ABS Thursday Notes- July 26, 2018

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                             July 26, 2018




First Day of School –Wed, August 22nd


How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

 “If a man believes and expects great things of himself, it makes no odds where you put him, or what you show him … he will be surrounded by grandeur.” – Henry David Thoreau


Why integrate the arts into classroom instruction?

  • The arts channel energy into productive learning, incorporating higher-level thinking and putting application of knowledge into practice.
  • Authentic problem-solving opportunities are presented within arts endeavors.
  • Mastering the arts requires engagement, repetition, discipline, accuracy, and focused application, resulting in delight, deep recall, and increased self-esteem.
  • Integration allows other subject matter to “hitch a ride” with the energy of the arts.
  • When you use the arts, students’ brains are fully engaged.
  • Integration enables the instructor to teach several subjects simultaneously.
  • When learning through personal, artistic expression, students “own” integrated knowledge, which helps them retain it. When you create art, you care about it.
  • Integration provides an answer to the question:  “When would I ever use this math?”


Here’s when you might use this math:

  • Basketry measurement
  • Volume measurement and ratio in paint mixing
  • Counting and fractions in music and music notation
  • Measurement and scale in set design
  • Measurement in costuming
  • Geometry in graphic design and dance
  • Number patterns in choreography
  • Calculation of space, weight and balance in architecture and sculpture
  • Financial challenges of becoming an arts entrepreneur or a producer


…and finally, performances and art exhibitions provide authentic goals that inspire individual and collaborative excellence.

  • When students have a targeted performance date, they all care, and hold one another accountable for preparation and quality.
  • Students strive to offer their very best work, when they know an audience is coming.
  • Students collaborate in fresh, inventive ways, to create performances.
  • Students learn from one another and adjust standards upward when inspired by observance of excellence in others.
  • Students learn to appreciate and accept individual ideas, through performance.
  • Performances are real-world assessments, where effort and product are valued.
  • The opportunity to have individual expression recognized and valued builds self-esteem, inspiring even greater efforts.


Construction Update

If you’ve driven through the school’s parking lot you’ve probably seen the steel skeleton of the new classrooms in the courtyard.  The plans include the construction of three new classrooms and new bathrooms along a new extended hallway. These classrooms will house our 3 fifth grade classrooms once construction is complete.  Unfortunately, there have been several unforeseen delays.   The completion timeline has now been extended to mid-October.

The fifth grade team has been working with us to brainstorm some alternate locations for their classrooms to start the school year.  We hope to finalize these plans soon.  We realize this may cause some temporary adjustments and possible inconveniences for all of us as we shift and move to accommodate.   Thank you for your patience and support as we make the best of a tough situation.


Staffing Update

More changes to announce…

Kimberly Dickson is leaving ABS.  She has provided great leadership in her classroom and for the middle school throughout the four years she taught middle school science at ABS.  We wish her all the best as she and her husband relocate to Virginia.


Keri Sankey is leaving ABS and North Carolina!  Keri was excited to be taking a new role at ABS this year as an EC teacher. Unfortunately for us, she is moving to Indiana for her husband’s new job.


Nick Zayas will be leaving ABS, after his summer drama camp.  He was recruited by Reynolds High School and will be teaching there this fall.  We wish him the best of luck.  I’m sure we’ll be seeing some of his shows with some of our graduates!

It’s been a summer full of changes and challenges.  Our staff at ABS has always developed very close and caring relationships and friendships with one another.   We know that each staff member contributes positively to our students and our school which makes such changes very difficult.

We are hiring for all three of these positions and have them posted on our website.  If you know of someone who would be the right match for ABS, please direct them to our website.  www.artsbasedschool.com

Afterschool Care at ABS

ABS Before and Afterschool Care Program was created out of a need for high quality care with a flexible, convenient schedule for working parents. We look forward to providing a safe and fun filled environment where we focus our efforts on the social, emotional and physical development of your child. We’ll do this by nurturing strong relationships and offering your child choices that reflect his/her individual needs, interests and abilities.  The onsite child care will be staffed by ABS teachers and staff with Stephanie Lefever as the Afterschool Program director.  Registration is open on the ABS website.


Who’s My Teacher?

Now that we’ve hired all our new teachers, we’re ready to put the final touches on class lists.  Classroom teachers met with the grade level team before school was out to create the class rosters for next year.  They use all that they know about your child’s academic, social, emotional, and behavioral qualities to determine which classroom is the best match.  Parent requests received before May 1st are also considered along with other information.  To protect student privacy we will be sending class assignments via email at the end of July this year instead of posting on the website.


New Parent Orientation

Save the Date- Wednesday, Aug 8 at 10am for the New K-4 Parent Orientation at ABS.  This program is designed specifically for new families in grades K-4th at ABS to support your transition into ABS and to answer your questions.  Please mark your calendars and join us!


Middle School Orientation

Save the Date-Wednesday, Aug 8 at 6pm for Middle School Orientation.  For new parents (grade 5-8) and also for parents new to middle school.  This program is designed to answer questions about how our middle school program works (grades 5-8) and what to expect.


Special Visits

Educational research shows that the relationship between the student and his or her teacher is one of the most important factors in a student’s academic success.  This critical relationship is enhanced by our small class size and our educators’ commitment to children.  In support of the teacher/student relationship, our teachers will be offering a Special Visit before school begins.  A Special Visit is simply an opportunity for your child to meet his or her teacher in a familiar setting, a chance to learn a bit about the class and what to expect in the coming school year.  The Special Visit can be set up to occur in your home, here at the school, or on the phone.  This year’s scheduled days for Special Visits are August 16 and 17, 2018.  Your child’s teacher will be contacting you to schedule a 15-20 minute appointment.


ABS Family/Student Directory

To be sure we have accurate contact information for the ABS family/student directory, each family will soon receive a confirmation email to verify the information that will be printed in the directory.  Families that do not want to be published in the ABS directory should email Principal Hollis at rhollis@artsbasedschool.com  before August 3.


Back to School Night-Save the Date!

ABS Back to School Night is scheduled for Monday, August 20, 5-8pm.  To ease parking, we will have staggered sessions. More details soon…


Please Donate Your Stringed Instruments!

ABS will be introducing stringed instruments to our music program this year. We would love your donated instruments! We will particularly need ½ and ¾ sized violins, but welcome all full-sized violins, violas, cellos, and double basses. As non-profit organization, we can offer tax letters for the value of the instrument. Please drop your donation off at the MLK building, or email Mary Siebert at msiebert@artsbasedschool.com with questions. Thank you!