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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of August 26, 2019

Dear Families,

Summer break feels endless in July and I’m always a little surprised to find September, and the start of another school year, right around the corner.  One aspect of teaching that I love is the ebb and flow of the year. Each fall is a new beginning of sorts, with new students and at least a few new colleagues; it’s an opportunity to take all that I learned from last year and begin again.

You should have received a letter from your child’s teacher by now. Please email me or Noemi if you didn’t and we can forward it along to you!  For those of you new to our community, this is my seventh year as principal of The Neighborhood School. My name Dyanthe (pronounced: Diane-thee), is a family name from Sri Lanka.  I am a mom to an almost 13-year-old daughter, two kittens and a nine-year-old pit bull mix. Most kids recognize my approach by the “click-clack” of my shoes-- I almost always wear heels (even though I am plenty tall without them).  I try to be in the lobby at arrival each morning to greet our children and families. It’s one of my favorite times of the day.  

We have a few staff changes this year.  I am thrilled to share that Tiffany Koo will teach 4th/5th grade.  Tiffany is an experienced progressive educator who has been teaching since 2013.  Sam Larson is also joining our staff for the year as our school psychologist while Natalie Roth takes leave to be with her new baby.  Finally, both Anthony and Sarah Whitney, our beloved school nurse, will be with us this year! HOORAY!

Thursday, September 5th is the first day of school for students!  We start the day at 8:25 AM and children and their families must wait until 8:23 AM to go upstairs to classrooms.  Breakfast is available to all students and is served each morning, beginning at 7:45 AM.  Dismissal for our Kindergarteners will be at 11:30 AM for the first two days of school.  Pre-K children follow a different schedule during the first weeks of school so please check-in with Wanda or Erin, if you have questions.  The school day ends at 2:45 PM for everyone else.

I hope you can come to our PTA sponsored Welcome (back) Picnic on Wednesday, September 4th in the recess yard from 3 - 6 PM.  Please bring a dish to share!  

Enjoy these last few days of summer.  I can’t wait to see you soon!

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of June 24, 2019

Dear Families,

June is a month in which our moods vary from elated to sad because it is a time in which we realize that we are about to separate and may not see each other until the fall.  We take a moment to thank the incredible unifying work of our outgoing PTA Executive Board. Their efforts have been tireless this year.

There are no words that can adequately thank our staff, whose dedication to our children and families is unwavering.  I continue to be inspired by their work and the complex and deep ways they think about children, teaching and learning.  

It is also time to say goodbye to a very special member of our teaching community, Mildred Guy.  Mildred has worked at TNS for 25 years with all ages, from Pre-K to 6th grade, with different classroom teachers, paras, science teachers, support teachers, 3 principals, and Teddy.  Phew! We will miss her but wish her the best of luck on this part of her journey!

Mark Your Calendars:

  • TNS and STAR Academy are hosting a Town Hall meeting about school lunch on Monday at 8:30 AM in the auditorium.  This is a chance for families from both schools to discuss the lunch menu options for next year.  Please join us.

  • Monday and Tuesday are Camp Days at TNS.  Please send a change of clothes to school for your child.  If you do not want your child to go into the sprinklers, please let your teacher know.  Please note, students must come to school to participate in Camp Days and may not be dropped off or picked up from the park.

  • Wednesday, June 26 is the last day of school.   Dismissal is at 11:45 AM.  It is also the last  SING of the year. We will meet in the big yard at 8:45 AM.  Please note, we do not have a bake sale.

  • Class placement letters and class lists for next year go home the last day of school.  If your child is not here that day, you can email me or Noemi over the summer and we will send the information to you.  Your child’s teacher(s) will send a supply list later in the summer.

I hope you have a wonderful summer with your children, full of adventure and play and have lots of stories to share when we see each other again in September.  I will miss you!

Much Love,

Dyanthe

News & Announcements

SCHOOL LUNCH TOWN HALL MON 6/24 8:30AM

SCHOOL LUNCH TOWN HALL

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of June 17, 2019

Dear Families,

It is a tradition to have “Camp Days” on the last two full days of school; this year they will be Monday, June 24th and Tuesday, June 25th.  Our K/1s will go to the park at 1st and 1st and 2nd - 5th grades will go to Tompkins Square Park (the north side, near 10th Street, between Avenue A & B).  Pre-K will have camp days in the recess yard.  Students will get wet if the sprinklers are on (and we hope they are), so please send a change of clothes to school for your child.  If you do not want your child to go into the sprinklers, please let your teacher know.  Please note, students must come to school to participate in Camp Days and may not be dropped off or picked up from the park.

TNS and STAR Academy are hosting a Town Hall meeting about school lunch on Monday, June 24 at 8:30 AM in the auditorium.  This is a chance to discuss the lunch menu options for next year.  Representatives from the district office and State Assembly member Harvey Epstein will also be there.  Please come and share your ideas!

Mark Your Calendars:

  • There is NO SCHOOL tomorrow, Tuesday, June 18.

  • Third Street Music School is hosting its spring open house TOMORROW from 3 - 6 PM.  Partners@3rd classes are tuition-free for students during the first year of instruction at Third Street.  Second year instruction is discounted, and financial aid is available for years three and beyond. The open house is free and will take place at its building on 235 East 11th Street near 2nd Avenue. TNS students ages 6 (by December 31, 2019) to 14 will be able to meet teachers, try out different dance styles, chorus, instruments, and apply for free and reduced-rate group classes with openings in the fall.  Children interested in attending the event must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information, contact Third Street’s Student Services office at: 212-777-3240 ext. 53.

  • 5th Grade graduation is this Thursday at 1:15 PM in the auditorium.

  • Narrative Reports go home Friday.

Have a good week,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of June 10, 2019

Dear Families,

During the month of June, teachers are hard at work in the evenings and on the weekends writing end-of-year progress reports.  Progress reports tell the story of a child as a learner over the year; they reveal a child’s interests, strengths, and areas for growth.  Reports go home Friday,  June 21.

As this year draws to a close, TNS staff and I are taking time to reflect on decisions we made last year when we shifted to Pre-K stand alone, Kindergarten/1st, 2nd/3rd, and 4th/5th.  One shift we made was to have our 2nd/3rd grades eat in the classrooms with their teachers and have 50 minutes of recess every day. The 2nd/3rd-grade teachers and I recently met and decided to continue both.  There are so many reasons that the teachers feel that lunch in the classroom benefits children at this age. In years past when TNS shared the cafeteria space with PS 63 and our 4th/5th-grade classes, 3rd-grade students had about 20 scheduled minutes to eat, including time for transitioning from upstairs and to the schoolyard and about 20 minutes for recess.  We think that our children in these grades need more time for lunch and play. When the students have lunch in the classroom, teachers have the opportunity to facilitate social-emotional learning and manage social interactions, if needed. Teachers also have the opportunity to get to know their students and forge relationships outside of academics. Most of the time, it is a quieter and calmer setting than the cafeteria.  That said, eating in the classrooms does mean teachers need to be more vigilant about the rodent situation and I am certain they are committed to this! I very much hope that families value and appreciate the work teachers do with our students during lunch in the classroom. I believe that it is one of many aspects of our school that is so unique and special.

Friday is Field Day!  Get ready for organized chaos!  This is one of my favorite TNS traditions because it is all about eating, playing and just being together.   Our entire school will go to Prospect Park for a picnic and outdoor activities. All classes will have buses this year.  Please check with your child’s teacher about departure time. Sadly, I will not be at Field Day this year because I am going to my brother’s wedding, but I can’t wait to hear about all about it!

Two very important notes:  

  • Please do not purchase food, including ice cream or icies for your child unless you plan to buy for the entire school.

  • Parents wishing to take children out early or directly from the park must sign-out with their classroom teachers.

Mark Your Calendars:

  • NO SCHOOL for students Tuesday.
  • Third Street Music School is hosting its spring open house on Tuesday from 3 - 6 PM.  Partners@3rd classes are tuition-free for students during the first year of instruction at Third Street.  Second year instruction is discounted, and financial aid is available for years three and beyond. The open house is free and will take place at its building on 235 East 11th Street near 2nd Avenue. TNS students ages 6 (by December 31, 2019) to 14 will be able to meet teachers, try out different dance styles, chorus, instruments, and apply for free and reduced-rate group classes with openings in the fall.  Children interested in attending the event must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information, contact Third Street’s Student Services office at: 212-777-3240 ext. 53.

  • Our final PTA General meeting will take place Thursday at 8:30 AM in the PTA room.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

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