Thursday Notes – November 6th, 2014

Veteran’s Day-No School

Tuesday, November 11


Don’t You Dig This School?

By Matt Mayers


For a downtown location, ABS has a remarkable quantity and variety of plant life. Last week, I counted 230 different plant species at ABS (compare this to about 15 on the Mudpies property, roughly 35 at Inmar, and some 150 on the WFU campus). We use gardens as contemplative creative spaces, as horticultural teaching areas, as refuges for wildlife, for shade and erosion control, and of course, for beauty and solace in busy lives.

In recent years, we’ve started paying more attention to the origin of the species we plant at the school. It’s not that every plant has to be native to North Carolina, but there is a definite bias in that direction. Why?

As it turns out, there is at least one ABS parent, Jeff Morgan, whose study and experience in this area, make him the ideal person to answer that question. Here’s how I paraphrase him.

Native species are gorgeous; in fact, for every beautiful exotic species people use in their gardens, Jeff can name an equally compelling plant that nature has already tailored to life in the Piedmont.

Being well adapted to our geography and climate means that, once established, native plants require little or no irrigation, fertilizer, or pest control. Over the long haul, that’s a lot of money and time saved.

Healthy soils and plant populations form the basis of thriving ecosystems. You probably already know what picky eaters monarch caterpillars are, but you may not know that lots of other insect larvae are also quite finicky. Without the right larval food sources, many bugs don’t thrive. Well, good riddance, right? Don’t tell that to the songbirds, who feed their young largely on insect larvae, and also depend on native fall berries and nuts for calories.

Do you have any favorite fruits or vegetables? Then you have a vested interest in making sure that some of those native insects make it to adulthood, when they can start pollinating the crops you like to eat. As European honey bee populations decline, these native pollinators are becoming more and more important to our food supply.

Last fall, many of you helped plant a lot of native species in the gardens surrounding the 7th-Street parking lot. The idea was to represent the bioregions of our state by grouping plants appropriately. Through a mistake that I’m afraid I can blame on nobody but myself, we got the wrong kind of grass on the steep slope at the edge of the lot. We wanted purple love grass, a beautiful plant native to eastern North America. What we got was weeping love grass, a beautiful plant native to the plains of Africa. I’m still wincing, months later.

Luckily, Jeff helped me hatch a plan to remedy this problem in several stages. I’ve got a good weed eater, and he’s got a natural weed killer derived from geraniums, so we’re going to take down the grass little by little, and replant with native prairie flowers and grasses that Jeff is propagating and donating to the school. It’s going to be stunning.

On November 15, Jeff will lead a garden work day to plant the first section of this restoration project. I hope you’ll come lend him a hand. There is certainly plenty of digging to do!   Questions?


Positive Discipline Workshop this Saturday!

We have a few more spots!  Email Nicole Whitaker ( or Donna Brown ( to sign up today.

WHEN:  Saturday, November 8th from 9am-Noon

WHERE:  ABS Café, MLK Building

CHILDCARE:  Childcare will be provided on site

COST:  $10/family


Assistant Principal Raffle Drawing Tomorrow!

We’ll select November’s Assistant Principal of the Month at tomorrow’s Friday Sing!  Make sure your child has been entered!  Get your raffle tickets today in either front office.  All proceeds from the raffle fund Parent Council teacher appreciation events throughout the school year.  Thank you for your support!




Strawbridge Make-up Photos

Make-up photos will be taken tomorrow, Friday, November 7th.  Please let your teacher know if your child needs to have their picture taken.


Fall Fest Results!

Many thanks to all our wonderful volunteers for their time and efforts in making Fall Fest such a success!  It was a beautiful day to enjoy a variety of fun games, awesome music and delicious food!  Fall Fest raised almost $2,000 for our school – THANK YOU!!


ABS Traffic Procedures– PLEASE READ

For the safety of our children and to accomplish the greatest traffic flow efficiencies, please make sure you are following the procedures listed below.  Share this information with anyone that may be dropping off or picking up your children.  Thank you!


-ALL cars dropping off must travel through the entire pick up line which starts on Chestnut Street.

The 7th St parking lot is closed 7:45-8:15am and will be blocked off starting Friday.

-Do not pull onto the 7th Street curb to drop off your child.

-Do not pull onto the curb on Martin Luther King to drop off your child.


-Display your blue or green signs in your front vehicle window as you enter Chestnut Street and keep them there until your children are loaded.

-People in line for the 2:45pm dismissal should pull to the right hand side of Chestnut and allow cars with blue signs to pull ahead until 2:40pm.

-People in line for the 2:45pm dismissal should move forward in the line at 2:40pm (do not wait on Chestnut until 2:45pm – this causes unnecessary back up on 7th and Patterson Streets).

-Chestnut Street is ONE-WAY during afternoon pick-up.  If you park in the gravel lot, you may either join the flow of cars traveling through the pick-up line OR wait until 3:00pm when Chestnut is clear.


-Watch the traffic volunteers for direction and be mindful of all crosswalks.

-If you are exiting the 7th Street Building and the train is coming, exit to the left on 7th Street to prevent traffic back up.

-ABS is a tobacco-free campus.  Please refrain from use of tobacco products while on campus or traveling through the drop-off and pick-up lines.

-Use of cell phones is prohibited while operating a vehicle on school property.  Please refrain from using cell phones while traveling through the drop-off and pick-up lines.


Parent’s Afternoon Off  Nov 21

Mark your calendar on Friday, November 21 for an afternoon of movie fun!  Kids dismiss early that day (11:45am and 12:00pm).  For $5 kids can stay until 2:30pm.  Snacks will be sold as well.  More information coming soon!  Have questions or interested in volunteering, please contact Lindsay Beane (


Check your spam folder…

It’s been reported recently that notices from the school HelpCounter are being funneled into spam accounts specifically in google mail.  Please check you spam folder for these important announcements and requests.