ABS Thursday Notes- November 14, 2019

November 22- Early Dismissal

  • K-4 Dismiss at 11:45
  • 5-8 Dismiss at 12 noon

Nov 25-29 No School Thanksgiving Break

How We Do It and Why
by Mary Siebert

“The golden way is to be friends with the community and to regard the whole human family as one.” – Mahatma Gandhi

The visiting and resident artists at ABS are an important part of our learning, and quickly become part of the family. Beyond these personal relationships, we have developed partnerships with local organizations that contribute to our experience of the community as an extension of the classroom. Here are just a few examples:

SECCA (The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art.) With ever-changing exhibits of local and national artists, SECCA is uncommonly welcoming to students. On-site lessons, performances, attendance at exhibits, staff meetings off-site, meetings with artists, and even exhibitions of our students’ work are all part of our relationship with this generous organization.

UNCSA (The University of North Carolina School of the Arts.) We have partnered with each department at UNCSA and are inspired every year by their dynamic students and faculty, who generously lift us up with their energy and expertise. Dancers, musicians, filmmakers, visual artists, actors, general studies students, and professors from all these departments have learned and created together with us. The possibilities are endless.

The Hispanic Arts Initiative. This organization brought us musicians, dancers, lecturers, and artists. They advised us in authentic dance and costume design, built costumes for us, found us a Mariachi band, suggested curricular materials, and participated in our fundraiser. Although they recently disbanded, their impact on us is a lasting one.

Reynolda House. We have never had a year when some of our students didn’t tour this local treasure. We often design our own tour, based on current studies at each grade level, and the staff has supported our creative ideas, even crafting activities to support them. We walk their wooded trails, picnic on the lawn, stroll through the gardens, visit the grand home interior and listen to their pipe organ, attend special exhibits, and focus on permanent collection pieces that fit into specific studies.

The Winston-Salem Symphony. We attend youth concerts at the symphony whenever they correspond with our schedule, and now we participate in their new Carnegie Hall “Link Up” connection. The conductors have visited, symphony players have performed and worked with our students, and the Bolton Wind Quintet, which originated at the Symphony with Conductor Emeritus Peter Perret, has visited our school every year since our inception.

Wake Forest University. Our students have both toured and been interviewed at Wake’s WFDD public radio station, whose David Ford has participated in our fundraiser.  ABS students have visited or been visited by the Museum of Anthropology every year, borrowing trunks of objects that support learning about far-flung cultures of the world. We have visited the Hanes Gallery, performed in Wait Chapel and Brendle Hall, worked with Wake film students, and visited the library. We’ve been repeatedly inspired by visiting musical and dance faculty and students from WFU.

Bookmarks. Our relationship with this fresh and popular literary arts organization includes visits from authors, who read to us, draw for us, sign books for us, and share insights about writing. Their annual festival attracts abundant ABS families, and 2018’s visit to the BB&T Ballpark to meet author Dav Pilkey (along with 2,000 other students,) resulted in scores of jubilant ABS readers, sporting red “Captain Underpants” capes and reading fresh new copies of Dogman: Lord of the Fleas, with the author’s reminder that reading gives you superpowers.

Winston Salem State University. The astonishing Burke Singers visit us almost every year, crafting their performances to fit the ages of the students in the audience, and sharing glorious music as well as important lessons about race and history. We have visited the treasured murals of John Biggers at the WSSU library, attended performances on campus, visited Diggs Gallery and Delta Fine Arts which has moved to an off-campus location over the years. This year, plans are in the works to attend a rehearsal of the “Red Sea of Sound” marching band and drumline.

A/perture Cinema. This beloved art films theater downtown has hosted us many a time, to see our own 6th grade film premieres in an intimate cinema, or attend a special movie related to the studies of other grades.

Salem College. The lovely little gallery in the Salem College Fine Arts Center is often host to works that are just right for our students to visit, including occasional exhibits by our own resident artist Diana Greene. One memorable visit was to the works of Kevin Calhoun, an ABS dad and frequent donor to our Community Creates fundraiser. We paired that with a quick organ concert by Salem professor Timothy Olson in the adjoining Shirley Recital Hall. The Bach and the Calhoun had similarities that the students could compare and write about.

Piedmont Opera. Piedmont Opera sends singers from UNCSA’s Fletcher Opera Institute each year, to perform for our K-2 students. (This year’s opera was The Billy Goats Gruff.) With 7th or 8th grade students, we often attend “Student Night at the Opera” (The next one is “The King and I” in March.)

Little Theatre of Winston Salem. This great community theater organization is now in its 84th year! We wait and watch with excitement each spring as announcements are made about the upcoming season. We hope each year to find just the right play for our kids to attend during student performances. This year, 6th grade attended Matilda.

RiverRun Film Festival. Here’s another organization who changes student offerings each year. When the new invitation arrives, we check the content of the film against our curriculum and find just the right match for students to attend.

Old Salem. Visits to this treasured Moravian village that marks our city’s beginnings is a favorite field trip for several grades. We also make annual visits to Home Moravian Church, to learn about organ pipes and hear a great demonstration for our integrated science-of-sound and music studies.

There are more! We are lucky to live in such an arts-rich city.

No Music, Drama, or Art Clubs During the Week of November 18.
Please pick up your art, music, or drama club student at regular dismissal time (2:45-3:00) during the week of November 18. Club teachers will be off-campus preparing for Lion King. (Other clubs will continue as scheduled.)

Lion King Performance
Don’t miss the 8th grade performance of Disney’s Lion King Jr. on Thursday, November 21 at 7:00 p.m., at First Presbyterian’s worship center, 200 S. Cherry Street.

4th Grade Art Exhibition: “My Inside-Outside Self”
Join us to share in the 4th graders’ accomplishments, at the ABS Ewing Blackbox Theater, 12:15-12:45 as follows:

  • DeJarnette – Tuesday, December 3
  • Meeks – Wednesday, December 4
  • Robertson – Thursday, December 5

Crisis Control Food Drive
K-Kids are sponsoring a canned food drive for Crisis Control Ministries, a non-profit organization that provides food for the needy in our community. Please bring non-perishable items in cans and boxes (no glass containers, please). Items will be collected in a hallway location outside each grade level. This drive will continue until Friday, Dec. 13.

Picture Retakes
November 22  is picture make-up and retake day. Any student who was absent on picture day will automatically be photographed as these pictures are used for our annual yearbook. However, if you are interested in your child having his/her picture retaken, please send a note or email to your child’s homeroom teacher.  Students will only be sent for a retake if the parent sends in a request.

NC School Report Card
Each year the North Carolina School Report Cards provides a comprehensive resource for information about student achievement, the school environment and student safety at the state, district and school levels.

To see our school’s report card click on the following link: NC School Report Card

Parent Council Meeting- This Friday 8:15
The Parent Council will be meeting tomorrow, November 15, at 8:15am in the MLK Cafe. All ABS families and caregivers are part of the Parent Council and invited to attend these meetings. And don’t forget that attendance counts towards volunteer hours!  Coffee will be provided by MOJI Coffee & More at the PC meeting Friday morning.

Conference Time is Coming
Soon your child’s teacher will be setting up conferences to discuss your child’s progress.  Students attending the Arts Based School are assessed using a portfolio system in place of the traditional report card.  The portfolio is designed to illustrate a student’s academic growth and successes as well as guide the teacher in planning appropriate instruction.  Teachers at ABS do not issue letter grades. Teachers use observation, interviews, analysis of student work and performance tasks to assess student understanding.  Examples of student work, as well as other objective standards of assessments are incorporated into the student’s portfolio to give an enhanced portrait of the student’s progress.  These portfolios will be discussed and presented to parents during the Student-Teacher-Parent conferences. Please be sure you schedule and attend your conference so that you can support your child’s learning. 

Conference Days- November 22- Early Dismissal

  • K-4 Dismiss at 11:45
  • 5-8 Dismiss at 12 noon

ABS Spelling Bee
We will be holding our annual spelling bee for third through eighth grade students on Thursday, Dec 12. The top three winners from each classroom will participate in the school-wide event.   For more information about word lists, check with your classroom teacher.

ABS Science Fair
ABS will hold its annual science fair on January 9, 2020.  All students are invited to participate.  Registration forms will be sent home via Thursday packets this week.  Science Fairs give students an opportunity to think and work independently, develop and refine individual science interests, and engage in critical thinking. Please help your child choose a science fair project topic that aligns with the science standards at his or her grade level. Science standards can be found for each grade level on the ABS website under “Our Students”. Science Fair applications are due to your teacher by Monday, January 6.

Save the Date for the last Community Creates! - May 2, 2020
For ten years, we have enjoyed enchanting works of art, unique collaborations, and hearty celebrating, at the Community Creates fundraiser at The Arts Based School. The event has raised fees for visiting and resident artists of varied disciplines who inspire and challenge our students. It really has earned a reputation of “party of the year!” 

This year will mark our FINAL Community Creates. We will still have a fundraiser each year, something new and yet-to-be-invented. 

This spring, we hope you will join us for this “last blast,” so we can take this party out in style!  If you would like to help with this event, please let Principal Hollis know at [email protected]  

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.

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).

High School Information Night
ABS will host counselors, teachers, and administrators from several area high schools for an information session on December 3rd from 6-7pm. This will include a brief introduction from the high school reps and time to ask questions and gather information from a variety of schools. High School Information Night will take place in the 7th Street building and all 7th and 8th grade families are invited to attend.

WS/FC schools Magnet Fair
On Saturday, Nov. 16, families can learn more about what each school offers at the first Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Showcase. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Education Building at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds. Parking is free. Enter at Gate 7, which is on Shorefair Drive.

The Showcase replaces the annual Magnet Fair, which focused on magnet schools in the school system. The Showcase will include all schools, and families will be able to learn about education programs from pre-kindergarten through high school.

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.

Nutcracker Tea Party!
Get your tickets now for UNCSA’s Preparatory Dance Nutcracker Tea Party!  Performances on December 7th & 8th at The Arts Based School – see the attached flyer for more information or click here to purchase tickets online from the Stevens Center Box Office.  Don’t miss this wonderful holiday tradition!