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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of October 9, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

All families must complete a Lunch Form application.  This information determines our school’s eligibility for additional funding.  All families have received a hard copy, but you can complete it online at https://www.myschoolapps.com. You will need your child’s birth date, but it is NOT required to enter the school ID number. You can also get a form from Gladys in the office.  One lunch form per family.  Thank you!

Once again I will host a series of informal gatherings for families each month to discuss topics of interest to our community this year - so please email your suggestions!  The first “Morning Hour” will be Thursday, October 12th in the PTA Room right after drop off.  We will discuss progressive education and in preparation, I encourage you to read Alfie Kohn’s article, Progressive Education: Why It’s Hard to Beat, But Also Hard to Find.  We usually begin each year with this article; I think it is a good starting point for future conversations.

Mark Your Calendars:

  • Today is Picture Day!   Say cheese!  The picture time of your child’s class will be posted outside of their classroom. Lorraine, PTA Events officer, is looking for a few volunteers to help keep the classes flowing… email Lhutra@gmail.com if you can help.

  • The PTA Exec Meeting is Wednesday at drop-off in the PTA Room.  All are welcome.

  • There is a breakfast for the class parent representatives on Friday morning in the PTA Room.  The purpose is to outline responsibilities, to identify whom you can go to for help, and to share relevant tips + ideas and concerns.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of September 25, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

All NYC public schools are required to practice the protocols they will follow for different kinds of emergencies throughout the school year.  We practice three different protocols that cover all types of emergency situations. The first is a building evacuation, or “fire drill”. We practice this drill several times throughout the year; it’s the one your children will be most familiar with. There are different scenarios that would call for a building evacuation, but the most common would be danger within the building such as a fire. The next is a shelter-in drill. During a shelter-in an announcement is made over the PA system and the exit doors are locked and monitored. No one is permitted to enter or exit the building until the shelter-in has been lifted, but classes keep going and students can move throughout the building, as per usual. We run this drill to prepare for the possibility of a dangerous event happening outside of the building. The third type of safety protocol we prepare for is a lockdown. During a lockdown an announcement is made over the PA and children and staff respond by turning off the lights in classrooms, locking classroom doors, moving out of the sight line of the windows or classroom doors, and maintaining silence until the lockdown has been lifted. This drill is to prepare for the very unlikely event of imminent danger inside the building.  Neighborhood School teachers discuss different drill practices with children well ahead of time, so that they feel safe.   They communicate that this is our school and we want to make sure that only people who belong here are here.  We will have our first lockdown drill this week.   Please contact me if you have any questions about any of our school safety drills.

We have a very special TNS tradition coming up next week.  “Sing” occurs the last Wednesday of every month after drop off.  Families gather in the school lobby while teachers organize their classes and escort them to the Auditorium. Song sheets are handed out at each session.  Classes sit in concentric circles with the innermost circle reserved for the Pre K and Kindergarten students.  We ask that parents and younger siblings do not join the classes seated in the circle.  Instead, they are asked to remain on the outer barrier of the gathering.  When we get to the final song, we wave goodbye to families (that’s your cue to leave) and classes remain seated until all of the parents have exited the auditorium.  This is a wonderful opportunity to see your child among their peers and to see the entire school community together in one place.  The entire event typically lasts 10 – 15 minutes.  Our first Sing event is Wednesday, September 27 at 8:45 a.m. in the auditorium.  

Curriculum Night is Thursday.  This is an exciting opportunity to learn about your child’s curriculum for the year and to meet other families in your child’s class.  Pre-k through 2nd grade families will meet in the classrooms from 5 - 6 p.m., and then will meet with out-of-classroom teachers and support staff in the Library from 6 - 6:30 p.m. 3rd through 5th grade families will meet in the Library from 5:30 - 6 p.m. and will meet in classrooms from 6 - 7 p.m.  Childcare will be provided for TNS students only.  This year, the PTA will also host a “Mix and Mingle” from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. in the front garden courtyard.  We hope to see you there!

Mark your calendars:

  • The TNS Read-a-Thon is coming to a close!  Starting Wednesday during drop off, we will be in the lobby taking donations.  Pledges may be paid in cash or check, made out to The Neighborhood School P.T.A.  Thanks for supporting literacy and our school!

Mon Sept 25th (815 - 8:45)

Tues Sept 26th (815 - 8:45)

Wed Sept 27th (815 - 8:45)

Thur Sept 28th (815 - 8:45)

Fri Sept 29th (815 - 8:45)

  • Our 5th grade middle school meeting is Tuesday at 8:35 a.m. in the Library.

  • The Advocacy Committee will meet Thursday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.  The Advocacy Committee has traditionally worked to bring the school community’s attention to the issues that are “out there” in the political realm and that impact what goes on in classrooms day-to-day.  Recently these issues have centered around the standardized tests, which have become the driving force shaping how public schools students in New York are taught.  We have also worked on the issues of charter schools and the state education budget.  We welcome any and all ideas on these subjects, or anything else that need to be brought to our attention.

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

A gentle reminder:  please follow the directions posted on staircase doors (Up and Down) to ensure safe flow in the building.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of September 18, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

All families must complete a Lunch Form application, whether or not your child eats school lunch.  This information determines our school’s eligibility for additional funding.  Families have received a hard copy, but you can complete it online at https://www.myschoolapps.com. You will need your child’s birth date, but it is NOT required to enter the school ID number. You can also get a form from Gladys in the office; one lunch form per family.

Last week, The Department of Education (DOE) announced a district-wide diversity proposal for the 2017-18 school year that works towards having all schools in District 1 better reflect the families in our community:

  • District 1 will launch a Family Resource Center (FRC), where families can receive direct support and information around admissions and other services, including robust information about all District 1 schools.

  • The District will implement a district-wide Diversity Admissions program. This admissions model gives priority to students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, students in temporary housing, and English Language Learners for 67% of offers at every District 1 elementary school for Pre-K and Kindergarten.  This model will not impact currently enrolled District 1 students.

I am sure you have many questions about how this proposal will impact TNS and District 1.  Please join me and Star Academy on Monday, September 25th at 8:30 AM in the auditorium for a family information session to explain and discuss the diversity admissions proposal for PreK and K.

Mark your calendars:

  • The TNS Read-a-Thon is coming to a close!  Starting Wednesday during drop off, we will be in the lobby taking donations.  Pledges may be paid in cash or check, made out to The Neighborhood School P.T.A.  Thanks for supporting literacy and our school!

Wed Sept 20th (815 - 8:45)  

Mon Sept 25th (815 - 8:45)

Tues Sept 26th (815 - 8:45)

Wed Sept 27th (815 - 8:45)

Thur Sept 28th (815 - 8:45)

Fri Sept 29th (815 - 8:45)

  • Our first PTA (Parent Teacher Association) meeting is Wednesday at drop-off in the PTA Room.  The PTA is a volunteer group made up of families and teachers who consistently work toward a better school. All parents and guardians of children at TNS are automatically members of the PTA and are strongly encouraged to be participat­ing members.  Monthly meetings are open to all TNS families who would like to attend.

  • Lice Treatment Center, a professional lice check and treatment company will be doing a school-wide lice check on Wednesday.  Please talk to your child and let them know someone (a professional) will be doing the lice checks, so they are not scared and are prepared. This would be especially helpful for the younger kids.

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

Have a good week,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of September 11, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

I hope that every family has received a TNS Handbook (if not, please stop by the office and ask for a copy).  It describes some important TNS values and traditions, as well as the essential “nuts and bolts” to get started this year.  

All Neighborhood School families should, if possible, subscribe to our school’s listserv. It is used for official communication from the school staff and PTA. It keeps you aware of important events happening in the school. This is a moderated list and, honestly, very few emails are sent out weekly.  If you know a parent who is not on the email list, please forward my letter to them with this link:  http://lists.theneighborhoodschool.org/listinfo.cgi/tns-list-theneighborhoodschool.org.  You can also learn about what’s happening by going to our school website calendar at http://tnsny.org/docs/calendar.\

This week at TNS:

  • Afterschool programming begins this week.

  • The School Leadership Team (SLT) will meet Thursday morning in Room 301 at 8 a.m.  The SLT is a committee made up of elected parents and teachers.  We write, revise and disseminate school policies.  Monthly meetings are for the School Leadership Team Representatives and are open to all TNS families.  

  • Our Welcome (Back) Breakfast for ALL families is Friday, September 15th at 8:35 a.m. in the library.  Please come by: sign-up to be on a committee and learn about the vision our school this year!

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of September 4, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

We have some exciting staff changes at TNS this year.  Mara Dajevskis is our new Spanish teacher.  Mara has been teaching the last two years in Ecuador and before that, she taught for 8 years in NYC.  Long-time Pre-K/K teacher, Laurie Engle returns for the first few months of school to cover Erin’s maternity leave.  Finally, Catlin Preston joins Caroline to teach 4th/5th grade this year.  Catlin has been teaching and working in schools for over 15 years; most recently as a 2nd/3rd grade teacher at Central Park East I.  Please help welcome Mara and Catlin to our community!

Please come to the PTA sponsored Welcome (back) Picnic Wednesday, September 6th in the recess yard from 4 - 6 p.m.   You will meet new families and also see many familiar faces.  No worries if you can’t make it; we will see you bright and early Thursday morning.

Thursday, September 7th is the first day of school for students!  We start each school day at 8:25 a.m.  Please remember that children and families must wait until 8:23 to go upstairs to classroom.  Yes, even on the first day.  Breakfast will be served each morning beginning at 7:45 a.m.  The school day ends at 2:45 p.m.  Late pick-up is in Room 306 (across from the boys bathroom on the 3rd floor).  Kindergarten students will be dismissed at 11:45 a.m. all this week.

Unsure about your child’s after school plans?  Please come to our after After School Program Fair on Friday at 8 a.m. in the Lobby.  All after school programs begin the week of September 11th.

I am eager to see you and your children soon!

Love,

Dyanthe

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