Thursday Notes – March 5th, 2015

No School-Monday, March 9

Parent Conferences


Snow Days Cancellations

Although the inclement weather has caused us to cancel several school days this year, at this point we are not required to schedule make up days.  The state law requires public schools to provide 180 days or 1025 hours.  We will exceed this requirement even though we have had snow days.


mClass Results Sent Home

Kindergarten through third-grade students will receive mClass results in their Thursday Packets today.  Please take some time to review these results.   This year the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction requires a kindergarten through third-grade reading assessment called mCLASS: Reading 3D to help teachers assess, track and support each student’s reading skills.  Each student will be assessed every trimester using the online assessment program.  mCLASS: Reading 3D will instantly analyze your child’s development in grade-appropriate foundational reading skills. Teachers will use this data to focus their instruction around your child’s specific needs, in areas that may include:

  • Hearing and using sounds in spoken words (Phonemic Awareness)
  • Knowing sounds of letters and sounding out written words (Alphabetic Principle)
  • Reading words in stories easily, quickly, and correctly (Accuracy and Fluency)
  • Understanding what they read (Reading Comprehension).


After each assessment period you receive a letter outlining your child’s specific assessment results and progress as a reader. The letter includes learning activities you and your child can do together at home to reinforce skills learned at school.  Parent support and reading at home are a vital part of your child’s education. The teacher’s efforts, combined with your support, will help your child read with mastery and confidence.  If you have any questions about the assessment, the activities, or your child’s classroom work and progress, please talk to your child’s teacher.

MAP Results Sent Home

Third through Eighth grade students will receive MAP results in their Thursday Packets today.  Please take some time to review these results.   Overall results show that ABS students in each of those grades achieve higher scores than the national norms in all areas tested: math, science, reading, and language arts.   Congratulations to our students and their teachers for a job well done.   If you have any questions regarding MAP results, please contact your child’s teacher.


Conference Time is Coming

Soon your child’s teacher will be setting up conferences to discuss your child’s progress.  Students attending the Arts Based School are assessed using a portfolio system in place of the traditional report card.  The portfolio is designed to illustrate a student’s academic growth and successes as well as guide the teacher in planning appropriate instruction.  Teachers at ABS do not issue letter grades.  Teachers use observation, interviews, analysis of student work and performance tasks to assess student understanding.  Examples of student work, as well as other objective standards of assessments are incorporated into the student’s portfolio to give an enhanced portrait of the student’s progress.  These portfolios will be discussed and presented to parents during the Student-Teacher-Parent conferences.  Please be sure you schedule and attend your conference so that you can support your child’s learning. 

Conference Days- March 7- Early Dismissal

                        K-2 Dismiss at 11:45

                        3-8 Dismiss at 12 noon


Volunteer Hours Update

We ask that all families donate one hour per week per child to the school.  You can achieve this goal in small bits and pieces or in huge chunks at one time and there are ALWAYS tons of opportunities to volunteer!  At this point in the year, each family should have about 27 hours of volunteer time per child.  Take a look at your total hours on HelpCounter and see where you are.  If you are falling a little behind, check in with your classroom teacher, classroom rep or continue to watch Thursday Notes for upcoming volunteer opportunities (Movie Afternoon tomorrow, Garden Workday on Saturday, March 21).  Thank you for donating your time!


Read to Feed Money Due

Thank you for helping the K-Kids help the world! Please turn in all Read to Feed money. Checks can be made out to Heifer International, with “Read to Feed” in the memo line, and brought to your classroom teachers.


Spring Track Training at ABS

Junior Crazy for Running for Kids Grade K-2!  We focus on getting kids moving and making exercise fun!  Runners will be introduced to simple strength exercises, fundamental running techniques, and play games that provide a kid-friendly cardio workout!  All Crazy Running coaches are USA Track and Field member, are trained in curriculum developed by a USA Track and Field certified coach, and have undergone background checks.  Cost includes Spring Track Training, race entry into Crazy K’z, and T-shirt.


WHEN:  Mondays and Wednesdays  April 13th-June 3rd

WHO: Athletes Grade K-2

WHERE: Arts Based School

After School–3:45PM

COST:  $150

To register, or for more information



Community Creates!

If you would like to help with ABS fundraising event or know of an artist that would like to paint an 8 x 10 canvas, please contact Claire O’Boyle at  Save the date- Saturday, May 2 for the auction!


ABS Students’ Stories Honored in “What’s Your Story” Fairy Tale Contest

Congrats to the following students whose original fairy tales were selected by local artists as inspirations for works of art to be auctioned in support of Piedmont Opera: Indigo Weaver, Ellie Burdette, Sarah Brown, Elise Schaub, William Schwartz,Ruby Anne Jones, Ella Klein, Sariah Lowrance, Ella Marion, Orion Sledge-Ricks. The art is currently on display at the Children’s Museum and will be celebrated at a reception tonight from 5:00-7:00pm (students performing in Romeo & Juliet are welcome to stop in earlier during set-up, to take a look,) and will remain through March 9th. Select pieces will also be on display at the Stevens Center on March 11, 13, 15 and 17 during Piedmont Opera’s production of The Magic Flute. Read more here:


Around Town…

Student Night at Piedmont Opera – The Magic Flute

Next week on Wednesday, March 11th, 7:30 – 10:00 p.m. at the Stevens Center, Piedmont Opera invites students to attend the final dress rehearsal of The Magic Flute (Mozart) at reduced prices. ABS will not organize a large group to attend, but the opera has a new policy which allows one adult per student to attend student night, with adults paying $15 and students only $5 each (Crosby Scholars are free.) You can bring as many children at that rate as you like, as long as you can manage them. The Magic Flute is a great opera for kids, (recommended for 3rd grade and up,) with a dragon, a bird man, and the high fireworks singing of The Queen of the Night. You can call Piedmont Opera directly and make arrangements, at 725-7101. There is also a 50% discount for children in some sections during performances (inquire by phone) and there is a free children’s party after the 2:00 matinee on March 15. It’s a good idea to read the synopsis of the story before watching an opera. Here’s an animated synopsis: