ABS Thursday Notes-August 10, 2023

Published for the Arts Based School Community

August 10, 2023

First Day of School: Wednesday, August 16

(Staggered entry for Kindergarten students)

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

“Entertainment gives you a predictable pleasure. Art… leads to transformation. It awakens you, rather than just satisfying a craving."  - Makoto Fujimura

At ABS we assume that our students get plenty of exposure to commercial pop music, television, movies, art, and coloring books. Although we sometimes incorporate these forms of entertainment into lessons, we try to give our students more exposure to art that requires them to think in fresh, new ways. We don’t dislike entertainment, but we know we have a short time to introduce students to art, before the powers of marketing overwhelm their receptors. When introducing our new staff to this concept, we offer them a sample of a Hostess Twinkie, and ask them to compare it with a bite of a handmade pastry from a local artisan bakery. The adjectives they use to describe the two foods are collected on the board, and the Twinkie lines up perfectly with descriptions of “entertainment”, while the artisan masterpiece lines up under “art.” The artisan bite is uniformly considered to be satisfying. The Twinkie is repugnant to some, but is delightful comfort food to others. Enjoy the following suggestions of the differences between art and entertainment:


Expects you to “chew”

Provokes and challenges

Changes us

Operates on multiple levels

Is open to a variety of interpretations

Is nuanced and subtle


Puts value on inner depth

Is created for meaning


“Goes down easy”

Stays in the “comfort zone”

Amuses us

Makes a single or a simple point

Is more one-dimensional

Is obvious

Satisfies the “sweet tooth”

Puts value on the external

Is created to sell.

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 teachers.  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.  Many of you have already stepped up to fill the role, but we have a few open spots, especially at the middle school level.   Please take a look and add your name if you can help out.   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 DUE 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.   

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  will receive an email verifying your lunch status and instructions on ordering your child’s lunch before the first day of school.  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. 

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 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, please consider volunteering for morning drop-off or afternoon pickup. Extra adults are always helpful as students and parents learn the routine. Thanks!

ABS Regular Board Meeting

The ABS Board of Directors Board will meet on Tuesday, August 15, 2023 at 5:45pm at the 7th St School building. Board meetings are open to the public.


Ways to get involved and learn more about ABS: