ABS Thursday Notes- December 1, 2022

Published for the Arts Based School Community

December 1, 2022

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

I am still learning.” – Michelangelo


Third grade students study the Italian Renaissance as part of an exploration of innovation and its power to initiate change. They study the solar system and body systems through the art of Leonardo DaVinci, who helped create breakthroughs in those scientific fields. Leonardo’s biography is explored, and students locate Italy on a world map. They study Leonardo’s scientific precision in drawing the muscular and skeletal systems. They are introduced to the music of Monteverdi, superstar composer of the late Renaissance. Leonardo studies and sketches for inventions are shared in art. In dance, the posture and traditional movements of Renaissance dance are studied for a performance.


As a culminating activity, we present a Renaissance Spectacles performance, inspired by exquisite, miniature presentations that were developed during the Renaissance. These “Intermezzi” were designed to engage the audience between acts of a longer play, and became more popular than the plays themselves. Intermezzi were lavishly produced portrayals of Greek myths and other stories, in which progressive scenes appeared in fluid tableaux. The performers did not speak or sing, but relied on gesture and static positioning to retell familiar tales. DaVinci designed elaborate stage mechanisms for the Medici family’s Intermezzi, dazzling the wealthy at celebratory events.


Our production tells the story of the Greek myth Jason and the Golden Fleece. Our beautiful sets were designed and painted by ABS art teacher Ms. Gledhill, with additional set pieces and props painted by 6th grade teacher and artist Ms. Christian. The story, pre-recorded during this production’s premiere year by sound engineer/composer Bill Stevens (also an ABS dad,) at Ovation Sound, is played during the pantomime. Third-grade students are working with guest director Danielle Tarmey on gesture, facial expression, and manipulation of props and sets as isolated elements of acting. 


No traditional textbook can hope to compare to this constellation of connections! The result is summed up for me by a comment by a 3rd Grader. “Ms. Siebert,” he said, “I think this school is a Renaissance school.” I asked him why. “Because,” he answered, “we learn about things by using everything: math, science, reading, and all of the arts.”


3rd Grade Performances of “Renaissance Spectacles” 

All performances are 12 noon at the Alex Ewing Theater at ABS


Campbell: Tuesday, December 13

Brady: Wednesday, December 14

Ruffin: Thursday, December 15

Parking Lot Safety

A few reminders to keep our students safe:

-Please drive carefully and slowly through our parking lots, even if you are running late.

-Please avoid distractions while driving, like texting and cell phone use.

-Do not pass cars that are in the line. Students may be exiting the vehicle.

-If you are available, please help with morning drop off. We could use extra parent volunteers to help unload cars.   

-If you arrive after 8:15, please park and walk your child into the building. Do not send them unattended.  

Picture Retakes

December 6  is picture make-up and retake day. Any student who was absent on picture day will automatically be photographed as these pictures are used for our annual yearbook. However, if you are interested in your child having his/her picture retaken, please send a note or email to your child’s homeroom teacher.  Students will only be sent for a retake if the parent sends in a request.

Tree-Planting at ABS North Today!

If you would like to and are available, please join Kristen Haaf and Leah Lavin at ABS North today at 4:05 pm for some planting and garden care.

  • Exactly where? We'll be working mostly in the pollinator garden (under the fire escape) as well as the terraces.
  • What should I bring? If you have gloves and digging tools, please bring them. We'll be planting trees and potentially bulbs. We would also be very happy to accept any soil, mulch, and/or compost if you have some to share.
  • Are kids invited? Sure, but you will need to be responsible for them.
  • How long will you be there? We'll likely be heading home no later than 6pm.

Set-Moving Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers are 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 set-moving tasks:

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

-Friday February 3, 8:15-9:15 a.m.

-Friday February 24, 8:15-9:15 a.m.

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


3rd-5th Grade Families

Does your child want to make a difference in our school, community, and the world? Your child is invited to join the K-Kids program at the Arts Based School. K-Kids is a service organization and a member of the Kiwanis Family, which sponsors our club. K-Kids provides the opportunity to develop self-esteem, leadership skills, morals and standards, and respect for others. Registration information will be sent home in 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade Thursday folders. Our first meeting will be on Friday, December 9th at 7:45.



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. 



High School Information

Mrs. Raper sent an email to 8th grade families a few weeks ago about high school enrollment and registration. Please make sure you have received that information. If you live in Forsyth County, you can visit the Choice and Magnet Schools website for helpful information. Choice and Magnet applications are now open for grades 1-12. 



Assistant Principal for the Day

Does your child want a chance to be Assistant Principal for the day? We hold drawings every month at Friday Sing! You can purchase raffle tickets online or in the front office of your campus to give your child a chance to be Assistant Principal of the Day. Assistant Principals have their own desk, name tag, and list of very important duties for the day. All proceeds from the raffle support our teacher appreciation fund and allow us to do special things for our staff throughout the year. Thank you, and good luck!


Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather, ABS will announce school closings on local TV channels, under “The Arts Based School.'' This information will also be posted on the ABS website (www.artsbasedschool.com).


Around Town:

UNCSA Preparatory Dance presents The Nutcracker Tea Party, December 17-18 at 1:30 and 4:00, at the Agnes De Mille theatre on the UNCSA campus. This special performance by the young participants in the Prep Dance program is followewd by a treat-filled tea party with your favorite Nutcracker characters. Tickets $25.00 Call (336) 721-1945 for tickets, or visit UNCSA.edu/nutcrackertea