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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Two Surveys About Fall Re-Opening

Dear Families, 

I hope that you are well, safe, and healthy.  

I know that there is a lot of information, some of it conflicting, about what school will look like in the fall.  I am writing about two important surveys that I need you to complete to help us plan and prepare for school in September.  

About 40% of our families responded to the Return to School 2020 Survey for Families sent out by the DOE in June and it has yielded some good information that will help us as we prepare for September.  In an effort to hear from all of our families and also considering this ever-changing situation, our School Leadership Team is sending out our own brief survey later this week.  We ask you to take a few minutes to complete so that we can effectively plan for the TNS community.  

The second survey is from the DOE and will also go out this week.  It is the opportunity for families to opt-in to remote instruction only at the start of the year if schools follow a blended model in the fall.  A blended model means sending your child to in-person school on certain days like Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or Tuesday and Thursday.  On the days that your child is not in school, they would be learning at home.  The deadline to submit this request is August 7.

I know that there are many unanswered questions about health and safety protocols, and it is my hope that in the upcoming weeks the Department of Education will be sharing more details which we will pass along and take into consideration in our planning.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions.

With Love,


Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of June 22, 2020

Dear Families,

My last letter of the year is usually filled with goodbyes and well-wishes.  But with so many unknowns ahead, I am writing to share what we do know and promise to be in touch as we work out the rest.  

It is time to say “goodbye” to two cherished members of our teaching community, Dara and Teddy who are retiring after 28 and 27 years, respectively.  I cannot say enough about their leadership during my time as principal: they have each been a compass for our school, always reminding us of our values about children, teaching, and learning.  We wish them luck on their future adventures, and our entire community will properly celebrate and honor them when we can come safely together again (think a big picnic in the park!).   

I am happy to share that long-time K/1 teacher, Dianne will take over teaching Dara’s K/1 class next year.  Dianne has taught K/1 with Shaquawn for the last 6 six years right down the hall from Dara.   Before that, Dianne taught 1st/2nd grade and worked as an out-of-classroom teacher supporting students with disabilities. While Dianne may not know many of her new students and families yet, she is an experienced and trusted teacher in our school.  Shaquawn will continue with her students and families, and once we have the budget for next year, we will be able to share who will be co-teaching with her.  I hope that these new placements give students and families much-needed stability and comfort during this transition.

While much is unknown about our future, I am very hopeful about the developments happening around our country in response to ongoing protests over police brutality and racial injustice.  At TNS, this means recommitting ourselves to anti-racist, anti-bias work, and acting in ways that lead to the kind of community and world we hope to build. 

This has been an extraordinary year.  I cannot imagine going through it with any other group of people.  With each new challenge, everyone... our teachers, paraprofessionals, office staff, related service providers, PTA, custodial, and food service staff came together to support our community.  I am eternally grateful for their devotion to our children, families, each other, and our school. 

I hope that you and your children are able to enjoy the beginning of summer.  We will be in touch soon.

With much love,


Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of June 15, 2020

Dear Families,

The DOE (Department of Education) is considering a variety of options for opening schools in the fall with modifications for social distancing.  While plans to reopen schools are not yet determined, schools received some information last Thursday, including school-level student and staff capacities factoring in social-distancing requirements.  We are looking at the information and trying to figure out what this might look like given our class sizes, configurations (ICT, Gen Ed, Pre-K, etc), and classrooms.  The DOE is also asking families to consider which blended models will be the most adaptive for possible changing circumstances in the fall.

Schools have still not received our budgets for 20 - 21.  We are waiting to make next year’s classes until we have this information.  This year, your child’s class placement for next year will be shared later in the summer.  

Finally, I am sharing pre-k teacher, Erin’s letter to families this week.  She addresses two issues that are probably coming up for many of our families and provides some valuable resources: children’s challenging behaviors during this time and how to talk with children about the police.  I hope you find it helpful.

I hope to see you at the PTA meeting this Thursday at 5:30 PM.  

As always, please let me know if you have any questions.

With Love,


Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of June 8, 2020

Dear Families,

Noemi and I have been meeting with families and have been discussing the protests and how to talk about recent events, racism, and racial injustice with our children.  These are not new conversations for many families, especially our families of color.  Others are just beginning to talk about racism with their children.  Though you may not feel as equipped to talk about it, don’t let it stop you from having the conversations.  When we are at school, we often use picture books as a starting point for hard conversations.  I am resharing the link to a collection of resources that our staff put together for families.  It includes some children’s books to support you in talking with your child about race and racism: 


In lieu of the ⅔ parent meeting today, I invite all of our families to participate in PBS’s event “Talking to Children Authentically about Race and Racism (https://www.pbs.org/parents/talking-about-racism).  Join parents, educators, and child development and trauma experts for an important conversation about how parents can talk with young children about racial injustice and violence against Black people. They will explore questions such as: How can parents of Black children continue to instill confidence and pride in young kids while also explaining the racial inequity and barriers that continue today? And, how can parents of non-Black children help young kids understand their role in confronting anti-Black racism? They will also answer questions from parents and share tips and resources you can use to continue to have these meaningful conversations now and into the future. 

This Week at TNS….

  • Teaching artist, Leigh is leading two drawing workshops for families today

    • Times: 10:00 - 11:00 AM - Pre-k - 1st grade and 11:00 AM-noon -2nd - 5th grade

    • Format: Drawing workshop. Pencil and paper needed

    • meet.google.com/cam-mqdc-qzh

  • SLT(School Leadership Team) is Thursday, June 11 from 2 - 3:30.  All are welcome.

    • TSI (Targeted Support and Improvement) Status: Carry Chan, Superintendent will be there

    • Anti-racist, anti-bias work at TNS

    • CEP (Comprehensive Education Plan)

Looking Ahead…

June 25 - 5th-grade graduation at 1:30 PM

June 26 - The last day of school

With Love,


Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of June 1, 2020

Dear Families,

In my letter yesterday, I shared a link to a collection of (growing) resources that our staff put together to support families navigate conversations about race and racism with their children.  Please keep checking the link as it is updated daily.  Thank you to those of you who have shared additional resources.  

While we are all wondering about the start of the next school year, our school is also preparing for the end.  It will look different this year as we translate our end-of-year traditions online.   Teachers will not send home the usual narrative reports this year.  Instead, as a way to provide closure, teachers will either write end-of-year letters or have end-of-year meetings with children and families.  Your teacher(s) will let you know what they are planning.  5th-grade graduation will also look different and will include both live and prerecorded parts.  It will only be for 5th graders, their families, and staff because we will have it on Google Meets.  The rest of our community will have the opportunity to watch it at a later time.

Noemi and I are continuing our meetings with families through Google Meets in June.  Alice Auth and Barbara DiGangi will also continue to participate.  I will post the meeting code and directions on your child’s classroom stream the morning of:

  • K/1 Families:  Wednesday, June 3 at 4 PM

  • ⅔ Families:  Tuesday, June 9

  • ⅘ Families:  Monday, June 8

There is no online “live” school for students this Thursday, June 4 or Tuesday, June 9.  Students may use this day to catch up on unfinished work, including work from Emily, Teddy, and Mara.  We will also have additional activities provided by the DOE available.  

With Love,