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TNS Town Hall

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News & Announcements

Week of April 19, 2021

Dear Families,

This afternoon, our staff came together to think about selecting read alouds and facilitating discussions to support our ABAR (Anti-bias, anti-racist) teaching goals.  We brainstormed how interactive read alouds can engage students in thinking and discussing issues of identity, differences, injustice, bias, racism, and action, and work toward feeling comfortable leading explicit conversations around discrimination, race, and inequality.  Read alouds offer powerful ways for us to “see” ourselves and others.  Educators name this as “windows,” stories that show us something different from our lived experiences and “mirrors,” stories that mirror our lived experiences - for example, characters that look like us, have family structures like us, practice traditions us.  

The urgency of this work is as pressing as ever in light of the recent police killings of 20-year-old Duante Wright and 13-year-old Adam Toledo and the increase in anti-Asian violence during the pandemic.  We all need spaces to process these current events.  To this end, I encourage all of our parents of color and white parents of children of color to join our monthly BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) support group.  The next meeting is Thursday, April 22 at 5 PM.  Here’s the link to register.  

With Love,

Dyanthe

News & Announcements

Week of April 5, 2021

Dear Families,

Welcome back! I hope you have had a restful break and that you and your loved one are healthy and well.

TNS is starting a support group for transgender, gender nonconforming, non-binary, and gender questioning students. Matt, 2nd/3rd-grade teacher, and our guidance counselor, Tina, will co-facilitate. The group is open to students ages 5 - 11 years, and the first meeting is this Wednesday from 4 - 5 PM. Please email matt@tnsny.org for more information and to sign up.

When the new CDC guidelines came out about children needing to be only three feet apart, we understand this must have been exciting news for so many families across the city. While the DoE has yet to adopt these guidelines, keep in mind that CDC guidelines are created by people who don’t work in schools. The science behind it envisions an empty classroom with desks spread three feet apart. However, this is not how we teach. For early childhood classrooms, this means getting rid of meeting and block areas and, in our case, removing the lofts from the classrooms. It also requires children to stay at their desks all day. Moreover, children need to be six feet apart anytime they have their masks off, like during breakfast, lunch, or rest time.

The window to opt-in to blended learning closed for TNS families on March 19, and we have created cohorts based on current social distancing guidelines. To accommodate the new in-person students, we will open second cohorts in Mara/Shaniqua, Amann/Shaquawn, and Jane/Chelsea’s classes. We will also continue offering five days a week of in-person learning for PreK families who want it. It took a lot of time, creativity, and crunching numbers to figure out how to offer this, but we managed it, thanks in part to our current number of families who have opted in and the fact that some families are choosing to stay in just one cohort.

Families who sign-up for in-person beginning the week of April 12 will receive detailed information from their teachers later this week. Please let me know if you have any questions.

With Love,

Dyanthe

News & Announcements

Responding to Anti-Asian Violence and Georgia Shootings

Dear Families,

I am sharing this article from Learning for Justice in response to the ongoing Anti-Asian Violence in this country and the Georgia Shootings on Tuesday night.  It calls on each of us to reflect on our role in the constant struggle for racial justice.

TNS teachers and staff are sharing resources to support classroom conversations about Anti-Asian Violence in this country and ABAR lessons, resources, and read-alouds about Asian American history and identity.

We will continue to support our AAPI students, families, and staff to feel safer in school and beyond.  To that end, I encourage all of our parents of color and white parents of children of color to join our monthly BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) support group.  The next meeting is Thursday, March 25 at 5 PM.  Here’s the link to register.  We are also in the process of partnering with NYU’s Education Justice Research and Organizing Collaborative to organize a workshop series for families this spring.  To do ABAR work as a community, we adults must have tools to talk about racism with each other and our children.

With Love,

Dyanthe

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