ABS Thursday Notes- August 24, 2023

Published for the Arts Based School Community

August 24, 2023

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

Volunteers are love in motion.” - Author Unknown

Twenty years ago, in the brand new Arts Based Elementary School, I taught 3rd grade in an enormous room filled with light, thirteen children, and not much more. We managed to collect enough tables and chairs, but there was lots of open space. (That was good for dancing!) There was an old beater of a piano too, perhaps donated by a parent.

One afternoon, as students lay on their tummies working on drawings or independent reading, parent volunteer Peter Kairoff, whose child was in my class, visited our room. He sat down unexpectedly at the piano and played a soft cascade of bird-like music by Scarlatti. The students absorbed the music as if they were bathing in enchantment, and carried on with their assignments, smiling. Those moments are frozen in time, for me.

I heard Peter in concert not long ago. (Still amazing.) I asked him whether he remembered that day. He smiled broadly and replied, “Oh, very clearly!” It was as rewarding for him to make that contribution as it was for us to receive it.

Volunteers are the lifeblood that sustains us here at ABS.  Whether you're a musician, a handyman, or an expert organizers.  Your time and skills are needed at ABS.  We are a community that needs and appreciates your extra time and attention to support the great work we all do for our students.  Find your place to join in and help out!

Beginning of Grade Test (BOG)

The State Board of Education requires a standardized reading test for all third graders in North Carolina. Third-grade students will take the Beginning of Grade (BOG) test in reading. A student’s BOG score will be used as baseline data to measure growth as well as a screening tool to identify those students who will need remediation to pass the End of Grade test. The NC Read to Achieve initiative requires retention for students who do not pass the Reading EOG at third grade. The test has 42 questions, takes approximately 90 minutes to complete, and is administered online at school. It will be administered on August 31. Testing accommodations will be provided for students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP). Make-up tests will be required for any student who is absent from the regular administration of the test.

Subs Needed

Of course, it’s nearly impossible to replace our great teachers, but our ABS subs do a mighty fine job when the need arises. Our school uses our own pool of subs and we’re always looking for patient, kind, and reliable people to add to our list. If you are interested in subbing at ABS, please reach out to Ashley Tate, Director of Operations and Student Services, to learn more about it.

Parking Lot Safety

Here are a few safety reminders and procedures to ensure the safety of our students and families in the school parking lot when school begins.

  • Please drive slowly and cautiously through the school parking lot at all times. 
  • Do not use cell phones while in our parking lot.
  • Watch for children and adults in the parking lot.
  • Please allow extra time the first few weeks as parents and children become accustomed to the routine. 
  • Please be kind and courteous to parking lot helpers. 
  • Please be responsible for explaining the drop off/pick up procedures to your after school daycare vans or anyone else who may be picking up your children.
  • Please pick students up on time (by 2:40 for K-4th graders and 2:55 for 5th-8th graders and siblings of 5th -8th graders). If you arrive after this time, please park in a marked parking spot and come inside to sign your student out late.


Please review the attachedNorth Campus and South Campus for more information about drop off and pick up procedures.

Please be a good neighbor!

Please remember to use common sense and good courtesy as you drive through our traffic line each morning and afternoon—especially for our neighbors at 757 North Apartments, Goler Memorial AME Zion Church, Foundations Early Learning Center, the North Chestnut St. homes, and Lloyd Presbyterian Church. Parents at Foundations Early Learning Center are also dropping off their children on their way to work in the mornings, so please remember to leave space at their driveway so that cars can come and go. 

Assistant Principal for the Day-Coming soon!

Does your child want a chance to be Assistant Principal for the day? We hold drawings every month at Friday Sing! You will soon be able to purchase raffle tickets 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!

Kindergarten Speech Screening 

This is the time of year when ABS begins screening kindergarten students for any speech or language difficulties.  Ms. Mary Jarvis and Ms. Victoria Shull, our speech pathologists, will visit each kindergarten classroom to have a short conversation with each student.  If further testing is required, the parents will be notified.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Victoria Shull at [email protected] or Mary Dunevant at [email protected]

Say Something Tip Line and Training

State law (G.S. 115C-105.51) requires public secondary schools (grades 6 and up) to have an anonymous safety tip application available for public safety tips from students and others. The Say Something Anonymous Reporting System (SS-ARS) is a life-saving school safety program that teaches students, educators, and administrators how to recognize the warning signs for individuals who may be at risk of hurting themselves or others and to report this information by going to a trusted adult, calling 911, or using the anonymous reporting system. Our students in grades 6-8 will receive “Say Something” training in his/her classroom during the next few weeks.


North Carolina Vaccine-Specific Requirements

The North Carolina General Statutes (G.S. 130A-152(a)) require immunizations for every child present in this state. Every parent, guardian, or person in loco parentis is responsible for ensuring that their child(ren) receives required immunizations.  Here’s the NCDHHS website for more information about school immunization requirements.   If you have specific questions regarding your child, please contact your child’s healthcare provider or your local health department.

Kindergarten, 7th-grade students, and any students new to the school system who are not compliant with state immunization requirements will not be permitted to attend school after 30 days.  Please turn in all immunization documentation by September 22, 2023.

Activity Fees

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. Scholarships for the activity fee are available; please contact Angela Garner. You may pay your fee via mymealorder.com or by sending a check to the school. Thank you!

Pizza Volunteers Needed

Our students look forward to ordering pizza on Fridays. We need parent volunteers to assist with separating lunches into baskets and delivering the pizza to the classrooms. If you can help with this volunteer need, please email Donna Brown


Time frame needed: 10:30 to 12:00

Locations: both the MLK building cafeteria and the 7th St building

UNCSA’s Acting Out! to be Hosted at ABS North

Mr. Jordan Brown, ABS’ dynamic drama teacher, will offer UNCSA's evening community program Acting Out! here on our own campus. Classes are at the ABS North 7th Street building, for grades 3rd - 5th and 6th - 8th at  4:30 - 5:15 pm and 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays. Fall Term begins on September 11th and 13th. Learn more at this link  and by watching the PROMOTIONAL VIDEO. Questions? Email the program director at [email protected] 

UNCSA Preparatory Ballet Auditions This Saturday, August 26

The UNCSA Preparatory Dance Program  holds auditions for new students this Saturday, Aug. 26, from 10am-1pm, at the UNCSA campus. Preparatory Dance is a tuition-based conservatory ballet program for ages 8 and up. The required audition fee is $15, but that fee will be waived for ABS students this Saturday.  Email Anushka-Paris Carter to register for the audition fee waiver, at:  [email protected]


Children’s Ballet (ages 3-7) is a part of the Preparatory Dance Program for younger children. These classes are held at ABS South in the afternoons. No audition is required for Children’s Ballet, and ABS students get a 20% discount for the Friday Children’s Ballet mixed age class. 

Enter code ABS when you register. This code is not to be shared outside of the Arts Based School community. Friday Children’s Ballet is dress-code optional to make transitioning from after-care to dance class simpler.  

Adult Ballet Classes by UNCSA are held on Monday evenings and Saturday mornings on the UNCSA campus. ABS parents receive 20% off tuition.  Code:  ABS

Adult Beginner Ballet Monday evening:

Adult Intermediate Ballet Saturday morning


Ways to get involved and learn more about ABS: