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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 26, 2015

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

Our TNS listserve is working again!  In the future, please remember to check our website for the latest TNS news.  Speaking of news, the Department of Education has already cancelled all after school programs for tomorrow dues to the anticipated snowstorm.  Please make arrangements to pick up your child at 2:45pm.  

Multicultural Day is a TNS tradition when children and families share their cultural heritage.  We embrace the many different cultural backgrounds that make our school the rich and diverse community that it is. Many traditions are showcased in the entertainment, and of course food is a central feature of this day.  Families provide dishes from their cultural background, which are labeled and displayed in the lunchroom and ready to eat after the performances.  We encourage all families to share in the various cultures and traditions represented within our school community.  As part of the the day, children make collages at home to show their background which are displayed for all to see.  This is an optional project and can be of your family, ancestors, of a place, food, sports, or anything that represents your family.  The collages are due Friday, January 30 in the lobby.  This year, Multicultural Day is Saturday, February 7 from 1 - 5pm.

Mark your calendars:

  • SING is Wednesday, January 28 at 8:45am in the auditorium.  We will have a bake sale in the lobby beforehand.

  • Please join teachers for a discussion about assessment at TNS:   On Thursday, January 29th at 8:40, teachers (Pre-K through 5th grade)  will share the ways they “measure” student growth and learning, make decisions about class instruction, and the place state testing plays in instruction and curriculum.  

  • Friday, January 30 is a half-day.  Dismissal is at 11:35am.  Please remember, there will be no after school for University Settlement.

  • Come peruse our new book collections in the Library on Friday, January 30 from 8:15 - 11:25.  Coffee will be served.

  • Friday, January 30 at 6pm is also our Magic Show with the Amazing Cardone!

Lastly, it is suppose to be a cold and snowy (can you say snowday?!) week and we will be going out to play.  Please make sure your child has all the necessary accessories (hat, scarf, mittens, snowpants and coat) to stay warm and active!  Remember, our Pre-K - 2nd graders play outside for 50 minutes and our 3rd - 5th graders are outside for 25 minutes.

Have a good week,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 20, 2015

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

Our TNS listserve is out-of-order!  Please check the website for the latest news.

The name of our school, Neighborhood School, is significant.  We were able to begin our school because of strong parent and educator interest in supporting the community. We wanted the children of District 1 to learn and live together with children from a wide variety of families and backgrounds.  In this spirit, TNS and other District 1 schools are organizing a rally on February 4 to let the Chancellor and Mayor know that we are committed to ensure that our schools reflect the diversity of our district.  Please join the Diversity Committee at 8:40am tomorrow in the PTA room to learn more about the District 1 Diversity Rally.

Speaking of diversity, Multicultural Day is Saturday, February 7 from 1 - 5pm.  Families are encouraged to actively participate in this event and share their cultural heritage. Many traditions are showcased in the entertainment that is provided and of course food is a central feature of this day. We encourage all families to share in the various cultures and traditions represented in our school-wide community.

We have A LOT going on these next couple of weeks at TNS:

  • Our Spanish teacher, Danette will be presenting at the PTA meeting on Thursday at 8:40am in the PTA room.

  • Friday is Movie Night:  The Advocacy Committee is screening Good Morning Mission Hill (and Flushed Away for kids) at 5:30pm.  Pizza and childcare will be provided.

  • SING is Wednesday, January 28 in the auditorium.

  • Please join teachers for a discussion about assessment at TNS:   On Thursday, January 29th, teachers (Pre-K through 5th grade)  will share the ways they “measure” student growth and learning, make decisions about class instruction, and the place state testing plays in instruction and curriculum.  

  • Friday, January 30 is a half-day.  Dismissal is at 11:35am.  Please remember, there will be no after school for University Settlement.

  • Friday, January 30 at 6pm is also our Magic Show with the Amazing Cardone!

  • Saturday, February 7 from 1 - 5pm is the Multicultural Festival.

Phew,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 12, 2015

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

During the month of January, teachers are hard at work in the evenings and on the weekends writing your children’s progress reports.  Progress reports tell the story of a child as a learner; they are descriptive, filled with precise detail, and reveal a child’s interests, strengths and areas for growth.  Children seldom progress in a neat and predictably-sequenced manner; each child is a unique individual with different life experiences and no two developmental pathways are the same.  As I read over your children’s reports, I am struck by how each one paints a distinct picture of each child.  I know you will cherish reading them.  Reports will go home the February 5.  

Mark your calendar:

  • On Wednesday, January 14th Dianne & Shaquawn, Debbie, Dara, Grace, Sierra, Laura & Michiko and Sofia’s classes go ice skating at Lasker Rink.  Buses leave at 9:20am.  

  • School Leadership Team (SLT) meets this Thursday at 5:30pm in the office.  All are welcome.

  • School is closed Monday, January 20th in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Advocacy News

Say no to sharing a building with a charter school!

From the Advocacy Committee:

The DoE has been allowing charter schools to take space in public school buildings. Our building, for example, is not “at capacity.” If a charter school were co-located in our building, we could lose our rooms for Art and Spanish, and the spaces used by Valerie, Teddy and Emily. This has happened to existing schools and their communities all over NYC. Please sign the petition saying NO to charters in District 1 schools! Also, there’s a press conference tonight, Thursday, outside PS 20: The Anna Silver School (166 Essex St) at 5pm, and a meeting inside with our wonderful City Council member Rosie Mendez, our Community Education Council and other elected officials at 6pm. (If you want to speak, you must sign up between 5:30-6:15.)

Background info: 

  • Charter schools are publicly funded but privately managed.
  • Each school is an education corporation that has its own Board of Trustees, meaning they do not report to the DOE as do other public schools. 
  • Charter schools are not subject to state auditing. 
  • Success Academy Charter Schools (the group that has been given a charter to open a school in our neighborhood) spends over $1200 PER STUDENT on public relations, marketing and lobbying -- money that SHOULD go to students in classrooms.
  • Charter schools hurt the public school system. Charters try to attract high-performing students and use all sorts of strategies to get rid of kids with IEPs, kids with poor attendance, kids who do not test well, kids in transitional housing. They aren’t good for teachers, either, because they have high burnout rates due to overwork and lack of union benefits. (Charter schools are, on the whole, opposed to teachers unions.)

We have over 2300 signatures on our petition; our goal is 3000. Please sign and state your opposition to charter schools taking up space and resources in public schools that serve ALL KIDS! 

Notes from the Community Education Council:

·         Allowing a charter school like Success Academy to be co-located in an existing public school takes away resources from the public school and creates a two-tiered system in the same building. The children in the charter schools often have access to more amenities, including much nicer classrooms, than the children in the public school in the same facility.

·         The public schools in our district service children with high special needs. Success Academy will not take in students with those needs. As a consequence, the public school ends up with limited resources to provide services to many children requiring various different types of services to successfully complete their education. And children with high special needs end up in an overcrowded space because the charter school is located in the same building and takes up space that was originally allocated to the public school. 

·         The SUNY Board of Trustees did not have a public hearing for residents to express their concerns regarding District 1, although they did hold one for the District 2 community. This problem brings up an issue of transparency. District 1 parents should have a voice in this process.

THANKS FOR GETTING INVOLVED AND HELPING ALL OUR KIDS GET GREAT EDUCATIONS!

 

News & Announcements

What’s Up January 2015

January 2015 What's Up

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