ABS Thursday Notes- September 14, 2023

Published for the Arts Based School Community

September 14, 2023


How We Do It and Why

Mary Siebert


“Art transcends cultural boundaries.” - Thomas Kinkade


On Tuesday, ABS hosted the Raleigh Rockers, a Hip Hop dance group. This team of two dancers and a DJ performed twice for us; once for 5th - 8th graders, and again for 2nd - 4th grades. And they blew our minds! The students were thrilled; shouting wildly when one dancer would spin and scoot on top of his head, legs straight up. Cheering again when the other dancer would spring from a single hand stand to his feet, to an aerial flip. They invited students down to show off their moves, they invited teachers down to learn a few basics. It was a joyful shared experience. 


The Raleigh Rockers were recommended by ABS dance teacher Tahvyea Rains, who suggested that hosting them would be a great way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip hop, but also a great example for our 2nd graders, who are currently studying an international variety of artistic influences that have blended to create American culture.  Specifically in dance, the students are learning of the direct lineage from African traditional dance through social dances like the Lindy Hop, straight on to Hip Hop. 


But beyond this, it’s simply an inspiration to be together, watching artists who are jubilantly confident in their self-expression. They were wonderful communicators who used the mastery of their art form to unify the audience in delight. This kind of shared experience is important to our identity as a school.


Visiting and resident artists are integral to the culture of ABS, and are established in the ABS charter as critical to our mission. Visiting and resident artists in poetry, visual art and the performing arts help students, teachers and their families to experience interaction with the professional arts community as something natural that we all deserve and share; one of the valued benefits of living in our arts-rich area. 


Visiting artists might come only once, to perform, demonstrate, or speak with our students. The Raleigh Rockers were visiting artists. Other examples: a poetry reading plus a short workshop, a concert, a photojournalist who shares and discusses their work, an opera, play, or concert performance at the school. Often these opportunities include question & answer segments for students. 


Resident artists stay with us long enough to do a series of lessons, often with the goal of a final, culminating  project. Examples: Diana Greene’s 12-lesson residency with 4th grades, the Symphony Wind Quintet’s visits with 1st grades, Thao Nguyen’s choreography for middle school students, Bob Moyer’s drama games, stories, and poetry across the grade levels.


Here is an extensive, (but certainly incomplete,) listing of visiting and resident artists whom we have hosted at The Arts Based School since we started in 2002.


Save the Date-Parent Workday Sept. 30!

ABS Basement Clean Out!

Twenty years of collecting and we have a basement full of stuff!  We need your help to sort, organize and let go of the items we have no use for.  Broken and unusable items will be placed in the construction dumpster.  Usable items we can’t use will be donated to our volunteers who help with cleanout and local charities.   If you can help with this volunteer opportunity, please sign up here!

Join us at Earl’s

Earl’s, that great restaurant across the street from ABS North,  is hosting ABS night Sept 19, 4-6pm.  10% of proceeds will go to ABS for classroom supplies.  See flyer for more details.


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!   Here is the agenda.  We look forward to seeing you there!

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: Volunteers still needed to help at the North campus, please complete this form if you can with dental screening.


MAP testing continues

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.


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, choosing from brass, woodwind, or percussion instruments. 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 today: 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 today, Thursday,  September 14. To sign up, please visit the Clubs page of our website.



Out and About

The Salem Bach Festival is this weekend. It 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. These performances are surprisingly filled with improvisation and intimate style. 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. All concerts are only about one hour long. Tickets are required for Saturday night. Each concert is at a different location. Concert information HERE


Happy Hill Neighborhood Afterschool Tutoring Program

Registration is now open for families interested in after-school tutoring and enrichment offered by HHNA and WSSU. This free program serves students ages 7-14 and is located at ABS South and Sims Recreation Center, M-Th 4-6pm.  Register by phone 980-643-0211.  See flyer for more details.

Ways to get involved and learn more about ABS: