Click here to post your own »

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 23, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

In my letter last week, I wrote about how part of our work at school is to teach children to resolve conflicts respectfully.  Of course, we hope our grown-ups will model this behavior when opportunities arise.  When parents come to me to share a concern about their child or teacher, one of my first questions is, “Have you discussed this with your child’s teacher?”

TNS was formed around the belief that families and teachers can learn from each other and we have always emphasized the collaborative relationships that develop around supporting children.  Open and ongoing communication between families and staff is essential to support children’s development.  We have created a process for TNS families and staff to communicate with one another when concerns or conflicts arise; the goal being to maintain or restore collaboration so that children receive the strongest possible support.  We are committed to supporting every child and every family. We hope that this document, called, “Guidelines for Resolving Concerns Between Members of Our School Community“ will serve as a guide to keep our community strong.  

Please come to hear Jamaal A. Bowman speak Monday at 6:30 p.m.  Jamaal Bowman is the founding principal of Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School and has worked as an educator for over 15 years. He is the author of “The Tyranny of Standardized Testing“, “Let ‘Em Play” and “End School Privatization”.  You can learn more about him from his blog: https://jamaalabowman.wordpress.com.

At TNS, we look at children and measure their development on an individual continuum.  Teachers use techniques of assessment such as anecdotal notes, running records and writing and math samples to analyze individual student’s progress.  I encourage you to come to our discussion on Thursday, January 26th at 8:40am in the PTA Room to learn more about the ways in which TNS teachers assess student learning.  Our teachers, Erin, Dianne, Jane, Grace and Corinthia will share the ways they “measure” student growth and make decisions about class instruction, and the place state testing plays in instruction and curriculum.  Please join us!

Mark Your Calendars:

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

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

  • SING is Wednesday at 8:45 in the auditorium.  Please also join us for the bake sale in the lobby beforehand (also, this is a call for donated baked goods).

Have a good week,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 16, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

“Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”  

-Martin Luther King Jr.

When I was a classroom teacher, one of my favorite picture books to read with my students was  “Martin’s Big Words”.  It tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life work and the civil rights movement and throughout the book, it features many of Dr. King’s memorable quotes.  It is a beautiful book that is as compelling to adults as it is to children because it shows the power of conviction, resistance and perseverance.  This week, we honor and celebrate the life and work of Dr. King; we commemorate the universal love, forgiveness and nonviolence that empowered his revolutionary spirit.    

The Neighborhood School sees diversity as one of our great strengths; we value an inclusive community that is marked by mutual respect, trust and responsibility.  Now, more than ever, in the spirit of Dr. King, we must see ourselves as a large and diverse community and come together for one another.  On a daily basis, this means continuing to help children resolve conflicts respectfully and encouraging them to speak up when they see meanness.  For our older students, it means teaching them to interrupt biased language, calmly ask questions and send a clear message: “This kind of language doesn’t fly here”.  By doing this, we continue to cultivate the values that Martin Luther King Jr. taught us through his example — those of courage, justice, compassion, dignity and humility.  

This week and next weekend, there are many events, and of course the everyday work in classrooms, to empower our children and us to stand up for the values and ideals that we hold so dear at TNS.  I hope you will join us.

Mark Your Calendars:

  • The School Leadership Team (SLT) will meet Tuesday in Room 301 at 8 a.m. Monthly meetings are for the School Leadership Team Representatives and are open to all TNS families.  

  • Parent’s of Unique Kids Support Group meets this Wednesday morning at drop-off in Room 301.  This is a support group for parents and caretakers; it is an opportunity to share experiences, defeats, and strategies with each other.  Kindergarten teacher, Dianne will lead the group as a fellow parent.  

  • We will be making signs in preparation for both the DC and NYC Women’s March on Wednesday at 3 p.m. in Library.   TNS will be going as group to the NYC Women’s March on Saturday, January 21 and everyone is welcome!!

  • Please join us for our January PTA General Meeting this Thursday at 8:40 a.m. in the PTA Room.  We will discuss the PTA’s role in the NYC Women’s March on Saturday.  Please come and share your ideas!

  • Please come to hear Jamaal A. Bowman speak Monday, January 23 at 6:30 p.m.  Jamaal Bowman is the founding principal of Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School and has worked as an educator for over 15 years. He is the author of “The Tyranny of Standardized Testing“, “Let ‘Em Play” and “End School Privatization”.  You can learn more about him from his blog: https://jamaalabowman.wordpress.com.  

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 9, 2017 (Early Edition)

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

I am sending out my weekly letter a little early because it looks like we are in store for some very chilly weather this weekend.  It always strikes me as odd that we emphasize how children learn best through first-hand experiences and then we don’t let them play outside in winter weather.  Last year, on those fews days when there was snow on the ground, my 10-year-old daughter grumbled, “I guess that Neighborhood School kids get to go outside; no fair!”  She was right.  Winter weather allows children to imagine the outdoors differently, to be creative and play in different ways.  Plus, how can we expect kids to know how to play “safely” in the snow and ice unless they practice!  So, before you make plans to keep your children indoors this weekend (and for those cold weather recess naysayers), please read the article Bundle Up and Get Outside:Why Kids Should Play Outdoors in Winter.  It considers all of the benefits that cold weather has when it comes to children’s health, development, and well-being (and your sanity, too!).  

I’m including a couple of pictures from our lower grade recess today for inspiration!

Mark Your Calendars:

  • The Grants Committee will meet Tuesday morning at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • Please join us for our Prospective Parents’ Night at Eastwood (200 Clinton Street @ East Broadway) Tuesday at 6 p.m.  This event is a ‘mix and mingle’, not a school fundraiser. I hope to see you there and feel free to invite other families who you think may be interested in learning more about The Neighborhood School.

  • The Advocacy Committee will meet Wednesday morning at drop-off in the small cafeteria.  

  • The PTA Executive Meeting is Thursday at 8:30 a.m. in the PTA Room.  All are welcome.

  • There is no school Monday, January 16th in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 3, 2017

Happy New Year Neighborhood School Families!

It looks like we may be in store for some wintry temperatures later this week.  Just a reminder: cold weather does not keep our students inside at recess.  Our Pre-K - 2nd graders play outside for 50 minutes and our 3rd - 5th graders are outside for 25 minutes.  It is very important that children come to school dressed for the weather.  Please make sure your child has all the necessary accessories (hat, scarf, mittens and snow pants) to stay warm and active!

At TNS, we look at children and measure their development on an individual continuum.  Teachers use techniques of assessment such as anecdotal notes, running records and writing and math samples to analyze individual student’s progress.  If you are interested in learning more about the ways in which TNS teachers assess student learning, I encourage you to come to our discussion on Thursday, January 26th at 8:40 a.m. in the auditorium.  Teachers, from Pre-K/K to 5th grade will share the ways they “measure” student growth and make decisions about class instruction, and the place state testing plays in instruction and curriculum.  Please join us!

I hope that you had a wonderful break and were able to enjoy some downtime with friends, family and by yourself! : )  

Welcome Back,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of December 19, 2016

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

Keeping it short and sweet:  I hope that you have a wonderful and well-deserved break with plenty of opportunities to laugh, play and relax with family and friends.  We will see you Tuesday, January 3, 2017!

Mark Your Calendars:

  • The Wellness Committee will meet this morning (Monday) at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • Original Works orders are in!  Diana will be distributing them in the lobby during drop-off on Tuesday and during drop-off and pick-up on Wednesday.

  • The Diversity Committee will meet on Tuesday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • Please join us for SING this Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. in the auditorium.  We will also have a bake sale beforehand, so please bring your appetite!

Much Love,

Dyanthe

  123456789