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News & Announcements

Changes in Sing This Year

Dear Families,

I am writing to let you know that Sing is going to look a little different this year.  

It is an important practice for schools to revisit long-standing traditions regularly to consider what is working and what’s not.  It is in this spirit that our staff came together several times last year to reflect on Sing. 

Sing began at TNS when the school was small enough to hold all classes in the first-floor gym space (it’s a small space!). The school wanted to create a time when students and staff could come together around a shared activity - singing.  Singing brings our voices together as one, offers an opportunity to teach history, language, and learn about other cultures. It connects people of all ages. It is also an activity that children of any age can participate in. Originally, Sing was held in the middle of the day and was only for staff and children.  At some point, we changed the time of Sing to the morning after drop-off and began to include families.

Our school has grown a lot larger since then.  In response, we moved Sing to the auditorium. However, as we have continued to grow we find ourselves having outgrown this space as well and can be overwhelming for many children!  We thought of a few possibilities to resolve this, one being to hold Sing outside. Of course, the weather puts some limits on this. 

After discussing Sing thoroughly and at length, our staff decided to try a new format this year.  Sing will happen on one of the last Fridays of the month. Sometimes Sing will include families and other times, it will only be for staff and children.  Whenever possible, we will hold Sing outside in the recess yard.  Here are the dates we will have Sing with Families:  9/27, 10/18, 12/20, 5/29, and 6/26. They are also on our TNS calendar (http://tnsny.org/docs/calendar). 

Our staff has made these decisions through a thoughtful process, taking into consideration the needs, well-being, and safety of our children.  We thought of and tried out many different scenarios and decided that this one feels right for TNS, as we are now. We will reflect on how it went at the end of the year and will revisit this tradition on a regular basis to make sure we are doing the best we can for our children. 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,


News & Announcements

TNS PTA Newsletter - 9/16/19

Please click on the image below to download a PDF version of the TNS PTA newsletter for the week of 9/16/19 . TNS Newsletter 9-16-2019

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of September 16, 2019

Dear Families,

Young people are calling on millions of us across the planet to disrupt” business as usual” by joining the global climate strikes this Friday, September 20 (https://globalclimatestrike.net/).  Our 4th/5th grades will march to Tompkins Square Park Friday morning to join other schools marching for climate change.  The idea was inspired by the “Hopes and Dreams” of the children in Alexis and Corinthia’s class who said they wanted to “protest for something that matters” and teachers thought this would be a good way to respond.  The 4/5s will also make climate strike signs in classes this week.

All of our 4th/5th-grade classes are participating in a series of Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy lessons with our librarian, Cheryl this fall.  “Media Literacy” is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create and act using all forms of communication. In its simplest terms, media literacy builds upon the foundation of traditional literacy and offers new forms of reading and writing.  We believe this work will better prepare our students to be critical thinkers and makers, effective communicators and active citizens. 

This week at TNS:

  • Lunch Menu Update:  On days when the kitchen offers an entree from the “Classic Menu” they will also prepare a plant-based option is from the alternative menu.  We have also implemented a system of serving the salad in the classrooms.  Yum!

  • Our first PTA meeting is on Thursday morning at 8:35 AM in the PTA Room.

  • The Climate March, September 20:  Schools will excuse students who miss school and attend the march with their families.  Please send in a letter/email to me explaining that your child will be absent Friday because they are attending the march.  

  • Families are organizing a TNS contingent to the march.  There will be a sign-making event organized by parents after school on Thursday.  The march starts at 1 PM so parents will need to sign-out kids around noon and head to Foley Square.

Looking Ahead:

  • Curriculum Night is Thursday, September 26.  Pre-k and K/1st-grade families will meet in the classrooms from 5 - 6 PM and then will meet with out-of-classroom teachers and support staff in the Library from 6 - 6:30 PM.  2nd through 5th-grade families will meet in the Library from 5:30 - 6 PM and will meet in classrooms from 6 - 7 PM. The PTA will host a “Mix and Mingle” for families in the front courtyard garden from 5:30 - 7:30 PM.  Childcare will be provided for TNS students (sorry, no siblings).

Finally, a gentle reminder:  please follow the Up and Down directions posted on staircase doors to ensure safe flow in the building during drop-off and pick-up.  Thank you!

Have a good week,


News & Announcements

TNS PTA Newsletter - 9/9/19

Please click on the image below to download a PDF version of our first newsletter of the year.

TNS Newsletter 9-19-2019

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of September 9, 2019

Dear Families, 

This is year two of our grade band reconfiguration and many students are returning for their second year together and with their teachers.  What a difference a year makes; children were already busy at work and play on the first day! One benefit of mixed-age classrooms is that returning students already know routines and can support new students to adjust.  This dynamic increases older children’s level of independence and competence while also building younger children’s spirit of belonging to a community of learners.  I always say, it’s like having thirteen teachers instead of just one or two!

Adjusting to school routines and feeling a part of the classroom community may take time, especially for children who are new to the school or class.  Some kids will start the year off easily, adjusting in stride.  Others will enter the building protesting from day one. Then there are those who rush off to school with great enthusiasm but meltdown the moment they see you.  These are all naturals reactions to the start of school and will pass in time. At school, we will make sure children have opportunities to connect with teachers individually and within the class by sharing concerns, feelings, ideas and meaningful moments.  We will use reflective language and read-alouds to help children tune into and value their own feelings, ideas and experiences and give them a foundation for positive self-worth.  

I hope every family received a TNS Handbook (if not, please stop by the office and ask for a copy).  It describes some important TNS values as well as the essential “nuts and bolts” to get started this year.  

All Neighborhood School families should subscribe to our school’s listserv. It is used for official communication from me, other school staff and the PTA. It keeps you aware of important events happening in the school. This is a moderated list and very few emails are sent out weekly.  If you know a parent who is not on the email list, please forward my letter to them with this link: http://lists.theneighborhoodschool.org/listinfo.cgi/tns-list-theneighborhoodschool.org.  You can also learn about what’s happening by going to our school website calendar at http://tnsny.org/docs/calendar.

The TNS PTA is looking for a pair of co-secretaries to join its Executive Board. The job is fun, low-key and a great way for a new parent (YOU) to learn more about the school and get involved with the energetic group of parents heading up the TNS this year. Responsibilities include: attending PTA Executive (chocolate provided) and General Meetings; circulating agendas before meetings; taking minutes and circulating minutes after meetings; keeping a sense of humor.

Mark your calendars:

  • Pre-K/Kindergarten Families Welcome:  Noemi and I meet with new Pre-K and K families on Monday at 8:30 AM in the library. 

  • All after school programming begins this week.

  • The PTA Executive Committee meets on Tuesday at 8:35 AM in the PTA Room.  All are welcome.

  • The School Leadership Team (SLT) will meet Thursday morning in Room 314 at 8 AM.  The SLT is a committee made up of elected parents, teachers and me.  We write, revise and disseminate school policies.  Monthly meetings are for the School Leadership Team Representatives and are open to all TNS families.  

  • Our Welcome (Back) Breakfast for ALL families is Friday at 8:35AM in the library.  Please stop by: sign-up to be on a committee and learn about our vision for TNS this year!