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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 13, 2020

Dear Families

At our last PTA meeting, teachers shared a few requests about email protocol for families.  I am resharing our policy about email communication (you can also find it in the TNS Handbook, which your child brought home at the start of this school year):

Guidelines for Email Correspondence for TNS Families

Technology, in the form of email correspondence, has afforded us to have continual access to each other at any time of day and night.  However, it is important for us to establish some guidelines for the use of email correspondence so that families and school staff can attend to their respective responsibilities as thoroughly and as thoughtfully as possible. We hope that these guidelines will support us in mutually respectful correspondence with each other.

  • Families can expect communication from teachers on a regular basis about the following: trips, curriculum, snack, homework, etc. 

  • If you think that your child’s teacher may have already sent the information you are wondering about, check your inbox to see if it is there. If it is not, try asking another class parent if she might have the information. If you cannot get the information after these steps, email your child’s teacher.

  • Expect teachers to take at least 24-48 hours to reply to your email. Weekends and holidays will likely take longer.

  • For matters that are particular to a child and/or family the concerned party, whether the teacher or caregiver writes an email briefly describing the concern and requests either a phone or in-person meeting at each party’s convenience rather than delineate the concern via email.  Please expect a period of up to 48 hours before receiving a response. 

  • Please note that teachers do not regularly check email during the school day. If you have an urgent message (such as a change in pick-up), please call the school office 212-387-0195, in addition to emailing the teacher(s). The message will be delivered promptly.

  • Likewise, if something arises during the school day that requires your immediate attention, you will be contacted by someone in the school office.

Weekends, Holiday and Summer Guidelines

  • As families and staff may be on vacation or away from home, please anticipate that responses to emails sent over weekends and holidays will likely take longer and may not happen until we return to school.

  • Contact from your child’s teacher(s) and contact(s) made via email over the summer requires only a confirmation that you received that email. Please wait until the school year has begun to continue email correspondence with your child’s teacher(s). If there is an urgent message, you should contact the school directly.

An addendum:  If your child is sick, please also email Carmen ( and Gladys ( in addition to emailing your child’s teacher (who may not see the email until later in the day).  Thank you!

This Week at TNS...

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

  • The Advocacy Committee meets on Wednesday after drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • The PTA meets Thursday at 8:35 AM in the PTA Room.

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



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of January 6, 2020

Dear Families,

Instead of the traditional DOE report card that is used in most NYC public schools, TNS teachers prepare written reports that provide you with information about your child’s progress over the year.  These narrative reports explain a child’s progress in far greater depth and detail than do the traditional reports. Narratives give an idea of what the child does and who the child is in class. They give a context for the teacher to reflect on the child and how to provide for their continued growth and development. They also provide insight into how families can help their child’s learning and development.  Mid-year narrative reports go home Thursday, February 6.

Just a gentle reminder to help keep our community as healthy as possible: please do not send your child to school with a fever.  Please also remember that in order to return to school, your child must be fever-free for 24 hours (“fever-free means” without the help of Tylenol, Motrin, etc.).  Thank you!

This Week at TNS…

  • Farm Information Session for Families:  Second and Third-grade families are strongly encouraged to attend the Farm trip orientation on Monday at 5:30 PM in the Library.

  • The PTA Executive Committee meets on Tuesday after drop-off in the PTA Room.

  • The Arts Committee meets on Wednesday after drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • SLT meets on Thursday at 8 AM in Room 314.  All are welcome.

  • Erin, Wanda, Catlin, Shaniqua, Chelsea & Jane, Lindsey & Oli’s classes go ice skating Friday to Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center at Lakeside Prospect Park.  The price of admission only is $8.00 for everyone. The price of renting skates and admission is $11.50.

Looking Ahead...

  • Friday, January 17 is a TNS half-day.  Dismissal is at 11:45 AM.

Have a good week,


Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of December 16, 2019

Dear Families,

A huge thank you to the organizers, volunteers, and families who supported our Holiday Fair!   As always, I am grateful to those who gave their time, food, talents and positive energy to make this event so successful.  It was so much fun! I also saw many prospective and alumni students and families at the event, which illustrates and reminds me of how special our community is.

This week at TNS…

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

  • The Auction Committee meets on Tuesday after drop-off in the PTA Room.

  • The PTA General Meeting is on Thursday at 8:30 AM in the PTA Room.

  • The Garden Committee meets on Friday after drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • We have SING on Friday at 8:45 AM in the auditorium.  There will also be a bake sale.

I hope that you have a wonderful break with plenty of opportunities to laugh, play and relax with family and friends.  We will see you again on Thursday, January 2, 2020!



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of December 9, 2019

Dear Families,

What a busy and wonderful week at TNS!  There are so many events happening that are unique to our school and reflect both our values and the rich diversity of our community.  

I am sharing a write-up from Emily, our Science teacher about her work with some of our Kindergarten and 1st-grade students in the garden.  I do so to illustrate the ways in which teachers at TNS are free* to create curriculum and experiences that are both responsive to the environment and follow students’ and teachers’ interests and passions. Also, notice the ways in which Emily purposely integrates reading and writing (poetry!) into the sciences.  She also shows how curriculum can reflect and teach compassion, sympathy, and deep understanding. 

*This creative and responsive curriculum does not happen at many NYC public schools.  In most NYC public schools, the curriculum is circumscribed ahead of time, without those children or their environment in mind, and is designed to prepare students for the state tests.  

I hope that you will have a moment to read Emily’s write-up and attend an event at TNS this week.  This is a very special place and I feel very fortunate to be a part of it!

This week at TNS...

  • The PTA Executive Committee meets Tuesday morning after drop-off in the PTA room.

  • My Morning Hour is on Wednesday in the PTA Room right after drop off.  We will discuss the work our staff and students have been doing around gender this year, why it is crucial to our community and future plans to make the 2nd-floor girls’ bathroom an all-gender bathroom.

  • Hip-Hop Open Classes for Families:  It’s time to share the work our children have been doing all semester!

Wednesday:  Joanne & Sofia, Tiffany, and Lindsey & Oli

Thursday:  Corinthia and Alexis, Caroline & Grace, Matt, and Chelsea and Jane

  • Please join Cheryl for the HOUR OF CODE in the Library on Wednesday from 3:45 to 6:30 PM.  Learn the basics of computer programming.  Play on- and off-line activities. All ages are welcome and no experience necessary!  

  • The TNS Book Fair will be open Thursday and Friday from 8 - 10 AM & 2 - 4 PM and Sunday during the Holiday Fair.  

  • Dara, Shaquawn & Dianne, Caroline & Grace, Matt, Tiffany, Joanne & Sofia, and Alexis & Corinthia go ice skating on Friday!  We are going to Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center at Lakeside Prospect Park at 171 East Drive in Brooklyn.  

  • Popcorn Friday is this week.

  • The Holiday Fair and Artisan Fest are Sunday, December 15th from 11 AM - 5 PM.  Please look for opportunities to volunteer... to set up, work a booth the day of, or clean-up.  This is a wonderful community event for the whole family and friends. I hope to see you all there.

Have a great week and see you at the Holiday Fair!



Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of December 2, 2019

Dear Families,

This Friday is a TNS half-day for professional development.  During the afternoon, we will participate in a process called descriptive reviews.  The descriptive process begins with immersion – observing a child or space or activity.  It has a focus or focusing question that the presenting teacher or administrator works out thoughtfully ahead of time and that gives the participants a sense of how to listen and respond to the review. The process is always collaborative. It has rules and roles necessary for making the inquiry process democratic and inclusive, and for guaranteeing respect and privacy for the individuals involved.  A review typically takes about two hours. Descriptive reviews are a powerful way of opening up one’s practice and learning from each other. Additionally, in a time of high stakes testing, accountability and enforced standardization, we must ensure that education starts and builds from the strengths of children and teachers and values human capacity; descriptive reviews do just that.  

This Week at TNS:

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

  • Wednesday, December 4 at 8:35 AM:  Amanda, our Speech-Language Pathologist will lead an informational session on “Sounds in Motion”, the literacy program implemented in our early childhood classrooms that promote phonemic awareness and early literacy skills.

  • The School Leadership Team meets Thursday from 8 - 9:30 AM in Room 314.

  • Lice Busters ( will do lice checks Thursday morning.

  • The ECO Committee meets Friday morning after drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • Friday, December 6 is a TNS Half-Day.  Dismissal is at 11:45 AM.  

Looking Ahead:

  • Dyanthe’s Morning Hour is Wednesday, December 11 after drop-off.  Join me for a discussion about the work our staff and students have been doing around gender this year and why it is crucial to our community.

  • The TNS Book Fair is December 12 - 15.

  • We have our first school ice skating trip for Dara, Shaquawn & Dianne, Caroline & Grace, Matt, Tiffany, and Joanne & Sofia’s classes on Friday, December 13.

  • The Holiday Fair is Sunday, December 15th from 11 AM - 5 PM. 

School Lunch Options for December:

  • Week of December 2:  Alternative Menu Entrees

  • Week of December 9:  Classic Menu Entrees (12/9:  veggie tacos will also be served)

  • Week of December 16:  Alternative Menu Entrees

Have a great week,