ABS Thursday Notes- July 28, 2022

Published for the Arts Based School Community

July 28, 2022

First Day of School: Wednesday, August 17

(Staggered entry for Kindergarten students)

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

“Entertainment gives you a predictable pleasure. Art… leads to transformation. It awakens you, rather than just satisfying a craving."  - Makoto Fujimura

At ABS we assume that our students get plenty of exposure to commercial pop music, video, art, and coloring books. Although we sometimes incorporate these forms of entertainment into lessons, we try to give our students more exposure to art that requires them to “put some skin in the game.” We don’t dislike entertainment, but we know we have a short time to expose them to art, before the powers of marketing overwhelm their receptors. When introducing our new staff to this concept, we offer them a sample of a Hostess Twinkie, and ask them to compare it with a bite of a handmade pastry from a local artisan bakery. The adjectives they use to describe the two foods are collected on the board, and the Twinky lines up perfectly with descriptions of “entertainment”, while the artisan masterpiece lines up under “art.” The artisan bite is uniformly considered to be satisfying, even sensational, though for some it requires a bit of courage to try it. The Twinky is repugnant to some, but is delightful comfort food to others. Savor the following suggestion of the differences between art and entertainment:


Expects you to “chew”

Provokes and challenges

Changes us

Operates on multiple levels

Is open to a variety of interpretations

Is nuanced and subtle


Puts value on inner depth

Is created for meaning


“Goes down easy”

Stays in the “comfort zone”

Amuses us

Makes a single or a simple point

Is more one-dimensional

Is obvious

Satisfies the “sweet tooth”

Puts value on the external

Is reated to sell.

[Randal Swiggum - the American Choral Directors Association]

Staffing Update

I'm disappointed to report that Mrs. Rudd has let me know that she will not be teaching at ABS this year.  She has made the decision to move to a school closer to home in Yadkin County to support her family.  We are disappointed to see her go and appreciate the many years she has given us. 

We welcome our  new kindergarten teacher, Gracie Warren.  Ms. Warren graduated from North Carolina A&T and is licensed in Elementary Education K-6.  This will be her third year as a teacher.  Most recently she taught 2nd grade at Speas Elementary.  Gracie attended ABES for 2nd and 3rd grade as a student. (Some of us are feeling old right now).  She enjoys painting and drawing and of course, teaching!  We are excited to have her on the team!

Kindergarten Staggered First Days

Our kindergarten students begin school with a staggered start date.  This allows a smaller group of students to go through a full day learning the routines and getting to know the teachers.  Kindergarten students will attend only one of the first three days- Wed, Aug 17, Thurs, Aug 18, or Fri, Aug 19.  Then on Monday, August 22 all kindergarten will come to school and be a full class.  Kindergarten families should have received an email from Mrs. Hollis today with their assigned start day.  

Fall Enrollment Forms for All Returning and New Students due August 9

We ask all families to please take a moment to register your ABS student(s) for the new school year. ABS is using the software platform Enrollease to facilitate this process this year. Please register with Enrollease here. Once you have an account, you will login here, and then please complete the 2022-23 Required Student Form for each of your children who attend the Arts Based School. The required Student Form is due August 9. Thank you!

New Bussing Opportunities for ABS North and ABS South

For the 2022-23 school year, ABS is happy to be able to offer a new morning and afternoon bus service with pickup locations determined by the areas of greatest need. Our buses will not stop at individual homes, but will meet students at an appointed location each morning, and return them each afternoon. Families will need to ensure that their child(ren) can get safely to and from the drop-off/pickup location each day.

Families who may be interested in this service are invited to fill out the form below so that we can gauge interest and plan pickup locations that will serve the areas of greatest need. Spaces will be limited. Families who qualify for free and reduced lunch services will receive priority placement, but all families are welcome to apply. Please complete this form no later than August 5. Details about pickup locations and schedules will be made available once we have determined routes.

Save the Date: Sept 15 & 16

ABS will be collaborating with the local non-profit Read, Write, Spell to train reading volunteers to work with students at ABS and in our community.  The training is scheduled for September 15 and 16.  All training materials are covered.  Training hours and tutoring time is counted as ABS volunteer hours.  If you would like to participate in this training and student tutoring programming, please complete this interest form.  Thanks!

ABS Family Portal Access

Access to our ABS Family Portal will be switching over to new credentials for the 2022-23 school year. Currently enrolled families have received login information via email. The ABS Family Portal is your source for a great deal of information that is not publicly available on our website, including class lists, a family directory, links to videos of our past productions, and more. If you need help logging in, please let us know!

ABS Student Handbook

The updated Parent/Student Handbook is now available on our website  

ABS Parent/Student Handbook

After School Care Registration for 2022-23

We are happy to offer an in-house after school care program! Our After School Care program is offered Monday-Friday, from the end of the school day until 6pm. On some days when school is not in session, full day care may be available from 8am - 5:30pm. More detailed information on After School Care is available in the Parent Handbook. Please contact Tammy Dunlap, Aftercare Registration Coordinator, with any questions. 

School Calendar and Important Dates

The approved 2022-23 school calendar is available here, and you can integrate it with your calendar by using the following ID: 

Important dates coming up (details below):

  • August 3: New Parent Orientation 
  • August 6: Volunteer Work Day with Double Hours
  • August 9: Fall Registration Forms Due via Enrollease
  • August 11 & 12: Special Visits
  • August 13: Volunteer Work Day with Double Hours
  • August 15: Back to School Night 
  • August 17: First Day of School

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 were emailed to parents July 18, and school supply lists are posted in the parent portal here

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, at ABS North: 1380 N. Martin Luther King Dr.

Middle School Orientation

Save the Date- Wednesday, Aug 3 at 2pm for Middle School Orientation. For new parents (grades 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.

Back to School Night

 ABS Back to School Night is scheduled for Monday, August 15.  You attend at your assigned campus.  

To ease parking, we have scheduled three sessions-

-Grades K,3,and 5 will attend 5-6pm.

-Grades 1,2,and 6 will attend 6-7pm.

-Grades 4,7,and 8 will attend  7-8pm. 

All sessions will occur in your child’s classroom.

Bring supplies on Back to School Night


Class Representatives for 2022-23 School Year

Did you love being a class representative or want to give it a try for next year? If you are interested in a class or specialist representative position for the upcoming school year, please let our Parent Rep Coordinator Aaron Willey know! We are starting to plan for next year and will make assignments soon. 

Ways to get involved and learn more about ABS:

  • Follow us on Social Media
  • Catch up on Thursday Notes you may have missed
  • Explore the ABS website
  • Make sure we have best contact information so that you receive all communications