ABS Thursday Notes- July 18, 2019

First Day of School –Wed, August 21st

How We Do It and Why
By Mary Siebert

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.” – Henry David Thoreau 

Why integrate the arts into classroom instruction?

  • The arts channel energy into productive learning, incorporating higher-level thinking and putting the application of knowledge into practice.
  • Authentic problem-solving opportunities are presented within arts endeavors.
  • 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.
  • Integration enables the instructor to teach several subjects simultaneously.
  • When learning through personal, artistic expression, students “own” integrated knowledge, which helps them retain it. When you create art, you care about it.
  • Integration provides an answer to the question:  “When would I ever use this math?”

Here’s when you might use this math:

  • Basketry measurement
  • Volume measurement and ratio in paint mixing
  • Counting and fractions in music and music notation
  • Measurement and scale in set design
  • Measurement in costuming
  • Geometry in graphic design and dance
  • Number patterns in choreography
  • Calculation of space, weight, and balance in architecture and sculpture
  • Financial challenges of becoming an arts entrepreneur or a producer

…and finally, performances and art exhibitions provide authentic goals that inspire individual and collaborative excellence.

  • When students have a targeted performance date, they all care and hold one another accountable for preparation and quality.
  • Students strive to offer their very best work when they know an audience is coming.
  • Students collaborate in fresh, inventive ways, to create performances.
  • Students learn from one another and adjust standards upward when inspired by the observance of excellence in others.
  • Students learn to appreciate and accept individual ideas, through performance.
  • Performances are real-world assessments, where effort and product are valued.
  •  The opportunity to have individual expression recognized and valued builds self-esteem, inspiring even greater efforts.

Staffing Updates
I am excited to announce the latest staffing updates.  It’s an exciting time of the year as we look for the next great teachers to join the ABS team. We get to meet many wonderful educators during the process that are excited about the way we teach children. Here’s the casting list so far for 2019-20…

Trish Goldberg, Matthew Greene, Ashley Rudd

First Grade:
Kathie Fansler, Nicole Howard, Sherell McArthur

Second Grade:
Jess Broughton, Nicole Londono, Missy Warren

Third Grade:
Anne Campbell, Becca Lard, Ashley Tate (formerly Setser)

Fourth Grade:
Alex DeJarnette, Kelly Robertson, Renee Meeks

Fifth Grade:
Leni Fragakis, Laura Lynne Frazier, Becky Zayas (formerly Koza)

Sixth Grade:
Alysha Christian, Courtney Hedgecock, Katie Hugus

Seventh/Eighth Grades:
Rob Rambach, Lisa Hendrix, Jennifer Lewis, Lenora McNamara, LeeAnn Farrell

The Arts:
Jan Adams, Mary Boudreault, Brian Schmoyer, Heidi McIver, Elizabeth Gledhill, Jordan Brown, Amber Engel

Hope San Filippo

Brianna Pierce

I’m very excited to announce we have hired our new kindergarten teacher.

Mr. Matthew Greene will be joining the kindergarten team.  Mr. Greene has a Master’s in education and is licensed Birth-Kindergarten.  He has been teaching 14 years both Pre-K and K, most recently at Easton Elementary.  His daughter, Addie is a rising 5th grader at ABS.  He is an avid chess player and worked with our chess club last year.

Calling ALL Arts Based School Parents! 
We need YOU!
As an ABS parent, you’ve agreed to volunteer one hour per week per child. That’s roughly 39 hours per school year for each of your children. If you’re a working parent and it’s difficult to volunteer during school hours, this is a great opportunity for you to rack up your volunteer hours before school begins.

Please join me…

Date: Saturday, July 27
Time: 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM
(Help for as little as 20 minutes or stay the entire time. Whatever amount of time you give is greatly appreciated and does make a difference.)
What we’ll do (pick an area):

1.) Help beautify the gardens…there’s plenty of weeding to do all around our campus! Your children can even help with this too. Bring your tools.


2.) Clean out the basement – strong backs are needed for this and children are NOT allowed in the basement. We’ll have a dumpster set-up at the basement doors.

Things to consider: 

  • This is a DOUBLE VOLUNTEER HOURS For every hour you volunteer, you’ll record 2 hours!
  • When you volunteer, it helps us receive grants! Many of the grants we apply for ask for our parent volunteer participation rate.
  • I’ll bring doughnuts and coffee…YUM!

PLEASE RSVP  to [email protected] so we can map out our plan for the day.

Medicines at School
The Arts Based School staff is not allowed to administer any herbal, over-the-counter, or prescription medications or ointments without prior written authorization from the child’s physician.  If your child needs to take medication during school hours or your child has a life-threatening allergy that requires medication to be kept at the school, please email Stephanie LeFever at [email protected] to obtain the necessary forms that must accompany all medications dropped off the first day of school.  All medications must be dropped off by a parent and kept in the school office. 

Afterschool Care at ABS
ABS Before and Afterschool Care Program was created out of a need for high-quality care with a flexible, convenient schedule for working parents. We look forward to providing a safe and fun-filled environment where we focus our efforts on the social, emotional and physical development of your child. We’ll do this by nurturing strong relationships and offering your child choices that reflect his/her individual needs, interests and abilities.  The onsite child care will be staffed by ABS teachers and staff with Stephanie Lefever as the Afterschool Program director.  Registration will open July 22 on the ABS website.

ABS Family/Student Directory
To be sure we have accurate contact information for the ABS family/student directory, each family will receive a confirmation email to verify the information that will be printed in the directory. This confirmation will also list your child’s teacher. Families that do not want to be published in the ABS directory should email Principal Hollis at [email protected]  before August 9.

Class Representatives Needed
We are currently recruiting class representatives for all classrooms at ABS for the upcoming school year. It’s a great way to get your volunteer hours for the year and to be more involved with our amazing school. If you’re interested, please contact Jennifer Bender at [email protected]. Thank you so much for your willingness to volunteer!

Back to School Night-Save the Date!
ABS Back to School Night is scheduled for Monday, August 19, 5-8pm.  To ease parking, we will have staggered sessions. More details soon…

Who’s My Teacher?
Classroom teachers met with the grade level team before school was out to create the class rosters for next year. They use all that they know about your child’s academic, social, emotional, and behavioral qualities to determine which classroom is the best match. Class placement will be sent to parents in late July.

New Parent Orientation
Save the Date- Wednesday, Aug 7 at 10am for the New K-4 Parent Orientation at ABS. This program is designed specifically for new families in grades K-4th at ABS to support your transition into ABS and to answer your questions. Please mark your calendars and join us!

Middle School Orientation
Save the Date-Wednesday, Aug 7 at 5pm for Middle School Orientation.  For new parents (grade 5-8) and also for parents new to middle school.  This program is designed to answer questions about how our middle school program works (grades 5-8) and what to expect.

Special Visits
Educational research shows that the relationship between the student and his or her teacher is one of the most important factors in a student’s academic success. This critical relationship is enhanced by our small class size and our educators’ commitment to children. In support of the teacher/student relationship, our teachers will be offering a Special Visit before school begins. A Special Visit is simply an opportunity for your child to meet his or her teacher in a familiar setting, a chance to learn a bit about the class and what to expect in the coming school year. The Special Visit can be set up to occur in your home, here at the school, or on the phone. This year’s scheduled days for Special Visits are August 15 and 16, 2019. Your child’s teacher will be contacting you to schedule a 15-20 minute appointment.