ABS Thursday Notes- October 17, 2019

Thursday Notes                       

Published for the Arts Based School Community                          October 17, 2019



How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“Do not keep children to their studies by compulsion but by play.” – Plato


  This week our new classroom faculty are attending a training seminar, where fresh ideas for effective arts integration will be shared, developed, and honed. ABS is beginning our sixteenth year as a member of “A+ Schools of North Carolina,” a signature program of the NC Arts Council, an agency of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.  A+ originated in Winston-Salem as an experimental project supported by the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts.

  The A+ organization defines itself asa whole-school reform model that views the arts as fundamental to teaching and learning in all subjects. A+ Schools combine interdisciplinary teaching and daily arts instruction, offering children opportunities to develop creative, innovative ways of thinking, learning and showing what they know. In A+ Schools, teaching the state’s mandated curriculum involves a collaborative, many-disciplined approach, with the arts continuously woven into every aspect of a child’s learning.”

  Our school developed independently and unaware of the A+ network, until we discovered their parallel values and goals, and joined them in the summer of our third year of operations. Now, we have built friendships and relationships that buoy and inspire us, and we benefit from our membership via staff development, visits from A+ Fellows, (our dance teacher Jan Adams is among them,) meetings, and on-line connections with like-minded educators. We also provide tours for schools who are considering joining the network, so they can see a model of arts integration. With Other A+ teachers, we sing and dance and draw and improvise. We examine state standards in other subjects such as math, science, language arts, and social studies, and we investigate new ways to help kids discover the connections between and among them all. A+ always alerts us to upcoming changes in curricular expectations from the state, and their team of energetic, creative experts make suggestions for arts connections that we can use as springboards to new goals.


To learn more about the A+ Schools organization, visit https://aplus-schools.ncdcr.gov/about


The 5th grade Dancing Classrooms Exhibitions Time Change:

We must change times for our exhibitions. Please mark the following times in your calendar and join is in the Ewing Blackbox Theater in the MLK building of ABS. Each exhibition lasts about half an hour.

      Ms. Frazier’s class: 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, November 5

      Ms. Zayas’ class: 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, November 6

      Ms. Leni’s class: 10:00 a.m. Thursday, November 7


MAP results sent home

Third through Eighth grade students will receive MAP results in their Thursday Packets today.  Please take some time to review these results. You will notice an additional MAP family report that provides additional information to parents.   Overall results show that ABS students in each of those grades achieve higher scores than the national norms in all areas tested: math, science, reading, and language arts.   Congratulations to our students and their teachers for a job well done. If you have any questions regarding MAP results, please contact your child’s teacher.


iStation Reading Results Sent Home

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has implemented and required a kindergarten through third grade reading assessment called iStation to help teachers assess, track and support each student’s reading skills.  Each student will be assessed every trimester using the online assessment program. iStation will instantly analyze your child’s development in grade-appropriate foundational reading skills. Teachers will use this data to focus their instruction around your child’s specific needs, in areas that may include:


  • Hearing and using sounds in spoken words (Phonemic Awareness)
  • Knowing sounds of letters and sounding out written words (Alphabetic Principle)
  • Reading words in stories easily, quickly, and correctly (Accuracy and Fluency)
  • Understanding what they read (Reading Comprehension).



In this week’s Thursday Packet, you will receive your child’s specific assessment results. The letter will also include learning activities you and your child can do together at home to reinforce skills learned at school.  Parent support and reading at home are a vital part of your child’s education. The teacher’s efforts, combined with your support, will help your child read with mastery and confidence.  If you have any questions about the assessment, the activities, or your child’s classroom work and progress, please talk to your child’s teacher.




Annual Giving!

Thank you sincerely to everyone who has already contributed to this year’s campaign! We are already in the third week of the campaign, and we urgently need your support to make a difference for ABS! Annual Giving benefits every student in every classroom at ABS. From visiting artists to the ABS Pantry and beyond, your gift helps to make the ABS experience unique, genuine, and meaningful for every student. 


Last year, thanks to your generosity, we had our best year ever for Annual Giving, and it was remarkable to see what we can accomplish together for our students and for our school. You are an important part of ABS, and your support of Annual Giving matters. Please take a moment to give as generously as you are able! Making a recurring monthly gift is an excellent way to maximize your gift to ABS, as is sharing the call to action with your extended family and friends.


Total School Participation to Date: 13%

Total Dollars Raised to Date: $25,040


You can make your gift online: artsbasedschool.com/your-support


You can also send in your gift or your pledge on the form that came home in the Thursday Folders.


Scholastic Book Fair Report:

We want to send a big thanks to all the volunteers who worked at one of

our book fairs!  We also want to thank everyone who shopped the fair! 

We are excited to announce we had a banner year for sales- we sold

$17,500 in books/merchandise at the fairs which results in $11,500

Scholastic Dollars that will be used to purchase books for the school

libraries as well as all classroom libraries!


Happy Reading-

Catie, Rachel and Mackenzie



Box Top Collection-Oct 25

 Box Tops for Education is changing the way our schools earn money. They are phasing out of clipping and sending in box tops. Instead, families need to download the Box Tops for Education App on their phones and use it to scan their receipts. The app identifies which items count towards our school earnings from the receipt.

They are still going to be accepting the clipped box tops. Therefore, we will have a collection at our school on October 25th.




Last year we sold out of yearbooks! Make sure you have your copy by ordering today! Orders can be placed by filling out the order form that was sent home in last week’s Thursday notes, or by visiting the Strawbridge website at http://www.strawbridge.net/ and clicking the red “Order Pictures and Yearbooks” button at the top of the page. The price is $22 and our school code is YB106312.



Prospective Parents’ Tours

School tours for prospective parents are scheduled weekly on Thursdays at 9:30am.  Each tour is limited to 10 adults in an effort to limit the disruption to our students and teachers in the classrooms.  Parents interested in learning more about ABS and how to enroll their child, should contact the front office to sign up for a tour. 748-4116 ext 1023.  Applications will be accepted beginning January 1. The lottery will be held the second Tuesday of February.


Around Town…

C-Change Conversations: The Garden Club Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, North Carolina and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church are sponsoring free, public events to explore one of the most urgent issues of our time: climate change.

There are two events, Wednesday, October 23rd 5:30-7:00pm, at Forsyth County Central Library, 660 W. 5th Street. The second talk Thursday, October 24th 12:15-1:45pm,at St Paul’s Episcopal Church, 520 Summit Street.


Beyond DefinitionAn Evening with Camille A. Brown & Juel D. Lane, UNCSA Alumni Artpreneurs of the Year

Award-winning dancers and choreographers Camille A. Brown and Juel D. Lane, the 2019 UNCSA Chancellor’s Artpreneurs of the Year, will share how their creative journeys have evolved over the course of their careers, and how they have used their training to build wildly successful creative ventures. This “town hall”-style event will be an inspirational conversation for dance-lovers and artists in any stage of their career.
This event will be held Saturday, October 26th, at 7:00pm, in Watson Hall on the UNCSA campus. Tickets are $15 for general admission/$10 for UNCSA alumni & non-UNCSA students/No charge for UNCSA students, faculty and staff. More information can be found here.