Week of March 19, 2018

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

Every year, our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders go to camp for three days and two nights.  This year, our 3rd grades are going to Manhattan Country School farm.  Students will care for the animals (chickens, cows, pigs and sheep); learn to weave; explore fields, mountains and streams; and study traditional and contemporary life in the Catskills.  Zero-mile meals and a closed-loop food cycle will be daily experiences. We expect all of our students to go to camp.  These trips are an essential part your child’s TNS experience and reflect our values about how children learn best.  Please reach out to your child’s teacher, me or Noemi if you have any questions about your child participating in these trips.  Grace’s class leaves for camp today (I’m going with them) and Joanne and Sofia’s class goes next week.  

This year, the NY State English Language Arts (ELA) and Math Tests for 3rd, 4th and 5th grades will be administered in April.  TNS students who do not take the state tests will continue the important and meaningful work they engage in everyday.  Please let me or your child’s classroom teacher(s) know as soon as possible if your child is going to take the NYS Tests this year so we can organize staffing and materials accordingly.  We will have a Forum on testing Tuesday, March 27th at drop-off in the PTA Room.  Most of the meeting will be Q&A, but 3rd - 5th grade teachers, members of the Advocacy Committee and I will give some context to the discussion first, including:

  • What do “high stakes” mean?

  • What does “test prep” look like at TNS?

  • What does opting out of the tests mean for middle school admissions?

  • What do the testing days look like for those children taking the state tests?

  • What do the testing days look like for those who will not be taking the state tests?

  • How do we talk with children about about opting out (or not)?

We hope that by attending this forum, you will have a better understanding about what testing looks like at TNS and what the tests mean for your child and the school.  

Only 26% of our families have completed their Department of Education (DOE) Parent Survey.  The DOE survey gathers information about your overall satisfaction with our school and the results are published and used to determine our official rating.  Completion rates are also important as they reflect the level of parent involvement to the DOE.  Please complete your family survey!  The deadline for completing parent surveys is Friday, March 23rd.  Thank you!

Mark Your Calendars:

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

  • The PTA Meeting is Thursday at 8:30AM in the PTA Room.  Emily, our Science teacher will talk about STEM at TNS.

  • Our Diversity Potluck is Thursday from 6 - 7:30 in the Spanish Room (304).  Childcare is available.  Please come and bring a dish to share!

  • Erin, Dianne & Shaquawn, Jane, Olivia & Chelsea, Grace, Hannah and Mara & Caroline’s classes‬ go ice skating Friday.

Happy Spring,



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