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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 4, 2019

Dear Families,

There is no school for students tomorrow.  It is both Election Day and city-wide professional development day for teachers and paraprofessionals.  Most of our staff will participate in professional development with The Gender & Family Project (GFP) to develop gender-inclusive and intersectional curriculum across subjects.

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 on the evening of Wednesday, November 13th and in the afternoon on Thursday, November 14th (dismissal is at 11:45 AM).

This week at TNS…

  • No School for students Tuesday.

  • The Diversity Committee meets Wednesday after drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • SLT meets Thursday at 8 AM in Room 314.  All are welcome.

    • Create a working agreement 

    • Community Day

    • TNS as potential TSI School

    • CEP

  • The Original Works order deadline is Friday, November 8th.  Please drop off your orders (artwork, order form & check) in the Original Works drop-box in the school office on the 3rd Floor.

  • It’s popcorn on Friday this week!

  • Movie Night is on Friday beginning at 5:30 PM with animated

  •  shorts, followed by the feature film, My Neighbor Totoro at 6 PM.  Come on out for yummy food and lots of fun!  Suggested donation is $5/child; $8 for all siblings and adults are free!

Looking Ahead…

  • There is no school on Monday, November 11 in observance of Veteran’s Day.

Have a great week,


Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of October 28, 2019

Dear Families,

Over the past year, families and staff have engaged in conversations about reading instruction at TNS.  Please come to hear author and former TNS parent Maria Russo discuss her new book, “How to Raise a Reader” TONIGHT from 6 - 7:30 PM.  Divided into four sections, from baby through teen, this book offers something useful on every page, whether it’s how to develop rituals around reading or build a family library, or engage a reluctant reader.  A fifth section, More Books to Love: By Theme and Reading Level, is chock full of expert recommendations.  Throughout, the authors debunk common myths, assuage parental fears, and deliver invaluable lessons in a positive and easy-to-act-on way.  I hope you will join me for what promises to be an informative and engaging night. Childcare will be provided.

November Lunch Menu at TNS

  • Week of November 4:  Both Alternative and Classic entrees will be available

  • Week of November 11:  Alternative Menu entrees

  • Week of November 18:  Classic Menu entrees (on 10/18 both Alternative and Classic entrees will be available)

  • Week of November 25:  They are the same

Also happening this week at TNS…

  • Tuesday is Picture Day.  Individual shots will be taken in the PTA Room and class pictures will be taken in the small cafeteria.  Every child will have their picture taken. Families will get a code specifically for their child and they can go to the Cool for School website to order their child’s pictures.  November 22 is saved for sibling pictures and make-ups.

  • Our Halloween Party is Thursday, October 31st beginning at 5:30 PM in the 4th Street courtyard.   Please remember to save candy and costumes for the parade!   

  • The Advocacy Committee meets Friday after drop-off in the PTA room.

  • The Eco Committee meets Friday after drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • It’s “Popcorn Friday” this week!

Looking Ahead…

  • There is NO SCHOOL for students on Tuesday, November 5.

Finally, please do not leave strollers in the Lobby during the day.  They block access to scooters, the safety agents’ area and most importantly, pose a fire hazard.  Thank you.



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of October 21, 2019

Dear Families,

It’s a busy week at TNS!

Once again, we are hosting several groups of Dutch educators who are part of a nationwide initiative called Platform Onderwijs 2032 (Platform Education 2032) this fall.  Each group is composed of teachers and administrators from pre-kindergarten to high school who are interested in identifying and making good educational practices visible, implementing it, organizing and supporting teacher/administrator education and taking part in the public debate on education.  They will visit classrooms, speak with the teachers, children, and parents in an effort to build an understanding of TNS’s model of progressive education. Their first visit is today!

I am excited to welcome, Maeve Mayfield to our teaching staff.  She will be assisting in Catlin’s class beginning today and Cesar will be with Dara’s class full-time.  

My first “Morning Hour” is Wednesday in the PTA Room right after drop-off.  We will discuss progressive education and in preparation, I encourage you to read Alfie Kohn’s article, Progressive Education: Why It’s Hard to Beat, But Also Hard to Find.  I hope to see you there.

Friday is our 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/Yolanda 11:30 - 12:30
  • Shaquawn/Dianne/Hughes/Dianna 11:30 - 12:30
  • Dara/Cesar/Lucio 11:45 - 12:45
  • Catlin/Maeve 8:45 - 9:45
  • Wanda/Elsie 11:30 - 12:30
  • Shaniqua/Michelle 11:30 - 12:30
  • Lindsey/Oli/Haydee 11:45 - 12:45
  • Caroline/Grace 11:45 - 12:30
  • Chelsea/Jane/Liz 11:30 - 12:30
  • Matt 11:45 - 12:30
  • Tiffany 1:30
  • Joanne/Sofia/Louis 8:45 - 9:10
  • Corinthia/Alexis/Lameeka Friday, November 1 @ 8:45

Also happening this week at TNS…

  • A group of parents is gathering to share resources and learn more about Dyslexia on Thursday after drop-off in the PTA Room.

  • The Garden Committee meets Friday morning after drop-off in the small cafeteria.

Looking Ahead…

  • Maria Russo, The New York Times children’s book review editor and author of the recent book, How to Raise a Reader is coming on October 28 at 6 PM in the Library to talk with families about children and reading. 

  • Tuesday, October 29 is Picture Day!

  • Our annual Halloween Party is Thursday, October 31 beginning at 5:15 PM in the recess yard.

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.



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of October 15, 2019

Dear Families,

One aspect of our school community I value most is our diversity.  Our mixed-age, heterogeneous classes are configured so that children learn to become part of a community that cultivates visibility, understanding, and respect for all people.  This work is deliberate and never-ending, and over the last several years we have partnered with outside community-based organizations for support.  Last year, the Diversity Committee researched several different organizations that provide professional development and family workshops about gender and decided to partner with the Gender & Family Project of the Ackerman Institute.  The Gender & Family Project (GFP) empowers youth, families, and communities by providing gender affirmative services, training and research. GFP promotes gender inclusivity as a form of social justice in all the systems involved in the life of the family.  We chose to partner with the GFP because their work explicitly integrates our school’s on-going work on race, racism and racial justice. Last spring and again this fall, the staff will participate in professional development with GFP. This Thursday, from 6 - 8 PM. the Gender & Family Project of the Ackerman Institute will lead a Gender 101 Workshop for TNS families.  I strongly encourage you to attend if you can.  Childcare and pizza will be provided for TNS children.

Once again this year, I am hosting a series of informal gatherings for families each month to discuss topics of interest to our community - so please email your suggestions!  The first “Morning Hour” is Wednesday, October 23rd in the PTA Room right after drop off.  We will discuss progressive education and in preparation, I encourage you to read Alfie Kohn’s article, Progressive Education: Why It’s Hard to Beat, But Also Hard to Find.  We begin each year with this article; I think it is a good starting point for future conversations. 

This Week at TNS...

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

  • Used and Vintage Cookbook Sale: There is a cookbook sale on Wednesday from 2 - 6 PM in the courtyard (weather permitting).  All proceeds go to the library and UNICEF’s Nutrition Fund.  

  • The PTA meets Thursday at 8:30 AM in the PTA room. Voting to approve this year’s draft budget will take place during the meeting.  PTA members can walk in anytime between 8 and 9:30 AM to cast their ballot. 

  • Sing is Friday at 8:45 AM in the recess yard, weather permitting.  There will also be a bake sale. 

Looking Ahead...

  • My Morning Hour is Wednesday, October 23 at 8:30 AM in the PTA Room.

  • Friday, October 25 is Fall Family Celebration!  Fall Family Celebration is one of my favorite TNS traditions because it always reminds me how warm and caring our community is, and the importance of food in bringing people together.  Please check with your child’s teacher about the time and sign-up.

Have a good week,


Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of October 7, 2019

Dear Families,

Have you ever wondered, if butterflies remember being caterpillars?  Probably not recently, if at all.  As adults, there’s lots of information that we know and therefore don’t think more deeply about.  We know that caterpillars turn into butterflies or moths, most likely because we were told it or read about it.  

Last week, this question was offered up and considered by our students as they observed the Swallowtail caterpillars they discovered in our school garden.  2nd and 3rd graders brought them to the science room to protect them from birds and then all our students watched as they changed from caterpillars to pupae.  

The beauty of science is in the mystery, the unknowing, the unseen, and the fantasy.   A child’s natural inclination for play and pretend and imagination feeds right into science work and it’s our job to ask children open-ended questions about the world and listen to them as they come up with their own theory.  Before giving your child any information, ask them more clarifying questions that help further their thinking on his/her own. Then you might want to spend time together researching answers to the question and talking more. 

This Week at TNS

  • Hip Hop begins for our ⅔ and ⅘ grade classes this week.  Students will build a Hip Hop Dance foundation learning hip hop dance moves and dance terminology. They will be challenged to both explore their freestyle and learn choreography that will be shared in an open house with parents at the culmination of the residency.  Children should wear sneakers and comfortable clothes on days they have Hip Hop.

  • Third Street Music classes begin for Pre-K and K/1 this week.  Children work with Monika once a week, exploring music through voice, movement, and instruments.  All TNS Students are eligible to participate in Partners@3rd, a program that provides free and low-cost group classes held after school and on weekends at Third Street’s home on East 11th Street. These classes are offered across a variety of instruments and dance styles.  For more information, click here.

  • The Diversity Committee meets on Tuesday after drop-off.

  • The PTA Executive Committee meets on Tuesday after drop-off.

  • There is no school on Wednesday, October 9 in observance of Yom Kippur.

  • On Thursday, from 3:30 PM - 4:00 PM, Benito “Ifayemisi” Marquez will lead a drumming performance in the auditorium.   Benito is graciously coming to visit us while he is in town for the screening of his film Mama Africa (  This event is hosted by the Diversity Committee.

Looking Ahead

  • There is no school on Monday, October 14 in observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Have a good week,