ABS Thursday Notes – January 14, 2016

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                                             January 14, 2016




How We Do It and Why

-Mary Siebert


Those jobs won’t be coming back: The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the three occupations that will lose jobs the fastest (on a percentage basis) from 2008 to 2018 are in textiles. The bureau expects textile and apparel manufacturing jobs will drop 48% to 259,000 from 2008 to 2018. – Paul Wiseman, USA Today, 3/11/2010


Diana Greene is a multi-faceted and accomplished local artist who works professionally in the fields of writing, photography, and documentary film-making. Documentary film is the perfect synthesis of photography and writing, especially for Ms. Greene, who delights in focusing her audience’s attention on seemingly tiny details; frayed edges, sidelong glances, momentary worries that carry with them the weightiest questions and the most ethereal of pleasures; fleeting glimpses that represent both the ephemeral and the eternal.

Ms. Greene is also an accomplished artist-educator, having received scores of grants to encourage her continued work with school children in our region. ABS 4th graders have worked with her for over ten years. This year, she again brings her considerable body of experience and intensive inquiry to 8th grade. Partnering with Peter Wilbur, ABS’ K-4 music teacher who is also a recognized visual artist and burgeoning film maker, Ms. Greene and Ms. Stone, our 8th grade language arts/social studies teacher, will spend the next two months urging professional quality interview and research processes from the students as they inquire into the history of the textile industry in our region, its impact on the economy of our state and the nation, and in reverse: the changing national economy and its impact on our community; with the goal of assembling this material into a high quality documentary film.

In the words of Peter Wilbur: “The point of the project is to synthesize many sources, including archival footage and photos, note taking, internet research, first-hand presentations by major figures in the textile industry, a field trip to visit historic textile landmarks in the area, and a visit to an exciting, forward-thinking textile plant. In addition, many classroom hours will be spent reading, watching film clips, and discussing relevant aspects of economics and history.” Students develop technological skills to manipulate and share material, using Dropbox, Google docs, and Vimeo.

Documentary film making is a powerful art form which relies heavily on accurate research. The goal is not to teach the techniques of handling a camera or editing film, although some of the footage and still shots may be shot by students. The time-intensive process of editing is left to paid professionals. Instead, the format of film is the artistic medium through which students inquire and share the results of inquiry in a real-world setting, at real-world professional standards.

Students will work with textile artist (and teacher at Salem College) Gillian Morrow, who will team-teach with Ms. Dickson in science class about the chemistry of fabric dyes. Students will “adopt” an element to be used as a mordant (the chemical that serves as fixative for dye into fabric,) and experiment with the varied results in the lab. In art class, students will design T-shirts from Hanes, representing their adopted elements. A great periodic table made from these T-shirts will be displayed at the end of the project and the shirts will be a “take-away” for the students afterward.

In language arts, students will analyze the lyrics of traditional, authentic weave room folk songs of North Carolina; primary sources of reflection by mill workers of the early 20th century. They will design interview questions for accomplished experts in the field who will be visiting. Examination of the pros and cons of outsourcing will include studies of geography.  Students will create pie charts in math class representing the percentages of nations represented by manufacturing of clothing worn daily by students – the data being collected during a daily “fashion tag show” where students check their clothing tags for nation of manufacture. Students will craft and record voice over commentary for the film, pulling together all they have learned. Drama teacher Mr. Zayas will coach on-camera and voice-over skills as the film is shot by Mr. Wilbur, who will professionally edit the film, to be premiered at SECCA on Thursday, March 24th at 6:00 p.m.



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.


January Jam! – Friday, January 15th

January Jam is an after-school dance party open to all ABS students. There are two dances, one in the MLK Building and one in the 7th Street Building. The dance is from 2:30 to 4:30 and admission is $5. Snacks will be sold. Permission slips are due back by today,  January 14th. They will not be accepted on the day of the event. We ask for parent volunteers to chaperone or help with set up/clean up.  Children will be dismissed from inside the MLK and 7th Street buildings. You must come inside to pick up your child/children. There will NOT be an outside pick-up line.   Ryan Leigh Runyon is in charge of volunteers. We’re using VolunteerSpot to organize the volunteers .

(VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact Ryan Leigh Runyon at ryanleigh@gmail.com and she can sign you up manually).

Please sign up to volunteer for ABS January Jam!  Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:
1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot: http://vols.pt/haiMkQ
2. Enter your email address: (You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot)
3. Sign up! Choose your spots – VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy!


The Yearbook Deadine is Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, Friday, January 15 will be the last day to purchase a 2015-16 yearbook!

Simply order online via the link below or on the Strawbridge website. The cost is $20.




If you prefer to pay by check, you can order with the forms that were sent home in Thursday packets (Extra forms are on the front table of the entrance to the MLK building or at Donna’s desk in 7th street building) Forms can be turned in to Donna in the 7th St. building or Angela in the MLK building.


K-Kids Sponsors Read to Feed

Have you ever owned part of a cow? How about a llama? Well, you could now! The K-Kids are once again sponsoring the very popular  school-wide fund raiser for Heifer International called “Read to Feed.” 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.

See the brochure in today’s Thursday folder, and begin gathering your sponsors. Now, let’s  READ, READ, READ!!!!!!!


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) as well as the school phone message (748-4116.)


MAP Testing in January

Third through eighth grade students will complete the second round of MAP testing in January.  After the testing is complete, parents will receive an updated score report showing the progress your student has made this year.


Student Intent for 2016-2017 School Year

As we prepare for next year’s enrollment lottery (2016–2017), it is important to know how many spaces are available in each grade.  As a current student, your child has priority placement.  You should soon receive an email from Helpcounter requesting your intent for the 2016-2017 school year.  Please reply to the email as soon as possible.  Your intent must be received before February 1st so we know to hold a space for your child.


Siblings of students also receive priority, but must fill out an enrollment application. You must complete an application for the 2016-17 school year for siblings of current students in order to reserve a space before the lottery.  Deadline for receiving applications is Feb 5 @ 3pm