ABS Thursday Notes- June 16, 2022

Published for the Arts Based School Community

June 16, 2022

How We Do It and Why

by Mary Siebert

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.”

 - Mother Teresa

The new admin team is now five people strong instead of our usual three! We met for our annual “Admin Retreat,”, and got a running start on planning for our 21st year. (Unfortunately this retreat does not include, as the title might suggest, a spa and walks through the forest… just an opportunity to work without interruption.) We discovered that problem-solving is even more efficient with two new brains thinking things through, and along with other old and new business, we are taking first steps to prepare for staff training in August, when our two campuses will train together as the one school we are. The team has great energy and chemistry. We are already familiar with one another and with ABS, so there were no awkward moments of early acquaintance. Here’s your lineup, folks:

Robin Hollis: ABS Director and Principal Mrs. Hollis has been in leadership with ABS since it began, twenty years ago. This is not her first rodeo! She helped grow the school from its early beginnings as a scrappy K-3 upstart to the bustling, jubilant K-8 it has become.

Paige Raper: Principal Ms. Raper has been with ABS for thirteen years, first as a 3rd grade teacher. As part of her transition from classroom teacher to administrator, she interned with Ms. Hollis, then served as Assistant Principal for the past nine years. She and Ms. Hollis saw us through another expansion, when we housed our very first middle school students at an off-campus location while construction on our 7th Street building was completed. Again, an experienced veteran.

Yvonne Leab: Assistant Principal Ms. Leab taught 6th grade at ABS, beginning nine years ago. After completing required schooling and an internship with Ms. Hollis and Mrs. Raper to gain her admin certificate, she worked as an administrator in both Moore Elementary and Vienna Elementary, before returning to her ABS home, where we are delighted to welcome her back!

Sherell McArthur: Assistant Principal Ms. Sherell first joined us twelve years ago, as a teaching assistant. She also completed her admin certificate and interned with Ms. Hollis, and after eight years of full-time teaching at 1st grade, she is now stepping into a new role. We’re excited to welcome Sherell onto the team!

Mary Siebert, Arts Director: I’ve been at ABS for twenty years, helping develop the arts programming. Starting another campus is stirring up many fresh creative ideas for all of us, as well as fun and valuable memories that will invigorate our work at both campuses.

Sherell McArthur and Robin Hollis are partnering to open the second campus.  Mrs. Hollis will serve at Charter Director/Campus Principal responsible for both schools as charter director and campus principal at the second location.


Paige Raper will move into the Campus Principal role at the current ABS campus.  Her office remains  in the middle school building, serving students and teachers there, but also acting as Principal for the entire campus. Yvonne Leab will serve as Assistant Principal at the current location with her office in the MLK building.

We join with our wonderful colleagues, our supporters, and our families during these challenging times, to cast our stones across the waters and create ripples of inspired learning, encouragement, and discovery as we expand our service into the community. 


Back to School Night-Save the Date!

ABS Back to School Night is scheduled for Monday, August 15, 5-8pm.  To ease parking, we will have staggered sessions. More details soon…

Who’s My Teacher?

Classroom teachers met with the grade level team before school was out to create the class rosters for next year.  They use all that they know about your child’s academic, social, emotional, and behavioral qualities to determine which classroom is the best match.   Class placement lists will be sent to parents mid-July.

New Parent Orientation

Save the Date- Wednesday, Aug 3 at 10am for the New K-4 Parent Orientation at ABS.  This program is designed specifically for new families in grades K-4th at ABS to support your transition into ABS and to answer your questions.  Please mark your calendars and join us!

Middle School Orientation

Save the Date-Wednesday, Aug 3 at 2pm for Middle School Orientation.  For new parents (grade 5-8) and also for parents new to middle school.  This program is designed to answer questions about how our middle school program works (grades 5-8) and what to expect.

Special Visits

Educational research shows that the relationship between the student and his or her teacher is one of the most important factors in a student’s academic success.  This critical relationship is enhanced by our small class size and our educators’ commitment to children.  In support of the teacher/student relationship, our teachers will be offering a Special Visit before school begins.  A Special Visit is simply an opportunity for your child to meet his or her teacher in a familiar setting, a chance to learn a bit about the class and what to expect in the coming school year.   This year’s scheduled days for Special Visits are August 11 and 12, 2022.  Your child’s teacher will be contacting you to schedule a 15-20 minute appointment.



Around Town

The Little Theatre of Winston Salem Presents The Sound of Music June 10-26, and the show features a number of ABS students in important roles. Note that the venue is recommending that this show is best for children 5+, due to its length, which is about 2 and 1/2 hours
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