August 2018

Dear Neighborhood School Families,

On my way home today, I bumped into a soon-to-be TNS 3rd grader playing at the park.  We exchanged summer stories. He asked about his new teacher (“Is he strict?”)  On parting, he excitedly exclaimed, “15 more days until school!”  

It has been yet another busy summer at TNS.  Custodial staff have been working hard readying classrooms for September.  We’ve ordered new furniture and materials, including cubbies and lofts for our Kindergarten/1st grades and blocks for 2nd/3rd.  Several very dedicated parents have watered our beautiful garden regularly. Teachers have been planning and even today, several teachers were at school, setting up for the start of another year.

Changing grade configurations to Kindergarten/1st, 2nd/3rd and 4th/5th has given us the opportunity to revisit our progressive values and rethink some practices; one of these is recess.  Recess is a time when children play: they develop their imaginations, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Undirected play allows them to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and learn self-advocacy skills.  All of our children will have more time to play this year.  As in the past, our Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and 1st graders will have recess 50 minutes-a-day, from 10:40 - 11:30 AM.  Our 2nd and 3rd graders will also have 50 minutes of recess a day, from 12:40 - 1:30 PM. All of our Pre-Kindergarten through 3rd graders will eat lunch in the classrooms with their teachers.  While our 4th and 5th graders will still have 20ish minutes of recess from 12:20 - 12:40 and eat lunch in the cafeteria, classes will have the opportunity to sign-up for additional outdoor time during the school day.

I hope you will be able come to the PTA sponsored Welcome (back) Picnic on Tuesday, September 4th in the recess yard from 4 - 6 PM.  Please bring a dish to share!

But if not, we’ll see you in 16 days… : )

Love,

Dyanthe

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