ABS Thursday Notes- March 2, 2017

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                                March 2, 2017




Early Dismissal- Friday, March 3

No School-Monday, March 6


Dear Fellow ABS Families,

On a Saturday morning in January, we rolled in wearing everything from business casual to ball caps and jeans…even some favorite red cowgirl boots made the cut!  Some of us are simply community volunteers with a passion for children’s education, some are former ABS parents, some are world renowned artists, others are college professors, bankers, lawyers, real estate brokers, & professional fundraisers.  But on that Saturday morning, we were djembe drummers.  When Mr. Bill told us to follow his lead on the djembe drums, we did.  Our faces flushed red with nerves, but we were all excited and there were a fortunate few who felt at ease with the rhythm.  Regardless if Mr. Bill’s invitation was met with anxiety or enthusiasm, for all of us, those drums became a release.  Over the next 15 minutes, the ABS Board of Directors drummed our hands red and it proved to be the smoothest of transitions into tackling our goal for the day – discussing ABS’ very bright future.

Playing the drums, finding our rhythm – both literally and figuratively, prepared us for one of the most thought-provoking discussions yet.  Everyone should have this musical, mental preparation and at ABS, they do.  Because of our custom-made, arts-based curriculum – crafted by our faculty and staff – all 517 of our children receive this phenomenal gift.  This kind of experience is just one of many, many ways our children are preparing themselves for a full life of community, independence, respect, and compassion.  The experiences found and created at ABS are hard to define – it’s different for each family, each student.  It’s impossible to place a value on and, at the same time, difficult to believe that it all happens on a very limited budget.  As ABS families and friends, we are invited to experience the magic of ABS for ourselves as volunteers, but we’re also invited to contribute financially to ensure the experiences are consistently enriching each year.

Hopefully, you’ve noticed our children are not asked to sell coupon books or wrapping paper. We’re not asked to sponsor our child in a booster-thon and we will never be asked to buy our own child’s artwork.  This is not an oversight; it’s intentional.  In turn, we ask our parent community, once a year, to make a donation to the Annual Giving Campaign.  We ask you to open your hearts and think about what this school means to your family.  We ask you to make your child’s tuition-free school, one of your family’s largest charitable recipients.  No matter what you are able to give – $5 or $5,000 – every dollar counts toward our goal of 100% participation.

After Mr. Bill completed his drum lesson on that Saturday morning in January, the excitement and buzz that was felt prompted a reaction that our children feel every day at ABS.  We both feel so fortunate to have our children attending ABS and hope you will join us in giving thought to how your family can help.  We know we can reach 100% participation, but we can’t do it without YOU!

Many thanks to your family, your children and your support of our ABS Community!


Emily Ball

ABS Parent of 1st & 3rd Graders

2017 Annual Giving Co-Chair


Shannon Wright

ABS Parent of 5th Grader &

ABS Alumna 2016

2017 Annual Giving Co-Chair                                                                          

Our Annual Giving Campaign officially kicks off today!  Each family will receive a packet today in your child’s Thursday Folder with more information.  We have also attached a short Q&A to this week’s Thursday Notes that may help answer some initial questions.  Please review this information and consider how your family can contribute.  Thank you for your support!


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 3- Early Dismissal

                        K-4 Dismiss at 11:45

                        5-8 Dismiss at 12 noon

                        March 6- No School


Parent Council Meeting – March 17th- 

Our next meeting is Friday, March 17th, at 8:15am in the Cafe of the MLK Building. If there is a topic you want considered for discussion please submit topic by Friday, March 3rd. Contact Lindsay Deibler (lindsaydeibler@gmail.com) or Julee Nunley (julee@thenunleys.net)


Nominations for Parent Council Board

We will be accepting nominations for the Parent Council Board positions at the March Parent Council Meeting.  Please consider running for one of these positions or encourage another parent to do so.  Getting involved on the Parent Council Board is a great way to get more involved at ABS.  Following are the positions that make up the Parent Council Board.

Board Positions

Co-Chairs (only one position is open for election; 2 years)

Class Representative Coordinator (1 year)

Secretary (1 year)        

Hospitality Coordinators (2 positions; 1 year)

Technical Support Coordinators (2 positions; 1 year)

Annual Giving Coordinators (one position open for election; 2 years)

8th Grade CPR Training

Our 8th grade students will be participating in a CPR training course over the next few weeks. We are grateful that Bryan Gallimore, an ABS parent and training officer with Forsyth County EMS, has agreed to teach the class. Students will learn life saving skills including how to use an AED (automated external defibrillator) machine, Heimlich maneuver, and CPR practice on adult and child mannequins. NC Legislation requires successful completion of CPR certification for high school graduation.


Upcoming Events

Early Dismissal- Conference Day

Fri, March 3, 11:45am – 12:00pm


No School- Conferences

Mon, March 6

8th – Natural Science Museum in Raleigh

Fri, March 10, 8:30am – 3:30pm


ABS Garden Workday

Sat, March 11, 9am – 1pm


4th, 6th – Attended Dress of Romeo and Juliet

Tue, March 14, 11:30am – 1:45pm


ABS Board Meeting

Tue, March 14, 5:45pm – 6:45pm


7th, 8th Attended Dress of Romeo and Juliet

Wed, March 15, 11:30am – 1:45pm


5th – Romeo and Juliet on the Border

Wed, March 15, 7pm – 8pm


5th – Romeo and Juliet on the Border

Thu, March 16, 7pm – 8pm


Parent Council meeting

Fri, March 17, 8:15am – 9:15am


African Drumming at ABS

Tue, March 21 – Thu, March 23


5th- Millis Health Center

Wed, March 22, 8:45am – 1:15pm


4th- Reynolda House

Thu, March 23, 9:15am – 11:15am