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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of April 15, 2019

Dear Families,

I hope you will join us for our parent Sing next tomorrow morning in the small cafeteria.  We will sing all the songs on this month’s sheet so that you are more than ready for all school Sing on Wednesday.

We are revisiting school menu options.  Last year, our building adopted the “alternative school menu”.  While I am very appreciative of parents’ efforts to encourage kids to try options on the alternative menu, the kitchen continues to generate more waste with this menu than it did previously.  Families from both schools, the principal of STAR Academy and I will meet with our head custodian and kitchen supervisor after the break to discuss next steps. Please join us at Thursday’s PTA meeting to learn more and share your ideas.

Mark your calendars:

  • SING is on Wednesday at 8:45 AM.  If it is nice out, we will have SING in the 4th Street courtyard.  We will also have a bake sale in the lobby beforehand.

  • Our April PTA Meeting is Thursday at 8:35 AM in the PTA Room.

  • School is closed for Spring Recess:  4/19 - 4/26

Have a wonderful break.  We will see you on Monday, April 29.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of April 8, 2019

Dear Families,

Today was so busy that I didn’t get to send out my weekly letter.  My apologies!

We have been talking about reading a lot this year at School Leadership Team.  Recently, I was reminded of a letter I sent out about my own daughter’s journey learning to read several years ago.  Kaya was a reluctant reader in elementary school and under Cheryl’s guidance, we found that she loved graphic novels.  She’s not an anomaly; graphic novels are among the highest circulating items in our library.  Simply put, graphic novels are book-length comics. They are not just about superheroes.  Graphic novels can teach about ballet, history, and mythology, as well as science fiction, adventure, biographies, and folk tales, and can vary in reading level from a beginner reader to an adult.  Reluctant readers are very often attracted to the format. The context clues provided by the pictures are helpful to children who are struggling with decoding words. Graphic novels also provide an opportunity for kids to develop their visual thinking skills.  Not only must a reader figure out what’s happening inside a panel, she must also figure out what is happening between the panels.  Graphic novels are often a gateway to more reading.  As children build confidence in their reading, they almost always transfer their enthusiasm for reading to different formats and genres.  Many strong readers also are drawn to graphic novels. Some of our finest writers were avid readers of comics when they were young: Ray Bradbury, Cynthia Rylant, and John Updike.  

We are having three Sings at TNS this month!  One for staff and children only, one for parents only and one for all of us together (as usual on the last Wednesday of the month).  I hope you will join us for our parent only Sing next Monday, just after drop-off.  We will sing all the songs on this month’s sheet so that you are more than ready for all school Sing on Wednesday, April 17.

Mark your calendars:

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

  • Parents of Unique Kids Support Group meets twice this week: Thursday morning at drop-off and again at 4:30PM in the Library.

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

Have a good week,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of April 1, 2019

Dear Families,

The 3rd - 5th grade NYS English Language Arts Exams will be administered Tuesday and Wednesday this week.  Students who do not take the state tests will continue the important and meaningful work they engage in everyday.  We support parents in making the best decisions for their individual children.  Teachers will have conversations with students to create an environment that is respectful of the diversity of opinions surrounding this issue.  It is vital that all members of our community feel supported during this time and that we maintain a sense of calm for our students.

Our annual Spring Fling & Auction is this Thursday from 6 - 10PM at the Manny Cantor Center.  Want to know what is in store for the evening?  The TNS Parent Band, In Utero, is working hard on an incredible night of live music.  Dinner that evening will be catered by the fabulous TNS-owned restaurant, Bricia.  80s Costume is completely optional, but we do have a celebrity auctioneer, Ally Sheedy, lined up to go with our 80s theme!  Hundreds of great auction prizes donated by supportive and generous TNS families and local businesses.  Please join us for what promises to be a wonderful night!

Only 34% of our families have completed their Department of Education (DOE) Parent Survey.  The DOE survey gathers information about your overall satisfaction with our school and the results are published and used to determine our official rating.  Completion rates are also important as they reflect the level of parent involvement to the DOE.  Please complete your family survey!  The deadline for completing parent surveys has been extended to Thursday, April 11th.  Thank you!

Mark your calendars:

  • SLT meets Thursday morning at 8AM in Room 313.

  • The Garden Committee meets Friday at drop-off.

  • It’s “Popcorn Friday” this week.

Have a good week,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of March 25, 2019

Dear Families,

This year, the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade NY State English Language Arts Tests will take place April 2 - 3 and the Math Tests will be administered May 1 - 2.  TNS students who do not take the state tests will continue the important and meaningful work they engage in everyday.  Please let me or your child’s classroom teacher(s) know as soon as possible if your child is going to take the NYS Tests this year so we can organize staffing and materials accordingly.  We will have a Forum on testing Monday at drop-off in the PTA Room.  Most of the meeting will be Q&A, but teachers, members of the Advocacy Committee and I will give some context to the discussion first, including:

  • What do “high stakes” mean?

  • What does opting out of the tests mean for middle school admissions?

  • What do the testing days look like for those children taking the state tests?

  • What do the testing days look like for those who will not be taking the state tests?

  • How to we talk with children about about opting out (or not)

We hope that by attending this forum, you will have a better understanding about what testing looks like at TNS and what the tests mean for your child and the school.  

Our annual Spring Fling & Auction is April 4, 6-10pm, at the Manny Cantor Center.  Want to know what is in store for the evening?  The TNS Parent Band, In Utero, is working hard on an incredible night of live music.  Dinner that evening will be catered by the fabulous TNS-owned restaurant, Bricia.  80s Costume is completely optional, but we do have a celebrity auctioneer, Ally Sheedy, lined up to go with our 80s theme!  Hundreds of great auction prizes donated by supportive and generous TNS families and local businesses.  Please join us for what promises to be a wonderful night!

Mark your calendars:

  • Tuesday is TNS Restaurant Day at Wagamama.  Wagamama has generously agreed to donate 15% of sales back to the TNS PTA; just mention TNS when you dine.  Friends, family, neighbors are welcome, too. 55 Third Ave @ 11th St.

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

  • Friday is a TNS Half-Day.  Dismissal is at 11:45AM.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of March 18, 2019

Dear Families,

In my letter last week, I shared that NY State now manipulates the English Language Arts (ELA) and Math test data in ways that penalize our school and schools like TNS, who have a large number of parents choosing to opt their children out of these tests.  

I want to remind you that in NY State, parents have the right to decide if their child will take the State tests or opt out.  Students who do not take the tests are not subject to any penalty or disciplinary action, and in TNS’s case, students who do not take the state tests will continue the important and meaningful work they engage in everyday.   

I will speak about this more at Thursday’s PTA meeting, but in the interim, I am including a letter about NYC parents’ rights from Brad Lander, a councilmember from Brooklyn.  

Mark your calendars:

  • Caroline, Grace and Dianne leave with their class to the Manhattan Country School Farm Monday morning; they return Wednesday.  Matt’s class leaves Wednesday and returns Friday afternoon.

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

  • Parents of Unique Kids Support Group meets twice this week: Tuesday morning and again Thursday at 4:30PM in the Library.

  • The PTA meets Thursday at 8:40AM in the PTA Room.

  • Wanda, Dara, Dianne & Shaquawn, Caroline & Grace, Jane, Alexis & Corinthia and Erin’s class go ice skating Friday.

Have a good week,

Dyanthe

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