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Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of May 30, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families, 

As the school year winds down, I want to share the work that we have done with Emotionally Responsive Practice at Bank Street.  We have four more weeks of school and while many children are looking forward to summer vacation, the end of the school year can elicit complicated feelings in children. Children come to school everyday and spend many hours with their teachers and friends. They become attached to the adults in their school environment and connected to their peers in deep ways. Saying goodbye may feel sad.  In addition, children usually feel a sense of ease and comfort in their current classrooms having become familiar with their everyday routines and environments. Thinking about beginning a new grade, with new teachers and new peer groups, can bring up a lot of anxiety for children. Children worry about what it will be like: will it be too hard and will they have friends? All of these reactions are very normal.  Some children may share their feelings with you and some children may choose not to.  As we come closer to the end of the school year, teachers will be talking with children about their thoughts, feelings, and ideas about the end of the year.  We will be reading books, sharing memories, and counting days so the end will not feel like a surprise.  We are committed to having a good goodbye.  Some families have asked how they can support their children as they prepare to end school and move into the summer.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Ask children how they feel about the end of the school year.  Don’t make any assumptions. You can say, “So, it will be the end of school soon. How are you feeling about that?”

  • Be supportive. If kids express that they are sad, or scared, for example, you can say, “Yeah, the end of the school year can be hard. I understand.”

  • Kids may show some regression around this time. It’s completely normal! Don’t worry if your child is acting “younger” or more disorganized. We see this every year in every school. It is just part of how kids act at the end of the year.

  • Ask Cheryl or your teacher(s) for book recommendations. We have lots of good books to help kids with saying goodbye, and other themes related to the end of the school year.

  • Children who have had significant loss in their lives (the death of a loved one, a recent move, family illness, etc…) may have a particularly hard time saying goodbye. We are here to talk and support you and your child. We have some ideas about how to help them.

Mark Your Calendars:

  • The Diversity Committee meets Tuesday at drop-off in the PTA Room.

  • We have our Studio in A School end-of-year art Exhibit Wednesday from 8:45 a.m. - 3 p.m.  

  • SING is Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. in the auditorium.  We will have a bake sale in the lobby beforehand.

  • Get your kids’ summer reads at the TNS Spring Book Fair this week.  Book fair hours: Wednesday 8-9:30 a.m. Thursday & Friday 8-9:30 a.m. & 2-3:30 p.m.

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

  • Please come to our Spring Jam this Friday, from 5:30 - 7 p.m. in the Lobby!

  • Thursday, June 8 is Chancellor’s Day.  There is NO school for students.

  • Friday, June 9th is Field Day!

  • Monday, June 12 is a DOE Clerical Day for staff.  There is NO school for students.

  • Monday, June 26 is Eid al-Fitr.  School is CLOSED.

  • Wednesday, June 28 is a half-day and the last day of school.  Dismissal is at 11:45 a.m.

 

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of May 22, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

Thank you to those of you who participated in Community Day; families and teachers worked in classrooms and literally built a garden reminding us that it really does take a village....  It was a wonderful day.  

As a founding member of The Progressive Education Network of New York (PENNY), I also hosted a Progressive Education EdCamp Saturday morning.  PENNY is an organization that connects public, independent, charter, and teacher education schools and individuals of the greater metropolitan area to advance progressive education and promote equity, access, and social justice.  Saturday was a day of collaboration and learning to build a shared understanding of these principles and what they look like in practice in our classrooms and schools today.  It was energizing to connect with other progressive educators and activists around the city.

Mark Your Calendar:

  • The Garden Committee will meet Monday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • The School Leadership Team will meet on Tuesday at 8 a.m. in Room 301.  All are welcome.

  • Border Crossers Workshop (Part 2) is Tuesday from 6 - 8 p.m. in Danette’s Room.    We will continue the discussion and delve more deeply to give parents and caregivers the tools and strategies they need in order to help them discuss race with their children.  Childcare will be provided.

  • Third Street Music Share: Our Pre-K - 2nd graders will share the work that they have done in music this year on Wednesday, May 24 at 8:45 a.m. in the auditorium for families and the rest of the school.  Please join us!

  • 5th Grade Parent Night with STAR is Thursday at 6 p.m. in the auditorium! Over the past few months, STAR at the Directors Company has explored issues around puberty through drama and discussions with our 5th graders.  Now is your chance to find out more about what former parent and PTA President, Harvey Epstein called a “game changer” for TNS!

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of May 15, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

Community Day is Saturday, May 20 from 10 - 4 p.m.  Our 3rd Street courtyard is transforming thanks to TNS and Star parents who have devoted their time, carpentry expertise, arithmetic, energy and just general awesome attitude.  But these still more work to do!  There will be a big garden work day and work will also happen in classrooms from 10 - 12 p.m.  Lunch will be provided from 12 - 1 p.m.  From 1 - 3 p.m., Borders Crossers, the organization that has been working with our staff on racism and racial justice will facilitate a parent workshop.  This training provides parents, guardians and caregivers with strategies for how to talk about race and racism with their children. Participants learn how children see race, gain skills for approaching age-appropriate conversations with a racial equity lens, and practice strategies to promote positive racial identity development in children.  I hope to see you all there (kids love helping out and there will be childcare).

We are beginning to work on class configurations for next year.  This is a thoughtful process: teachers describe each child as we carefully consider the makeup of each class at the school.  We strive to have well-balanced classes and consider gender, ethnicity, friendships, academics, and the social and emotional dynamics of the group. We are sending home a form this week to invite you to let me or your current teacher know if there is anything you’d like us to consider in making your child’s placement for next year.  We will be in clear communication with families about any changes in class placement before the end of the school year.  When we plan the classes and spaces for September, we also need to know who will or might be leaving.  Please let me or Noemi know as soon as possible if your child may not be returning to TNS next year.

Mark Your Calendar:

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

  • Our May PTA Meeting is Thursday at 8:40 a.m. in the PTA Room.  In addition to the lots of juicy updates from our PTA, I will discuss the class configuration process and what goes into making classes for next year!

  • I hope that many of you will come to the screening of “I’m Not Racist… Am I?” on Thursday from 6 - 8 p.m. at  PS 20 Anna Silver School/ 166 Essex Street. This is a feature documentary about how the next generation will confront racism.  Visit: www.notracistmovie.com  for the trailer.  Unfortunately, childcare is not provided. 

  • Friday is a TNS half-day.  Dismissal is at 11:45 a.m.  There is NO after school for University Settlement.

  • Community Day is Saturday, May 20 from 10 - 4 p.m.  I hope to see you all there (kids love helping out and there will be childcare!).

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of May 8, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

Please join me Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. for the last Morning Hour of year to discuss how teachers respond to “misbehaviors” in the classroom.  While there isn’t one TNS approach, there are some fundamentals that I hope will help families better understand our approach to working with children.  I have attached a chapter from the book, Responsive School Discipline that I think will inform our conversation.

Claim your child’s lost items from our Lost and Found (conveniently located behind the sign-in books in the Lobby).  All unclaimed items will be donated to charity Friday, May 19.

Mark Your Calendar:

  • The 3rd grades go to Camp Speers this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.   I will be joining them Wednesday and Thursday and will be back at school Friday morning.  

  • The Graduation Committee meets Wednesday at 3 p.m. in Room 313. We ask families of students who are not graduating this year to take on a leadership role so the graduates’ families can focus on their special day.  Please join us!

  • Parent’s of Unique Kids Support Group meets this Friday morning at drop-off in Room 301.  

  • Comedy Night is this Friday at 6 p.m. (doors open at 5:30) at The Gotham Club.  

Warmly,

Dyanthe

Dyanthe’s Weekly Letters

Week of May 1, 2017

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

Thank you to those who organized, volunteered at and attended our Spring Auction last Thursday.  As always, I was impressed by the generosity of our community… and it was so much fun!  Although the spring auction event has ended, our online auction is still open for one more week!  Over half of our great items are still available, so keep bidding on your favorites.  Look in the “online only items” to find a wide selection: http://tnsny.org/auction.

Every year, our 3rd graders go to Camp Speers Eljabar YMCA for three days and two nights.  Camp Speers, nestled in the northeast Pocono Mountains, features a 42 acre lake, 1100 acres of pristine forest and Sphagnum bog.  This year, we are going Wednesday, May 10 - Friday, May 12.  I hope that all our 3rd grade students have the opportunity to be a part of this incredible experience.  I will be going with our campers and will be back at school Friday morning.

Mark your calendars:

  • The NYS Math Exam will be administered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning this week.  Students who do not take the state tests will continue the important and meaningful work they engage in everyday.

  • The ECO Committee is meeting on Thursday at drop-off in the small cafeteria.

  • Middle School appeals are due Friday, May 5.  If you would like to appeal your child’s middle school placement, you will need to return the second page of the notification letter with the appeal option marked and get an appeal application from Noemi.

Lastly, I am thrilled to share that I was selected to join The Cahn Fellows Program for Distinguished Principals for the 2017-18 school year.  Cahn Fellows is the only program in the United States that recognizes, honors and supports public school principals by providing them with professional development in a yearlong fellowship and study at Teachers College, Columbia University.  I am excited for this opportunity and look forward to sharing more with you soon.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

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