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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 9, 2017 (Early Edition)

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

I am sending out my weekly letter a little early because it looks like we are in store for some very chilly weather this weekend.  It always strikes me as odd that we emphasize how children learn best through first-hand experiences and then we don’t let them play outside in winter weather.  Last year, on those fews days when there was snow on the ground, my 10-year-old daughter grumbled, “I guess that Neighborhood School kids get to go outside; no fair!”  She was right.  Winter weather allows children to imagine the outdoors differently, to be creative and play in different ways.  Plus, how can we expect kids to know how to play “safely” in the snow and ice unless they practice!  So, before you make plans to keep your children indoors this weekend (and for those cold weather recess naysayers), please read the article Bundle Up and Get Outside:Why Kids Should Play Outdoors in Winter.  It considers all of the benefits that cold weather has when it comes to children’s health, development, and well-being (and your sanity, too!).  

I’m including a couple of pictures from our lower grade recess today for inspiration!

Mark Your Calendars:

  • The Grants Committee will meet Tuesday morning at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • Please join us for our Prospective Parents’ Night at Eastwood (200 Clinton Street @ East Broadway) Tuesday at 6 p.m.  This event is a ‘mix and mingle’, not a school fundraiser. I hope to see you there and feel free to invite other families who you think may be interested in learning more about The Neighborhood School.

  • The Advocacy Committee will meet Wednesday morning at drop-off in the small cafeteria.  

  • The PTA Executive Meeting is Thursday at 8:30 a.m. in the PTA Room.  All are welcome.

  • There is no school Monday, January 16th in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 3, 2017

Happy New Year Neighborhood School Families!

It looks like we may be in store for some wintry temperatures later this week.  Just a reminder: cold weather does not keep our students inside at recess.  Our Pre-K - 2nd graders play outside for 50 minutes and our 3rd - 5th graders are outside for 25 minutes.  It is very important that children come to school dressed for the weather.  Please make sure your child has all the necessary accessories (hat, scarf, mittens and snow pants) to stay warm and active!

At TNS, we look at children and measure their development on an individual continuum.  Teachers use techniques of assessment such as anecdotal notes, running records and writing and math samples to analyze individual student’s progress.  If you are interested in learning more about the ways in which TNS teachers assess student learning, I encourage you to come to our discussion on Thursday, January 26th at 8:40 a.m. in the auditorium.  Teachers, from Pre-K/K to 5th grade will share the ways they “measure” student growth and make decisions about class instruction, and the place state testing plays in instruction and curriculum.  Please join us!

I hope that you had a wonderful break and were able to enjoy some downtime with friends, family and by yourself! : )  

Welcome Back,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of December 19, 2016

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

Keeping it short and sweet:  I hope that you have a wonderful and well-deserved break with plenty of opportunities to laugh, play and relax with family and friends.  We will see you Tuesday, January 3, 2017!

Mark Your Calendars:

  • The Wellness Committee will meet this morning (Monday) at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • Original Works orders are in!  Diana will be distributing them in the lobby during drop-off on Tuesday and during drop-off and pick-up on Wednesday.

  • The Diversity Committee will meet on Tuesday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • Please join us for SING this Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. in the auditorium.  We will also have a bake sale beforehand, so please bring your appetite!

Much Love,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of December 12, 2016

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

As a staff, we have been thinking about how we recognize our own feelings and have conversations with each other and our students in ways that make space for everyone’s voice, including those that may not be in the room.  What does it mean to honor a diversity of opinions?  This is a time when our descriptive processes support us; both in terms of protocol, but also in taking a descriptive and non-judgmental stance.  This Friday during our PD time, we will think about communication with families around issues of race, racism and social justice through the lens of teachers’ curriculum letters.  

Our PTA Meeting is Thursday at 8:35 am in the PTA room.  Natasha Capers, Coordinator Coalition for Educational Justice is scheduled to speak.  The Alliance for Quality Education is a coalition mobilizing communities across the state to keep New York true to its promise of ensuring a high quality public education to all students regardless of zip code, income or race.  CEJ believes that the Department of Education (DOE) must take a more proactive role in equipping teachers and school staff to support students who are exposed daily to hateful speech and acts; and families who are being threatened with discriminatory federal policies.

The Eco Committee is hosting a family potluck Thursday beginning at 6 p.m. in Danette’s room (304).  Our potlucks are a unique way for parents/guardians to get to know each other and explore what being at TNS means to all of us.  It is also an opportunity for parents whose schedule doesn’t allow them to attend daytime meetings to get involved in the school.  This month ECO TNS will be hosting and we will be talking about environments that nurture us and our children.  Everyone will be given an opportunity to share with the group.  Childcare provided as well pizza for children enrolled at the school and parents are encouraged to bring food.

This is a busy week at TNS:

  • SLT (School Leadership Team) will meet on Tuesday at 8 a.m. in room 301.  This meeting is open to all.

  • Advocacy Committee will meet Wednesday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.  

  • Our PTA Meeting is Thursday at 8:30am in the PTA room.

  • The Eco Committee is hosting a family potluck Thursday beginning at 6 p.m. in Danette’s room (304).

  • Friday is a half-day.  Dismissal is at 11:45 a.m.

Yesterday, my daughter and my nephew (visiting from Australia) spent several fun-filled hours at our Holiday Fair.  Once again, I was overwhelmed by the generosity of TNS families, who donated their time, food, talents and positive energy to make the event so successful.  Thank you!

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of December 5, 2016

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

This is the time of year that we conduct school tours for prospective families.  As you may recall, our 5th grade students lead tours and answer questions both during the tour and at the end, when we convene for Q & A.  Current TNS parents also join our 5th grade tour guides and are also at the Q&A.  I love our tours; I love hearing our 5th graders and current parents talk about what makes our school community so special.  I know that families who visit TNS are impressed with our students, parents and school community.  This year, we are also hosting a special tour for Early Childhood educators and directors with the hope that they will spread the word about TNS to their communities.

Mark Your Calendars:

  • The PTA Executive Meeting is this Thursday at 8:30 a.m. in the PTA Room.  All are welcome.

  • Little Sibs Storytime begins this week.  Please join Thea (local librarian and TNS parent) Friday mornings from 8:30 - 9 a.m. in the Library with your little one (ages 0 - 4 years).  

  • Get ready for the holidays while supporting TNS!  The TNS Book Fair will be open Thursday and Friday from 8 - 9:30 a.m. & 2 - 4 p.m. and Sunday during the Holiday Fair.  This year, we moved from Scholastic to the smaller bookseller, Word (based in Brooklyn).  Cheryl, our librarian created a unique list of books that all of our kids love.

  • The Holiday Fair is Sunday, December 11 from 11 - 5 p.m.  This is a wonderful community event for the whole family and friends (it makes a great play date).  I hope to see you all there.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

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