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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of May 20, 2019

Dear Families,

We are beginning to work on making our classes for next year.  This is a thoughtful process: teachers describe each child as we carefully consider the makeup of each class at the school.  We strive to have well-balanced classes and consider gender, ethnicity, friendships, academics, and the social and emotional dynamics of the group. Whenever possible, we uphold one of the school’s founding principles that children remain with the same teacher(s) and the same grade cohort for two years.  Our goal to have children and families be known well to their teachers and each other remains an important standard.

We are sending home a form this week to invite you to let me or your current teacher know if there is anything you’d like us to consider in making your child’s placement for next year.   Please know that we do not accept requests for specific teachers. Our goal is to make well-balanced classes all around. We carefully consider your input along with information from teachers and other school staff, but please understand that we may not be able to honor every request.  When we plan the classes and spaces for September, we also need to know who will or might be leaving. Please let me or Noemi know as soon as possible if your child is not returning to TNS next year. Students and families will be informed of next year’s placement on the last day of school.  

The end of the school year can elicit complicated feelings in children.  Thinking about ending the year and saying, “Goodbye,” as well as considering beginning a new grade with new teachers and new peer groups can bring up a lot of anxiety for children.  Children who have had a significant loss in their lives may have a particularly hard time these last weeks of school. Keep schedules and routines as normal as possible for as long as possible and try to keep your own anxieties about the summer and next school year at bay.  Please check-in with your child’s teacher if you notice your child is struggling during this time.

Mark Your Calendars:

  • 5th Grade Parent Night with STAR is Monday at 6 PM in the auditorium.  Over the past few months, STAR at the Directors Company has explored issues around puberty through drama and discussions with our 5th graders.  Now is parents’ chance to find out more about what former parent, Harvey Epstein called a “game changer” for TNS!

  • The second annual “Rhythm and Rice” event happens Wednesday from 5 - 7 PM in the 4th Street courtyard.  There will be activities, musical performances, and food.  Please join us, if you can!

  • The 4th Grade NYS Science Performance Test is Wednesday and Thursday.  This assessment is hands-on: students perform different kinds of experiments related to the content they have been learning in Science with Emily.  The NYS Written Science Test is Monday, June 3.  If you do not want your child tested, please send a note with your child’s name and teacher indicating that you would like your child to “opt out” of the NYS Science Test.

  • There is NO SCHOOL on Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.


TNS Student non-attendance days in June:

Tuesday, June 4th - Eid-El-Fitra - SCHOOL CLOSED

Thursday, June 6th - Anniversary Day - PD for staff - NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS

Tuesday, June 11th - DOE Clerical Day - NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS

Tuesday, June 18th - TNS PD Day - NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS

Wednesday, June 26 - LAST DAY OF SCHOOL - DISMISSAL AT 11:45 AM

Have a good week,


Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of May 13, 2019

Dear Families,

This year, Spring Curriculum Night will focus on Project/Work Time at TNS.  Parents will participate in project/work time and then reflect on the process and learning that happens through this work.  Curriculum Night is May 29 and May 30 from 5:30 - 7 PM, depending on your child’s teacher.  See the schedule below for when your child’s teacher(s) is hosting. We will also have our Studio in A School end-of-year art exhibit open both nights.

Wednesday, May 29, 





Leigh (Studio in a School)





Thursday, May 30, 



Valerie (Studio in a School)




Mark Your Calendars:

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

  • The Grants Committee meets Tuesday at drop-off in the PTA Room.

  • We have our PTA May meeting on Thursday at 8:35 AM in the PTA Room.

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

  • Catlin, Shaniqua & Chelsea, Lindsey & Olivia, Matt, Joanne & Sofia, and Hannah’s classes go roller skating Friday!



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of May 6, 2019

Dear Families,

PE is in the upstairs gym this month.

Lunch Menu Update:  Beginning in June, we will follow the Alternative Menu and add a second choice once or twice a week from the Classic Menu on days when choices aren’t as popular.  At the end of the year, families from both schools will decide which menu to adopt and we will continue to have the option of adding 2 options each week from the other menu.

My Morning Hour Wednesday will focus on the learning that happens at Project/Work Time.  I will share a few selections from the book, Falling for Science: Objects in Mind.  In this collection of stories, scientist and 25 years of MIT students describe how objects encountered in childhood became a part of the fabric of their scientific selves.  I hope you can join me for this important conversation.

Your shoes make all the difference!  Your unwanted shoes don’t have to sit in a landfill. We can re-purpose them to provide meaningful opportunities for people in need,  which is why the Eco Committee launched a shoe drive to collect gently used shoes for the non-profit organization Soles4Souls.  From May 1st to May 31st drop your used shoes in the plastic bins in the lobby (by the sink). But don’t stop with your own closet—ask friends, family, neighbors and even strangers for their shoes as well!      

Thursday is our Earth Day Fair!  It is going to be a very eventful day!

8:00 - 2:45 PM

McKinley Library: Books on display related to the event (activity and stamp for passport booklet) -- also available half day 5/10

8:00 - 9:00 AM

Plant sale in 3rd Street Garden

All Day

4th Street courtyard and 3rd Street entrance/garden:  Composting, worms, food cycle with LES Ecology Center; Learning About Bees; Climate Justice Corner: postcard campaign; Climate Justice Corner, Leaders Project: Endangered Species, Water Levels, Recycling Sorting Game; Sensory Awareness; Carbon Footprint - Looking at Food Consumption Around the World; Marker Recycling Challenge (classrooms bring old markers for recycling contest); Upcycling with GrowNYC (making wallets); Planting & Water Experiments with STAR Academy; Upcycling: Seed Planting in Milk Cartons; Guided Meditation Workshop (1st floor dance studio); Movement & Dance Workshop (1st floor dance studio); Shoe Drive; The Lower Eastside Girls Club.


Garden to Cafe tasting with George Edwards in cafeterias and classrooms; recipes made with locally sourced foods and kale from our garden

After School

5 - 6 PM - Fitness Class with Jesse (1st Floor Gym)  

5 - 6 PM - Yoga with Alba (1st Floor Dance Room)

4:30-6: 30 PM - Family Fitness Obstacle Course (including the wall) with Lloyd (4th Floor Gym) - No sign up necessary

4:30 - 7 PM - Garden Party  -- plant sale, refreshments, food, music, hanging out

Mark Your Calendars:

  • There is a PTA Exec meeting Monday at drop-off in the PTA Room.

  • My Morning Hour is Wednesday 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 4:30 PM in Room 307.

  • School Leadership Team meets Thursday morning at 8 AM in Room 313.  All are welcome.  


  • Work on the CEP (Comprehensive Education Plan)

  • Review New Literacy Document for Families from Dyanthe

  • Media for Children

  • Communication throughout the school

  • Spring Curriculum Night

Friday is a TNS PD half-day.

 Dismissal is at 11:45 AM.



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of April 29, 2019

Welcome Back Families,

The NY State Math Exam will be administered Wednesday and Thursday mornings this week.    Please note, families may still opt their children out of the math test, even if they took the ELA exam; forms are in the office.  Students who do not take the state tests will continue the important and meaningful work they engage in everyday.

Mark your calendars:

  • The Garden Committee meets Friday morning at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • Friday is TNS Movie Night.  More details to come.

  • Popcorn Friday this week!



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,