ABS Thursday Notes- August 22, 2019

Thursday Notes                       

Published for the Arts Based School Community                           August 22, 2019


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]



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…


-For morning drop off near MLK building, please pull all the way forward before letting your child out of the car.   This allows us to unload five cars at a time. Do not pass anyone in the line. Ideally, students should unload from the passenger side and move quickly to the sidewalk.  If your child must exit from the driver’s side, be sure to have them walk in front of your car toward the sidewalk.


-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 should already have name placards for your dash. Students in the MLK building who are picked up at 2:30 have yellow cards.  Students in the 7th St building who are picked up at 2:45 have blue 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


-Please do not park in the handicap parking spot unless you have a placard.  We have students and parents who require these parking spots. 


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



Volunteer Background Check

   All volunteers must undergo a national sex offender registry check.  Registered sex offenders will not be allowed to volunteer at the school.  Volunteers wishing to work in roles that allow unsupervised interaction with students must undergo a national criminal background check.   Volunteer jobs requiring a background check include field trip chaperone, tutoring outside the classroom, band sectionals, or any job where you are not in direct supervision of a staff member.  If you anticipate working in one of these roles, please stop by Mrs. Garner’s office in the MLK front office to complete a Background Check Information and Consent form. 


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, you can pick one up at the front desk.

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.


Kindergarten Speech Screening

We will soon begin screening kindergarten students for any speech or language difficulties.  Ms. Jennifer Carter, our speech pathologist, will visit each kindergarten classroom to have a short conversation with each student.  If further testing is required, the parents will be notified. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Mrs. Carter at jcarter@artsbasedschool.com.


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 10. 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.


Art Supplies Needed

Help our students create a Plastiquarium by recycling your used laundry bottles. Mrs. Gledhill is collecting laundry bottles for an 8th grade art project. Please bring your rinsed out bottles to the 7th street art room, so they can be turned into whimsical creatures of the sea.