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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of September 12, 2018

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

The staggered start to the school year means children may need extra time and support adjusting to school routines and feeling a part of the classroom community.  Some kids will start the year off easily, adjusting in stride.  Others will enter the building protesting from day one. Then there are those who rush off to school with great enthusiasm but meltdown the moment they see you. Others may get stomach aches, or have difficulty falling asleep.  These are all normal reactions to the start of school.  

At school, we will make sure children have opportunities to connect with teachers individually and within the class by sharing concerns, feelings, ideas and meaningful moments.  We will use reflective language and read-alouds to help children tune into and value their own feelings, ideas and experiences and give them a foundation for positive self-worth.  

I hope every family received a TNS Handbook (if not, please stop by the office and ask for a copy).  It describes some important TNS values and traditions, as well as the essential “nuts and bolts” to get started this year.  

All Neighborhood School families should, if possible, subscribe to our school’s listserv. It is used for official communication from the school staff and PTA. It keeps you aware of important events happening in the school. This is a moderated list and, honestly, very few emails are sent out weekly.  If you know a parent who is not on the email list, please forward my letter to them with this link:  You can also learn about what’s happening by going to our school website calendar at

Curriculum Night is Monday, September 24.  We rescheduled curriculum night so all staff and families can participate.  Between other elementary school curriculum nights, middle school curriculum night, high school curriculum night and the holidays, it wasn’t easy!  Pre-k and K/1st grade families will meet in the classrooms from 5 - 6 PM and then will meet with out-of-classroom teachers and support staff in the Library from 6 - 6:30 PM.  2nd through 5th grade families will meet in the Library from 5:30 - 6 PM and will meet in classrooms from 6 - 7 PM. Childcare will be provided for TNS students only (sorry, no sibs).

Mark your calendars:

  • After school programming begins this week.

  • The School Leadership Team (SLT) will meet Thursday morning in Room 313 at 8AM.  The SLT is a committee made up of elected parents, teachers and me.  We write, revise and disseminate school policies.  Monthly meetings are for the School Leadership Team Representatives and are open to all TNS families.  

  • Our Welcome (Back) Breakfast for ALL families is Friday at 8:35AM in the library.  Please stop by: sign-up to be on a committee and learn about our vision for TNS this year!



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

September 4, 2018

Welcome Back Neighborhood School Families!

I hope you and your children have had a good vacation and are eager to begin the school year.  I can’t quite believe today is Labor Day and the children arrive Wednesday. Last week, I participated in a principals’ meeting and spent the morning studying yet another system used to evaluate principals... this in addition to all the different rubrics used to measure us, students and schools.  The experience left me feeling disconnected and deflated. It was coming back to school, watching and helping teachers set-up classrooms, listening to them talking together, laughing, and sharing ideas later that day that reminded me of what I love about school and specifically our community, and excited me for the year.  As I walk around the building, I see how thoughtful teachers are being in creating spaces for their students. As I move from room to room, I think how lucky our children and families are… to have such caring and dedicated teachers.

I hope you will be able come to the PTA sponsored Welcome (back) Picnic Tuesday, September 4th in the recess yard from 4 - 6 PM.  Please bring a dish to share! No worries if you can’t make it; we will see you bright and early Wednesday morning.

Wednesday, September 5th is the first day of school for students!  We start each day at 8:25 AM  Please remember that children and families must wait until 8:23 AM to go upstairs to classroom.  Yes, even on the first day.  Breakfast is served each morning beginning at 7:45 AM.  The school day ends at 2:45 PM. Late pick-up is in Room 306 (across from the boys bathroom on the 3rd floor).

Unsure about your child’s after school plans this year?  Please come to our after After School Program Fair Friday at 8 AM in the Lobby.  All after school programs begin the week of September 12th.

Please also remember there is no school next Monday and Tuesday in observance of Rosh Hashanah.

I am eager to see you and your children soon!



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

August 2018

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

On my way home today, I bumped into a soon-to-be TNS 3rd grader playing at the park.  We exchanged summer stories. He asked about his new teacher (“Is he strict?”)  On parting, he excitedly exclaimed, “15 more days until school!”  

It has been yet another busy summer at TNS.  Custodial staff have been working hard readying classrooms for September.  We’ve ordered new furniture and materials, including cubbies and lofts for our Kindergarten/1st grades and blocks for 2nd/3rd.  Several very dedicated parents have watered our beautiful garden regularly. Teachers have been planning and even today, several teachers were at school, setting up for the start of another year.

Changing grade configurations to Kindergarten/1st, 2nd/3rd and 4th/5th has given us the opportunity to revisit our progressive values and rethink some practices; one of these is recess.  Recess is a time when children play: they develop their imaginations, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Undirected play allows them to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and learn self-advocacy skills.  All of our children will have more time to play this year.  As in the past, our Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and 1st graders will have recess 50 minutes-a-day, from 10:40 - 11:30 AM.  Our 2nd and 3rd graders will also have 50 minutes of recess a day, from 12:40 - 1:30 PM. All of our Pre-Kindergarten through 3rd graders will eat lunch in the classrooms with their teachers.  While our 4th and 5th graders will still have 20ish minutes of recess from 12:20 - 12:40 and eat lunch in the cafeteria, classes will have the opportunity to sign-up for additional outdoor time during the school day.

I hope you will be able come to the PTA sponsored Welcome (back) Picnic on Tuesday, September 4th in the recess yard from 4 - 6 PM.  Please bring a dish to share!

But if not, we’ll see you in 16 days… : )



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of June 18, 2018

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

It is a tradition at TNS to have “Camp Days” on the last two full days of school; this year they will be this Friday and Monday, June 25.  Lower grades will go to the park at 1st and 1st and upper grades will go to Tompkins Square Park (the north side, near 10th Street, between Avenue A & B).  Our younger students will be there in the morning and our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders will go in the afternoon.  Students will get wet if the sprinklers are on (and we hope they are), so please send a change of clothes to school for your child.  If you do not want your child to go into the sprinklers, please let your teacher know. Please note, students must come to school to participate in Camp Days and may not be picked up from the park.

It is time to say “goodbye” to a very special member of our teaching community.  Longtime Kindergarten teacher, Judy has taken a job closer to home.  Although we will miss her, we are happy she has found a school aligned to our progressive pedagogy.

Mark Your Calendars:

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

  • Third Street Music School is hosting its spring open house Tuesday from 3 - 6PM.  The open house is free and will take place at its building on 235 East 11th Street near 2nd Avenue. TNS students ages 6 (by December 31, 2018) to 14 will be able to meet teachers, try out different dance styles, chorus, instruments, and apply for free and reduced-rate group classes with openings in the fall.  Children interested in attending the event must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Placement is not guaranteed; every effort will be made to place each child in one of their activity choices. Partners@3rd classes are tuition-free for students during the first year of instruction at Third Street. Second year instruction is discounted, and financial aid is available for years three and beyond.  For more information, contact Third Street’s Student Services office at 212-777-3240 ext. 17.

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

  • Our Read-A-Thon Kick-off is Wednesday at 3PM!  Encourage your child to continue the daily habit of reading over the summer, while raising funds for our school.  Join us after school for the launch!

  • The PTA General Meeting is Thursday at 8:40AM in the PTA Room; we will vote to approve the budget for 2018-19.

  • 5th Grade graduation is Thursday, June 22 at 1:15PM in the auditorium.

  • Narrative Reports go home Thursday.

  • Tuesday, June 26 is the last day of school.   Dismissal is at 11:45AM.  It is also the last SING of the year.   We will meet in the big yard at 8:45AM. Please note, we do not have a bake sale.  

  • Class placement letters and class lists for next year go home the last day of school.  If your child is not here that day, you can email me or Noemi and we will send the information to you.  Supply lists and letters from your child’s teacher will be sent home in August.

This is my last letter of the 2017-18 school year.  I hope you have a wonderful summer with your children, full of adventure and play and have lots of stories to share when we see each other again in September.  

Much Love,


Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of June 11, 2018

Dear Families,

I am sending my letter a little early this week with a reminder that there is no school for students tomorrow.

Thursday is Field Day! Get ready for organized chaos!  This is one of my favorite TNS traditions because it is all about eating, playing and just being together.   Our entire school will go to Prospect Park for a picnic and outdoor activities. All classes will have buses this year.  Please check with your child’s teacher about departure time.

Two very important notes:  

  • Please do not purchase food, including ice cream or icies for your child unless you plan to buy for the entire school.

  • Parents wishing to take children out early or directly from the park must sign-out with their classroom teachers.

Thank you!

Mark your calendars:

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

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

  • How can parents help children better understand their growing bodies, foster healthy social and communication skills, and have respect for others?  Barbara DiGangi from Families Thriving will facilitate a workshop for families Wednesday from 5 - 7PM in Room 304. 

  • There is no school Friday in observance of Eid Al-Fitr.

See you Tuesday,