ABS Thursday Notes- November 1, 2018

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                              November 1, 2018




Veteran’s Day-No School

Monday, November 12


How We Do It and Why

“The mother art is architecture. Without our own, we have no soul of our own civilization.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

First graders are engaged in a progressive exploration of self, family, and community. It will include some experiential lessons that introduce the city of Winston-Salem as their own ever-changing and growing community. Along with delivery of state-required goals, we aim for the students to feel that this is their town.

The teachers read the story of The Three Little Pigs. Students consider and discuss the Three Little Pigs as architects who chose their own materials. They might experiment with those same materials themselves (straw, sticks, and bricks) and compare their properties. They ask themselves the following questions:


Q: What is an architect?

Q: Why was the third pig the most successful architect?

Q: What else could the third pig have made her house from, to make it extra strong?

Q: What are the properties of good building materials?

Q: Why did the third pig have to work so much harder to make her house?


Next, they look at buildings in Winston-Salem, thinking about the materials that those architects and builders chose as materials. They visit Old Salem and notice how the old buildings were constructed. They will enjoy a special visit from ABS’ contractor Don Vanderbeck, who will answer questions about how he chooses building materials, and what it’s like to work with them.

Assisted by a website that compares Winston-Salem skyscrapers, with names, measurements and identifying characteristics, first graders learn about the skyline of the modern part of downtown.

They take a downtown walking tour and think about the building materials needed for a skyscraper compared to the materials needed in Old Salem, over 200 years before. Like the Three Little Pigs, our town’s architects thought about form, function and materials. They are beginning to learn about observation and perspective, in art. As they walk from our school to downtown, they notice the tall buildings above them. Then they will ride an elevator way up high and look down over their own city, to compare how the perspective changes, from below looking up to up high, looking down.

Finally, they draw and color the Winston-Salem skyline, and add luster using bright colors. These are not so foreign and far up, now. They are their own buildings, and they can name each one.


ABS Annual Giving!
The ABS Annual Giving campaign is moving this year from the spring to the fall! In next week’s Thursday folder, you will receive a letter and information on how to make a gift.

As a charter school, ABS does not receive the same state and federal funding as traditional public schools. We depend upon the generosity of parents, board members, and our community to support the learning and creating that happens here every day. We ask all parents for financial support just once each year. Please give as generously as you are able.


Happy Holidays

The holidays can be perplexing for American educators. The North Carolina Standard Course of Study (guidelines for what children should be taught at each grade level) specifies only first grade as a time for focusing on celebrated holidays and special days in communities, while nearly every other grade is expected only to discuss historical figures and practices associated with diverse holidays.  We respect the religious and cultural backgrounds of every student.

Holiday decorations are not used indiscriminately in the classroom or about the school; though they may be used as part of a focused study. We do encourage fun in learning and discovering.  We decorate our walls all year with the brilliant creations of our students. We often incorporate delicious receptions into our art openings and performances. We join together singing songs of peace and understanding. Thank you for supporting us in making every child feel included in the delights of learning together.


High School Information Night

ABS will host counselors, teachers, and administrators from several area high schools for an information session on November 27th from 6-7pm. This will include a brief introduction from the high school reps and time to ask questions and gather information from a variety of schools. High School Information Night will take place in the 7th Street building and all 7th and 8th grade families are invited to attend.


Picture Retakes

November 28  is picture make-up and retake day. Any student who was absent on picture day will automatically be photographed as these pictures are used for our annual yearbook. However, if you are interested in your child having his/her picture retaken, please send a note or email to your child’s homeroom teacher before November 14. Students will only be sent for a retake if the parent sends in a request.


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- November 16- Early Dismissal

                        K-4 Dismiss at 11:45

                       5-8 Dismiss at 12 noon


If you forgot to get a yearbook last year, there are 8 copies left at half price ($10). See Donna Brown in the 7th street building to purchase!  To purchase THIS YEAR’S YEARBOOK – GO TO: STRAWBRIDGE.NET/PICTURES AND YEARBOOKS/OUR SCHOOL CODE IS 106312 cost is $20


Our ‘Enchanted Forest’ Fall Festival , is ONLY 3 days away!!!

With your wings and ears on please come and join the festivities of food, games, face painting, raffle and more !!!

Saturday November 3rd, 2018 from 12-3pm in the 7th street building courtyard!

5$ a child ( adults free) open to the public-

We still have a list of volunteer opportunities that we need filled

We need able hands and willing spirits to help pull this all together! Below is the link to the sign up genius.

Here is a list of some volunteer jobs still open:

  • set up and break down -Strong arms and backs to move tables from basement to courtyard Saturday morning at 10am!!
  • 3 more people to sell Pizza slices and water ( )
  • “Dj”- someone with a descent and magical set of tunes that are appropriate for the kiddos  ( iPad, iPod or computer )

See you Saturday!!

And Please Please Volunteer!!!



Contact with any questions.

Meagan Robinson




ABS Scholastic Book Fair

The Enchanted Forest Scholastic Book Fair is in full swing in both buildings! Be sure to check out your child’s wish list and check when their class will be purchasing this week. If you haven’t had a chance to stop by and shop, don’t worry! We are open today and tomorrow until 3:30 and will be open during Fall Fest on Saturday 12:00-3:00.

We appreciate all the volunteers who have worked both fairs this week!  7th Street still needs volunteers for Friday’s shopping hours and Saturday’s Fall Fest.  If you can help, please sign up:


If we’ve sold out of an item you wanted or if you can’t make it to the fair- you can shop our book selection at our ONLINE FAIR!  Additional titles are also available online.  All online Book Fair sales will ship for free to the school.  (Use the links below and scroll down to the orange “Shop Now” button now through November 6th.)

http://www.scholastic.com/bf/artsbasedschoolk4 (MLK building, Grades K-4)

http://www.scholastic.com/bf/artsbasedschool58 (7th Street building, Grades 5-8)

Be sure to check out the Classroom Wish List board when you visit the fair.  Every teacher selected books they would like to add to their classroom library.  This is a great way to thank our teachers and spread the love of reading to all students!

Please note, we will be open for FALL FEST in BOTH BUILDINGS!  Be sure to walk up to the MLK building to shop the elementary book fair and stop by the bookmark station to make a bookmark (located outside MLK cafeteria door).

UNICEF Money Due
The K-Kids have been collecting money for UNICEF. If you still have money at home, please bring it in by Monday of next week. Thank you for your support!


Two more traffic volunteers needed for Mondays and Wednesdays.

A Note from one our Traffic Volunteer

My hope is that the first pleasant greeting from the Traffic Helpers puts them in an optimistic mood for their learning experience at ABS.  We always have some children who’ve had a tough time getting ready in the morning and arrive at school teary or sad.  With the full three Traffic Helpers one of us can walk that child to the door with friendly banter and turn them over to Ms. Hollis or Ms. Siebert who both say the right thing and sometimes get a giggle from the formerly sad child.  It’s extremely rewarding.  Then there are the large musical instruments, large projects, like the fourth grade map of NC.  With three Helpers one of us can carry that item for the child allowing the parent to avoid searching for a parking place and walking their child in themselves.


All in all we have a lot of fun while ensuring the children exit traffic safely and stay safely behind us on the sidewalk until they reach the top of the hill, which seems to be a great relief for the delivering caretakers and we get a LOT of thank yous.  I think a couple of other parents or grandparents would benefit from volunteering!

-Karen Tilley, Grandparent


Around Town…

Glassblowing DEMO NIGHT FRIDAY 11/2/18 at the OLIO

5 – 8 pm

Free & narrated demos in the hot shop!


UNCSA Nutcracker Preview Event 

Saturday, November 3 

10:45 am 

Kaleideum Downtown

Experience the magic of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ production of The Nutcracker at Kaleideum Downtown this Saturday!


Listen to a special storytime at 10:45 am, then watch in wonder as cast members perform a short preview of the ballet. Afterward, learn some dance steps and meet and greet the Nutcracker performers!