The Beauty in a Silkworm

One summer, when I was about 7 years old, we visited my family in India. My dad showed us the house where he was born that was also near the park where he saw Gandhi (yes, THAT Gandhi). In the back room was this large glass container that, to me, simply looked dirty and filled with cobwebs or something unidentifiable. He explained that those were silkworms our family raises to be processed into silk threads that make beautiful clothing.  To this day, I am amazed at how something that looks like it should be swept up and thrown away could be transformed into such gorgeous Indian fabrics! 

As we move into progress report conferences, let’s consider how our discussions can focus on how our students may consider new directions and find their areas to blossom.  Let’s remind ourselves that it may look like a discarded old home for a moth or butterfly, but it can take on new meaning with the right kinds of attention.  

Have a great week, everyone!

–Dr. Shyla.


This Week:

          • Monday, January 13:   Intent to Return forms issued to all current families (see below)
          • Wednesday-Friday, January 15, 16, & 17:  Parent-Teacher Conferences, 1 PM DISMISSAL EACH DAY, Look for a sign up form from your child’s teachers/advisor.

                           Mark Your Calendars:

          • Monday, January 20:         SCHOOL CLOSED, MLK DAY
          • Friday, January 24:             SCHOOL CLOSED, STAFF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
          • Saturday, January 25:         9th annual Progressive Education Summit, 8 AM- 3 PM
          • Monday, January 27:          Deadline for sibling and staff enrollment applications for 2020-21 (see below)
          • Monday, January 27:          Deadline for submission of Intent to Return forms from all current families (see below)
          • Tuesday, January 28:          Enrollment Open House, 6:30 – 8 PM, Cafe
          • Monday, February 3:          Enrollment Open House, 9 -10:30 AM, Cafe
          • Wednesday, February 12:  Enrollment Lottery, 1 PM, Library
          • Monday, February 17:        SCHOOL CLOSED FOR PRESIDENTS DAY


Intent to Return Forms and Sibling/Staff Enrollment, 2020-21

This morning, all current CNH families were emailed a Google form to complete, indicating whether or not their child/ren will be returning to CNH next school year, 2020-21.  (Thank you to those of you who submitted 80 responses already!) We ask for this information this time every year in order to determine how many seats we will have available when we conduct our enrollment lottery in February.  The forms will be due no later than Monday, January 27.  Please submit one form per child you have enrolled at CNH.  The form is not designed for information for more than one student. If you do not have online access, hard copies will be available at the front desk.  Please look for these in your inbox and respond as soon as possible.

January 27 is also the deadline for submission of 2020-21 enrollment applications for children of staff and siblings of current students.  Applications are available in the office or on our website.   You can submit them to the office directly or by scanning and emailing to

Any questions about enrollment for 2020-21?  Contact Stephanie at



Don’t Forget to Log Your Family Participation Hours!


Thanks to the 136 CNH Families that have recorded Family Participation Hours so far this year! You all have contributed a total of 1,293.25 hours to date.   Don’t forget to log your hours, including Teacher Conferences! Click here to submit hours.  If you have any questions about volunteer hours, you can contact me at

Keep up the good work!

~Elisabeth Hyleck, Director of Family Participation Committee~


January Diversity Spotlight

One January, I saw a table full of books about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at a public library. I paged through them and found that some were timid, focusing on King’s appeals to togetherness but dodging his critiques of white supremacy and economic injustice. Dr. King wasn’t just someone who wanted “little black boys and black girls [to] be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” He also knew that a little black child in West Baltimore or Fillmore or the Hough would have to walk a long way to find a little white hand to hold. He knew how that came to be, how hard it would be to change it, and how much harm white supremacy and economic injustice would continue to inflict on children–indefinitely–if we didn’t see it for what it was and dismantle it.  The experience made me think: What message do I want my children to get from the books I choose for them?

I tell you this story because I’m excited about some work our Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity committee launched at our wonderful, well-attended December meeting. We’re going to start sending out recommendations for books, movies, and television programs that feature themes of diversity, inclusion, and equity. And we want you to help.

What books, movies, and TV shows do you feel send the right messages of diversity, inclusion, and equity? Please send us some titles, and please share particular facets of diversity, inclusion, and equity you’d like us to explore in our recommendations. And please let us know if these recommendations fall under grades K-2, 3-5, or 6-8.

You can put your recommendations in this Google document:

Each month our committee, led by Raina Wilson, will pick a new theme and send out recommendations in the “Diversity Spotlight.” We’ll also send out weekly prompts and questions for you to consider if you read any of these books with your children.


~Lawrence Lanahan~


Zeke’s Coffee Fundraiser Results

We raised almost $700 from the Zeke’s Coffee fundraiser coordinated by Lynette Svoboda last month!

Thanks to Lynette and everyone who participated!


Summer Job Opportunities for Students 14 and Older: Deadline March 1

It’s not too early for your teens to begin thinking about a summer job!  Summer jobs can provide opportunities for students to earn real pay for real work, learn about the workplace, apply education they received during the school year, contribute to communities and families, and connect with positive role models.  YouthWorks summer jobs program is available to students ages 14 to 21.  Beginning January 2, students can apply at  Find out more at


What’s Happening at the Pratt

Check out what’s happening at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in January and February:


Talking to Your Kids About School Violence

Based on extensive interviews and case studies, this presentation shows concerned parents how to:
• Learn how to talk with kids about school violence and shootings
• Educate parents about Lockdown procedures
• Strategies to build resilience to cope in this climate of fear
• Empower parents to get involved and advocate for mentally safer security procedures

Register here:


Enrollment Open House Dates!


Progressive Ed Summit, January 25:  Final Days to Register

Register here


Wanna Meet with Dr. Shyla or Ms. Rashida?

You are invited to make an appointment to meet with either of us using our appointment calendars. Be sure to add the topic/agenda of our meeting in the Notes section, so that we are prepared for the meeting. We look forward to speaking with you. 

Here is the link to Shyla’s Appointment Calendar.

Here is the link to Rashida’s Appointment Calendar.