ABS Thursday Notes- November 8, 2018

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                   November 8, 2018




Veteran’s Day-No School

Monday, November 12


How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“The golden way is to be friends with the community and to regard the whole human family as one.” – Mahatma Gandhi


The visiting and resident artists at ABS are an important part of our learning, and quickly become part of the family. Beyond these personal relationships, we have developed partnerships with local organizations who contribute to our experience of the community as an extension of the classroom. Here are just a few examples:


SECCA (The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art.) With ever-changing exhibits of local and national artists, SECCA is uncommonly welcoming to students. On-site lessons, performances, attendance at exhibits, meetings with artists, and even exhibitions of our students’ work are all part of our relationship with this generous organization.


UNCSA (The University of North Carolina School of the Arts.) We have partnered with each department at UNCSA and are inspired every year by their dynamic students and faculty, who generously lift us up with their energy and expertise. Dancers, musicians, film makers, visual artists, actors, general studies students, and professors from all these departments have learned and created together with us. The possibilities are endless.


The Hispanic Arts Initiative. This organization brought us musicians, dancers, lecturers, and artists. They advised us in authentic dance and costume design, built costumes for us, found us a Mariachi band, suggested curricular materials, and participated in our fundraiser. Although they recently disbanded, their impact on us is a lasting one.


The Healing Force. This small family organization packs a jubilant punch, sharing stories and music from Africa through performances and extended visits. With them, we designed a unique performance which centered around the story-telling of the family, who, encircled by twenty second-graders at a time, told a traditional story from West Africa as the students acted it out. We mourn the 2017 loss of “Mama” Gail Anderson of The Healing Force.


Reynolda House. We have never had a year when some of our students didn’t tour this local treasure. We often design our own tour, based on current studies at each grade level, and the staff has supported our creative ideas, even crafting activities to support them. We walk their wooded trails, picnic on the lawn, stroll through the gardens, visit the grand home interior and listen to their pipe organ, attend special exhibits, and focus on permanent collection pieces that fit into specific studies.


The Winston-Salem Symphony. We have attended youth concerts at the symphony whenever they correspond with our schedule, and now we participate in their new Carnegie Hall “Link Up” connection. The conductors have visited, symphony players have performed and worked with our students, and the Bolton Wind Quintet, which originated at the Symphony with Conductor Emeritus Peter Perret, has visited our school every year since our inception.


Wake Forest University. Our students have both toured and been interviewed at Wake’s WFDD public radio station, whose David Ford has participated in our fundraiser.  They have visited or been visited by the Museum of Anthropology every year, borrowing trunks of objects that support learning about far-flung cultures of the world. We have visited the Hanes Gallery, performed in Wait Chapel and Brendle Hall, worked with Wake film students, and visited the library. We’ve been repeatedly inspired by visiting musical and dance faculty and students from WFU.


Bookmarks. Our relationship with this fresh and popular literary arts organization includes annual visits from authors, who read to us, draw for us, sign books for us, and share insights about writing. Their annual festival attracts abundant ABS families, and last spring’s visit to the BB&T Ballpark to meet author Dav Pilkey (along with 2,000 other students,) resulted in scores of jubilant ABS readers, sporting red “Captain Underpants” capes and reading fresh new copies of Dogman: Lord of the Fleas, with the author’s reminder that reading gives you superpowers.


Winston Salem State University. The astonishing Burke Singers visit us almost every year, crafting their performances to fit the ages of the students in the audience, and sharing glorious music as well as important lessons about race and history. We have visited the treasured murals of John Biggers at the WSSU library, attended performances on campus, visited Diggs Gallery and Delta Fine Arts which has moved to an off-campus location over the years. This year, plans are in the works to attend a rehearsal of the “Red Sea of Sound” marching band and drumline.


Annual Giving!

Today your ABS student(s) will have a letter and information about making a gift for this year’s Annual Giving campaign in their Thursday Folder. Thank you sincerely to all the parents and families who have already made a gift! We will be updating you on our progress each week in the Thursday Notes and in class emails.

This year, as in past years, we are hoping to achieve 100% participation. Family participation in Annual Giving at The Arts Based School is more than financial support; it is a vote of confidence that demonstrates your belief in and investment in this remarkable place.

ABS depends upon the generosity of parents, board members, and our community to support the learning and creating that happens here every day. We take particular pride in our ability to stretch our limited resources, so you can trust that your contribution, no matter the amount, will be a significant benefit for our school and our students.

We ask all parents for financial support just once each year. Please give as generously as you are able. Return your green envelope today! If you prefer to make a secure gift online, visit:



We’re on Instagram!

In an effort to expand community-wide support and awareness of the good things that happen at our school every day, we’ve launched an official Instagram account. Follow along: @artsbasedschool.



Congratulations to our Business Manager, Angela Wise. She married the man of her dreams, Mr. James Garner on October 28.    She will now be using her married name: Mrs. Garner!  For the 18 years she’s been at ABS, we’ve know her as Ms. Wise.  We’ll need a little practice to get used to the new name.


Scholastic Book Fair Update       

The Book Fair was a great success!

We want to thank all the volunteers who helped throughout the week.  We also want to thank all the shoppers who supported the fair by buying books- you made the book fair a success!

It was a joy to see so many happy kids buying books!  The teachers were also thrilled to receive so many books from their classroom wish lists.

In total, we sold more than $14,000 at the fairs and earned $8,500 towards new books for both the school libraries and classroom libraries.

Rachel Wilson & Catie Ayers- MLK Co-Chairs

Mackenzie Calhoun- 7th Street Chair



Fall Festival Success!

Raffle Winners:

1st Place  – Brandi Cleveland – for Perch & Nest , Tiny House Airbnb stay

2nd & 3rd Place – Jessica Tefft

& Jennifer Stevens Mooney Gift Certificate $25

4th Place – Lindsay Deibler Fool’s Gold Honey




As well a Big Thanks to everyone that participated in Fall fest. We raised $1685 for our school!  We couldn’t have done it without you!


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


Around Town…

Take the Lead 2018 at Benton Convention Center tonight 6pm.  Some of our fifth graders will being doing an exhibition of their ballroom dancing.  Principal Hollis will be dancing a tango to raise funds to support Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Dancing Classroom.     It will be streaming live on Facebook!


Join us for UNCSA’s Preparatory Dance Nutcracker Tea Party!  Performances at 11am and 2pm on December 1st & 2nd.  Call the Stevens Center Box Office for tickets or visit https://uncsa.secure.force.com/ticket/#details_a0S0G00000rbTqPUAU.