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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 5, 2018

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

In the mood for a good laugh?  Join TNS families, friends and staff tonight at Gotham Comedy Club, beginning at 6:30.  Tickets are $25 each or 2 for $40.  Bring your friends, neighbors, family members. This is always a fun event and all ticket sale proceeds support our PTA.  

There is NO school tomorrow.  It is both Election Day and a city-wide professional development day for the Department of Education.  Most paraprofessionals will participate in the conference, “Paraprofessionals: Crucial Members of the Classroom Team”, sponsored by Teachers College Inclusion Classroom Project.  Most teachers, service providers and I will gather with colleagues from like-minded progressive schools at Brooklyn New School for the day; the focus of our work is “Progressive Education, Inquiry, Race and Equity”.

It’s almost family conference time.  Twice each year, in November and again in March, we hold family conferences.  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 their adults. Conferences will be held the evening of Wednesday, November 14th and in the afternoon on Thursday, November 15th (dismissal is at 11:45 AM).

Pests update:  Over the weekend, holes were sealed on the 2nd, 3th, 4th floor with steel wool and foam sealer.  Glue traps were placed in all the rooms. Going forward, our custodians will seal some of the larger holes with metal or wood.  Door sweeps will be installed on exterior doors and glue traps will be placed in classrooms and office as needed.

Mark your calendars:

  • There is no school Tuesday, November 6th.  

  • The Advocacy Committee meets Wednesday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • Parent’s of Unique Kids Support Group meets Thursday morning at drop-off in Room 313.  This is a support group for parents and caretakers; it is an opportunity to share experiences, challenges and strategies with each other.

  • Diversity Committee hosts our first evening potluck meeting Thursday, beginning at 5:30 PM.  It’s a time to come together and discuss strategies for making it through these sometimes trying holidays.  Childcare provided!

  • There is no school Monday, November 12 in observance of Veterans Day.



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of October 29, 2018

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

As I’ve done too many times before, I write to express grief and anger in the wake of Saturday’s terrorist attack in Pittsburgh which followed the bombs mailed to several public figures; and to think about how we can come together as a community for our children and each other.  Saturday’s event underscores how deeply troubled we are as a nation. When a place isn’t safe for one person - one people, it is not safe for anyone. Until we can think and act as though we are plural, no one can really be free.

Teachers will listen for what comes up and reassure children that they are safe at TNS.  They will communicate with you directly about conversations and actions that emerge over these next days and weeks.  For your part, turn news off when young children are in earshot.  Listen carefully to what kids ask so that your answers are in sync with what they really want to know.  Answer questions honestly. Assure children that in NYC, the police now protect all houses of worship so that people are safe.  Talk about your own community’s proactive efforts to fight prejudice and value differences. If your family is Jewish, your child may feel especially and understandably vulnerable or may be worried about your safety when you are apart. Try to be generally available, reassuring and involved.  If children want to do something to help, they can make a drawing/dictate/write a letter to the congregation in Pittsburgh that was targeted. In talking with older children, offer and think about all of the above, but make sure there are a lot of opportunities for conversations over the next few days and weeks.  Listen for indications that this reminds them of other threats or losses. Offer ways to help the Pittsburgh congregation. Invite proactive activities (letters to editors, politicians, etc. re: gun control, support for religious and cultural diversity, etc.). I find that the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance is an excellent resource for educators and families.

A few items that fall under “housekeeping”:

Many of you have written me about concerns around the rodent and roach issue in our building.  Staff and I share your concerns and have been frustrated by the lack of response from the DOE. An exterminator finally came last week to assess the situation and suggest next steps.  Charlie Forte, the Deputy Director of School Facilities has assured me that the custodial staff will begin sealing holes both inside and outside the building this week. I will keep you posted.

The adult bathroom on the first floor (near the exit to recess yard) is the designated adult bathroom for children and their grown-ups.  Please do not bring children into adult bathrooms on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th floors. Thank you.

Please do not leave strollers in the Lobby during the day.  They block access to scooters, the safety agents’ area and most importantly, pose a fire hazard.  Thank you.

Please take an active role supervising your children after school on the recess yard and playground.  Sometimes play can get rough and adult intervention and support is needed. Your children thank you.  ; )

Mark your calendars:

  • SING is Wednesday in the auditorium.  We will also have a bake sale in the lobby beforehand.  

  • Our Halloween Parade Wednesday, October 31st at 6, but activities start at 5:30 in the recess yard.  Children and families from our school and the surrounding neighborhood gather in the TNS recess yard to show off their costumes.  Please remember to save candy and costumes for the parade!   

  • Thursday is Picture Day.  Individual shots will be taken in the PTA Room and class pictures will be taken in the small cafeteria.  Every child will have their picture taken. Families will get a code specifically for their child and they can go to the Cool for School website to order their child’s pictures.  November 29 is saved for sibling pictures and make-ups.

  • SLT meets at 8AM in Room 313.  All are welcome.


School Survey
Vote on Article V and Mission Statement for the SLT ByLaws
Gender Neutral Student Bathrooms
Community Day (with a focus on rodent prevention)

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

Finally, moving forward, 5th grade Girls and Boys Projects will now be called The Leaders Project.



News & Announcements


Bring your costumed kids and get ready to play and party!

We’ve got some FUN activities for all our kids (and us parents) and a crazy cool PHOTO “booth” to capture all the spook-tacular costumes and camaraderie.

We DEF need PARENT VOLUNTEERS to manage games like a MUMMY WRAP RELAY and to help us with our kid friendly holiday version of a SILENT DISCO. If you’re available, contact us! 

Marc Santa Maria (marcsm99@gmail.com) and Jess Gronholm (jess.gronholm@gmail.com) Parents of Hope and Makena in Wanda’s and Erin’s PRE-K’s.

Halloween 2018PS. Huge THANKS to KAREN OH for designing this wicked Flyer-Poster!

News & Announcements



*To purchase tickets go to Eventbrite, search TNS or click here then select “tickets” and enter $ amount for number of tickets. Proceeds support students at The Neighborhood School. 

Gotham Comedy Night 11/5

News & Announcements

TNS Restaurant Night - Wednesday Nov 7th

Dine out at Charrua Uruguayan Bistro on Wednesday, November 7th, any time 5:00 - 11:00 p.m., and 20% of your bill will be donated to the PTA of The Neighborhood School.

Bring the kids! Bring your neighbors and friends! All are welcome.

Charrua is an Uruguayan bistro on the Lower East Side and is owned by a TNS family. They have generously agreed to donate 20% of all sales for the evening to TNS. Support our school’s many wonderful arts, music, dance, camp, garden, and community programming while dining out at a great neighborhood restaurant.

Reservations recommended but not required: http://www.charruanyc.com/reservations

Charrua TNS Restaurant Night