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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of April 20, 2015

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

At long last, spring has sprung!  I hope that you got outside to enjoy the beautiful weather this past weekend.  This week, many of our classes will celebrate Earth Day; classes will visit the Lower East Side Ecology Center, 6B Garden, El Jardin Del Paraiso, students will pick up garbage at 1st/1st, and we will even have chickens and chalk poetry on the yard tomorrow!

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings, all 3rd - 5th grade students will participate in the NYS Math test/TNS Alternative Assessment.  We support all parents in making the best decisions for their individual children.  Please let me know as soon as possible if you decide to have your child take the TNS Math Alternative Assessment.  

Mark your calendars:

  • TNS Alternative Assessment/NYS Math Test is Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings.

  • SLT is Thursday, April 23 at 5:30pm.  

  • Save the date:  5th grade Graduation is on June 18 at 1:30pm. The next graduation committee meeting is Monday, May 4 after drop-off. Please join us!

  • Valerie Preston, our Pre-K school social worker will facilitate a support group for families of children with special needs Monday, April 27 at 8:40 in the PTA room.



News & Announcements


Dear TNS Families and Staff,

I’m very excited to announce that Farmigo is coming to our school! Farmigo is an online farmers market and certified Benefit Company, which delivers fresh, seasonal produce sourced from local farms once a week.

Why did we decide to partner with Farmigo? They’ll deliver fantastic produce and artisan goods to The Neighborhood School during after-school pickup, making it easier than ever to make sure our kids are eating right. This is also a super easy way to send healthy snacks your child’s class for snack week. The food is all harvested to order, so it’s super fresh – and buying from small farms supports sustainable practices and the local economy. Even better, with enough orders, 10% of the sales will be donated to TNS!

Ordering couldn’t be easier – just sign up and head to https://www.farmigo.com/market/theneighborhoodschool-newyork to start adding items to your basket. You have every week until Thursday at midnight, to place your order. The next day, the farmers and producers harvest and pack your items, to be delivered every Monday. Updating your items is easy - you can choose to have standing weekly orders or place them on a week-to-week basis, and put your delivery on hold at any time. There are no commitments, order minimums, or delivery fees.

If you’re interested, our first delivery will be Monday, April 27th, from 3-6pm; place your order before next Thursday, April 23rd at midnight, to try it out.

Before anyone placed an order, I wanted to make sure you all know you get 40% off your first order with the coupon code: farmigo40.


Kitty (Meridian’s Mom)

Eat well. Live well. Be well.
Follow me on Instagram @bewellboutiquenyc


Advocacy News

Update on Testing

As members of the Advocacy Committee we were thrilled to learn that 96 of our children have been taking the teacher-designed alternative assessments this week rather than the state tests, a number that represents 70% of the students in the testing grades at TNS this year. Governor Cuomo raised the stakes on these tests even higer this year and our community responded with a resounding No! in support of TNS curriculum and teachers.

We are not alone. Although no official numbers are released yet we do know that the numbers of families refusing the state tests is up across the state this year. One informed observer is estimating that 300,000 students are not taking the test in the state; last year it was 60,000. (See these two articles from today’s Daily News http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/fed-up-parents-revolt-state-standardized-tests-article-1.2185433, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/thousands-boycott-state-mandated-exams-article-1.2185411)

TNS families should know that it is not too late to refuse the state tests for your child.  The English Language Arts (ELA) portion of the testing comes to a close tomorrow, but three days of math testing begins next week and families can refuse this section (and thereby choose the alternative math assessment) even if their child took the ELA. Speak with your child’s teacher or with Dyanthe if you would like to refuse the state tests or have further questions about the tests generally.

There is a link below to a short video Debra (TNS parent) and her collaborator John-Carlo Monti made of the testing meeting held at TNS.  It features Collin, Grace, Laura and parents talking about the state tests and the alternative assessments.


The Advocacy Committee

News & Announcements

SoulCycle is this Friday!

Please consider sponsoring a teacher or staff if you can’t come!


Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of April 13, 2015

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

I hope everyone enjoyed the break and the promise of warmer weather to come (so many happy New Yorkers today).  : )

Each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning this week, 3rd - 5th grade students will participate in some kind of assessment: some will take the NYS English Language Arts Exam, others will take an alternative assessment created by teachers and aligned to the Common Core Standards and our curriculum.  Once again, at TNS we support all parents in making the best decisions for their individual children.  Please let me know as soon as possible if you decide to have your child take the TNS Alternative Assessments.  Teachers will continue to have conversations with our children to create an environment that is respectful of the diversity of opinions surrounding this issue.  It is vital that all members of our community feel supported during this time, and that we maintain a sense of calm for our students.

The DOE Survey deadline has been extended until this Friday!  As of April 2nd, only 13% of our families have completed their DOE Surveys! This is a record low number. Please remember, we are evaluated by responses and response rate. Surveys can be mailed in or completed online. You were sent a green envelope which contains directions and your access code. Use the survey access code printed on your individual survey to complete on-line.  If you don’t have the hard copy of the survey, call the Survey Hotline at 1-800-690-8603.

Every year, our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders go to camp for three days and two nights: our 3rd graders (and this year some 2nd graders, as well) go to Camp Speers Eljabar YMCA and our 4th/5th graders go to Camp Ashokan.  This year, we all are going to camp the same week:  Wednesday, April 29th through Friday, May 1st.  The Ashokan Center’s trails and outdoor campus offers students the opportunity to hike to the depths of the 350 million year old Cathedral Gorge and the Turnwood-Ashokan Covered Bridge.  Camp Speers, nestled in the northeast Pocono Mountains, features a 42 acre lake, 1100 acres of pristine forest and Sphagnum bog.  

We expect that ALL of our students will go to camp.  The trip is an essential part your child’s TNS experience and reflects the values of our mission about how children learn best.  Please reach out to your child’s teacher, me or Noemi if you have any questions about your child participating in this trip.

Mark your calendars:

  • TNS Alternative Assessment/NYS ELA Test is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

  • We will have our 3rd grade camp orientation on Thursday at 5:30pm in the Library.  Please join us to learn more about this experience.

  • SLT has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 23rd at 5:30pm.  

  • Soul Cycle is Friday, April 17 at 8pm!  Akin will be instructing us once again for our Charity Ride!   You can reserve a spot or sponsor a staff member at http://tnsny.org/posts/view_news/5060.



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