ABS Thursday Notes- December 19, 2019

Winter Break- No School
  • Dec 21-Jan 5
  • Friday, Dec 20 is a regular school day.

How We Do It and Why
By Mary Siebert

“It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.”  - Irving Mills, for Duke Ellington

For the last several years we have been honored and delighted to receive the gift of early morning swing from the “Jazz Dads” on the last two days before winter break. When kids arrive at the door, still bleary-eyed from tumbling from bed to breakfast to back seat, they slow down as they approach, eyes widening as they hear that unexpected, joyful noise. A combo of volunteer cheer greets them with jazzy versions of Frosty the Snowman and Jingle Bells, and it gives everyone, teachers and students alike, a little zip to their step. They linger and listen, then head off to class with a head full of happiness.

Drummer and ABS dad Bill Poole created this tradition of gathering a jazz combo to welcome our students with cheerful music of the season as they enter both buildings, between 7:45 – 8:15. (MLK on Thursday, 7th Street on Friday.) Other ABS dads joining in are Kyle Webster (sax), John Ray (bass) Joe Pecoraro (guitar), and Bill Stevens (piano.) This year we add a jazz mom to the mix, with a few vocals from our 7th Street music teacher, Amber Engel. Her brother, Josh Davies, is a professional trumpet player and the Trumpet and Jazz Professor at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. He’s visiting for the holidays and is dropping in for fun. What a great way to kick off a morning and celebrate the vacation!

Important School Calendar Change
February 7, 2020 has been approved as a teacher release day. Students will not have school that day. Our teaching staff will be attending the Fresh Take Workshop at Community School of Davidson with keynote speaker Todd Whitaker.  The Friday Sing scheduled for that day will be rescheduled. The afterschool program will offer full daycare.

Late Pick-Up Policy- begins January 6th
The regular school day ends at 2:30 for K-4th grade students and 2:45 for 5th-8th graders. Parents should have a ride at school for their child within ten minutes of the student’s dismissal time. 

Students who have not been picked up on time will go to the main office in the building appropriate for the oldest child in the family. School personnel will contact the student’s family to inform them that the student has not been picked up.

When a parent arrives late, they will be asked to sign the student out. After three late pick-ups, parents will need to meet with the building administrator to make a plan for ensuring on-time pick-ups in the future. 

At 3:45, any student still at school will be taken to the ABS After School Program until a parent arrives. Families will be charged a $20 fee when this happens. 

If no contact has been made with anyone about a late pick up by 3:45, the Winston-Salem Police Department will be contacted to help locate a parent or family member. 

On early release days and after special events (such as January Jam), students must have a ride available at the announced pick up time. 

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.

Get the flu vaccine for you and your children.

MAP Testing in January
Third through eighth grade students will complete the second round of MAP testing in January.  After the testing is complete, parents will receive an updated score report showing the progress your student has made this year.

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).

Prospective Parents’ Tours
School tours for prospective parents are scheduled weekly on Thursdays at 9:30am.  Each tour is limited to 10 adults in an effort to limit the disruption to our students and teachers in the classrooms.  Parents interested in learning more about ABS and how to enroll their child should contact the front office to sign up for a tour. 748-4116 ext 1023.  Applications will be accepted beginning January 1. The lottery will be held on the second Tuesday of February.