ABS Thursday Notes- November 5, 2020

Published for the Arts Based School Community

November 5, 2020

No School - Veteran's Day

Wednesday, November 11

Friday Sing Delayed

Friday Sing is delayed due to technical difficulties, but we're working on it! You’ll be able to find it at the new ABS YouTube station, HERE. Please subscribe to the station so it becomes searchable!

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“If I cannot fly, let me sing.” - Stephen Sondheim

You and I have been experimenting with healthy ways to quickly elevate energy and refresh thinking. We’ve been going for walks, sharing Zoom meetings with loved ones. We’ve been painting and knitting and baking and meditating and finding new ways to soothe the soul. But for a quick shot of energy and positivity, for stepping away from worry or squeezing that worry out there, singing is a great choice. 

To be safe, people don’t sing in our beloved large choirs for now, or perform live concerts where everyone sings along from the audience. But that doesn’t need to stop us from singing! At the university level, students are still studying voice, singing with teachers and small groups, carefully distanced and masked. But at home, (if everyone is well) you can sing and sing and sing unmasked, with your heads close together, without any worry except that you might drive your family or your dog crazy. (The best remedy for that is to persuade them to sing along. The dog might automatically volunteer.)

If you are “tone deaf,” if you judge your voice harshly, if you’re shy about singing in public, do like the cowboys did and sing anyway! Everyone already loves you where you are, and you don’t need perfection, just enthusiasm. Sing out from your gut, from your heart, from your soul and your dreams and your worries and your jubilation. You can sing it all, just sing! There are thousands of articles about studies proving the health benefits of singing. Here’s one from the Chicago Tribune in 2018 that covers many bases. But you can run your own experiment. Try joining your child for Friday Sing tomorrow. What was your mood before you started singing together?  Check it again afterward. Our goal is to partner with you to elevate your spirit, at least for a little while!

We miss our grand gatherings of over 300 K-4 kids on the first Friday of every month, when they open up and just SING like crazy together for half an hour. It sends them joyfully off to the weekend, and it touches the hearts of the parents who join in. You can still do that, and invite your relatives to join you. It’s not the same as sharing our voices in one space, but it’s still a shot of goodness! Check the notice at the top, for how and when to join Friday Sing tomorrow.

Virtual 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 until 6th grade. 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 virtual Student-Teacher-Parent conferences. Please be sure you schedule and attend your conference so that you can support your child’s learning. 

The Scholastic Book Fair will be virtual this year!

Our Online Scholastic Book Fair is open until November 15!

Our Book Fair Homepage has all the information you need: link for shopping (including a virtual 360 degree view of book fair cases), interactive flyer, and classroom wish list.


Our Book Fair Homepage offers two ways to shop: 

  • “Shop the store”- you can search by age/grade, format/subject, series/characters, best sellers, boxed sets, and more. 
  • “Shop the virtual fair”- step into a virtual fair 360 degree view. You will feel like you are at the book fair. Choose which fair you want to view (elementary or middle school) and browse by case. You can even click on books for more information and add them right to your cart!

Orders that contain books only that come to a total of $25 qualify for free shipping straight to your house. 

Consider adding a book (or two) to your order for your child’s classroom. Teachers love getting books for their classroom: this is a great way to thank our teachers and spread the love of reading to all students!

Share the link with relatives that want to buy books for your family. This is a good chance for them to purchase holiday/birthday gifts in addition to books for right now. They can also contribute to your e-wallet account which allows you to make purchases that they pay for!

Be sure to stock up for holiday gifts, birthday gifts (great for the whole family and friends) and books to get your family through a long winter!

We’ve been posting in “The Arts Based School Group” Facebook page this week—take a look for other helpful information and tips for virtual shopping!

Happy Reading- Rachel and Catie

MAP Testing Continues

 In a traditional school year, ABS uses the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test to assess each student’s academic growth. We give students in grades 3-8 MAP tests to determine each child’s instructional level and to measure academic growth throughout the school year, and from year to year in the areas of math and reading. NWEA has provided the opportunity for us to administer the MAP test in the remote setting this year. We are planning to provide an optional remote testing session for Grades 3-8 in MAP Reading and Math. (4th grade already did reading). Each grade level will be administering Remote Reading and Math MAP tests between November Monday, November 2 and Monday, November 9. Your classroom teacher will provide specific information on your schedule and log in instructions. This data will be used to inform our teaching, but not to make any changes in student placement; the data will be shared with parents.

COVID Updates

Governor Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina will remain paused in Phase 3 until Nov. 13 as health officials continue to monitor North Carolina’s COVID-19 trends. North Carolina has seen increased hospitalizations and trajectory of cases in recent weeks. Governor Cooper underscored the importance of wearing masks, social distancing, and using good judgment despite fatigue or frustration with the pandemic. With North Carolina's COVID-19 trends moving in the wrong direction, NCDHHS and the N.C. Department of Public Safety reminds us to do our part to keep one another safe and healthy.

ReOpening School Plans

The ABS Board of Directors voted to remain in Plan C-Remote Learning until at least November 30, the end of our first trimester. A special Board Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 17 to make the next decision regarding school reopening. This will be a virtual meeting, open to the public, like all Board Meetings. If you would like to view the meeting, please email Principal Hollis rhollis@artsbasedschool.com for the link.

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, November 18 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!

We are tremendously grateful to all of you for giving as you are able to this year's Annual Giving campaign. Thank you for contributing to the Arts Based School in innumerable ways: with your time and energy, your skills and passions, your financial support, with connections you make on our behalf with your extended families, and with your children—who make our school what it is. Thank you!

Total School Participation: 28%

Total Gifts: $32,510

The Annual Giving campaign is a vital part of our school's overall fiscal health and long-term sustainability. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has contributed. Though this year’s campaign is drawing to a close, we will continue to gratefully accept your gifts and pledges: https://www.artsbasedschool.com/apps/pages/giving

ABS Regular Board Meeting

The ABS Board of Directors Board will meet on November 10, 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 rhollis@artsbasedschool.com for the link.


Parent Council Meeting - Friday, November 13th 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.

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