ABS Thursday Notes- September 28, 2023

Published for the Arts Based School Community

September 28, 2023

No School: Oct 6-9  Fall Break

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

“As Americans we are the inheritors of a uniquely rich and vibrant history, a magnificent tapestry of diverse cultures, beliefs, experiences, and intellectual movements, bound together by the warp and weft of American ideals of progress and opportunity.” -  Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo), National Endowment of the Humanities Chair

The threads that are woven into the cultural tapestry of America originate from all over the world. Unless you are Native American, your people were immigrants. Some of us came because we wanted to, some because we needed to, and some because were were forced to. Over the years, we all have become woven together into one complex culture that we call America, but our individual, threads remain distinct and can be traced back to where we started from.

North Carolina State Standards require second graders to learn about the divergent cultures within our country, to recognize and gain understanding. Last year, social studies goals for second grade, which once required the broad study of world cultures, changed. Now, the state-required social studies curriculum for NC second graders is titled: Foundations of America. And of course, this includes basic political and historical questions and ideas. But when the foundations of America are examined from a cultural standpoint, you are actually back to world cultures, because we come from everywhere. Each of the strands of music, dance, visual art, and theater has required goals along these lines: “Exemplify the arts representing the heritage, customs, and traditions of various cultures. Recognize the impact of regional differences on the production of the arts.”

Music, like country, jazz, salsa and hip hop. Foods, like tacos, pizza, hamburgers, hushpuppies, and hot dogs. Stories, from The Three Little Pigs to Star Wars. All of these things are American, but all of them started in other places. If we could grab any one of the threads and follow it back into history, it would lead far, far back, on our own continent, and in almost every other continent of the world. So we kick off the second grade year with a celebration of cultures that lead back to those origins.

For our American Tapestry production, we follow only four of those threads through storytelling, visual art, dance, and music. We examine these threads as they originate from the “four corners” of our country: north, south, east, and west.

  1. A story that comes from a native tribe of our Pacific Northwest.
  2. Artwork inspired by vivid traditions of Mexico.
  3. Traditional dances that connect the African continent across centuries through popular social dances of the 1920s, and on to hip hop, 
  4. Songs that stretch from Ireland, Scotland, and England to the workdays, front porches, and celebrations of America.

Our goal is for our students to become curious and explore the broad variety of backgrounds that make up our country, and to recognize, respect, and experience them. We discover that we have already embraced more multicultural influences than we know, simply by being Americans.

Second Grade Performances

Second graders perform American Tapestry at the North Campus, 1380 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, in the Ewing Black Box Theater beginning next week. All performances begin at noon and last only half an hour. Parking may require a few extra minutes, so please arrive in time to enjoy the show.

Pipes - Tuesday, October 3, 12:00

Wagner - Wednesday, October 4, 12:00

Parker - Thursday, October 5, 12:00

Campbell - Wednesday, October 11, 12:00

Ward - Friday, October 13, 12:00


MAP Results Sent Home

Third through Eighth grade students will receive MAP results in their Thursday Packets today. Please take some time to review these results. Overall results show that ABS students in each of those grades achieve higher scores than the national norms in all areas tested: math, science, and reading. Congratulations to our students and their teachers for a job well done. If you have any questions regarding MAP results, please contact your child’s teacher.


Tech Tips for Parents 

As our students get older, many of them use cell phones, tablets, and other electronic devices. Here are some helpful tips for parents to consider regarding technology, social media and children:

 Make sure you know what devices your child can access and what those devices can do. Many apps allow students to text, send messages, and send photos or videos without a cell phone or a cell phone plan. 

 Set the rules. Clearly establish when and where your child may use their device. Consider whether or not they should have the device in their bedroom, on at night, during study time, etc. 

 Know the ABS device policy: Cell phones and personal electronic devices are not to be used by students during the school day. Students must store unapproved electronic devices in a pocket or schoolbag for the entirety of the school day. Failure to do so will result in the device being held by a staff member until dismissal. Parents and students should recognize that loss of or damage to these devices is possible and the devices are the responsibility of the student. The Arts Based School is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen phones or devices. Failure to adhere to this policy will result in a disciplinary referral to the appropriate administrator.

"Follow" your child online and monitor what they post, send, and receive. Check their accounts often and consider parental controls that help monitor children's devices. 

 Discuss internet safety with your child. Make sure they understand how quickly information, photos, and videos can be shared with many people outside of their immediate contacts and explain that once these messages are put out there, they can exist permanently on others' devices.

 Limit Social Media access. As we see in recent news, social media is designed to keep people engaged and online. Children can easily begin with a benign video or post and quickly be viewing inappropriate or even harmful content. One specific concern we’re seeing is the Tik Tok challenges encouraging students to engage in behaviors that range from inappropriate to illegal and harmful. We want our children to be safe and not be caught up in this social media peer pressure which could result in suspension, expulsion, or legal action.

We need your help. Please talk with your students and remind them of your expectations for them. Please be aware of what your child is bringing to school and bringing home from school. If your child uses social media or messages/texts with friends, we strongly suggest parents monitor their devices regularly. Thank you for your help!



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 parent workday, please sign up here!


Volunteering at ABS

Volunteering is an important commitment that each family makes to our school. We ask each family to volunteer one hour per week for each child enrolled at ABS. We welcome and encourage parents to volunteer in a variety of ways—we know that you are people of many talents!

  • We need parents and caregivers with all kinds of creative gifts—from photographers to backstage makeup artists and beyond;
  • We need parents and caregivers who care about nurturing relationships and facilitating connections;
  • We need parents and caregivers who love a good spreadsheet and want to share their clerical and technical skills;
  • We need parents and caregivers whose businesses and organizations might be willing to help ABS with collaborations and partnerships of all kinds; and
  • We need parents and caregivers who aren't quite sure where they fit, but are willing to dedicate time and energy to benefit the school.

What "counts" as volunteer hours?

Almost any time or effort you commit to ABS outside of "standard duty" can count as volunteer hours. Volunteering for ABS can include:

  • Attending a Parent Council meeting,
  • Attending a school performance or exhibit,
  • Chaperoning field trips,
  • Serving as a Classroom Representative,
  • Helping us plan an event,
  • Working in the garden,
  • Helping your classroom teacher with Thursday Folders and other odd jobs,
  • Helping us move sets from here to there, and
  • Many, many more…

Please record your volunteer hours! 

In addition to helping us see the AMAZING impact you have on our school, your volunteer hours also help us when we are seeking foundation grants and other outside support for ABS. Thank you sincerely!  You can record your hours in the Parent Portal on the Volunteer Page, or at this link.

Builder’s Club

Does your child want to make a difference in our community and the world? Your child is invited to join the Builders Club program at the Arts Based School. Builders Club is a service organization and a member of the Kiwanis Family, which sponsors our club. Builders Club provides the opportunity to develop self-esteem, leadership skills, morals and standards, and respect for others. This program involves 6th-8th grade students, their parents,  teachers, and Kiwanians in community service projects impacting our school, city, and global community. Your child will be inducted into the Builders Club at ABS and Builders Club of Winston-Salem with your permission. Meetings occur on Friday mornings from 7:45 to 8:15 each week.  Meetings will be held in Mrs. Gledhill’s room in the 7th Street building. 


News from Parent Council

Fall Fest is approaching soon! We can’t wait to see you Saturday 10/14 from 12-3pm in the 7th st courtyard. Please be on the lookout for signup sheets from your class rep. Parent volunteers help make this possible and are needed to assist with supplies and running the stations.


As we work to make Parent Council meetings more accessible to all, please let us know what days and times are most convenient for your family by filling out this survey. 


ABS Book Fairs Oct 16-20


The Scholastic Book Fairs are coming!!  Exciting news! This year we will have a fair set up at both North and South Campus and the North Campus will also open the Fair at Fall Fest which will be a great way to shop early AND enjoy Fall Fest!


We will NEED YOUR HELP! Volunteer signup is LIVE! This is a really fun opportunity to get volunteer hours during the school day and during Fall Fest.

Sign up to volunteer here for North Campus: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050B4AA4AC23A02-44667684-absnorth

Sign up to volunteer here for South Campus: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050B4AA4AC23A02-44685737-abssouth

Please visit the links below to sign up for an E-Wallet account*, see the fair schedule, view the book fair flyer, or shop our online book fair.

North Campus Book Fair link: https://www.scholastic.com/bf/ABSNorth

South Campus Book Fair link: https://www.scholastic.com/bf/ABSSouth


*Set up an E-wallet account so your student can shop the Fair cash-free.  If you have multiple children, you must create a separate account for each child, be sure to use the correct fair link.

Every purchase you make at the book fairs earns money towards new books for ALL CLASSROOM libraries and BOTH SCHOOL LIBRARIES! More than half of all dollars spent at the book fairs go directly to purchase books for the school!

Questions can be directed to Kristen Faulkner, Book Fair Chairperson at [email protected]


Prospective Parent Tours

School tours for prospective parents begin in October. They are scheduled weekly on Tuesdays at 9:30am at South Campus and  Thursdays at 9:30am at North Campus. Each tour is limited to 10 adults in an effort to limit the disruption to our students and teachers in the classrooms. Parents interested in learning more about ABS and how to enroll their child, should contact the front office to sign up for a tour. 748-4116 ext 1023. Applications will be accepted beginning January 1. The lottery will be held the second Tuesday of February. 



Around Town

Salem Band Concert

Salem Band offers a concert of New Century Musicals on Sunday, October 1st, 3 pm in Hanes Auditorium. This all-ages program includes music from your favorite shows written or revived this century: Les Miserables, Mama Mia, Dreamgirls, Wicked, West Side Story – and for the kids, Encanto, Lion King, Frozen – and more! We are collaborating with Little Theater, so be ready to see your favorite character, including Belle, Elsa, Elphaba, and more. Kids, wear your favorite Disney costume and get your photo taken with Little Theater actors! Sing-along opportunities for everyone.

FREE in Hanes Auditorium, Elberson Fine Arts Center, on the campus of Salem Academy and College.

For more info, call 336-413-2180, email [email protected], or visit:





Arts For Life Hiring Part-Time Music Teacher

Arts For Life is hiring a part-time music teaching position for their Winston-Salem chapter. Here is the full job description. You can find more information at the links above - including the directions on how to apply. Taking applications through October 28th. 

Ways to get involved and learn more about ABS: