ABS Thursday Notes- December 7, 2017

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                    December 7, 2017




How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

“I am still learning.” – Michelangelo

Third grade students study the Italian Renaissance as part of an exploration of innovation and its power to initiate change. They study the solar system and body systems through the art of Leonardo DaVinci, who helped create breakthroughs in those scientific fields. The artist and his work are introduced in both art and the classroom. Italy is located on a world map; Leonardo’s biography is explored. Students study Leonardo’s scientific precision in drawing the muscular and skeletal systems. They sing the music of Monteverdi, superstar composer of the late Renaissance, with new lyrics detailing the functions of the muscular system. Renaissance banners are created in art class, along with the Leonardo studies. In dance, they posture and traditional movements of Renaissance dance are studied for grand entrance, a short performance dance, and a celebratory romp, all to be performed at a “Renaissance Spectacle” next week.

This year, we are presenting a new “Intermezzo” (also known as an “Intermedio.”) During the Italian Renaissance, exquisite, miniature presentations were developed to be performed between the acts of a play. These “Intermezzi” became more popular than the plays, themselves, and eventually gave birth to opera. Intermezzi were lavishly produced portrayals of Greek myths and other stories, in which performers posed progressive scenes in fluid tableaux. Leonardo DaVinci designed elaborate stage mechanisms for the Medici family’s Intermezzi, dazzling the wealthy at celebratory events.

We have created an Intermezzo of the Greek myth “Jason and the Golden Fleece,” taking advantage of our new theater with beautiful new sets designed and painted by Elizabeth Gledhill, with additional set pieces and props by Ms. Christian. The story is narrated by a group of third graders, pre-recorded by sound engineer/composer Bill Stevens (also an ABS dad,) at Ovation Sound. All third-grade students observed filmed re-creations of Renaissance Intermezzi, and are working with Ms. Heidi on gesture and facial expression as isolated elements of acting.

This is made possible by the ongoing, detailed cooperation of classroom and specialist teachers. No traditional textbook can hope to compare to this constellation of connections! The result is summed up for me by a comment a 3rd grade boy made last year. “Ms. Siebert,” he said, “I think this school is a Renaissance school.” I asked him why. “Because,” he answered, “we learn about things by using everything. Math, science, reading, and all of the arts.”


3rd Grade Performances of “Renaissance Spectacles” Next Week:

All performances are 11:30 a.m., at the Alex Ewing Theater at ABS

Campbell – Tuesday, December 12

Quintal – Wednesday, December 13

Christian – Thursday, December 14


NC School Report Card

North Carolina’s school report cards are an important resource for parents, educators, state leaders, researchers, and others, providing information about school- and district-level data in a number of areas. These include student performance and academic growth, school and student characteristics, and many other details.

Report cards are provided for all North Carolina public schools, including charter and alternative schools.

The School Report Card website has been completely redesigned for 2017. This interactive website, designed and hosted by SAS, includes printable versions of the North Carolina School Report Card snapshots. For researchers and others who want to dig into the data further, an analytical site is available here.

The release of the 2016-17 School Report Card includes two new features. The first is information related to Career and Technical Education — what courses are offered and the number of industry-recognized credentials have been earned by students. The second new feature is a student readiness indicator, which shows the percentage of students entering a school’s lowest grade who were proficient in both reading and math at the end of the previous year. The student readiness indicator, along with information about the percentage of students who are economically disadvantaged, provide context to the test scores and other information that is provided.

The new website allows for side-by-side school comparisons. Since schools are structured differently from one another in terms of size, grade levels, student populations served, and the programs offered, the Report Cards should not be used to rank schools.

Parents and others should note that the information in the School Report Card, while important, cannot tell you the entire story about a school. Other important factors — the extra hours put in by teachers preparing for class and grading assignments, the school spirit felt by families, the involvement in sports, arts, or other extracurriculars — are crucial aspects of a school community, but are not reflected on the Report Card.


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.


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).


Crisis Control Food Drive

K-Kids are sponsoring a canned food drive for Crisis Control Ministries, a non-profit organization which provides food for the needy in our community. Please bring non-perishable items in cans and boxes (no class containers, please). Items will be collected in a hallway location outside each grade level. This drive will continue until Friday, Dec. 15.


Parent Council Meeting – Friday, December 15
Please join us for the December Parent Council on Friday, December 15 at 8:15 in the MLK Cafe.  All ABS parents, families, and caregivers are part of Parent Council and are welcome to attend!  Don’t forget that attendance at Parent Council meetings counts toward volunteer hours.  If you have requests for the agenda, please send them to Parent Council Co-Chairs, Joy Blaser (joy.blaser@gmail.com) and Julee Nunley (julee@thenunleys.net) by Friday, December 8.


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!



Around Town…

Celebrate the joy and splendor of the season with High Point Community Theater’s “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” starring  ABS fourth grade student, Sofia Barnes.

December 14, 15 and 16 at 7:30 PM

December 16 and 17 at 2:00 PM

All performances are at High Point Theatre (220 E. Commerce Avenue, High Point 27260).

Seating is reserved. Call the Box Office directly at 336-887-3001 or go to www.hpct.net. Box office hours are Mon-Fri, 12-5pm.


UNCSA Preparatory Dance presents “Letters to Santa” this Saturday, December 9th from 11am-1pm at the UNCSA Film Village.  Join us for treats, crafts, dances and a visit with Santa Claus!  See the attached flyer for more details and ticket information.

Upcoming Events

High School Info Night

Thu, December 7, 6pm – 7pm

ABS Board Meeting

Tue, December 12, 5:45pm – 6:45pm

Band/chorus rehearsal

Wed, December 13, 11:30am – 3:30pm

6,7,8 Band/chorus concerts

Wed, December 13, 7pm – 8pm

Thu, December 14, 9:30am – 11:30am
Parent Council Meeting

Fri, December 15, 8:15am – 9:15am

Kinder – Kaleideum Downtown

Fri, December 15, 9:30am – 1:45pm
4th – Guilford Courthouse

Mon, December 18, 9:00am – 1:30pm
Early Dismissal

Wed, December 20

No School-Winter Break

Thu, December 21 – Tue, January 2, 2018

ABS Spelling Bee

Fri, January 5, 2018, 8:45am – 10:45am

K-4 Friday Sing

Fri, January 5, 2018, 1:50pm – 2:20pm

January Jam-5th-8th Grade

Fri, January 12, 2018, 2:30pm – 4:00pm

ABS Board Retreat

Sat, January 13, 2018

No School-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Mon, January 15, 2018