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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 23, 2020

Dear Families,

As Thanksgiving approaches, it is essential to shed light on the indigenous perspective on how this holiday came about. Though we now use this day to spend time with family and friends and share delicious food, for indigenous communities this is a day of mourning as they remember the violence against the Wampanoag from the English settlers.  Unfortunately, when it comes to the history of Thanksgiving, generations of Americans have been taught a one-sided history in homes and schools.  Over the next few days, classes will learn about the history of Thanksgiving beyond the singular narrative that reinforces negative stereotypes and myths about the Native People.  Cheryl shared Family Resources: Native American Cultures to support families navigating follow-up discussions.  Remember to listen and give children a chance to talk, process, and play out their thinking without interruption.  When we react by interrupting or judging that something wrong, the message children get is, “I shouldn’t talk about this” and that shuts down the conversation. We want to show children that it is safe to talk about, to play in front of adults, and that way we open the doors for communication.  Please reach out directly to your child’s teacher if you have questions.

In an effort to consolidate and organize online communications and form and manage groups, our PTA will be using Konstella for TNS news and information. At its most basic, Konstella centralizes all school information in one place. It’s not a perfect system, but it creates consistency and makes it easier for the PTA and class reps to communicate with you.  The site also has a “Social Groups” platform where any parent can create a social group and ask people to join it and you’ll be able to communicate with one another as well as private message individuals or groups. For example, there is a Middle School group there for sharing information about middle school tours and application processes, Weekend Activities, and a Brooklyn group.  All families have been added to their classes. If you complete your registration, you can use the full Konstella app. If not, you will just receive emails in your inbox.  Beginning next week, my letter will be included in the PTA newsletter and sent via Konstella.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

This week at TNS…

  • Families can pick up materials for students today until 2 PM.

  • There is no school Thursday and Friday in observance of Thanksgiving.

Sending Love,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 16, 2020

Dear Families,

All NYC schools will be required to switch to fully remote learning if the citywide coronavirus positivity rate reaches 3% over a seven-day average.  For most of our students, there will be no transition at all.  But not whether remote or blended, our students and teachers will stay together in their classes, and unlike in the spring, we will arrange ways to continue to distribute materials to students.  I will continue to update you as we learn more.

This week at TNS...

  • Today is a TNS half-day. Dismissal is at 11:10 AM.

  • The PTA will meet on Tuesday at 5 PM.  All families are encouraged to participate!

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84825390973?pwd=SHBUZVNwVkltNDROcm9jWVJoNG12UT09

  • BE GRATEFUL YOGA:  A 30-minute practice designed for staff and parents to use at any time when gratitude and self-care boost is needed. No yoga experience necessary!  All TNS Community adults welcome! Kids of course can follow along but this is specifically created to give back to our TNS adults who give so much to our kids. Please join us for any or all sessions!

WED 11/18 = 3pm

FRI 11/20 = 4pm

SAT 11/21 = 10am

bit.ly/begratefultns

Looking ahead…

  • There is no school next Thursday and Friday in observance of Thanksgiving.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 9, 2020

Dear Families,


ALL families must complete and submit the Learning Preference Survey before Monday, November 16.  If you are NOT opting in for December 7, then choose REMOTE at this time. 

If you choose 100% remote at this time, you will have two more opportunities to make the shift from remote-only to blended: after February Mid-Winter Break and after April Spring Break.  Students who opt into blended this cycle will begin the week of December 7.  

Families of current blended students, please let your teacher know right away if you plan to travel to a state that is on theNY travel advisory list over the Thanksgiving break.  For any traveler to New York State from out of state, exempting contiguous states, the new guidelines for travelers to test-out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine are below:

  • For travelers who were in another state for more than 24 hours:

    • Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure from that state.

    • The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days.

    • On day 4 of their quarantine, the traveler must obtain another COVID test. If both tests come back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test. 

  • For travelers who were in another state for less than 24 hours:

    • The traveler does not need a test prior to their departure from the other state and does not need to quarantine upon arrival in New York State.

    • However, the traveler must fill out our traveler form upon entry into New York State, and take a COVID diagnostic test 4 days after their arrival in New York.

TNS works very hard to keep kids separate in school: we do not mix groups/classes within the groups--even at recess; and A and B cohorts do NOT mix.  The two schools do not mix.

Per CDC and DoE guidance:  DO NOT FORM PLAYDATES OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL with students in different cohorts and classes as it defeats the purpose of the cohort and undermines the safety of everyone in our school.  It also makes contact tracing much more difficult.  Thank you for keeping our community safe.  

This week at TNS...

  • There is no school this Wednesday in observance of Veterans Day. 

  • The School Leadership Team (SLT) will meet on Thursday at 2:30 PM.  This meeting is open to all.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83362860308?pwd=WGxtSC83Y1MxcXU1NXJHcnpXenZuZz09

Looking ahead…

  • Monday, November 16 is a TNS half-day.  Dismissal is at 11:10 AM for all students.

  • The PTA will meet on Tuesday, November 17 at 5 PM.  All families are encouraged to participate!

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84825390973?pwd=SHBUZVNwVkltNDROcm9jWVJoNG12UT09

Have a good week,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 2, 2020

Dear Families,

Tomorrow is a remote day for all students and staff.  Teachers will have live meetings in the morning and will assign asynchronous work for students in the afternoon.  

Our School Leadership Team, a group made up of elected parents, teachers, and me, have agreed that we will offer families two additional times (as originally promised by the DoE) to make the shift from remote-only to blended: after February Mid-Winter Break and after April Spring Break.  We believe that this will support families to reach decisions for their unique circumstances and also keep the number of in-person students low at a time when COVID rates are rising.  We will host a Town Hall on Thursday, November 5 at 5 PM to explain the process of opting into blended learning in 2021. We will also share building and safety updates at that time.

Family conferences are this week.  All conferences will be conducted remotely.  Wednesday, November 4 is set-aside for evening conferences, and Thursday, November 5 is half-day.  Dismissal for both remote and in-person students will be at 11:10 AM. 

This week at TNS…

Looking ahead…

  • There is no school on Wednesday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day.

Best,

Dyanthe

News & Announcements

Windows for Changing to Blended Learning Program

Dear Families, 

Earlier this week, I wrote to share that the DoE had changed its policy from quarterly opt-ins to only one opt-in period for the entire school year. This was new information for all of us.

Our School Leadership Team, a group made up of elected parents, teachers, and me, have agreed that we will offer families two additional times (as originally promised by the DoE) to make the shift from remote-only to blended: after February Mid-Winter Break and after April Spring Break.  We believe that this will support families to reach decisions for their unique circumstances and also keep the number of in-person students low at a time when COVID rates are rising.  

We are able to offer additional opt-in periods because we intentionally created classes so that students and teachers stay together, regardless of remote-only or blended choices.  In a time of so much uncertainty and anxiety, we believe that these relationships and classroom communities ground all of us - children, families, and teachers.  (As students shift to blended learning, many children around the city will have new teachers and students in their classes, but not at TNS.)  This is only possible because our teachers are working beyond their union’s contract expectations and many are teaching both remotely and in-person.  

 At this point in time, we have two cohorts (A and B) that are blended/in-person. Please remember that if a large number of our all-remote students opt into the blended program, there is a good chance that we would need to switch from a two-cohort model to a three-cohort model school-wide. This would mean that in-person students would be divided into three cohorts and attend school for 1 to 2 days per week (instead of the current 2 to 3 days per week). 

 If you would like to request that your child move from 100% remote to blended learning beginning the weeks of November 30 - December 7, you must complete and submit the Learning Preference Survey between Monday, November 2 – Sunday, November 15.

We will be hosting a Town Hall on Thursday, November 5 at 4 p.m. to explain the process of opting into blended learning in 2021. We will also share building and safety updates at that time.

Sincerely,

Dyanthe

 

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