ABS Thursday Notes-December 9, 2021

Published for the Arts Based School Community

December 9, 2021

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


I am still learning.” – Michelangelo


Third grade students study the Italian Renaissance as part of an exploration of innovation and its power to initiate change. They study the solar system and body systems through the art of Leonardo DaVinci, who helped create breakthroughs in those scientific fields. Leonardo’s biography is explored, and students locate Italy on a world map. They study Leonardo’s scientific precision in drawing the muscular and skeletal systems. They are introduced to the music of Monteverdi, superstar composer of the late Renaissance. Leonardo studies and sketches for inventions are shared in art. In dance, the posture and traditional movements of Renaissance dance are studied for a performance.


As a culminating activity, we present a Renaissance Spectacles performance, inspired by exquisite, miniature presentations that were developed during the Renaissance. These “Intermezzi” were designed to engage the audience between acts of a longer play, and became more popular than the plays themselves. Intermezzi were lavishly produced portrayals of Greek myths and other stories, in which progressive scenes appeared in fluid tableaux. The performers did not speak or sing, but relied on gesture and static positioning to retell familiar tales. DaVinci designed elaborate stage mechanisms for the Medici family’s Intermezzi, dazzling the wealthy at celebratory events.


Our production tells the story of the Greek myth Jason and the Golden Fleece. Our beautiful sets were designed and painted by ABS art teacher Ms. Gledhill, with additional set pieces and props painted by 6th grade teacher and artist Ms. Christian. The narration, pre-recorded by third graders during the inaugural year, is played during the pantomime. All third-grade students have observed filmed re-creations of Renaissance Intermezzi and are working with Ms. Heidi on gesture and facial expression as isolated elements of acting. 


No traditional textbook can hope to compare to this constellation of connections! The result is summed up for me by a comment by a 3rd Grader. “Ms. Siebert,” he said, “I think this school is a Renaissance school.” I asked him why. “Because,” he answered, “we learn about things by using everything: math, science, reading, and all of the arts.”


3rd Grade Performances of “Renaissance Spectacles” Next Week:

All performances are 12 noon at the Alex Ewing Theater at ABS


Campbell: Tuesday, December 14

Lard: Wednesday, December 15

Brady: Thursday, December 16

Covid Safety Restrictions for the 3rd Grade Renaissance Tales Audience:

Audience attendees are limited to two people, regardless of age, per family. This includes siblings, (even siblings who are ABS students,) grandparents, young children or babies, step parents, and families with twins. We will make a video of the show, which you can share with friends and relatives later. All audience members and cast members must be masked. 

ABS After School Clubs

We are happy to announce that ABS Clubs will begin again the week of January 10, 2022!  ABS typically offers free, after-school clubs, taught by ABS specialists, to provide an extension for activities that students enjoy. Enrolled students will participate from 3:00-3:35 in their choice of music, art, drama, sports, or Spanish. 

All clubs have limited enrollment and are offered on a first come, first served basis. Enrollment is online only. At the end of each trimester, we end the clubs and open enrollment again.


To sign up, please visit the Clubs page of our website. 

The sign-up link for enrollment will be active at noon on Friday, December 10. 


Music Tech -  Wednesday and Friday for 7th and 8th grades only.

For students who have been introduced to music tech in class, and would like additional time to explore. With Mr. Court in the 7th Street Music Room


Beginning Band Extension – Tuesdays, for 6th grades only. 

6th grade beginners in band will continue to grow as musicians, with extra practice time and some fun music. With Mr. Court in the 7th Street Music Room


Piano - Thursdays, for 5th grade only.

5th graders who want to work on piano will have weekly group lessons and practice time with Mr. Court. With Mr. Court in the 7th Street Music Room: cwynter@artsbasedschool.com


Art Club –Wednesday and Friday for 5th and 6th grades only.

Art Club - Tuesday and Thursday for 7th and 8th grades only.

Art Club will be a student project driven club, allowing students to gain a deeper understanding of their personal artwork, receiving guided instruction outside of their class curriculum. Students will problem-solve and grow their artistic abilities.

With Mrs. Gledhill in the 7th Street Art Studio 


Drama Club –Tuesday and Thursday for 5th and 6th grades only

Drama Club - Wednesday and Friday for 7th and 8th grades only

Students will work on a variety of skills, including juggling, improv, monologues and small scenes. With Mr. Brown in the 7th Street Drama Studio 


Sports Club - Tuesday and Thursday for Kinder and 1st grades

Sports Club - Wednesday and Friday for 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades

Sports Club students will develop skills and learn new games, mastering teamwork and positive mutual support. With Coach Bri n the 7th Street Gym  


Spanish Club - Tuesday and Thursday for 2nd 3rd and 4th grades

Spanish Club - Wednesday and Friday for Kinder and 1st grades

Spanish club students will learn beginning Spanish skills, and will be introduced to the culture of a variety of Spanish-speaking peoples. With Ms. Tellez in the 7th Street Spanish room. 

Please read rules and guidelines for clubs before planning to sign up.

Rules and Guidelines for Clubs

  • Students must be picked up on time. Pickup will be at the 7th Street entrance at 3:35 lining up just as during regular dismissal. Students who are picked up later than 3:45 ONCE will receive a reminder. Students who are picked up later than 3:45 TWICE will be dismissed from clubs. Students who are enrolled in ABS Aftercare will be delivered to that program by clubs teachers.
  • Students who are disruptive, don’t follow rules and instructions, or who don’t actively participate will be dismissed from clubs.
  • Siblings may not wait at school unless enrolled in the ABS Aftercare program.
  • Only students who are signed up, with parent permission, are permitted to attend clubs.


Questions? Email Ms. Siebert: msiebert@artsbasedschool.com

Urgent Request for Band Instrument Donations!

We are actively seeking band instruments that can be donated to our middle school music program, especially trumpets, flutes, and clarinets. If you have an instrument to donate, please drop it off at either reception desk, and please spread the word to any friends or relatives who might have one to donate. We will accept instruments in need of repair or adjustment. We can provide tax donation forms, at your request. Thank you!

Canned Food Drive

We are happy to announce a canned food drive in partnership with our friends and neighbors at Lloyd Presbyterian Church, who will be collecting canned and non-perishable food items for the community. They will gladly accept any items you can hand out your car window in the afternoon pick-up line on Monday, December 13. This will be a super quick "drive-thru" donation scenario since we'll be keeping the car line moving as usual. If you'd like to participate, but don't come through the regular afternoon pick-up line, please email Leah Lavin. Thank you!

Parent Council Meeting

There will be no Parent Council meeting for December.  See you in the new year!

Yearbook Ordering

Last year we sold out of yearbooks! Make sure you have your copy by ordering today! Orders can be placed online by visiting the Strawbridge website and clicking the red “Order Pictures and Yearbooks” button at the top of the page. The price is $22 and our school code is YB106312.


If you have any photos of your student participating in an ABS event that you would like to share for the yearbook, please send them to Nicole Taylor at nspirlin@zagmail.gonzaga.edu. Please include your student’s name, grade, and teacher’s name. 

Support ABS through Amazon Smile

If you have an Amazon account, you can support ABS with every purchase simply by selecting us as your chosen non-profit. Visit Smile.Amazon and search for ABS with our EIN: 56-2160330. (It lists our location as Raleigh, but it’s still us.) Thank you!

MAP Testing in January

Third through eighth grade students will complete the second round of MAP testing in January. After the testing is complete, parents will receive an updated score report showing the progress your student has made this year.

Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather, ABS will announce school closings on local TV channels, under “The Arts Based School.'' This information will also be posted on the ABS website (www.artsbasedschool.com).

Prospective Parent Tours

School tours for prospective parents are scheduled weekly on Thursdays at 9:30am. Each tour is limited to 10 adults in an effort to limit the disruption to our students and teachers in the classrooms. Parents interested in learning more about ABS and how to enroll their child should contact the front office to sign up for a tour: 748-4116 ext 1023. Applications will be accepted beginning January 1. The lottery will be held on the second Tuesday of February.

Volunteers Needed on Friday, December 17

At 8:15 a.m. next Friday, we need a strong, energetic team to assist in moving Kindergarten's Peter and the Wolf sets from the basement into the dance studio, and then striking the 3rd Grade's sets from the theater to the basement. This task will require about one hour, if we get enough volunteers. Please join us right after drop-off! (Please do not bring your younger children, during this task.) The heavier set pieces have wheels, but there will be some lifting involved. Thank you!



Around Town

Winston Salem Girls Chorus auditions are coming up! Check out the details HERE.

Holiday Sock Sale at Goler Enrichment Center

Dates:  Friday, Dec. 10th --- 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Saturday, Dec. 11th --- 9:00am to 3:00 pm       

Location:  Goler Enrichment Center – 630 N. Patterson Avenue, WS  (Corner of N. Patterson Ave. & 7th St.) Shop a huge selection of first quality packaged and sample socks – men / women / young men / young women / children.  A lot of things have happened during this pandemic and we are taking as many precautions as possible to keep you and everyone else safe.  Everyone is required to wear a mask while in the building. 
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