ABS Thursday Notes- February 29, 2024

Published for the Arts Based School Community

February 29, 2024


Friday, March 8- Early Dismissal-Conferences

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

Monday, March 11 No School-Conferences


How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

“Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.”

  • Sally Mann

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting sponsors independent journalists covering under-reported global issues. The organization engages students in learning about both the topics and the journalists. For several years, our 8th grade students have worked with local guest artist Diana Greene in conjunction with the Pulitzer Center, on a portrait project titled Traces of Myself. This project is just starting up this week. 

Yesterday I stopped into the art studio to observe the first stages of this rich and beautiful project, team-taught by Ms. Gledhill and Ms. Greene.  As with all of Ms. Greene’s work, each step is well crafted, beautifully anticipating the next. The assignments provide students with valuable technology skills that they will use as they grow while immersing them in powerful art. Finally, they are empowered and inspired to make their own, self-expressive artwork. There was intense focus and concentration today, as students considered the portrait work of five award-winning photographers: Platon, Annie Leibovitz, LaToya Ruby Frazier, JR, and Vivian Maier. There were guidelines for creating an elegantly constructed PowerPoint, and students researched in groups and commented on what they learned, observing what makes a photograph powerful, and recording it in a presentation.

Eventually they will move on to examine the work of Pulitzer Center artist and photojournalist Daniella Zalcman and her blended photo techniques. In particular, they are introduced to Zalcman’s collection: Signs of Your Identity, a moving representation of Indigenous People of Canada, who recall their childhood years when they were forced to leave their families and live at schools intended to bring about assimilation into Canadian culture. Through this study, students learn about both the history of Indigenous people and new techniques for the art of portraiture. 

In the photos representing these Indigenous people, Ms. Zalcman superimposes, over a photo of the individual, additional photos of places and objects that represent who the subjects of the photos were, and who they have become. 

To document who they themselves are, and what influences ABS has had on them, students will then work with partners to create a formal self-portrait, beginning with a photograph of themselves. They then take photos of favorite places and objects around the ABS campus, and they learn how to superimpose and digitally blend these photos artfully over and within their portrait. They write about their choices of settings and what inspired them. Technology and writing skills, along with photography and self-expression, all are incorporated into a project that fully engages students in quality work.

The intriguing and enchanting final pieces will be displayed at 8th grade graduation; a keepsake for the students and their families. 

NCDOT Aviation Art contest

Students from across the state were asked to represent an "Air Sport for a Peaceful World".   All of  ABS 4th graders participated in Ms. Trish’s art class.  We narrowed the classes to three selections from each classroom that best fulfilled the project requirements.  Although we did not place in the top three, our students did an amazing job as evidenced below!  These students will be receiving certificates from the NCDOT.  To see contest-winning entries, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/ncdot/albums/72177720315007492/

Congratulations to Ms. Trish and all her students!




Age Category




Althea Dickson






Beatrice Dickson






Piper Duffala






Sierra Lane






June Haaf






Max O'Neil






Cruz Rementer






CaRiah Russell






Amelia Simpson







Romeo and Juliet Videos

Archival Videos of last week’s wonderful fifth grade performances of Romeo and Juliet are now available for viewing on Vimeo, through the Families Portal on the ABS Website. 

Password: Monterrey


Clean Classrooms for Carolina Kids (CCCK)

ABS is participating in the state’s effort to ensure all schools are free from lead and asbestos through the Clean Classrooms for Carolina Kids program.  The state is provided free testing and if necessary remediation for all public schools.  We have begun the process by identifying all taps used for drinking and/or cooking preparation within the ABS-North campus.  We collected samples from these taps and sent them to the state for processing.  We expect to receive our test results soon and will keep families and staff informed of the process and next steps.  The ABS-South campus is leased from WSFC which will conduct it’s own testing.  For more information, visit  www.cleanwaterforuskids.com/carolina

Bowling with K-Kids-Save the Date!

K-Kids introduces to you...Bowling Night! This is an optional, school-wide event (K-8, both campuses) on Tuesday, May 14th, from 5-7pm at Creekside Lanes for $10 per bowling child. This cost will cover a pair of shoes, two games, either a hamburger or hotdog, and a choice drink. Proceeds will go towards the K-Kids funds, to be allocated to future global, communal, and school-wide endeavors. K-Kids will take food orders and will organize bowlers into groups of 6 per lane in advance, to maximize our bowling time and to best help the bowling alley staff. Please feel free to reach out to Coach Bri, Allison Carlisle, or Renee Meeks for further comments or questions. We look forward to this fun event! 

2024 ABS Summer Camps

Registration is now OPEN for Summer Camps! Please follow the link below to register. Click on the title of the camp that you would like to register for and fill out the Google Form. Invoices will be sent following registration to secure your spots! Check out the updated FAQ!
2024 ABS Summer Camp Registration

 Contact Ashley Tate at [email protected] with any questions. 


Yearbook Orders!

It's time. Please place your order for yearbooks. Envelopes have been sent home; however, you can easily order online as well.

Website: www.strawbridge.net

Order Code: YB25672

Cost: $25

This year's book will include both campuses.


Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather, ABS will announce school closings on local TV channels, under “The Arts Based School”.  This information will also be posted on the ABS website (www.artsbasedschool.com).

Ways to get involved and learn more about ABS: