Thursday Notes – August 21st, 2014

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“In order to create, there must be a dynamic force, and what force is more potent than love?”

– Igor Stravinsky


Welcome, familiar friends and new! Our first day of school breezed by smoothly. I am the Arts Director at the Arts Based School, and nearly every Thursday you will find an article from me about our unique methods, the research supporting our philosophy, and inspirational moments in the classroom and school community. If you would like me to explore a particular topic, please suggest it by e-mailing me at

We believe that our approach “levels the playing field” so that your child has many options for appropriately challenging learning and accomplishment. We continually assess and reconsider our work with one major goal: helping your child become a successful student who loves learning. We focus on meeting each child where s/he is, and moving forward from there. Beyond that, we want our students to become confident, inspired, creative problem-solvers. Sometimes, you are the missing link. Based on current research, here is how you can give your child the opportunities he or she desires and deserves: Make sure your child:

·         Gets 10 hours of sleep every night. (That’s right…TEN!)

·         Eats a nutritious breakfast every morning, avoiding sugary foods.

·         Brings a healthy snack and a water bottle, every day.

·         Arrives at school on time, and avoids early departure.

·         Gets outside and exercises after school and on weekends.

·         Has restricted screen time, and reads at home daily. Read aloud together!

·         Talks with you about school and has your help with learning, daily.

·         Also:  fulfill your volunteer hours. Research proves that children of active parent volunteers perform better in school.

·         If your child takes medication, administer it appropriately and reliably.

·         Even on difficult mornings, send your child off with a hug and loving words.


No amount of creative, dedicated, brilliantly-taught lessons or technology can make up for a lack in these parental responsibilities. Please, partner with us to make your child’s year at ABS the best it can possibly be, and we pledge to do the same!

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 at Back to School night. Also payable online at


Household Income Survey        

Every year the Arts Based School applies for federal and state grants that help fund the education we provide to our students. The Income Eligibility Survey for our ABS families provides vital information to determine how much funding we are eligible to receive.   These forms will be included in Thursday Packets today.    This information also allows us to provide assistance to families with the lunch pantry and band instrument scholarships.   Please complete this form and return it by Friday, August 29.


ABS Family/Student Directory

To be sure we have accurate contact information for the ABS family/student directory, each family will be receiving a confirmation email in the next few days to verify the information that will be printed in the directory. Families that do not want to be published in the ABS directory should email Principal Hollis at before August 30.


Field Trip Permission Slip

Each student will receive a field trip permission slip in today’s Thursday Packet. Please complete the form and return to your classroom teacher. This form will only need to be completed once and used for the entire year for all field trips. Your classroom teacher will remind you of each trip and provide details of each trip as the date of each trip approaches.


Medicine at School

If it becomes necessary for your child to take medicine during the school day, this must be indicated in writing on the school form. All medications (including cough drops and Tylenol) must be kept in the office, along with a doctor’s authorization on a school medical form.


1st Parent Council Meeting – September 12th

Please join us on Friday, September 12th at 8:15am in the Teacher Resource Room (K-4 MLK Building across from Mr. Wilbur’s Music Class).  EVERYONE at ABS is a member of Parent Council – all parents, grandparents, guardians – all are welcome!  We will publish an agenda the week of the meeting, but we’ll plan to discuss volunteer opportunities and plans for the year.  Most Parent Council meetings last about an hour and little siblings are welcome.  Questions?  Contact PC Co-Chairs Michelle Lawrence ( and Shannon Wright (  Hope to see you there!


Calling All Volunteers!

Volunteers are a vital part of the success of ABS.  We ask that each family donate one hour of volunteer time per week per child enrolled in the school.  You can accomplish this time in little pieces (e.g. doing something each week) or in large chunks (e.g. work several hours at one time).  How you do it is up to you, we just ask that you participate.  Each classroom teacher and all our specialist teachers have a Parent Rep (or two Co-Reps).  You will be hearing from your Class Reps shortly with requests to sign up for volunteer needs for your child’s classroom.  We also ask that you track your volunteer hours (it’s helpful for us to boast about our volunteer hours when we apply for grants).  You may log your time at the computers in either front office through our HelpCounter tracking system.  You will also receive an email invitation from Stephanie May ( to link to HelpCounter from your home computer so you can log hours at home.  Thank you!


Assistant Principal for the Day

Give your child a chance at the highly coveted Assistant Principal of the Day spot!  Yes, your child (of any grade level) can serve as Principal Hollis’ Assistant for an entire day!  They have their own desk, name tag and list of “Principal Duties” for the day!  Simply stop by either front office and purchase your raffle tickets today ($1/ticket, $5 for 6 tickets).  Each month the lucky winner will be drawn and announced at the 1st Friday Sing.  All proceeds from the raffle support our Hospitality fund and allow us do special things for our staff throughout the year.  Our first winner will be selected on Friday, September 5th – don’t miss it!


No Dogs Please

Although we all enjoy our own pets at home, we ask that you not bring your dogs to school campus even during afternoon pickup. It’s often irresistible to students who want to jump up and pet the dog or others that want to jump up and get away from the dog, and yet other students who are severely allergic. To help keep us all safe and happy, please leave dogs at home.


Morning Traffic Helpers Needed

We need 4-5 parents each morning to assist with morning drop off.  If you can help with this need, please email Heather Candelora at


Website resources

Updated school handbook and school calendar are now available at the ABS website   Printed copies of handbook and calendars are available in each front office.   Additional forms and other helpful information are also available at the website. Please note an inaccurate copy of the school calendar was distributed during the summer. Two corrections: Veteran’s day is Tuesday, Nov 11 and April 17 is a full day of school, not early dismissal.


New ABS Car Magnets

New ABS magnets are now available for purchase in the front offices with Ms. Wise or Mrs. Brown. Cost $5.