Week of March 1, 2021

Dear Families,

It is family conference week.  3rd, 4th, and 5th-grade families, please speak with your child’s teacher(s) about your intentions to opt-out of the State tests during your family conference this week so that we can plan accordingly.  Please note, there has been no guidance about how schools will administer the tests yet.  

I am “retweeting” the Chancellor’s statement about the state tests this year:  “As an educator, I would say to parents, there is an opt-out, and if there is ever a time to consider whether that opt-out makes sense for you, this is the time.  We do not want to impose additional trauma on students that have already been traumatized.”  It is astonishing that when schools are deservedly being asked to rethink grading and attendance policies in response to the pandemic, the state and federal governments are mandating testing this year.  You can read the entire article here.  

At most public schools, test prep forms a significant part of the class curriculum. Students learn how to fill out bubble sheets; teachers focus closely on materials covered in the tests; and there is little time for open, explorative, authentic learning. At TNS, by contrast, students and teachers offer a progressive model of education that values student intellectual and emotional development and encourages students to take active roles in their learning.  We encourage you to watch these videos of TNS parents and teachers talking about authentic assessment, education, and state testing.

We have also provided some essential links to help you make your decision:

Opting into blended learning in April:  This is the last chance to let us know if you intend to begin in-person learning this school year (remember, you can opt into remote at any time).  Blended learning for new students will start the week of April 12, 2021.  If you do not submit a survey, your child will remain in 100% remote learning.  You do not need to complete this survey if your child is currently attending in-person.  Please fill out the survey here.  The final day to submit the survey is Friday, March 19.

With love,



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