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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 30, 2015

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

At the Neighborhood School, we work hard to provide a safe and successful learning environment for each child.  When the school day ends, we also want to make sure that children get to their next destination safely and securely.  In the lower grades, this is achieved by having parents or caregivers pick each child up at the classroom.  In the upper grades, this is still an option.  As children gain increased independence and are able to take on more responsibility, parents may opt to have their child self-dismiss.  This means that your child leaves the classroom independently and exits the building directly and either meets a parent or caregiver outside or walks home or to another prearranged location.  (Children who attend after school programs that work in collaboration with our school will be picked up by an adult from the program, so this does not apply to them.)  All students still waiting for their grown-ups after 2:55pm in the building will be escorted to Room 306 and can be picked-up there.  During half-day dismissal, we follow the same routine.  In order to ensure everyone’s safety, we ask that all children and families exit the building at dismissal (11:35am).

Our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Holiday Fair, is quickly approaching.  It is happening on Sunday, December 13 from 11 - 5pm.  This year promises to have the same much loved activities (photo studio, maze, henna tattoos, car derby, MakerState) and some new and exciting ones (hungry hippo and balloon making).  In addition, we will have a book fair.  This is a wonderful community event for the whole family (and it makes a great playdate).  I hope everyone will join the fun and support our PTA funded programming at TNS!  

Mark Your Calendars:

  • Tomorrow, 12/1, is the deadline for submitting Middle School Applications to Noemi.  

  • The Diversity Committee will meet Wednesday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • This Friday, December 4 is a Half-day.  Dismissal is at 11:35am.

  • Scholastic Book Fair in the lobby December 9, 10, 11 and 13th!

Have a wonderful week,


News & Announcements

What’s Up December 2015

What's Up December 2015

News & Announcements

Online Book Fair!!! 12/1-12/11

Get ready for the Holidays—Shop the Fair Online!

You are invited to shop our Scholastic Online Book Fair, where we know you’ll find great books during this holiday season! While shopping online, you can create a Wish List to send to relatives and friends, watch videos, or listen to podcasts to learn more about some of the hottest books. And, be sure to see if your teacher has created a Classroom Wish List. Consider buying a book or two from the list to keep the classroom library stocked with fresh, new titles.


Our Online Fair is available for an extended time from 12/1/15 to 12/11/15. So even if you can’t make it to the Book Fair, we look forward to having you participate

in our Online Fair. Remember, all online orders benefit our school and ship for FREE!


To find out more about the Book Fair or to start shopping, visit our homepage at:



Nanine Blomstrom and the Book Fair Committee

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 23, 2015

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

The research is clear regarding the positive outcomes for all children when schools are diverse as measured by race, ethnicity, income level, language, and special education eligibility.  On Friday, Chancellor Fariña announced changes to admissions policies designed to promote diversity for seven elementary schools, including The Neighborhood School. As part of the new admissions pilot, we will give priority to students who qualify for free and reduced lunch (FRL) and English Language Learners (ELLs).  The changes will not affect returning students or siblings; it will impact pre-K and kindergarten admissions cycles for this upcoming school year.  

We hope that this pilot enables TNS to maintain and increase diversity in two demographical areas in which we differ greatly from most schools in District 1.  It is not a band-aid, nor is it end-goal by any means.  Moreover, it in no way encompasses the many varied and complex ways we think about diversity at our school and in our community.  At SLT, we recently discussed how a new and much earlier deadline of January 16 for kindergarten admissions will disadvantage many families.  As a school, we are reaching out to the Family Welcome Center, communities that are underserved in our school, and every Head Start and English Language program in the Lower East Side to ensure all LES families have the information they need to apply to TNS, if they so choose.  This pilot supports the mission of our school to “provide a lively and diverse educational community. We see our diversity as one of our great strengths. In our mixed age, heterogeneous classrooms, children of many different backgrounds learn to become part of a community that fosters not only tolerance but also true respect for all people.”  In addition to piloting this new admissions policy, we will continue to fight for equitable admission policies for all students in District 1.

To read more about this pilot, please check out the following links:




Mark Your Calendars:

  • Please join us for SING this Wednesday at 8:45am in the auditorium.  We will also have a bake sale beforehand, so please bring your appetite!

  • We have a TNS Half-day on Friday, December 4.  Dismissal is at 11:35am.

Whatever family traditions you honor this weekend, enjoy the long and very well deserved break with your children.  I hope that it feels restful and rejuvenating.  



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 16, 2015

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

Friday’s events in Paris have shocked and deeply saddened us all.  Children will come in today, some knowing a lot about the tragic events, some not having heard at all.  Our approach at school is to listen carefully to children’s questions and take our cues from them.  We will keep to our routines and support children who exhibit any signs of stress.

This is the time of year that we once again begin school tours for prospective families.  Our 5th grade students lead tours and answer questions both during the tour and at the end, when we convene for Q & A.  Current TNS parents also join our 5th grade tour guides and are at the Q&A with Noemi and me, following the tour.  I love our tours; I love hearing our 5th graders and current parents talk about what makes our school community so special.  I am convinced that families who visit TNS will be impressed by our students, parents and school community.  

Friday is Fall Family Celebration!  Classes schedule celebrations at various times during the day.  Please check with your child’s teacher(s) about location.  Here is the schedule:

Judy/Michelle  12 - 1pm

Laurie/Dianna  12 - 1pm

Debbie/Yolanda  11:45 - 1pm

Shaquawn/Dianne/Elsie/Haydee/Hughes  11:30 - 12:30pm

Dara  12 - 1pm

Erin  11:30 - 12:30pm

Olivia/Chelsea/Mildred  12 - 1pm

Christie/Meg/Melissa  12 - 1pm

Grace  11:30 - 12:20pm

Jane/Joanne/Daniel  1:30 - 2:30pm

Sofia  8:45 - 9:45am

Alexis/Corinthia/Lori/Fidelina  11:30 - 12:20pm

Desmond/Hannah/Liz/Louis  11 - 12pm

Michiko/Laura/Carmen/Jeri  8:30 - 9:30am


Mark Your Calendars:

  • The School Leadership Team (SLT) will meet today in Danette’s room at 5:30pm.  The SLT is a committee made up of elected parents and teachers.  Monthly meetings are for the School Leadership Team Representatives and are open to all TNS families.  

  • We will have our Town Hall Meeting with Star Academy families tomorrow at 8:30am in the cafeteria.  The School Construction Authority (SCA) will give construction and security camera updates.  

  • Advocacy Committee will meet on Wednesday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.  For those who don’t know what the Advocacy Committee is about: they have traditionally worked to bring the school community’s attention to the issues that are “out there” in the political realm and that impact what goes on in classrooms day-to-day.  Recently these issues have centered around standardized tests, charter schools and the state education budget.  They welcome any and all ideas on these subjects, or anything else that needs to be brought to their attention!

  • Please join us for our November PTA meeting on Thursday, November 19 at 8:40am.  Teachers and I will discuss what Special Education looks like at TNS.

  • SING:  Wednesday, November 25 at 8:45am.

  • Thanksgiving Break:  NO SCHOOL November 26 - 27.

Have a wonderful week,


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