ABS Thursday Notes- May 28, 2020

Final Friday Sing
Tomorrow’s release of Friday Sing will be a special one. In ABS tradition, the graduating 8th graders vote on their favorites from a long list of the songs they sang at Friday Sing when they were in Kindergarten – 4th grade. Those songs become our setlist for the final Friday Sing of the year. Watch for a link tomorrow for the last Friday Sing of the year, and enjoy the countdown of our 8th graders’ favorites, with a surprise or two!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.  -Alan Watts

As we come to our last day of remote learning instruction for this school year, we can take a few minutes to celebrate our hard work and tenacity.  It’s been a season of change and we’ve continued to make the best of it.  Thanks to each of you for your hard work and dedication to making a tough situation better.  Our students, our parents, our teachers, and staff have all stepped up and deserve a big cheer.   It’s inspiring to see the work you’ve been doing together as partners to keep students learning and engaged.  Of course, it’s not what we were expecting but we seem to be doing our best at grinning and bearing it.  

A Note from our Counselor, Amanda Sullivan

As a single parent, life could get tough for me and my children sometimes. Before I became full-time at ABS, I worked three jobs. I’d often come home in the evening really tired and needing alone time (I’m an introvert—see previous Thursday Notes!) completely spent from my working day, and my kids would be craving time with me: “What are we going to do tonight, Mom?! Let’s go for a walk! Let’s cook something! Let’s play a board game!” If I were true to myself and my needs, my response would have been: “Nope! I’m going to my room to be alone and don’t bother me!” But of course, I didn’t do that and found a way to exhale first, then meet my children’s needs.

This extended home time that we are experiencing now can feel a lot like that: overwhelming, constricting, isolating, exhausting. So what can you do as a parent to alleviate some of the tension and create a lighter mood at home?

My first response has always been and will continue to be humor. No formal parenting guidelines, no tested theories of child management, just good ol’ silly humor.

We danced a lot as a family. When stress came knocking and tensions were running high I’d often put on an upbeat song and just start dancing in the middle of the room. My kids would laugh and join in, not knowing what else to do. Or sometimes, if my kids were arguing about something, I’d walk into the room wearing a silly hat or a wig, acting as if nothing were unusual about that. They would immediately stop fussing, thrown off by my odd behavior.

I can remember one very tense dinner at a restaurant where I was about to lose my temper at my kids’ constant whining and nagging at each other. In a moment of desperation, I took a straw, peeled off the top end of the paper that covered it, and blew the paper off, hitting my son right in the face! Of course, it didn’t hurt him, but it did stun him and both of my kids burst out laughing.

Sometimes a little comic relief is just what you need to reset and cut through the tension.

I’m not saying that humor should be used as a diversion, a way not to deal with serious issues, but it is very healthy to be silly with your kids on occasion and a great way to break the tension. And it’s also helpful for digging you or your kids out of an emotional rut, you know, those days where nothing seems to go right and everyone is in a bad mood. Silliness is great for perspective and for shaking you out of a grumpy state of mind.

But there are health benefits to being silly too, well-researched health benefits. Check out these articles about the positive mental and physical effects of silliness.

But before you do, here’s a joke to get you started:

Why shouldn’t you write with a broken pencil?                                                           

Because it’s pointless!

Happy Thursday everyone!





Staffing News
It’s with a heavy heart I report the news that one of our fifth grade teachers, Mrs. Becky Zayas will be leaving ABS at the end of the school year.  She will be joining the curriculum team at Forsyth Country Day School.   In a note to her students and families she wrote, “I have loved my time at ABS. I came to ABS right after graduating college and I have taught here for 8 wonderful years. I have learned a ton and have met so many wonderful people from the ABS community including staff, parents, and of course the fabulous students!”

We will miss her tremendously and wish her all the best in her new adventure.

June 11 Parent Pick UP Day / June 12 Rain date Procedures
Parents will drive through the pick up line in the same fashion as the daily pick up procedure.   Parents, please post dismissal name cards in the front window so the caller and loaders can see clearly. If you do not have a dismissal name card, please make one that includes the student’s first name, last name and grade level, make them BOLD and LARGE.  

Parents/students should all stay inside the vehicle.  ABS staff will load student belongings.

Parents will stop at flags to be loaded.

To maintain social distancing and reduce the number of people interacting, we will load the vehicles by grade levels.  For families with more than one student, please come during the oldest sibling’s time slot so we can have all siblings’ belongings ready for pick up.

  • 9-9:30 Kindergarten
  • 10-10:30 First grade 
  • 11-11:30 2nd/3rd grade
  • 12-12:30 4th/5th grade 
  • 1-1:30 6th grade
  • 2-2:30 7th/8th grade

Drop Off of School Property
For items to be returned to the school, the parent will continue down to the middle school building sidewalk, where ABS staff will receive items to be returned.

ABS staff will receive items from parents on the sidewalk in front of the middle school building, sorting items into labeled baskets based on teacher/grade level.  These items will be quarantined before they are returned to classrooms.  Parents should remain in vehicles.  Staff will wear masks and gloves. 

Preparing for the End of the School Year
Here are some important dates as we work to complete the school year:

  • Mon, May 25 No School Memorial Day
  • Thurs, May 28 Last day for new assignments with distance learning. Teachers will still be available to connect with and support students online until the last day of school, June 5.
  • Tues, June 2 All assignments due- Math I and Math II Grading decision due
  • Wed-Fri, June 3-5 Parent-Teacher conferences via ZOOM. Teachers will prepare and provide student narratives and offer end of year virtual conferences for parents.
  • Mon-Wed, June 8-10 Staff at school (following all health and safety guidelines) organizing rooms and preparing student items for pickup.
  • Thurs, June 11 Parent Drive Thru Pick up line to retrieve personal items. We are working on plans and logistics for families to retrieve their personal items from the school and to return school property such as library books and musical instruments. Stay tuned for more information.
  • Fri, June 12 Alternate day for Parent Pick up in the event of rain.