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Dyanthe's Weekly Letters

Week of January 31, 2022

Dear Families,

I am writing to let you know that, after the mid-winter break, our assistant principal, Anthony, will transfer to UNMS, a middle school in our district.  Anthony has been a tremendous support for our staff, families, and children during the last three years.  I could not have imagined running our school during the pandemic without his help.  Anthony always approaches every task with determination and a positive attitude.  Please take a moment to share your gratitude when you see him at arrival and dismissal.  

As you know, all of our teachers take on additional responsibilities outside of the classroom every day.  I trust them wholeheartedly and value their leadership.  However, for the first time since I have been principal, we can fund an out-of-class position to support the school for the rest of this school year.  While we experienced a loss in enrollment this year, city officials wound up allowing schools to keep the funding they owed.  In addition to having administrative support for the rest of the year, I see this as an opportunity to grow the leadership of members of our teaching staff who aspire to be school administrators one day.  To that end, after the mid-winter break, both Matt and Shaquawn will take on new roles at TNS.  Matt will move out of the classroom to support the office.  Liz Devine will take over his class as a long-term substitute and begin working with Matt next week to support the transition.  Liz was a student teacher last year in Caroline and Grace’s class, and this year she covered Lindsey’s maternity leave.  I am delighted that Liz is joining our staff.  Shaquawn will also take on additional responsibilities outside the classroom after the break and have several periods a week for administrative duties.  These are not permanent positions, but I will continue to advocate for funding for additional administrative support beyond this year, as I believe we need and deserve.

Wednesday, February 9 at 6 PM is the first ABAR workshop with EJROC (Education Justice Research & Organizing Collaborative (EJ-ROC).  This workshop for parents and caregivers will be based on the article,  Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture by Tema Okun & Kenneth Jones.  As it says, “Culture is powerful precisely because it is so present and at the same time so very difficult to name or identify.” Because we all live in this culture, these characteristics show up in the attitudes and behaviors of all of us – white people and people of color.  We will explore these and create the anti-racist school culture we want to see in this workshop (registration link to come).

Finally, thank you to all the families who contributed tasty treats and care packages for staff today.  We are so grateful for your generosity and support.  

School is closed tomorrow in observance of the Lunar New Year.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe's Weekly Letters

Week of January 24, 2022

Dear Families,

We are almost halfway through the school year.  Beginning on February 7, most of our students will switch from science to Spanish or vice versa. If your child has had science with Julia for the first half of the year, they will start Spanish. If they have been with Maria for Spanish, they will begin science. Pre-k students have science and Spanish for the entire year. All of our children will continue to have physical education with Oli.  

We are trying to tighten up our attendance procedures again, but we need your help!  If your child is absent from school for any reason, please email your child’s teacher(s) and attendanceteam@tnsny.org to let us know.

Just a reminder that Friday, January 28, is a TNS half-day.  Dismissal will be at 11:45 AM.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe's Weekly Letters

Week of January 18, 2022

Dear Families,

January is narrative report writing time at TNS.  Teachers spend evenings and weekends writing reports to provide you with information about your child’s progress over the year. Unlike the conventionalDOE report card, narratives explain a child’s growth in great depth and detail and provide context for the teacher to reflect on the child and support their continued growth. Mid-year narrative reports go home Monday, February 7.

At TNS, our practices and policies are rooted in anti-bias and anti-racist work, which involves the entire school community.  ABAR does not only live within classrooms.  Parents also need the tools to talk about bias and racism with their children.  To this end, the Education Justice Research & Organizing Collaborative (EJ-ROC) Center for Community Organizing and Engagement is excited to partner with the TNS parent community and offer the Anti-Racist Parent training series: “The Air We Breath.”  These workshops are designed to support multiracial parent communities in building true partnerships for racial justice that serve the school and, of course, our children. EJ-ROC works directly with parents of all racial identities to recognize and interrupt white supremacist and racist practices in our community and society.  Please join workshop leaders Barbara Gross and Maria Bautista this Thursday at 6 PM to learn more about the series (please register ahead of time @

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe's Weekly Letters

Week of 1.10.22

Dear Families,

Thank you for your support, flexibility, and patience during this incredibly demanding time.  The drastic uptick in positive cases means I am sending emails alerting our community at all hours of the day.  Still, sharing this information as soon as I learn of it is crucial to help avoid any potential spread of infection. 

The increase in cases in our school is disruptive for families and has also made running school extremely challenging.  I am sure you have heard about staffing shortages across the city. For example, at TNS last week, most of the office was out, and we scrambled to cover classes because no substitutes showed up to cover teacher absences.  Many of us are parents, too, and need to take time off to care for our own sick or quarantined children.  We are all spread thin, and kindness and understanding go a long way! 

I hope many of you will join TNS staff tomorrow at 8 AM in the front courtyard (on 3rd St.) to rally for safe schools.  We are advocating for weekly, on-site COVID testing for ALL students and staff, More PPE, and a centralized remote learning option for children who have to quarantine or whose families choose to keep them home.

Finally, please bundle your children up this week!  It will be freezing, and we need to keep classroom windows open to ensure adequate ventilation.  

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe's Weekly Letters

Week of January 3, 2022

Dear Families,

The surge of cases experienced before and during winter break, delays in test results, and longer turnaround times in response from the Situation Room have made it difficult to get accurate case counts in schools. To give you a clearer sense, we have at least ten active, positive cases to date in our school. Additionally, we have a handful of community members under quarantine as close contacts due to exposure over the break.  Many students also are home today awaiting test results.  

Students who test positive must isolate for ten days and can return to school on Day 11 if they have no symptoms.  No negative test is required to return to school.  Please

Quarantining protocols have changed with at-home COVID tests.  Unvaccinated or not fully-vaccinated students who are in close proximity to a positive case no longer have to quarantine and can continue attending school if they do not have symptoms and do not have a positive test result from a COVID test. All students and adults in that classroom will receive two take-home rapid tests and take  over five days. In Pre-K, the quarantine policy will remain the same, meaning that any Pre-K student who was in close proximity to a positive case will have to quarantine for ten days. 

The DoE is not offering remote options for students who test positive or whose families choose to keep them home. I understand this is frustrating for children and families staying home because of the rise in COVID cases in NYC or because they need to quarantine. However, please understand that teachers can’t work in person all day and then prepare work for our students at home and offer office hours. So instead, I strongly urge you to reach out to our new chancellor and mayor about offering remote options for students across the city.  Nonetheless, there are many activities that your child can do at home that will support their learning:

  • Read!  Your child can access Sora for books.

  • Many of our older children can use Zearn for math.

  • Younger students can staple or glue multiple pages together and have them write or draw a story; you can mix this activity up by cutting out different-sized booklets or using different kinds of paper.  Older children can also write stories or journal daily.

  • Cook or bake with your child.

  • Play games like Candyland, Memory, chess, checkers, or Uno.

Please also try not to worry about learning loss if your child is absent due to COVID.  Most classes are not covering new content or skills because so many students are out this week, and our teachers will work hard to support your children when they return to school.  

Finally, please submit your child’s testing consent through their NYC Schools Account. Starting this week, in-school testing will expand, doubling the number of students tested. This is one way to detect asymptomatic cases and keep us all safe!  If you have submitted consent this school year, you do not need to again.  

We know this is a lot of information, and we ourselves still have many questions and concerns. As new information becomes available from the DOE, we will update you.  

Warm regards,

Dyanthe

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