ABS Thursday Notes- February 14, 2019

Thursday Notes                            

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                                           February 14, 2019



Snow Make Up Day- February 18


How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“Elen sila lumenn’ omentielvo, a star shines on the hour of our meeting.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring


Here is short Valentine about the value of greeting our students as they walk in the door; a school-wide practice that stokes our hearts for the day. Ms. Hollis and I alternate weeks, greeting at the entry doors to the MLK building, and Ms. Raper greets daily at the 7th Street building. At our location, we see:


-The smiling little boy who bends forward, spreads his arms backward, and zooms to the entry like a happy bird.

-The brothers who run to the door, stop for a quick hug, then continue.

-The child who hid behind Dad’s legs for two years, but now stops to say hello and share a poem he wrote.

– The excited announcement: “Today is my birthday!”

– The proud children bearing their finished projects, built at home.

– The crying child who misses Mom already but is comforted by a momentary snuggle, then bravely carries on.

– The child who enters blearily, sleep-deprived. Perceiving this at the start allows us to inform teachers and scaffold support over the arc of the day.

– The shiny-eyed child who announces, “My baby sister was born last night!”

– Many kids whose paths trace the curving pebble mosaic serpent at the entry.

– The child who appears downcast but is revived by a call to a parent to bring in a forgotten lunch, costume piece, or T-shirt for a field trip.

– The parents who greet us with a smile and a “Good Morning!”

– The many children who stop before walking through the door and burst out with “GUESS WHAT?!!!” That’s always good news.


GUESS WHAT?!!! We love our school.




Ensembles teachers will be off-campus for the 5th Grade production of Romeo & Juliet on the Border during the week of February 25. Thank you for arranging now to pick up your student at 2:45! (If you have a 5th Grader, see the next item!


LATE PICK-UP FOR 5TH GRADE on Monday, Feb. 25 AND Tuesday, Feb. 26

5th graders will be rehearsing at the First Presbyterian theater until 3:30 on February 25 and 26. Please pick up your 5th grader at the dismissal tents between 3:30-3:45 on those days.


ABS Summer Camps!

ABS is excited to offer Summer Camps this June and July! Join ABS staff on adventures that explore science, arts, movement, magic, and more! All summer camps will run from 9am to 2pm Monday to Friday. Campers should bring a lunch to camp each day. Camps will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Payment is due at the time of registration.   Camp registration is currently open to ABS students only.   See more information and registration at ABS Summer Camps


Help Wanted

Our fabulous lunch monitor, Miss Connie has resigned her position as cafe’ monitor to devote more time to family. We are looking the perfect person to monitor our students while they’re eating lunch in the cafeteria.   This position requires patience, organization, humor, and reliability.  Please contact Stephanie at slefever@artsbasedschool.com if you are interested in applying.


Conference Time is Coming

Soon your child’s teacher will be setting up conferences to discuss your child’s progress.  Students attending the Arts Based School are assessed using a portfolio system in place of the traditional report card.  The portfolio is designed to illustrate a student’s academic growth and successes as well as guide the teacher in planning appropriate instruction.  Teachers at ABS do not issue letter grades.  Teachers use observation, interviews, analysis of student work and performance tasks to assess student understanding.  Examples of student work, as well as other objective standards of assessments are incorporated into the student’s portfolio to give an enhanced portrait of the student’s progress.  These portfolios will be discussed and presented to parents during the Student-Teacher-Parent conferences.  Please be sure you schedule and attend your conference so that you can support your child’s learning. 

Conference Days- March 1- Early Dismissal

                        K-2 Dismiss at 11:45

                        3-8 Dismiss at 12 noon

                        March 4-No School


Parent Council Meeting – Feb. 15- 

Our next meeting is this Friday, Feb. 15th at 8:15am in the Cafe of the MLK Building.   Agenda is attached to email.  Questions contact Joy Blaser ( joy.blaser@gmail.com ) or Becky Dickson (rebeccapdickson@gmail.com)



Don’t miss out on all the memories! To order this year’s yearbook online, go to strawbridge.net/pictures and yearbooks. Our school code is 106312 and the cost is $20. If you prefer to pay by check, you may turn in one to the front office with the form that was sent home in Thursday notes.


Tech Tips for Parents

As our students get older, many of them use cell phones, tablets, and other electronic devices. Here are some helpful tips for parents to consider regarding technology and children:


  1. Make sure you know what devices your child can access and what those devices can do. Many apps allow students to text, send messages, and send photos or videos without a cell phone or a cell phone plan. Kik, ooVoo, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are some and there are many others.


  1. Set the rules. Clearly establish when and where your child may use their device. Consider whether or not he or she should have the device in their bedroom, on at night, during study time, etc.


  1. Know the ABS device policy : Cell phones and personal electronic devices are not to be used by students during the school day. Students must store unapproved electronic devices in a pocket or schoolbag for the entirety of the school day. Failure to do so will result in the device being held by a staff member until dismissal. E-readers (such as a Kindle or Nook) represent an exception to this rule, when used to read books already downloaded at home. Parents and students should recognize that loss of or damage to these devices is possible and the devices are the responsibility of the student. The Arts Based School is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen, phones or devices. Failure to adhere to this policy will result in a disciplinary referral to the appropriate administrator.


  1. “Follow” your child online and monitor what they post, send, and receive. Check their accounts often and consider parental controls that help monitor children’s devices.


  1. Discuss internet safety with your child. Make sure they understand how quickly information, photos, and videos can be shared with many people outside of their immediate contacts and explain that once these messages are put out there, they can exist permanently on others’ devices.