ABS Thursday Notes- February 2, 2023

Published for the Arts Based School Community

February 2, 2023

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

Yesterday I let one butterfly out. …Just … one!” –   Kindergartener after dress rehearsal.

Here’s a Kindergarten lesson that works for adults, too. Do you ever get butterflies in your tummy before something special is about to happen? Maybe a big job interview, a presentation, a first date, a difficult conversation, or a performance of “Peter and the Wolf?” Raise your hand, if you’ve ever felt a few little butterflies fluttering in your tummy. (You know there aren’t really butterflies in your tummy, right? It’s just our imagination, but it feels like butterflies.)

Close your eyes. Can you see what color your butterflies are? Can you make them fly in a circle? Nice, pretty little butterflies! Open your eyes now, and raise your hand, if you’d like to share what color your butterflies are. (Some kinder answers: sparkly rainbow, green wings with black spots, turquoise, yellow, camouflage…)

Those butterflies are helpers. They give you a little extra energy. It helps them if you close your eyes and say hello to them, and notice what color they are. They also love nice, fresh air. Let’s take a deep breath for our butterflies and give them some air. (Big sighs: “Ahhhhhh!)

Kindergarteners sometimes take the time to draw and color in their butterflies, too. While they wait in the wings for the show to begin, we will remind them to give their butterflies some breath. Lots of smiles, sighs, and color return to little faces, when we do this. It will help you with your job interview, your public speaking engagement, or your important meeting, too.

This is all based on research – there is plenty of it, regarding stage fright. Actors, dancers, musicians, politicians, rabbis, parent council leaders… anyone who prepares to get up in front of “the public” benefits from taking a moment to notice how their body is feeling, before they make an entrance. Deep, gentle breathing helps calm anxiety and focus the mind. And some experts advise that the worst symptoms arise from the performer’s attempt to resist the butterflies. (I know musicians who find that, instead of willing their hands to stop shaking, they can take a moment to intentionally shake them more, and more, and more. Then breathe and relax.) If you see, acknowledge and flow with your symptoms, you can transform stress to focus. Don’t be a hard surface attempting to block the butterflies. (Think: windshield on a speeding vehicle.) Instead, become the breeze upon which they flutter. There is a synergistic enhancement that you can ride, if you flow with that extra energy. When we welcome our butterflies, they become good guys. You can even give them names. As one Kindergartener advised: “Give them some water and air, and give them time to play.”


2023 ABS Summer Camps!

We are very excited to be able to offer a range of summer camps for 2023! Whether you’re hoping for a spot in Coach Bri’s P.E. Camp—or if sculpture, chess, legos, nature walks, or filmmaking piques your interest… we have options for you! All camp dates, details, and descriptions are available here. When you’re ready to register, please complete this form (one per child). Here are a few F.A.Q.s…

What is the cost of summer camp? 

All summer camps are $240 per week per camper.

Can I register my child(ren) for more than one week of camp?


Who can attend ABS Summer Camps?

Any ABS students (North and South!) who want to have a great deal of fun with a few familiar faces.

Do I have to pay the full cost of camp during the registration process?  

Nope. We will send an invoice. To secure your child's spot for summer camp(s), we ask you to please pay in full on or before May 10.

What if my child misses a day due to illness? 

Please send your camp teacher an email if your child will be absent from camp. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer credit and/or refunds for days missed. If your child should miss an entire week due to illness, we will allow your child to attend a different week, provided space is available. 

What are the hours for summer camp?

Camp hours are 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM with drop-off starting at 8:50 AM. You must pick up your child no later than 2:10 PM each day.

Will my child travel off campus?

No. There’s plenty of fun to be had right here!

Where will the summer camps be held?

At ABS North. We will utilize spaces in both the MLK and 7th street building along with all outdoor spaces on campus. 

What does the daily schedule look like for my child?

Each camp teacher will send a schedule to parents as we near the camp week.

What will my child eat at camp?

Whatever you pack! Please send lunch and a water bottle each day.


School Calendar 2023-24

The ABS Board of Directors is considering the school calendar for 2022-23. If you would like to review the draft calendar and provide feedback, please respond to this form.

School Calendar Considerations

  • 180 days of instruction
  • Major breaks coincide with WS/FC schools
  • Trimester system allows teacher workdays to coincide with parent/teacher conferences
  • Begin school year earlier than WS/FC school to secure enrollment and fill from waiting list
  • Snow Make up days are built into calendar throughout the school year 
  • Gather input from teachers, staff, and parents

Parent Satisfaction Survey

Yes, that's you! We want to know what you think! Please follow the link ArtsBasedSchoolsurvey to a 10-question online survey about our school. Your responses are completely anonymous and help us determine what's working well and what needs more work! Please take a few minutes to complete and submit. Thank you!

MAP Results Going Home

ABS uses Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) to assess each student’s academic growth. We will give students in grades 3-8 MAP tests to determine each child’s instructional level and to measure academic growth throughout the school year, and from year to year in the areas of math and reading. Students take the tests on a computer. MAP tests are unique in that they adapt to be appropriate for your child’s level of learning. As a result, each student has the same opportunity to succeed and maintain a positive attitude toward testing. And with MAP tests, we can administer shorter tests and use less class time while still receiving detailed, accurate information about your child’s growth. MAP results are coming home today with your student. 

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! You are invited to log DOUBLE VOLUNTEER HOURS for these set-moving tasks:

-Friday February 3, 3:00-4:00 p.m.

-Friday February 24, 3:00-4:00 p.m.

If you can help with either of these, please sign up HERE. We will meet in the Ewing Theater at ABS North.


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

Job Opening

Local nonprofit Arts For Life is currently seeking a Program Coordinator who will be responsible for preparing and facilitating high-quality and engaging art lessons with patients and family members in a hospital setting at Brenner Children’s Hospital in Winston-Salem.

The deadline to apply is February 12, 2023. For more information, visit artsforlifenc.org.