ABS Thursday Notes- September 7, 2023

Published for the Arts Based School Community

September 7, 2023

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

“In a live performance, it's a collaboration with the audience; you ride the ebb and flow of the crowd's energy. On television, you don't have that.”  - Jon Batiste

ABS students quickly learn how rewarding it is, to perform for your parents. Of course, most of them have been performing on front porches and in back yards or parks since they were very small. “Watch me! Watch me!” To perform for a whole audience of parents is to perform for the most attentive audience there ever will be for you. Those parents take their lunch hour, they pick up Grandma, they watch at least one cast member with absolute, riveted focus. It’s delicious.

Each grade level at ABS presents an annual production that demands disciplined preparation for about six weeks, with classroom teachers, arts specialists, and visiting artists all working together. Some of these shows are traditions stretching far back into our history, and are considered landmarks for kids who look forward to performing them. Some are new productions, changed to align with newly released standards from the state. All of them provide opportunities for community building, for learning. The shows are developed with gradual scaffolding, to help students feel safe and supported on stage. Adults might lead the way on stage, stand to the side and narrate, prompt forgotten moments and words, even appear as a character who can offer support right on stage. But as they enter middle school, they take on more independence, until finally, all fifty-plus kids in the class can perform a show together, without the net to catch them.

Complex rehearsal schedules are communicated out to administrators, receptionists, speech therapists, counselors, and interventionists so that schedules can be woven to keep all learning flowing and to know at all times where the students are. Parents pitch in, avoiding scheduling dental appointments or vacations during critical rehearsal weeks, helping with costumes, helping move platforms and props from place to place. We want everyone to feel excited, polished and prepared when the big day arrives.

What can you do to support your child’s performance? 

  • Save the date, and attend the show
  • Avoid scheduling trips or appointments for 2 weeks before the show.
  • Watch for announcements about costume pieces your students will need
  • Help with costumes
  • Help move the sets in, and help move them back out
  • Encourage your child to have fun with it! (It’s not high stakes!)

You can find your student’s performance dates HERE

Welcome to Our New Counselor

We are delighted to welcome Allison Carlisle to the ABS staff as our new counselor! She has a bachelor’s from App State in Spanish Education and a minor in music (voice) and a masters in school counseling from Liberty University. With classroom experience at various grade levels, Ms. Carlisle was most recently teaching at Speas Elementary. Ms. Carlisle has many interests and loves acting, singing, dancing. She speaks Spanish and plays the ukulele. 


BOG Results

Congratulations to our Third Grade students for completing the Beginning of Grade (BOG) test in reading last week. The state does not expect that all students will demonstrate proficiency on the BOG test because the content on the BOG is the same as what is measured on the EOG reading test administered at the end of the year.  Your child’s results are coming home today in Thursday packets in a sealed blue envelope.  If you have any questions about your child’s results, please contact your classroom teacher.


ABS T-Shirts have Arrived!

Thanks to all the families who ordered the new ABS T-shirt.  We have received and sorted those shirts and will be sending them home today with your Thursday packet!  Enjoy!  

Dental Screening

When children have dental problems, their overall health and ability to learn can be seriously compromised. As part of our regular school preventive dental health program, the NC Oral Health Section, Division of Public Health, and Mashica Jefferson-Tobias, BSDH, RDH, Public Health Dental Hygienist for Forsyth County, will conduct dental screenings for children in grades K, 3rd, 5th on September 25. She will use gloves, mask, flashlight, and will use a new tongue depressor for each child. The screening serves as an educational, positive dental experience and also collects information to help improve the Children’s Dental Health programs. Children who see a dentist regularly will also benefit from the screening for the educational opportunity. A form letter will be sent home to show your child’s results. If you do not want your child included in this dental screening, please send a note to your child’s teacher. If you have any questions, please call Mashica Jefferson-Tobias, BSDH, RDH, at the Forsyth County Health Department at (336) 391-4822.


Volunteer Opportunity: If you are available to help with dental screening, please complete this form.

Field Trips Coming Soon!

Soon our students will be heading into the community on field trips.  Your child’s teacher will keep you posted on when and where, but all students must have a completed Field Trip Permission Form to participate.  If you have not completed this form for this school year, please do asap!  Thanks!


News from Parent Council

Please join us for the first Parent Council meeting of the school year on Friday, September 15 at 8:30 in the MLK Cafe at North Campus.  All ABS parents, families, and caregivers are part of Parent Council and are welcome to attend!   If you would like to submit a topic for the agenda, please send an e-mail to Parent Council Katy Whiteheart by Friday, September 8.  We look forward to seeing you there!


Brundibar Video is Up!

Last spring’s performance of Brundibar is now available in the Family Portal. The password is Terezin.


After School Music Clubs

After-School Music Clubs will begin during the week of September 18th. Music Clubs are open to 6th-8th grades only, and are free of charge. 


Band Club will help students advance as musicians, prepare for high school marching or symphonic ensembles, or just have fun making great music together. Mr. Reichmeier will work with students in the 7th Street music room from 3:00-3:45 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There is no fee to participate, but your child must rent or own their instrument. There is no limit to the number of participants 

who may enroll in after school band, but parents must enroll students via the link below. Registration opens at noon on Thursday,  September 14. To sign up, please visit the Clubs page of our website.


World Percussion Ensemble

Mr. Reichmeier will teach a variety of percussion skills including West African djembe drumming, Afro-Cuban drumming and singing, and Brazilian samba drumming. Instruments will be provided (but will remain at school.) Percussion ensemble is limited to 20 students, on a first come, first served basis. Priority will be given to percussionists.  After that, others will be permitted to join this all-percussion club. Enrollment for after school programs is online only, and will open at noon on September 15.Thursday,  September 14. To sign up, please visit the Clubs page of our website.


MAP testing begins

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.


Out and About

The Salem Bach Festival offers audiences a chance to hear Bach and other Baroque music performed in original style with a small professional choir and on replica or real instruments that are over 200 years old. Our own Ms. Mayers (3rd grade teacher) is an expert early music violinist, and she will play in the concert on Friday, September 15. The Friday and Sunday concerts are FREE. Tickets are required for Saturday night. Each concert is at a different location. Concert information HERE


Ways to get involved and learn more about ABS: