ABS Thursday Notes- February 15, 2018

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                   February 15, 2018



No School- Monday, Feb 19

President’s Day


How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“To forget a Holocaust is to kill twice.” – Elie Weisel


Brundibár is a children’s opera by Czech composer Hans Krása, based on a cheerful folk tale. It is widely regarded as the finest opera ever composed for children to sing (with an adult orchestra.) It premiered in 1941, at a Jewish orphanage in Prague. In 1942, Hans Krása was arrested by the Nazis and imprisoned at Terezín (Theresienstadt) concentration camp, where an estimated 33,000 people died of overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. 88,000 people were sent from Terezín to Auschwitz and other death camps. The Nazis allowed the children of Terezín to perform Brundibár at least 55 times at Terezín, routinely shipping the young singers to death camps afterward, to be replaced by a new cast of children. When the International Red Cross visited Terezín in 1944, the Nazis theatrically staged the camp as a temporary showpiece to refute growing allied suspicions that Jewish citizens were being exterminated. Terezín was staged with a new Kindergarten, a park, flowers, rich food, and concerts. The prisoners were dressed in fine clothing. Just before the arrival of the Red Cross, the Nazis shipped 7,500 people to Auschwitz, to create more open space. The opera Brundibár was performed for the Red Cross visitors, to demonstrate how happy and productive the children of Terezín were. Red Cross representatives reported to the world that Nazi prison camps were safe, clean, and pleasant. Immediately after the Red Cross departed, the cast and the composer were sent to Auschwitz to be killed. This innocent little opera has carried the weight of its terrible historical context, ever after.

The Arts Based School’s 7th Graders perform Brundibár annually, as part of a state-required study of World War II, the Holocaust, and genocide. One year, a surviving cast member, Ela Weissberger, visited us and shared memories of the friends she had loved and lost. She stood with our students to join in the “Victory Song,” and asked us always to remember her friends. Memoirs of children who lived at Terezín, the testimony of surviving cast members, historic video footage of a Brundibár performance at the prison camp, and the experience of singing the very notes those children sang, help us consider the Holocaust through the eyes of young victims whose memory we keep alive through this project. We sing in solidarity with those lost friends.


Brundibár will be performed by all ABS 7th graders at the Arts Council Theatre, 310 Coliseum Drive, with a professional orchestra, next Thursday, February 22 at 7:00 p.m. The opera lasts about one hour. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted to cover production costs.


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.


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 2- Early Dismissal and March 5-No school

                        K-4 Dismiss at 11:45

                        5-8 Dismiss at 12 noon



Interested in Promoting Your Business?

We’re looking for sponsors for this year’s Community Creates art auction!  Sponsoring this fantastic event is a great way to reach fellow parents, ABS alumni and countless members of the arts community with your message!  Information about the event and various sponsorship levels is attached to this week’s Thursday Notes.  Interested in participating or have further questions on how your business would like to get involved?  Contact Shannon Wright (thewrights@triad.rr.com) or Julee Nunley (julee@thenunleys.net).


Read to Feed-Last Week!

The K-Kids are once again sponsoring the very popular  school-wide fund raiser for Heifer International called “Read to Feed,” from now until February 16. Heifer International is an organization which contributes livestock and training to families in need around the world and helps them build sustainable businesses. Each child who participates will ask family and friends to donate a certain amount for each book he or she reads (or, for young students, for each book read to them) from now until Feb. 26, and that amount will go toward buying cows, chicken, sheep, goats or llamas for a family.


Parent Council News:

Parent Council Meeting – Friday, February 16
Please join us for the February Parent Council on Friday, February 16 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.

Class Rep Meeting in February!
We will have a brief Annual Giving training meeting for all class reps following the Parent Council meeting on Friday, February 16.  We will discuss the logistics of the campaign and your role in helping to communicate with your classroom.  Don’t worry – it’s easy and won’t take much time!  Can’t attend or have questions?  Please contact Annual Giving Co-Chairs Jennifer Bender(jensray@gmail.com) and Brandi Cleveland (clevelbb@wfu.edu).  Thank you!


Have a Heart- ABS Builders Club Coat Drive,  February 12-16

Have a heart and help ABS Builders Club, by donating your gently used coats, gloves, hats and scarfs and help wrap families in our community in warm layers of love this winter. Collection bins are located in the lobby of the MLK building and the 7th street building. Thank you for your donations!


Around Town….

Camp Shakespeare!

Now’s the time to register for Camp Shakespeare! this summer. Mr. Bob, Ms. Heidi, and several other local teachers lead campers through a new Shakespeare play every day for the five-day camp. Students explore the play through lively action and feel connected to characters, plot, and language. On Friday, there’s a showcase for guests with the “greatest hits” from the week. We have a ton of fun, and it’s great preparation for 5th grade’s production of Romeo & Juliet on the Border.

WHEN: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., July 16-20, 2018


​               1914 Sunnyside Avenue, Bldg 5, Winston-Salem

WHO: Students entering grades 5-9 in Fall 2018

COST: $230 without lunch or $275 with lunch

$15 camp shirt is optional

HOW: Visit  https://goo.gl/qapuaN to get more information, register, and apply for scholarships.


Upcoming Events:

Parent Council Meeting

Friday, February 16

8:15am – 9:15am


K-4 Roosevelt Collier, Steel Guitar – Ewing Theater

Friday, February 16

10:45am – 11:20am


5-8 Roosevelt Collier, Steel Guitar, Ewing Theater

Friday, February 16

11:30am – 12:15pm



Monday, Feb 19, 2018


7th grade to Arts Council Theater

Tuesday, February 20

8:30am – 2:00pm


7th grade to Arts Council Theater

Wednesday, February 21

8:30am – 2:00pm


6th,8th-Brundibar attended dress rehearsal

Wednesday, February 21

11:30am – 1:30pm


8th-Bowling at Northside Lanes

Thursday, February 22

9:30am – 11:50am


7th-Brundibar Performance

Thursday, February 22

7:00pm – 8:00pm

Arts Council Theater