ABS Thursday Notes- October 1, 2020

Published for the Arts Based School Community
October 1, 2020


Friday Sing Goes Live at 2:00 on Friday, October 2 with special guest: Mr. Bill!
Our generous friends at Ovation Sound will live-stream Friday Sing again this Friday. Friday Sing is designed for K-4 students, but all ABS kids and families are welcome!

YouTube Link for performance on Friday Oct. 2, @ 2pm

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/wsabs/posts/3829440897084505

Visit the page and you will see an option to join the live stream, when it opens.


How We Do It and Why
by Mary Siebert

"We had the best jazz band on the planet, and yet we were literally starving. That's when I discovered that there was music, and there was the music business. If I were to survive, I would have to learn the difference between the two." - Quincy Jones

Whatever your gifts and skills as a musical artist may be, anything outside of classical music or banjos on the front porch requires amplification, mixing, balancing, and a host of other things I don’t know how to describe or define. Beyond this, commercial music is composed, produced, edited, and marketed via a dizzying combination of musical prowess, technology skills, and business acumen. Abundant related careers are built around musicians.

Tinkering with pre-composed loops and beats to assemble your own song in music production software is like working with Legos on the way to becoming an architect. A teacher can use that construction opportunity to help you understand many musical goals: structure, pattern, dynamics, keys, composition, and many more. Most middle school students are fascinated by and opinionated about music. Some of them might become musicians, but others might have an interest in playing a part in the huge music industry from another angle. For several years we have sought funding to develop a music tech program for our 7th and 8th graders, so they can begin to develop skills and ideas on the electronic side of the current music industry. Now, a grant targeting music tech is supporting the first steps in this direction. 

Our 7th and 8th graders are currently working with guest artists from Kre8ivU, a company that introduces students to the basics of music production. When we worked with Kre8ivU two years ago, they swept into the music room with a lot of cool equipment; keyboards, monitors, digital audio workstations, mics, wires...everything to create a group of studio setups where kids could work together as production teams. Our students ate it up. 

When COVID-19 shut down this hands-on approach, Kre8ivU worked hard to pull together online, fully remote options to help groups of kids access similar software. They are now partnering with ABS, remotely. They provided training for music teacher Ms. Engel, and together with her, they have begun the labor-intensive, patience-demanding process of logging onto and experimenting with these new platforms remotely. Forgotten passwords and technical glitches abound, but completed projects are beginning to appear. Students are currently working on team-produced soundtracks for mindfulness podcast tracks. The first tasks were individual experimentation. Take a listen to these exciting examples of first tasks! 


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 August 19 - October 16. The Board will use a collection of information and data to determine which plan the school will follow after October 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, October 7 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. 

Please take a moment to complete this new Parent Survey 


Annual Giving!
This month, we are celebrating the collective power of Annual Giving at The Arts Based School! From now until October 31, all gifts and pledges to the school will benefit every aspect of learning at ABS: from the arts to technology and safety and beyond. Please give as generously as you are able, and share the call to action with grandparents and extended family as well! We will update you on our overall progress each week in Thursday Notes. Together, we can celebrate and support everything that we love about our school. To make your gift, send a check to ABS or visit our website. Look for more information in your next Materials Exchange. Thank you!


PikMyKid Dismissal App 
In our ongoing efforts to enhance your children’s safety, we will begin using the PikMyKid Dismissal Application. This system will allow us to avoid congregating students at dismissal tents, leaving them inside the classrooms until you arrive in the pickup line. This also allows us to collect daily health screening questionnaires from each student before they arrive on campus.

We are very excited about this addition and know you will be too. Check your emails over the next week for additional information and we will be on our way to a safer, quicker, and more efficient dismissal process. To learn a little more on your own, please check out this link that will show you a few of the PikMyKid features. 


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!


Volunteers Needed 
We are also looking for volunteers to serve as classroom representatives. This job will be new and different this year, but your primary responsibilities will be to 1) help facilitate connections between class and grade level families, and 2) support your teachers. If you would like to serve in this position, please contact Debbie Mason.

We are looking for a new co-chair for the ABS PC board. In this role, you will help communicate between parents 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 looking for a new secretary for the ABS PC board. In this role, you will take minutes at all Parent Council meetings. If you are 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 would like to invite all parents, caregivers, and learning coaches to join us for another 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 working together to help find ways to create and support our school community! Join us via Zoom on Thursday, October 1 at 5:30 PM. Please submit questions or ideas for discussion via our parent council link. Please indicate “PC social” in your submission. Remember, coming to Parent Council meetings counts as volunteer time!


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 link. Please indicate “PC meeting” in your submission. We invite all parents, caregivers, and learning coaches to join us.


ABS Special Board Meeting
The ABS Board of Directors will convene a special Board meeting on October 6, 2020, at 5:45pm using a virtual meeting platform. Board meetings are open to the public. If you would like to view the meeting, please email Principal Hollis for the link.

Published Print