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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of June 10, 2019

Dear Families,

During the month of June, teachers are hard at work in the evenings and on the weekends writing end-of-year progress reports.  Progress reports tell the story of a child as a learner over the year; they reveal a child’s interests, strengths, and areas for growth.  Reports go home Friday,  June 21.

As this year draws to a close, TNS staff and I are taking time to reflect on decisions we made last year when we shifted to Pre-K stand alone, Kindergarten/1st, 2nd/3rd, and 4th/5th.  One shift we made was to have our 2nd/3rd grades eat in the classrooms with their teachers and have 50 minutes of recess every day. The 2nd/3rd-grade teachers and I recently met and decided to continue both.  There are so many reasons that the teachers feel that lunch in the classroom benefits children at this age. In years past when TNS shared the cafeteria space with PS 63 and our 4th/5th-grade classes, 3rd-grade students had about 20 scheduled minutes to eat, including time for transitioning from upstairs and to the schoolyard and about 20 minutes for recess.  We think that our children in these grades need more time for lunch and play. When the students have lunch in the classroom, teachers have the opportunity to facilitate social-emotional learning and manage social interactions, if needed. Teachers also have the opportunity to get to know their students and forge relationships outside of academics. Most of the time, it is a quieter and calmer setting than the cafeteria.  That said, eating in the classrooms does mean teachers need to be more vigilant about the rodent situation and I am certain they are committed to this! I very much hope that families value and appreciate the work teachers do with our students during lunch in the classroom. I believe that it is one of many aspects of our school that is so unique and special.

Friday is Field Day!  Get ready for organized chaos!  This is one of my favorite TNS traditions because it is all about eating, playing and just being together.   Our entire school will go to Prospect Park for a picnic and outdoor activities. All classes will have buses this year.  Please check with your child’s teacher about departure time. Sadly, I will not be at Field Day this year because I am going to my brother’s wedding, but I can’t wait to hear about all about it!

Two very important notes:  

  • Please do not purchase food, including ice cream or icies for your child unless you plan to buy for the entire school.

  • Parents wishing to take children out early or directly from the park must sign-out with their classroom teachers.

Mark Your Calendars:

  • NO SCHOOL for students Tuesday.
  • Third Street Music School is hosting its spring open house on Tuesday from 3 - 6 PM.  Partners@3rd classes are tuition-free for students during the first year of instruction at Third Street.  Second year instruction is discounted, and financial aid is available for years three and beyond. The open house is free and will take place at its building on 235 East 11th Street near 2nd Avenue. TNS students ages 6 (by December 31, 2019) to 14 will be able to meet teachers, try out different dance styles, chorus, instruments, and apply for free and reduced-rate group classes with openings in the fall.  Children interested in attending the event must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information, contact Third Street’s Student Services office at: 212-777-3240 ext. 53.

  • Our final PTA General meeting will take place Thursday at 8:30 AM in the PTA room.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of June 3, 2019

Dear Families,

In response to emerging needs within our school community, the Diversity Committee felt it important to find an organization that could support our school’s work around issues of gender. Over this year, we researched several different community-based organizations that provide gender PD and family workshops and decided to partner with the Ackerman Institute.  While the Gender Family Project of The Ackerman Institute certainly focuses on gender diversity, this workshop will have us look at all the ways we identify (race, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic background, etc.) and how these identifiers intersect with one another. From their website: The Gender & Family Project (GFP) empowers youth, families, and communities by providing gender affirmative services, training and research. GFP promotes gender inclusivity as a form of social justice in all the systems involved in the life of the family.  This Thursday, our staff will participate in our first session with GFP. We plan to continue this work next year and to provide workshops for families, too.

Mark Your Calendars:

  • Today is the 4th Grade Written Science Test.

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

  • School Leadership Team meets Wednesday at 8 AM in Room 313.  We will work on next year’s Comprehensive Education Plan.

  • Thursday, June 6th - PD for Staff - NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS

  • Friday is the Spring Jam from 5-8 PM. Families are encouraged to also bring gently used clothes next week for the rummage sale which will be held during the Spring Fling.  

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of May 28, 2019

Dear Families,

Whenever possible, we uphold one of our 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 by their teachers and each other and continue to have that relationship grow, remain an important value.  However, there are times when in response to the changing needs of our school, we need to make adjustments. Next year, we will need to make a few shifts in our ICT (classrooms with 2 teachers) configurations in our K/1 and ⅔ classes.  This means that some of our Kindergarten and 2nd grade students will move to new classrooms next year. Shaniqua, Dara, Catlin, and Dianne & Shaquawn will continue to teach K/1. Chelsea will join Jane to co-teach ⅔, along with Olivia & Lindsey, Matt, and Grace & Caroline.  These are the only anticipated shifts for next year. Teachers will communicate directly with families about changes in class placement before the end of the school year.

I hope you will join us for our Parent Sing tomorrow, just after the drop-off in the small cafeteria.  We will sing all the songs on this month’s sheet so that you are more than ready for all school Sing on Wednesday.  Even if you can’t join us, we ask that on Wednesday families 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).

Spring Curriculum Nights at TNS are this Wednesday and Thursday from 5:30 - 7 PM.  Families will explore Project/Work Time. We will also have our Studio in A School end-of-year art exhibit open both nights.  Childcare is available.

Mark Your Calendars:

  • SING is Wednesday at 8:45 AM in the big yard (weather permitting).  We will have a bake sale in the lobby beforehand.

  • Erin, Wanda, Dara, Dianne & Shaquawn, Caroline & Grace, Jane, and Alexis & Corinthia’s classes go roller skating Friday!

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

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.

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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

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, 

Dara

Joanne/Sofia

Grace/Caroline

Shaquawn/Dianne

Leigh (Studio in a School)

Teddy

Jane/Matt

Alexis/Corinthia/Hannah

Mara

Thursday, May 30, 

Emily

Erin/Wanda

Valerie (Studio in a School)

Shaniqua/Chelsea

Lindsey/Olivia

Catlin

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!

Warmly,

Dyanthe

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