ABS Thursday Notes- February 22, 2018

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                              February 22, 2018




Tragedy in Florida

The tragic events in Florida last week have left many of us feeling a full range of emotion, from fear and anxiety to grief and empathy.  In the face of such tragedy, our ABS community looks for ways to provide our children and staff with stability, security, and a collective sense of well-being.

Our procedures are based on the state’s crisis intervention kit, provided to all schools. As part of our school safety and crisis plan, we conduct annual lockdown training for staff which includes the children’s orderly following of directions, lockdown “shelter in place”, and common sense decision-making.   Full details of our lockdown plans are not shared publicly as recommended by security experts.  We conduct lockdown drills twice a year with students.


The relatively small footprint of our campus as well as our entire staff’s knowledge of children and their parents not only nurtures our tight-knit  community, but it also sustains a connectedness that enhances our children’s safety. Our community members know and support one another. Children’s safety is always our highest priority.
In the face of this tragedy, some parents may find themselves wondering how (or even whether) to address these events with their children. The resources linked below offer insights and tips from nationally recognized professionals on how parents can handle thoughts and questions children raise about such events.


Whenever a tragedy occurs, it is natural to be curious and want to learn as much as possible through the news and other public communications.  But remember: your children are listening, too, and processing things much differently than adults do.  It is important to limit your child’s access to television news, as the news tends to be more graphic than they can handle.  When discussing the event with your child, it is important to keep your information short and factual, without a lot of personal reaction.  Start by asking them what they have heard so far.  Then give a short and concrete answer to their questions.  Make sure to focus on as many reassuring facts as possible, like help from the police and medical professionals, and how everyone pulled together to support each other.  Avoid making political comments and avoid talking graphically about what happened, like the weapons used, and specifics about how people were hurt.  End on a reassuring note, that these events do not happen often, and there are many more positive events in the world every day than bad things like this.  Our media tends to focus on the negative for sensationalism, but it is important for kids to know that the good in our country far outweighs the bad.


Here are two good links that talk further about handling tragic events with your children:






Thank you to everyone who attended last week’s Parent Council meeting.  We had a full agenda discussing projects underway and upcoming events. The minutes from that meeting are attached to the Thursday Notes e-mail.  We looking forward to seeing you at our next meeting on Friday, March 16!



The Box Tops committee will be collecting Box Tops in both buildings on Friday, February 23.


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,

                        K-2 Dismiss at 11:45

                        3-8 Dismiss at 12 noon

                              March 5 No School


MAP Results Delayed

Third through Eighth grade students will receive MAP results in Thursday Packets next Thursday.  There was a slight delay in completing all testing because of extensive student absences during this flu season.  Please take some time to review these results.   Overall results show that ABS students in each of those grades achieve higher scores than the national norms in all areas tested: math, science, reading, and language arts.   Congratulations to our students and their teachers for a job well done.   If you have any questions regarding MAP results, please contact your child’s teacher.


 Read to Feed Money Due Tomorrow!

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.