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News & Announcements

Blended Learning resumes Tuesday, December 8

Dear Families,

I am writing to inform you and clarify the Mayor’s message about the return to school five days a week for blended students. After meeting with the TNS Summer Reopening Team, members of the Instructional Leadership Team, and SLT, due to the lower number of students who have opted in this quarter, we agree that it is best for our school community to keep our cohort model as is as we are able to add new blended kids into existing cohorts.  

There are several reasons for this decision:

  • We are trying to maintain as equitable a model of school as possible, given the challenging circumstances.  Two-thirds of our students will still participate in remote learning this quarter.  If blended students come 5 days a week, it means that most of our students, including those with mandated services, will no longer get small group instruction because we don’t have enough remote staff and it will create an imbalanced student-to-teacher ratio.  For example, in one class 6 students will come in person with one teacher while 20 will be remote with the other.  

  • We have also worked hard to create consistent classroom communities made up of blended and remote students.  Moving to a 5 days a week model means that kids from Pre-K through 3rd grade won’t see each other or one of the teachers at all anymore.  

  • We continue to keep the health and safety of our staff, children, and families at the forefront of our planning.  While research shows that school is safe for young children, keep in mind that most of our staff use public transportation to get to and from school.  To that end, we want to keep the number of kids and staff in the building as low as possible to mitigate the risk of transmission. Our cohort model currently does not overlap as many classes only have one cohort (A or B) so we are able to keep our daily in-school population low. This also gives us the opportunity to phase in more cohorts quarterly while maintaining consistency for kids.

  • Finally, if we move kids to 5 days a week, it means that we would not be able to honor our promise of giving families additional time to opt-in to blended learning later in the year because most of our classes would only have a few spots left.

As you know, things are in flux and we are constantly in conversation about transitioning to different models. We will evaluate our model before the next opt-in period (in February) so that we can maintain equity, community, health, and safety for all.

We will begin in-person classes on Tuesday, December 8 only for those who are currently blended or opted into blended learning for this quarter.  Monday, December 7 is a TNS PD half-day and a remote-only day for all students so that teachers and paras can prepare rooms to accommodate additional kids.  



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 30, 2020

Dear Families,

I am excited to share that finally, after months of waiting, our Exception Request for a Parent Coordinator has been approved!  This means that we can hire someone to replace Noemi!  Hooray!  It will take some time, but it is in the works and I will share updates with you as I learn more.  

As you have heard, the Mayor announced that all 3K, Pre-K, and grades K-5 will return to in-person learning on Monday, December 7.  Our reopening team meets today and will share plans as soon as possible so families can plan accordingly.  Please note that all 1st - 5th grade students must submit a testing consent form in order to return to the school building.  

As we prepare to be in the building again, I want to share some important updates about ventilation, especially as the weather gets colder.  Thanks to our advocacy efforts and with the support of our custodial staff and superintendent, our building received 24 air purifiers manufactured by Intellipure before in-person school started.  This was a kind gesture on the part of the Department of Education.  Recently, we received additional air purifiers for classrooms and were told this was so teachers can close more windows when it’s cold.  Each school building was also given a CO2 monitor (CO2 is Carbon Dioxide NOT Carbon Monoxide) to regularly monitor airflow in classrooms.  While appreciative of these efforts to keep us safe, the Building Council is still seeking the science in writing that gives specifics about window ventilation and air purifiers for COVID.  We continue to advocate for ALL schools to receive reliable, scientifically sound guidelines about the ventilation in classrooms that are specific to each school building’s unique variables. 

Looking Ahead…

  • Monday, December 7 is a TNS half-day.  Dismissal for all students is at 11:10 AM.

  • The School Leadership Team (SLT) will meet on Thursday, December 10 at 2:30 PM.  This meeting is open to all.


Please let me know if you have any questions.



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 23, 2020

Dear Families,

As Thanksgiving approaches, it is essential to shed light on the indigenous perspective on how this holiday came about. Though we now use this day to spend time with family and friends and share delicious food, for indigenous communities this is a day of mourning as they remember the violence against the Wampanoag from the English settlers.  Unfortunately, when it comes to the history of Thanksgiving, generations of Americans have been taught a one-sided history in homes and schools.  Over the next few days, classes will learn about the history of Thanksgiving beyond the singular narrative that reinforces negative stereotypes and myths about the Native People.  Cheryl shared Family Resources: Native American Cultures to support families navigating follow-up discussions.  Remember to listen and give children a chance to talk, process, and play out their thinking without interruption.  When we react by interrupting or judging that something wrong, the message children get is, “I shouldn’t talk about this” and that shuts down the conversation. We want to show children that it is safe to talk about, to play in front of adults, and that way we open the doors for communication.  Please reach out directly to your child’s teacher if you have questions.

In an effort to consolidate and organize online communications and form and manage groups, our PTA will be using Konstella for TNS news and information. At its most basic, Konstella centralizes all school information in one place. It’s not a perfect system, but it creates consistency and makes it easier for the PTA and class reps to communicate with you.  The site also has a “Social Groups” platform where any parent can create a social group and ask people to join it and you’ll be able to communicate with one another as well as private message individuals or groups. For example, there is a Middle School group there for sharing information about middle school tours and application processes, Weekend Activities, and a Brooklyn group.  All families have been added to their classes. If you complete your registration, you can use the full Konstella app. If not, you will just receive emails in your inbox.  Beginning next week, my letter will be included in the PTA newsletter and sent via Konstella.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

This week at TNS…

  • Families can pick up materials for students today until 2 PM.

  • There is no school Thursday and Friday in observance of Thanksgiving.

Sending Love,


Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 16, 2020

Dear Families,

All NYC schools will be required to switch to fully remote learning if the citywide coronavirus positivity rate reaches 3% over a seven-day average.  For most of our students, there will be no transition at all.  But not whether remote or blended, our students and teachers will stay together in their classes, and unlike in the spring, we will arrange ways to continue to distribute materials to students.  I will continue to update you as we learn more.

This week at TNS...

  • Today is a TNS half-day. Dismissal is at 11:10 AM.

  • The PTA will meet on Tuesday at 5 PM.  All families are encouraged to participate!


  • BE GRATEFUL YOGA:  A 30-minute practice designed for staff and parents to use at any time when gratitude and self-care boost is needed. No yoga experience necessary!  All TNS Community adults welcome! Kids of course can follow along but this is specifically created to give back to our TNS adults who give so much to our kids. Please join us for any or all sessions!

WED 11/18 = 3pm

FRI 11/20 = 4pm

SAT 11/21 = 10am


Looking ahead…

  • There is no school next Thursday and Friday in observance of Thanksgiving.



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 9, 2020

Dear Families,

ALL families must complete and submit the Learning Preference Survey before Monday, November 16.  If you are NOT opting in for December 7, then choose REMOTE at this time. 

If you choose 100% remote at this time, you will have two more opportunities to make the shift from remote-only to blended: after February Mid-Winter Break and after April Spring Break.  Students who opt into blended this cycle will begin the week of December 7.  

Families of current blended students, please let your teacher know right away if you plan to travel to a state that is on theNY travel advisory list over the Thanksgiving break.  For any traveler to New York State from out of state, exempting contiguous states, the new guidelines for travelers to test-out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine are below:

  • For travelers who were in another state for more than 24 hours:

    • Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure from that state.

    • The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days.

    • On day 4 of their quarantine, the traveler must obtain another COVID test. If both tests come back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test. 

  • For travelers who were in another state for less than 24 hours:

    • The traveler does not need a test prior to their departure from the other state and does not need to quarantine upon arrival in New York State.

    • However, the traveler must fill out our traveler form upon entry into New York State, and take a COVID diagnostic test 4 days after their arrival in New York.

TNS works very hard to keep kids separate in school: we do not mix groups/classes within the groups--even at recess; and A and B cohorts do NOT mix.  The two schools do not mix.

Per CDC and DoE guidance:  DO NOT FORM PLAYDATES OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL with students in different cohorts and classes as it defeats the purpose of the cohort and undermines the safety of everyone in our school.  It also makes contact tracing much more difficult.  Thank you for keeping our community safe.  

This week at TNS...

  • There is no school this Wednesday in observance of Veterans Day. 

  • The School Leadership Team (SLT) will meet on Thursday at 2:30 PM.  This meeting is open to all.


Looking ahead…

  • Monday, November 16 is a TNS half-day.  Dismissal is at 11:10 AM for all students.

  • The PTA will meet on Tuesday, November 17 at 5 PM.  All families are encouraged to participate!


Have a good week,