ABS Thursday Notes- May 9, 2019

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                                                    May 9, 2019




How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“The pen is mightier than the sword.” – Edward Bulwer-Lytton


The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting sponsors independent journalists covering under-reported global issues. The organization engages students in learning about both the topics and the journalists. This week, we had visits from two Pulitzer Fellows, in combined classes of Ms. McNamara and Ms. Farrell.


Justin Catanoso visited 7th graders Tuesday. Mr. Catanoso is a journalism professor at Wake Forest University. He is a reporter at large, having published a large body of award-winning work. Now focused on reporting about the impact of climate change on ecosystems, he has attended five UN Climate summits. Professor Catanoso showed photos he had taken from across the globe: Peru, South Africa, North Carolina, Poland, Belize…and reported, first hand, about conditions that threaten our ecosystems world-wide. These stories are grim. Endangered African mammals such as rhinos and elephants, dying coral reefs, disappearing rain forests, stripped to make way for cattle, and threatened savannas. The future of our students will include either powerful response to these problems, or the horrible consequences of no response.


When we arrived at the “What can I do?” segment of Mr. Catanoso’s visit, students understood the need to reduce our carbon footprint. He shared news about wind and solar energy, and then he made a surprising suggestion: Perhaps the most effective change students themselves could make is to eat less beef. It surprised them to learn that cattle contribute a substantial percentage of methane gas to our atmosphere, and that methane is more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.


Yesterday, 8th graders were visited by Hannah Berk, Education Coordinator with the Pulitzer Center. She introduced students to a selection of articles by Pulitzer Center Fellows. She and their teachers guided students in reading the articles, then crafting poetry that includes lines pulled directly from the articles.


The Pulitzer Center invites K-12 students to submit poems like this to the “Fighting Words” Poetry Contest, by Monday, May 20. Prizes include up to $100, publication, and performance opportunities.


Ms. Berk was delighted by the open ease with which our students responded to this challenge. She was pleased to learn that ABS students read, write, and listen to spoken poetry performances from one another throughout their ABS careers. Below are a few potent samples of yesterday’s work:


Choppity chop chop

Down goes the culture

Choppity chop chop

Down goes it all

The wind passing through

Might be gone soon

Thick and covered like

The hair on my arms it

Stands up in fear of

All that will be lost

They stand up in fear that

It will be gone soon

They stand up to protect it

(Annika Bills – Disappearing Amazon rain forests.)


The lake began to disappear

Everybody cried when

The lake began to disappear

The wind saltier than the tears streaming down–

Your face when

The lake began to disappear


The large salty desert left when

The lake began to disappear

Nobody smiling, no more tourists when

The lake began to disappear

So many have been forced to leave when

The lake began to disappear


(Quint Johnson – Climate change impacting Iran.)


With three suitcases

And different paces

A young girl starts to cry.

The hope? You ask

Behind their mask

You never let it die


And bags all packed

And shoulders slacked

Behold this motley crew!

To an unknown place,

With solemn face,

“Everything is new.”


(Adler Giordano – Four displaced refugee families.)



Music “Informance” demos May 20, 21, 22

If you have a student in 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade, watch for detailed information from your classroom teacher about opportunities to observe music class!


NC School Report Card

The state released the NC School Report Card for 2017-18 on April 30.   We earned a School Performance Grade of B and exceeded the Growth Standard.   A copy of the report can be accessed at



Community Creates!  Thank you!

We are incredibly grateful to everyone who came together this past weekend to make Community Creates 2019 a rousing success: volunteers, artists, parents, friends, and sponsors! Together, we raised more than $47,000 for Visiting Artists at ABS — a record for us! 100 for $100 canvases are still on sale in the 7th street building, now priced as 60 for $60!  Many, many thanks to all for your affection for ABS and your support of this special event.


Last Call for Yearbooks

If you haven’t gotten this year’s ABS Yearbook, you have one last chance.  We have ordered additional copies that will arrive in about 3 weeks.  If you would like one of these, please pre-order and make payment with Donna Brown or Hannah Brown at the ABS front desks.  Yearbooks are $20.


May Parent Council Meeting

We will host our final Parent Council this school year on Friday, May 17 at 8:15 in the MLK Cafe.  All ABS parents, families, and caregivers are part of Parent Council and are welcome to attend! Don’t forget that attendance at Parent Council meetings counts toward volunteer hours.  If you have requests for the agenda, please send them to Parent Council Co-Chairs, Joy Blaser (joy.blaser@gmail.com) and Becky Dickson (rebeccapdickson@gmail.com) by Friday, May 10.



Field Day

The end of the school year is rapidly approaching, and we still need a volunteer to coordinate Field Day for the 5th-8th grades. Responsibilities include emailing class reps to choose and coordinate games, determining best location for games, and keeping classes moving on Field Day. If you can help coordinate, please email Joy Blaser (joy.blaser@gmail.com) and Becky Dickson (rebeccapdickson@gmail.com).


Sprit Week at 7th Street Building

Each year the ABS Builder Club hosts Spirit Week.  5th-8th grade students have the option to dress up during the week of March 13-17. Every family is encouraged to also donate a specific item on each day of the event. All contributions will be donated to local support organizations. Below are the dress codes for each day, as well as donation categories. Thank you for your support!


Spirit Week: May 13-17

Meme Monday (dress as your favorite school appropriate meme)- travel sized toiletries/Family Services Crisis Center


Twin Tuesday (dress the same as your friend)-diapers(any size)/Diaper Bank of North Carolina


Wacky Wednesday (dress in your weirdest and wackiest combinations)-baby books 0-2 and puzzle books/SECU House-FSCC


Throwback Thursday (dress from your favorite decade)-socks all sizes/Winston-Salem Rescue Mission


Fan Friday (dress as a fan of your favorite, team, band, book or movie)-individually wrapped snacks/Ronald McDonald House


Builder’s Club Movie Day

Movie Day: Friday, May 17

The ABS Builders Club is having a movie day on Friday, May 17th from 2:30 and ends at 4:30. This event is for 5-8 grade students only. Admission is $5.00 and $1.00 for concessions. Permission slips and payment must be turned in by Thursday, May 16.  All money from admission will be donated to the ABS Builders Club and all money from concessions will go to the ABS Annual Giving Campaign. The movies to pick from are the following:


  • Ghostbusters- 7th  and 8th only (PG-13)
  • Monsters Inc(G)
  • Wrinkle in Time(PG)
  • The House with a Clock in the Walls(PG)


Please note: Pick up for this event will be at the dismissal tents 4:30. All MLK siblings must be picked up at regular dismissal time.


Garden Workdays!

Join us for a Garden Workday on Saturday, May 11 from 9-12. We will be focused on weeding and preparing garden beds. Bring garden gloves, water bottles, and garden tools if you have them! Future garden workdays:

Every Tuesday, 2:00-3:00

Saturday, May 11, 9-12

Saturday, June 1, 9-12


Classroom Placement

Our goal at ABS is to create classrooms that are balanced across all demographic categories. Grade level teams know their students well, spend a lot of time thinking about the best way to group students and teachers, and can be trusted to accomplish this goal. Occasionally, there may be a situation where a parent has input to give about his or her child’s placement. Administrators will consider these extenuating circumstances along with all of the other considerations already given to class placement. There is no guarantee that the input given will determine your child’s placement.


We have extended the deadline to June 1st.   If you do have extenuating circumstances that we may not be aware of, please complete this form to provide information even if you have already submitted a request.  Student Class Placement Form


Last Friday Sings

Final Friday Sing of the year will be Tuesday, June 4 at 10:00am, for all K-8 students (and parents) in the 7th Street Courtyard. If rain is predicted, we will have to cancel.


ABS  Summer Camps

Camp registration is currently open to ABS students only and filling up quickly.  Deadline for registration is May 31!  Sign up today!  See more information and registration at ABS Summer Camps


Extended Day Program

ABS will offer an extended day program from 2:00-5:30 PM for parents who need care beyond the summer camp hours of 9-2. The cost is an additional $15 per day. Space is limited! Those who are interested should contact slefever@artsbasedschool.com


Around Town…

UNCSA Preparatory Dance Auditions

Saturday, May 11, 2019 and Saturday, August 3, 2019


Auditions for the Preparatory Dance Program are held in May and August each year, and those accepted are placed into one of five classes based on age and ability. Students in the second and third grades do not need to have any previous experience dancing, whereas the older students will need to exhibit an understanding of the basics of dance.

For more information:

Susan Brooker-Director