Thursday Notes – October 9th, 2014

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“Only we humans make waste that nature can’t digest.”- Charles Moore, Marine Researcher


David Edgar first used recycled plastic to create art when friends invited him to a football game. He didn’t own a Carolina blue shirt or any article of logo garb, so he grabbed a blue plastic laundry detergent bottle, and fashioned a mask. It was a hit with his friends, and he found the material intriguing. Mr. Edgar and his wife began collecting pieces of colorful plastic during their daily walks, and eventually he combined a variety of materials to create colorful sculptures. He submitted a few of them to the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts, and they asked for several more, so they could create an installation. At that point, he realized his career as a metal sculptor was taking an unexpected turn.

That pathway has led him to publish the book Fantastic Recycled Plastic and to visit many communities, working creatively with adults and children.  Each ABS 8th grade class had a two-hour class with Mr. Edgar in our art room this week, learning how to create a “panel-fish” from recycled laundry detergent bottles. Mr. Edgar points out that the vivid colors of plastic bottles have all been “focus group approved” by teams of experts in corporate America who gathered data about the colors that attract and please us. Not all artists communicate easily with kids, but David Edgar has the gift, instructing with ease and clarity, moving around the room with positive suggestions and encouragement, clearly enjoying the process.

In association with this project, students learn about the importance of recycling. They learn that plastic is made from petroleum, a limited resource. They learn that pieces of plastic that find their way to the ocean, never breaking down. Bits of plastic are then eaten by birds and other creatures, which starve to death with full stomachs. They learn that supply and demand jumps into focus quickly, if everyone wants purple material but there’s only one purple bottle. They work with color theory, contrast, and artistic composition. Here are some of the comments overheard during the workshop: See how this curves out? That’s concave. Look how beautiful that is! Do you like the black with this color? I can’t punch through it! Have you got the head attached to the body yet? Is my fish swimming that way? Deep breath, deep breath! You’ll be happy when you see how it comes together.

Once the fish are all created, we will install a spectacular “Plastiquarium” exhibit in the 7th Street building. Visit David Edgar’s website for beautiful gifts and more info, at


Don’t Be Late!

School begins at 8:15am.  Students should arrive at school between 7:45 and 8:10.    Students are counted tardy if they’re not in their classroom at 8:15am. The student entrance is locked at 8:15 a.m. After 8:15 a.m., parents must park and escort their child(ren) to the front office entrance and sign in.  Ten tardies are considered one absence on state attendance records.


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.



Please join us tomorrow, Friday, October 10th at 8:15am for this month’s Parent Council Meeting.  Our main topic will be “Testing – What Does it All Mean?”  The full meeting agenda is attached to this week’s notes.  Meeting will be held in the Teacher Resource Room of the MLK Building (across from Mr. Wilbur’s music classroom).  Hope to see you there!



Next Friday we’ll have our first school-wide Box Top Collection Day!  Bring in your saved Box Tops (clipped and counted is even better!).  Each box top equals $.10 for our school and they really add up!  We’ll have a volunteer at the entrance to each school for collections.  So search through the recycling bin, ask your extended family, friends and neighbors for their box tops too and get ready to bring them in next week.  Thank you!


ABS Scholastic Book Fair

The BOOK FAIR is in full swing! If you have not had an opportunity to shop it will be open through Friday! Family Night is Thursday evening from 5-7. Invite grandparents, friends, aunts, uncles, anyone you can think of.  Kids are encouraged to wear their best Medieval attire or dress as their favorite princess! We will have door prizes, snacks and be sure your child enters a guess in the “how many strands of yarn make up the hair of the princess in the tower?” at the MLK fair and “How many scales are on the Dragon?” at the 7th St. fair.

The online fair will be open until Oct. 14, so if you can not get into school, please check that out

Every book sold helps our school get more books into our Media Center and classroom libraries!!


ABS Garden work day

October 18, 9:00 to 1:00

Mark your calendars for the next outdoor work day at ABS. Bring your gloves, your kids, your snacks, and enjoy the fresh air. It’s just over two weeks away. The November date will be the 15th, so you can start to look forward to that one too. Question: Matt Mayers, or 723-7189


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


Around Town… 

The ABS 7th and 8th Grade Glee Club electives group will be performing at the Children’s Home “Fall Festival” at 11:00 this Saturday morning, October 11. The Children’s Home is located at 1001 Reynolda Rd just passed Hanes Park. There is a $5.00 parking fee.


FREE band concert next Wednesday, October 15 at 7:30p.m. in Old Salem at Home Moravian Church: Wachovia Brass with pipe organ. This is a great chance for your young band student to hear some local masters.


The Winston-Salem Symphony invites students to attend a FREE rehearsal of BRAHMS’ FIRST SYMPHONY on Friday, October 10, at 7:00 pm. Tickets are required and must be reserved by October 3. Students under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Call 336-464-0145 or  reserve tickets at:


You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown: Oct. 10 – 26

ABS teachers Nick Zayas (5th-8th drama) and Becky Koza (4th grade) will be playing the roles of Lucy and Schroeder in the musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at Broadway’s Best Theatre Company in Mocksville. Call  336-575-4446  or visit  for details and reservations.