ABS Thursday Notes- February 16, 2017

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community

February 16, 2017




No School- Monday, Feb 20

President’s Day


How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


Yesterday I let one butterfly out. …Just … one!”

– Kindergartener after dress rehearsal.


Here’s a Kindergarten lesson that works for adults, too. Do you ever get butterflies in your tummy before something special is about to happen? Maybe a big job interview, a presentation, a first date, a difficult conversation, or a performance of “Peter and the Wolf?” Raise your hand, if you’ve ever felt a few little butterflies fluttering in your tummy. (You know there aren’t reallybutterflies in your tummy, right? It’s just our imagination, but it feels like butterflies.)

Close your eyes. Can you see what color your butterflies are? Can you make them fly in a circle? Nice, pretty little butterflies! Open your eyes now, and raise your hand, if you’d like to share what color your butterflies are. (Some Kinder answers: sparkly rainbow, green wings with black spots, turquoise, yellow, camouflage…)

Those butterflies are helpers. They give you a little extra energy. It helps them if you close your eyes and say hello to them, and notice what color they are. They also love nice, fresh air. Let’s take a deep breath for our butterflies and give them some air. (Big sighs: “Ahhhhhh!)

Kindergarteners colored their butterflies in the classroom, before they went to their performance of Peter & the Wolf. While they waited in the wings for the show to begin, we reminded them to give their butterflies some breath. Lots of smiles, sighs, and color return to little faces, when we do this. It will help you with your job interview, your public speaking engagement, or your important meeting, too.

This is all based on research – there is plenty of it, regarding stage fright. Everyone seems to agree that deep breathing helps calm anxiety and focus the mind. And some experts advise that the worst symptoms arise from the performer’s attempt to resist the butterflies. If you see, acknowledge and flow with your symptoms, you can transform stress to focus. Don’t be a hard surface attempting to block the butterflies. (Think: windshield on a speeding vehicle.) Instead, become the breeze upon which they flutter. There is a synergistic enhancement that you can ride, if you flow with that extra energy. When we welcome our butterflies, they become good guys. You can even give them names. As one Kindergartener advised: “Give them some water and air, and give them time to play.”



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 3- Early Dismissal

                        K-2 Dismiss at 11:45

                        3-8 Dismiss at 12 noon


Parent Council Meeting – Feb. 17- 

Our next meeting is this Friday, Feb. 17th at 8:15am in the Cafe of the MLK Building. Lindsay Deibler (lindsaydeibler@gmail.com) or Julee Nunley (julee@thenunleys.net)


Class Rep Meeting in February!

Please join us on Friday, February 17th immediately following the Parent Council meeting for a brief Annual Giving training session.  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 Emily Ball (emilynball@gmail.com) or Shannon Wright (thewrights@triad.rr.com).  Thank you!


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.


ABS Garden Work Day

Saturday, February 25

9 am to 1 pm

Spring is coming up on us. Come help your fellow ABS families keep the campus looking beautiful. There is always more than enough work for everyone. Anyone who comes will get COMPLIMENTARY hot beverages and cookies from Builders Club.

Questions and RSVP: Matt Mayers



Read to Feed

$50 will buy a goat! $20 will buy 2 rabbits! You have only 2 more weeks to get your books read and sponsors signed up for the Heifer International “Read to Feed” program. Money is due by Friday, February 24, and checks can be made out to Heifer International.​


Around Town…

Tonight (16th). 7-9 pm. Film “After Spring” being shown at the Wake Forest University – Z. Smith Reynolds library. Follows two refugee families from Syria. FREE. Part of the Arab Film series. This film premiered last year at the Tribeca Festival.


Tuesday, the 21st. 7:30 pm. “The Spirit of Harriet Tubman” one-woman play. Salem College – Fine Arts Center. FREE.