Students enrolled 369
Hours no info
School leader Ms Robin M Hollis
Transportation options no info
District Arts Based Elementary
Before school no info
After school no info

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1380 North Martin Luther King Junior Drive
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

School website
(336) 748-4116
(336) 748-4117
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Map of The Arts Based School address.

4 stars
Based on 27 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

July 18, 2013
The Arts Based School is an innovative, creative environment that teaches kids the basics of education and so much more. As a parent at this school for 7 years, I've seen my children blossom into creative critical thinkers who obsessively immerse themselves in the educational task at hand. I couldn't ask for a more stimulating, enriching environment to lay the foundation for my children's educational future.

- submitted by a parent
July 10, 2013
I believe this school operates by telling people that they run their school based on the arts. I can honestly say that I believe that is just a way for them to hide their lack-luster education. I had my child in this school for a short period of time before switching them because of the way the principal deals with issues, it's quite frustrating. Along with that the school has hardly any other arts classes than other schools and forced children to take dance without even offering PE which is what my child wished he could take. All in all, very disappointing

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2013
My child's fourth grade teacher told me in our last conference that he would never be a 4.0, straight A student and that was ok!!! Now I have a very smart but lazy child that needs to be pushed to give the extra effort. Accepting the minimum is absolutely unacceptable! Outraged Parent

- submitted by a parent
March 15, 2013
We adore The Arts Based School. We have two children there and have watched them both blossom emotionally and academically in this wonderful, unique and innovative learning environment. The teachers are amazing, and you couldn't ask for a more engaged, capable or caring principal and staff. There is a true sense of community among ABS families as well that makes it such a special place. My advice to anyone who is wanting something more for their child than teaching to the test, being stressed about unending, pointless homework or anxiety over being timed in math drills is to TAKE A TOUR of ABS (call 748-4116 for an appt. the tours are given each Thursday morning). You really will be amazed at their curriculum and what this school offers its students!

- submitted by a parent
March 13, 2013
Having started in the traditional school system, I greatly appreciate the vast differences in the way The Arts Based School approaches teaching. My once spirited, bright, confident child was miserable in a traditional setting where the curriculum was taught primarily through "one size fits all" lectures. ABS believes in actively engaging each child in the learning process and truly teaching the Standard Course of Study through the arts. Visual arts, music, dance, drama - all are part of daily life at ABS! Not only are the children engaged in what they are learning - they are loving it and ultimately retaining it. There is a reason we all learned the ABCs with a song - you never forget it! The administration and teaching staff are the most dedicated, inspiring and caring people I have ever encountered in education. The sense of community and parental involvement at ABS is amazing. Both of my children have excelled in their time at ABS and we're so thrilled we're expanding to a K-8 school. My children feel valued, engaged, challenged and safe. It truly is the greatest school you could ever hope for.

- submitted by a parent
January 16, 2012
Couldn't be happier with the experience my two daughters are having at ABES. Respectful, kind teachers allow each kid to advance in a supportive environment. My kids are not just learning the [state-mandated] curriculum, but are also finding out how to approach problems in innovative ways--skills sorely lacking in the standard institutionalized system. Highly recommended for any family that wants to prepare their kids for the challenges of the 21st century.

- submitted by a parent
December 17, 2010
As a former teacher, I made a specific list of things that I wanted from my kindergartner son's school experience. An academically challenging, child centered environment, kind teachers who spoke to children in respectful ways, adequate time to be physically active, meaningful learning opportunities, a healthy nutrition policy, and heavy parental involvement. I had heard opinions in the community that ABES was a school filled with children with behavioral problems who couldn't cope it in regular schools. That is not our experience. ABES met and exceeded all of my desires for a school for my son. They have academically challenged my child (reading on a 2nd grade level in kindergarten). It is an emotionally safe environment, where children feel free to fail and succeed and try new things. Real learning takes place and an enthusiasm for knowledge and growth is ever present. The work that I see the students produce at ABES is a grade level above what the students at my School of Excellence could produce. They just aren't factory model taught to fill in bubbles. The leadership at ABES is incredible. They are supportive of the teachers and students.

- submitted by a parent
May 26, 2010
My child is a very in-the-box thinker. ABES has provided him with the structure, encouragement and opportunity to allow his box to get significantly bigger. :) He is willing to take chances when he didn't used to trust himself, expand himself artistically, and his academics are challenging him. He began first grade reading on grade level and is finishing first grade reading on a 3-4 grade level. I am so excited to see him continue on this path and watch him grow and expand in his academics, confidence, and artistic knowledge and comfort.

- submitted by a parent
no rating December 02, 2009
We have two children at ABES and 'get' their academic approach. It is a very unique but well researched and thought out appraoch to teaching children. As an educator myself, it is very important to us that our children be great learners. This means not correctly filling in a blank but critically thinking about a subject and coming up with well thought out answers. While this appraoch is more cumbersome and a much longer process, the children who are educated this way are much more successful in all other endeavors. This environment requires more self-control and more focus than a regular school setting. The children are taught how to solve their own relationship issues with kindness and respect. One of my children is a great student who would succeed in just about any environment. My other student is a very academically gifted student who is given so many individualized opportunities.

- submitted by a parent
November 22, 2009
We have been very disappointed with the curriculum this year and have removed our child. We found the school lacking in academic structure, discipline, and especially leadership. This school is failing students academically and operates in DENIAL. The poor academic performance and structure is hiding behind the word ARTS. While many parents appreciate the style of the school, many of these families have faced discipline and performance issues with their children at other schools.

- submitted by a parent
October 27, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
no rating October 21, 2009
My school is the best school in America because we have our children learn in different ways that help all kinds of learners achieve. We look for different avenues to teach so that our kids are engaged and thinking deeply, while also covering the basics. Our children are happy and treated as full partners in their education.

- submitted by a teacher
no rating October 21, 2009
The teachers are so devoted, they spend much of their own money always bettering themselves as individuals in well in addition to anything required by the state, so as to be free, clear and available to be with the children 100% and not any other agenda other than truly serving the children's needs, intellectual as well as human needs on every level! They treat the kids as well as they would treat their own...and if and when something is not working with the child's behavior, they look to see where they could make a difference, not just got to blame and justification. There is no sign of resignation or cynicism at that school whatsoever! The teachers continually deal with themselves to be fresh and ready...every minute!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 21, 2009
It is the most wonderful school to teach at and gives the children who attend such a wonderful appreciation for all that surrounds them and a feeling of confidence and success that will live with them forever!

- submitted by a teacher
no rating October 21, 2009
My wife loves teaching there and my son is a student and is learning so much and enjoys it ver much.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 21, 2009
A great school full of dedicated teachers and staff!

- submitted by a community member
October 05, 2009
I have two boys at this school and chose ABES specifically for my oldest, who is not ADHD but very active. He needed an environment that understood children. If you don't understand and relate to the child. If you have adult goals and deadlines (EOG's etc.) then you miss the point of education entirely. Who cares if you test well if in the real world you can't figure out why it is a bad idea to, for example, let a baby play with a plastic grocery bag? (true story btw) The staff at ABES consistantly place the education of the children in their care as top priority. What is more they concern themselves with an education in all areas (yes art has been proven to develop ALL areas of development). What other school can boast THAT??

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2009
No school in America has committed to, and uses, the arts to teach the standard course of study more than ABES. Every child receives music, dance, art and theater every week, while instructors integrate the arts into their teaching. Besides that, it's just a terrifically exciting place to be--and fun, too!

- submitted by a community member
August 05, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
no rating September 22, 2008
I Love ArtsBased Elementary! One of my children graduated a few years ago and 2 of them still attend. I would reccomend Arts Based to any parent who is interested in an environment that foster's the whole childs learning expierience. I have found that my child is not just test savy or has the ability to recite what was just told to him. He can exspress without prejudice and his spirit is not crushed because of policies that prevent your child's freedom of expression. This is a great school!

- submitted by a parent
September 05, 2008
My son has started his third year at Arts Based and it has been a wonderful experience! He is on the autism spectrum, and I have found everyoneto be extremely patient and accomodating. My son is definitely learning and I have been satisfied with his accomplishments and the school's. I do realize that their test scores are a little low, however, I look at the big pictures. EOG scores are not the end-all and be-all of everything. Because there is such a high ratio of children with learning disabilities, I think it is natural that test scores will be skewed. I don't think that is a reflection of the school but rather the individual child. One should take a look at the average test scores of learning disabled students in a traditional school and compare them to ABES.

- submitted by a parent
August 24, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 13, 2008
My son is going into the 3rd grade at ABES. We could not be more pleased with his experience thus far! He is not only learning more than his friends at traditional schools, but he is also able to provide reasoning behind his answers - not just regurgitate what he has been told. He has embraced learning with passion and desire. As far as the safety of the children, they are as safe at ABES as they would be at any elementary school. In our case, the homeless community has provided many opportunities to have conversations regarding society and different socio-economic levels. In addition, we talk about what we can do to enrich the lives of people around us who don't have as much as we do. That part of my son's learning environment is helping to broaden his perspective. We couldn't ask for a better school!

- submitted by a parent
July 31, 2008
This school is not for everyone--and perhaps best for parents who loathe the busy work that constitutes much homework these days and prefer to supplement with their children's education with a rich learning environment at home. But students who go to this school are imbibed with a love a of learning that I know, as a college professor, will serve them very well in the long run.

- submitted by a parent
January 10, 2008
This school is great! My son has been in the school for 5 years and has grown greatly as a whole person, not just an academic achiever. It's true, no text books! Don't worry, every once in a while a teacher sneaks out a standardized test only to learn the students are right where the should be. Movement, music, art, expression are the basis for learning. Afterall, do you know anybody who didn't learn the alphabet by singing it? I'm just sorry that my son will go on to middle school next year. I hope his teachers can be as creative and encouraging at these teachers have been.

- submitted by a parent
September 30, 2007
We're in our 2nd year at ABES and I absolutely LOVE it! My son went to a high-scoring elementary school for the first three years which were an absolute nightmare...our old school administration made absolutely ZERO attempt to work with his individual learning styles and he was held back a grade in 1st after hearing for the entire school year that 'he's fine.' Having my son at ABES has been a wonderful experience. He's much happier and learning LOADS! It amazes me the stuff he comes home with! Also, the school EMBRACES family involvement -- which I found significantly lacking in our previous experience. I love being an active part of my son's classroom and school.

- submitted by a parent
August 04, 2007
My daughter currently attends ABES-the only real choice I have considering that I am in Forsyth County. ABES is alright-my daughter has been brought out of her shell and isn't shy anymore but she is not challenged academically. We do alot of 'home schooling' to keep her sharp and she is academically gifted. This school is great for children with ADHD but hard for the 'book worm' ones since text books are not used. Also, the children play outside and the homeless cmmunity use the school yard as a pass through which is unsafe.

- submitted by a parent
June 07, 2007
I would caution parents who are considering this school to question curriculum-the arts program is great, but in my opinion there is little academic emphasis-and I am a teacher myself. This school might be a good alternative for some children who have problems in traditional settings, but overall, the curriculum is lacking.

- submitted by a parent
April 10, 2007
Before coming to ABES, my child was at a traditional school with very high test scores. He spent his days doing countless worksheets and was extremely unhappy. He is now in second grade and is thrilled to be at ABES. His reading level is nearly three years above grade level and he LOVES reading now--before it was a chore! While I concur with some of the comments about discipline, and while ALL the teachers are not stellar, we have been very happy with our experience at ABES. As a former elementary school teacher I can attest that the teachers in grades K-2 are practicing good pedagogy and clearly understand good teaching. It isn't test oriented--but good pedagogy isn't!

- submitted by a parent
April 01, 2007
My son was at ABES for a year and a half. We had countless displine issues. The extracurricular activities are wonderful but children must first learn to read, write and all the other subjects that they are tested on. The test scores are very poor because the school does not focus on them. The kids learn dance, art, music and countless field trips but this is not as important as the EOG'S. My child has move to a new school and we have not had any problems!!!! I am so happy for him. Please think and research before placing your child at this school.

- submitted by a parent
September 06, 2006
There is a little truth in all the other comments I read. ABES is a great school for a creatively gifted child. The integration of the arts is a blessing for my very talented child. There are problems here just like any other school. One of which being that so much emphasis is on the arts, that the regular curriculum does suffer. Also, there is not enough support for children with learning disabilities. And, given that children with learning disabilities are statistically more creative, the school seems to attract more like students. My child is happy and content at ABES, but curriculum wise is not studying the same things (at the same level) as her peers at other schools.

- submitted by a parent
August 02, 2006
There were lots of discipline issues that were out of control. The curriculum was very arts based. Write in a journal, draw a picture, sit in circle and discuss any issues the children had. Just look at the test scores and there is the evidence of no academic curriculum provided. What a shame for a school with such a wonderful potential.

- submitted by a parent
February 01, 2006
This excellent charter school offers very effective instruction in the NC Standard Course of Study by teaching the subjects through innovative use of the arts. All students can sing, dance, paint, draw, and act at some level of competence because they use all those skills to learn traditional subject matter. The principal is skilled at recruiting talented, enthusiastic teachers who really love children and are engaged in teaching in new and creative ways. In a typical week or two, students will have math, science, reading, piano, art, dance, yoga, and African drumming and then, after school, take lessons there in violin, cello, or electric guitar, or perhaps help with a service club project.

- submitted by a parent
May 21, 2005
This is a good school for children who would be trouble students because of hyperactivity at a 'normal' school. The art and music programs are incredible. Parent involvement is required to a minimum of one hour a week per child. Teachers are patient and caring, and the affection shown them by the students is heartfelt. My first grader would have problems elsewhere, but excels here.

- submitted by a parent
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The Arts Based School
1380 North Martin Luther King Junior Drive, Winston-Salem, NC  27101
(336) 748-4116
Last modified The Arts Based School is a Charter school that serves grades K-7. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
The Arts Based School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 34 reviews.