I took this picture out my living room window at 5:14 pm on Tuesday night.  My stomach was in knots, and I was a bundle of nerves leading up to this polarized and contentious election. I didn’t know what was to come, or how long it would take to find out what was to come. Filled with emotion and anticipation, I looked up and noticed a glorious rainbow of light caused by the setting sun.  

In my mindfulness practice, I remind myself when in a storm, seek the rainbow.  I have been seeking many rainbows in 2020! This moment in the sky gave me the opportunity to pause, to appreciate, and to breathe.  Not only have I been seeking rainbows for quite some time, I realize I have also been holding my breath in anticipation (politically, educationally, racially, pandemically…). 

My goal for each of you this week is to find your rainbow, however that may look, take a moment, push all of your thoughts and worries aside, and exhale.  

Have a wonderful Week 10, everyone! 

–Dr. Shyla. 


This Week’s Topics 

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

Noteworthy Upcoming Dates: 2

Come to Committee Night THIS TUESDAY 6:00-7:00 pm 3

Ketchup, Mustard, Assessment, and Spirit Week — Nov. 16-20 3

Spirit Week @ Home! — November 16-20 4

Open Mic All-School 4

Student Schedules for Trimester 2 5

Enrollment 2021-22 5

Care Center Site 6

How to talk to your kids about the election 6

Visual Arts Corner 7


Arts Every Day 10×10 Exhibition 7

Visual Arts Virtual Documentation Board 8

Follow Us on Social Media! 9

Donations to the School 9

Helpful Links 9

Connecting with Shyla 10



Noteworthy Upcoming Dates:

November 10 Committee Night and Board Meeting
November 16-20 Spirit Week and Assessment Week schoolwide
November 20 Our first Virtual All-School!!! (More information to come)
November 26, 27 No School — Thanksgiving Break
December 4 End of Trimester 1
December 9 Report Cards Mailed and Emailed
December 23 – January 3 No School — Winter Break (return to school January 4)



Come to Committee Night THIS TUESDAY 6:00-7:00 pm

When families make the decision to send their children to CNH, they also agree to complete 40 hours of Family Participation each year as a family and to join a school-wide committee.  Last month, we had about 30 families (out of 175) attend Committee Night — We need your participation to help represent all voices and perspectives as well as tap into your great ideas! 

How do you join Committee Night? 

Here is the link to join Committee Night.  We begin with brief school wide announcements as well as an overview for the night.  After the large group overview, you will go to this document and click the link to a committee you’d like to join for the evening.  

How do you earn participation hours?  

You earn hours by attending progress report conferences, any school events, and by joining a committee.  We make it easy for you — attend Committee night, the second Tuesday of every month 6:00-7:00. 

How do I log my  participation hours?

Be sure to fill out this form when you meet with a staff member, attend a school event, join Committee Night, or participate in conferences. 


Ketchup, Mustard, Assessment, and Spirit Week — Nov. 16-20

At the end of each trimester, teachers need to assess where students have grown and where they  need to continue to grow.  This way, they can communicate recent data with families as well as plan for the next trimester accordingly.

As well, students need space and time to be able to “ketchup” (catch-up) on assignments that are overdue and “Mustard” (must start) working on new assignments.  

Keep an eye out for more information from your student’s teachers in their Monday Mailers!!


Spirit Week @ Home! — November 16-20

We are excited to announce our CNH Spirit Week @ Home! Spirit week will take place 11/16-11/20. Each day will feature a fun theme and challenge for you to try! Let’s all connect with one another to celebrate our CNH pride! As you complete the themes and challenges, please take photos and upload them to the City Neighbors Hamilton Family FB Page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/cnhfamily) or email them to Mr. Jerred (janderson@cityneighborshamilton). Please see the attached document for the day-by-day lineup of themes and challenges.



Open Mic All-School

On November 20th, City Neighbors Hamilton will be hosting its first Open Mic All School of the year! Share your talents with the CNH community by uploading a video to Flipgrid (3 minutes or less). Your talent might include singing, dancing, telling jokes, showcasing visual artwork, magic, acting, poetry, etc. We are accepting submissions from students, parents, and teachers, so don’t be shy! Please make sure your talent is appropriate for all ages. The last day to submit your performance is on November 18th. 

We will view all performances on the last day of CNH Spirit Week @ Home which is Friday, November 20th at 2pm. Details are forthcoming about our spirit week. 

The goal is to have every grade represented at Open Mic All School so please consider sharing your talent! This is a no judgement zone, so understand that the entire CNH community is supporting you!

Flipgrid submission link: https://flipgrid.com/a3344ea1

Open Mic All School zoom link:  https://bcps-k12-md-us.zoom.us/j/4623398354


Student Schedules for Trimester 2

Teachers are working hard to make sure all areas of instruction are planned effectively, well-supported, and meet the needs and interests of our students. Our fine teachers are developing plans for meeting these goals for instruction. This means that there will probably be minor tweaks to the schedule beginning on December 7th, the first day of the second trimester. 

Not to worry, we are not making any major changes because we know you have orchestrated your lives around your child’s school schedule.  Teachers will begin finalizing plans after they complete their assessments November 16-20. 

All scheduling adjustments will be emailed as well as posted in the What’s Good for Families and in the class-specific Monday Mailers. Keep an eye out after November 20! 




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:  November 23, 6 – 7 PM, 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:  www.cityneighborshamilton.org 

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 https://cityneighborshamilton.org/apply/

and should be emailed to applications@cityneighborshamilton.org.  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 sking@cityneighborshamilton.org.


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



How to Talk to Your Kids About the Election 

The district shared the following resources for families who might be seeking support in talking with their children about the election.  


Visual Arts Corner


This week, follow @misscohens_atelier on Instagram to see the Advocacy Stickers the 8th graders created for a cause they care about and support. Each day, I will be sharing 5-6 designs along with the students statements about their stickers. We can’t wait for you to follow us on this social media exhibition. 

Arts Every Day 10×10 Exhibition


Calling all CNH artists, dancers, singers, poets, and creatives!

With so much going on in the world today, the need to listen to the voices of our youth are so paramount, especially because the decisions we make today will impact the world our children will grow up in tomorrow. For this exhibit, we invite students and teachers of Baltimore City Public schools to think about ways art, in its many forms can be used to inform, create discourse, and further understanding. This call for art encourages students to use whatever creative outlet suits their preferred art process, their intended message, or their call to action. How do you use your VOICE through the arts? Is it through dance, poetry, visual art, music, or film? 


  • Visual art and photography must measure 10 inches by 10 inches (file types accepted: .jpg, .jpeg, .png)
  • Videos, video performances, or short films must be no longer than three (3) minutes, with a file size 2MB of less (file types accepted: .mp4, .m4v (MPEG-4), .mov) 
  • Poetry/spoken word poetry, and art books will be accepted 
  • Photographs of 3D works will be accepted 

If you have questions, please contact Ms. Cohen – hcohen@cityneighborshamilton.org 

Visual Arts Virtual Documentation Board

Students in 2nd, 5th and 8th grade have been busy engaging in hands-on and digital art making lessons and projects with Ms. Cohen. It has been wonderful to see creativity and innovation continuing at home. The Visual Arts Google Site features a digital documentation board that highlights the great work that is happening in each of the art classes. Click here to visit the CNH Visual Arts Google Site


Follow Us on Social Media!

CNH is on Social Media — Follow us! Please note that Twitter and Instagram are new endeavors for CNH so please know that it will pick-up momentum with time and more followers.  🙂 

  • Twitter — @CNHschool
  • Instagram — city_neighbors_hamilton
  • Facebook — Follow us at our official school page City Neighbors Hamilton (to receive important information) and our City Neighbors Hamilton Family page (where you can share photos and comments with CNH Families as well as Staff)


Donations to the School

Some families reached out to the school over the summer mentioning that they would like to donate the money they didn’t spend on groceries this summer due to receiving the P-EBT card for their children.  Other families reached out to me wanting to donate money to support our acquisition of technology to support families this fall.  

If you would like to donate money to the school (for any reason), the easiest ways are through our CashApp or PayPal accounts.  Checks mailed to the school will also be accepted. 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, 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


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.



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!