ABS Thursday Notes- September 16, 2021

Published for the Arts Based School Community

Sept 16, 2021

ABS Illness and COVID Protocols 

With fall just around the corner, and normal seasonal colds and coughs making appearances, we know you may have some questions about when to keep your child home. Our school nurse, Stephanie Smith, is here to help! 

We ask you to please keep students at home if they develop any of the following symptoms, and promptly email School Nurse Stephanie Smith to discuss return to school criteria: 

  • Fever (100.4 F or greater) or chills 
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
  • Fatigue 
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache 
  • New loss of taste or smell 
  • Sore throat 
  • Congestion or runny nose 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Diarrhea

COVID Dashboard case/exposure notifications:

  • The ABS COVID dashboard, available on our Health and Safety page, will continue to be updated to reflect current positive cases and exposures for students and staff. 

  • Students and staff awaiting COVID test results should receive clearance prior to returning to the school building from the school nurse, Stephanie Smith. 

  • We are a close knit school family and as such we share lots of information as families sometimes do. Please help us to respect the privacy of all students, staff, and families by limiting discussion regarding others' sensitive health information. If you do NOT receive direct communication from the school that your child has been identified as a close contact, they may continue to come to school, normally.

  • Students and staff are absent from school for a variety of reasons—not always specific to COVID. While we want parents to remain informed, we strive to maintain and protect health information for all our students as well. If you have questions regarding your student or a specific circumstance, feel free to reach out to Robin Hollis or Stephanie Smith. 

  • If your student becomes symptomatic during the school day OR is identified as a close contact resulting from an on campus exposure, you will be promptly notified and receive further instructions regarding pickup and/or their return to school criteria. Please direct any questions to the school nurse, Stephanie Smith.

  • If a cluster (5 or more connected positive cases) is identified in an individual classroom, parents of all students in the classroom will receive communication directly from the school. 

COVID Pool testing/communication: 

As we implement the new process of weekly testing, we are also working to communicate with essential information. No news is good news! Only classes that have a positive pool result from Tuesday and need to follow up with individual testing on Thursday will be notified.

Overall Student Health and Wellness:

Our school nurse, Stephanie Smith is overseeing student health and nursing services for both the MLK and 7th street buildings. If you have any questions or concerns about your student, please contact her at the school at (336) 748-4116 or at [email protected]

Immunization Records:

Students who are new to NC public schools (i.e kindergarten, out of state, homeschool, private) are required to submit a current physical exam and up-to-date immunization record within the first 30 days of attendance. Students not in compliance will be unable to return to school beginning Friday, September 17th, 2021. 

7th grade students are required to have a booster dose of Tdap and Meningococcal vaccines. Immunization records should be submitted within the first 30 days of attendance. Students not in compliance will be unable to return to school beginning Friday, September 17th, 2021. 

MAP Testing Continues

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. 

Household Income Survey

Every year the Arts Based School applies for federal and state grants that help fund the education we provide to our students. The Household Income Survey for our ABS families provides vital information to determine how much funding we are eligible to receive. This information also allows us to provide assistance to families with the lunch and activities fees. If you have not yet filled out this form, please complete it today!


We need YOU! Nothing helps a classroom run more smoothly during the year than a group of wonderful parent volunteers! Many of our teachers need assistance with various activities in the classroom. We ask each family to volunteer one hour per week per child. Not sure how to help? Each classroom has a designated Class Representative that will help organize volunteers for each teacher. You should be hearing from your Class Rep soon if you haven't already, but feel free to reach out to them anytime to ask how you can help. Thank you!

Field Trip to Delta Arts Center

ABS recognizes that the classroom extends into the community. We want students to feel that the public concert halls, galleries, parks, and museums are theirs to learn from, explore, and enjoy. On September 15 and 16, our 7th graders will take the first ABS field trip since March 2020. They will visit the Delta Arts Center, to see the exhibit Culture Keeper: The Gullah Art of Diane Britton Dunham. Our social studies and visual art teachers are collaborating on a study of how to define what comprises a culture, how artists reflect and inspire the cultures from which they spring, and how their work shares their culture with the world. Delta Arts Center has generously worked with the school to align the student tours with the school schedule.

Field Trips

We consider field trips to be a vital and fundamental part of a student’s educational experience. As you know, the world is so much larger than the classroom, and our teachers embrace opportunities to expand their students’ educational experience through field trips whenever possible. Students must have a signed Annual Field Trip Permission Form on file in order to participate. This permission slip is a general form which will give your child permission to attend these trips throughout the year. Before each trip, parents/guardians will be notified of specific destinations for each separate excursion. All field trips are planned, organized, and supervised with the students’ welfare first and foremost. Any student that is suspended on the day of the field trip will not be permitted to attend the field trip.

Field Trip Chaperones

Opportunities exist for parents, guardians, and family members to accompany classes on field

trips. Those of you wishing to chaperone a field trip are encouraged to let your classroom representative know of your availability. As with other issues within the classroom, the teacher will make the final decision for chaperones. If you are chosen as a chaperone, it is imperative you understand you are accompanying a class as an “official” supervisor of a child or group of children. Parents who are chaperoning will not be permitted to bring their own children.

ABS Gardening!

The ABS Learning Garden and the wider school grounds is a great place to do your volunteer hours. There is always a need for weeding, watering, and garden bed prep. In addition, we're currently looking for volunteers to help us create wooden signs for the garden. If you're interested in volunteering, please contact parent Kristen Haaf for more information. Email at [email protected] or text at 336-354-3481.

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 let us know.