ABS Thursday Notes- August 25, 2016

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                              August 25, 2016




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


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.


Parking Lot Pointers continued…

-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, student 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.


-Please do not drop off students on 7th Street.


-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.


-Thanks again to the amazing volunteers who have helped each morning with traffic.


Beginning of Grade Test

The State Board of Education has implemented a standardized test required 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 7.    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.


Kindergarten Speech Screening

This is the time of year when ABS begins 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.


Parent Council News:

CLASS REPS needed for 8th Grade:

Serving as a Class Rep (or Co-Rep with another parent) is a fantastic way to stay involved in your child’s classroom. We still need two volunteers for the 8th grade.  If you are interested in these positions, please email Julee  Nunley (julee@thenunleys.net) or Lindsay Deibler(lindsaydeibler@gmail.com).

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 (jules@thenunleys.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 (emilynball@gmail.com) or call (704) 996-5782 to volunteer. Mark your family’s calendars for Saturday, Oct. 1st, to come out and enjoy the festivities.

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 Sings throughout the school year. All proceeds from the raffle support our Hospitality fund and allow us to do special things for our staff throughout the year.


Around Town…

The UNCSA Preparatory Dance Program has expanded to include two new exciting programs with classes beginning at UNCSA on Saturday, September 10th:

  • Tiny Dancer Program–  children ages 5-8 of any experience level
  • Adult Dancer Program– all age adults of any experience level.  First Saturday is a free Open House!

For more information about these programs including class times and how to register, please visit http://uncsa.edu/community/preparatory-dance/