ABS Thursday Notes – December 17, 2015

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                                         December 17, 2015




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


At ABS we assume that our students get plenty of exposure to popular music, television, movies, commercial art, and coloring books. 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. 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]




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.



ABS Spelling Bee

We will be holding our annual spelling bee for third through eighth grade students on Friday, January 8th. The top three winners from each classroom will participate in the school wide event.   Winners will proceed to the Regional Spelling Bee.


January Jam! – Friday, January 15th

January Jam is an after-school dance party open to all ABS students. There are two dances, one in the MLK Building and one in the 7th Street Building. The dance is from 2:30 to 4:30 and admission is $5. Snacks will be sold. Permission slips will be sent home on January 7th and are due back by January 13th. They will not be accepted on the day of the event. We ask for parent volunteers to chaperone or help with set up/clean up.  Children will be dismissed from inside the MLK and 7th Street buildings. You must come inside to pick up your child/children. There will NOT be an outside pick-up line.   Ryan Leigh Runyon is in charge of volunteers. We’re using VolunteerSpot to organize the volunteers .

(VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact Ryan Leigh Runyon at ryanleigh@gmail.com and she can sign you up manually).

Please sign up to volunteer for ABS January Jam!  Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:
1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot: http://vols.pt/haiMkQ
2. Enter your email address: (You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot)
3. Sign up! Choose your spots – VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy!


Box Tops Collections

Our next box top collection day is Monday January 11. Please continue to collect box tops over the break. Ask relatives you may visit over vacation to pitch in too!


MAP Testing in January

Third through eighth grade students will complete the second round of MAP testing in January.  After the testing is complete, parents will receive an updated score report showing the progress your student has made this year.


High School Information Night

Save the Date-January 6, 2016

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 Wednesday, January 6 at 6pm in the 7th St. building.


Around Town…

Yes Virginia opens Friday

Twin City Stage presents Macy’s Yes Virginia the Musical, starring our own Isabella Ellis. The whole family will love this delightful musical!  Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7 pm and Sunday at 2 pm at the Arts Council Theatre.  Tickets are $15 for general admission seating and are available online now or at the box office window, one hour prior to each performance.

The Carolina Chamber Orchestra will perform Peter and the Wolf with Peppercorn Theater and dancers from UNCSA on Tuesday, December 29th at Gray Auditorium on the Salem College campus, at 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00. Find more info at: http://www.oldsalem.org/events/event/peter-and-the-wolf-concert/