ABS Thursday Notes- November 2, 2023

Published for the Arts Based School Community

November 2, 2023

No School Nov 10: Veterans’ Day

Friday, Nov 17- Early Dismissal-Conferences

  • K-4 Dismiss at 11:45
  • 5-8 Dismiss at 12 noon

No School-Thanksgiving Break Nov 20-24

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”  -Carol Dweck


This week I had the pleasure of coaching an 8th grader on his solo singing for Lion King. This singer is a surprise…we didn’t know he could sing so well, and neither did he. But he’s been holding back, during rehearsals, so I had a private lesson with him. Most people wonder what on earth you do in a private singing lesson. Don’t people just either sing well or … they don’t? 


It turns out there are many techniques and exercises that can help you sing better, stronger, more clearly, with more quality, more precision. Breathing, the position of your jaw, breathing, the position of your tongue, breathing, the quality of your vowel…and breathing, can all make a big difference, and that’s only the beginning. (But the beginning and the end are breathing.)


The lesson went well, and he released that bright shaft of sound that had impressed us all during the auditions. But the main thing he needed to learn (besides breathing) was that you never “arrive,” in singing. You can always make it better. Professional singers work on technique all of their lives, just as professional baseball players always go to practice. The student entered the room thinking he’d been “doing it wrong.” He was in a fixed mindset. I believe he left in a growth mindset. 


A fixed mindset comes from the belief that your qualities are carved in stone. In this mindset, characteristics such as intelligence, personality, and creativity are considered to be fixed traits, rather than something that can be developed. Having a fixed mindset creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over. Criticism is seen as an attack and something to be avoided. 


A growth mindset comes from the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through effort. People differ greatly in aptitude, talents, interests, or temperaments, but everyone can change and grow through application and experience. Having a growth mindset encourages learning and effort. Criticism is seen as valuable feedback and openly embraced.


Although the arts can help students learn growth mindset, this way of thinking is beneficial to any subject or activity.


When I scientist proves a hypothesis wrong, it’s no time for surrender. It’s simply an opportunity to check that incorrect idea off the list, and move on toward the elusive correct answer. That failure is an opportunity for growth. The creative “what if” comes next.


When Steve Jobs was designing Apple products, he never shied away from failures, but used them as opportunities to press for another idea. He had a vision, a goal. How he got there with his team required many attempts and a vast growth mindset.


By teaching growth mindset, we help students embody the belief that their intelligence, ability, and performance can be improved with hard work. We give feedback to students that praises process and effort. Growth mindset helps students develop a sense of both courage and curiosity; they know that mistakes happen and are inevitable in learning. Learning is messy and never straight-forward, but we embrace a growth mindset to help students want to choose challenging tasks and stretch themselves to learn more. We know that students with a growth mindset persist for longer, attempt multiple strategies, and develop more creative solutions to problems.

Kudos to ABS

The NC Dept of Public Instruction and the Federal Programs Dept. recognized ABS as a top 10 school for North Carolina in the National ESEA Distinguished Schools Program in Category 3 – excellence in servicing special populations of students – students with disabilities (SWD)

Also, ABS  finished in the top 15% of all NC schools based on the growth index on the End of Grade Tests from last year.  We are proud of all the work our teachers and students accomplish and still strive for continued growth.

Disney’s The Lion King Jr. Will be performed NEXT WEEK by the entire ABS 8th grade 

Where: First Presbyterian Church Worship Center, 200 N. Cherry Street, downtown W-S

When: Thursday, November 9,  7:00 p.m. Performance runs about 45 minutes.

Cost: Free, but we welcome your donation to cover theater costs.

Parking: available on the south side of 2nd Street across from the theater, between Marshall and Cherry. There are parking decks across the street on Cherry, as well.


Volunteer Opportunities - Backstage Crew!

Join us next Monday morning, November 6 at 8:15 a.m. to load Lion King sets and costumes onto the truck, then follow us to First Presbyterian Church (a few blocks away) to load them into the theater. Meet at the basement doors at the MLK building, ABS-North. This usually takes about 1 and ½ hours, but any amount of time will help us.

After the show, on Thursday, November 9 at about 8:00 p.m., help us quickly move the sets and costumes back onto the truck, then meet us at the ABS basement and move them back into storage. This usually takes about one hour.

We award double volunteer hours for moving sets! 

Conference Time is Coming

Soon your child’s teacher will be setting up conferences to discuss your child’s progress.  Students attending the Arts Based School are assessed using a portfolio system in place of the traditional report card.  The portfolio is designed to illustrate a student’s academic growth and successes as well as guide the teacher in planning appropriate instruction.  Teachers at ABS do not issue letter grades.  Teachers use observation, interviews, analysis of student work and performance tasks to assess student understanding.  Examples of student work, as well as other objective standards of assessments are incorporated into the student’s portfolio to give an enhanced portrait of the student’s progress.  These portfolios will be discussed and presented to parents during the Student-Teacher-Parent conferences.  Please be sure you schedule and attend your conference so that you can support your child’s learning. 

Conference Days- November 17- Early Dismissal

                     K-4 Dismiss at 11:45

                    5-8 Dismiss at 12 noon

Annual Giving

 We did it!  As our month-long push for Annual Giving draws to a close, we hope it is a spirit of giving and gratitude that will occupy space in your mind. Yes, we ask for your financial support if you are able to share it. Yes, we count each family’s participation, and yes, we tally the dollars raised before we plant them back into the fertile soil of our school. But annual giving is not merely a series of transactions—it is an act of reciprocity, an exchange of gratitude. We receive all of our many gifts with open eyes and open hearts. Thank you!

Total School Participation to Date: 42%

Total Gifts to Date: $78,387

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!

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. 


K-Kids Program

3rd-5th Grade Families:  Does your child want to make a difference in our school, community, and the world? Your child is invited to join the K-Kids program at the Arts Based School. K-Kids is a service organization and a member of the Kiwanis Family, which sponsors our club. K-Kids provides the opportunity to develop self-esteem, leadership skills, morals and standards, and respect for others. K-Kids will be meeting weekly on Thursday mornings 7:45-8:10am. Registration information will be sent home in 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade Thursday folders.


Dance Teams with Ms. Rains

Ms. Rains will be moving her Powerhouse competitive dance teams' home to North campus starting in January! She would like to extend an invitation to ABS families. Auditions are December 15th and 16th here on campus. teams compete in jazz, hip hop, majorette, level 1 cheer and more. Monthly tuition is $55/month per member. Parents are responsible for competition pricing and costume fees. Scholarships are available. For more information, contact Ms. Rains at [email protected]


Happy Holidays

The holidays can be perplexing for American educators. The North Carolina Standard Course of Study (guidelines for what children should be taught at each grade level) specifies only first grade as a time for focusing on celebrated holidays and special days in communities, while nearly every other grade is expected only to discuss historical figures and practices associated with diverse holidays.  We respect the religious and cultural backgrounds of every student.

Holiday decorations are not used indiscriminately in the classroom or about the school; though they may be used as part of a focused study. We do encourage fun in learning and discovering.  We decorate our walls all year with the brilliant creations of our students. We often incorporate delicious receptions into our art openings and performances. We join together singing songs of peace and understanding. Thank you for supporting us in making every child feel included in the delights of learning together.


Around Town

Winston Chorale Academy (formerly Winston Salem Girls’ Chorus) holds its first concert of the season this Friday, 7PM, Centenary United Methodist Church, 636 Fifth Street, downtown Winston Salem. Come out to support some ABS students! Free and open to the public.

You and your families are invited to the Ardmore Art Walk, a fun outdoor art and craft show showcasing the work of over 100 Ardmore resident artists and their guests! Artists will display work on their own lawns 11am-4:30pm this Saturday, November 4. A great way to knock out holiday shopping while supporting local artists, many of whom are part of the ABS family - including Mrs. Gledhill! 

There will also be live music around the neighborhood and food trucks in the parking lot of Ardmore Baptist Church. Find all the info you need, including the 2023 Artist List at www.ardmoreartwalk.com  We hope to see you there on Saturday!

Ways to get involved and learn more about ABS: