Thursday Notes – October 30th, 2014

How We Do It and Why

Mary Siebert


“It is difficult to know one’s self, but it isn’t easy to paint one’s self either.”- Vincent van Gogh


Diana Greene’s Residency with 4th Grade

Next Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m. 4th Graders present an art opening at SECCA (Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art,) the result of an extended study with resident artist Diana Greene. Ms. Greene is a published writer and professional photographer. You may be familiar with her personal commentaries, which were often heard on WFDD’s “Voices and Viewpoints”. The Literacy Through Photography residency, also known as “My Inside-Outside Self,” has become a favorite tradition for ABES 4th graders. This is Ms. Green’s 10th consecutive year with our students. Here is her description of the program:


“Excellent writing and sharp photography are linked by the primacy of strong images.  By combining these two art forms, students draw profound connections about the power of detail, the essence of composition, and the need to plan before execution and revise for perfection.  Literacy through photography teaches students the centrality of their personal vision and shows them how to translate that vision onto the page.  Each student will compose self-portraits, setting up shots with a partner, using a digital camera. The self-portrait is then shot and printed in black and white.  Students will then write a narrative to accompany their self-portraits.  Text and portraits will be mounted and displayed.  An opening reception will be held, celebrating the work, the young artists, and the power of art in education.”


During this time, students are also creating vivid self-portraits in art class with Ms. Messick, focused on the challenging task of shading with oil pastels. These three dramatic self-portraits in photography, pastel, and writing (considered  precious keepsakes by ABS parents,) are displayed side by side at SECCA where we celebrate with a reading and screen projection of the portraits by each child in the auditorium. This is followed by a real art opening reception in the museum gallery. Through this process, each child investigates and details the exquisite individuality of each young personality and each face, each unique point of view. When we honor both the child and the child’s self-expression through a formal reception, we make a powerful and memorable statement of support to each student: we honor your work, and we love and celebrate you. The SECCA event is scheduled this year on November 6 at 6:00 p.m. and the art will remain on exhibition until the following weekend. SECCA is a valued arts partner to our school. Entry to the museum is free, and the exhibits museum-wide will be open for viewing Thursday.


MAP results and Goal Sheets

Third through Eighth grade students received MAP results last week in their Thursday Packets.  Students in 3rd-6th grades will be receiving the student goal worksheet today.  Students in 7th-8th grade will receive their goal sheet tomorrow.  This goal worksheet shows the expected growth for your child and the action plan to achieve those goals.    If you have any questions regarding MAP results, please contact your child’s teacher.


Positive Discipline Workshop Next Saturday, November 8th!

-Ever wonder why your child listens so well in school but you have trouble getting him to even brush his teeth at home?

-Frustrated that you raise your voice more than you’d like to?

-Finding your previous discipline strategies no longer work with your new middle-schooler?


If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this workshop is for you!  Join us for an interactive workshop with Principal Robin Hollis as she takes us through the strategies behind the Positive Discipline practices used by ABS staff members.  The same effective principles found in the classroom can be beneficial in your home as well!  Find out how you can apply positive discipline at home today and provide wonderful continuity for your child each day.  The workshop will be tailored to meet the age appropriate needs of those that register.

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

WHERE:  ABS Café, MLK Building

CHILDCARE:  Childcare will be provided on site (please let us know how many children will need care when you sign up)

COST:  $10/family

SIGN-UP:  Email Nicole Whitaker ( or Donna Brown ( to sign up today.  You may send in payment with your child in a marked envelope (checks should be made out to ABS).  You may also stop by either front office to sign up as well.  Space is limited so reserve your spot today!


Strawbridge Photos

Proofs of your child’s school photos came home last week in Thursday packets.  If you would like to purchase photos, you must turn in your order by Friday, Oct 31 or order online at to purchase your photos.  Picture make-up day will be held on Friday, November 7th.   Students will only have their picture retaken if the child was absent or a parent has sent in a note or emailed the teacher asking for a retake.


Activity Fee Overdue

Each family is required 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.  Checks should be made out to The Arts Based School and turned into the front office. Also payable online at


Yearbook Sales

Yearbooks on sale now for $20! You may order either online at and click on the order button then follow the prompts or with the form that came home last week in Thursday packets.  You will still have the option to personalize your child’s yearbook with their name and picture for an additional $5.00.  Reserve your copy today, numbers are limited.


Halloween is Coming

Please do not send students to school in costumes.  We all enjoy the fun and excitement of Halloween but find that costumes and accessories make it very difficult to concentrate.  Also we do not want students to bring candy in their lunch bags for snacks.  Although it can be delicious, high sugar snacks should not replace a healthy snack.  Thanks for your help!


Ebola Concerns

With the recent increase in media coverage about Ebola, some parents have expressed concern and had questions.  This week the Dept. of Public Instruction informed NC schools that there have been no cases of Ebola in North Carolina.  Like other schools in the area, we are monitoring any potential exposure within the ABS community.   We will continue to follow the guidelines and recommendations of the NC Dept of Health and Human Services.  For more information visit


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.
  • Children must be fever-free for 24 hrs before returning to school.
  • Get the flu vaccine for you and your children.