Thursday Notes – September 18th, 2014

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“The arts aren’t just important because they improve math scores. They’re important because they speak to parts of children’s being which are otherwise untouched. “ – Sir Ken Robinson


Q: Why integrate the arts into classroom instruction?

A: The arts encourage discipline in order to channel energy into productive learning. Arts integration is a tool to present information in memorable ways and build models of understanding. The arts push students into higher-level thinking, synthesis and creation, and application of knowledge.

  • Mastering the arts requires engagement, repetition, discipline, accuracy, and focused application, resulting in delight, deep recall, and increased self-esteem. Integration allows other subject matter to “hitch a ride” with the energy of the arts.
  • When you use the arts, students’ brains are fully engaged, as opposed to the tedious left-brain isolation of rote memorization.
  • Integration enables the instructor to teach several subjects simultaneously.
  • Through personal, artistic expression, the arts allow students to own the knowledge, which helps them retain it. When you create art, you care about it.
  • Integration of the arts provides an answer to that age-old question:  “When would I ever use this math?”
  • Basketry
  • Mixing paints
  • Counting and rhythm in music
  • Measurement and scale in set design
  • Measurement in costuming
  • Geometry in graphic design and dance
  • Problem-solving and calculating in architecture and sculpture
  • The financial challenges of becoming an arts entrepreneur or a producer


Performance or exhibition opportunities provide combined goals and assessments that inspire excellence. Students express their knowledge in an individualized fashion.

  • If you tell a student that they will be taking a test, they moan.
  • If you tell a student they’ll be doing a show, they cheer!
  • If you tell a student that they might get a lower grade, they will worry.
  • If you tell a student that people are coming to see a performance, they allcare.


Assessment via performance is more authentic than testing (…but we test well, too.)

  • In the real world, you are judged by your product and performance, not tests.
  • When you see the excellent work of others, you are inspired to try new things.
  • The opportunity to be self-expressed, and to have that individual expression recognized and valued (through an exhibit or performance,) builds self-esteem. This causes the student to expect even more great things of herself. As Thoreau said: “If a man believes and expects great things of himself, it makes no odds where you put him, or what you show him … he will be surrounded by grandeur.”

Parent Council Meeting Minutes

Many thanks to everyone that was able to join us for our Parent Council meeting last Friday – it was a packed house!  We have attached the minutes from the meeting to this weeks’ Thursday Notes and you may also find them on the Parent Council section of the website.  If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Lawrence ( or Shannon Wright (  Our next meeting will be held Friday, October 10th at 8:15am in the Teacher Resource Room.


Fall Festival – Save the Date: October 25th 

Mark your calendars for family fun at the ABS Fall Fest on Saturday, October 25th from noon-3pm at the 7th Street Building & Courtyard!  We’ll have games, music, food trucks and more!  Interested in volunteering?  Contact Tommy Priest (


Afternoon Pick-up Reminders

Just a few gentle reminders to help our afternoon pick-up line run smoothly and safely:

-Please display your blue (2:30pm pickup) or green (2:45pm pickup) 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 pickup 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 pickup should move forward at 2:40pm (do not wait on Chestnut until 2:45pm).

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.

-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.   Thank you!


Supplies Needed in Art Studio…. 

If you have any of the following art supply materials, please donate to our K-4 Arts Studio. These materials will be used in recycled and repurposed projects:


Fabric and felt pieces/scraps (esp. African and calico prints)

DMC thread, ribbon and misc yarn

Old DVD or CD’s


Wear Green on Friday!

K-Kids pledge to “show respect toward my environment”.  As evidence of this promise, members are planning to wear green on Friday, September 19 to show support for the United Nations Climate Summit to be held in New York on September 21.  Rallies will be held around the world to support this event.  K-Kids encourages the entire school to wear green as well.


Garden Work Day at ABS this Saturday

Come play in the dirt with your favorite ABS friends and families this Saturday, September 20, from 9:00 to 1:00.

For families that are new to work days, please feel free to bring your kids and anything they would like to play with. Snacks are good. Gloves, hats, and tools are really good. This is an excellent way to get in lots of your volunteer hours all at once.

An RSVP is nice, but not required. Contact Matt Mayers: or 723-7189


ABS Scholastic Book Fair

Mark your calendar for Oct. 6-10 for the annual ABS Book Fair. This year we will also have an online fair that runs from Sept. 24-Oct 14. Check out our school’s book fair homepage to see a preview The online book fair will have a lot more titles than we will be able to include at school, so make sure you check it out and share with grandparents and people that live out of town. Both fairs help the school earn money to buy books for our libraries and teachers! Also, please consider donating to our gift certificate fund so that all of our students are able to purchase a book. Donations can be made in the front office. There are lots of volunteer opportunities that come along with the book fair, please click on the link and sign up to help if you can!

Happy Reading!!


School Skating Party

Come roll into a new year on Tuesday, September 30  at Skate Haven (120 Hood Drive, W-S, NC), from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. K-Kids is sponsoring this all-school event to raise money for the many charities they support. Bring $5.00 per person for entry and skate rental. All ABS families are welcome!


Builders Club

We’re excited to launch the Builders Club for 6th-8th grade students at ABS! The Builders Club will give students a chance to gain leadership skills while making a positive difference in our school, community, and world. Builders Club is a service organization and a member of the Kiwanis Family, which sponsors our club. With your permission, your child will attend weekly meetings, organize and attend events and make a difference for others. Meetings will take place on Friday mornings from 7:45 to 8:15 each week. There will be an informational meeting on September 26th at which time students will learn about the club and have a chance to ask questions. Meetings will be held in the 7th Street building. If your child is a 6th through 8th grader, please see the letter in Thursday packets today.



Directory coming home-oldest sibling

Each family will be receiving one copy of the ABS Family Directory. It will be sent with the oldest sibling in his/her Thursday Packet.   Thanks to each of you for your timely response in updating the directory information.   Unfortunately, some updates where submitted after publication and we were unable to make those changes for this year’s printed directory.


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. If you have not paid activity fees, you will be receiving notice in today’s Thursday packet. Checks should be made out to The Arts Based School and turned into the front office. Also payable online at


Around Town…


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.