ABS Thursday Notes- March 15, 2018

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                                               March 15, 2018




How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

“Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a certain way.” – Aristotle

Substitution is an effective technique for an actor. It is the practice of replacing the fictional events in a play with one’s responses to a real situation. The practice was advocated by the famous acting teacher Uta Hagen, who dubbed it “transference.”

You probably find yourself using this technique to relax in your day-to-day life. For example, before you endure dental work (or something equally as fun,) you might imagine you’re lying back on a sunny beach. Your body responds with lowered blood pressure and steadier breathing, and you refrain from biting down on the dentist’s hand. It’s simply practical application of well-placed imagination. But skilled actors know when to use it, what to substitute, and how to use it with full commitment, to make the technique powerful.

One well-known example is the suggestion attributed to actor/director John Moffatt, who was working with an actress portraying the evil Salome. The props team had created a very realistic severed head, which her insane character was supposed to receive on a platter with evident delight. The actress struggled with this moment, until Moffatt suggested that she imagine there was an adorable puppy on the platter. She was then able to greet the offering with coos and caresses, to the horror of her audience. The audience, of course, did not know her secret transference. In her mind, she was petting a wiggly puppy, not a gruesome head.

When fifth graders at ABS prepare for their show: Romeo & Juliet on the Border, they use substitution to execute the brief (but critical) moments of lovey-dovey stuff. Students are asked to imagine a surprise that would fill them with joy. They have many ideas: airline tickets to visit another country, their own horse, a sports car, a room full of cupcakes, an opportunity to bring peace to the world. One year, Juliet said that she’d like a unicorn. Romeo dreamt of an elephant. And so, when Juliet spies Romeo across the room for the first time, she does not think “what a handsome man!” because we are fifth graders, and we don’t do that stuff yet. But she might think “Wait!… is that… a unicorn? and she breathlessly moves in closer, hoping that the unicorn might be just for her.

Students discover how much their intuition and their bodies already know about acting, when they play this “what if” game. For the audience, it’s magical. The feelings they play are real, but unless they care to share their secret, you’ll see only the true love, not the unicorn.


5th Grade’s “Romeo & Juliet on the Border” will be performed at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28 and Thursday, March 29 at The Arts Council Theatre: 610 Coliseum Drive.


In-House Opera

Piedmont Opera presented Tales of the Brothers Grimm at ABS today, with singers from UNCSA’s Fletcher Opera program. The audience of K-3 students were completely delighted by the beautifully sung and acted stories. Ask your student which of the three tales was their favorite: Doctor Know-it-All, Rumpelstiltskin, or Cat and Mouse.


Pirates of Penzance at Piedmont Opera 

Students are encouraged to attend Piedmont Opera’s hilarious The Pirates of Penzance, which opens next week. Middle school students will be introduced to the operetta in music classes this week. Student night is next Wednesday, March 21 at 7:30. This is the final dress rehearsal, and tickets are only $5.00 per student, $15.00 per adult. (Students may not attend without adult supervision.) We encourage students to group up and go together! The show is two and a half hours long, so if you want to leave at intermission, that’s allowed. Call336-725-7101 to buy tickets. No more than two adults per child, please.


First Amendment Rights for Young Students

The nation-wide seventeen-minute “walkout” protest yesterday in memory of the seventeen students who died in the Parkland, Florida high school shooting brought some questions from parents about how ABS regards and manages issues of students’ first amendment rights. Minors do have the legal right to free speech and to peaceable assembly. As enrolled students, however, they may not legally disrupt instruction. ABS respects the varied views of our families, and did not organize any activities related to the protest. Students who asked about the walkout in advance were advised that a parent could sign them out for this event, without repercussions, other than making up any missed assignments. We prepared for students who might choose to walk out of the classroom spontaneously, by requesting that teachers continue with class, while stationing staff in the hallways who would be responsible for student safety and to assure that instruction within the classroom environments was not disrupted. A small group of students did walk into the hallways for this event. They were guided quietly to a common area and allowed to sit for seventeen minutes of silence. The students were very respectful and returned to class without incident.





WOW! What a difference a week makes!

What a difference YOU are making at ABS!

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to our Annual Giving Campaign so far- our growth this past week is outstanding!

We are still ahead of where we were in the campaign this time last year, so please let’s keep it going these next couple of weeks to end the campaign strong!

The goal we have set for our school is 100% participation, so we are hoping that ALL of our ABS families will contribute. ANY amount makes a difference and is valued- we need each and everyone of you to help reach this campaign goal.   High family participation rates are vital every time we apply for a grant or ask for outside organizations & community members to support us. We have to show that we all support our school too!

Return your green envelope today or click here to donate online:



Thank you for your support! We feel so Lucky to Learn at ABS and be a part of this community!


A Parent’s Perspective on Parent Surveys

Each year ABS families are asked to complete an online survey about our school.  In today’s world, most of us are bombarded with some type of survey multiple times a week.  I’m often guilty of just pressing “delete” when those things show up in my inbox, knowing it will take several minutes to complete (who has the spare time?) and that more often than not my heartfelt responses will be tabulated by some computer who could care less how I feel.  Now let me tell you why I believe the ABS Parent Survey is quite different.  First of all, I’m thrilled that our school asks for our opinions.  Having come from a much different school environment where parents weren’t welcomed in the building, much less asked for their thoughts, I truly value being asked my opinion.  Second, the survey takes very little time – this year the survey has only 11 questions, short and sweet.  Lastly, and most importantly, YOUR OPINION MATTERS!  The ABS administration takes these responses to heart, they discuss them and develop plans on how to improve – whether it’s a problem issue or something that’s going well – they are always striving to achieve more.  Parents should view the survey as an opportunity to share positives and negatives – both are equally important for administration and staff to be aware of.  While the survey doesn’t take place of personal conversations with your teachers and staff (those should always happen first – whether you’re deliriously happy or somewhat frustrated) but it does offer a wonderful snapshot of how things are working and that helps us all.  So, please take a moment to click on the link and share your experience and thank you for being part of the ABS family! ABS Parent Survey


Snow Day Makeup Schedule

As outlined in our Snow Make Up policy, “up to three days will be forgiven and not required for staff or students to make up.          Additional days for both students and staff will be built into the approved calendar  each year, designated as possible make-up days.”    Because we were out for four snow days and three are forgiven, April 9, 2018 will be used to make up the fourth snow day.


ABS 2018-19 School Calendar

ABS’ board approved the 2018-19 school calendar at the February board meeting.  A copy of the calendar is attached to this email and available on the school website.


Get Ready to Jump Rope for Heart !

The K-Kids are sponsoring our Jump Rope for Heart on  April 12 to earn money for the American Heart Association. Look in your Thursday folder for information on how to help make our world a healthier place!


Sprit Week at 7th Street Building

Each year the ABS Builder Club hosts Spirit Week.  Your child has the option to dress up during the week of March 19-23. Every family is encouraged to also donate a specific item on each day of the event. All contributions will be donated to organizations like The Rescue Mission, Sunnyside Ministries, and the Battered Women’s Shelter. Below are the dress codes for each day, as well as donation categories. Thank you for your support!


Monday– Sock Day (Wear insane socks) – Bring new socks to donate to the Rescue Mission.

Tuesday– SOUPer Hero Day (Dress as your favorite superhero) – Bring canned soup to donate to Sunnyside Ministries

Wednesday– Wacky Tacky Day (Wear a crazy attire) – Bring gently used or new toys/board games to donate to S.C.A.N

Thursday– Throwback Thursday (Dress as people from the 20’s-90’s) – Bring diapers and toiletries to donate to Battered Women’s Shelter

Friday– FANatic Friday (Dress as your favorite sports player) – Bring packaged snack items to donate to Ronald McDonald House


Builder’s Club Movie Day

Friday, March 23 Builder’s Club is offering a Movie Day for middle school students only.   Students in grades 5-8 are invited to stay for a movie afterschool.  Permission slip will be sent home soon.  Payment and permission slips must be returned by March 22 to participate.   Tickets are $5.00 each with the proceeds going to the Kiwanis and The Eliminate Project.  Snacks will be available for purchase.


Please note: Pick up for this event will be at our 7th street building at 4:45. All MLK siblings must be picked up at regular dismissal time.


Parent Council Meeting- Tomorrow, March 16th

The Parent Council will be meeting tomorrow, March 16, at 8:15am in the MLK Cafe. All ABS families and caregivers are part of the Parent Council and invited to at these meetings. And don’t forget that attendance counts towards volunteer hours!  The agenda for this meeting is attached to the Thursday Notes e-mail.


Nominations for Parent Council Board

We will be accepting nominations for the Parent Council Board positions at the March Parent Council Meeting.  Serving on the Parent Council Board is a great way to get more involved at ABS and to earn volunteer hours.  Elections will be held at the May meeting. Following are the positions that make up the Parent Council Board:

Co-Chairs (one position is open for election; 2 year term)

Parent Representative Coordinator (1 year term)

Secretary (1 year term)

Hospitality Coordinators (2 positions; 1 year term)

Technical Support Coordinators (2 positions; 1 year term)

Annual Giving Coordinators (2 year term, Both positions are filled for next year, but we would love to find a parent of a rising 5-8 grade students to work with this team.)



Around Town….

Reynolds High School presents Les Miserables! Come support tons of ABS Alumni starring in this fabulous production on March 15th & 16th at 7pm and March 17th at 2pm.  All performances at Reynolds Auditorium and tickets are $8 at the door.  Don’t miss it!

The Piano Lesson by August Wilson with ABS student Charli Hicks (5th grade) Tickets are $18 regular and $15 for students with valid ID. 

Tickets can only be purchased by calling 336-721-1945 or stopping by the Stevens Center Box Office (Mon-Fri from 11am-6pm), they are not available online.


Upcoming Events…

K-3 Opera: Tales From the Brothers Grimm

Thursday, March 15

9:15am – 10:15am


Parent Council Meeting

Friday, March 16

8:15am – 9:15am


Roosevelt Collier, Steel Guitar visits ABS

Friday, March 16

10:30am – 12:30pm


1st – Kaleideum Downtown

Tuesday, March 20

10:45am – 1:30pm


African Drumming with Mr. Bill

Mar 21 – 23, 2018