ABS Thursday Notes- August 9, 2018

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                                   August 9, 2018




First Day of School –Wed, August 22nd


How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


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


This week the ABS faculty and administration is attending a two-day training seminar, where fresh ideas for effective arts integration will be shared, developed, and honed. ABS is beginning our seventeenth year of operations and our fifteenth year as a member of “A+ Schools of North Carolina,” a network association under the umbrella of the NC State Department of Public Instruction. A+ originated in Winston-Salem as an experimental project supported by the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts.

The A+ organization defines itself as “a whole-school reform model that views the arts as fundamental to teaching and learning in all subjects. A+ Schools combine interdisciplinary teaching and daily arts instruction, offering children opportunities to develop creative, innovative ways of thinking, learning and showing what they know. In A+ Schools, teaching the state’s mandated curriculum involves a collaborative, many-disciplined approach, with the arts continuously woven into every aspect of a child’s learning.”

Our school developed independently and unaware of the A+ 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 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. We examine state standards in other subjects such as math, science, language arts, and social studies, and we investigate new ways to help kids discover the connections between and among them all. Reporting live from the first workshop, we are energized and excited to start the new year.


To learn more about the A+ Schools organization, visit https://aplus-schools.ncdcr.gov/about


Back to School Night-Save the Date!

ABS Back to School Night is scheduled for Monday, August 20.  To ease parking, we have scheduled three sessions-

Grades K,3,and 5 will attend 5-6pm.

Grades 1,2,and 6 will attend 6-7pm.

Grades 4,7,and 8 will attend  7-8pm.

All sessions will occur in your child’s classroom.


Parking Lot Safety

  • Please drive slowly and cautiously through school parking lot at all times.
  • Do not use cell phones while in our parking lot.
  • Watch for children and adults in parking lot, especially the first few days when many parents will be parking and walking their child into the school.
  • Please allow extra time the first week as parents and children become accustomed to the routine.
  • Please be kind and courteous to parking lot helpers.
  • Please cross on crosswalks when walking children into the building.
  • Please be responsible for explaining the drop off/pick up procedures to your afterschool daycare vans or anyone else who may be picking up your children.

Remember to enter only on Chestnut St. (by white church) during pick-up and drop-off.

Online Tool for Carpooling

In anticipation of the additional traffic challenges with the upcoming Business 40 closure, the traffic committee has worked with Share The Ride NC to set up an online portal for ABS parents to arrange carpooling with other families.  We plan to have a representative from STRNC at Back to School night to answer any questions you may have. In the meantime, you can go ahead and sign up at ABS.SharetheRideNC.org – look for the ABS logo in the upper right of the page. The more families we have sign up, the more useful this will be throughout the school year.  A brief tutorial is available at https://bit.ly/2AXFwnx .  If you have any questions, please email Ryan Leigh Runyon – ryanleigh@gmail.com .

Construction Update

If you’ve driven through the school parking lot you’ve probably seen the steel skeleton of the new classrooms in the courtyard.  The plans include the construction of three new classrooms and new bathrooms along a new extended hallway. These classrooms will house our 3 fifth grade classrooms once construction is complete.  Unfortunately, there have been several unforeseen delays.   The completion timeline has now been extended to mid-October.

The fifth grade team has been working with us to brainstorm some alternate locations for their classrooms to start the school year.  We realize this may cause some temporary adjustments and possible inconveniences for all of us as we shift and move to accommodate.   Thank you for your patience and support as we make the best of a tough situation.


FAQ about temporary classrooms:

Where will my 5th grader’s temporary classroom be located?  Ms. Koza and Mrs. Fragakis will be in the MLK theater.  Mrs. Frazier will be in the dance studio.  The computer lab and computer carts will be available for 5th grade as well.

Where will 5th graders go on ‘Back to School night? Fifth graders will visit their temporary classrooms in the MLK building for Back to School night.

Where will I drop my 5th grader off? Drop off at MLK building until construction is complete.

Where will she store her belongings?  In their temporary classrooms

Where will he take his band instrument? In their temporary classroom

How will specials work?  Fifth graders will have their regular specials in the 7th St building.

Where will they have lunch? Most likely in their classrooms.

Will 5th grade still dismiss at 2:45? Yes, with the other middle school students.-When do you expect construction to be completed? Mid-October

What about dance classes?  Mrs. Adams will still be teaching dance, most often in classrooms or the MLK cafeteria.

Will this impact Friday Sing? We will not be able to have Friday Sings until construction is complete, but we’ll continue to sing each day in our classrooms and music classes.


Garden Workday

Join Principal Hollis in the garden, Saturday morning, Saturday, August 18 from 9-12 to help get the gardens ready for the start of school.  Bring gloves, tools, and plenty of water!  Double hours for your volunteer time!


Class Representatives Needed

We are currently recruiting class representatives for all classrooms at ABS for the 2018-2019 school year. It’s a great way to get your volunteer hours for the year and to be more involved with our amazing school. If you’re interested, please contact Jennifer Bender  at jennifer.r.bender@gmail.com. Thank you so much for your willingness to volunteer!  Hi All!

I’m currently recruiting class representatives for the following classrooms:

K – Londono

2 – Setser


4 – DeJarnette, Robertson

5 – Frazier

6 – Hedgecock, Scott

7/8 – Dickson, Hendrix, Lewis, Farrell

Also seeking specialist reps for: Allen (Music), Boudreault (Music), Messick (Art), McIver (Drama), Holcomb-Faye (PE)


It’s a great way to get your volunteer hours for the year and to be more involved with our amazing school. If you’re interested, please contact me at jennifer.r.bender@gmail.com.

Thank you for your willingness to volunteer!


Special Visits

Educational research shows that the relationship between the student and his or her teacher is one of the most important factors in a student’s academic success.  This critical relationship is enhanced by our small class size and our educators’ commitment to children.  In support of the teacher/student relationship, our teachers will be offering a Special Visit before school begins.  A Special Visit is simply an opportunity for your child to meet his or her teacher in a familiar setting, a chance to learn a bit about the class and what to expect in the coming school year.  The Special Visit can be set up to occur in your home, here at the school, or on the phone.  This year’s scheduled days for Special Visits are August 16 and 17, 2018.  Your child’s teacher will be contacting you to schedule a 15-20 minute appointment.

ABS Family/Student Directory

To be sure we have accurate contact information for the ABS family/student directory, each family received a confirmation email 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 rhollis@artsbasedschool.com  before August 10.

Afterschool Care at ABS

ABS Before and Afterschool Care Program was created out of a need for high quality care with a flexible, convenient schedule for working parents. We look forward to providing a safe and fun filled environment where we focus our efforts on the social, emotional and physical development of your child. We’ll do this by nurturing strong relationships and offering your child choices that reflect his/her individual needs, interests and abilities.  The onsite child care will be staffed by ABS teachers and staff with Stephanie Lefever as the Afterschool Program director.  Registration is open on the ABS website.

Music Ensembles and Visual Art Club

Music ensembles and art clubs for grades six, seven and eight will be offered from 2:45-3:35 this year, free of charge, beginning after Labor Day. Each activity will meet twice weekly. Students will be placed in the appropriate level of band and strings based on auditions. (Audition dates are to be determined.) A sign-up


survey for these activities and for audition times will be sent to all sixth, seventh, and eighth grade families early next week.


Activities are scheduled as follows:


Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Intermediate Band-


Advanced Band -Boudreault Intermediate Band – Boudreault Advanced Band -Boudreault
Beginning Strings -Allen Chamber Strings


Beginning Strings- Allen Chamber Strings- Allen
Vocal Ensemble-


Vocal Ensemble-


Visual Art Club  -Gledhill Visual Art Club


Visual Art Club  -Gledhill Visual Art Club  -Gledhill