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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of May 18, 2015

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

I am so grateful and appreciative that TNS staff come together each spring over a weekend to reflect and think deeply about an aspect of our work together.  Our conversations about Project Time this past weekend were meaningful and thought provoking, and we plan to continue the inquiry next year.  Here is an interesting related article about play in school from The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/opinion/sunday/let-the-kids-learn-through-play.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

We are beginning to work on class configurations for next year.  This is a thoughtful process: teachers describe each child as we carefully consider the makeup of each class at the school.  We strive to have well-balanced classes and consider gender, ethnicity, friendships, academics, and the social and emotional dynamics of the group.  We will be in clear communication with families about any changes in class placement before the end of the school year.

As you may know, The Department of Education requires that our youngest students be tested in the fall and again in June for “Measures of Student Learning” or MOSL, which are used to grade teachers.  They have no other purpose.  Although we are a PROSE (Progressive Redesign Opportunity for Schools of Excellence) school and have been allowed to use authentic student work to measure student growth over the year, we are still mandated to administer MOSL.  Several lower grade teachers and I will meet with families to discuss MOSL on Friday, May 29  at 8:30am in the PTA room.  We hope that by attending this meeting, families will have a better understanding about what city-wide assessments look like in kindergarten, first and second grade and how these tests determine teachers’ ratings.

Several families have expressed concern about getting AC in all our classrooms.  Please know that we are working to move ACs into classrooms by the end of the week.  

Mark your calendars:

  • Our 4th graders will be taking the Science Performance Test on Wednesday, May 20 and Thursday, May 21.  Unlike other NY State tests, this way of evaluating what students’ know and can do is hands-on; students actively engage in experiments and challenges.

  • Our Pre-K - 2nd graders will share the work that they have done in music this year on Thursday, May 21 at 8:45 am in the auditorium.  Please join us!

  • The STAR 5th grade family show is this Thursday, May 21 from 6 - 7:30 pm.  This show is only open to our 5th grade families.

  • No School on Monday, May 25 in observance of Memorial Day.

  • This month’s SING is on Tuesday, May 26 at 8:45 am in the auditorium.

Enjoy the long weekend,


Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of May 11, 2015

Dear Neighborhood Families,

We have our very first “Open School” and Studio in A School end-of-year art exhibit this Wednesday, May 13 from 4:30 - 6 pm.  Families will be able to visit classrooms, Emily and Danette’s rooms, and the gym to see student work and examples of curriculum at TNS.   We hope you can join us!

Every year, TNS staff gather over a weekend in spring to reflect on our work together and think more deeply about an aspect of our teaching practice.  This weekend we are focusing on the school-wide practice, Project Time (in some classes, it is called Work Time).  Project work is an expression of a child’s interests and passions and serves as a window into the child’s modes of thinking and learning.  Project work also informs our teaching of the child and the child’s self awareness as a learner.

Mark your calendars:

  • Please donate your quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies for our annual our Coin Drive.  Each classroom has a coin receptacle in the shape of a jumbo crayon for donations.  Proceeds will go to support our wonderful visual art program.  We are looking for contributions large and small!

  • We will have our May SLT (School Leadership Team) meeting on Thursday at 8am in room 307.  All are welcome.

  • Our Pre-K, kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders will perform with Third Street Music on Thursday, May 21st at 8:45 am in the Auditorium.  The children will share the work they have been doing all year!



News & Announcements

TNS Open House

TNS Open House

News & Announcements

Graduation 2015

To all 5th Grade Families:

Hard to believe that graduation is next month, on Thursday, June 18th! We wanted to share a few more details and requests about graduation.


The easiest way to pay your graduation dues is through PayPal, right here. Enter your child’s name and hit “Buy Now” below:

Student name

(Extra $2 to cover the credit card processing fee)

Otherwise, please place your senior dues in an envelope with your child’s name and class, and give the envelope to your child’s teacher. The dues are $50 and can be paid in cash or by check, made out to The Neighborhood School PTA (please put your child’s name in the memo). The dues will help cover the cost of the caps and other graduation expenses, including the yearbook. Each graduate will receive a copy of the yearbook. If you have any concerns or questions about the graduation dues, please speak to Noemi.

Slideshow photos:


Traditionally, there is a slideshow at graduation of all the graduates as babies, in their early years at school, and a current picture. Please try to include your child’s name in the file name.


We also need lots of great photos from all the events of this school year, including Halloween, ice skating trips, class field trips,classroom activities, the holiday fair - any Neighborhood School event. If you have photos of the graduating 5th graders and their classmates in past years at TNS, please send those also. Kids smiling, arm in arm, and making silly faces are always great. Please add notes about who is who in the photos.


Digital files are highly preferred and should be sent by email to melianthe@gmail.com. Do not reduce the photos when emailing; the files should be no less than 300k. If you only have prints and cannot scan them, if you would like to upload the photos to Dropbox or similar, or if you need to deliver them on a CD, this can be arranged.


The deadline for the photos is extended to May 18. but please send them as soon as possible. (Thank you to those who have already sent in their photos - it’s such a big help.) If you have any questions or need to coordinate hand off of the photos, please contact Melianthe at melianthe@gmail.com.

Senior photos:

The photo shoot for the 5th graders will be held on Wednesday, May 13th. Please try to make sure your 5th grader is at school that day. These are fun, casual shots and students can wear whatever they like.


The caps have been ordered, and this year’s 5th graders voted for the color royal blue.

Graduation ceremony and party:

More details about graduation will be coming soon The party after graduation for these lucky 5th graders and their 4th grade classmates will be held at Jules Bistro. Thank you to the 4th grade parents who have offered to chaperone the party so far. We could use a few more chaperones (4th grade parents only), so if you can help, please contact Helen - hmartineauk@yahoo.com

Our next graduation committee meeting will be held on Friday, May 22nd after drop off outside the PTA Room. All are welcome!

Thank you,
TNS 2015 Graduation Committee

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of May 4, 2015

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

We will have our very first “Open School” and Studio in a School (the art our students create with Valerie and Amy) end-of-year art exhibit on Wednesday, May 13 from 4:30 - 6:30 pm.  Families will be able to visit classrooms, Emily and Danette’s rooms, and the gym to see student work and examples of activities happening at this time of year at TNS.   We hope you can join us!

Last week, Noemi sent home letters asking you to let us know if your child is returning to TNS next year.  Please return the bottom portion to your child’s classroom teacher(s) this week.

Mark your calendars:

  • Please join us for our PTA meeting this Thursday at 8:40am in the PTA Room.  A parent and some of our service providers will be discussing what Special Education looks like at TNS.

  • Friday is Half-day.  Dismissal is at 11:35am.

  • We have our second Unbake Sale this Friday at dismissal.  Bring your appetite (I highly recommend the fruit kabobs and smoothies)!



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