ABS Thursday Notes- December 15, 2016

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                                         December 15, 2016




How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


Wake up, Jacob, Day’s a-breakin’! 

Peas in the pot and the hoecake’s bakin’. 

Early in the morning, almost day; 

If you don’t come soon…gonna throw it all away.”

-Cook’s Wake-Up (Traditional American)


Fifth graders lie on the ground, cowboy hats tipped over their closed eyes, imagining a time when only the sounds of nature and the occasional snoring comrade were heard at night. Suddenly, their repose is shattered by the banging of spoon on frying pan, and the “Cook’s Wake-Up”, and with a big “yahoo!” we’re off on another day of the “Cowboys” unit that kicks off our Romeo and Juliet on the Border project.

The unit is built around historic folk songs, works of art, and frontier history of the cattle drive era of the American “Wild West”, dating from the end of the 19th century. Students learn about the direct connection from the Civil War to the cattle drives and the industry’s role in Reconstruction. They explore cultural changes taking place in the west during that time, how economic factors pushed the cattle onto the prairies, and how technology and over-grazing brought an end to the iconic era. Daily “rodeos” help students maintain learning about a diverse group of topics including the prairie biome and its creatures, star constellations, African American cowboys and women, influence of Mexican culture, the railroads, supply and demand, transportation, and social customs.

We focus on these questions:

– How do social factors impact economic ones?

– How do folk songs and visual art serve as primary sources to teach us history?

– Who were the cowboys and cowgirls of the American Wild West?

Meanwhile, 5th graders are learning historic American cowboy and Northern Mexican folk songs for the show. They are learning about Shakespeare, and the plot of this important story that draws them directly into conversation about fear of the “other” and how negative stereotyping appears again and again in human history. Soon they learn audition techniques, recognizing that these skills translate directly into job interview skills. How do you carry yourself when you walk into a room? Do you smile? Make eye contact? Do you deliver a strong voice and a firm handshake? Each of the sixty 5th graders has sung private auditions, and the acting auditions take place in December. When theater and history converge, we’ll have us a wing-ding!


Band and Chorus Concerts Monday, December 19!

All 7th – 8th grade band and chorus students will perform Monday, December 19th at Brendle Recital Hall on the Wake Forest University campus, at 1834 Wake Forest Road. We are very excited to perform in this distinguished venue! Students should be in place by 6:30. (Parking can be puzzling for first-timers, so please plan accordingly.) Students should wear all black, or black & red. The concert begins at 7:00, and will last under one hour. For more information and a map to the location, contact Ms. Cooper at acooper@artsbasedschool.com


Winter Gear Drive

Brr….It is cold outside!  That is why from January 9th to 13th Builders Club is having a Winter Gear Drive!  Bring in new or gently used hats, gloves, scarves, jackets, or ear muffs to donate to the Salvation Army.  These will help homeless adults and children stay warm. We would really appreciate your support.


ABS Spelling Bee

We will be holding our annual spelling bee for third through eighth grade students on Friday, January 6th. The top three winners from each classroom will participate in the school wide event.   Winners will proceed to the Regional Spelling Bee.


High School Information Night-Tonight

Lead counselors from several local high schools will be on campus to participate in a high school information night. The meeting will include information about course selection and registration as well as time for questions and answers with individual counselors. Parents of 7th and 8thgrade students are invited to attend on Thursday, December 15 at 6pm in the 7th St. building.


Flu Season

As you know, flu can be easily spread from person to person.  We are asking for your help in reducing the spread of flu at ABS.  The symptoms for the seasonal flu and H1N1 are the same: fever of 100 degrees or more, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, and feeling very tired.  Students with these symptoms will be sent home.

You can help us by taking these simple steps:

  • Teach children to wash their hands often.
  • Teach your children not to share food or drink.
  • Teach children to cough or sneeze into their elbows to avoid spreading germs.
  • Keep sick children home.

Get the flu vaccine for you and your children.



Parent Council News:


January Jam – Jan. 20th 2:30-4:00pm January Jam is a dance party that the school holds as a fundraiser event. If you have any questions please contact, Ryan Leigh Runyon. (ryanleigh@gmail.com)

Volunteer opportunities available, view link below:


Parent Council Meeting – Dec. 16 

Our next meeting is this Friday, Dec. 16th at 8:15am in the Cafe of the MLK Building. Questions or concerns please contact Lindsay Deibler (lindsaydeibler@gmail.com) or Julee Nunley (julee@thenunleys.net)



The holidays are around the corner! Want to give our teachers and staff a gift they’ll love? Use the ABS Teachers and Staff Survey to find out your teacher’s favorite…everything!



Chess Club

Interested in playing Chess? We are starting a chess club in January 2017! Tuesdays after school from 2:45-3:30. All levels welcome.  Please contact Becky Dickson if you are interested.  rebeccapdickson@gmail.com


Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather, ABS will announce school closings on local TV channels, under “The Arts Based School”.  This information will also be posted on the ABS website (www.artsbasedschool.com).


Around town…

Tessa Turner(1st grade), Sam Spach (4th grade)and Ceilidh Woosley (4th Grade)  have wonderful roles in  Twin City Stage’s “Yes, Virginia” which will be playing Dec 16 and 17 at 7:30 pm and Dec 18 at 2:00 pm.

Upcoming Events


Thu, December 15, 9:30am – 12:00pm

3rd – Renaissance Spectacles- Ms. Quintal

Thu, December 15, 12:15pm – 12:45pm

High School Info Night

Thu, December 15, 6pm – 7pm

Parent Council meeting

Fri, December 16, 8:15am – 9:15am

7th & 8th Grade Band / Chorus Concert

Mon, December 19, 7pm – 8pm

Brendle Recital Hall, WFU

7th Street: Dads’ Jazz combo welcome

Tue, December 20, 7:45am – 8:15am

MLK: Dads’ Jazz welcome

Wed, December 21, 7:45am – 8:15am

Early Dismissal

Wed, December 21, 11:45am – 12:00pm

No School -Winter Break

Thu, December 22 – Tues, Jan 3