This Friday marks the 60th day of the school year, exactly one-third of the way through the year.  I remember back, in the first couple weeks of school, with the hundreds of calls, texts, and emails about Zoom and technology issues, wondering how we would ever be able to sustain ourselves.  And, here we are, in the rhythm of the school year, looking toward a new calendar year, with engaged learning and school-wide events.  The rhythm may be different than in years past, but there is still a rhythm all its own.

Don’t get me wrong — Although I am pleased with the successes in learning that we have seen this school year online, I am still consistently working to minimize inequities that exist with online learning and spend sleepless nights worrying about the physical and emotional well-being of our students. I sit with the ambiguity of not knowing when it will be safe to return to school. I focus my attention on supporting strong instructional practices and finding solutions to families needs.

Even in this place of not-knowing, what I DO know is that our teachers are working tirelessly to ensure a rich education for their students in a platform that is also new to them. What I DO know is that families have been incredible at picking up materials at school and reminding their kids to log into all of their classes and do the asynchronous work.  What I DO know is that with all of the uncertainty, worry, and stress of these times, I am grateful for the dedicated and involved families and staff in our loving CNH community. No matter how long we are online, we WILL continue to support and nurture our young people, find new strategies for minimizing inequities, deepen our partnership with families, and communicate anything we know as soon as we know it. In short, I’m grateful for being in this work with you all.

Some families have reached out asking if they could send gifts to teachers’ homes.  Whereas we are unable to give out home addresses, I am organizing a Winter Break send-off gift for the teachers and would be more than happy to include your gifts in the send-off at the school.  Please email me and Kachaelar Jones ( if you’d like to drop anything off for a teacher or group of teachers.  We will make sure they  get it!

Have a wonderful Week 13, everyone!

–Dr. Shyla.


This Week’s Topics

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

Noteworthy Upcoming Dates: 2

Trimester 1 Virtual Family Arts Night 3

CNH Board Elections 3

Meet the Candidates 4

Save the Date! K-3 PJ Story Hour on Zoom 5

Enrollment 2021-22 6

Care Center Site 7

Purchase CNH Gear Online!! 7

Donations to the School 7

Helpful Links 8

Connecting with Shyla 8



Noteworthy Upcoming Dates:

Fri. December 4

End of Trimester 1

Sat, December 5, 9:00-12:00

Family work day (in-person) gardening around the school

Tues. December 8, 6:00-7:00

CNH Committee Night — Help us plan fun events for kids, FUNdraising events, and projects around the school

Wed. December 9

Report Cards Mailed and Emailed

Fri. December 11, 6:00-7:00

Family  Arts Night with the A-Team (Arts and Athletics!!)

December 17, 7:00-7:45

K-3 PJ Story Hour on Zoom

Wed. December 23 – Sun. January 3

No School — Winter Break

Return to school on Mon. January 4



Trimester 1 Virtual Family Arts Night

Friday December 11, 2020


The A-team (Arts & Athletics) is excited for you to join us on Friday December 11 from 6:00-7:00 pm for our first Virtual Family Arts Night. We will come together as a community to celebrate students’ hard work and learn alongside one another. Here is a brief overview of the evening:

Settle In on Zoom

Class Presentations of Learning (large group)

Breakout Rooms for Student Led Lessons

(All breakout rooms will run concurrently. Families are asked to attend

the session their student(s) participated in during Trimester 1. )


Please ensure that you have space to safely move around at home.

Physical Education

Please ensure that you have space to safely move around at home.

Visual Arts

Please have a few pieces of paper and any drawing materials prepared ahead of time  (pencil, pen, marker, crayon, etc.)

Room 1: 1st Grade

Room 4:

Kindergarten, 3rd Grade & 7th Grade

Room 5: 2nd Grade

Room 2: 4th Grade

Room 6: 5th Grade

Room 3: 6th Grade

Room 7: 8th Grade



CNH Board Elections

Every year, we have three positions open on our City neighbors Hamilton Board (9 family positions rotating every three years). This year, our election will be for the Chair of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Committee, Finance Committee, and Classroom Representative Committee. With COVID this year, we have a number of parents/guardians who are interested in serving on the board and running for a position but are overwhelmed with the current situation in our lives; this has caused us to have only one candidate for each committee chair position.

It may seem funny, but even with only one candidate in each position, we STILL have to hold an election.  The bylaws of our charter requires us to get a certain percentage of the school community to vote, even if it’s only for one candidate in each position.  Please click on the Google Form below and vote for our candidates.  Thank you!

Click here to cast your vote.  It will take less than 2 minutes to complete.

Meet the Candidates

Chair of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Committee: Dayna Jackson

Dayna Jackson is a candidate for the lead of the Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Committee.  Dayna is a lifelong resident of Baltimore, MD she was educated in the Baltimore City School system, graduating from the A-Course at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, before completing undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland, College Park.  Dayna is the parent of two (2) City Neighbors Hamilton Students and has been a part of the City Neighbors Hamilton community since 2012, when my son entered 2nd grade at the School.  My Daughter is currently a 5th grader at CNH, and we have absolutely loved being a part of such a special community. One thing that has made this community so special has been the diversity and the sense of family and community.  The current social, political and economic climate has certainly had an effect on people, in all kinds of ways, and what should not get lost as things change and evolve, are the things that have may CNH so special from the very beginning – inclusion, diversity, empathy, community, passion, and so much more.  Having experienced challenges professionally as a result of gender, color, and education, has further fueled her drive for being an advocate and voice for diversity and equity for all, across all experiences and walks of life. By trade, Dayna has over 15 years of experience as a marketing strategist and manager, leading teams for companies in the National Capital Region, supporting their public sector segments, leading global events, designing lead and revenue generating campaigns, while fostering relationships, inside and outside of the company.  Dayna currently works for Akamai Technologies, where she recently received the Marketing Excellence Achievement award and was appointed to the Marketing Diversity and Inclusion board.

Chair of the Finance Committee/Treasurer:  Anthony Tosheff

My name is Tony Tosheff and I am running for City Neighbors Hamilton’s Treasurer. Currently I have two children at City Neighbors Hamilton; Noah in 4th grade and Julian in 2nd grade.  Next year my youngest, Theo, will start kindergarten.  I grew up in Harrisburg PA and moved to Baltimore when I was 19.  I earned an Accounting Degree from Towson University and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University.  Professionally I have worked at Johns Hopkins University for last 16 years.  I am currently an Accounting Manager in Sponsored Projects within the Controller’s Office.  Other activities around the neighborhood I participate in are I am member of the City Neighbors Hamilton’s Finance committee, I am a volunteer coach at St. Francis Clinic Soccer, a board member at Swan Lake Swim Club and I’m also on the swim team committee at Swan Lake.


Chair of the Classroom Representative Committee: Ashley Eddington

 “Our children, parents, and educators should feel safe and supported everyday.”

Ashley Eddington is a mother of 2 City Neighbors Hamilton students who’s passionate about education. Born and raised in East Baltimore, Ashley is well aware of the struggles students and parents face when dealing with the Baltimore City school system. From the lack of educational resources to miscommunication in schools, Ashley has been an advocate for better communication and support for parents, schools and educators ever since she was 13 years old. Determined to bridge the gap, Ashley is running for Chair of Classroom Representative because she wants to strengthen the relationship of school staff and families within City Neighbors Hamilton. In the 2 years of her school presence, she has built solid relations with students and staff, and has been very active in ensuring that all kids and parents voices are adequately heard. She’s even become affectionately known as the IT mom because of her abilities to troubleshoot virtual learning issues  to ensure no child misses instructional opportunities. Education is much more effective when everyone’s on the same page. Better communication and a  strong family like dynamic is my goal as Chair. Let’s rewrite the narrative and be the proof that exemplary educational relationships exist and have a positive impact on our kids.


Save the Date! K-3 PJ Story Hour on Zoom

On Thursday, December 17, the Kindergarten through Third grade classes will each be hosting their own PJ Story Hour on Zoom!

You and your family are invited to join your class on Zoom from 7:00-7:45 pm on Thursday, December 17.  Wear your jammies and bring two or three favorite books to share!  Your teacher will put you in a breakout room with one or two other families from your class, and you can take turns reading aloud some favorite books.

A goody bag with treats for the evening will be available for pick-up at the school the week of December 14th (times to be determined).  Additionally, if you are short on books at home, you are welcome to check out 2-3 books from the school to borrow for the evening at the same time you pick up your goody bag.

This is a great way to spend some time with classmates outside of the school day, and to get to know other families from your class.  We hope you can join us!


Enrollment 2021-22

School year 2020-21 has just begun, but enrollment season for 2021-22 has begun!


City Neighbors Hamilton is now accepting enrollment applications for next school year.  The deadline to receive applications from new families for inclusion in the enrollment lottery is 3 PM February 3, 2021.

Enrollment Open Houses will be held virtually as follows:  December 10, 12-1 PM, January 9, 3-4 PM, January 26, 9 AM

Links for the virtual Open Houses will be on our website:

Please spread the word!


The deadline to receive applications for siblings of current students and children of school staff is January 22, 2021.  If your child currently attends CNH, there is no need to reapply.  Intent to Return forms will be sent and collected in January.  Siblings and children of staff will not be included in the enrollment lottery, HOWEVER, you must submit an enrollment application by January 22, 2021 in order for us to have an accurate count of open seats when we conduct our lottery.

Enrollment applications can be downloaded from

and should be emailed to  Be sure to clearly indicate “sibling” on the application.  Please be aware that the Sibling Preference Policy only applies to siblings of current City Neighbors Hamilton students.  It does not apply to siblings of students who are enrolled at City Neighbors Charter School or City Neighbors High School.

If you have any questions about enrollment, please reach out to Enrollment Coordinator, Stephanie King at


Care Center Site

Families can access the Care Center Site by accessing the CNH Family Site and clicking on the Family Resources tab. You can also click here to access the site. Students, teachers, and families can find different ways to support social-emotional learning on this site. You can also use this site to get in touch with Ms. Lauren & Mr. Jerred.

Care Center Week Ahead

  • Mindful Monday

  • Wellness Wednesday

  • Find a Friend Friday


Purchase CNH Gear Online!

Want to represent CNH in all ways?  You can purchase shirts, hoodies, mugs, phone cases, etc on our new TeePublic storefront!  Click here to check out our products!


Donations to the School

If you would like to donate money to the school (for any reason), the easiest ways are through our PayPal account.  Please add a note, no matter how you might donate, with how you would like it used (general educational expenses, technology, arts, etc).

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


Helpful Links

  • The CNH Academic Calendar — This gives all important dates for this year (end of each trimester, Progress Report Conferences dates, etc.)

  • CNH Family  Site — This is one-stop shopping for families (links to Google Classrooms, Family  Resources, the Care Center, Tutorial Videos, etc.)

  • School Schedule Spreadsheet — This document has each grade’s schedule with links to Zoom meetings in one mega spreadsheet.  (NOTE: Student schedules are also posted in every Google Classroom with links to Zoom meetings)

  • Family  Participation Hours Log — Any time you participate in a meeting with a staff member, attend a school event, participate in progress report conferences, or attend Committee Night, complete this form so that we can keep track of your participation!  Every family needs to log 40 hours of participation each year.

  • CNH Main Website — Here is the main website with information about the school and resources.

  • CNH Care Center Site — Find resources for supporting your child’s (and your own) social-emotional learning needs as well as see the videos posted for our morning meetings each week.

  • COVID Testing Sites — If you are experiencing symptoms, click this link to find a testing site near you.

  • Meal Sites — This site provides information for meal sites as well as other resources for accessing food.

  • Shyla Rao’s appointment calendar — Feel free to make an appointment if you have questions, comments, or concerns. Shyla looks forward to meeting with you!


Connecting with Shyla

Below the signature of every email I send from my computer (not the ones from my phone), I have the following text.

Want to meet?  Click here to make an appointment. Be sure to add the topic/agenda of our meeting in the Notes section, so that I am prepared. I look forward to speaking with you.

I wholeheartedly mean it when I say that I am happy to meet with you anytime you’d like to talk. It can be something you’re excited or upset about, a new idea you have for the school, if you want to share news about your family, or just to connect.  I would love to meet with you!