ABS Thursday Notes- April 28, 2022

Published for the Arts Based School Community

April 28, 2022

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

“There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.” – Jane Austen

Yesterday was national “Administrative Professionals Day,” when we offer special thanks to those who assist the admin team. Among our abundantly appreciation-worthy staff, everyone at ABS will agree that Ms. Hannah and Ms. Brown are extra-BFFs. We are acutely aware of the unique and precious gifts we regularly receive from these two guardians of goodness. At any given moment, in spite of on-going draftiness from frequent door-openings, they deliver a warm welcome to anyone whom they buzz into our gates, north and south, having first carefully observed the approach of the visitor by security camera. Band-Aids, ice packs, and soothing words are dispensed liberally. Medicine is carefully stored and supplied according to physicians’ orders. 

Ms. Hannah books visitors for school tours, greets attendees for performances, and befriends and communicates with the bus drivers. She can juggle homesick kiddos, teacher calls for assistance, deliveries through the front door, and admin requests like a magician. Ms. Brown deftly manage that same list of tasks at the more sophisticated middle school level, which requires particular understanding and calm demeanor. 

Many a Kindergartener has been known to take special comfort from Ms. Hannah’s company during those first fresh, fraught weeks of school. Her kind, focused listening makes any anxious child feel safe and centered again. In the 7th Street building, Ms. Brown is the calm at the center of any storm, from hormonal hurricanes to jubilant celebrations, gazing wisely over the top of her glasses from beneath her purple bangs, with a supportive cheer for successes and a gentle but firm reminder when necessary. The two of them communicate with one another all day, sending packets of this and that back and forth, redirecting lunch deliveries to the correct building, calling to deliver important missives to administrators. 

Ms. Hannah calls out the cheerful reminder that keeps dismissal on time, and then handles the lunchroom station of the swift, computerized dismissal. Ms. Brown is our “go-to” friend for computer glitches.  She sets up the new computer stations, and nudges old computers into continued service. She occasionally tucks a lackluster, virus-inflicted laptop under her arm as she heads home to what must be some sort of computer spa, returning it the next morning, healthy and revived. She happily delivers basic software lessons on the fly to staff who require a quick tech tweak. 

Ms. Hannah and Ms. Brown answer endless phones and doorbells, slip on gloves to help with wounds and illness, locating nurse Stephanie when needed, and call Mom, Dad, or Grandma about a headache or a missing backpack. Ms. Hannah especially enjoys building relationships with parents; reassuring worried moms and dads by checking on their little ones who might have had a rough start, and reporting that they are happily joining in with the class and all is well. Ms. Brown, like Ms. Hannah, is a “people person.” Her favorite part of her job is the relationships with her colleagues and her students. 

They both listen to the teachers’ reports of weekend adventures, tidy up the dishes and fridge, help manage school records, publish the arrival of treats for staff in the kitchens, and help all of us rediscover our sometimes misplaced senses of humor. Ms. Hannah and Ms. Brown; we heart you!



Next week the ABS Parent Council is sponsoring Teacher Appreciation Week and who deserves our thanks and love more than our wonderful ABS Teachers & Staff?!? We are thrilled to have planned a full week of fun ways our ABS students can help show their teachers how much we all appreciate them. The schedule is below and the list of teacher favorites is here. Be creative and put your own fun spin on ways to shower our teachers with thanks next week. Don't forget our fantastic specials teachers & staff! 

Monday, May 2: Write a special note or draw a picture for your teacher

Tuesday, May 3: Bring a special treat for your teacher or a gift card from their favorite restaurant/bakery/market/etc.

Wednesday, May 4: Bring your teacher a favorite school supply or purchase something for the classroom from their wishlist 

Thursday, May 5: Bring a special drink (coffee, tea, juice, etc.) for your teacher or a gift card from their favorite coffee/juice/smoothie/bubble tea shop

Friday, May 6: Bring your teacher a flower (can be picked from your yard or garden) or a small spring plant. Teachers will have a vase in their room for these flowers.

Please contact your Class Rep if you have any questions or have ideas on ways your class can collaborate on Teacher Appreciation Week. There aren't enough ways for us to thank our wonderful teachers...but let's do our best next week! We appreciate your participation! 

8th Grade Performs Disney’s Lion King Jr. Tonight

Our 8th graders’ performance is tonight at 7:00. It lasts about an hour and fifteen minutes. We’ll be at First Presbyterian Worship Center, at 200 N. Cherry Street. Admission is free, but we will happily accept your donations, via cash, check, or QR code, to help with production expenses. Performers should arrive at 5:30. The theater will open to parents at 6:30. 

Volunteers Needed! Help Strike the Lion King Set

Immediately after the show tonight, we must “strike” or remove the set, load it onto the waiting U-Haul truck, transport it to ABS and load it into the basement. Many hands make light work! Please help us - just meet us on stage once the students have cleared the area.

Want to be the Assistant Principal?

You can still purchase raffle tickets to give your child a chance to be Assistant Principal of the Day! Assistant Principals have their own desk, name tag, and list of "Principal Duties" for the day. You can stop by either front office to purchase your tickets ($1/ticket, $5 for 6 tickets), or 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.

MAP results sent home

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. Students 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. MAP results are coming home today with your student. 

Strike Up the Band!

At long last, the supply chain has opened enough to allow some of our new instruments to squeeze through. This, combined with donated instruments and many repairs, has completed the class sets we have been planning for since last August. Every 6th grader will have one week’s introduction to each of flute, trumpet, and clarinet, beginning next week. The instruments will be assigned one per student, and will be sterilized and rotated after each week. Instruments will not be sent home with students this year. Although we had arranged for parents to contribute to costs of maintenance and repair, the long delays on delivery of the instruments caused us to discontinue that program. If you would like to contribute, to help us defray the cost of our reemerging band program, please make your donation at our website under the “Giving” tab, drop off a donation at the school with a note that it’s for the band program, or use the QR code below. Thanks for your help!