ABS Thursday Notes- September 24, 2020

Published for the Arts Based School Community
September 24, 2020

ReOpening School Plans
As we work toward getting our students back to in-person learning, we constantly keep in mind that our greatest goal is to provide the most effective instruction possible while keeping our students and staff safe and healthy.

Currently, the ABS Board has placed the school in Plan C-Full Remote Learning for the first nine weeks Aug 19-Oct 16. The Board will use a collection of information and data to determine which plan the school will follow after Oct 16. Some of this data will not be available or accurate until closer to that time. The Executive committee will convene a meeting October 5 to evaluate the available information and make a recommendation to the Board for a special October 6th meeting. These are the factors to be considered in that decision process:

  • Health Metrics-Forsyth County/NC positivity rate of COVID testing results
  • Governor's Mandates in effect at that time
  • Surrounding schools and district decisions
  • Teacher/staff survey information about return to in-person teaching
  • Parent survey information about return to in-person learning

Families may choose to continue Remote Learning. Families will be asked to commit to in-person learning or remote learning on October 7th if we are able to return to in-person learning so that detailed schedules and staffing can be tailored to the student/staff needs.

The ABS Board Executive committee continues to meet weekly to plan and prepare for the eventual return to in-person teaching and learning.

How Do I Stay Up to Date with School ReOpening Plans?
We’re doing our best to keep ABS families, staff and community updated with the latest information about our School ReOpening. Our next virtual information meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 30 at 12noon. You will receive an invitation and link via your email from Evites. We will continue to provide information in multiple places, including direct email, Thursday Notes and Virtual Parent Meetings. If you have specific topics, or questions, please send them to us at this form so we can be sure to address them. Form to submit questions

Annual Giving!
Our Annual Giving campaign will run throughout the month of October. Please look for information in Thursday Notes and Materials Exchanges. As a non-profit charter school, ABS depends upon the generosity of parents, board members, and our community to support the learning and creating that happens here every day. This year, as in years past, our goal is to come as close to 100% participation as possible. Last year, thanks to your generosity, we raised more than $70,000 in our Annual Giving campaign. These funds support literally every aspect of the ABS experience, and this year, Annual Giving support is vital to our school’s flexibility and resilience. Please help us make this another successful year for Annual Giving by making a gift that is meaningful to your family. Click here if you’re ready to give now. We sincerely appreciate each family’s ongoing support and trust in ABS. Thank you!

New Family Portal Feature on Website Going Live
We’re excited to announce that our ABS Family Portal is going live on the website today! Look for an email from us with a username and password to access this feature. The password-protected family portal will allow parents and caregivers of current students to access teacher pages, the school handbook, connect through the family directory, view class lists, etc. We also plan launch capabilities to collect payments for Friday pizza, activity fees, and more.

ABS T-Shirts!
We are very excited to introduce beautiful new ABS t-shirts designed by local artist (and ABS parent and board chair) Ellen Heck. The t-shirts will be printed by ABS parents Derry and Lisa George of Dikie The Geek Computer and Printing. T-shirts will be distributed via our Monday Materials Exchanges. Place your order here today!

Parent Council Meeting Minutes
Thank you to everyone who joined the first Parent Council Meeting of 20-21 held via Zoom. Click here to review the Meeting Minutes from 9/11/2020. Please join us for upcoming Parent Council (PC) gatherings via Zoom in October (details below).

Volunteers Needed
Parent Council is seeking volunteers to serve as classroom representatives for the following teachers: Tate (5th), Hedgecock (6th), Rambach (7th/8th), Adams (Dance), Boudreault (Music), Brown (Drama), Engel (Music), Gledhill (Art), McIver (Drama), Pierce (PE), San Filippo (Spanish), and Schmoyer (Art). This job will be new and different this year. Primary responsibilities will be to 1) help facilitate connections between class and grade level students/families, and 2) support your teachers. If you would like to serve in this position, please contact Debbie Mason. Thank you so much for your willingness to volunteer!

We are also looking for a new co-chair for the ABS PC board. In this role, you will help communicate between parents/caregivers and the school, plan the year’s events, serve as a liaison to the ABS Board of Directors, and preside at PC meetings. This is a 2-year position. If you have questions or are interested, please email Becky Dickson.

We are also looking for a new secretary for the ABS PC board. The role of secretary is to take minutes at all Parent Council meetings. If unable to attend a meeting, you can secure another member to take minutes in your absence. If you have questions or are interested, please email Becky Dickson.

Parent Council Social - Thursday, October 1 at 5:30 PM
The Parent Council Board invites all parents, caregivers, and learning coaches to join us for another virtual social gathering. Feeling connected to your Arts Based community is more important than ever during these new and challenging times. You are not alone out there! We are all working hard to make the most of this new frontier for our learners. We look forward to collaborating to find creative ways to support our school community! Join us via Zoom on Thursday, October 1 at 5:30 PM. Submit questions or ideas for discussion via our parent council comment box. Please indicate “PC Social” in your submission.

Parent Council Meeting - Friday, October 16th at 12:00 PM
Please submit any questions or topics you would like to discuss via our parent council comment box. Please indicate “PC Meeting” in your submission. We invite all parents, caregivers, and learning coaches to join us.

Extra Credit Initiative for Parents
The North Carolina Department of Revenue is now accepting applications for a $335 extra credit initiative for parents and guardians. The one-time payment is part of House Bill 1105, the COVID-19 Relief Bill that was signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper on Sept. 4. The money is meant to help families with qualifying children in North Carolina by providing economic support to assist with virtual schooling and child-care costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to qualify for the extra credit, individuals have to have at least one child younger than 17, file a 2019 state income tax return by Oct. 15, and be a resident of North Carolina for the entire 2019 calendar year. State officials say the money will be issued by Dec. 15. Click here for an application for the extra credit grant. The deadline to apply is Oct. 15.

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, which is especially important, this year during the COVID Pandemic. 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.

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.
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