ABS Thursday Notes- August 11, 2022

Published for the Arts Based School Community

August 11, 2022

First Day of School: Wednesday, August 17

(Staggered entry for Kindergarten students)

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”

Maya Angelou

It’s been a long time since we called a school year “normal.” ABS staff are always changing and adapting, to everything from our own growth to enormous changes in our national and world environments. But there are many preparatory routines this year that, in spite of many changes, we recognize and embrace with delight as we prepare for the return of our students. Routines can be boring, sure.  But they can also be soothing and, this year in particular, jubilant.

Our staff is meeting in person for the first time in two years. To see one another, exchange stories about the summer, meet and assist new staff in person…these things are no longer “givens.” We treasure this time of preparation. Here are some snapshots of what’s going on at school:

On Friday last week, our substantial group of new employees spent a day in orientation, which included everything from “getting to know you games” (teachers use the same ones they will use with their students, for practice) to activities that help new teachers understand how we employ Positive Discipline. Many basics were covered, and fresh alliances created.

In whole-staff gatherings this week, Principals Hollis and Raper lead us through new procedures and reestablished “tried and true” ones, sometimes through direct reminders, sometimes through light-hearted games that brought the importance of these regulations to the forefront in an engaging way (a teaching model that our teachers can carry into the classroom.) 

Curriculum coordinator Liz Green showed us how to use the elegantly organized on-line filing system she has created, where teachers can share lesson plans and find resources. Her workshop about “Teaching Hard History” with Dr. Dani Parker Moore is coming up soon. We can’t wait for this important session.

Teachers circulated through arts stations, where specialists led them through activities that can be used to integrate arts into the classroom. There were hilarious drama games with Mr. Brown that incorporated math skills. There were opportunities to sing, play instruments, and learn “hambone” in music with Mrs. B. and Mr. Court. There were reminders about engaging students in viewing works of visual art, and a group quilting activity that brought individual reflections together into a whole.

Throughout the week, staff comes together to lift and carry furniture in and out of classrooms, the basement, the storage pods. Volunteers help secure new technology screens to walls. Donna Brown, our receptionist and tech wiz, works through the endless details of endless computers. Admin and staff lean into the important details of enrollment, making daily adjustments. Veteran teachers reassure and support newbies. 

This coming Monday, our Parent Council leaders will introduce teachers to their Class Reps…an important connection to all of our families. And then…”Back-to-School Night” and BOOM…we launch a new, jubilant, 21st year of The Arts Based School, both South and North!

Lunch Program

In an effort to provide expanded daily lunch options for our families, we're launching a new online lunch ordering system. Our caterer this year is Goodness Gracious (M-Th) and Papa John’s for Pizza Friday.

Meals are $5 per day, and orders must be placed by noon the day before in order to be counted.  This information and links are also available at the Parent Portal on our website.  

 To order: 

  1. Go to www.MyMealOrder.com and register for a free account.
  2. Add your student(s) using their student ID (the same as your PikMyKid ID#), last name, and school.
  3. Select your meals in a week view or a month view and complete the checkout process with your credit/debit card or electronic check.

If you have any questions or need help, please contact Angela Garner: [email protected] 


Additional Parent Resources:

MyMealOrder Ordering Instructions

MyMealOrder FAQs

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 ASAP! 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 Now

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 now. Thank you!

Bus Service Available

For the 2022-23 school year, ABS will offer a new morning and afternoon bus service with pickup locations determined by the areas of greatest need. Our bus 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.

Spaces will be limited. Families who qualify for free and reduced lunch services will receive priority placement, but all families are welcome to apply.   Bus service is scheduled to begin Monday, August 22.  

If you completed an interest form, you should have received a follow-up email from Ms. Leab.  We will be working through the logistics of the routes and timings and ask that everyone be flexible as we get this new service in place.

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.


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.


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

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

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 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 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

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I am always impressed by the way our ABS’ parents and community step up to support our school.  Special thanks this week to Jonathan Moss.  He and his company donated some gently used office furniture, including desks, file cabinets, and supplies to our new South Campus, saving the school thousands of dollars in expenses.  Not only did he donated, he helped move it, too!  

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. 

We still need 3 more volunteers to serve as Class Reps for:

Ms. McCrae

Ms. Flether

Ms. Hedgecock

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

Around Town

A new afterschool dancemaking program at UNCSA starts September 6. 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