I remember in Science class as a child learning about balance and symmetry in nature.  I remember looking for and valuing symmetry, as a result, in the world around me. A dragonfly’s wing is made up of a complex network of secondary veins creating unique patterns on each wing. Looking at the irregular pattern of this dragonfly wing makes me think about when symmetry and predictability is necessary and when idiosyncratic moments are most appropriate?  Considering this fall, and our return to school, we are focusing our attention on the structures and rituals that provide emotional safety through predictable routines as well as where we need to create “secondary veins” to flow most effectively in response to the environment around us.

This school year we are going to continue school wide Morning meetings, where each  homeroom engages with the same areas of focus (Mindful Mondays, Wellness Wednesdays, Find a Friend Fridays), all that are shared on the CNH Family website, so that our entire community has a shared experience each day. As well, we will be holding schoolwide design challenges, family events (such as an outdoor 90s Dance party) and reenvisioning activities for our students and families to build community and reconnect with our values as a school. We have predictable aspects to school as well as spaces created for responsiveness as ideas arise — please feel free to reach out with ideas/brainstorms you may have for our school community to come back together with love, fellowship, and joy.

Have a great week!

–Dr. Shyla

This Week’s Topics

(click a topic below to link directly to that text)

Noteworthy Upcoming Dates: 1

Family and Schoolwide Meetings 2

Fall 2021 Reopening Task Force 2

CNH Greeting Competition 2

Before and After Care 3

Safety Protocols for the Fall 3

Student Handbook 4

Monday, Wednesday, Friday Activities 4

Donations to the School 4


Noteworthy Upcoming Dates:



August 10, 17, 24 — 6:00-7:00 pm

Reopening Task Force (on Zoom)

Weekends of August 22 and 28

Reopening task Force on-site at school (exact dates and times will be determined by the availability of the group members)

August 22

Family Work Day/Reopening Task Force — Help mulch the playground, prepare the grounds around the school, and paint the courtyard floor prior to the start of the school year. Reopening Task Force walk-through of building.

August 26, 6:00-7:30 pm

New family orientation (for this year and last year together)

Middle School Orientation

August 27 (by appointment)

Meet the teachers



Family and School-wide Meetings

As we are trying to really embody our own work/life balance with staff at the school, we are trying to minimize evening meetings as well as meet the needs of families’ schedules. This information will help us determine when to meet as a community effectively and efficiently.

Please complete this Google Form to select the times in a weekday that you could attend an online Zoom meeting.

For now, we are going to hold a couple of Family Forums right away to share information and answer questions for the upcoming school year.  With that, we will hold a Breakfast Family Forum 8:00-9:00 on Thursday, August 12th in the morning and an Evening Family Forum 5:00-6:00 on Tuesday, August 17, in the evening.


Fall 2021 Reopening Task Force

Last night, we met with the families who signed up to be a part of the Reopening Task Force. It was great to see our families again and to work together to further think about how we enter this year safely. Our meeting was informational for families and for us as they posed great questions and insights as to how we can envision many areas of the school day. If you would like to be a part of this planning, you are welcome to join.  We will continue to meet on Tuesday evenings, 6:00-7:00 pm,  on Zoom with two weekend meetings on-site at the school for physical set-up. Our first weekend together on site will be August 22nd from 10am-4pm.

We’d love your participation!  Click here to sign-up for the Reopening Task Force.


CNH Greeting Competition

Long gone are the days when Dr. Shyla, along with other staff members, would greet each student at the door with a handshake and “Good morning.”  We need to think of a new way to greet each other in a way that does not include physical contact, but that is still warm and welcoming for each student entering school each morning.

We need your help!  We have initiated a CNH Greeting Competition.  Here is the link to see the Flipgrid prompt and submission page. If you have an interesting new idea for us to be able to greet each other, record the greeting on Flipgrid and post it in the Greeting Competition page no later than Friday, August 20th.  From Saturday, August 21 through Thursday, August 26th, families will vote on which greeting they think we should use in the mornings.  The winner will receive a special pizza lunch for their class, and the greeting will be named after them.  We are so excited to see what you come up with for our school!


Before and After Care

After careful consideration and vetting of various Before and After Care service providers, we have selected an awesome program to bring to the City Neighbors!  We are excited  to welcome Elev8 to our community. Elev8 is more than aftercare — it is a program for academic support, mindfulness, fun, and loving recovery for students in an extended day format.  What excites us even more about Elev8 is they are aligned with the City Neighbors Way culture.

We will be providing before care from 7:00-8:00 every morning and after school programming care until 6:00 every day.  For now, please complete this survey to identify what types of programming you would like to participate in so that we can plan accordingly with staffing. Final sign-ups for before and after care will be sent next week.


Safety Protocols for the Fall

Over the past week, we are continuing to receive updates from the district surrounding safety protocols for our return to school.

Below are the main protocols we are planning.  We will add to this list each week as we receive more guidance:

  • Students sit 3 feet apart from one another in your classroom

  • All staff and students will wear masks at all times

  • Parents/guardians/community members will not be permitted to enter the building past the lobby to reduce potential exposure for our students

  • Hand washing and table/materials wiping is built into each class period

  • Windows will be open in all classrooms, no matter the weather

  • Lunch procedures — We are working with the Reopening Task to finalize lunch/recess plans and staffing that are safe and manageable. More specific details forthcoming.

  • Pooled testing will be conducted weekly.  If a pool has a positive result, our Health and Safety Coordinator will administer individual tests to every person in the pool.  Quarantining will vary depending upon results.

  • Health Screening — We will have health screening conducted in four entrances so that all students can enter at the same time, and it won’t take forever to take individual temperatures. Doors will open at 8:00 and students will enter their assigned door for homeroom. Breakfast guidance is forthcoming.


Student Handbook

Historically, we have distributed the Student Handbook during Back to School Night the second week of school.  This week, we are committing to share the digital Student Handbook to families one week prior to the start of school, on Monday, August 23rd, so that families can review it in detail before the start of the school year.

Keep an eye out for the digital Student Handbook in the What’s Good newsletter on August 23rd!


Monday, Wednesday, Friday Activities

This year, by popular demand the Mindful Monday, Wellness Wednesday, and Find a Friend Friday Activities are returning! As we arrive back into the school building, the social and emotional well-being of our students, staff, and families is remaining at the forefront of how we engage with each other. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, students will participate in various SEL activities surrounding mindfulness, wellness, and building connections among their peers. These activities will be posted on our Culture of Care website for families to access and continue/discuss at home.


Donations to the School

If you would like to donate money to the school (for any reason), the easiest way is through our PayPal account. If you want your donation to go to a specific fund or activity (general educational expenses, technology, arts, etc), please note it with your donation.

PayPal Donate Button on Website: http://cityneighborshamilton.org/

If you aren’t able to donate funds to the school right now, we always appreciate your donation of time supporting the general programming needs at our school (all virtual, of course).  If you would like to volunteer for the school, please email our Family Participation Board Director Elisabeth Hyleck at ehyleck@cityneighborshamilton.org.