ABS Thursday Notes- January 9, 2020

Thursday Notes                       

Published for the Arts Based School Community                         January 9, 2020


How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“Through study of original works of art and extensive exploration of art criticism, history, theory and studio practice, students will learn to see themselves as makers of meaning, not simply vessels into which knowledge is poured.” – From the ABS charter:


Even at The Arts Based School, students sometimes learn and practice via traditional means, like working problems or reading material and answering questions about it, but always with the instructor’s eye on the individual child. In addition, we integrate the arts in the 4 ways we often mention: Direct arts instruction in the studio, visits into the community or visits from artists in the community, large-scale “Living Textbook” productions, and arts integrated lessons in the classroom. For these lessons in the classroom, teachers provide structure, goals, guidance, materials and assessment for them to engage in learning in many ways.


Here are some models of integration as it appears in the regular classroom:


Quick Connections – Planned or spontaneous use of the arts to help understand or reinforce concepts. For example: dance breaks, drawing, curriculum songs, drama games that reinforce learning from other subjects.


Student Led Lessons – Where possible and appropriate, teachers follow student curiosity. Examples: Students write and direct a scene, write a song and perform it, create a work of art to explore a topic, with necessary support and structure from the teacher.


Teacher Designed and Led Lessons – Teachers create lessons based on required curriculum, inspired by the natural connections that naturally occur across subjects, seeking to captivate the interest of students, and sometimes sharing a particular passion of the teacher.  Example: A teacher who loves throwing pots designs a series of lessons around the basics of working with clay and connects the lessons with social studies, geometry, and problem-solving skills. She leads her team to provide the experience for all students at that grade level. A visiting expert might be brought in to demonstrate slab pottery techniques.


Immersion Experiences. Teachers bring students into a great work of art or an artist study, allowing students to become immersed and to feel ownership. For example: Leonardo DaVinci study, grade level plays, filmmaking, self-portraits. These experiences require a lot of adult vision, planning, and assistance, giving students access to experiences they would not be able to synthesize on their own. The final quality is elevated because the student applies their skills within a dedicated and supportive structure.


None of these trumps the others…we like all of them!

6th Grade Chorus Demonstrations

The combined 6th grades will perform choir demonstrations this month. All 6th graders will be singing in both concerts. Parents are invited to attend on the dates assigned below, (divided to avoid crowding in the theater and the parking lot.) The demonstration will last about 20-30 minutes.


Thursday, January 30

Hedgecock,  last names A-L



Friday, January 31

Hedgecock, last names M-Z



If you have more than one child in 6th grade, please choose either date!



Important School Calendar Change

February 7, 2020 has been approved as a teacher release day.  Students will not have school that day. Our teaching staff will be attending the Fresh Take Workshop at Community School of Davidson with keynote speaker Todd Whitaker.  The Friday Sing scheduled for that day will be rescheduled. The afterschool program will offer full day care.


Student Intent for 2019-20 School Year

As we prepare for next year’s enrollment lottery (2020-21), it is important to know how many spaces are available in each grade.  As a current student, your child has priority placement and no additional action is required.   If your child is not returning to ABS for the 2020-21 school year, please notify Stephanie LeFever at slefever@artsbasedschool.com


Siblings of students also receive priority, but must fill out an enrollment application. You must complete an application for the 2020-21 school year for siblings of current students in order to reserve a space before the lottery.  Deadline for receiving applications is Jan 31 @ 3pm. Applications are available on our school website www.artsbasedschool.com


Late Pick Up Policy

The regular school day ends at 2:30 for K-4th grade students and 2:45 for 5th-8th graders. Parents should have a ride at school for their child within ten minutes of the student’s dismissal time. 

Students who have not been picked up on time will go to the main office in the building appropriate for the oldest child in the family. School personnel will contact the student’s family to inform them that student has not been picked up.

When a parent arrives late, they will be asked to sign the student out. After three late pick-ups, parents will need to meet with the building administrator to make a plan for ensuring on-time pick ups in the future. 

At 3:45, any student still at school will be taken to the ABS After School Program until a parent arrives. Families will be charged a $20 fee when this happens. 

If no contact has been made with anyone about a late pick up by 3:45, the Winston-Salem Police Department will be contacted to help locate a parent or family member. 

On early release days and after special events (such as January Jam), students must have a ride available at the announced pick up time. 


Congratulations to ABS Science Fair Winners!


1st – June Haaf

2nd – Cora Broughton

3rd – Shelby Whiteheart


First Grade:

1st – Penny Soriano

2nd – Alyce Morris


Second Grade:

1st – Ruby Johanson

2nd – Charlotte Mathay

3rd – Maddie Hartman


Third Grade:

1st – Leo Haaf

2nd – Ellery McGowan

3rd – Tinsley Whiteheart


Fourth Grade:

1st – Ollie Cleveland

2nd – Riley Morris

3rd – Stella Zamorski


Fifth Grade:

1st – 1st – Evie Soriano

2nd – Emmi McLawhorn

3rd – Harper Webb


Sixth Grade:

1st – Aidyn Morris



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K-Kids Sponsor 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. Your child can help by reading! See the letter in your child’s Thursday packet, and K-Kids Letter, for more information.


2020 Summer Camps

Mark your calendar NOW and set a reminder for the end of January! Registration for summer camp will open to ABS families January 31. We can’t wait to share all the details with you later this month! Here’s a glimpse…

5 weeks instead of 4. Rising 1st-6th grade (June 15-19, June 22-26, July 6-10, July 13-17, July 20-24 from 9 AM to 2 PM.

Kinder-ART-en camp designed specifically for preparing your child for kindergarten.

New format that minimizes the need for cancellations.  

A before/after care option through the ABS aftercare program (7:45-9:00 AM) and (2:00 PM-5:30 PM) 

Student leader program for rising 7/8th grade students. 

Email questions to: Stephanie LeFever slefever@artsbasedschool.com


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.


Activity Fee Due

Each family is asked to pay $15.00 per semester per child to help cover the costs of our extensive curriculum enhancement activities.  Fees are due at the start of each semester. Second semester activity fees are due now.  Please make checks payable to ABS and turn into Mrs. Garner in the front office.


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.


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).


Prospective Parents’ Tours

School tours for prospective parents are scheduled weekly on Thursdays at 9:30am.  Each tour is limited to 10 adults in an effort to limit the disruption to our students and teachers in the classrooms.  Parents interested in learning more about ABS and how to enroll their child, should contact the front office to sign up for a tour. 748-4116 ext 1023.  Applications will be accepted beginning January 1. The lottery will be held the second Tuesday of February.



Around Town…

11th Annual MLK Day Read-In on Saturday, Jan. 25 from 10am – 1pm.

“This is the 11th annual MLK Read-In, which celebrates the legacy of MLK by promoting social justice education and literacy. Volunteers from WSSU, WFU, UNCSA, and Salem College all participate in this event either as activity station leaders or as reading buddies. Reading buddies are paired with local children, ages 4-11, and experience various activity booths together as a team. The highlight and namesake of the event is the reading station, where the reading buddies read to their child. Each participating child goes home with an age-appropriate civil-rights themed books in either English or Spanish.

Parents and guardians can drop off their children (ages 4-11) at the event, but we would prefer that you register your child beforehand using this youth registration form. (The form is also available in Spanish.) This is especially important if you are planning on bringing a group of children to participate, so that we can recruit an accurate number of volunteers.


Songs of Peace, Strength, and Comfort, a Martin Luther King Day celebration, featuring the powerful soprano Jarae Payton and pianist Myron D. Brown (WSSU professor) will be offered FREE at the historic St. Philips Moravian Church on Main Street in Old Salem on Sunday January 19, 3:00 p.m. (One hour long.) There is little parking near St. Philips. Guests are asked to park near Home Moravian Church at 529 Church Street S. where they will be shuttled to St. Philips. This concert is part of the Music@Home series, a program offering world class music to the community without charge. Donations appreciated.


Textile Open House at Sawtooth on Thursday, January 16 from 6:00-8:00 pm will be a FREE, experiential introduction to the textiles department at Sawtooth School for Visual Art at 251 N. Spruce Street. There will be a big indigo vat for dyeing and much more, with snacks provided by Krankies.