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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of March 2, 2015

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

As you may have read recently in the news, Governor Cuomo has proposed major changes to teacher evaluations in New York State:

  • 50% of a teacher’s rating would be based on state test scores. (Currently it is 20%).

  • 35% of a teacher’s rating would be based on the findings of an outside “independent observer” who will conduct a one time visit to the classroom. This has never been done before. Currently my observations count for 60%.

  • 15% of a teacher’s rating would be based on my observations.

  • 50% + 35% = 85% of teacher evaluations would be removed from the hands of our community and placed in the hands of the state.

Using these numbers, any teacher who is rated ineffective two years in a row can be fired.  The values present in Governor Cuomo’s proposals are antithetical to our own. In fact, they place them at risk.  The numbers are clear: 50% of our value will be six days of tests. 35% of our value will be one day with an independent observer.  And 15% of our value will be in evaluation by me.  Please join me, teachers and the Advocacy Committee on Monday, March 9 at 8:40am in the PTA Room to discuss the details of Cuomo’s proposal and what we as a school community can do.

Mark your calendars!

  • Opt In? Opt Out?:  Discussion on Wednesday, March 4: 6:30-8:30PM at PS 261, 314 Pacific Street in Brooklyn.  It is a conversation with principals, teachers, and parents from NYS.

  • February’s PTA meeting was rescheduled for Thursday at 8:40am in the PTA room.  Teddy and I will be discussing DOE safety drills and protocols.

  • The Neighborhood School Artisan Fair and Rummage Sale is Saturday from 10 - 5pm. This year, along with numerous artists, designers and crafters who will be hawking their hand-made goods there will be a clothing rummage sale, a book reading by one of our very own TNS parents and karaoke! You read that right! It is going to be a fun-filled day with something for everyone and best of all it’s a fundraiser for TNS!

  • Judy, Dara, Katie, Meg & Olivia, Laurie, Colin & Desmond, Alexis & Christie and Chelsea & Jane’s classes (finally) go ice skating on Monday, March 9!

Have a good week,


News & Announcements

What’s Up March 2015

What's Up March 2015

News & Announcements

Artisans’ Fair — March 7, 2015

A dress from Astridland

Please join us on Saturday, March 7th, 2015, for our Spring Artisans’ Fair. Do your part to help our fantastic progressive local East Village school -The Neighborhood School - raise money for the wonderful arts programs for our children. The event is free of charge.

Artisans’ Fair Hours
The Neighborhood School PS363
121 East 3rd Street
(between Avenue A & First Avenue)
New York, NY 10009

Subway: F to 2nd Avenue, M to Essex
Bus: 14A, 14D, M15 to the East Village

What is happening?

This year we have a fantastic array of vendors. Some are TNS parents, some are super talented artists and designers that come to us via Etsy. A percentage of all sales will be donated to TNS. Details about the vendors are below.

We are thrilled to be hosting a rummage sale. Remember those ski pants that you need for little Jimmy? Do you really want to spend fifty dollars on that? Visit us to find what you need at the right price. There is something for everyone, and it is so much fun!

Book reading by Greg Rossi! Our own TNS parent and ex-PTA co-president Greg Rossi will be reading from his new book “The Come Up”. Let’s all support our school and him by buying a signed copy of his book.

We’ll have “Cheesy Sounds” Karaoke for your musical entertainment. You too can bring the 60s, 70s & 80s alive and do your thing after your kids sing “Let it Go” 50,000 times – although that would be OK, too. Everybody loves the Eagles!!!!

Our famous bake sales are known throughout the neighborhood, as we have a fantastic collection of baking moms and dads. Come check it out!

Artisans’ Fair Vendors

Bubbles App started as a response to my growing need for color and scents in the city life. A tiny orange votive on my desk distracts me from the colorless walls, a remembered fragrance from my childhood home in Turkey takes me back to my grandmother. Work related travels through Africa, the Middle East and Latin America took me to amazing places where I could see the origins of natural products such as Shea butter, cocoa butter, Aloe Vera, etc. I have been making candles and soap for 10 years now and carry these products with me each time I relocate.

Jasmin Aguilar has a background in burlesque dance and the performing arts. Jasmin combines her talents in sewing and sculpting with her discerning eye for taxidermy and feathers to create unique accessories. Jasmin works full time constructing and selling her creations in her Etsy shop and at conventions in New York, Philadelphia and Toronto.


Bugged Out is a line of whimsical bug, fruit, veggie and critter designs on baby and kids clothing, tote bags, note cards and more - made in NYC! A percentage of the proceeds from Bugged Out sales goes directly to research efforts to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. Visit us online at www.bugged-out.com.


I design clothing and accessories for women and men from recycled T-Shirts and sweaters. My jewelry is upcycled from nuts and bolts, vintage game pieces and plastic charms, etc. I love wandering around hardware stores, and flea markets for inspiration!

We will be sending out a second newsletter in a few days featuring other exciting vendors.

A handmade candle by Bubbles App

Mukmabika features exceptional oils, candles, herbal teas and ritual items, and is the work of acupuncturist and healer Masha Schmidt, L.Ac. Masha is a licensed acupuncturist and and parent at TNS. You can find out more about her at www.alphabetacupuncture.com.

The Knitting Mama - My hand-knitted hats are made with love and my passion of creating my art through knitting. I am an ex-TNS parent and love teaching knitting as well for a reasonable rate.

Lisa Shaub has been making and selling fine hats for over twenty five years. She has been featured in Vogue, Zagats and has several celebrity clients, including Taylor Swift. You can see her work at www.lisashaub.com or visit her Orchard Street store. For the Artisan’s fair she will be holding a mega-sale.

News & Announcements

Comedy Night 2015 at Gotham Comedy Club

Featuring NYC’s Top Comics at The Gotham Comedy Club

208 West 23rd Street
Friday, March 27th

*$26 for 1 ticket
*$42 for two tickets
2 drink min.

*We have added an extra charge for Paypal payments since PayPal takes a slight percentage.

Don’t forget you can SPONSOR A TNS STAFF!!!!



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of February 23, 2015

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

As you are aware, all NYC public schools are required to practice the protocol they will follow for different kinds of emergencies.  We have already practiced several drills this year, including fire drills (when children and staff exit the building) and a lockdown.  In a lockdown, the “danger” is assumed to be inside of the building.  Teachers lock the classroom doors and staff and students sit quietly.  Neighborhood School teachers discuss different drill practices with children well ahead of time so that they feel safe.   They communicate that this is our school and we want to make sure that only people who belong here are here.  Please contact me if you have any questions about any of our school safety drills.

If your child is sick and unable to come to school, please call the office at (212) 387-0195 before 10am or email Carmen at carmen@tnsny.org to notify us.  Please bring a doctor’s note to the office if your child is out for more than 3 days.  Thank you.

Mark your calendars:

  • I am joining Judy, Dara, Laurie, Meg & Olivia, Chelsea & Jane, Alexis & Christie and Colin & Desmond’s classes tomorrow for ice skating.  Buses leave at 9:20am.

  • Please join us this Wednesday at 8:45am in the auditorium for All School Sing.  Don’t forget to bring your appetite; we will have our PTA bake sale.

  • The Advocacy Committee is meeting right after Sing on Wednesday in the PTA room.

  • Friday is a TNS half-day.  Dismissal is at 11:35am.

  • Colin’s 5th grade math group is hosting a movie night this Friday at 6pm (“Despicable Me” will begin at 6:30).  Pizza and snacks will be for sale.

Welcome back,


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