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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of March 13, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

What does diversity look like in our library?  Over 25 years ago, Rudine Sims Bishop coined the term “Mirrors and Windows” to describe the concept that children’s literature could both reflect the reader and her experiences, or provide a glimpse into the lives of others.  This concept has guided our librarian, Cheryl in her consideration of kids’ books for our collection. (You can read Bishop’s essay here: https://www.psdschools.org/webfm/8559)

We are all limited by what’s available in the marketplace. The We Need Diverse Books movement, a grassroots advocacy group, has been successful in putting pressure on the publishing industry to produce more diverse content for young readers.  They envision “a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book.”  Please join Cheryl, me and other families for coffee in the Library after drop-off on Friday to browse a collection that endeavors to reflect the beautiful diversity of our school community.   

Please complete your 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.  Each student received a green envelope containing a hard copy of the survey to fill out along with postage-paid envelope. You can also complete the survey online using your access code (in the green envelope).  The deadline for completing parent surveys is Friday, March 31st.  Thank you!

This is a gentle reminder:  the fence around the front is not to climbing.  We have a play structure around the corner just for that purpose.  

Mark your Calendars:

  • Advocacy Committee will meet Monday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.  

  • The Garden Committee will meet Monday at drop-off in the PTA room.

  • SLT (School Leadership Team) will meet on Tuesday at 8 a.m. in room 301.  This meeting is open to all.

  • Our Test Forum is Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. in the auditorium.  This is a follow-up from our last advocacy meeting about assessment at TNS: how we “measure” learning.  Most of the meeting will be Q&A, but Michiko, Joanne, Grace, Hannah, Dianne, members of the Advocacy Committee and I will give some context to the discussion first.

  • We have rescheduled our Town Hall Meeting for Tuesday afternoon from 4 - 4:30 p.m. in the auditorium.   Representatives from the School Construction Authority and Department of Facilities will be there to address questions about lead results in water, construction and safety drills.

  • Our March PTA Meeting is Thursday at 8:40 a.m. in the PTA Room.

  • Friday, March 17 is a TNS Half-day.  Dismissal is at 11:45 a.m.

Lastly, don’t forget to “spring ahead” for Daylight Savings; you will need set your clocks one hour forward.

See you bright and extra early,

Dyanthe

News & Announcements

Discover Diversity in Our Own Library....3/17 right after drop off

Discover Diversity

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Two Forums About the NY State Tests

Dear 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade Families,

This year the NY State English Language Arts tests will be administered March 28 - 30th.  The NY State Math Test will be administered April 13 - 15.  

Last year 80% of our 3rd, 4th and 5th grade families opted their children out of the State Tests.  It is important that the school knows if your child is going to take the NYS Tests this year so we can organize staffing and materials.  Please let me or your child’s classroom teacher(s) know as soon as possible so we can plan accordingly.  

This year we will have TWO forums to address families’ questions about high stakes testing and the implications for our children, teachers and school:

We will have a forum on testing at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 15.  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 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 will also have a special forum to discuss the role that state tests play in the Middle School Application process on Wednesday, March 22 (right after Sing).  This is an opportunity for families to learn about the process and hear from TNS families who have been through it and have children in middle school.

At TNS, we support all parents in making the best decisions for their individual children.  We hope that by attending these forums, families will have a better understanding of what testing and test preparation look like at TNS, and what the tests mean for your child and the school.  

Please feel free to reach out any time.  I hope to see you all at these important discussions.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of March 6, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

It’s at this time each year that the Department of Education (DOE) Parent Survey comes out.  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.  Each TNS family needs to complete a survey so that the Chancellor knows that our parents are involved, informed, and are advocates for our children.  Please check your child’s backpack; surveys go home today.  The deadline for completing parent surveys is Friday, March 31st.  Thank you!

Thank you to our wonderful parent volunteers who cleaned and organized the P.T.A. room and storage, lobby and Project Room!  There is a new sign-in setup for families and an area for children to peruse and take home free books just behind it.  We finally have a “Lost and Found” box in the lobby (behind the sign-in area).  Shelves were built in Room 306-the Project Room.  The scooter box is empty.  Let’s work together to keep our school clean.  Please remember:

*Put scooters in the Scooter box.

*Take scooters home everyday.

*The Scooter box is not for lost and found items.

Family conferences are this wee  Please be sure to sign-up for a conference time with your child’s teacher.  Wednesday is late night conferences and Thursday is a half-day for conferences.  If you are having any trouble signing up for a conference, please call the school office and we will help coordinate a time for you.  Please note that conferences are with your child’s classroom teacher; you may set up a time to meet with your child’s math teacher at a later time this month, if you wish.  

Mark your Calendars:

  • Erin, Wanda, Shaniqua & Lindsey, Sofia & Joanne and Hannah’s classes go ice skating at Prospect Park Monday.

  • The Garden Committee will meet on Monday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • The Grants Committee will meet on Tuesday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • STAR and TNS will have a Town Hall Meeting with both family communities on Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. in the cafeteria to address questions about lead results in water, construction and safety drills.

  • Parent’s of Unique Kids Support Group meets this Wednesday morning at drop-off in Room 301.  This is a support group for parents and caretakers; it is an opportunity to share experiences, defeats, and strategies with each other.

  • Family Conferences are this week!   Wednesday is late night conferences and Thursday is a HALF-DAY for conferences; dismissal is at 11:45 a.m.

  • The PTA Executive Meeting is Thursday at 8:30 a.m. in the PTA Room.  All are welcome!

  • Erin, Wanda, Shaniqua & Lindsey, Dara, Sofia & Joanne, Alexis & Corinthia and Hannah’s classes go ice skating at Prospect Park Friday.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

News & Announcements

What’s Up March 2017

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