ABS Thursday Notes- December 3, 2016

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                                           December 3, 2015




How We Do It and Why

Mary Siebert


Variety’s the very spice of life that gives it all its flavor. – William Cowper, from The Timepiece

Here, at a glance, are some arts and integration highlights grade-by-grade:

8th Grade: Tuesday, Ms. Adams taught a workshop to prepare students for Lion King dance auditions, emphasizing energy, intensity, and precision. Today students will meet their choreographer, visiting artist Thao Nguyen, who will teach another workshop to ready them for next week’s auditions, which will wrap up before winter break.

7th Grade: Printmaker Terry Schupbach-Gordon visited to discuss why the Renaissance-era invention of the printing press was revolutionary. After several corresponding workshops with poetry slam master Bob Moyer, students wrote poetry and worked on designs for a small book cover. Their book, when it is finished, will be a compilation of their poetry, hand-bound in a cover made at Ms. Schupbach-Gordon’s studio, where they visited to see vintage printing presses at work.

6th Grade: Cameras started rolling yesterday as Ms. Tarmey’s class began shooting their original film about the life of Genghis Khan. Meanwhile, landscapes, portraits, and sculpted figures are being prepped for Ms. Leab’s class, who will follow with a movie about Alexander the Great.

5th Grade: In anticipation of auditions for Romeo & Juliet on the Border, students completed an audition workshop in which they learned the importance, in both job interviews and auditions, of walking tall and speaking with confidence. They have begun learning historic Mexican and American folk songs and studying the original Shakespeare. The show will be cast before winter break, and rehearsals begin in January.

4th Grade: After their SECCA show, 4th graders enjoyed a Colonial American feast and are now focused in art class on Math in a Basket, an intensive introduction to basket weaving that requires plenty of precise measurement.

3rd Grade: Leonardo DaVinci’s model of the scientist/artist leads students from studies of art to anatomy and the solar system. To a melody by Monteverdi, they sing lyrics about the muscular system, and practice dances and a theatrical story for their upcoming Renaissance Festival on December 15th (Fragakis), 16th (Campbell), and 17th (Christian) at 12:15.

2nd Grade: After their African Tales performance full of drumming, dancing, and story-telling, 2nd grade now dives into studies of the science of sound. An introduction to guitar will reinforce the lessons learned in science class, and coming up will be visits to a pipe organ and investigative comparisons of a multitude of musical instruments.

1st Grade: Originally called the “Bolton Quintet,” our 14th annual visit from five professional musicians has begun. Their performances and lessons take place right in the classroom where kids can become very familiar and comfortable with the very instruments they first met last year during Peter and the Wolf. The impact of music on both  neurology and  learning are documented through this project in Peter Perret’s book, A Well-Tempered Mind: Using Music to Help Children Listen and Learn.

Kindergarten: Initial meetings have begun in preparation for Peter and the Wolf, an integrated unit including exploration of story form, Russian culture, and scientific observations of animals, music, and dance.  This will culminate in a joint performance with modern dancers from UNCSA’s “PLUCK” project. The performance will take place at the Freeman Theater on the UNCSA campus on February 4th.



We’re excited to announce that Paula Stone has been hired to teach middle school language arts and social studies for 7th and 8th grade.  Mrs. Stone is licensed in elementary, middle school and high school English as well as Art (K-12).  She  has been teaching for 16 years, most recently in Surry County.    She is excited to be here!


World Languages 

7th and 8th grade students will begin a study of the German language tomorrow as part of the World Languages course. Susan David is excited to be teaching at ABS. She taught German for 34 years in the WSFCS system. The German portion of this course will run through January 22nd.


NC School Report Card

Each year the North Carolina School Report Cards provides a comprehensive resource for information about student achievement, the school environment and student safety at the state, district and school levels.


For the second year, school performance grades (A-F), as required by the state law, are included on the school-level Report Cards for traditional and charter schools. The law requires student proficiency to count 80 percent and academic growth to count 20 percent of the grade. In addition, the statewide end-of-grade and end-of-course tests are reported for five achievement levels. Please note that additional data such as educator effectiveness data, state-level scores from the 2015 National Assessment on Educational Progress (NAEP) in reading and math, college course completion information and more will be added to the Report Cards as it becomes available.

And while the NC School Report Card snapshots offer a helpful summary of school-level information, we encourage you to visit the school and speak to the principal, teachers and perhaps even other parents to learn more about the special programs, school structure and learning environment to decide what may best meet your child’s educational needs.

To see our school’s report card click on the following link:



K-Kids Sponsor Canned Food Drive

The K-Kids are sponsoring a school-wide canned food drive for Crisis Control between now and December 11. Please bring cans to your classrooms for a grade-level display in the hallways. Boxed foods and cans are acceptable, but no glass containers. Help feed the world!


Raffle Tickets help fund ABS Hospitality!

ABS Hospitality hosts events throughout the year from new parent orientation to faculty and staff lunch on conference days. We rely on food contributions from families and the proceeds from the assistant principal raffle. Students from all grades may participate in the raffle and the money goes to a good cause. Drawings are held each month during First Friday Sing. You can purchase tickets at either front office.


Garden Work Day

Saturday, December 12   9:00 to 1:00

Join your fellow ABS families for our last garden work day of 2015. We have more planting to do, plus a lot of fall tasks…..pruning, clearing out dead plants, mulching, weeding.

RSVP to Matt Mayers: mlmayers@gmail.com or 723-7189


Parent Council Meeting December 11

Our next meeting is Friday, December 11 at 8:15 am in the resource room of the MLK Building. If there is a topic you want considered for discussion, please contact Lindsay Deibler (lindsaydeibler@gmail.com) or Michelle Hopkins Lawrence (mhopkins@alumni.princeton.edu).


Volunteers Needed for ABS Fundraiser at Mast General Store

Volunteers are needed for the Mast General Store gift-wrapping fundraiser to benefit ABS. Vounteers will wrap gifts at the store on Friday, December 11 and Sunday, December 13. We will provide information about ABS and set up a tip jar for donations to the school.


We’re using VolunteerSpot (the leading online signup and reminder tool) to organize volunteers to wrap gifts in shifts.

Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:
1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot: http://vols.pt/daZ8Ms
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!

Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact Emily Ball and she will sign you up manually (emilynball@gmail.com).


ABS 2015-16 Yearbooks

Have you ordered your child’s yearbook yet? The cost is only $20, and the easiest way to order is online via this link https://vando.imagequix.com/g1000343826.

If you prefer to send a check, you can place it in the Strawbridge envelope you received in your child’s Thursday packet recently and give to Angela Wise for students in the MLK building, or Donna Brown for students in the 7th street building.

We have already gotten a lot of really great photographs for our Yearbook this year but we especially need Brundibar performance pics, as well as 7th 8th grade, and 2nd grade candids. Please post any pictures on your class’ Shutterfly site! Deadline for ordering yearbooks is January 15th.


Around Town…

The Carolina Winter Music Festival presents A Celtic Christmas with Martha Bassett, vocals; Katherine Wiley, fiddle; Rex McGee, banjo and fiddle; Joe Pecoraro, guitar, Grace Anderson, cello; Bill Smith, percussion.  Friday, Dec. 4th 7:30 Centenary Church Auditorium.  http://carolinachambersymphony.org/