ABS Thursday Notes- September 9, 2021

Published for the Arts Based School Community

Sept 9, 2021

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

Wake up Jacob, day’s a-breakin’! 

Peas in the pot and the hoecake’s bakin’. 

Early in the morning, almost day; 

If you don’t come soon…gonna throw it all away.”

-Cook’s Wake-Up (Traditional American)

Fifth graders lie on the ground, eyes closed, imagining a time when only the sounds of nature and the occasional snoring comrade were heard at night. Suddenly, their repose is shattered by the banging of a wooden spoon on frying pan, and the Cook’s Wake-up. With a big “yahoo!” we’re off on another day of the “Cowboys” unit that kicks off our Romeo and Juliet on the Border project.

The unit is built around historic folk songs, works of art, and frontier history of the cattle drive era of the American “Wild West,” dating from the end of the 19th century. Students learn about the direct connection from the Civil War to the cattle drives and the industry’s role in reconstruction.They explore cultural changes taking place in the west during that time, and observe how technology and over-grazing brought an end to the era. “Rodeo” reviews help students maintain learning about a diverse group of topics including the prairie biome and its creatures, star constellations, African American cowboys, frontier women, influence of Mexican culture, economics, the railroads, food, transportation, and social customs.

We focus on these questions:

  • How do social factors impact economic ones?
  • How do folk songs and visual art serve as primary sources to teach us history?
  • Who were the cowboys and cowgirls of the American Wild West?

Meanwhile, 5th graders have been learning audition techniques, and recognizing that these skills translate directly into job interview skills. How do you carry yourself when you walk into a room? Do you smile? Make eye contact? Do you deliver a strong voice and a firm handshake? Each of the sixty 5th graders will sing private auditions, and the acting auditions take place next week. When the theater and the history converge, we’ll have us a wing-ding! We don’t know yet whether we can permit a limited audience, or whether we will film the shows. Performances are planned at the Ewing Blackbox Theater on the ABS campus as follows: 

Frazier: November 15, 12:15

Tate: November 16, 12:15

DeJarnette: November 17, 12:15 pm

How Do I Stay Up to Date with School Health and Safety Plans?

We’re doing our best to keep ABS families, staff, and community updated with the latest information about our health and safety plans as the requirements continue to be adjusted based on current COVID spread and the latest science. 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 via this form so we can be sure to address them. In case you missed the Virtual Parent Meeting, you can watch the recording or review the slideshow to learn more about the COVID safety and mitigation protocols. 

Here is our Health and Safety page, which has the COVID Dashboard

COVID Screening at ABS

At The Arts Based School, we seek to maintain a safe environment for students, staff, families, and the community. To support those goals, we have partnered with Concentric by Ginkgo to provide an optional and free pooled testing program. 

This week we conducted our second COVID pool testing. We collected and tested about 400 samples from students and staff who had completed consent forms. We received the results overnight and all tests were negative. This information is helpful in reducing the opportunity for the virus to spread from asymptomatic cases. We will conduct our next pool testing on Tuesday, Sept. 14. If you have not completed a consent form and would like your child to be included in the testing, please follow these steps.

To get started, please fill out the consent form with your permission to perform a COVID-19 pooled test for your student at ABS. This process should take no more than 5 minutes to complete using a computer or a smartphone. 

  1. First, click here (https://testcenter.concentricbyginkgo.com/minor-consent). 
  2. Then, enter this access code: 42DLUR
  3. Finally, enter your child’s information, and you’re done!

Note: If you need to provide consent for more than one child, please complete the process once for each child.

For more information, visit Concentric by Ginkgo’s website or reach out to Principal Hollis

Parent Council Meeting – Friday, September 10!

Please join us virtually for the first Parent Council meeting of the school year on Friday, September 10 at 12, noon. All ABS parents, families, and caregivers are part of the Parent Council and are welcome to attend! You should have received an evite with the link, if not contact Mrs. Hollis.

mClass Reading

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction requires a kindergarten through third grade reading assessment called mCLASS: Reading 3D to help teachers assess, track, and support each student’s reading skills. Each student will be assessed every trimester using the online assessment program. mCLASS:Reading 3D will instantly analyze your child’s development in grade-appropriate foundational reading skills. Teachers will use this data to focus their instruction around your child’s specific needs, in areas that may include:

  • Hearing and using sounds in spoken words (Phonemic Awareness)
  • Knowing sounds of letters and sounding out written words (Alphabetic Principle)
  • Reading words in stories easily, quickly, and correctly (Accuracy and Fluency) 
  • Understanding what they read (Reading Comprehension) 

After each assessment period, you will receive a letter outlining your child’s specific assessment results and progress as a reader. The letter will also include learning activities you and your child can do together at home to reinforce skills learned at school. Parent support and reading at home are a vital part of your child’s education. The teacher’s efforts, combined with your support, will help your child read with mastery and confidence. If you have any questions about the assessment, the activities, or your child’s classroom work and progress, please talk to your child’s teacher.



MAP Testing Begins Next Week

ABS uses Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) to assess each student’s academic growth. We will 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. Your child will take the tests on a computer. MAP tests are unique in that they adapt to be appropriate for your child’s level of learning. As a result, each student has the same opportunity to succeed and maintain a positive attitude toward testing. And with MAP tests, we can administer shorter tests and use less class time while still receiving detailed, accurate information about your child’s growth.

Beginning of Grade Reading Results

Congratulations to our Third Grade students for completing the Beginning of Grade (BOG) test in reading last week. The state does not expect that all students will demonstrate proficiency on the BOG test because the content on the BOG is the same as what is measured on the EOG reading test administered at the end of the year. A scale score of 540 indicates the student is “on-track” to demonstrate proficiency on the End of Grade Reading Test. Your child’s results are coming home today in Thursday packets in a sealed teal envelope. If you have any questions about your child’s results, please contact your classroom teacher.


Traffic Volunteers are still very much needed for school days! Please email Donna Brown if you can help tame the traffic in the mornings (7:45-8:15am) or in the afternoons (2:30-3:00pm).


Looking for more information about our school?

Check out our website! You can find a form to pay your student activity fee, and much more! As an ABS parent, you also have access to the Parent Portal section of our website, where you can access directories, handbooks, a volunteer hours form, and detailed information about a host of topics. If you need help accessing the portal, please email Leah Lavin.

Around Town

Free Family Drum Circles

Take in the rhythms of West Africa and join Tam Tam Mandingue of Winston Salem as we drum together in ARTivity Park. These drum circles are sponsored by the Arts Council and Artivity and are FREE and family-friendly.

Where: ARTivity On The Green on Liberty Street, between 6th and 7th Streets, downtown.

When: 09/03/2021 | 7:00 pm - 09:00 pm - AND - 09/10/2021 | 07:00 pm - 09:00 pm
Hispanic League's FIESTA 2021 is a FREE drive-in "Concert Under the Stars" event that takes place outdoors, tomorrow evening (Friday, September 10) at the fairgrounds from 5:00-10:00.