ABS Thursday Notes- March 22, 2018

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                    March 22, 2018



How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players.” – William Shakespeare, from As You Like It


Romeo & Juliet on the Border is the culmination of many varied elements of study, for fifth grade. Students studied America’s Reconstruction via the western cattle drive era of the late 1800s. Cowboy poetry of the era, maps of cattle trails and biomes of the west, paintings and photos from the era, cattle trade economics, changing roles of women, influences of technology, and recognition of the mixed ethnic demographic of the original cowboys were all studied in preparation, and much of it was incorporated into the script adaptation.


Period folk songs and dances from America’s west and Northern Mexico were carefully researched with the help of the Hispanic Arts Initiative, who also helped design and build the vivid Mexican costumes. The students’ “Dancing Classrooms” study at the beginning of the year made it easier for Jan Adams to choreograph complex partner dances.


Shakespearean English was studied, its iambic pentameter, its clever names and insults and hidden rhymes. It was translated it first into modern vernacular, and then into turn-of-the-century cowboy phraseology.  The original Shakespeare is preserved in heightened moments of emotion


The timeless story elements, its clashing cultures, fear and intolerance of strangers, and the challenges of resolving differences and sustaining peace were recognized as immediate and current, even in a fifth-grade classroom.


ABS counselor, Amanda Sullivan, taught a lesson in which students considered how the ending of the story would have changed, if Romeo had called 9-1-1, and had used strategies for coping with depression or discouragement, such as seeking help from a grown-up or allowing time to pass before making a rash decision.


Heidi McIver, who directs the show, also choreographed stage combat, while teaching students that violence in theater is just the opposite of real violence: safety is the number one concern. You always let your opponent know when you’re coming. You position yourself to prevent an actual strike. The “victim” is always in control, only giving the appearance of a struggle. Students learn never to perform these moves out of class, especially not in front of younger children who might then try it themselves. In this way, we learn about the inner workings of the power of media.


Every student is in the show and, regardless of the size of the role, every student receives all of the above lessons and many more. The wonder of this kind of instruction is that once you begin to discover the relativity of art to life, a huge constellation of connection reveals itself, and the possibilities are endless. All the world’s a stage.


Romeo & Juliet on the Border performances are next week: Wednesday, March 28 and Thursday, March 29 at 7:00 p.m. at the Arts Council Theater, at 610 Coliseum Drive in Winston -Salem, 27106. Admission is free, and a free-will offering will be taken.







WOW!  What a difference another week makes!! Thank you SO much to everyone who has donated to our Annual Giving Campaign so far – our growth this past week has been incredible! We still need every one of our families to give in order for us to make our goal of 100% participation. The dollars mean so much to our school, but your participation means even more! Participation is our goal and any amount counts! We need you, please support the Annual Giving Campaign. Next week is the last week of the campaign – help us finish strong!  Remember these facts:


We don’t ask our students to sell anything throughout the year and every penny raised goes directly to the school!


We don’t run competitions between classes or grades to put pressure on parents – it’s a simple request to confidentially give what you can to help our school continue to offer a unique experience to our kids!


The % of families who support the school makes a huge difference when we ask for outside support and pursue grants for projects that will make our school even better.


Send in your green envelope today or click here to donate online: https://mkt.com/the-arts-based-school/annual-campaign .  THANK YOU for your support!


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Parent Satisfaction Survey

Yes, that’s you – we want to know what you think!  Please follow the link ABS Parent Survey

to the online about our school.  Your responses are completely anonymous and help us determine what’s working well and what needs more work!  Please take a few minutes to complete and submit.  Thank you!


Parent Council News:

Volunteers Needed for Jump Rope for Heart
Who: 3 Volunteers for each class (9 for the whole grade) needed to set-up, break-down and run the event with Ms. Adams.
What: Jump Rope for Heart
When: Thursday, April 12th. Please see class event times below. Plan to arrive a half hour early to learn how the event will run and to help set-up, and leave a half hour afterward to help break-down the event and return it to starting position for the next group.
Where: ABS
Why: To teach school-aged children how to keep fit, and to raise money for the American Heart Association.

9:15 – 9:55         Kindergarten     (5 volunteers still needed)
10:00 – 10:40     1st Grade          (7 volunteers still needed)
10:45 – 11:25     2nd Grade         (9 volunteers still needed)
12:00 – 12:40     5th Grade          (9 volunteers still needed- this one may be a little different, but it will be sometime in the middle of the day)
12:55 – 1:35       3rd Grade          (9 volunteers still needed)
1:40 – 2:20         4th Grade          (3 volunteers still needed)

If you can help with this event, please contact Erin Edge (erin.edge@live.com).

March Parent Council Meeting Minutes

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the Parent Council meeting last Friday! The meeting minutes are attached to the Thursday Notes e-mail.  The next Parent Council meeting is scheduled for Friday, April 13.

Nominations for Parent Council Board
Nominations for Parent Council Board positions are now open and elections will be held at the May Parent Council meeting.   Serving on the Parent Council Board is a great way to get more involved at ABS and to earn volunteer hours. We are still seeking candidates for the following positions:

  • Co-Chair (2 year term)
  • Parent Representative Coordinator (1 year term)
  • Secretary (1 year term)
  • Technical Support Coordinator (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.)

If you are interested in running for one of these positions or have any questions, please contact Parent Council Co-Chairs, Joy Blaser (joy.blaser@gmail.com) and Julee Nunley (julee@thenunleys.net)


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!


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.