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News & Announcements

March for Our Lives

March 24th

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of March 19, 2018

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

Every year, our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders go to camp for three days and two nights.  This year, our 3rd grades are going to Manhattan Country School farm.  Students will care for the animals (chickens, cows, pigs and sheep); learn to weave; explore fields, mountains and streams; and study traditional and contemporary life in the Catskills.  Zero-mile meals and a closed-loop food cycle will be daily experiences. We expect all of our students to go to camp.  These trips are an essential part your child’s TNS experience and reflect our values 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 these trips.  Grace’s class leaves for camp today (I’m going with them) and Joanne and Sofia’s class goes next week.  

This year, the NY State English Language Arts (ELA) and Math Tests for 3rd, 4th and 5th grades will be administered in April.  TNS students who do not take the state tests will continue the important and meaningful work they engage in everyday.  Please let me or your child’s classroom teacher(s) know as soon as possible if your child is going to take the NYS Tests this year so we can organize staffing and materials accordingly.  We will have a Forum on testing Tuesday, March 27th at drop-off in the PTA Room.  Most of the meeting will be Q&A, but 3rd - 5th grade teachers, members of the Advocacy Committee and I will give some context to the discussion first, including:

  • What do “high stakes” mean?

  • What does “test prep” look like at TNS?

  • What does opting out of the tests mean for middle school admissions?

  • What do the testing days look like for those children taking the state tests?

  • What do the testing days look like for those who will not be taking the state tests?

  • How do we talk with children about about opting out (or not)?

We hope that by attending this forum, you will have a better understanding about what testing looks like at TNS and what the tests mean for your child and the school.  

Only 26% of our families have completed their Department of Education (DOE) Parent Survey.  The DOE survey gathers information about your overall satisfaction with our school and the results are published and used to determine our official rating.  Completion rates are also important as they reflect the level of parent involvement to the DOE.  Please complete your family survey!  The deadline for completing parent surveys is Friday, March 23rd.  Thank you!

Mark Your Calendars:

  • The Diversity Committee will meet Tuesday at drop-off in the PTA Room.

  • The PTA Meeting is Thursday at 8:30AM in the PTA Room.  Emily, our Science teacher will talk about STEM at TNS.

  • Our Diversity Potluck is Thursday from 6 - 7:30 in the Spanish Room (304).  Childcare is available.  Please come and bring a dish to share!

  • Erin, Dianne & Shaquawn, Jane, Olivia & Chelsea, Grace, Hannah and Mara & Caroline’s classes‬ go ice skating Friday.

Happy Spring,


News & Announcements


  1. Introductions 8:40-8:50

  2. Approval of Minutes 8:50-8:51

  3. Presentation by Emily, Science Teacher,  “STEM is alive and well at TNS” 8:52-8:9:02

  4. Dyanthe’s report: Zero waste management at TNS 9:02-9:04

  5. Updates from PTA presidents: 9:04-9:06

    1. nominations for next year’s PTA positions plus 2 spots on the SLT

    2. Next fundraisers: Artisan fair, Spring Jam (kid’s dance party), Meg

    3. Border crossers training coming soon!

    4. Online auction is still open for bidding!

    5. Ask your employer if they do matching donations

  6. Updates from Treasurers 9:06-9:08
  7. Class Parents/Parent Liaisons 9:10-9:15
    1. Are you getting class emails? Are you on the TNS listserve?

    2. Konstella: school wide vote to adopt/not adopt software program to help with school communication & organizing

  8. Committees Reports
  • Events: March for our lives on March 24th
  • ECO: Earth Day coming up on April 22   9:15-9:16
  • Wellness: Social Workers led a second discussion about how to talk to your kids about sex  9:16-9:17
  • Garden   9:17-9:18
  • Diversity: Border Crossers Dates!!! May 4 for the Intro and May 9 for the Affinity Groups 9:19-9:20

  1. Old Business and New Business 9:21

  1. Meeting adjourned 9:30

News & Announcements


HELLO FAMILIES The Neighborhood School & S.T.A.R. Academy are invited to MOVIE NIGHT WILL BE HELD FRIDAY ~ MARCH 16TH, 2018 Food AND drinks start at 5:30 p.m. Movie COCO starts at 6:00 p.m. $3 per Child and all Adults FREE Please feel free to invite your child’s friends outside of our schools the party will be bigger and better!

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of March 12, 2018

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

Because the majority of our students have not brought up the Parkland, Florida shootings or responses to it, we have decided not to do a school-wide walkout on March 14th.  Some families may decide to sign their children out of school to join other protests around the city.  If you choose to do this, please let your child’s teacher know ahead of time and please be in the office no later than 9:45AM to sign your child out.   As always, teachers will continue to listen for what comes up and reassure children that they are safe in school.  I am attaching a helpful article for how to have conversations with young children to process grief and fear in a healthy way (thanks, Jane):  https://childmind.org/article/helping-children-cope-frightening-news/.  TNS does plan to participate in “March for Our Lives” Saturday, March 24th (more info to come).  We are also planning a conversation for TNS families about gun violence prevention.

It’s conference time.  In our early childhood classes, it is an opportunity for teachers, together with the child, to talk with the adults in each child’s family about the child’s work and progress in school.  In our upper grades, children lead conferences, speaking about their work alongside teachers and families. Want to learn more about what your child is learning in Spanish, science or physical education?  Please stop by the Science Room (317) to meet with Emily, the Spanish Room (304) to meet with Catlin or the Office (307) to meet with Teddy!  Conferences will be held Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon (dismissal is at 11:45AM).

I often get the question, how does our school’s progressive approach to teaching and learning prepare kids for middle school and beyond?  Please join us Thursday at 8:30AM in the PTA room for our TNS graduates panel.  Former students will discuss how TNS prepared them for the challenges of middle school and high school, and much beloved 4/5th grade teacher (and former TNS parent) Amy Masters will moderate.

Mark your calendars:

  • The Grants Committee meets Tuesday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • The PTA Executive Meeting is Wednesday at 8:30AM in the PTA Room.  All are welcome.

  • Wednesday is Pi Day!  Buy a slice before or after school and support TNS!

  • Thursday is a half-day.  Dismissal is at 11:45AM.

  • The Garden Committee meets Friday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • Friday is Movie Night!  Come see Oscar winner Coco at 6PM!  Kids cost $3 and adults are free.  



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