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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of February 25, 2019

Welcome Back Families,

Our 4th and 5th graders leave for Camp Ashokan this Wednesday!  The Ashokan Center’s trails and outdoor campus offers students the opportunity to hike to the depths of the 350 million year old Cathedral Gorge and the Turnwood-Ashokan Covered Bridge.  Programming includes history, natural science including watershed studies and ecology, community building, the arts and stewardship/service learning and sustainability.  We expect that ALL students to go to camp.  The trip is an essential part a child’s TNS experience and reflects our values about how children learn best.  Please reach out to your child’s teacher, me or Noemi if you have any questions about your child participating in this trip.  

During Building Council last Friday, the principal of STAR and I met with custodial and kitchen staff about the Alternative School Menu which was adopted by TNS/STAR last spring.  While the kitchen staff has recently added tuna sandwiches as an alternative entree (in addition to PB&J, cheese sandwiches or hummus), since adopting the alternative menu, overall entree orders have decreased and food waste has increased.  Our kitchen manager, LaToya will present at this Thursday’s PTA Meeting.

It’s at this time each year that the Department of Education (DOE) Parent Survey comes out.  The DOE survey gathers information about family’s overall satisfaction with the 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. Each student will receive 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).  Thank you!

Mark your calendars:

  • The Diversity Committee meets Tuesday morning at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • SING is Wednesday at 8:45AM in the auditorium.  We will have a bake sale in the lobby beforehand.

  • The next TNS Restaurant Night is Wednesday from 4-11PM at Boticarios (58 East 1st Street).

  • Our PTA General Meeting is Thursday at 8:35AM in the PTA Room.



News & Announcements

TNS Restaurant Night at Boticarios

Boticarios Restaurant NightOur next TNS Restaurant Night is coming soon! Wednesday, Feb 27, 4-11pm at Boticarios. Hope you can make it.

News & Announcements

Farm Trip Fundraiser

Heart Wall

Thanks to everyone’s hard work, beautiful Valentine-themed baked goods, and lovely messages to teachers, kids, and parents, our Farm Trip fundraiser was a big success! We raised over $1000 to help offset the cost of the farm trip for our 2nd and 3rd graders.  Most importantly, it was heartwarming to see everyone come together and to see all of the sweet messages lining our lobby wall. Thank you!

News & Announcements


Thanks to our talented and generous community, we have once again had great success with our HANDMADE FOR PR event!  This year we raised $851!  We will be using this funds to send supplies to the Rescue My School program in Puerto Rico.  Great News out of PR is that the Secretary of Education of Puerto Rico has been charged with corruption and there is a warrant out for her arrest.  We are hopeful that a new Secretary will lead with more integrity putting children, families, and educators first!!

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of February 11, 2019

Dear Families,

 Last year was our first time visiting the Manhattan Country School (MCS) Farm.  Early that fall, Grace approached the 3rd grade team and me about trying something different from the camp we had been going to for years.  Part of this came out of a shared sense of dissatisfaction with our recent experiences, but more so because we were in search of a place that would make sense for our younger 2nd and 3rd grade classes.  As it turns out, The Manhattan Country School Farm is just that place. It is a small working farm in the Catskill Mountains, 150 miles north of New York City, in Roxbury, NY. The 180-acre property features a farmhouse that sleeps 24 students, a textile studio, a nature lab, a greenhouse, a barn, a recreation building, a sap house, a chicken house, and a historic stone house. The farm is staffed by full-time farmers and educators.  During the winter, students care for the animals (chickens, cows, pigs and sheep); learn to weave; explore snow covered fields and mountains and frozen streams; and study traditional and contemporary life in the Catskills. Zero-mile meals and a closed-loop food cycle are daily experiences. By sharing in these activities, attending daily classes and performing household and barn chores, children come to function as a mutually reliant community.  It is also good to know that students from Manhattan Country School begin their overnight trips to the farm at age 7 and the school’s students use the farm throughout the school year. It’s a very special place and I am so excited that each 2nd/3rd class gets to spend 2 nights and 3 days there. All 2nd and 3rd grade families are strongly encouraged to join us tonight at 5:30PM to meet John McDaniel, MCS farm director and learn more about the program.  I’ve included some pictures from my time at the farm with Grace’s class last year:  one is on a nature hike and one is during free time, when students go sledding, visit the animals, jump in the haystack in the barn and play indoor games in the farm house.

We will have a Q&A for families who can’t make tonight or have additional questions with 2nd/3rd teachers, Grace and Jane this Wednesday morning after drop-off in the PTA Room.

Mark your calendars:

  • The PTA Exec Committee meets Monday at 8:40AM in the PTA Room.  All are welcome.

  • ⅔ Farm Trip Presentation at 5:30PM in the 4th floor gym.

  • Parent’s of Unique Kids Support Group meets twice this week: Tuesday morning at 8:30AM and again in the afternoon at 4:30PM.  

  • ⅔ Farm Trip Q & A Wednesday at drop-off in the PTA Room.

  • TNS Middle School Students Panel:  former TNS students will talk about how TNS prepared them for the academic and social expectations of middle school Wednesday at 6PM.  

  • The ECO Committee meets Friday at drop-off in the the small cafeteria.

  • There is no school February 18 - 22.  

Have a wonderful break.  We’ll see you Monday, February 25.