ABS Thursday Notes- November 5, 2015

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                                          November 5, 2015




Veteran’s Day-No School

Wednesday, November 11


How We Do It and Why

by Mary Siebert 


With all things and in all things, we are relatives.  – Sioux Proverb

Our visiting and resident artists are often featured here, but attention is less frequently focused on our community partnerships. The Arts Based School’s original charter envisions two-way partnerships that expand our students’ learning and positively impact community development. Learning is expected to happen not only on the ABS campus. We consider the whole community to be part of our classroom, and we know that we are developing a practice of life-time learning, through this process. Our school and our students inspire and challenge our community to learn and grow too, and we share that energy and insight abundantly. This reciprocity embedded in our charter strengthens our school as alloys strengthen steel.

This week provides a number of examples: our 4th graders perform today at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (“SECCA”) where our students’ art will inspire visitors during SECCA’s Community Family Day (on November 14th from 10:00–1:00) and through the Thanksgiving holiday. Visitors to SECCA have also been invited to view examples of movies made by our students, demonstrating how the art of film making can be implemented in the classroom to excite research.

Also this week, we hosted a tour from ZECA, a new school from Jacksonville, NC. Curriculum Coordinator Liz Green reported that she enjoyed seeing our school through the eyes of others, as the visitors’ jaws dropped in response to the positive school culture, the art on the walls, and everything from the “wheel of choice” tools on classroom walls to the funky grandeur of the 7th street courtyard.

There are numerous other examples, and here is a sampling:

Salem College sends students to tour ABS and to student-teach here, and Susan Foster, the organist at Old Salem’s Home Moravian Church offers a free introduction to the pipe organ when 2nd graders study the science of sound. High school students from UNCSA visit us to practice their circus skills and Shakespearean monologues, and our 6th graders visit the UNCSA film school.  Our 4th graders attend a film at UNSCA about the Lost Colony, and our Kindergarteners perform with UNCSA dancers and musicians at the Freeman Theater on their campus. Wake Forest sends their education students to tour ABS regularly. Film-maker and Professor Sandy Dickson from WFU will visit 7th grade to talk about her film Petr Ginz, which the students will watch, for a Q&A. We visit both the Diggs Gallery and the great John Biggers murals at Winston-Salem State University. Principal Hollis often assists with principal interviews there.

First graders walk through downtown to ride the elevators to the top of a skyscraper for a bird’s-eye view of the city, often at The Piedmont Club. For years, 5th graders walked to City Hall to sing at the National Day of Peace. We have visited Mayor Joines in his chambers to sing for him, and he has been an artist and leader participant in our Community Creates! fundraiser.

We are developing new relationships with business leaders and businesses, from Unifi factory to Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. Our Kiwanis service groups fundraise and volunteer in the community. We have contributed designs to the Winston-Salem Symphony, and maestro Robert Moody has visited and conducted our 8th grade band. The list continues to grow, and we remain interested in new contacts and ideas. We are an integral part of the whole, and our school continues to learn, along with the students.


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 20- Early Dismissal

                        K-4 Dismiss at 11:45

                        5-8 Dismiss at 12 noon


Lost and Found

Please check lost and found for items you may have forgotten.   All items not claimed by November 20 will be donated to Goodwill.

Garden Work Day

Saturday, November 14, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

We have over 1,000 little plants to put in the ground at the work day, plus other fun things to do. It’s a great way to do your volunteer hours and spend healthy time outdoors getting to know some of your fellow ABS parents. Bring your kids, plus snacks and fun to keep them happy.

We will need at least one additional power drill for making holes, plus heavy-duty, long extension cords. If you have a pickup truck and/or trailer and want to spend part of the work day getting leaf mulch from the city, that would be very useful.

RSVP and questions to Matt Mayers: mlmayers@gmail.com or 723-7189.


It’s time to pre-order your ABS 2015-16 Yearbooks!

The cost is only $20, and the easiest way to order is online via this link https://vando.imagequix.com/g1000343826 If you prefer to send a check, you will find an order form in your child’s Thursday packet today. Return the check and form to Angela Wise for students in the MLK building, or Donna Brown for students in the 7th street building.

We have already gotten a lot of really great photographs for our Yearbook this year – Parent Reps and all ABS family members, keep posting pics on your Shutterfly sites, the more images we have to choose from, the better! (Field Trips, candids, performances, etc.)

Deadline for ordering yearbooks is January 15th.


Parent Council News:

Parent Council Meeting Friday November 13, 8:15

All parents and guardians of ABS students are welcome. We will present the social media letter which parents requested earlier in the year. If you would like to submit other topics for the agenda, please contact Lindsay Deibler (lindsaydeibler@gmail.com) or Michelle Hopkins Lawrence (mhopkins@alumni.princeton.edu).


Raffle at First Friday Sing

Don’t forget to buy your tickets for the assistant principal raffle on Friday. The proceeds fund the hospitality budget for Parent Council.


Parent’s Afternoon Off  Nov 20

Mark your calendar for Friday, November 20 for an afternoon of movie fun!  Kids dismiss early that day (11:45am and 12:00pm).  For $5 kids can stay until 2:30pm.  Snacks will be sold as well.  More information coming soon!  Have questions or interested in volunteering, please contact Lindsay Beane (LGBeane2@aol.com).


Around Town…

Boxcar Children is opening next weekend at Hanesbrands Theatre at the Milton Rhodes Art Center in downtown Winston-Salem. The production is directed by ABS middle school drama teacher Nick Zayas and features ABS Kindergarten student Jacob Koerner, 5th grade student Quint Johnson and 6th grade student Ella Marion in significant, starring roles. Performances are November 6-8  at 7:00pm and a Sunday matinee at 2:00pm.  Tickets are $14 and can be purchased now online at eTickets or at the box office one hour prior to showtime.