Thursday Notes – August 28th, 2014

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.
― St. Francis of Assisi


Some time ago, while discussing the pristine caliber of film professionals who were contributing ideas and expertise to our first movie project, an ABS parent commented “That’s what I love best about this school. We’re not playing at art, it’s the real thing.” It’s true that this is our goal, but “the real thing” is not easy to define. We refer laughingly to the recognition that our teachers and visiting artists are ridiculously over-qualified, but it is surely helpful to have role models in our midst who are widely recognized as masters of their arts. Jan Detter, for example, has annually taken time away from teaching creativity at Wake Forest, or creating timeless works of powerful art in her own studio. She invites ABS 4th graders to her own home, where they collect black walnuts from a venerable old tree, boil them for dye, spin the yarn, dye it to that perfect rich brown, and weave it. It’s clear that her hands, head, and heart are all fully invested. Her passionate knowledge of the history, chemistry, biology, cultural and geographical influences behind each practice are shared with an enthusiasm that betrays a richly passionate fascination, and that energy captures the students’ desire to learn. When that background is followed by an encounter with a meticulously executed weaving by a master, students experience not only the beauty of the art, but the powerful roots extending clear back to the black walnut. When they create something themselves then, there is meaning and respect woven into every fiber. Art that is devoid of the “integration” of its natural connections to all of life is not the art that interests this school. So as we work with film professionals, we will be exploring a miasma of rich connections. While they will be unseen by the audience at our red carpet premiere, they will be potently felt. It is the high quality work of the hands and the head which enable the heart to fiercely contribute.


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


Kindergarten Speech Screening

This is the time of year when ABS begins screening kindergarten students for any speech or language difficulties.  Ms. Jennifer Carter, our speech pathologist, will visit each kindergarten classroom to have a short conversation with each student.  If further testing is required, the parents will be notified.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Mrs. Carter at


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!


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


Want to be the Assistant Principal?

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 dospecial things for our staff throughout the year.  Our first winner will be selected on Friday, September 5th – don’t miss it!


Beginning of Grade Test

The State Board of Education has implemented a standardized test required for all third graders in North Carolina.  Third grade students will take the Beginning of Grade (BOG) test in reading.  A student’s BOG score will be used as baseline data to measure growth as well as a screening tool to identify those students who will need remediation to pass the End of Grade test.  The NC Read to Achieve initiative which requires retention for students who do not pass the Reading EOG at third grade.  The test has 42 questions and takes approximately 90 minutes to complete.  It will be administered on September 8.    Testing accommodations will be provided for students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP).  Make-up tests will be required for any student that is absent from the regular administration of the test.


K-Kids Club 

Does your child want to make a difference in our community and the world? Your 3rd – 5th  grade child is invited to join the K-Kids  program at the Arts Based School. K-Kids is a service organization and a member of the Kiwanis Family, which sponsors our club. K-Kids provides the opportunity to develop self-esteem, leadership skills, morals and standards, and respect for others. This program involves 3rd – 5th grade students, their parents,  teachers, and Kiwanians in community service projects that impact our school, our city, and our global community. With your permission, your child will be inducted to the K-Kids at ABS as well as K-Kids of Winston-Salem. Meetings will take place on Friday mornings from 7:45 to 8:15 each week beginning September 12.  Meetings will be held in the dance studio in the MLK building. If your child is a 3rd through 5th grader, please see the letter in the Thursday packet today.  For students in 6th-8th grades, we will have a Builder’s Club launching in a few weeks.  Stay tuned…


MudPies Before and After School Care

Mudpies is offering before school care starting at 6:30 am and after school to 6:00 pm, with extended hours if needed for an additional fee at MudPies Downtown East. There is a discount for ABS families.