Thursday Notes – January 8th, 2015

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“…so what are sound waves; a solid, liquid, or gas?” – 2nd grade student in Ms. Broughton’s class


Second grade students in dance class are particles of water, standing still, bonded into frozen statues of the solid known as ice as solid chords provide a musical platform. The teacher tells them that they are being heated, and the energy of the music becomes more fluid. Students begin moving smoothly through space, as the kinetic energy becomes real within their own bodies. When the teacher cues them that increased heat has brought them to boiling point, the molecules escape their bonds as liquids and float further apart as gas, some moving quickly, others more slowly.

Afterward, a second grader announces to her classroom teacher without prompting or questioning from the teacher: “I think I know why our clay shrank as it dried! I think that the water molecules evaporated, and that made the particles of clay move closer together!” The whole class, each with an individual experience of this clay shrinkage, considers and discusses this possibility.

In science class, students consider sound waves, and how they travel from the force and initial vibration from which they originate, to the ear, where eardrum, middle ear vibration, and inner ear fluid help covert the waves into electrical impulses which are interpreted by the brain. A young student considers this, and then asks the question: “So what are sound waves; a solid, liquid, or gas?”

Thus the introduction of the difference between energy and matter occurs through the curiosity of the child, rather than the direct instruction of the teacher. Once this curiosity is awakened, it will, like the sound wave, displace particles of understanding and propel itself forward until it reaches a conclusion. The fun of that little journey and the pleasure of independent discovery are crucial sparks we hope to gently fan, awaken, protect and nurture.




Congrats to ABS Spelling Bee winners

Una Wilson, Champion Speller

Orion Sledge-Ricks, 1st Runner Up

Quint Johnson, 2nd Runner Up

Una will be representing ABS at the next level of competition in February.


High School Options

Jan. 1-Jan. 20 families may complete online applications for the magnet school program of their choice at the WSFC magnet school website

Magnet Fair at Benton Convention Center-Jan 10th


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 due now.  Please make checks payable to ABS and turn into Ms. Wise in the front office.


Student Intent for 2015-2016 School Year

As we prepare for next year’s enrollment lottery (2015-2016), it is important to know how many spaces are available in each grade.  As a current student, your child has priority placement.  You should have received an email from Helpcounter requesting your intent for the 2015-2016 school year.  Please reply to the email as soon as possible.  Your intent must be received before February 1st so we know to hold a space for your child.


If you have not received the Helpcounter email requesting your intent, please email Stephanie May at


Siblings of students also receive priority, but must fill out an enrollment application. You must complete an application for the 2015-16 school year for siblings of current students in order to reserve a space before the lottery.  Deadline for receiving applications is Feb 6 @ 3pm


Assistant Pricipal Raffle Drawing Tomorrow!

Be the first Assistant Principal in the New Year!  Get your raffle tickets today from either front office, only $1 each ($5 for 6, $10 for 12).  This month’s Assistant Principal will be announced at Friday Sing tomorrow!



January Jam is an after-school dance party open to all ABS students. There are two dances, one in the MLK Building and one in the 7th Street Building. The dance is from 2:30 to 4:30 and admission is $5. Snacks will be sold. Permission slips will be sent home in Thursday folders.  Permission slips and admission must be turned in by Thursday, January 15 to participate.  No admission or permission slips will be accepted after January 15.  We ask for parent volunteers to chaperone or help with set up/clean up.  Children will be dismissed from inside the MLK and 7th Street buildings. You must come inside to pick up your child/children. There will NOT be an outside pick-up line.   Ryan Leigh Runyon is in charge of volunteers. We’re using VolunteerSpot to organize the volunteers .

(VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me (Ryan Leigh Runyon at and I can sign you up manually).

Please sign up to volunteer for ABS January Jam!  Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:
1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot:
2. Enter your email address: (You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot)
3. Sign up! Choose your spots – VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy!



Maestro Perret needs additional volunteers to assist with all 5th-8th grade band classes.  This is a great way to have a regular volunteer position to accomplish your volunteer requirements!  No instrument experience required.

Please sign up for ABS Band Class Volunteers!  Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:
1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot:
2. Enter your email address: (You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot)
3. Sign up! Choose your spots – VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy!



We do not have a PC meeting scheduled in January.  The next meeting will be held on Friday, February 13th at 8:15am in the Teacher Resource Room (MLK Building).  Please submit any requests for next month’s agenda to Shannon Wright ( or Michelle Lawrence ( before Thursday, February 5th.


MAP Testing in January

Third through eighth grade students will complete the second round of MAP testing in January.  After the testing is complete, parents will receive an updated score report showing the progress your student has made this year.


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.   Please see the letter in today’s Thursday packets.


Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather, ABS will announce school closings on local TV channels, under “The Arts Based School”.  This information will also be posted on the ABS website ( as well as the school phone message (748-4116.)


Tap Shoe Donations

Second grade is preparing to start a tap-dancing unit, which will relate to science studies of sound and rhythmic patterns in math, accented patterns, and metered and un-metered music, as well as studies of tap dancers from Bo Jangles to Savion Glover. We would like to start building a permanent collection of tap shoes for this annual unit. If you, your friends or family have tap shoes that the young owners have outgrown, please bring them to the MLK building and leave them for Ms. Claire.


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.

Get the flu vaccine for you and your children.


Community Creates!

The Community Creates! Committee has begun working on this year’s fundraising auction for the school.  Community Creates! pairs local artists and community leaders to create artwork together that will be auctioned to fund arts programming for children at Arts Based School.  We use the term “collaborate” very loosely.  Whatever is comfortable for the artist; anything from the collaborating personality, taking a tour of the artist’s studio to help select a previously executed piece, to a one-on-one brainstorm and sketching session. The only goal is to enhance rather than impede the creative process for both the artist and the community leader.

Community Creates! Components:

  • Live Auction 15 pairs of local artists and community leaders have teamed up to collaborate on an original work of art. Each of these works, as well as three works by ABS students and alumni will be auctioned, live, at the event.
  • Silent Auction

Art experiences, smaller works and pieces by artists who are not able to work in collaboration with a leader will have a place in the event this year.

  • 100 for $100 One hundred 8”x10” canvases painted by assorted local artists in the community. Each work is directed only by the word “community” and will be signed only on the back and sold for $100 on a progressive schedule throughout the evening. Patrons will purchase pieces based on their connection to the work and not the perceived value of the artist. Have they purchased a work by an artist of international standing worth 10 times the price or a piece by a budding local artist?
  • Raffle Twenty items of $50+ value donated by local people and businesses. The week prior to the event all items will be displayed with descriptions in the ABS cafeteria. Tickets are 1 for $5 or 5 for $20 and ABS parents and others will have a chance to enter all week. Ticket purchasers choose the item(s) they would like a chance to win.
  • Food, Drink and Entertainment Heavy hors d’ oeuvres, beer and wine are included in the ticket price as well as live musical entertainment.

If you would like to help with this school fundraising event, please contact Claire O’Boyle at  Save the date- Saturday, May 2 for the auction!


Auditions for Musicals and Plays

For students who would like to perform in after-school plays and musicals, the following auditions are coming up: Twin City Stage: “Mary Poppins” Sun. & Mon. , Jan. 11 & 12, 2015 @ 7 pm. Visit for more info. Spring Theater: “The Prince and the Pauper” (middle & high school kids) by appointment on January 12, and I Promise (elementary school kids) by appointment on January 10 & 12. email Email: for more information. Classes at Creative Drama Children’s Theater in Clemmons include performances of Shrek the Musical and Winnie the Pooh. Visit for more information.


Around Town…

Join The Winston Salem Festival Ballet for their annual Fairy Tales Series this Sat. Jan. 10 at The Hanes Brands Theatre- show times are11:00, 2:00 & 5:00 with meet the characters activities 1 hour before the show in the lobby. Tales this year include Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel & Gretel & Rumplestiltskin. Box office number: 747-1414