ABS Thursday Notes- September 23, 2021

Published for the Arts Based School Community

Sept 23, 2021

To ABS Friends and Families Everywhere:

Twenty years ago, The Arts Based School opened its doors. We welcomed 67 students in five classrooms, in an unoccupied wing of what was then Atkins Middle School on Cameron Avenue.

Twenty years ago, we held our first large-scale performance: an adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with students from kindergarten through third grade.

Twenty years ago, The Bolton Wind Quintet, Bob Moyer, and Jan Adams were our very first visiting artists, paving the way for all who have followed.

Twenty years ago, we launched a heartfelt experiment. We believed then, as we do now, that children learn best when they are deeply engaged—and that careful, joyful, intentional integration of the arts provides natural opportunities for interdisciplinary connections, sustained concentration, and a sense of fulfillment. 

This year, we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of The Arts Based School, and we hope you will join us! How are we planning to mark the occasion?

  • Each Thursday in October, we’ll be highlighting a special slice of our history in “How We Do It and Why.” Make sure you’re reading and receiving Thursday Notes so that you don’t miss a beat.
  • On social media, we’ll share our favorite throwbacks (maybe you can share yours!) and search for any and all ABES/ABS alums who want to reconnect.
  • We’re lining up a few special commemorative goods with a vintage vibe… Stay tuned!
  • If the COVID landscape allows, in the spring, we’ll gather together for a 20th Anniversary celebration!
  • And we will be asking you to support this year and the next 20 at ABS by participating in the 20th Anniversary Annual Giving campaign throughout the month of October. 

We are so proud and excited to celebrate this milestone with all of you. At The Arts Based School, we plant our flag firmly in the arts. They sustain us through challenging times, they meet us at all levels of learning and ability, and they illuminate what is good and whole in us all. Here’s to 20 years of joyful learning through the arts!

Picture Day: Oct. 5

Smile! October 5 is Picture Day! All students will be photographed to be included in the ABS yearbook. Proofs will be sent home along with information if you would like to order. You can sign up with our photographer to receive updates via email regarding your child's school portraits.


School begins at 8:15 a.m. Students may arrive at school between 7:45 and 8:10. Students will be counted tardy if they’re not in their classroom at 8:15am. The student entrance will be locked at 8:15 a.m. After 8:15 a.m., parents must park and escort their child(ren) to the Front office entrance. Ten tardies are considered one absence on state attendance records. Although we provided tardy amnesty for the first few weeks of school as families adjusted to the traffic and routine of dropping off students in the morning, teachers will now mark students tardy if he/she is not in the classroom at 8:15am.  

Chrystal D. Giles Author Visit

ABS will host Chrystal D. GIles in a virtual author visit with sixth grade students on Friday September 24th. Chrystal and her book, Take Back the Block, will also be featured at the "Kids Make a Difference" panel on Saturday at Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors which is free and open to the public. Click here for more information. 

Hefty Volunteer Project - Urgent

We are in need of a team of strong parents who will take on the project of refreshing our shade structures with bamboo. The frames of our structures are still solid, but the bamboo on one of the structures has collapsed and is cordoned off. The other, in the MLK playground, is ready to be refreshed. This has been done twice in our 20 years, and requires the following:

  • Meet to assess supply needs and bamboo amount and size. Make a plan, perhaps separating into teams
  • Cut and transport bamboo. In the past, parents have found free sources for bamboo. Most people with stands of bamboo are thrilled to welcome someone who will come in and cut it back.
  • Using ladders and wire, climb the structures, remove the old bamboo, and wire down the new material.
  • Transport old bamboo to the dump.

It’s a big project, but an important one! To volunteer, please email Leah Lavin.

Family Directory

This year’s Family Directory is now published behind the Parent Portal of our website! If you’d like to make any changes to your listing, please let us know.

Field Trip Permission Form

If you haven’t yet filled out a permission form for your child to participate in field trips, you can take care of that here. Thank you!

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.