ABS Thursday Notes – September 10, 2015

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                                        September 10, 2015



How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

All the ills of mankind, all the tragic misfortunes that fill the history books, all the political blunders, all the failures of the great leaders have arisen merely from a lack of skill at dancing.” – Moliére

This article is run every year when we kick off Dancing Classrooms; a program of twenty lessons taught at the 5th grade level at ABS, by visiting artist Ann Guill and her assistants. We started this week. ABS piloted the program with Ms. Guill years ago, and it has remained an annual event at 5th grade. The Dancing Classrooms mission is “… to build social awareness, confidence and self-esteem in children through the practice of social dance. Through standards-based, in-school residencies, we use the vocabulary of ballroom dance to cultivate the positive feelings that are inherent in every child. The maturity necessary to dance together fosters respect, teamwork, confidence and a sense of joy and accomplishment, which we hope to bring to every child. Ballroom dance is the medium we use to nurture these qualities.” Students learn the fox trot, waltz, swing, tango, merengue, and other dances while also learning how to treat one another with respect and social grace. This is a perfect match for us, particularly because Ann and her assistants are teaching the child, not the subject. They are all expert ballroom dancers, but the priority is the social progress of the individual child. It’s challenging at first to 5thgraders, because of the “cootie” factor, but that passes quickly by. They have been dancing with partners since Kindergarten, so it’s not an enormous leap, and our students are accustomed to public performance. This makes them ideal exhibition dancers, and there is a performance for parents at the end of the program. Meanwhile, they will be figure drawing from live models in the art studio (their own peers will model, frozen in dance positions that every student knows by heart.) They will also write poetry and prose about the experience, and these drawings and writings will be exhibited at the final program. Students’ familiarity with ballroom dancing leads easily into their work in Romeo and Juliet on the Border, in which they perform Northern Mexican and cowboy partner dances from the late 1800s.




Flu Season

As you know, flu can be easily spread from person to person.  We are asking for your help in reducing the spread of flu at ABS.  The symptoms for the seasonal flu and H1N1 are the same: fever of 100 degrees or more, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, and feeling very tired.  Students with these symptoms will be sent home.

You can help us by taking these simple steps:

  • Teach children to wash their hands often.
  • Teach your children not to share food or drink.
  • Teach children to cough or sneeze into their elbows to avoid spreading germs.
  • Keep sick children home.
  • Children must be fever-free for 24 hrs before returning to school.
  • Get the flu vaccine for you and your children.


ABS Handbook

The ABS Parent-Student Handbook is available on our website at http://artsbasedschool.com/parent-student-handbook/

Please take some time to review the school’s handbook to familiarize yourself with our policies and practices.  A printable version is also available at the website address.


Parent Council Meeting-Friday, Sept 11

The first Parent Council Meeting will be this Friday, Sept 11 at 8:15am in the Teacher Resource Room of the MLK Building. The agenda is attached to Thursday Notes.


Fall Festival – Save The Date: October 3rd 

Mark your calendars for family fun at the ABS Fall Fest on Saturday, October 3rd from noon-3pm at the 7th Street Building & Courtyard! We’ll have games, music, food trucks and more! Interested in volunteering?  Contact Tommy Priest. (mindmade@gmail.com)



Book Fair is Coming to both the 7th St. & MLK bldgs.  from Tuesday 9/29 – Saturday 10/3!  We will need volunteers at both buildings, and during Fall Festival on Saturday.  The theme is “Monster Book Fair” and it’s sure to be a hit! Come join us in supporting our school’s library and classrooms by volunteering!


Please sign up in either the MLK OR 7th Street buildings:


  1. Go to this link to see our Sign-Up on VolunteerSpot: http://vols.pt/gtyRJz
  2. Enter your email address. You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot.
  3. Sign up! Choose your spots in either MLK or 7th St. Bldgs – VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy!


Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me (“Amy Archambault” <aarchamb@gmail.com>) and I can sign you up manually.


Picture Day-Oct 6

Smile!  October 6 is Picture Day!  All students will be photographed to be included in the school’s yearbook.  Proofs will be sent home along with information if you would like to order.


Activity Fee

Each family is asked to pay $30.00 per year per child to help cover the costs of our extensive curriculum enhancement activities, including field trips and art trips.  Fees are payable at the start of the year and may be paid for the full year or in smaller increments, if needed.  Financial assistance is available to those families with demonstrated need per the approval of the principal.  Checks should be made out to The Arts Based School and turned into Ms. Wise in the front office or paid online at



Around Town…


“Arts in the Afternoon” at Sawtooth, Sept 19, 1-4pm “community open There will be a variety of artists’ demonstrations and hands-on art activities.  See attached flyer for more information or visit www.sawtooth.org