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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of May 6, 2019

Dear Families,

PE is in the upstairs gym this month.

Lunch Menu Update:  Beginning in June, we will follow the Alternative Menu and add a second choice once or twice a week from the Classic Menu on days when choices aren’t as popular.  At the end of the year, families from both schools will decide which menu to adopt and we will continue to have the option of adding 2 options each week from the other menu.

My Morning Hour Wednesday will focus on the learning that happens at Project/Work Time.  I will share a few selections from the book, Falling for Science: Objects in Mind.  In this collection of stories, scientist and 25 years of MIT students describe how objects encountered in childhood became a part of the fabric of their scientific selves.  I hope you can join me for this important conversation.

Your shoes make all the difference!  Your unwanted shoes don’t have to sit in a landfill. We can re-purpose them to provide meaningful opportunities for people in need,  which is why the Eco Committee launched a shoe drive to collect gently used shoes for the non-profit organization Soles4Souls.  From May 1st to May 31st drop your used shoes in the plastic bins in the lobby (by the sink). But don’t stop with your own closet—ask friends, family, neighbors and even strangers for their shoes as well!      

Thursday is our Earth Day Fair!  It is going to be a very eventful day!

8:00 - 2:45 PM

McKinley Library: Books on display related to the event (activity and stamp for passport booklet) -- also available half day 5/10

8:00 - 9:00 AM

Plant sale in 3rd Street Garden

All Day

4th Street courtyard and 3rd Street entrance/garden:  Composting, worms, food cycle with LES Ecology Center; Learning About Bees; Climate Justice Corner: postcard campaign; Climate Justice Corner, Leaders Project: Endangered Species, Water Levels, Recycling Sorting Game; Sensory Awareness; Carbon Footprint - Looking at Food Consumption Around the World; Marker Recycling Challenge (classrooms bring old markers for recycling contest); Upcycling with GrowNYC (making wallets); Planting & Water Experiments with STAR Academy; Upcycling: Seed Planting in Milk Cartons; Guided Meditation Workshop (1st floor dance studio); Movement & Dance Workshop (1st floor dance studio); Shoe Drive; The Lower Eastside Girls Club.


Garden to Cafe tasting with George Edwards in cafeterias and classrooms; recipes made with locally sourced foods and kale from our garden

After School

5 - 6 PM - Fitness Class with Jesse (1st Floor Gym)  

5 - 6 PM - Yoga with Alba (1st Floor Dance Room)

4:30-6: 30 PM - Family Fitness Obstacle Course (including the wall) with Lloyd (4th Floor Gym) - No sign up necessary

4:30 - 7 PM - Garden Party  -- plant sale, refreshments, food, music, hanging out

Mark Your Calendars:

  • There is a PTA Exec meeting Monday at drop-off in the PTA Room.

  • My Morning Hour is Wednesday 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 4:30 PM in Room 307.

  • School Leadership Team meets Thursday morning at 8 AM in Room 313.  All are welcome.  


  • Work on the CEP (Comprehensive Education Plan)

  • Review New Literacy Document for Families from Dyanthe

  • Media for Children

  • Communication throughout the school

  • Spring Curriculum Night

Friday is a TNS PD half-day.

 Dismissal is at 11:45 AM.



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of April 29, 2019

Welcome Back Families,

The NY State Math Exam will be administered Wednesday and Thursday mornings this week.    Please note, families may still opt their children out of the math test, even if they took the ELA exam; forms are in the office.  Students who do not take the state tests will continue the important and meaningful work they engage in everyday.

Mark your calendars:

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

  • Friday is TNS Movie Night.  More details to come.

  • Popcorn Friday this week!



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters


Dear Families,

Sing is a special event for our school because it brings us together in a unique way.   In the effort to have Sing be a joyous experience for all children and adults, we experimented with two different approaches to Sing this month.  Last Friday, staff and children came together to Sing without families. Afterward, children shared that it was quieter, they could hear each other and the songs better, and that there was much more room and no tears.  As one student shared, “I didn’t miss my family because my mom can never come anyway.”

We also had a Sing for parents on Monday that was lovely.  Rob helped us to listen to changes in rhythm and tempo which led us to pay more attention to the discipline of singing.   We also practiced the melody and lyrics of each song so that parents can feel more comfortable joining in with the children.

While we cannot change the configuration or space needed for the size of the group that congregates at our monthly Sing, we want to honor the children’s responses to the smaller gathering.  We also want to still provide times for parents, children, and staff to be together because the presence and participation of families are highly valued and contribute to the joy and beauty of our collective voices.  We plan to do one more children’s Sing and one more parent Sing before the end of the school year.

We hope that some of what the children experienced Friday and what the parents experienced on Monday will carry over tomorrow.  In this spirit, we ask families to do the following:

  • Sing during the songs and wait until the whole Sing is finished to talk to your friend or neighbor.

  • Stay silent between songs so we can transition smoothly into the next song and start Singing in unison.

  • Save your applause.

  • Wave goodbye to your child at the end of Sing and exit quickly so that classes can also exit quickly (The last two songs, the two goodbye songs, are part of the Sing and we ask everyone to Sing along as a way of saying GOODBYE.

See you tomorrow,


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.



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,