ABS Thursday Notes- March 31, 2022

Published for the Arts Based School Community

March 31, 2022

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

“Appalachian storytelling isn’t a theatrical performance with sets and costumes and lighting and accents, though a good storyteller can conjure all those things in the mind of the listener.” 

– Dave Tabler


The 4th grade “Like a Family” event is not a formal performance, but a shared experience focused on the art of Appalachian story-telling and song, and the history of the textile industry in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. It recalls life during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in the days before radio, when we all participated: telling stories, dancing, singing on front porches, playing instruments, adapting household objects to produce percussion and melody, sewing our own clothing and household linens, creating art from whatever we found around us.


Students learn about the vibrant mix of people who contributed to establish an influential and unique culture in our state during this time. We explore our state culture through reading, research, maps, visiting artists, field trips, and the arts. We share it with our families in a culminating event that includes dancing to old-time music, student art and sewing exhibitions, music, and storytelling.


Preparation for the storytelling involves extra time with “Mr. Bob” Moyer and Heidi McIver, who help students focus on the lifeblood lines of acting: simply telling the story, and truly listening. Students learn traditional tales from Mr. Bob, but they also learn about child labor in the textile mills, and unionizing efforts that followed changes in lifestyle from farming to millwork. Through the famous period photos of Lewis Hine and written memoirs of folks who were there, students imagine themselves into the mills and act out a scene using quotes from the letters of textile workers. Along with the stories, students will perform some traditional songs from the region, and demonstrate delightful reels and traditional dances. 


4th Grades “Like a Family” Presentations: Next Week!

4th Grade families are welcome to attend their students’ Like a Family presentations next week in the ABS Ewing Blackbox Theater. Masks are optional, and there are no limitations on capacity. Performances are as follows:

Meeks 12:00-12:45 Tuesday, April 5

Robertson 12:00-12:45 Wednesday, April 6

McGarry-Pike 12:00-12:45 Thursday, April 7

Staff Updates

Mrs. Raper announced last week that she plans for the next school year (2022-2023) to be her last at ABS. Her husband has accepted a very exciting offer to work at Emory University in Atlanta. During this time, Mrs. Raper will assist ABS with leadership transition. Mrs. Raper has been at ABS for thirteen years as both a third grade teacher and an assistant principal. She will be greatly missed, but we intend to enjoy and celebrate the extra year she has given us.



Friday Sing Tomorrow

Tomorrow we will gather all of our K-4 students together in the 7th Street Courtyard for our first in person “Friday Sing” in two years, from 1:50-2:20. Parents who wish to attend are welcome, but this is not a performance, just a traditional sing-along. 


If you attend, please follow these guidelines:

  • Enter the courtyard through the 7th Street gate, and walk in through the garden.
  • Please do not join your student—this is an activity for them to share with their classmates.
  • Stand on the perimeter of the space, being careful not to block student sightlines.
  • When Friday Sing is over, do not pull your child away from their class. Allow students to return with their teacher. They will retrieve their belongings at their classroom, and wait to be called through Pikmykid. You may “announce” through Pikmykid and walk to the MLK entrance to wait for your student, or you may return to your car and proceed through the pick up line as usual. 
  • Please join in the sing along, if you like!



COVID Pool Testing Changes

As the community level of COVID-19 is now "low", the number of COVID-19 cases continues to decrease substantially, and the shift in focus for COVID-19 efforts in schools is a move from screening testing to diagnostic testing, the recommendation of the Forsyth County Health Dept in conjunction with NC DHHS school testing program is to pause weekly screening pooled testing.  


Flexibility is key and in the event that COVID levels surge again, pool testing may need to be reinstated. Should the need arise to resume weekly screening testing, all consents currently in place will be sufficient for the duration of this school year.  


ABS will continue to offer diagnostic testing for students and staff who are having COVID-related symptoms and known exposures. Please reach out to Stephanie Smith, our school nurse, for more information regarding diagnostic testing. 


Diagnostic testing refers to testing done on someone who has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or has had an exposure to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19.


Screening testing refers to testing done on someone without symptoms or known close contact with someone with COVID-19.

Daily Lunch Options Begin April 4: Register Today

In an effort to provide expanded daily lunch options for our families, we're 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: Firehouse Subs

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. Menus and prices are available to view within the system.

Once you have established your account, you can add profiles for siblings, even if they are in different buildings—you do not need a separate account.

Ordering will open on March 21, and our first delivery will begin on April 4.

Want to be the Assistant Principal?

We’re bringing back an old tradition! Time to purchase your raffle tickets to give your child a chance to be Assistant Principal of the Day! Yes, your child (of any grade level) can serve as Principal Hollis' Assistant for an entire day! Assistant Principals have their own desk, name tag, and list of "Principal Duties" for the day! Simply stop by either front office and purchase your raffle tickets today ($1/ticket, $5 for 6 tickets). You may also purchase tickets online, and we will fill out the physical tickets for you in our front office. (This form will close at noon on the day of Friday Sing.) All proceeds from the raffle support our Hospitality fund and allow us to do special things for our staff throughout the year.

Volunteers Needed!

Friday Sing Set-Up

A crew is needed to help set up for our first in-person Friday Sing (for K-4 students) in two years! Volunteers meet Ms. Siebert inside the 7th Street entrance at 1:00 tomorrow, April 1st. You will help set up sound system and other equipment, and will assist with transporting African drums and putting things away after the show at 2:15. No heavy lifting required. Please sign up here. Thank you!

Around Town

Our neighbors at Mixxer are offering STEAM-based summer camps for rising 6-12th grade students. More information is available here

Our friends at the Garden Club Council (who just awarded ABS a generous grant to help beautify our gardens!) are hosting their annual geranium and fern plant sale now. You can order online anytime before April 8, and pick up on April 23. For more details, visit their website.

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