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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 11, 2021

Dear Families,

I have been processing the terrible events of last Wednesday in the capital, as I am sure you have, too.  There are those who say this is not who we are.  But at this moment in our history, this is who we are and this is who we, as a country, have always been.  However, this is not who we have to be.

As progressive educators, we are shaping citizens and future leaders who can build a different world for all of us.  I am appreciative that as a district of choice, families choose to be in a community that has committed itself to anti-racist, social justice work and that seeks to grow activists who will be the change-makers we need.  I am incredibly grateful to be a part of a teaching community that is committed to this work.  I am thankful to the colleagues and families who continually call on me to be a better leader.  To me, these are the seeds of progressive education: hope and action in a time when it is so needed.  I believe in our children and their incredible educators - their teachers and families.  In order to help create the future that lifts us all, we will continue our ABAR work with our children, families, and staff, and we will also revisit our Mission statement so that it reflects our school’s anti-racist, social justice identity.

Beginning this week, our current in-person Pre-K students will attend school 5 days a week.  We will have a sub for Cohort B days so that Erin can continue to work with her remote-only kids on days she is not in the building.  This is only possible until we add another Pre-K cohort, which could be in February or in April.  While it’s not an ideal plan for many reasons, it feels like the most manageable solution without redistributing resources in ways that are inequitable for our remote kids, putting our staff more at risk, or requiring major reprogramming.  Due to budget limitations, our school only has enough funding to cover the cost of one part-time sub until the end of the year, if needed.  

Finally, a reminder that in-person students, families, and staff must notify the school if they have tested positive for COVID-19, even if they have taken a test independently and not through the city.  You can go here to see our school’s results from our weekly random tests (click on the “Testing Details” tab).

With much love,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 4, 2021

Happy New Year!

I hope that you have had a restful and relaxing break.

Instead of the traditional DoE report card that is used in most NYC public schools, TNS teachers prepare written reports that provide information about your child’s progress at school.  These narrative reports explain a child’s progress in far greater depth and detail than do traditional reports.  This year’s narrative reports will be very different from years past because we don’t know children in the same ways as we know them when we are with them in the classroom full-time.  Grade teams have agreed on the sections of focus (math, reading, writing, social studies/ABAR, etc.) and for each section, there is a check-list followed by a brief narrative that captures one or two challenges and highlights for each child.  Grade teams have adapted sections in ways that make sense developmentally but address each child’s engagement in small and large group meetings, their comfort with technology, and work habits.  Narrative reports will go home the week of February 1st.  

Please let me know if you have any questions about narrative reports this year.

Welcome Back,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of December 21, 2020

Dear Families,

Our building will be closed today so that the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) can investigate the source(s) of COVID-19 transmission in our building.  Between the two schools, we have had a least 3 positive cases resulting from the random testing done on Tuesday, December 15th. Teachers and students who were in close contact with the students and staff who tested positive are on a 14-day quarantine.  Anyone else who was in close contact is also on a 14-day quarantine, including Anthony, Ahyesha, and myself.  The DoE will let us know later today if we can return to the building tomorrow or if it will remain closed until after the Winter Break.  Families should be prepared for the possibility of school remaining fully remote until Winter Break.  

A reminder to all families... for any traveler to New York State from out of state, exempting contiguous states, the guidelines for travelers to test-out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine are below:

  • For travelers who were in another state for more than 24 hours:

    • Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure from that state.

    • The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days.

    • On day 4 of their quarantine, the traveler must obtain another COVID test. If both tests come back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test. 

  • For travelers who were in another state for less than 24 hours:

    • The traveler does not need a test prior to their departure from the other state and does not need to quarantine upon arrival in New York State.

    • However, the traveler must fill out our traveler form upon entry into New York State, and take a COVID diagnostic test 4 days after their arrival in New York.

This is a time when we must be vigilant about taking care of our community.  We will continue to advocate for transparency and the safety of our students, staff, and families.  I wish you all a wonderful and well-deserved break.  We will see you Monday, January 4, 2021!

With Love,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of December 14, 2020

Dear Families,

Did you know that our library houses the NYC School Library System’s specialized collection of Cookbooks?  A part of the Cooperative Collection Development (CCD) program, our cookbook collection is one of the most popular sections of the school library.  Our collection concentrates on cooking with and for children but also covers all aspects of food—from growing to harvesting to preparation and consumption. Books and other media focus on individual ingredients, regional cuisines, food traditions, and historical periods, as well as nutrition, careers, and important figures in cooking.  

COVID-19 has brought challenges and opportunities to the library program. While we are currently not able to circulate print widely, Cheryl is doing curbside delivery for remote kids and “curbside pickup” in the hallway for our kids who are in-person.  We have also expanded our collection with eBooks available through the Sora app.  We invite you to explore our digital cooking collection and for all our cooking enthusiasts,

we hope you will join us on Thursday at 7 PM for food writer and cookbook author Melissa Clark to talk about her latest book, Kid in the Kitchen: 100 Recipes and Tips for Young Home Cooks.  

This is a family literacy event and all are welcome!

This Week at TNS…

  • Our November PTA meeting is on Tuesday at 5:00 PM:  12.15.20 PTA Meeting link

  • Join us Thursday at 7 PM for a conversation with Melissa Clark.  Please register in advance for the webinar.

Looking Ahead…

  • Winter break is Thursday, December 24 - Friday, January 1.

Have a good week,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of December 7, 2020

Dear Families,

Today is a TNS professional development half-day.  In the afternoon, we will think together about how we have conversations with families about race and racism by looking through the lens of teachers’ curriculum letters.  In particular, we will reflect on common threads, our stance as a school, and the opportunities we are creating for dialogue about race and racism with families.  We will also meet in our racial affinity groups.  

Starting tomorrow, families MUST submit a health screening for each child attending in-person. Go to https://healthscreening.schools.nyc/ to fill it out online, then show it on your phone at morning drop-off. All in-person students must have this screening filled out EVERY DAY, either on paper or on a phone, before they can enter the building.  In order for your child to return to in-person learning, you must also submit the consent form for in-school COVID-19 testing by the first day your child returns to their school building.  Schools will participate in weekly mandatory random testing of 20% of the school’s population, which includes 1st - 5th grade students and staff.  Finally, please send your child in with lots of warm layers because all classrooms have at least 2 windows open for ventilation and it can get cold.  

This week at TNS…

Have a good week,

Dyanthe

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