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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of December 4, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

Recently, a parent asked what our staff does on TNS half-days.  During these afternoons, we participate in something called descriptive reviews.  Especially now, in this time of high stakes testing, accountability and enforced standardization, we must ensure that education starts and builds from the strengths of children and teachers and values human capacity; descriptive reviews do just that.  The descriptive process begins with immersion – observing a child or space or activity.  It has a focus or focusing question that the presenting teacher or administrator work out thoughtfully ahead of time and that gives the participants a sense of how to listen and respond to the review. The process is always collaborative. It has rules and roles necessary for making the inquiry process democratic and inclusive, and for guaranteeing respect and privacy for the individuals involved.  A review typically takes about two hours.  Descriptive reviews are a powerful way of opening up one’s practice and learning from each other.  We have devoted all of our TNS PD half-days to this work.   

Mark Your Calendars:

  • Parent’s of Unique Kids Support Group meets Tuesday morning at drop-off in Room 301. 

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

  • The TNS Book Fair will be open Thursday and Friday from 8 - 10AM & 2 - 4PM and Sunday during the Holiday Fair.  

  • SLT meets Thursday at 8 a.m. in Room 301.  See agenda:

1. Reconfiguration of grade bands to Pre-K, K/1, 2/3 and 4/5 (Dyanthe will present the thinking behind reconfiguring from a numbers perspective).

2. Share what has been learned from the Dutch educators visiting our school with parents.

3. Examine the parent responses to the DOE survey.

4. How we as a school can make the middle school process better for families.

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

  • The Holiday Fair is Sunday, December 10th from 11AM - 5PM.  Please look out for opportunities to volunteer... to set up, work a booth the day of, or clean-up.  This is a wonderful community event for the whole family and friends.  I hope to see you all there.

Thank you to the teachers and families who organized and partook in the TNS Upstander Fest this past Saturday.  I think that all participants found meaning and joy in the day! 

Have a wonderful week,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 27, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

One of our biggest fundraisers of the year, the Holiday Fair is quickly approaching; it is an event for the whole family (and it makes a great playdate).  There are many ways to participate in this event and support our school.  Please look out for opportunities to volunteer... to set up, work a booth the day of, or clean-up.  I hope you will join the fun and support our many PTA funded projects including our arts programs, camp for our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders and teaching assistants in our early childhood classrooms, just to name a few!  The Holiday Fair is Sunday, December 10th from 11AM - 5PM.

Mark Your Calendars:

  • The Museum of Impact training for volunteers is Monday at 8:35AM in the PTA Room.  

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

  • Friday is a half-day.  Dismissal is at 11:45AM.  

  • Friday is the deadline for submitting Middle School Applications to Noemi.  

  • The Museum of Impact is Saturday, December 2 from 1 - 4PM.  The Museum of Impact creates immersive experiential voyages into the heart of social movements; Visitors participate with all senses and leave their own mark.  Installations and accompanying art offers a multiplicity of avenues allowing for individual and collective reactions, and help participants adopt concrete ideas for effecting change.  Please join us and bring your friends!

 

Have a wonderful week,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 20, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

It finally feels like Fall.  Please make sure your child has all the necessary accessories (hat, scarf, mittens and coat) to stay warm and active; it’s important children come to school prepared to play outside as temperatures drop.   Missing something?  Check our “Lost and Found” next to security.

Mark Your Calendars:

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

  • There is no school Thursday and Friday this week.

Whatever family traditions you honor this weekend, enjoy the long and very well deserved break with your children.  I hope that it feels restful and rejuvenating.  

Much Love,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 13, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

It’s family conference time.  Twice each year, in November and again in March, we hold family conferences.  In our early childhood classes, it is an opportunity for teachers, together with the child, to talk with the adults in each child’s family about the child’s work and progress in school.  In our upper grades, children lead conferences, speaking about their work alongside teachers and families.  Conferences will be held Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon (dismissal is at 11:45 AM).

Friday is Fall Family Celebration!  Classes schedule celebrations at various times during the day so that families with siblings in different classes can participate in all celebrations.

Erin/Haydee/Yolanda 11:30AM

Dianne/Shaquawn/Hughes/Kristie 11:30AM

Judy/Cesar/Lameeka 12 - 1PM 

Wanda/Edwin 12 - 1PM

Olivia/Chelsea/Michelle/Mildred 12 - 1PM

Lindsey/Shaniqua/Fidelina/Elsie 11:45 AM

Dara/Carmen 11:45 AM

Grace 11:30AM - 12:15

Sofia/Joanne/Liz/Edwin 8:45 - 10AM

Hannah 8:30 - 9:10AM

Catlin/Caroline  8:25 - 9:10 AM

Alexis/Corinthia/Louis 8:25 - 9:10AM

The Diversity Committee will host The Museum of Impact at TNS on Saturday, December 2 from 1 - 4PM.  The Museum of Impact creates immersive experiential voyages into the heart of social movements; Visitors participate with all senses and leave their own mark.  Installations and accompanying art offers a multiplicity of avenues allowing for individual and collective reactions, and help participants adopt concrete ideas for effecting change.  A representative from The Museum of Impact will present at our next PTA meeting, this Thursday at 8:40AM in the PTA Room.

I am grateful to be a part of community that works to effect change -  both in our school and in the world.  Thursday evening, volunteers and parents worked together to make our school a healthier space for our children at the Action for Healthy Kids and Gogo Squeez Day of Service!  Please check-out our new scooter rack, brightly painted cafeterias and play area in the court yard!  On Friday, students from TNS, STAR and East Side Community collected all donated supplies to send to Puerto Rico.  See pics!

Mark Your Calendars:

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

  • We have our PTA General Meeting Thursday at 8:40AM in the PTA Room.

  • THURSDAY IS A HALF-DAY for family conferences.  Dismissal is at 11:45AM.

  • There is a Garden Committee Meeting Friday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 6, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

I turned off the news last night so that my soon-to-be 11 year old didn’t hear about shootings in Texas when I did; I needed to digest and figure out how to talk with her about another act of terror.  Young children feel safe when we provide containing information:  the gunman in Texas is dead so he can’t hurt anymore people.  You are safe at school.  For older kids, it’s about acknowledging that there have been dangerous times throughout history, but there have always been people who worked to make the world safer.  I think that this is an opportunity for kids to talk and think about ways to make our school and community feel safe.

Please join me for my Morning Hour Thursday at 8:35 a.m. in the PTA Room.  We  will continue our discussion about progressive education and what it looks like at TNS.  Please take a few minutes to read the Alfie Kohn article, What to Look for in a Classroom.  We will visit classrooms as a part of this morning hour.

It’s almost family conference time.  Twice each year, in November and again in March, we hold family conferences.  In our early childhood classes, it is an opportunity for teachers, together with the child, to talk with the adults in each child’s family about the child’s work and progress in school.  In our upper grades, children lead conferences, speaking about their work alongside teachers and their adults.  Conferences will be held the evening of Wednesday, November 15th and in the afternoon on Thursday, November 16th (dismissal is at 11:45 AM).

Mark Your Calendars:

  • TNS staff and families have formed a Relief for Puerto Rico Committee in response to Hurricane Maria.  This week is “battery week”.

  • There is NO SCHOOL Tuesday, November 7th.  This is a professional development day for teachers and paraprofessionals.

  • Action for Healthy Kids and Go Go Squeez is sponsoring a Day of Service at TNS on Thursday, from 3 - 7 p.m.    We will paint the small and large cafeteria, add stenciling to the courtyard, sort new equipment for P.E., build a new scooter rack and install a climbing wall in the 4th floor gym.  We have a lot planned, but can’t do it without some TNS parent volunteers, too.   Please sign-up to help, either the day of or to help ahead of time.   Childcare is available for TNS students from 2:45 - 6 p.m.

  • Our PTA Executive meeting is Wednesday at 8:35 AM in the PTA Room.  This meeting is open to all.

  • The Wellness Committee meets Friday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • We have Picture Day retakes and sibling pictures Friday.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

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