2017- 18 Parent Handbook   — Latest version as of 2017-09-15 13:55:17

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

You won’t find the answers to your questions about the ins and outs of The Neighborhood School on Google.  And I believe that there is also something to be said for an “old fashioned” handbook with a Table of Contents.  I hope that you find the Neighborhood Parent Handbook an informative and useful family resource.  Our newest families have also been paired with current TNS “buddy” families for just the sort of questions that may come up as you navigate your child’s first year at our school.

We are so glad you have chosen the Neighborhood School for your child’s education. We are committed to helping your child develop a lifelong love of learning and look forward to working in partnership with you to make this school year (many more to come) a success.  We believe that children learn by making sense of their world and their experiences.  Teachers provide a program rich in relevant, meaningful and functional experiences.  With the deep belief in the remarkable capabilities of each child, we provide a safe and motivating environment for children to try new experiences to build on their strengths and to go further in the areas where they need improvement.

Our school and all of our programs depend on strong participation and financial support from our community.  Family participation, especially through volunteering in the school, in class rooms and through school projects helps make our school a vibrant and rich community for all children.  Fundraising efforts support art programs, trips, and classroom expenses. If you’re looking for the best way to get involved, please reach out to me, or to the PTA!

I welcome your involvement, questions and suggestions at any point throughout the year.  Let’s have a wonderful year together!

Warmly,

Dyanthe

THE NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOL

The Neighborhood School is a community School District 1 (CSD 1) School of Choice.

We are located at 121 East Third Street and share the building with the Star Academy (P.S. 63). The Neighborhood School was founded in September 1991, and was designed to meet an expressed need for a progressive approach to educating the children of our community.

The Neighborhood School provides a lively and diverse educational community. We see our diversity as one of our great strengths. In our mixed-age, heterogeneous classrooms, children of many different backgrounds learn to become part of a community that fosters not only tolerance but also true respect for all people.

Our school has 13 classes spanning pre-kindergarten to 5th grade. Most of our classes are grouped in multi-age configurations to allow each child to develop both academic and leadership skills. This also allows the children and teachers to get to know each other and work together over a two year period. We have physical education, technology and Spanish instruction for all children. Arts collaborations include the PTA supported Studio in A School, Partners@3rd Program of the Third Street Music School and the Dance for Life program from Arts Connection.

Our teachers provide a program rich in relevant, meaningful and functional experiences. In-depth studies of themes integrate language arts, thinking, science, social studies, mathematics, physical education, and the arts. Classroom work is conducted collaboratively so that children learn to work with others cooperatively in social groupings. Teachers work hard to develop deep and meaningful connections to the natural world. Our students care for class pets, take trips to parks with park rangers, raise trout to help build the ecology of local wetlands, compost here at school to try to achieve a zero waste cafeteria, participate in ecology programs with the DEP, and in third, fourth and fifth grade, take a three day overnight trip to a nature preserve.

At the Neighborhood School we focus on helping children develop good habits of mind, to think creatively and analytically. We want our students to develop fully as individuals, and also as cooperative, responsible members of society.

We welcome you and your children to our community.

MISSION/PHILOSOPHY

Our practice is based on what we understand about children:

• All children are curious about the world and want to learn!

• Children learn by having experiences with each other with materials and the environment.

• When school is integrated with the rest of the child’s life, it makes sense and becomes meaningful.

• Children are capable of contributing to the group, learning cooperatively and being peaceful productive members of the both a democratic classroom and the larger school community.

• Children engage in learning and demonstrate what they learn in many ways.

With the deep belief in the remarkable capabilities of each child we build on their strengths whether they are academic, artistic, physical or social. We aim to provide a safe and motivating environment where their natural capacity for discovery is stimulated and their innate and natural curiosities are focused into a context for learning about themselves and their world.

A typical first/second grade curriculum might focus on services in the neighborhood (fire station, police department, post office, etc.) or the buildings of New York City. Within the study there are field trips, rich literature, writing experiences, math activities, and enrichment in the arts. By giving children opportunities to make and remake their world through class discussions, writing, sketching, and construction, they are learning to expand and generalize their understanding of what they know personally to things they have not yet experienced.

Our entire curriculum has a strong emphasis on developing research skills, critical thinking, problem solving, communication and socialization. As children grow and move on to the upper grades they go from studies of their immediate environments, to the larger city and its history, to larger geographic environments, histories, social, scientific and political structures.

We measure our children’s growth and development on an individualized continuum. We use this information to inform our teaching practice and to provide just-right levels of support and challenge with the goal of developing children’s independence. Regular curriculum letters, Principal Letters, individualized progress reports, portfolios, and family conferences provide avenues of communication between school and families.

NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOL STAFF

Administration

Principal Dyanthe Spielberg Rm 305

Parent Coordinator Noemi Mora Rm 305

School Secretary Carmen Myman Rm 305

Business Manager Ahyesha Daniels Rm 305

Lunch Manager Gladys Fernandez Rm 305

Teaching Staff

Pre-K/Kindergarten

Wanda Cruceta Rm 202

Erin Hyde Rm 208

Kindergarten

Judy Crozier Rm 207

Dianne Pannulo Rm 201

Shaquawn Parker Rm 201

1st/2nd Grade

Lindsey Molina Rm 308

Shaniqua Pippen Rm 308

Jane Taylor Rm 206

Dara Corn Rm 205

Olivia Occelli Rm 302

Chelsea Crawford Rm 302

3rd Grade

Grace Chang Rm 310  

Sofia Pereira Rm 315  

Joanne Scibilia DiTomasso 315

4th/5th Grade

Catlin Preston - Rm 313

Caroline Pappas - Rm 313

Alexis Neider - Rm 312

Corinthia Mirasol-Spath - Rm 312

Hannah Ingram - Rm 314

Cluster Teachers

Español Mara Dajevaskis - Rm 304

Science/Technology Emily Hartzell - Rm 317

Physical Education Teddy Fernandez - Gym

Librarian Cheryl Wolf - Rm 309

School Based Support Team and Related Service Providers

ESL Teacher Sylvia Vidal - Rm 303

Social Worker Patricia Winter - Rm 219

Social Worker Carla Brun - Rm 411B

School Psychologist Natalie Roth - Rm 211A

Speech & Language Pathologist Allison Kisthardt - Rm 303

Speech & Language Pathologist Amanda Zarriello - Rm 303

Guidance Counselor Tina Cella - Rm 319

Occupational Therapist Yen Ng - Rm 203

Physical Therapist Chris Griffin - Rm 203

School Nurse Sarah Whitney - Rm 211B

Custodial and Support Staff

Head Custodian Roy Shipman - Rm 119

Kitchen Manager Jacqueline Rodriguez Kitchen

School Food Service Evan Haffner Kitchen Manager

Custodian Manny Rodriguez - Rm 119

Custodian Miguel Soto - Rm 119

Custodian Raul Venezuela - Rm 119

Safety Agent Agent Cole - Main Desk

Safety Agent Agent Jackson - Main Desk

Paraprofessional Staff

Carmen Garcia

Cesar Hernandez

Edgar Compoverde

Edwin Galeano

Elcilia Colon

Elizabeth Dickerson  

Fidelina Berroa

Haydee Netupsky

Hughes Vixama

Lameeka Rowley

Louis Velez-Casey

Michelle Walker

Mildred Guy

Yolanda Rivera

DAILY ROUTINE AND CLASS INFORMATION

Arrival and Dismissal

The regular school day begins at 8:25am and ends at 2:45pm. [We go by the time on the school clocks.]

Arrival: Children may arrive from 7:45 to 8:20am for breakfast in the cafeteria. Breakfast is at no charge to families.  This area is supervised but parents are welcome to stay and keep their children company during breakfast. All children will be sent up to their classrooms by 8:25am.  No child is permitted upstairs before 8:23am.

One unique aspect of the Neighborhood School (TNS) is our class drop off procedure which allows for parents to escort their child upstairs to their classroom. The ability to do this is something we value very much and is not typical procedure for many schools. In order to maintain the ability to do this, however, we must ensure that all adults entering the building are logged in and out. During high traffic morning drop-off and pickup, it is vital that you (and not your child) sign-in the logs provided on the left side of the lobby. At all other times, you would be considered a visitor and would have to show photo ID and sign in with the safety agent yourself. At arrival and dismissal times, please escort your child to her/his classroom and pick her/him up there or at the designated location.

Dismissal: Dismissal time on typical school days is 2:45pm. On early release days (half-days), dismissal is at 11:45am. [See school calendar for dates of school and district-wide half days.]  Children in Pre-K – 2nd grade should be picked up promptly at dismissal time and can only be released to a parent, guardian or specified afterschool program, unless prior written permission is provided. Children in 3rd – 5th grades must also be picked up unless a parent or guardian provides written permission to allow the child to leave unaccompanied. In this case, the child will be escorted to the school exit and is expected to go directly home or to an afterschool program or care-giver. The school yard reverts to being an open NYC Parks Department playground at 2:45pm and there is no formal supervision of the school yard at that time. It is NOT acceptable for a child to spend time unsupervised in the school yard after dismissal.

If your child’s dismissal routine changes for any reason (e.g. play date, different adult picking her/him up, new afterschool program), the classroom teacher must be informed in writing of this change. Should there be any reason you believe that your child will not be picked up on time, please be sure to inform the TNS Office staff.

Lateness

It is important that children arrive in school on time. Every part of the school day is structured to give your child an opportunity to develop skills and to learn. Children who arrive late will miss some of these opportunities and can often feel self-conscious about coming in to find that everyone is already involved in activities. The support of parents is expected in insuring that their children arrive in class on time.

The school day begins at 8:25am and a child is considered late by 8:31am (according to the school clocks). Attendance is taken in the classroom and the list is then brought to the TNS Office (room 305). If your child comes in after that time, he or she must get a late pass from the TNS Office - without this pass, the office staff will not know that your child is in attendance and may mark your child as absent.

Absence

Attendance is reviewed carefully by the Department of Education (DOE). If your child will not attend school for any reason, you should notify the TNS Office as soon as possible. A “reason-code” is required for the DOE system for all absences. A doctor’s note must be provided if a child has been absent for three days or more.  Please note that an excused absence or “reason-code” does not erase the absence.  

It is important to remember that good attendance is essential to academic progress. These records are taken into account in applications to middle and special program schools.

To report absences and late attendance, and/or to make changes in going-home or after school arrangements, please call the TNS Office at (212) 387-0195.

Change of Address or Phone Number It is important that the school has your most current contact information.  If you move, you must complete new address information in the Office.  You will need to bring two documents with proof of address.  If you change your phone number, please make sure that your child’s Blue Card is updated in the office.

Breakfast Children may arrive from 7:45 to 8:20am for breakfast in the small cafeteria. Breakfast is at no charge to families.  This area is supervised but parents are welcome to stay and keep their children company during breakfast.  Children can also “grab” a breakfast (there are a variety of options available) at arrival to take to their classroom to eat.

Mid-morning snack: All students in the lower grades are given a mid-morning snack which is typically provided by individual class families. The upper grades do not typically break for snack. Your child’s teacher will establish a procedure for parents to contribute items. We ask that parents do not send candy, soda, chips, cookies, and highly sweetened or processed foods/beverages. Instead, we would suggest snacks such as cheese, crackers, fruit, or raw vegetables.

Lunch The DOE Office of School Nutrition administers the school lunch program. From Pre-K to 2nd Grade, children eat lunch in their classroom, family-style, with their teachers. The upper grades use the cafeteria area. Children may bring lunch from home or can order school lunches. Daily menus are listed on the school calendar and can also be viewed on the DOE website.  Please do not send candy, soda, and highly sweetened or processed foods for lunch. Full-priced meals are $1.75.  Children receive free or reduced price meals based on income information you provide the school on the School Lunch Application Form. Payment can be submitted monthly or can be paid in advance for the year.  If you have any questions please contact Gladys Fernandez the Lunch Manager in the office.

Recess

At TNS we have two recess periods: one for the children Pre-K to second grade (10:40 – 11:30am) and one for third through fifth grade (12:20 – 1:10pm). The younger children have a full 50-minute recess while the upper grades combine lunch with recess over a 50-minute period. Children go outside every day unless there is ice on the playground, it is raining, or the temperature falls below freezing. When it is especially cold and windy but not freezing, we have a warm up space inside where children can spend time if they become cold. It is important for children to wear clothes and shoes that will allow them to be comfortable on the playground. Please dress your children for the weather - hats, gloves and boots are necessities in the winter.

School staff monitor recess while individual classroom teachers have lunch. There is at least one adult present for every class. Children play kickball, baseball, soccer, jump rope, hula hoop, or run around and devise activities for themselves. When indoor recess is a necessity, the children may bring books or games to the cafeteria. Children are also free to play more active games in the school sing areas and auditorium.

After-school

The Neighborhood School currently contracts with two on-site after-school programs: Wingspan Arts and University Settlement. Services are provided from 2:45 – 5:30pm (Wingspan ends at 6pm) and the schedule is tailored for each semester. The PTA also offers a variety of after school classes on-site, which are available to all TNS students. There are also several afterschool programs that pick children up from TNS and bring them to other locations such as the 14th Street Y.  Information on the specific classes to be offered and how to register can be obtained from Noemi, our parent coordinator, or @tnsnyc.org under “PTA” button.

Class Trips

Trips are an integral part of the curriculum. Each class will take several trips throughout the course of the year which may include walks around the block, visits within the community, and/or excursions to museums and other sites in the city or outside. Our 3rd through 5th grade classes go on an overnight trip to a nature center. Classes travel on foot, school bus, city bus or subway depending on the destination. Teachers will notify you in advance about upcoming trips and request parent volunteers to accompany the class and assist in supervision. Some of the trips will require admissions fees. The School PTA will cover the cost of a trip for families who are unable to pay.

Curriculum Night

Curriculum night will be on Thursday, September 28th.  At this meeting you will meet your child’s teacher(s) and other parents and get important information about the curriculum. This is an opportunity for parents to discuss the class curriculum in detail. If you have specific concerns about your child’s progress or issues in class, please discuss with the teacher separately during family conferences or in a private meeting.

Family Conferences

Family conferences are scheduled twice yearly in November and March. These are opportunities for the child, parents, guardians or caregivers and the teacher to talk about the child’s progress in classes including Spanish, Science/ Technology and Physical Education. Children actively participate in these conferences and are present during the review of their progress. If you have questions or concerns that you feel should not be discussed in front of your child you may ask to schedule a private conference with the teacher.

Birthdays

Birthday celebration procedures vary from class to class - often in the younger grades, birthdays are celebrated in the classroom with a special snack (small cupcakes or a cookie). Families are encouraged to check with their child’s teacher regarding their class policy. Class mailboxes may only be used for distribution of home party invitations if ALL members of the class are invited. Please do not use the other class mailboxes to invite individual children from other classes.

Clothing

Young children learn through exploration and play. They will be using paint, clay, sand and water. Please do not send your child to school with clothing that you do not want to get soiled. Please put labels with your child’s name on all clothing especially outer garments like coats, sweaters, hats and boots. We also request that you send a spare set of clothing for your child in Pre-K/K.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Health Forms

In accordance with the New York State Public Health Law, ALL students attending New York City Public Schools must be immunized against the following diseases: diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, Hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib). Immunization records are evaluated according to a child’s birthdate – as new shots are given, your child’s immunization record will be updated in the DOE database. All children must have proof of immunization before they can be registered for school. In addition, every student must have a health form, signed by a physician, on file in school. A family may apply to the DOE for a waiver from immunizations for medical or religious reasons. See http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/Health/ImmunizationInfo/default.htm for more details.

School Nurse

A full time school Nurse, Sarah Whitney is available to TNS children at all times. The school Nurse is the only school adult allowed to administer medication to children. Any child requiring medication, whether for maintenance care or emergency care, must have an MAF (Medication Administration Form) on file with the nurse as well as with the main office. If you need to speak directly with the school Nurse at any time, please contact the TNS Office at (212) 387-0198.

Colds, Viruses and the 24-Hour Rule

If your child has the symptoms of a cold, upset stomach or the flu, your child must be kept at home. If your child is not feeling well, he/she will not have the energy to participate fully in classroom activities. Keeping a sick child home will help control the spread of illness.

Children who have been ill should be without fever, vomiting, or diarrhea for a full 24 hours before returning to school to prevent the spread of disease.

If your child has contracted strep, flu, conjunctivitis, chicken pox, measles, etc., it is very important that you inform the school immediately so the school can try to prevent the spread of these extremely communicable diseases.

Becoming Ill at School

If your child becomes ill while at school they will be brought to the school Nurse and parents notified. In the event of a serious injury or illness, the school will act in accordance with the Emergency Care Authorization that parents sign, giving the school permission to administer first aid, to contact the child’s physician for medical instructions, and to take the child to the nearest hospital for necessary care. It is school policy for all accidents/injuries that occur at school or during school-sponsored activities be reported to the school Nurse and parents informed. A report will be sent home with your child indicating what the school Nurse observed, what was done to address the situation, and what follow-up is recommended. Parents who take their sick or injured child to a physician or hospital should provide the school Nurse with a written note from the physician that documents care and activity restrictions.

Lice and Nit Policy

Lice Treatment Center does school-wide lice checks at TNS throughout the year.  If a child is found to have head lice, parents will be called to take the child home. In addition, a class-wide head check will be conducted, siblings checked, and a letter sent home to all families in the class.

If a child is found to have nits only (un-hatched eggs), parents will be informed immediately but the current DOE policy does not require that they be immediately picked up from the school.

Children with lice may not come back to school until they are lice free. When a child returns to school after treatment, the TNS office staff will check the child for lice before the child returns to class.

Signs to look for:

Head scratching and intense itching of the scalp is an indication of head lice. You can confirm this by looking closely at your child’s hair and scalp with a magnifying glass. Look for tiny grayish crawling forms or tiny oval whitish eggs (nits) sticking to the hair close to the scalp. Lice and nits are spread:

• By using another child’s brush, comb, or other hair grooming item that is infested.

• Wearing another child’s hat, coat, scarf or other clothing that may be infested.

• Lying on an infested mattress, pillow, carpet or sofa.

School Safety

The safety of the children of the Neighborhood School is of the utmost importance to us. A school security officer is situated inside the main door at all times. All visitors to TNS are required to show ID and sign in at this desk before they can be allowed into the school. An exception to this is during drop off and pick-up times – at these times, parents/guardians are required to sign their children in on the designated sign in sheets.

COMMUNICATION

Website, Calendar and Listserv

Website: The TNS website is managed by TNS parent volunteers. A calendar of school activities is available on the website and is useful for viewing PTA meeting schedules, school closings, and special events. The calendar can be found here: http://tnsny.org/docs/calendar - and can also be incorporated into your personal calendar. Please note that TNS has several half days which are unique to the school, and are used for teacher development.

Listserv: If you are a parent of TNS student, you should subscribe to the TNS Listserv - this list is used for official communication from the school staff and the PTA officers. Once subscribed, you can email everyone on the list by simply emailing to tns-list@lists.theneighborhoodschool.org. Any email sent to this address will be forwarded to everyone who is subscribed. It is important to be aware that this is a moderated list, so your email will be held for review. In an effort to balance quality and quantity of emails received, this list is reserved for TNS related announcements such as those from PTA committees, school staff, DOE, web updates – for a complete review of the listserv policy see: http://tnsny.org/editable_texts/view/docListserv

Backpack Mail

The school will periodically send home notices with your child. Every day, please be sure to ask your child if she/he has brought home a notice from school or check his or her backpack. School information can also be found on the listserv and on the website.

PARENT INVOLVEMENT

Parent Teacher Association (PTA)

The PTA of the Neighborhood School is a volunteer group made up of parents, guardians and teachers who consistently work toward a better school. All parents and guardians of children at TNS are automatically members of the PTA, and are strongly encouraged to be participating members. The specific configuration of the Executive Board of the PTA can vary but is typically made up of two Co-Presidents, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and a range of Committee Leaders. Board members work extensively on school events and projects, the School Leadership Team (SLT), and coordinates the efforts of parents who head various PTA committees. Board members are elected at the end of one school year for positions beginning in the fall of the following year. Monthly general membership meetings are held to discuss PTA committee business, as well as to provide an on-going forum of communication with parents regarding school policies and curriculum. Fundraising is a major aspect of the PTA’s mission and many of the special programs in the school are funded with money raised by the PTA.

Dates for the PTA general membership and board meetings are announced at the beginning of the school year. We encourage all families to take an active part in the PTA and attend the meetings.

PTA Committees

Committees are a core component of the PTA and committee members undertake a large portion of the PTA activities. Committees are established by approval from the PTA general membership. Committee leaders are responsible for attending PTA meetings and reporting back to the larger community on committee activities and tasks. These are some of our current committees that include:

• Advocacy

• Diversity

• Fundraising and Grants

• Auction

• Outreach/Welcome

• Lower Grade Class Parent Coordinator

• Upper Grade Class Parent Coordinator

• Health and Safety

•Wellness

• Website

Class Parents

Participating as a class parent is highly encouraged. This is a step that helps to complete the parent-teacher-child triangle that is so important in our school.

Class Parents promote good communication between the teacher and the other parents in the class. One parent may volunteer or two parents may share the responsibility. Class parents help plan classroom functions, email and call other parents about school or classroom business, assist in arranging school trips and assist the teacher in various other ways. Class parents also serve as liaisons to the PTA and assist in organizing fund-raising and other events for the school.

Class Parent Coordinators provide information, guidance and assistance to the class parent group, and hold class parent meetings to plan activities, compare notes and help each other. If you would like to volunteer to be the Class Parent in your child’s class, please sign up at the beginning of the school year or speak with the teacher and Class Parent Coordinators.

School Leadership Team (SLT)

The SLT is a school-wide committee that is an important school resource for staff and families’ concerns about issues of importance to the school community. It is the central, unifying committee of our school and it writes, revises and disseminates school policies. The SLT meets once a month for cooperative planning and shared decision making in relation to many aspects of school life.

The SLT consists of four parents (three parents plus the PTA president or president’s delegate) and four staff members (2 teachers, the school principal and the UFT chapter leader or leader’s delegate). Policy is sometimes developed by the team or sometimes by staff, and is then given to the team for their feedback and approval. The parents on SLT are required to report to the PTA on proposals that come from the SLT team, seek input and feedback from the parent body and report back to SLT.

Parent representatives are chosen at PTA meetings. The term of membership is two years. People may serve more than two years but they must be re-elected when their term is up. The school leader, PTA president and UFT chapter leader serve on the SLT as long as they are in their positions. Meetings are open to anyone who would like to attend.

Contributions and Fundraising

Each year our PTA asks that you financially contribute to your child’s education as generously as possible. These funds are required in order to ensure TNS is able to sustain school programming and make up for the ever increasing budget cuts experienced.

Our PTA pays for the programs and activities at our school that the New York City Board of Education does not pay for – this includes:

  • Music Program: Third Street Music School

  • Art Program: Studio in a School

  • Dance Program:  Notes in Motions

  • Teaching Assistants in the Pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms

  • Classroom Supplies & Teachers’ Support

  • Class Trip Subsidies

  • Parent Workshops & Staff professional development

The Following Are Ways You Can Make Your Donation

1. Write a check made out to “The Neighborhood School PTA” and mail it to: The Neighborhood School PTA 121 E. 3rd St. NY, NY 10009 Attn: PTA Treasurer

2. Go to our website at http://tnsny.org/docs/donate and use your Visa, Master, American Express or Discover card to pay thru Pay Pal – using Pay Pal you can:

a. Pay one lump sum as your annual contribution, or

b. Spread payments out over the course of the year by signing up for monthly payments

The Neighborhood School PTA is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization so your contribution is tax deductible.

During the year, our PTA will also be asking for help with many of our fund raising and “fun raising” activities. Please sign up in the PTA office to prepare for and help with an annual event such as the East Village Children’s Halloween Parade (October), Holiday Fair (December), Multicultural Festival (spring), Auction (spring) or tasks such as class parent, grant writing, communications, wellness, hospitality and more. Your contribution and time help support our children’s education in so many ways!

SCHOOL TRADITIONS

Sing

Our school “Sing” occurs the last Wednesday of every month after drop off. Families gather in the school lobby while teachers organize their classes and escort them to the sing area. Song sheets are handed out at each session. This is a wonderful opportunity to see your child among their peers and to see the entire school community together in one place. Teachers and parents play instruments while the children and families contribute the vocals. The entire event typically lasts 10 – 15 minutes. Children practice their songs in class throughout the month and our Sing event is a proud moment for all. We encourage all families to attend.

Halloween Parade

The TNS Halloween parade has blossomed from a small school event to an East Village tradition. Children and families from our school and the surrounding neighborhood gather in the TNS recess yard to show off their costumes before proceeding on our community wide parade. Our route has typically taken us a few blocks up First Avenue, down Avenue A and eventually back to the TNS recess yard where there is music and fun for all. We hope to see you there!

Holiday Fair

On a weekend in early December, our school lobby is transformed into a fairground – mazes are built, food is sold, games are played, photos are taken, cupcakes are decorated. This is a lively occasion and often attracts others from the surrounding community. Families are encouraged to help with set up and to contribute creative ideas. This is both a fun-and-fund raiser and the more we are able to put into it, the more we can benefit from it. In the past parents have either hosted their own booths or helped to think creatively about how to add new elements to the day. Beginning in early October, recruitment will begin for family participation in planning, set up, decorations. Please volunteer to assist in any way you can.

Multicultural Day

Reflecting our school’s great diversity, Multicultural Day is another weekend celebration, often in the spring semester. Families are encouraged to actively participate in this event and share their cultural heritage. Many traditions are showcased in the entertainment that is provided and of course food is a central feature of this day. We encourage all families to share in the various cultures and traditions represented in our school-wide community.

Community Day

Community day tends to involve one part helping to clean and care for our classrooms and shared facilities, and one part thought and reflection. Planned by the SLT (School Leadership Team), each year has a theme but the elements remain the same. Class parents often assess each teacher’s classroom needs and help to ensure that each class has a team of helpers. On this day in past years, there has been book re-shelving in the library, block cleaning in the classrooms, painting of the bathrooms, hanging of shelves and cabinets, and assembling benches to name a few activities. In addition, a speaker is typically invited to reflect on issues relevant to our school community.

Fall Family Celebration

It a pot luck gathering for parents to be in their child’s classroom to eat and get to know one another.  It’s also an opportunity for parents and teacher/s to get acquainted. This happens in November so please look out for it.  Your child’s teacher will let you know the date and time.

Field Day

The whole school goes to Prospect Park, including parents.  Parents bring food to share and the school provides school lunch for children who want it. There are different activities led by parents and staff, as well as free play.  It’s an opportunity for parents to meet parents they have not met before or to chit chat with parents they already know and to have a good time with their children.   

Ice Skating

Students go ice skating twice a year in the winter.  Parents and caregivers are also encouraged to attend.  If your child doesn’t know how to ice skate, no worries, over the years, many of our children have learned to ice skate during these trips; we have had a few adults learn, too.

I hope this Parent Handbook has helped answer some of your questions.  If you have any questions please talk to Noemi Mora, Parent Coordinator or contact her at:  nmora@schools.nyc.gov – Office: 212-387-0195 – Cell: 347-563-4367

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