ABS Thursday Notes- August 4, 2022

Published for the Arts Based School Community

August 4, 2022

First Day of School: Wednesday, August 17

(Staggered entry for Kindergarten students)

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

“ Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince.

Welcome, friends! We hope all of you enjoyed some restorative family time this summer. The first day of school is coming soon! How are you feeling? Got any butterflies in your tummy?

Some parents are breathing sighs of relief, ready for a more predictable routine, ready for their middle schooler to see their pals or make new friends. Some of you are wiping away an anticipatory tear, astonished that your baby is already a kindergartener. Or your older child might be transferring to our school, and you’re anxious for them to settle in happily.

Your children might have those pesky butterflies flipping around too. Will they make friends? Will their teacher be nice? (The answer is yes.) Will they miss home? It’s all so strange and new, for some of them.

The teachers have butterflies too. New teachers are excited but nervous…they want to get everything just right. Yesterday, a veteran teacher of over thirty classroom years told me that she is excited but nervous...it happens every year. In many ways, teaching is like stepping out onto a stage, ready to improvise, because no matter how perfectly you plan, twenty kids will toss you a curve ball. Stage fright is real. It can indeed feel like butterflies in your tummy. (Or, as race car driver Jessica Hawkins says, sometimes she can’t tell whether it’s butterflies or barbed wire.)

There is no shortage of these magnificent, fluttering, mini-symbols of growth and transformation inside of each of us! It’s practically an invasion! What do we do about them? 

Well…certainly no insecticide. Don’t stomp on them or shoo them away or shout at them or pretend they don’t exist. That doesn’t work and it’s not good for the environment (which, in this case, is the inside of you.) 

Based on scientific studies, the best approach to managing stage fright is exactly what performers have done for generations. Here’s what we teach our students. It might work for you, and you might like to share it with your student, if they do feel the flutter.

Close your eyes and breathe. Notice the butterflies in your tummy. Acknowledge them. They need breath, which settles them down, so breathe gently and deeply while you notice them slow down. What color are they? Can you gently persuade them to fly in a circle? To alight and rest?

Now sit down with some paper and drawing tools, and draw your butterflies. Color them in. Butterflies love to sit for portraits.

And, here’s a great new tool, a FREE download on the App Store called Lines of Zen. This beautiful guided drawing app, developed by former ABS parent Kyle Webster, is suitable for all ages. It requires no previous skill and was just released yesterday. A timely aide. 

See you soon everyone! 

Helpful Links and Reminders:

  • Who is my student’s teacher? What supplies do we need? You can find class lists, supply lists, and class pages behind our parent portal, on this page.

  • Have you filled out your required student form in Enrollease? Please complete these by August 9! More details below.

  • If you are new to ABS, please download the app PikMyKid for our dismissal process. More information is below.

  • If you are able, please sign up for at least one back-to-school volunteer workday! Double hours, and a great chance to meet friends new and old!

  • If you would like for your student to be able to participate in field trips this year, we must have a signed permission form. You can complete it here.

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.

PikMyKid App

In our ongoing efforts to enhance safety, we will continue using the PikMyKid dismissal app. All new families will need to download the PikMyKid parent smartphone app. Once you have downloaded the app, you will press the “Register” button and follow the prompts to sign up. When you have successfully registered, please log in, allow notifications, and check to make sure that you see your ABS student(s) listed. If you do not see your child’s name, it is likely because we do not have your mobile phone information. Please contact Donna Brown at [email protected]

If you do not have a smartphone or are unable to download the PikMyKid app for any reason, please email Leah Lavin so that we can help.

See more information about downloading the app attached to the Thursday Notes email.


New Parent Orientation Slideshow

In case you missed it or want to review, here’s the slideshow we used the New Parent Orientation on August 3. 


Parking Lot Safety

Here are a few safety reminders and procedures to ensure the safety of our students and families in the school parking lot when school begins.

  • Please drive slowly and cautiously through the school parking lot at all times. 
  • Do not use cell phones while in our parking lot.
  • Watch for children and adults in the parking lot.
  • Please allow extra time the first week as parents and children become accustomed to the routine. 
  • Please be kind and courteous to parking lot helpers. 
  • Please be responsible for explaining the drop off/pick up procedures to your after school daycare vans or anyone else who may be picking up your children.
  • Please pick students up on time (by 2:40 for K-4th graders and 2:55 for 5th-8th graders and siblings of 5th -8th graders). If you arrive after this time, please park in a marked parking spot and come inside to sign your student out late. 


For North Campus, please review the attached traffic map for more information about drop off and pick up procedures.


South Campus map coming soon.

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 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

August 6 Volunteer Work Day: 8am - 11am at ABS North (1380 N MLK Jr Dr)

This day will be focused mostly in our Terrace Gardens... filling the raised beds with soil, clearing brush, and planting sunflower seeds for 3rd grade! Please join us, and let us know you’re coming by signing up here

August 13 Volunteer Work Day: 8am - 11am at ABS South (962 Mock St)

Help us move in to our new space! We'll be painting coathooks, assembling furniture, and so much more! Please join us, and let us know you’re coming by signing up here

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

ABS Regular Board Meeting

The ABS Board of Directors will meet in person on August 9, 2022 at 5:45pm in the gym of the 7th St Building. Board meetings are open to the public.

Around Town

New afterschool dancemaking program at UNCSA starts September 6. Are you interested in inventing new dances? Sign up for STOMPING GROUND, A contemporary track within the Preparatory Dance Program at UNCSA focused on broadening the definition of dance and centering student choreographic expression.


With an emphasis on finding joy in movement and student driven choreographic explorations, STOMPING GROUND aims to cultivate a nurturing community for passionate and creative movers and makers to discover their voice. Register here: https://uncsa.asapconnected.com/#CourseID=272862


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