Sometimes when I get caught up in the rigamarole of life, I stop and try to view the moment through the lens of my grandparents.  Pictured above, my Amma and Daji (grandma and grandpa) lived an incredibly family-oriented life.  When my family would visit Mysore, evenings were spent sitting in a large circle around the family room singing songs and laughing into the night. All of my aunts, uncles, and cousins lived together lining up on beds, cots, and the floor to sleep at night. Family was the center of everything.  Running between appointments, checking text messages instead of engaging with our children, and spinning between priorities is many of our realities… and an unnecessary part of our realities.

The pandemic caused me to realize how quickly everything in my life became arbitrary — everything except for family. Our days were no longer filled with all of the places we needed to go and people we needed to see.  Our days were reminiscent of visiting my family in India in the 1980s as our world shrunk mostly to walking distance of our home. It was wonderful.

I challenge us all to hold onto our new priorities, try to keep the pacing slow, and enjoy those nearest and dearest to our hearts. Here’s to slowing down in October, smelling the Fall air, and enjoying each new moment as it unfolds.

Have a great week, everyone!

–Dr. Shyla.


Noteworthy Upcoming Dates:




Monday, October 18

SVA Elections

  • Results of the election will be shared on Wednesday, after all of the ballots have been tallied.

Tuesday, October 19, 6:00-7:00

CNH Committee Night In-person — Outside

  • Light dinner provided 5:30-6:00 (under tents in the CNH front yard).  Childcare (for CNH student children only) provided — they will watch a movie and relax during the hour of the meetings.

Tuesday, October 19, 7:00-7:30

CNH Board Meeting

Friday, October 29

Fall Festival Dance Party at the school (6:00-8:00)

November 5 — NO SCHOOL

No School — Professional Development Day for teachers


Morning Meeting Activities

Click Here:  October (Mon-Wed-Fri) Activities

If you’d like to see what your children engaged with during morning meeting or have something to talk about at the dinner table, here is the October Calendar.  Thank you, Ms. Liz for putting this together for our community!


No Food Deliveries for Students

This is not something that we have had to specifically articulate before, because it has never been an issue.  But, as with all else this year, this is an anomaly.  We do not accept food deliveries from restaurants or a food delivery service for children.  A reminder that every student is entitled to a free lunch in the school cafe.


Policy in Review — Committee Meetings TOMORROW

Committee Night THIS TUESDAY!

It is a requirement for all families to join at least one committee each year. Join us for Committee Night every month (3rd Tuesday of each month) alternating between virtual and in-person meetings to accommodate different family needs.

Free childcare and a light dinner is provided for all participants in the in-person months. Students and their families are invited to have a light dinner with us outside, under the tents in the front lawn, between 5:30-6:00. From 6:00-6:50, students will go with Ms. Celest while family member attend Committee meetings.  The meetings will be outside this month.

Come join  us!

In-Person Meetings (6:00-7:00)

At the school

Virtual Meetings (6:00-6:30)

On Zoom

October 19

November 16

December 21

January 18

February 15

March 15

April 19

May 17

Don’t forget to log your participation hours!

Full Descriptions of Committees

Classroom Support Committee:    This committee is an important hub of communication between teachers and families. Designated classroom “parents” are automatically part of this committee, but any CNH family member is welcome and encouraged to attend meetings. This committee works in partnership with the Principal and faculty to host events such as family educational workshops regarding curriculum. It also assists with school functions like picture day and teacher appreciation week.

Communications Committee:  This committee helps update and manage the website, social media, flyers, posters, and newsletters for the school.

Community Relations Committee:  This Committee helps to establish/maintain relationships with the community outside of the school building (ie. Glenham Belhar and Lauraville community associations). They also look to partner with the local business community for things like career exploration or sponsorship possibilities. The committee may also work with other local educational institutions for opportunities to collaborate. This committee will also assist with developing the extracurricular/after school catalog (ie. litter patrol, dance club, chess club).

Culture of Care (SEL Family Workgroup): At CNH there are adults within the building who make up the Culture of Care Team. Those individuals are Ms. Lauren, Dr. Shyla, Ms. Liz and Dr. King. Our goal as a Culture of Care team is to ensure the well-being of all our students by educating them on social and emotional learning. To further this work, the SEL Family Workgroup is a way for families to learn about the work we do, receive vital information and strategies about social/emotional learning, as well provide ideas/suggestions to continue to support the work we do internally. This Committee will work to create family events and workshops that support the student experience at this school.  Come and help us celebrate and support our students!

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: This committee helps to plan and host events to engage and include the school community. The committee also seeks out resources and venues to facilitate meaningful interactions that explicitly grapple with diversity in our school, community, and world, and allow opportunities for individuals to connect and grow with all fellow CNH community members. Our job is to proactively promote, support, and celebrate our wonderful diversity at CNH.

Facilities Committee: This committee assists the Principal, building manager, and faculty to create and maintain a great learning environment for students. This committee assists with family work days, specific building projects, and even some digital infrastructure.

Fundraising Committee: This committee assists in coordinating efforts to raise money to meet the school’s commitment to providing a rich program for our students. This committee assists with grant writing, fundraising event planning, and fund drives to raise money for field trips, technology equipment, teaching supports and professional development for teachers.

Family Participation Committee: This committee is responsible for tracking family participation and volunteer hours, encouraging family participation in school events, and celebrating family engagement. This committee also helps to coordinate family volunteers for the library!

Global Perspectives Initiative Committee:  This committee is responsible for increasing global awareness and international education opportunities for CNH students. This committee will also assist with school events that celebrate multiple cultures, language learning opportunities, student exchange partnerships, and increasing local and global partnerships.

The following Committees do not meet regularly on Committee Nights

Advocacy Committee: (This committee meets on a different night than Committee Night) Chair: Gwendolyn Unoko –

This committee advocates on behalf of the City Neighbors Hamilton, charter schools, and the Baltimore City Public School System. This committee will coordinate efforts with the Advocacy Committee of our network schools, City Neighbors Charter and City Neighbors High School. We believe in taking a stand for all children. Come to help us impact Annapolis, City Council, and Schools on behalf of the children of Baltimore. This committee will not meet on committee night as it will be a meeting of members from all 3 city neighbors schools. Advocacy Committee meetings are on the first Wednesday or every month at 7 pm, starting on October 7.

Finance Committee:  (This committee only  meets quarterly on Committee Night) Chair: John Henderson –

This committee is charged with the development and recommendation of the CNH annual budget and does not meet on Committee Night.

Governance Committee:  (Members of this committee are Board Members only and meets on a different night than Committee Night) Chair: Erika Coughlin –

This committee makes recommendations for the ongoing successful governance of the school, including reviewing policies and the school handbook. The governance committee oversees elections each year and conducts an ongoing review of the CNH by-laws. The Governance Committee assesses the needs of the board of directors and makes suggestions for including or replacing board members.


SVA Elections

SVA Elections were held today.  Classes watched the Flipgrid speeches and cast their vote.  Results of the election will be announced on Wednesday.

Dr. Shyla will meet with ALL CANDIDATES prior to the announcement so that they know what a valiant effort it is to put  yourself out there to run for an elected position.

We had approximately 45 students run for a position.  So great!


Family Visioning Night

City Neighbors 2030:  Family Visioning Sessions

Help Us Imagine the Future of City Neighbors!

If you were not able to join us for the September 28th Family Visioning Session, please join us for our next City Neighbors 2030 Family Visioning Session as we, the City Neighbors community, imagine the future of City Neighbors!

Wednesday, October 20 at 9 AM

Starting last Spring, our City Neighbors schools launched an in-depth process to chart the future of our City Neighbors schools and organization.   In order to create our future, we need to do it together – families, educators, students, school leaders, community partners.

Please join us!


Friday Night Dance Party — October 29, 6:00-8:00

The last dance party was such a success, we thought, “Why not do it again before it gets too cold?” Next Friday, October 29, we will host a Fall Festival Dance Party.  Come and decorate a pumpkin, eat some candy corn and other snacks, and enjoy some fun dancing with each other!

Hope to see you there!


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:

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