playing field” so that your child has many options for appropriately challenging learning and accomplishment. We continually assess and reconsider our work with one major goal: helping your child become a successful student who loves learning. We focus on meeting each child where s/he is, and moving forward from there. Beyond that, we want our students to become confident, inspired, creative problem-solvers. Sometimes, you are the missing link. Based on current research, here is how you can give your child the opportunities he or she desires and deserves. Make sure your child:

  • Gets 10 hours of sleep every night. (That’s right…TEN!)
  • Eats a nutritious breakfast every morning, avoiding sugary foods.
  • Brings a healthy snack and a water bottle, every day.
  • Arrives at school on time, and avoids early departure.
  • Gets outside and exercises after school and on weekends.
  • Has restricted screen time, and reads at home daily. Read aloud together!
  • Talks with you about school and has your help with learning, daily.
  • Also, fulfill your volunteer hours. Research proves that children of active parent volunteers perform better in school.
  • If your child takes medication, administer it appropriately and reliably.
  • Even on difficult mornings, send your child off with a hug and loving words.


No amount of creative, dedicated, brilliantly-taught lessons or technology can make up for a lack in these parental responsibilities. Please, partner with us to make your child’s year at ABS the best it can possibly be, and we pledge to do the same!


Parking Lot News

Thanks 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.  A sign will be posted.  This cut through is only used during morning drop off.


-Placards for your dash will be coming home today in Thursday Packets.  Students in the MLK building who are picked up at 2:30 have blue cards.  Students in the 7th St. building who are picked up at 2:45 have green cards.  Please display the placard on your dash on the 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 Nicole Whitaker at


-Please turn right out of the 7th St parking lot especially in the morning to keep the line moving and avoid traffic jams on 7th Street.  Sometimes this will not be possible because of a passing train.


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


No Dogs Please

Although we all enjoy our own pets at home, we ask that you not bring your dogs to school campus even during afternoon pickup.  It’s often irresistible to students who want to jump up and pet the dog or others that want to jump up and get away from the dog, and yet other students who are severely allergic.  To help keep us all safe and happy, please leave dogs at home.



World Languages at ABS

For the past few years, our older students have taken Spanish classes as a part of the ABS curriculum. We have been asked about other language opportunities in the past and are excited to try a different approach this year. 7th and 8th grade students will take a “survey” class exposing them to several different languages and cultures throughout the year. This will allow students to “try on” a variety of languages before choosing classes for high school. Classes will run for about 6 weeks each.  Our first session will be American Sign Language beginning Thursday, August 27.


Household Income Survey        

Every year the Arts Based School applies for federal and state grants that help fund the education we provide to our students.  The  Income Eligibility Survey for our ABS families provides vital information to determine how much funding we are eligible to receive.   These forms will be included in Thursday Packets today.     This information also allows us to provide assistance to families with the lunch pantry and band instrument scholarships.   Please complete this form and return it by Friday, August 28.


ABS Family/Student Directory

To be sure we have accurate contact information for the ABS family/student directory, each family will be receiving a confirmation email in the next few days to verify the information that will be printed in the directory.  Families that do not want to be published in the ABS directory should email Principal Hollis at  before August 31.


Permission Slip

Each student will receive a permission slip in today’s Thursday Packet.  Please complete the form and return to your classroom teacher.  This comprehensive permission slip covers field trips, internet use, and other permissions and will be used for the entire 2015-16 school year.


Medicine at School

If it becomes necessary for your child to take medicine during the school day, this must be indicated in writing on the school form.  All medications (including cough drops and Tylenol) must be kept in the office, along with a doctor’s authorization on a school medical form.

Dinner out to benefit ABS

Join us and bring your friends for dinner at Five Points!  Celebrity Chefs Heather Smith (ABS Board Chair) and Lindsay Deibler (ABS Parent Council Chair) will be playing host at Five Points Restaurant on August 26, 6pm-9pm.  15% of the proceeds go directly to ABS. Reservations are recommended.  Call 336 448-0970 to make reservations.


Parent Council News:

1st Parent Council Meeting – September 11th

Please join us on Friday, September 11th at 8:15 am in the Teacher Resource Room in MLK Building.  EVERYONE at ABS is a member of Parent Council – all parents, grandparents, guardians – all are welcome! We will publish an agenda the week of the meeting, but we’ll plan to discuss volunteer opportunities, Book Fair and Fall Fest. Most Parent Council meetings last about an hour and little siblings are welcome. Questions? Contact PC Co-Chairs Lindsay Deibler ( or Michelle Hopkins Lawrence (


Calling All Volunteers!

Volunteers are a vital part of the success of ABS. We ask that each family donate a total of one hour of time per week per child enrolled in the school. You can accomplish this a little at a time (e.g. doing something each week) or in large blocks (e.g. work several hours at one time). Each classroom teacher and all our specialist teachers have a rep. You will be hearing from your Class Reps shortly with requests to sign up for volunteer needs for your child’s classroom. We also ask that you track your volunteer hours (It’s helpful for us to boast about our volunteer hours when we apply for grants).You may log your time at the computers in either front office at school or at home through our HelpCounter tracking system. You will receive an email invitation from Stephanie LeFever to link to HelpCounter from your home computer.


Want to be the Assistant Principal?

Give your child a chance to be Assistant Principal of the Day! Yes, your child (of any grade level) can serve as Principal Hollis’ Assistant for an entire day! Assistant Principals have their own desk, name tag, and list of “Principal Duties” for the day!  Simply stop by either front office and purchase your raffle tickets today ($1/ticket, $5 for 6 tickets). Each month the lucky winner will be drawn and announced at the 1st Friday Sing. All proceeds from the raffle support our Hospitality fund and allow us do special things for our staff throughout the year. Our first winner will be selected on Friday, September 4th – don’t miss it!


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 Ms. Wise in the front office or at Back to School night.  Also payable online at