ABS Thursday Notes- August 3, 2023

Published for the Arts Based School Community

August 3, 2023

First Day of School: Wednesday, August 16

(Staggered entry for Kindergarten students)

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

“ Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.” 

— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince.

Welcome, friends! We hope all of you enjoyed some restorative family time this summer. The first day of school is coming! How are you feeling? Got any butterflies in your tummy?

Some parents are breathing sighs of relief, ready for a more predictable routine, ready for their middle schooler to see their pals or make new friends. Some of you are wiping away an anticipatory tear, astonished that your baby is already a kindergartener. Or your older child might be transferring to our school, and you’re anxious for them to settle in happily.

Your children might have those pesky butterflies flipping around too. Will they make friends? Will their teacher be nice? (The answer is yes.) Will they miss home? It’s all so strange and new, for some of them.

The teachers have butterflies too. New teachers are excited but nervous…they want to get everything just right. Just yesterday, a veteran teacher of over thirty classroom years told me that she is excited but nervous...it happens every year. In some ways, teaching is like stepping out onto a stage, ready to improvise, because no matter how perfectly you plan, twenty kids will toss you a curve ball. Stage fright is real. It can indeed feel like butterflies in your tummy. (Or, as race car driver Jessica Hawkins says, sometimes she can’t tell whether it’s butterflies or barbed wire.)

There is no shortage of these magnificent, fluttering, mini-symbols of growth and transformation inside of each of us! It’s practically an invasion! What do we do about them? 

Well…certainly no insecticide. Don’t stomp on them or shoo them away or shout at them or pretend they don’t exist. That doesn’t work and it’s not good for the environment (which, in this case, is the inside of you.) 

Based on scientific studies, the best approach to managing stage fright is exactly what performers have done for generations. Here’s what we teach our students. It might work for you, and you might like to share it with your student, if they do feel the flutter.

Close your eyes and breathe. Notice the butterflies in your tummy. Acknowledge them. They need breath, which settles them down, so breathe gently and deeply while you notice them slow down. What color are they? Can you gently get them to fly in a circle? To alight and rest?

You could even sit down with some paper and drawing tools, and draw your butterflies. Color them in. Butterflies love to sit for portraits. Display your butterfly portraits and appreciate them. All their fluttering is really just your fresh energy, ready to take flight.

See you soon everyone! 

Introducing: A Fresh Crop of ABS Tees!

We are happy to offer a fresh round of Arts Based School t-shirts! All shirts are a soft blended fabric available in youth and adult sizes, choose pink or black. Deadline to order is August 17 All orders will ship to ABS (unless you elect to have them shipped to your home for an additional fee) on August 30. We will sort orders and send them home via Thursdays folders once we receive them! 

Place your orders here! 

Activity Fee 

ABS is publicly funded and free to all students. We ask families to contribute a $40 activity fee each year to help cover the costs of our field trips, special arts activities, and more. You can pay your Activity Fee by check or at your MyMeal Acct.  

Parent Council News

Parent Council will be hosting a Welcome Back Breakfast for teaches.  Please sign up if you are able to contribute to the feast.

Class Representatives Needed

We are currently recruiting class representatives for all classrooms at ABS for the upcoming school year. It’s a great way to get your volunteer hours for the year and to be more involved with our amazing school. Please see the linked sign-up sheet and sign up if you are able! If you have any questions, please email Kathleen Stimely, our Parent Rep Coordinator. Thank you so much for your willingness to volunteer!



You are the “Go-To” person for your teacher and your classroom parents! You are a liaison between teacher and classroom families when it pertains to the entire class. In summary, your responsibilities fall under these 4 categories: 

  • Coordinating class volunteer efforts 
  • Communicating classroom needs 
  • Communicating information from Parent Council 
  • Helping the Yearbook coordinators gather pictures

Fall Enrollment Forms for All Returning and New Students are open Now

We ask all families to please take a moment to complete your ABS student(s) registration for the new school year. ABS uses the software platform Enrollease to facilitate this process. Please register with Enrollease here. Once you have an account, you will login here, and then please complete the 2023-24 Required Student Form for each of your children who attend the Arts Based School.   You will need you teacher assignment before completing this form.  Thank you!

Lunch Program

In an effort to provide expanded daily lunch options for our families, we're launching a new online lunch ordering system. Our caterer this year is Goodness Gracious (M-Th) and Papa John’s for Pizza Friday.

Meals are $5 per day, and orders must be placed by noon the day before in order to be counted. This information and links are also available at the Parent Portal on our website. 

 To order: 

  1. Go to www.MyMealOrder.com and register for a free account.
  2. Add your student(s) using their student ID (the same as your PikMyKid ID#), last name, and school.
  3. Select your meals in a week view or a month view and complete the checkout process with your credit/debit card or electronic check.

If you have any questions or need help, please contact Angela Garner: [email protected] 

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.

Additional Parent Resources:

MyMealOrder Ordering Instructions

MyMealOrder FAQs

PikMyKid App

ABS uses the PikMyKid dismissal app to facilitate our afternoon dismissal process. All new families will need to download the PikMyKid parent smartphone app. Once you have downloaded the app, you will press the “Register” button and follow the prompts to sign up. When you have successfully registered, please log in, allow notifications, and check to make sure that you see your ABS student(s) listed. If you do not see your child’s name, please check back on the app in a few days.  We are still working to get all students registered into the system. 

ABS Family Portal Access

Access to our ABS Family Portal has been switched over to new credentials for the 2023-24 school year. Currently enrolled families received login information via email. The ABS Family Portal is your source for a great deal of information that is not publicly available on our website, including class lists, a family directory, links to videos of our past productions, and more. 


  • August 14: Special Visits (In place of Back to School Night this year)
  • August 16: First Day of School (Staggered Entry dates for Kindergarten)

New Parent Orientation

In case you weren’t able to make it or just want to review, here’s the slideshow from yesterday’s New Parent orientation.  

Special Visits

Educational research shows that the relationship between student and teacher is one of the most important factors in a student’s academic success.  This critical relationship is enhanced by our small class size and our educators’ commitment to children.  In support of the teacher/student relationship, our teachers will be offering a Special Visit before school begins.  A Special Visit is simply an opportunity for your child to meet their teacher in a familiar setting, a chance to learn a bit about the class and what to expect in the coming school year.   This year’s scheduled day for Special Visits is August 14.  Your child’s teacher will be contacting you to schedule a 15 minute meeting (zoom or at school) in early August. 


Ways to get involved and learn more about ABS: