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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of February 6, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

At TNS, we believe that children learn best through first-hand experiences with people, materials and places; that is why trips are such an important part of our school’s curriculum.  Some trips, like ice skating may not be so much about content learning, but about giving children opportunities to have different kinds of life experiences.  Many of our children learn to ice skate by going on these trips twice each year.

Similarly, every year our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders go to camp for three days and two nights: our 3rd graders go to Camp Speers Eljabar YMCA and our 4th/5th graders go to Camp Ashokan.  We expect all of our students to go camp.  These camping trips are an essential part a student’s TNS experience and reflect the values of our mission.  Our 4th and 5th graders are going to camp this week!  Please reach out to your child’s teacher, me or Noemi if you have any questions about your child participating in this trip.

Mark your calendars:

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

  • Narrative Reports go home Monday.

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

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

  • 4th and 5th grades go to Camp Ashokan Wednesday - Friday.

  • 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.  Kindergarten teacher, Dianne will lead the group as a fellow parent.  

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

I will be going to Camp Ashokan with our 4th and 5th graders Wednesday and Thursday.  I will be back at school Friday morning.

Have a great week,


News & Announcements

What’s Up February 2017

What's Up 2/17

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 30, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

During the month of January, teachers are hard at work in the evenings and on the weekends writing narrative reports.  Narrative reports tell the story of a child as a learner; they are descriptive, filled with precise detail, and reveal a child’s interests, strengths and areas for growth.  Children seldom progress in a neat and predictably-sequenced manner; each child is a unique individual with different life experiences and no two developmental pathways are the same.  As I read over your children’s reports, I am struck by how each one paints a distinct picture of each child.  I know you will cherish reading them.  Reports will go home Monday, February 6.

There are two opportunities TODAY to come together and stand up for the values and ideals that we hold so dear at TNS:

There is a “Rally Against Hate” in Tompkins Square Park from 6:30-7:30 p.m. tonight. It will be held at the entrance of the park on East 7th Street and Avenue A.  Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, elected officials, faith leaders, and community organizers will stand together against the Trump administration’s executive orders targeting Muslims and all immigrants.

There is a rally today at 5 p.m. in front of the Tweed Courthouse (52 Chambers Street) to oppose the nomination of Betsy DeVos as the next Secretary of Education.  We have heard from members of both the Mayor’s office and the Chancellor’s office that national media will be in attendance to cover this historic vote as NYC sends a clear message to the nation regarding the future of our public schools.

Mark your calendars:

  • Judy, Dianne & Shaquawn, Jane, Olivia & Chelsea, Grace & Caroline, and Laura & Michiko’s classes will go ice skating at Prospect Park Tuesday.

  • The ECO Committee will meet on Thursday at drop-off in the PTA Room.

  • We have a TNS half-day this Friday.  Dismissal at 11:45 a.m.



News & Announcements

Jamaal Bowman tomorrow...


Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 23, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

In my letter last week, I wrote about how part of our work at school is to teach children to resolve conflicts respectfully.  Of course, we hope our grown-ups will model this behavior when opportunities arise.  When parents come to me to share a concern about their child or teacher, one of my first questions is, “Have you discussed this with your child’s teacher?”

TNS was formed around the belief that families and teachers can learn from each other and we have always emphasized the collaborative relationships that develop around supporting children.  Open and ongoing communication between families and staff is essential to support children’s development.  We have created a process for TNS families and staff to communicate with one another when concerns or conflicts arise; the goal being to maintain or restore collaboration so that children receive the strongest possible support.  We are committed to supporting every child and every family. We hope that this document, called, “Guidelines for Resolving Concerns Between Members of Our School Community“ will serve as a guide to keep our community strong.  

Please come to hear Jamaal A. Bowman speak Monday at 6:30 p.m.  Jamaal Bowman is the founding principal of Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School and has worked as an educator for over 15 years. He is the author of “The Tyranny of Standardized Testing“, “Let ‘Em Play” and “End School Privatization”.  You can learn more about him from his blog: https://jamaalabowman.wordpress.com.

At TNS, we look at children and measure their development on an individual continuum.  Teachers use techniques of assessment such as anecdotal notes, running records and writing and math samples to analyze individual student’s progress.  I encourage you to come to our discussion on Thursday, January 26th at 8:40am in the PTA Room to learn more about the ways in which TNS teachers assess student learning.  Our teachers, Erin, Dianne, Jane, Grace and Corinthia will share the ways they “measure” student growth and make decisions about class instruction, and the place state testing plays in instruction and curriculum.  Please join us!

Mark Your Calendars:

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

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

  • SING is Wednesday at 8:45 in the auditorium.  Please also join us for the bake sale in the lobby beforehand (also, this is a call for donated baked goods).

Have a good week,