Week of February 24, 2020

Dear Families,

Right before we left for mid-winter break, I received an email informing me that the NY State Ed Department has identified our school as in need of Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) for the 2019-20 school year based on the 2018-19 performance of one or more student accountability subgroups on the state tests.  As a result of changes in how opt-outs are calculated by the state, schools with high opt-out numbers now being are penalized.  It is a parent’s legal right to opt their child out of the state tests.  Families choose TNS because of our progressive approach to teaching and learning.  This includes not interrupting the rich and meaningful curriculum to do months of test prep.  Of course, we’re not perfect.  We are continually working to improve instruction through on-going professional development.  We use multiple data sources to inform our work with children. But state testing data is not one of them.  Moreover, state test data from 27 (out of 117) children who did no test prep cannot be used to cull meaningful information about our school. Please join the Advocacy Committee and me after drop-off on Tuesday in the small cafeteria to learn more. 

Family conferences are next week!  Please sign-up for a conference time with your child’s teacher.  Wednesday, March 4 is the late-night and Thursday, March 5 is a half-day; dismissal is at 11:45 AM.  You can also sign-up to meet with our science teacher, Emily, our physical education teacher, Teddy, our Spanish teacher, Mara and our speech teachers, Amanda and Sara. If you need support, please call the school office and we will help coordinate a time for you. 

Our 4th and 5th graders leave for Camp Ashokan on Wednesday morning!  The Ashokan Center’s trails and the outdoor campus offers students the opportunity to hike to the depths of the 350 million-year-old Cathedral Gorge and the Turn wood-Ashokan Covered Bridge.  Programming includes history, natural science including watershed studies and ecology, community building, the arts and stewardship/service-learning and sustainability.  We expect all students to participate in this experience.  The trip is an essential part of a child’s TNS experience and reflects our values about how children learn best.  Please reach out to your child’s teacher, me or Noemi if you have any questions.  

This Week at TNS...

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

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

  • 4th/5th graders go to Camp Ashokan Wednesday - Friday.

Looking Ahead…

  • Family conferences are next week!  Wednesday is late-night conferences and Thursday the half-day for conferences.  Dismissal is at 11:45 AM.  

  • Dara, Shaquawn & Dianne, Caroline & Grace, Matt, Tiffany, and Joanne & Sofia’s classes go ice skating on Friday, March 6.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

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