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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!



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.



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 28, 2016

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

One of our biggest fundraisers of the year, the Holiday Fair, is quickly approaching.  It is happening on Sunday, December 11 from 11 - 5pm.  This is a wonderful community event for the whole family and friends (it makes a great playdate).  I hope everyone will join the fun and support PTA funded programs like Studio in A School and Partners@3rd!  

Caroline Pappas joins our teaching staff this week!  She is co-teaching 3rd grade with Grace.  We are so happy to finally have her with us.  

Mark Your Calendars:

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

  • SING is Wednesday at 8:45 in the auditorium.  Please also join us for the bake sale in the lobby beforehand (also, this is a call for donated baked goods).

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

  • Thursday is the deadline for submitting Middle School Applications to Noemi.  

Have a wonderful week,


Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 21, 2016

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

It feels like winter arrived overnight!  It is very important children come to school prepared to play outside as the temperature creeps lower.  Please make sure your child has all the necessary accessories (hat, scarf, mittens and coat) to stay warm and active.

Tomorrow at 8 a.m. families and staff from TNS and Star Academy will gather together to celebrate our diversity and commitment to all members of our community; every child, regardless of ethnic background, gender identity or faith, has the right to feel safe and we are committed to fighting injustice when we see it.  Please bring a poster that shares a hope or dream that you have for our community.  

Mark Your Calendars:

  • The School Leadership Team (SLT) will meet Tuesday in Room 301 at 8 a.m.  The SLT is a committee made up of elected parents and teachers.  Monthly meetings are for the School Leadership Team Representatives and are open to all TNS families.  

  • There is no school Thursday and Friday this week.

Whatever family traditions you honor this weekend, enjoy the long and very well deserved break with your children.  I hope that it feels restful and rejuvenating.  



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of November 14, 2016

Dear Neighborhood Families,

I was very fortunate to spend Wednesday morning visiting classes, from Pre-K/K to 4th/5th, listening to children and teachers talk about the outcome of the presidential election.  Conversations were filled with many different emotions: anger, fear, annoyance, indifference and many, many questions.  Teachers had the work of both inviting and containing all of these things.  They invited children to express all their feelings, emotions and questions.  But they also had the job of containing; creating structures that would hold all those things for them in a way that they would also feel safe.  Not an easy task.

On Thursday morning, many TNS families came together to share how they are talking to children about the elections. Whatever our individual political beliefs, our responsibility is to champion diversity and inclusion, to expand our capacities for empathy and understanding, and to work relentlessly for equity and justice for all.  I find myself feeling particularly grateful for our school community.  We care about each other, we build relationships, we value each person’s unique identity and strengths, we bring people together, we think hard about the moral issues at play in the world, we listen and speak respectfully, and we strive for justice and equity.  I believe that TNS is a very unique place.

At my Morning Hour this Wednesday morning, I will share the anti-racist work our staff has been doing with the organization Borders Crossers this year and the work we did on Election Day on the topic of assessment with other progressive schools around the city (Central Park East I&II, The Earth School, Brooklyn New School, Ella Baker, Muscota, and TNS).  How are these topics interconnected?  Whether or not you agree with the opt-out movement, this article by Jesse Hagopian is a compelling read: Six Reasons Why the Opt Out Movement is Good for Students and Parents of Color.  We meet in the PTA Room at drop-off.

Friday is Fall Family Celebration!  Classes schedule celebrations at various times during the day.  Please check with your child’s teacher(s) about location.  Here is the schedule:

Erin and Yolanda  11:30 - 12:30 PM

Dianne, Shaquawn, Haydee and Hughes  11:30 - 12:30 PM

Judy and Cesar  12 - 1 PM

Wanda and Dianna  1:30 - 12:30 PM

Olivia, Chelsea, Fidelina, Mildred and Lameeka  12 - 1 PM

Lindsey, Shaniqua, Michelle, Elsie and Carmen  12:30 - 1:30 PM

Dara  11:30 - 12:30 PM

Sofia and Joanne  8:45 - 10 AM

Hannah  8:25 - 9:10 AM

A couple of classes are celebrating on different days:

Laura and Michiko  Thursday, November 17  8:30 - 9:10 AM

Alexis, Corinthia, Edgar, Liz and Louis  Monday, November 21  8:30 - 9:30 AM

Mark your calendars:

  • The Advocacy Committee meets Monday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • On Tuesday we will  be hosting our second group of Dutch educators who are part of a nationwide initiative called Platform Onderwijs 2032 (Platform Education 2032).

  • Wednesday is Picture Day.  Every child will have their picture taken.  Families will get a code specifically for their child, then they can to the Stomping Ground website and order their child’s pictures.  

  • Join me for my Morning Hour at drop-off Wednesday in the PTA Room.

  • Join us on Wednesday from 8 - 11 p.m. at The Grafton (126 1st Avenue)for the 25th Anniversary Kick-Off Celebration.  Our TNS House band “In Utero”  goes unplugged - Ali, Rob, Andy, Mark and Pete will treat us to an acoustic night of 90s music.

  • We have our November PTA meeting at 8:35 on Thursday in the PTA Room.

  • Please swing by the Artisan Fest this Sunday from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.  Artisan Fest is the place to find your favorite local artisans under one roof.  Join us in supporting local artists and raise money to support arts programming at TNS!

Yay for a silver lining in what was otherwise a very difficult week: the playground is finally open!  Some of our kids were amazed they could hang in the rings and still be touching the floor.