ABS Thursday Notes- February 6, 2020

No School Friday, Feb 7-Teacher Workday

How We Do It and Why
by Mary Siebert

“We left feeling that we had just visited the best school in the nation…a belief I am sure we are not alone in having!  The joy of teaching was so apparent in your teachers and staff. And the students were all so engaged! We applaud your commitment to respecting the individuality of each child, and to the positive/creative/nurturing way that you help them grow.

We saw beauty everywhere.  Not obligatory displays of a talented few, but a celebration of the imaginations of all.  You truly are building healthy, confident, aware and participatory citizens. Your school stands for the things that we as educators ourselves have committed our lives to.

We are trying to remain hopeful that (our daughter) will be lucky, that her number might be called to attend ABS, if not this year perhaps the next.”

– Sean Sullivan, former UNCSA Dance Faculty, after a school tour.

Next Tuesday, February 11, at 5:45 p.m. the annual ABS lottery will take place in the café of the MLK building. The public is welcome to attend, but prospective parents are not required to attend the drawing. The procedure for the lottery is dictated by the state, and we follow each step with care. It’s exciting for us that our school is beloved and that so many families hope to join our community. It’s also painful that we have to turn many away. There is no advantage to turning an application in early – the lottery is entirely by chance.

We hope that children who are not able to attend ABS will encounter schools invigorated by the current educational reforms which lean toward the National Education Association’s “Four Cs”: critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration. The arts are a natural conduit for this “21st Century” learning, so our approach is gaining attention. One organization that helps share ideas and support teachers and administrators who are striving toward arts-based instruction is the A+ Schools of North Carolina, a signature program of the NC Arts Council, an agency of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The Arts Based School is an A+ member, and we often provide tours for schools that are considering becoming members too. From their website, this statement describes the A+ focus:

“A+ Schools of North Carolina is a whole-school transformation model that views the arts as fundamental to teaching and learning. Our schools develop a creative culture in which the state’s mandated curriculum is taught through collaboration and multi-discipline integration, with the arts continuously woven into every child’s learning experience.”

We are proud to be a member of the A+Schools network. We hope that American schools will continue to integrate the arts into children’s learning and that all parents who seek this kind of instruction for their children will find it.

Symphony Tickets Going Fast for 7th and 8th Grades
About ten seats remain in our reserved block for the Music of John Williams rehearsal of the Winston-Salem Symphony next Friday, February 14 at 7:00. Students must be accompanied by an adult (carpooling is encouraged.) Tickets are $5.00 a piece and may be reserved by emailing, calling, or visiting in person:  Donna Brown at ABS 7th Street reception desk. [email protected]  (336) 748-4116 x2000. The event will be at Reynolds Auditorium on the RJ Reynolds High School campus.

Celebrating Black History Month
This month, we will present three performances to our students in celebration of Black History Month. Next week, K-4 welcome both African dancer and story-teller April C. Turner, and the WSSU Burke Singers. On February 28, Dawanna Benjamin, who appears frequently with the Otesha Creative Arts Ensemble, will bring fellow dancers and drummers for a presentation to grades 5-8.

Visit from a Pulitzer Center Fellow
Daniella Zalcman, photojournalist and a Pulitzer Center Fellow, will visit 8th graders next week to share her project Signs of My Identity, which documents the practice of sending Native children to residential schools, to force cultural adaptation, in both Canada and the U.S.

Summer Camp registration is now OPEN to ABS families. Be sure to visit our website to register your child while spaces are still available.

Inclement Weather
In the event of inclement weather, ABS will announce school closings on local TV channels, under “The Arts Based School”.  This information will also be posted on the ABS website (www.artsbasedschool.com).