Aaahhh, the magical time when summer fades into winter — when leaves change colors and meander through the air on their way to the ground, when the air is just warm enough to sit outside in the evening but just cool enough to need a hoodie and some extra snuggles.

I try to hit the pause button in this fleeting moment, the glorious transition from summer to winter, when nothing seems permanent and everything holds a little bit of magic. Yellow has been my favorite color for years and years.  At one point, I realized that yellow is a color that doesn’t typically exist permanently in nature. For example, yellow is a color of transition from green leaves to bare branches.

This week, let’s all take note of the changing weather, bundle up, and find excuses for extra snuggles.

Happy Week 8, everyone!

–Dr. Shyla.


Important Dates:

November 3

No School — Election Day (Please vote!)

November 26, 27

No School — Thanksgiving Break

December 4

End of Trimester 1

December 7-9

Report Cards Distributed

December 23 – January 3

No School — Winter Break (return to school January 4)


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)

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

  • 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!


CNH Continuing Virtual Schooling

The district decided that a very small subset of schools will be reopening and are mandating 25 traditional schools to open for small groups to return at the end of November.

Our school will not be reopening in-person school in November.  School will remain online at CNH, we will reassess as new information becomes available, when it is safe to return, and when there is a clear plan for teaching both online and in-person in a way that enhances rather than reduces both forms of learning.

So far this year, we have developed new ways of connecting, communicating, and teaching. For example, in addition to the What’s Good in the Neighborhood and Monday  Mailers, we also share highlights of the week through the Friday  Afternoon Roundup videos. All grades K-8 now hold both a Morning and Closing meeting each day. We have school-wide social-emotional learning initiatives such as our Mindful Mondays, Wellness Wednesdays, and Find a Friend Fridays during Morning Meetings. Electives used to only be available to middle school students and are now offered K-8. And, most importantly, our teachers have worked tirelessly to engage students in meaningful ways online.  For example, all of our academic Intensives are multi-grade.  The K-2 team developed multi-grade Literacy groups to target specific areas of growth for each child. They have seen more growth in reading at this point in the school year than ever before!

We have seen overall successes school wide and are now targeting students who need more and different supports in this online format. If you are a family that needs additional support, please reach out to me (Shyla Rao — or Jerred Anderson, School Culture Advisor ( We will work with you to develop strategies of support tailored to your child’s needs.

We are continuing to develop protocols to keep our community safe. When the day  comes that we return to school in-person, we have electrostatic sprayers, gallons of medical-grade cleaning supplies, masks and face shields for adults and children, classrooms arranged according to CDC guidelines, hand sanitizer stations, and protocols for safe travel through the building. All carpets and soft furniture have been removed from classrooms.  Tables and chairs are distanced 6 feet apart.  When we do return to in-person instruction, we will not be returning to CNH as we remember and know it to be. Taking our time to do it right, we are working to ensure a City Neighbors-ness in the physical space and a well-thought out plan for instruction.

Not to worry, I will continue to communicate with you all as clearly and expeditiously as possible.  Thank you for your continued partnership in this work.  Please keep an eye out for an email from me regarding COVID working groups for this fall. I am so proud of this community — onward we go together!


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 –


Middle School Fall Hangout

This Friday 10/30, instead of the Advisory Closing Meeting, middle school students will participate in their first Social/Hangout. Students will sign up to attend a supervised hangout with their friends using this SignUp Genius.


Free Arts-Integrated Learning with Young Audiences

Add some fun to your family’s Friday mornings beginning this week with our Arts & Learning Kids show! Join teaching artists Mr. Root, Mr. Fish, and Mr. Drew LIVE on our Facebook page for three sessions every Friday through December. The superstar hosts will each share an Arts & Learning Kids episode tailored to align with one of three different grade bands AND offer behind-the-scenes fun facts and commentary while you watch!


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



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 (10/26)

  • Wellness Wednesday (10/28)

  • Find a Friend Friday (10/30)



City Neighbors Votes! Please join us as we commit to vote this fall. We’re partnering with My School Votes to spread the word and make registering to vote a little easier.

If you haven’t registered yet, now is the time! Click the link to access our portal. Then click Register to Vote.

Following these links gives you access into Maryland’s online voter registration process, which is open to anyone 16 or older. In Maryland you can register as early as 16, although you have to wait until 18 to cast a vote. Please make sure you’re registered, and share the link with your friends, family, and neighbors to help us spread the word.

Let’s make our voices count!


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 as we breathe through the start of school.  🙂

  • 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



  • Meal Sites

    • This Spring, Baltimore City Schools opened meal sites at any school location that offered.  We were one of them.  This upcoming school year, the school district is carefully selecting meal sites so that they are spread out evenly throughout the city and in areas of highest need. Here is the link to the school district’s Meal Sites page.  It provides information for meal sites as well as other resources for accessing food. Bookmark the link so that you can visit it again closer to the start of the school year to see which schools will serve as meal sites near 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!