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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 20, 2020

Dear Families,

My next Morning Hour is on Wednesday in the PTA Room after drop-off and will be about the value of play in school.  In preparation, please read the article Play is the Foundation of Children’s Learning (, think about your own memories of playing as a child and what you have observed about your children’s play.  

As we approach the mid-year point, most classes switch from science to Spanish and vice versa.  If your child has had Spanish with Mara, they will begin science with Emily and if they have had science, they will begin Spanish.  All classes continue to have physical education with Teddy!  Classes change over the week of February 3.  

This Week at TNS…

  • There is NO University Settlement after school programming on Thursday.

  • The first-ever TNS Art Day is next Saturday from 11 AM - 4 PM.  It is a community event, highlighting the importance of the arts to our kids and our school. There will be a range of art workshops and activities, and an exhibition of teacher/parent/alumni/community artists’ artwork, which will all be for sale. There will also be an ongoing arts activity center, information about how artmaking benefits kids and adults, a rummage sale for clothing AND art supplies, food, live music, and a raffle. 

Looking Ahead...

  • What Does Assessment Look Like at TNS?  On Tuesday, January 28th, teachers will share the ways they “measure” student growth and learning, make decisions about class instruction, and the place state testing plays in instruction and curriculum.  This is the first workshop in a series about assessments leading up to the NY State tests for 3rd - 5th grades.

Have a good week,


Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 13, 2020

Dear Families

At our last PTA meeting, teachers shared a few requests about email protocol for families.  I am resharing our policy about email communication (you can also find it in the TNS Handbook, which your child brought home at the start of this school year):

Guidelines for Email Correspondence for TNS Families

Technology, in the form of email correspondence, has afforded us to have continual access to each other at any time of day and night.  However, it is important for us to establish some guidelines for the use of email correspondence so that families and school staff can attend to their respective responsibilities as thoroughly and as thoughtfully as possible. We hope that these guidelines will support us in mutually respectful correspondence with each other.

  • Families can expect communication from teachers on a regular basis about the following: trips, curriculum, snack, homework, etc. 

  • If you think that your child’s teacher may have already sent the information you are wondering about, check your inbox to see if it is there. If it is not, try asking another class parent if she might have the information. If you cannot get the information after these steps, email your child’s teacher.

  • Expect teachers to take at least 24-48 hours to reply to your email. Weekends and holidays will likely take longer.

  • For matters that are particular to a child and/or family the concerned party, whether the teacher or caregiver writes an email briefly describing the concern and requests either a phone or in-person meeting at each party’s convenience rather than delineate the concern via email.  Please expect a period of up to 48 hours before receiving a response. 

  • Please note that teachers do not regularly check email during the school day. If you have an urgent message (such as a change in pick-up), please call the school office 212-387-0195, in addition to emailing the teacher(s). The message will be delivered promptly.

  • Likewise, if something arises during the school day that requires your immediate attention, you will be contacted by someone in the school office.

Weekends, Holiday and Summer Guidelines

  • As families and staff may be on vacation or away from home, please anticipate that responses to emails sent over weekends and holidays will likely take longer and may not happen until we return to school.

  • Contact from your child’s teacher(s) and contact(s) made via email over the summer requires only a confirmation that you received that email. Please wait until the school year has begun to continue email correspondence with your child’s teacher(s). If there is an urgent message, you should contact the school directly.

An addendum:  If your child is sick, please also email Carmen ( and Gladys ( in addition to emailing your child’s teacher (who may not see the email until later in the day).  Thank you!

This Week at TNS...

  • The Diversity Committee meets on Tuesday after drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • The Advocacy Committee meets on Wednesday after drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • The PTA meets Thursday at 8:35 AM in the PTA Room.

  • Friday is a TNS half-day.  Dismissal is at 11:45 AM.



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 6, 2020

Dear Families,

Instead of the traditional DOE report card that is used in most NYC public schools, TNS teachers prepare written reports that provide you with information about your child’s progress over the year.  These narrative reports explain a child’s progress in far greater depth and detail than do the traditional reports. Narratives give an idea of what the child does and who the child is in class. They give a context for the teacher to reflect on the child and how to provide for their continued growth and development. They also provide insight into how families can help their child’s learning and development.  Mid-year narrative reports go home Thursday, February 6.

Just a gentle reminder to help keep our community as healthy as possible: please do not send your child to school with a fever.  Please also remember that in order to return to school, your child must be fever-free for 24 hours (“fever-free means” without the help of Tylenol, Motrin, etc.).  Thank you!

This Week at TNS…

  • Farm Information Session for Families:  Second and Third-grade families are strongly encouraged to attend the Farm trip orientation on Monday at 5:30 PM in the Library.

  • The PTA Executive Committee meets on Tuesday after drop-off in the PTA Room.

  • The Arts Committee meets on Wednesday after drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • SLT meets on Thursday at 8 AM in Room 314.  All are welcome.

  • Erin, Wanda, Catlin, Shaniqua, Chelsea & Jane, Lindsey & Oli’s classes go ice skating Friday to Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center at Lakeside Prospect Park.  The price of admission only is $8.00 for everyone. The price of renting skates and admission is $11.50.

Looking Ahead...

  • Friday, January 17 is a TNS half-day.  Dismissal is at 11:45 AM.

Have a good week,


Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of December 16, 2019

Dear Families,

A huge thank you to the organizers, volunteers, and families who supported our Holiday Fair!   As always, I am grateful to those who gave their time, food, talents and positive energy to make this event so successful.  It was so much fun! I also saw many prospective and alumni students and families at the event, which illustrates and reminds me of how special our community is.

This week at TNS…

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

  • The Auction Committee meets on Tuesday after drop-off in the PTA Room.

  • The PTA General Meeting is on Thursday at 8:30 AM in the PTA Room.

  • The Garden Committee meets on Friday after drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • We have SING on Friday at 8:45 AM in the auditorium.  There will also be a bake sale.

I hope that you have a wonderful break with plenty of opportunities to laugh, play and relax with family and friends.  We will see you again on Thursday, January 2, 2020!



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of December 9, 2019

Dear Families,

What a busy and wonderful week at TNS!  There are so many events happening that are unique to our school and reflect both our values and the rich diversity of our community.  

I am sharing a write-up from Emily, our Science teacher about her work with some of our Kindergarten and 1st-grade students in the garden.  I do so to illustrate the ways in which teachers at TNS are free* to create curriculum and experiences that are both responsive to the environment and follow students’ and teachers’ interests and passions. Also, notice the ways in which Emily purposely integrates reading and writing (poetry!) into the sciences.  She also shows how curriculum can reflect and teach compassion, sympathy, and deep understanding. 

*This creative and responsive curriculum does not happen at many NYC public schools.  In most NYC public schools, the curriculum is circumscribed ahead of time, without those children or their environment in mind, and is designed to prepare students for the state tests.  

I hope that you will have a moment to read Emily’s write-up and attend an event at TNS this week.  This is a very special place and I feel very fortunate to be a part of it!

This week at TNS...

  • The PTA Executive Committee meets Tuesday morning after drop-off in the PTA room.

  • My Morning Hour is on Wednesday in the PTA Room right after drop off.  We will discuss the work our staff and students have been doing around gender this year, why it is crucial to our community and future plans to make the 2nd-floor girls’ bathroom an all-gender bathroom.

  • Hip-Hop Open Classes for Families:  It’s time to share the work our children have been doing all semester!

Wednesday:  Joanne & Sofia, Tiffany, and Lindsey & Oli

Thursday:  Corinthia and Alexis, Caroline & Grace, Matt, and Chelsea and Jane

  • Please join Cheryl for the HOUR OF CODE in the Library on Wednesday from 3:45 to 6:30 PM.  Learn the basics of computer programming.  Play on- and off-line activities. All ages are welcome and no experience necessary!  

  • The TNS Book Fair will be open Thursday and Friday from 8 - 10 AM & 2 - 4 PM and Sunday during the Holiday Fair.  

  • Dara, Shaquawn & Dianne, Caroline & Grace, Matt, Tiffany, Joanne & Sofia, and Alexis & Corinthia go ice skating on Friday!  We are going to Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center at Lakeside Prospect Park at 171 East Drive in Brooklyn.  

  • Popcorn Friday is this week.

  • The Holiday Fair and Artisan Fest are Sunday, December 15th from 11 AM - 5 PM.  Please look for opportunities to volunteer... to set up, work a booth the day of, or clean-up.  This is a wonderful community event for the whole family and friends. I hope to see you all there.

Have a great week and see you at the Holiday Fair!



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