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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

September 17, 2018

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

I am always bemused when parents introduce me to their 3, 4 and 5 year olds with gusto and enthusiasm as The Principal, as if this title conveys any meaning.  However, last week a parent shared that her Pre-K son excitedly told her the “Prince” had visited the classroom that day. It took her a few more questions to connect the dots.  ; ) This made me think about children’s language and how they make sense of the spoken word. Really listening to them and making mental notes of what they say, their confusions and their linguistic predictions offers us insight into how they are constructing understandings about language. They teach us how to teach them.

I am thrilled to share that assistant principal Anthony Chianese will be at TNS this year.  Anthony taught for 15 years before becoming an administrator; this is his 15th year in this role.  He is already welcoming children and families in the lobby at arrival, supervising upper grade lunch and recess and quickly becoming an important part of our community!

I am sharing the school-wide homework policy our staff created last Spring.  We weighed many factors when coming up with our homework policy.  We know that children’s lives are busy, as are the lives of the adults in their families who are asked to offer support with homework.  In addition, we know how important it is for children to have down time, family time, and plenty of opportunities for play outside of school.  Our community is made up of diverse learners, and we recognize that each child’s experience with homework will be different; activities grow out of the needs and curriculum of each individual class and out of individual children’s needs.  Your child’s teacher(s) will talk more about homework at Curriculum Night.

Mark your calendars:

  • There is no school Wednesday in observance of Yom Kippur.

  • Our first PTA meeting is Thursday at 8:30 AM in the PTA Room.  The PTA is a volunteer group made up of families 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.  Monthly meetings are open to all TNS families who would like to attend.

  • Curriculum Night is Monday, September 24th.  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. Childcare is available for TNS students only; please sign-up with Noemi.

Finally, a gentle reminder:  please follow the Up and Down directions posted on staircase doors to ensure safe flow in the building.



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of September 12, 2018

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

The staggered start to the school year means children may need extra time and support adjusting to school routines and feeling a part of the classroom community.  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. Others may get stomach aches, or have difficulty falling asleep.  These are all normal reactions to the start of school.  

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 and traditions, as well as the essential “nuts and bolts” to get started this year.  

All Neighborhood School families should, if possible, subscribe to our school’s listserv. It is used for official communication from the school staff and PTA. It keeps you aware of important events happening in the school. This is a moderated list and, honestly, 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.

Curriculum Night is Monday, September 24.  We rescheduled curriculum night so all staff and families can participate.  Between other elementary school curriculum nights, middle school curriculum night, high school curriculum night and the holidays, it wasn’t easy!  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. Childcare will be provided for TNS students only (sorry, no sibs).

Mark your calendars:

  • After school programming begins this week.

  • The School Leadership Team (SLT) will meet Thursday morning in Room 313 at 8AM.  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!



News & Announcements

TNS Parents’ Night Out

Tickets are now on sale for our upcoming Parents’ Night Out!

Buy them online here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tns-parents-night-out-tickets-50127585959

Parents' Night Out

$25 per ticket includes live music + 1 raffle ticket

Cash Bar

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

September 4, 2018

Welcome Back Neighborhood School Families!

I hope you and your children have had a good vacation and are eager to begin the school year.  I can’t quite believe today is Labor Day and the children arrive Wednesday. Last week, I participated in a principals’ meeting and spent the morning studying yet another system used to evaluate principals... this in addition to all the different rubrics used to measure us, students and schools.  The experience left me feeling disconnected and deflated. It was coming back to school, watching and helping teachers set-up classrooms, listening to them talking together, laughing, and sharing ideas later that day that reminded me of what I love about school and specifically our community, and excited me for the year.  As I walk around the building, I see how thoughtful teachers are being in creating spaces for their students. As I move from room to room, I think how lucky our children and families are… to have such caring and dedicated teachers.

I hope you will be able come to the PTA sponsored Welcome (back) Picnic Tuesday, September 4th in the recess yard from 4 - 6 PM.  Please bring a dish to share! No worries if you can’t make it; we will see you bright and early Wednesday morning.

Wednesday, September 5th is the first day of school for students!  We start each day at 8:25 AM  Please remember that children and families must wait until 8:23 AM to go upstairs to classroom.  Yes, even on the first day.  Breakfast is served each morning beginning at 7:45 AM.  The school day ends at 2:45 PM. Late pick-up is in Room 306 (across from the boys bathroom on the 3rd floor).

Unsure about your child’s after school plans this year?  Please come to our after After School Program Fair Friday at 8 AM in the Lobby.  All after school programs begin the week of September 12th.

Please also remember there is no school next Monday and Tuesday in observance of Rosh Hashanah.

I am eager to see you and your children soon!



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

August 2018

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

On my way home today, I bumped into a soon-to-be TNS 3rd grader playing at the park.  We exchanged summer stories. He asked about his new teacher (“Is he strict?”)  On parting, he excitedly exclaimed, “15 more days until school!”  

It has been yet another busy summer at TNS.  Custodial staff have been working hard readying classrooms for September.  We’ve ordered new furniture and materials, including cubbies and lofts for our Kindergarten/1st grades and blocks for 2nd/3rd.  Several very dedicated parents have watered our beautiful garden regularly. Teachers have been planning and even today, several teachers were at school, setting up for the start of another year.

Changing grade configurations to Kindergarten/1st, 2nd/3rd and 4th/5th has given us the opportunity to revisit our progressive values and rethink some practices; one of these is recess.  Recess is a time when children play: they develop their imaginations, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Undirected play allows them to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and learn self-advocacy skills.  All of our children will have more time to play this year.  As in the past, our Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and 1st graders will have recess 50 minutes-a-day, from 10:40 - 11:30 AM.  Our 2nd and 3rd graders will also have 50 minutes of recess a day, from 12:40 - 1:30 PM. All of our Pre-Kindergarten through 3rd graders will eat lunch in the classrooms with their teachers.  While our 4th and 5th graders will still have 20ish minutes of recess from 12:20 - 12:40 and eat lunch in the cafeteria, classes will have the opportunity to sign-up for additional outdoor time during the school day.

I hope you will be able come to the PTA sponsored Welcome (back) Picnic on Tuesday, September 4th in the recess yard from 4 - 6 PM.  Please bring a dish to share!

But if not, we’ll see you in 16 days… : )