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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters


Dear Families,

Sing is a special event for our school because it brings us together in a unique way.   In the effort to have Sing be a joyous experience for all children and adults, we experimented with two different approaches to Sing this month.  Last Friday, staff and children came together to Sing without families. Afterward, children shared that it was quieter, they could hear each other and the songs better, and that there was much more room and no tears.  As one student shared, “I didn’t miss my family because my mom can never come anyway.”

We also had a Sing for parents on Monday that was lovely.  Rob helped us to listen to changes in rhythm and tempo which led us to pay more attention to the discipline of singing.   We also practiced the melody and lyrics of each song so that parents can feel more comfortable joining in with the children.

While we cannot change the configuration or space needed for the size of the group that congregates at our monthly Sing, we want to honor the children’s responses to the smaller gathering.  We also want to still provide times for parents, children, and staff to be together because the presence and participation of families are highly valued and contribute to the joy and beauty of our collective voices.  We plan to do one more children’s Sing and one more parent Sing before the end of the school year.

We hope that some of what the children experienced Friday and what the parents experienced on Monday will carry over tomorrow.  In this spirit, we ask families to do the following:

  • Sing during the songs and wait until the whole Sing is finished to talk to your friend or neighbor.

  • Stay silent between songs so we can transition smoothly into the next song and start Singing in unison.

  • Save your applause.

  • Wave goodbye to your child at the end of Sing and exit quickly so that classes can also exit quickly (The last two songs, the two goodbye songs, are part of the Sing and we ask everyone to Sing along as a way of saying GOODBYE.

See you tomorrow,


Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of April 15, 2019

Dear Families,

I hope you will join us for our parent Sing next tomorrow morning in the small cafeteria.  We will sing all the songs on this month’s sheet so that you are more than ready for all school Sing on Wednesday.

We are revisiting school menu options.  Last year, our building adopted the “alternative school menu”.  While I am very appreciative of parents’ efforts to encourage kids to try options on the alternative menu, the kitchen continues to generate more waste with this menu than it did previously.  Families from both schools, the principal of STAR Academy and I will meet with our head custodian and kitchen supervisor after the break to discuss next steps. Please join us at Thursday’s PTA meeting to learn more and share your ideas.

Mark your calendars:

  • SING is on Wednesday at 8:45 AM.  If it is nice out, we will have SING in the 4th Street courtyard.  We will also have a bake sale in the lobby beforehand.

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

  • School is closed for Spring Recess:  4/19 - 4/26

Have a wonderful break.  We will see you on Monday, April 29.



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of April 8, 2019

Dear Families,

Today was so busy that I didn’t get to send out my weekly letter.  My apologies!

We have been talking about reading a lot this year at School Leadership Team.  Recently, I was reminded of a letter I sent out about my own daughter’s journey learning to read several years ago.  Kaya was a reluctant reader in elementary school and under Cheryl’s guidance, we found that she loved graphic novels.  She’s not an anomaly; graphic novels are among the highest circulating items in our library.  Simply put, graphic novels are book-length comics. They are not just about superheroes.  Graphic novels can teach about ballet, history, and mythology, as well as science fiction, adventure, biographies, and folk tales, and can vary in reading level from a beginner reader to an adult.  Reluctant readers are very often attracted to the format. The context clues provided by the pictures are helpful to children who are struggling with decoding words. Graphic novels also provide an opportunity for kids to develop their visual thinking skills.  Not only must a reader figure out what’s happening inside a panel, she must also figure out what is happening between the panels.  Graphic novels are often a gateway to more reading.  As children build confidence in their reading, they almost always transfer their enthusiasm for reading to different formats and genres.  Many strong readers also are drawn to graphic novels. Some of our finest writers were avid readers of comics when they were young: Ray Bradbury, Cynthia Rylant, and John Updike.  

We are having three Sings at TNS this month!  One for staff and children only, one for parents only and one for all of us together (as usual on the last Wednesday of the month).  I hope you will join us for our parent only Sing next Monday, just after drop-off.  We will sing all the songs on this month’s sheet so that you are more than ready for all school Sing on Wednesday, April 17.

Mark your calendars:

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

  • Parents of Unique Kids Support Group meets twice this week: Thursday morning at drop-off and again at 4:30PM in the Library.

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

Have a good week,


Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of April 1, 2019

Dear Families,

The 3rd - 5th grade NYS English Language Arts Exams will be administered Tuesday and Wednesday this week.  Students who do not take the state tests will continue the important and meaningful work they engage in everyday.  We support parents in making the best decisions for their individual children.  Teachers will have conversations with students to create an environment that is respectful of the diversity of opinions surrounding this issue.  It is vital that all members of our community feel supported during this time and that we maintain a sense of calm for our students.

Our annual Spring Fling & Auction is this Thursday from 6 - 10PM at the Manny Cantor Center.  Want to know what is in store for the evening?  The TNS Parent Band, In Utero, is working hard on an incredible night of live music.  Dinner that evening will be catered by the fabulous TNS-owned restaurant, Bricia.  80s Costume is completely optional, but we do have a celebrity auctioneer, Ally Sheedy, lined up to go with our 80s theme!  Hundreds of great auction prizes donated by supportive and generous TNS families and local businesses.  Please join us for what promises to be a wonderful night!

Only 34% of our families have completed their Department of Education (DOE) Parent Survey.  The DOE survey gathers information about your overall satisfaction with our 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.  Please complete your family survey!  The deadline for completing parent surveys has been extended to Thursday, April 11th.  Thank you!

Mark your calendars:

  • SLT meets Thursday morning at 8AM in Room 313.

  • The Garden Committee meets Friday at drop-off.

  • It’s “Popcorn Friday” this week.

Have a good week,


News & Announcements

Spring Fling & Auction is this Thursday!

Come join the fun & fundraising this Thursday, April 4, 2019. 

-- Buy your tickets now!

-- Sponsor a teacher/staff member.

-- Bid online at over 150 incredible auction items.

-- Spread the word to family/friends/neighbors that they too can bid online.

Spring Fling Tickets: www.tnsny.org/auction

Online auction: www.tnsny.org/auction_items/exclusives/2018

Spring Fling poster