Thursday Notes – February 5th, 2015

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“I like being up on stage. The line [from offstage] just moves really slowly and I have to wait, and I’m so excited!” – Elana, Kindergarten


Here’s a Kindergarten lesson that works for adults, too. Do you ever get butterflies in your tummy before something special is about to happen? Maybe a big job interview, a presentation, a first date, a difficult conversation, or a performance of “Peter and the Wolf?” Raise your hand, if you’ve ever felt a few little butterflies fluttering in your tummy. (You know there aren’t really butterflies in your tummy, right? It’s just our imagination, but it feels like butterflies.)

Close your eyes. Can you see what color your butterflies are? Can you make them fly in a circle? Nice, pretty little butterflies! Open your eyes now, and raise your hand, if you’d like to share what color your butterflies are. (Sparkly rainbow, green wings with a red body, turquoise, yellow…)

Those butterflies are helpers. They give you a little extra energy, and it helps if you close your eyes and say hello to them, and notice what color they are. They also love nice, fresh air. Let’s take a deep breath for our butterflies and give them some air. (Big sighs: “Ahhhhhh!)

On Tuesday morning, Kindergarteners colored their butterflies in the classroom, before they left for dress rehearsal. While they sat in the wings waiting for the show to begin, I visited each group and reminded them to give their little butterflies some breath. Lots of smiles, sighs, and color returning to little faces.

This is all based on research – there is plenty of it, regarding stage fright. Everyone seems to agree that deep breathing helps calm anxiety and focus the mind. Also, some experts advise that the worst symptoms arise from the performer’s attempt to resist the butterflies. If you see, acknowledge and flow with your symptoms, you can transform stress to focus. Don’t be a hard surface attempting to block the butterflies. (Think: windshield on a speeding vehicle.) Instead, become the breeze upon which they flutter. There is a synergistic enhancement that you can ride. When we welcome our butterflies, they become good guys. You can even give them names. As one Kindergartener advised: “Give them some water and air, and give them time to play.”

To see some beautiful pictures taken by  the Winston Salem journal, go to


School Report Card

NC School Report Cards were released by the state today.  These offer a snapshot of some of the important information about individual schools. The State Board of Education and State Superintendent June Atkinson are committed to ensuring that North Carolina’s schools are preparing students for the demands of college and skilled work in the 21st Century.

The School Report Cards can be found at  A hard copy will be sent home in next week’s Thursday packet and posted on our website.


Activity Fee Due

Each family is asked to pay $15.00 per semester per child to help cover the costs of our extensive curriculum enhancement activities.  Fees are due at the start of each semester.  Second semester activity fees are past due.  Please make checks payable to ABS and turn into Ms. Wise in the front office.    Reminders will be going home in Thursday packets for those students who still owe Activity Fee.  It will indicate the amount due.


Assistant Principal Raffle Tomorrow

Don’t forget to fill out your raffle tickets before tomorrow afternoon’s Friday Sing!  Who will win the coveted spot of Assistant Principal for February?!?  Get your tickets in either front office – today!  All proceeds from the raffle support hospitality activities for our staff throughout the year.  Thank you for your support!


Parent Council Meeting Next Friday

The next Parent Council meeting will be held Friday, February 13th at 8:15am in the Teacher Resource Room of the MLK Building.   Suggested agenda items are due by 5pm today to Shannon Wright ( and Michelle Lawrence (


Let Your Child’s Reading Feed the World

The K-Kids are once again sponsoring the very popular school-wide fund raiser for Heifer International called “Read to Feed.” Heifer International is an organization which contributes livestock and training to families in need around the world and helps them build sustainable businesses. Each student who participates will ask family and friends to donate a certain amount for each book he or she reads (or, for young students, for each book read to them) from now until Feb. 27, and that amount will go toward buying cows, chicken, sheep, goats or llamas for a family.



Congratulations to Lillian Giles, Gracie Gold, Layla Hibma, and Ellie Burdette.  These four eighth graders have been accepted in Salem Academy for next year.  We’ll soon be hearing about the destination of the rest of our eighth graders as they prepare to embark on their next journey-high school!


Measles Concerns

With the recent increase in media coverage about measles, some parents have expressed concern and had questions.

Measles is a vaccine-preventable infectious viral disease. It begins with a fever that lasts for a couple of days, followed by a cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis (pink eye).

Measles is highly contagious, even before infected people develop a rash. The measles virus resides in the mucus in the nose and throat of infected people. When they sneeze or cough, droplets spray into the air. The droplets remain active and contagious on infected surfaces for up to two hours.

To protect your children, yourself, and others in the community, it is important to be vaccinated against measles.

We are monitoring any potential exposure within the ABS community and aware of signs and symptoms of the disease.   We will continue to follow the guidelines and recommendations of the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services.  In the event we have a confirmed case of measles, the Health Department will require any unvaccinated students to be out of school for at least 21 days.


Student Teachers at ABS

Welcome to our student teachers from Salem College. They are starting their student teaching semester at ABS.  Ms. Sysavath is working with Mrs. Campbell.   Ms. Espinoza is working with Ms. Cohen. Mrs. Goldberg is working with Ms. McArthur.   Each year we are delighted to host student teachers from area universities.  It’s wonderful to be influencing the next generation of educators.


Summer Camps

Information about Mr. Wilbur’s Summer Music Camp and Ms. Hadera’s Lego Camp are in this week’s Thursday packets and attached to the email version of Thursday notes.