ABS Thursday Notes- March 3, 2016

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                                                 March 3, 2016




Conference Days- March 4- Early Dismissal

                        K-4 Dismiss at 11:45

                        5-8 Dismiss at 12 noon

No School-Monday, March 7


“Weaving Connections”

 8th Grade Film Premiere

ABS 8th Graders, with artist-in-residence film maker Diana Greene and Peter Wilbur, will premiere the documentary film: Weaving Connections on Thursday, March 24th at 6:00 p.m. at SECCA. Ms. Greene is an accomplished local professional in writing, photography, and documentary film-making. She urges professional-quality interview and research processes from the students, who inquired into the regional history of the textile industry, its impact on the economies of North Carolina and our nation, and conversely, the changing national economy and its impact on the local community.  All of this material is now assembled into a high quality documentary film. The project digs into economics, photography, writing, interviews with major figures in the textile industry, on-site visits to textile factories, and technology. A parallel visit from textiles artist Gillian Morrow, who teaches at Salem College, explored the chemistry of dyes and mordants, and relative visual arts project will be also be displayed at the premiere. The red-carpet premiere is at 6:00 p.m. at SECCA, 750 Marguerite Dr., Winston-Salem 27106 , and is free of charge. Call (336) 748-4116 for further information and click here to view the film’s trailer :



Annual Giving Campaign

A Look Back-11 years at ABS


-Julia Toone and Brian LeFevre (parents of Ben, 8th and Noah, 10th)


Our family joined the ABS community back in 2005 when our oldest son started kindergarten. Things looked a little different then.  It was the first year we held a lottery. We had no beautiful garden and no middle school.  The back space was half storage and half dance space and Friday Sing was in the cafeteria and happened every Friday. Most of the teaching and staff faces were different—though some of those same faces remain today (Mrs. Broughton, Mr. Wilbur, Mrs. Adams, Mrs. Siebert, Ms. Wise, and Mrs. Hollis)


Prior to that, we had spent 2 years looking at schools. We observed school classrooms and interviewed teachers, curriculum coordinators and principals. On the day we met with Principal Hollis we knew that our long search was over. It wasn’t the arts curriculum that lured us in. That was icing on the cake. It was the philosophy of the school; the philosophy that each child is an individual and differences are welcomed, the belief that learning can be fun, along with the community that welcomes families with open arms.


A lot has happened in our 11 years at ABS. We’ve had the joy of witnessing years of performances of Romeo and Juliet on the Border, watching each new 2nd grade bring African projects in the door and singing Funga Alafia a million times. In those years the ABS community has suffered together through the deaths of a student, a teacher and several parents. However, we’ve also celebrated marriages and births. We’ve celebrated the progress of our children and our development as parents and teachers.


By far the most meaningful experience has been seeing our children grow from little ones who couldn’t yet read or calculate numbers into big teenage boys who are reading the same books we are and are WAY better than their mother at anything mathematical! If you’re new to ABS or have children in lower grades, you may at times doubt the value of the arts-based curriculum or struggle to see what your child is learning without daily worksheets, homework and tests. As the parents of an ABS graduate and one soon to graduate, we can attest to the incredible job ABS teachers and staff are doing every day. We’ve seen the results and can’t imagine anyplace better for children to learn, grow and be nurtured.


Our lives were forever changed in 2005. Many of the friends and connections we made in that first year remain with us today. And we’ve had the opportunity to get to know many others over the years. We love this community and as excited as we are to see what the future holds for Ben and our family, we’re going to miss this school next year.


We tell our story today hoping that it will inspire you to give back to this school that has given so much to so many. This is a school that is helping to create children who will have a positive impact on our world. It’s inspiring them to go into the world hungry for learning and sensitive to the people and environment around them. This is why our family gives to the annual campaign every year. We hope your family will too.


It’s Week FOUR of our Annual Giving Campaign!





There are many ways to contribute:  send in an envelope with your child, mail one in, drop by either front office OR simply click on this link to donate online quickly and easily!


Friday Sing – March 11th- Raffle Tickets help fund ABS Hospitality!

ABS Hospitality hosts events throughout the year from new parent orientation to faculty and staff lunch on conference days. We rely on food contributions from families and the proceeds from the assistant principal raffle. Students from all grades may participate in the raffle and the money goes to a good cause. Drawings are held each month during First Friday Sing. You can purchase tickets at the front office of school before Friday Sing.


Parent Council Meeting March 11

Our next meeting is Friday, March 11th at 8:15 am in the teacher resource room of the MLK Building. If there is a topic you want considered for discussion, please contact Lindsay Deibler (lindsaydeibler@gmail.com) or Michelle Hopkins Lawrence (mhopkins@alumni.princeton.edu).


Safety First

The safety of our students is one of our top priorities. As a result, throughout the course of the year we have several different precautionary drills that include fire, tornado, and lock down drills.

1) Fire drills are when we test our response time for evacuation of the building.  We conduct these drills monthly. Students are taken outside for this drill.

2) For a tornado drill, students are inside away from exterior windows. They are seated with their heads down and hands over the back of their necks. We conduct this drill in March in coordination with the State’s Severe Weather Preparedness week in March.

3) For lockdown drills, teachers and students stay in the classroom, turn off the lights and must be silent.   We practice this drill twice a year.


Construction Zone

In the next two weeks, construction is set to begin on a housing complex at the corner of MLK and Patterson.  This project may cause some challenges and disruptions in our traffic flow and parking.  The gravel lot often used by ABS parents will no longer be available.  (You may have noticed “No Trespassing Signs” already posted).  We will work closely with the construction crew and development company to coordinate efforts.  The project is set to be completed April 2017.


Weather Forecast

There is a forecast for the possibility of snow flurries on Thursday night into Friday morning.  I want to clarify what to expect if inclement weather does strike on Friday since it is an early release day.


If the weather requires a two-hour delay, we would cancel the half-day of school but allow afternoon conferences as previously  scheduled.  Students would make up the day on Monday, April 4.


If the weather makes road conditions unsafe for the day, we would cancel school and conferences.  Students would make up the day on Monday, April 4. Missed conferences would need to be made up during the following week- March 7-11.


Hopefully, no snow will fall and we can have school and conferences as scheduled.



Thanks to All for Read to Feed

Thank you to all who contributed to our Read to Feed initiative for Heifer International. We raised a grand total of $1,320.30 to support this annual K-Kids project.