ABS Thursday Notes- September 22, 2022

Published for the Arts Based School Community

Sept 22, 2022

How We Do it and Why

by Mary Siebert

“In a live performance, it's a collaboration with the audience; you ride the ebb and flow of the crowd's energy. On television, you don't have that.”  - Jon Batiste

ABS students quickly learn how rewarding it is, to perform for their parents. Of course, most of them have been performing on front porches and in backyards or parks since they were very small. “Watch me! Watch me!” To perform for a whole audience of parents is to perform for the most attentive audience there ever will be for you. Those parents take their lunch hour, they pick up Grandma, and they watch at least one cast member with absolute, riveted focus. It’s delicious.

Each grade level at ABS presents an annual production that demands disciplined preparation for about six weeks, with classroom teachers, arts specialists, and visiting artists all working together. Some of these shows are traditions stretching far back into our history and are considered landmarks for kids who look forward to performing them. Some are new productions, changed to align with newly released standards from the state. All of them provide powerful opportunities for community building, for learning. The shows are developed with gradual scaffolding, to help students feel safe and supported on stage. Adults might lead the way on stage, stand to the side and narrate, prompt forgotten moments and words, even appear as a character who can offer support right on stage. But as they enter middle school, they take on more independence, until finally, all fifty-plus kids in the class can perform a show together, without the net to catch them.

Complex rehearsal schedules are communicated out to administrators, receptionists, speech therapists, counselors, and interventionists so that schedules can be woven to keep all learning flowing and to know at all times where the students are. Parents pitch in, avoiding scheduling dental appointments or vacations during critical rehearsal weeks, helping with costumes, and helping move platforms and props from place to place. We want everyone to feel excited, polished, and prepared when the big day arrives.

What can you do to support your child’s performance? 

  • Save the date, and attend the show
  • Avoid scheduling trips appointments for 2 weeks before the show.
  • Watch for announcements about costume pieces your students will need
  • Help with costumes
  • Help move the sets in, and help move them back out
  • Encourage your child to have fun with it! (It’s not high stakes!)

You can find your child’s performance dates HERE

Student Lunch Support 

For families qualifying for free or reduced lunch, you should have received an email verifying your lunch status and instructions on ordering your child’s lunch.  If you have not completed a Household Income Survey and want to apply for free/reduced lunch support, please take a few minutes to complete this form.

5th Grade Beginning Violin Group with UNCSA’s Community Music School

Violinist Charles Shafer will offer group violin classes on the Arts Based School North campus, through UNCSA’s Community Music School. Classes are offered to 5th grade only, beginning Monday, October 3. The group will meet Mondays 2:40 – 3:50 PM in the 7th Street music room. The deadline for registration is Monday, September 26.


There will be 8 classes in the fall term. We’ll need at least seven students to sign up for the class in order to get it started, and the group will be limited to 20 students. Students will bring their own instruments.Cost for fall term: $160/student. Special arrangements for fees and instruments may be made for those who qualify for free or reduced lunch through the family income survey.


Rental instruments are available through the Community Music School or at our local music stores, and  are around $35/month. 5th grade parents, you may print out this flier to sign up, or watch for a hard copy to come home with your student.

After School Band

ABS is offering a free after school band club for students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades! More details and sign up information are available on the clubs page of our website. Registration is ongoing.

SAVE THE DATE! Garden Clean-Up, and an Eagle Scout Volunteer

Join us on Saturday, October 1 from 9:00 onward. An Eagle Scout candidate and his team of supporting Scouts will visit the entrance gardens at our ABS North campus on MLK to clear out, clean up, and mulch! We welcome all the help we can get! Bring your tools, pruners, loppers, work gloves, wheelbarrows, etc. There will be more gardening dates ahead!



School begins at 8:15 a.m. Students may arrive at school between 7:45 and 8:10. Students will be counted tardy if they’re not in their classroom at 8:15am. The student entrance will be locked at 8:15 a.m. After 8:15 a.m., parents must park and escort their child(ren) to the Front office entrance. Ten tardies are considered one absence on state attendance records. Although we provided tardy amnesty for the first few weeks of school as families adjusted to the traffic and routine of dropping off students in the morning, teachers will now mark students tardy if he/she is not in the classroom at 8:15am.  

Idina Menzel Author Visit

ABS will host Idina Menzel’s Author visit with Kindergarten, First and Second graders from both North and South campuses on Friday, September 23rd. Her official Festival appearance on Saturday, September 24, at 9:00 a.m. in Winston Square Park is free and open to the public.

Family Directory

This year’s Family Directory is now published behind the Parent Portal of our website! If you’d like to make any changes to your listing, please let us know.

Looking for more information about our school?

Check out our website! You can find a form to pay your student activity fee, and much more! As an ABS parent, you also have access to the Parent Portal section of our website, where you can access directories, handbooks, a volunteer hours form, and detailed information about a host of topics. If you need help accessing the portal, please let us know.

Around Town

Make your plans now for the Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors in downtown Winston-Salem on Saturday, September 24. You can buy your books in advance via the above link.


The Piedmont Youth Chorus will perform songs from "Frozen" at 9:00, before the 9:30 storytime featuring Cara Mentzel and Idina Menzel at the Bookmarks Festival on Sept. 24th at Winston Square Park! It's not too late to join in the fun! Email [email protected] to schedule an audition or to learn more about the Piedmont Youth Chorus.


The Winston-Salem Girls Chorus is now accepting registrations for fall. More info here!