ABS Thursday Notes-October 27, 2022

Published for the Arts Based School Community

October 27, 2022

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

Wake up, Jacob, Day’s a-breakin’! 

Peas in the pot and the hoecake’s bakin’. 

Early in the morning, almost day; 

If you don’t come soon…gonna throw it all away.”

-Cook’s Wake-Up (Traditional American)

Fifth graders lie on the ground, cowboy hats tipped over their closed eyes, imagining a time when only the sounds of nature and the occasional snoring comrade were heard at night. Suddenly, their repose is shattered by the banging of spoon on frying pan, and the “Cook’s Wake-Up”, and with a big “yahoo!” we’re off on another day of the “Cowboys” unit, beginning next week.

The unit is built around historic folk songs, works of art, and frontier history of the cattle drive era of the American “Wild West”, dating from the end of the 19th century. Students learn about the direct connection from the Civil War to the cattle drives and the cattle industry’s role in Reconstruction. They explore cultural changes taking place in the west during that time, how economic factors pushed the cattle onto the prairies, and how technology and over-grazing brought an end to the iconic era. 

We focus on these questions:

 - How do social factors impact economic ones?

 - How do folk songs and visual art serve as primary sources to teach us history?

 - Who were the cowboys and cowgirls of the American Wild West?

Daily “rodeos” help students maintain learning about a diverse group of topics including the prairie biome and its creatures, star constellations, African American cowboys and the scarcity of women, influence of Mexican culture, the railroads, supply and demand, transportation, and social customs. More questions are added to this assessment activity each day. By the end of the week, we have us a wing-ding of a rodeo!

Fall Fest Results!

Many thanks to all our wonderful volunteers for their time and efforts in making Fall Fest such a success!  It was a beautiful day to enjoy a variety of fun games, good friends and yummy food!  Fall Fest raised almost $2,000 for our school – THANK YOU!!


Conference Time is Coming

Soon your child’s teacher will be setting up conferences to discuss your child’s progress.  Students attending the Arts Based School are assessed using a portfolio system in place of the traditional report card.  The portfolio is designed to illustrate a student’s academic growth and successes as well as guide the teacher in planning appropriate instruction.  Teachers at ABS do not issue letter grades until sixth grade. Teachers use observation, interviews, analysis of student work and performance tasks to assess student understanding.  Examples of student work, as well as other objective standards of assessments,  are incorporated into the student’s portfolio to give an enhanced portrait of the student’s progress.  These portfolios will be discussed and presented to parents during the Student-Teacher-Parent conferences. Please be sure you schedule and attend your conference so that you can support your child’s learning. 


Conference Days: November 18 - Early Dismissal

  • K-4 Dismiss at 11:45
  • 5-8 Dismiss at 12 noon

Picture Day-November 4

Smile!  November 4 is Picture Day!  All students will be photographed to be included in the school’s yearbook. To order pictures online, please visit www.strawbridge.net, click the red “Order Pictures and Yearbooks” button, and enter code FM398080. To qualify for free shipping, you must place your order no later than November 8. 

October/November Dates:

  • Oct 31: Our Annual Giving push comes to a close. Please make your gift today!
  • Nov. 4: Picture Day at ABS North and ABS South
  • Nov. 5, 9am-12pm: Positive Discipline Workshop at ABS North for all interested families

Annual Giving!

As our month-long push for Annual Giving draws to a close, we hope it is a spirit of giving and gratitude that will occupy space in your mind. Yes, we ask for your financial support if you are able to share it. Yes, we count each family’s participation, and yes, we tally the dollars raised before we plant them back into the fertile soil of our school. But annual giving is not merely a series of transactions—it is an act of reciprocity, an exchange of gratitude. We receive all of our many gifts with open eyes and open hearts. Thank you!

Total School Participation to Date: 34%

Total Gifts to Date: $35,505

It’s not too late to make your gift: https://www.artsbasedschool.com/apps/pages/giving

You can also make a pledge by simply emailing your pledge amount to Leah Lavin.

Thank you! 

Cold and Flu Season

As you know, viruses can be easily spread from person to person. We are asking for your help in reducing the spread at ABS. The symptoms for the seasonal flu and COVID are very similar: fever of 100 degrees or more, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, and feeling very tired. Students with these symptoms will be sent home.


You can help us by taking these simple steps:

  • Keep sick children home.
  • Teach children to wash their hands often.
  • Teach your children not to share food or drink.
  • Teach children to cough or sneeze into their elbows to avoid spreading germs.


Contact your and/or your child’s doctor about getting the flu and/or COVID vaccine.  


Forsyth County Public Health, 799 N. Highland Avenue, will offer flu shots during the month of October on Monday-Wednesday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. No appointment is required, walk-ups are welcome, and wearing clothes that gives easy access to the upper arm is encouraged.

Dental Screening

When children have dental problems, their overall health and ability to learn can be seriously compromised. As part of our regular school preventive dental health program, the NC Oral Health Section, Division of Public Health, and Mashica Jefferson-Tobias, BSDH, RDH, Public Health Dental Hygienist for Forsyth County, will conduct dental screenings for children in grades K, 3rd, 5th on November 14th (ABS-North) and November 17th (ABS-South). She will use gloves, mask, flashlight, and will use a new tongue depressor for each child. The screening serves as an educational, positive dental experience and also collects information to help improve the Children’s Dental Health programs. Children who see a dentist regularly will also benefit from the screening for the educational opportunity. A form letter will be sent home to show your child’s results. If you do not want your child included in this dental screening, please send a note to your child’s teacher. If you have any questions, please call Mashica Jefferson-Tobias, BSDH, RDH, at the Forsyth County Health Department at (336) 391-4822.

Volunteer Opportunity! 


Substitute Teachers Needed!

ABS relies on many great substitute teachers to support our students when our teachers are absent from school. Our current substitutes are wonderful, but we just don’t have enough people to meet our needs. If you are interested in learning more about subbing at ABS and/or attending a training session, please complete this form. Principal Hollis will be conducting the training session covering the basics and expectations for subbing at ABS. The pay rate for substitute teachers is $15 per hour. Training date Rescheduled-Nov 3, 1:00-2:15 pm at South Campus.



Volunteers needed to move sets, props and costumes! These are high-energy, rewarding tasks that help us produce our beautiful performances. These magical shows do not just magically happen...we rely upon magic-making volunteers!


There are fast-moving, heavy objects involved in these processes, so if you bring your children, we'll have them wait safely in the lunchroom or in the theater seats with supervision. (Please, no infants or toddlers!) 


You are invited to log DOUBLE VOLUNTEER HOURS for these tasks:


Friday November 4, 3:15-4:15

Meet at the Ewing Theater at the MLK building. We will:

- Move 8th Grade Lion King sets, drums, costumes and props from the theater to the ramp in ABS basement, (ready for Monday's transport to the First Pres theater.)

- Move 3rd Grade Renaissance Spectacles sets from the ABS basement into the Ewing Theater, ready for rehearsals.


Thursday, November 10, 8:00-9:15 p.m.

Meet onstage at the First Presbyterian theater after the 8th Grade performance of Lion King. We will:

- Load sets, drums, costumes, and props onto the truck, sweep the stage, tidy the dressing rooms

- Meet at the basement doors at ABS to offload into the basement.


Friday, December 16, 8:15-9:45 a.m.

Meet in the Ewing Theater at the MLK building after morning drop-off. We will:

- Move 3rd grade sets to basement storage.

- Move Kindergarten sets from basement into Ewing theater


If you can help with any of these, sign up HERE


We also need one volunteer with a pickup truck and some muscle to please load the debris in the center median of the MLK parking lot (concrete bird feeder, palettes, and bagged trash) and take it to the dump. Thank you! If you can do this, you are welcome to just roll on up anytime that works for you.



Prospective Parent Tours

School tours for prospective parents are scheduled weekly on Thursdays at 9:30am. Each tour is limited to 10 adults in an effort to limit the disruption to our students and teachers in the classrooms. Parents interested in learning more about ABS and how to enroll their child, should contact the front office to sign up for a tour. 748-4116 ext 1023. Applications will be accepted beginning January 1. The lottery will be held the second Tuesday of February. An Open House Tour of South Campus will be held Nov. 15, 5-6pm.



Halloween is Coming

Please do not send students to school in costumes. We all enjoy the fun and excitement of Halloween but find that costumes and accessories make it very difficult to concentrate. Also we do not want students to bring candy in their lunch bags for snacks. Although it can be delicious, high sugar snacks should not replace a healthy snack. Thanks for your help!

Around Town

Salem Academy presents: Clue. Based on the iconic 1985 Paramount movie which was inspired by the classic Hasbro board game, Clue is a hilarious farce-meets-murder mystery. Thursday, October 27, through Saturday, October 29, at 7:30 pm in the Drama Workshop within the Elberson Fine Arts Center, located at 412 Rams Drive Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Tickets are free and are general seating; doors will open at 7:00 pm. To RSVP: Clue - Presented by Salem Academy


Student Auditions for The Wizard of Oz
Reynolds High School is inviting elementary and middle school students from all over town to audition for their huge 100th year anniversary production of The Wizard of  Oz! Auditions are in December, for performances in March. If your child is interested, here are the links: