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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of June 26, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families, 

Our 5th graders participated in their graduation ceremony this past Thursday.  As many of you know, I was not there because I spent the day with my own 5th grade graduate.  It was hard to be away from TNS on this very special day, but I am so fortunate that TNS has such remarkable teachers who worked with our fourth and fifth graders to make graduation extraordinary.  One aspect of the ceremony that was different this year: every student shared a recollection from their time at TNS.  They are inspiring because they speak to the experience of each child and also to the collective TNS experience, and I want to share some of them with you:

TNS turned me into a strong girl.

The teachers taught me to never be afraid to speak up if I needed to.

I’m a creative learner. I also learned what I’ve come to like and what interests me.

I’ve changed a lot at TNS. I’ve learned to take into consideration other people’s points of view. I have learned to listen and be a good member of my community and help others.

My creativity has grown here. Where else can you make a movie about exploding chickens?

Friendships can be found everywhere.

I noticed that I spent a lot of time yelling at teachers. Sometimes I was mad at them, but I also learned that sometimes it was because I was frustrated with myself. Even though I probably pushed their buttons, they helped me and I was grateful. I learned that it’s important to have second chances.

I am a fish swimming in the water. I am a watch saying hurry up you’re gonna be late. I am a light shining bright. I am so many things.

It is also time to say “goodbye” to two cherished members of our teaching community.  After 27 years, Danette is retiring from teaching.  Michiko is moving to Hawaii to be closer to family and to continue to grow her Hula practice.  We will miss them both, but wish them luck on their next adventure and look forward to when they come back to visit!

Just a few reminders:   

  • Tuesday is a Garden Orientation and Work Day.  If you’re interested in Garden Maintenance and helping out over the summer or in the fall, please attend for about 20 minutes after drop off (about 8:40 a.m.). We’ll discuss the tasks and water and other logistics.

  • Tuesday is Camp Day.   All classes will be going to Tompkins Square Park (the north side, near 10th Street, between Avenue A & B).  Our younger students will be there in the morning and our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders will go in the afternoon.  

  • Wednesday is the last day of school and our last SING of the year in the 4th Street courtyard at 8:45 a.m.  Please note, we do not have a bake sale.  Dismissal is at 11:45 a.m.

  • Class placement letters and class lists for next year go home on the last day of school.  If your child is not here that day, you can email me or Noemi and we will send the information to you.  Supply lists and letters from your child’s teacher will be sent home in August.

Graduation always helps me to remember how special our community is and how grateful I am to be a part of it.

I will miss you!  

Much Love,


Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of June 12. 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families, 

During the month of June, teachers are hard at work in the evenings and on the weekends writing your children’s progress reports.  Progress reports tell the story of a child as a learner; they are descriptive, filled with precise detail, and reveal a child’s interests, strengths and areas for growth.  The end-of-year reports will detail the growth your child has made this year.  Reports go home June 22.  

Mark Your Calendar:

  • Our final SLT meeting of the year is Tuesday, June 13 at 8 a.m. in Room 301.

  • We will have elections for PTA and SLT positions for next year Thursday morning at 8:30 in the PTA Room.

  • Third Street Music School is hosting its spring open house on Thursday, June 15th, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. 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, 2017) 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.  Placement is not guaranteed; every effort will be made to place each child in one of their activity choices. 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.  For more information, contact Third Street’s Student Services office at 212-777-3240 ext. 17.

  • Parents of Unique Kids Support Group will meet on Friday from 8:30 - 10 a.m. in Room 301.



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of June 5, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

We are gearing up for the Summer Read-a-thon. The TNS Summer Read-a-thon is a fun way for students to continue reading over the summer AND help raise money for our school.  It’s one of our most successful fundraisers! We hope you will choose to help make it another amazing year.  Keep your eyes open for backpack mail today and Sign up at:

Friday is Field Day!   Get ready for organized chaos!  Our entire school is going to Prospect Park for a picnic and outdoor activities.  Younger students will take school buses and some upper grades will take the train.  Please check with your child’s teacher about departure time.   We will gather near the Picnic House.  Parents wishing to take students out early or directly from the park must sign out with their classroom teachers. This will insure that all students are safely accounted for.  See you there!

Mark Your Calendars:

  • The NYS Written 4ht Grade Science Test is today.

  • Thursday, June 8 is Chancellor’s Day.  There is NO SCHOOL for students.

  • Monday, June 12 is a DOE Clerical Day for staff.  There is NO SCHOOL for students.



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of May 30, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families, 

As the school year winds down, I want to share the work that we have done with Emotionally Responsive Practice at Bank Street.  We have four more weeks of school and while many children are looking forward to summer vacation, the end of the school year can elicit complicated feelings in children. Children come to school everyday and spend many hours with their teachers and friends. They become attached to the adults in their school environment and connected to their peers in deep ways. Saying goodbye may feel sad.  In addition, children usually feel a sense of ease and comfort in their current classrooms having become familiar with their everyday routines and environments. Thinking about beginning a new grade, with new teachers and new peer groups, can bring up a lot of anxiety for children. Children worry about what it will be like: will it be too hard and will they have friends? All of these reactions are very normal.  Some children may share their feelings with you and some children may choose not to.  As we come closer to the end of the school year, teachers will be talking with children about their thoughts, feelings, and ideas about the end of the year.  We will be reading books, sharing memories, and counting days so the end will not feel like a surprise.  We are committed to having a good goodbye.  Some families have asked how they can support their children as they prepare to end school and move into the summer.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Ask children how they feel about the end of the school year.  Don’t make any assumptions. You can say, “So, it will be the end of school soon. How are you feeling about that?”

  • Be supportive. If kids express that they are sad, or scared, for example, you can say, “Yeah, the end of the school year can be hard. I understand.”

  • Kids may show some regression around this time. It’s completely normal! Don’t worry if your child is acting “younger” or more disorganized. We see this every year in every school. It is just part of how kids act at the end of the year.

  • Ask Cheryl or your teacher(s) for book recommendations. We have lots of good books to help kids with saying goodbye, and other themes related to the end of the school year.

  • Children who have had significant loss in their lives (the death of a loved one, a recent move, family illness, etc…) may have a particularly hard time saying goodbye. We are here to talk and support you and your child. We have some ideas about how to help them.

Mark Your Calendars:

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

  • We have our Studio in A School end-of-year art Exhibit Wednesday from 8:45 a.m. - 3 p.m.  

  • SING is Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. in the auditorium.  We will have a bake sale in the lobby beforehand.

  • Get your kids’ summer reads at the TNS Spring Book Fair this week.  Book fair hours: Wednesday 8-9:30 a.m. Thursday & Friday 8-9:30 a.m. & 2-3:30 p.m.

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

  • Please come to our Spring Jam this Friday, from 5:30 - 7 p.m. in the Lobby!

  • Thursday, June 8 is Chancellor’s Day.  There is NO school for students.

  • Friday, June 9th is Field Day!

  • Monday, June 12 is a DOE Clerical Day for staff.  There is NO school for students.

  • Monday, June 26 is Eid al-Fitr.  School is CLOSED.

  • Wednesday, June 28 is a half-day and the last day of school.  Dismissal is at 11:45 a.m.




Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of May 22, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

Thank you to those of you who participated in Community Day; families and teachers worked in classrooms and literally built a garden reminding us that it really does take a village....  It was a wonderful day.  

As a founding member of The Progressive Education Network of New York (PENNY), I also hosted a Progressive Education EdCamp Saturday morning.  PENNY is an organization that connects public, independent, charter, and teacher education schools and individuals of the greater metropolitan area to advance progressive education and promote equity, access, and social justice.  Saturday was a day of collaboration and learning to build a shared understanding of these principles and what they look like in practice in our classrooms and schools today.  It was energizing to connect with other progressive educators and activists around the city.

Mark Your Calendar:

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

  • The School Leadership Team will meet on Tuesday at 8 a.m. in Room 301.  All are welcome.

  • Border Crossers Workshop (Part 2) is Tuesday from 6 - 8 p.m. in Danette’s Room.    We will continue the discussion and delve more deeply to give parents and caregivers the tools and strategies they need in order to help them discuss race with their children.  Childcare will be provided.

  • Third Street Music Share: Our Pre-K - 2nd graders will share the work that they have done in music this year on Wednesday, May 24 at 8:45 a.m. in the auditorium for families and the rest of the school.  Please join us!

  • 5th Grade Parent Night with STAR is Thursday at 6 p.m. 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 your chance to find out more about what former parent and PTA President, Harvey Epstein called a “game changer” for TNS!