ABS Thursday Notes- March 10, 2022

Published for the Arts Based School Community

March 10, 2022


How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.”

  • Ruth Stout

Spring isn’t here, but signs of its arrival are bursting out all over the ABS campus! Daffodils, crocus, flowering trees and baby buds are ready to enchant us as we enter each morning or cross from building to building. All of these lovely friends were planted by a parent, staff member or student. Even the biggest trees on campus were planted by ABS volunteers, nearly twenty years ago.

Gardens can be valuable extensions of the classroom. It’s important for children to learn where food comes from. It’s a great lesson to dig in and plant and find worms and water and harvest and observe and enjoy. It’s not only important learning, it’s mood altering.

When we moved in to our building, the current gardens were muddy parking lots resting over a foot of gravel. We built our gardens using grant money for garden artists, with volunteer sweat, and with generous donations from gardening experts. And when I say “we” built them, I mean us. My husband and I, Principal Hollis and her husband, parents, and students and teachers. We came in on the weekends and built the frames for the sidewalk, laid the pipe for the fountain, built the raised beds, laid the stone, planted the plants. Our pay-off: a beautiful garden to enjoy and to learn from, and a habitat for birds and butterflies.

Our curriculum includes real-life lessons about soil, planting, and harvesting natural foods. In a typical year, third graders plant sunflowers in the spring for next year’s third graders to harvest and dissect. When they are harvested, that’s a great time to draw them, and study the Van Gogh sunflowers. Students can plant and eat fresh garden vegetables, learning science goals through these hands-on, fingernails-muddy lessons.

Help us in the garden this Saturday!

We still rely on volunteers to help us beautify our grounds, and create learning opportunities for our students. This spring, we are applying for an assistance grant from the Garden Club Council to help us acquire more plants and shrubs to augment our current gardens. Before the club representatives come for a site visit, we’d like to tidy up our grounds, to show them we care! This Saturday, March 12, we’ll pick up trash, do some weeding, and get the gardens ready for spring. Please bring your gloves, tools, wheelbarrows, and a can-do attitude from 10:00-12:00 Saturday morning!

Parent Satisfaction Survey

Yes, that's you! We want to know what you think! Please follow the link ArtsBasedSchoolsurvey to a 10-question online survey about our school. Your responses are completely anonymous and help us determine what's working well and what needs more work! Please take a few minutes to complete and submit. Thank you!

ABS Summer Camp 2022 - Registration is OPEN.

We are so excited about the opportunity to spend time with your child(ren) this summer in ABS Summer Camps! Our summer camps aim to spark curiosity, nurture friendships, and enable playful exploration. Our summer programming is an extension of the ABS philosophy of joyful learning through the arts, and we are committed to providing a fun, enriched, and diverse experience. More information, including a registration link, are below:

Summer camp dates, teachers, and descriptions


Frequently Asked Questions


Summer Camp Registration

Daily Lunch Options Coming Soon

In an effort to provide expanded daily lunch options for our families, we're looking forward to launching a new online lunch ordering system (MyHotLunchbox) on a trial basis. Families will be able to order lunch for their student(s) Monday through Thursday if you choose. Friday will continue to be our standard Pizza Friday. We have requested to work with locally-owned restaurants if possible, but for now, our lunch vendors are:

  • Monday: Zaxby's
  • Tuesday: Jason's Deli
  • Wednesday: Moe's Southwest
  • Thursday: Firebird's

We'll still do Pizza Friday with Papa John's to finish this school year.

If you would like to order lunch you will need to set up an account with MyHotLunchbox. We will share the link when it's ready. Ordering will be open on March 21, and our first delivery will begin on April 4. Prices, menus, and additional details will be shared via Thursday Notes as soon as we know more.


7th Graders to Visit Ovation Sound

7th Grades will visit Ovation Sound Studio in the morning this Monday and Tuesday, to see a professional engineering studio in person with Bill Stevens, and to record some of their Brundibar songs.


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. https://www.strawbridge.net

In case you missed it, Here’s the recording from last week’s ABS Parent Meeting .

Parent Meeting Recording