ABS Thursday Notes-February 9, 2023

Published for the Arts Based School Community

February 9, 2023

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


Education is always about relationships. Great teachers are not just instructors and test administrators: They are mentors, coaches, motivators, and lifelong sources of inspiration to their students.” ~ Ken Robinson

As Paige Raper prepares to finish her final year with us before moving with her family to Atlanta, we are reflecting on her time here, and all that she has brought to our school. In addition to her extraordinarily precise communication and organizational skills, her uncanny ability to predict possible outcomes of any action or message, her powerful work ethic and upbeat willingness to take on any task, her sense of humor and steadiness under pressure, her intellectual prowess and complete commitment…these are just a few… but two of our favorites of Paige Raper’s attributes are:

  • She loves children, and sees and nurtures possibility in every one of them, tailoring the nurturing or guidance to fit the individual.

  • She is mindful of equity, including solid dedication to racial and gender equity. She’s always careful to avoid favoritism and to make all stakeholders feel equally valued.

Mrs. Raper is currently Principal at the ABS North campus. She began at our school as a reading specialist in 2009, becoming a third grade teacher the following year. She interned with Mrs. Hollis as she earned her MSA and transitioned to assistant principal in 2013, when we opened our middle school building at 7th Street. Mrs. Raper was a critically important source of strength and guidance as she and Mrs. Hollis piloted us through the Covid years. 

Most of her 3rd grade students caught her passion for textile arts, and could be observed peacefully knitting as they listened to a read-aloud or enjoyed indoor recess on a rainy day. She is a generous contributor of her gorgeous handmade quilts, some of them traditional patterns and some free-form. They caused notable bidding wars at our art auctions. She is a book lover who served on the board of Bookmarks for years, and provided jaw dropping opportunities for our students to connect with children’s authors, like a massive gathering at the fairgrounds with Dav Pilkey, or our personal visit this school year from Idina Menzel.

We shall miss Paige Raper, more than we can say. We are deeply grateful for all she has given to her colleagues, our students, their families, and our wider community over her fourteen years with us. We know she will be successful and richly valued wherever she goes. 


Additional Staffing Updates

It’s always difficult to say goodbye! We wish the very best to our departing staff, who will be moving on to other adventures:


Court Wynter, our 5th-8th music teacher, will be leaving ABS after two years, and will be teaching double bass at Wake Forest University next year. We’ll miss his creative willingness to take on the many eclectic demands of our music program.


Melissa Scott has been both kindergarten and first grade assistant at ABS for six years. We will miss her beautiful singing voice and gentle presence.


Maddie Baciuska, first-grade assistant, will return to school to earn her master’s degree in special education. We wish her the best!


Class Pictures-Friday, Feb 10

Each class will be photographed by Strawbridge Studios for a class picture tomorrow, Feb 10.  Bring your smile!   Photos can be pre-ordered or purchased online for $10 at www.strawbridge.net  Use code FM398084


2023 ABS Summer Camps!

Summer camps are beginning to fill up! All camp dates, details, and descriptions are available here. When you’re ready to register, please complete this form (one per child).  See last week’s notes or our website for FAQ’s.

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!

Parking Lot Pointers

Here are some helpful hints for pick-up and drop-off to help keep our students safe:

-Drive slowly and carefully through all school parking lots. 

-Please keep students in cars until 7:45. If you would like to get out earlier, please park in a marked parking spot and supervise your child outside of the car until 7:45. 

-Please display your car sign on your dash on the passenger side until your child is in the car.


- Please do not text, talk on the phone, or check social media while in the car line. Your attention is needed to keep our students safe.

-Please have your student ready to get out of the car on the passenger side of the vehicle and move immediately to the sidewalk. Students can get out of the car once they are next to the sidewalk or potted plants.

-If you must unload/load on the driver's side, please help us train our students to walk around the front of your vehicle so you can see them make it safely to the sidewalk.

-Please do not get out of your car in the carline. If your child needs extra help buckling and unbuckling, please park and assist your child until they can do that independently.

-Please stay in the line and do not pull around another car even if you are already loaded or unloaded.

-Finally, we need your help!  Please show up and help with traffic duty, especially in the mornings 7:45-8:15 M-F. 


Parent Council Meeting

Mark your calendars for the next Parent Council meeting! Please join us virtually for the February Parent Council meeting Friday, February 17 at noon via Zoom. A Zoom link is included in the Thursday Notes email. All ABS parents, families, and caregivers are part of the Parent Council and are welcome to attend! 

Also, please consider if you or someone you know would like to join the Parent Council board!


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

Theater Alliance’s production of “Titanic the Musical” opens this Friday, 2/10 and runs two weekends. The show includes ABS kids, alumni, and parents.

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.