Last night I woke up in the middle of the night with my mind racing through my To-Do lists.  After an unsuccessful hour of trying to clear my head, I got up and worked for a couple of hours to feel a sense of accomplishment and be able to go back to sleep. Today, as I felt sleep creep behind my eyelids, I simply kept going.  Push through, I told myself.  

And then THIS happened…. This afternoon, I looked up and was struck by the beauty of the warm sun against the cool sky.  At that moment, it didn’t matter what else I needed to do. At that moment, I needed to stop and simply take it all in. Pause, reflect, and appreciate.

This week, no matter how busy you might be, I challenge you to take a moment to Pause, Reflect, and Appreciate something around you.  Allow your breath to slow.  Allow your thoughts to pause. Allow your heart to burst. I hope you all find such moments of wonder and appreciation this week!  

Happy Week 5, everyone! 

–Dr. Shyla.


Important Dates:

  • Oct. 6 — 6:00-7:00 — Family Nuts and Bolts meeting — Meet with Dr. Shyla and Members of the Family Engagement Committee for our 1st Nuts and Bolts Meeting

  • Oct. 7, 8, 9 —  12:30 dismissal — Half days for Progress Report Conferences (See School Calendar)

  • Oct. 13 — 6:00-7:00 — Committee Night — Join a Committee

  • Oct. 16 — No School, Professional Development Day for Teachers

  • Dec. 4  — End of Trimester 1


Important 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!  


Family  Nuts and Bolts Meeting: 

This Tuesday, October 6th

Meet with Dr. Shyla and Members of the Family Engagement Committee for our 1st Nuts and Bolts Meeting.  In this meeting, we will respond to feedback given on this survey and provide workshops relevant to your needs and interests.  Feel free to add your thoughts anytime! 

Click here for the link to the meeting

Zoom Meeting Invitation:

Topic: Family Meetings 

Time: Oct 6, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting 

Meeting ID: 827 9306 7265

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Progress Report Conferences This week!

Three times each year, in the middle of each trimester, teachers schedule Progress Report Conferences with their students and their families. This is an opportunity for the teachers and families to identify areas of strength and areas for improvement… with time for the students to be able to have time to improve. 

If you haven’t already, please sign up for your child’s progress report conference with their teacher(s).

Conference week always has a different schedule than normal.  Here is the schedule for this week:

  • Monday — Regular full school day

  • Tuesday —

    • K-5 releases students at 12:30 to complete asynchronous work.

    • 6-8 has a regular full school day

  • Wednesday —

    • The entire school, K-8,  releases students at 12:30 to complete asynchronous work.

  • Thursday —

    • The entire school, K-8,  releases students at 12:30 to complete asynchronous work.

  • Friday —

    • The entire school, K-8,  releases students at 12:30 to complete asynchronous work.

We look forward to seeing you at the conferences (online)!!!


Committee Night — October 13 

Our school is able to provide great programming and events due to the fact that every  family agrees to complete 40 participation hours every school year. This high level of family  engagement is the centerpoint of what makes our school so great! 

The easiest way to support the work of the school, as well as fulfill this 40-hour requirement, is to join Committee Night every month. 

Click here to see a listing of Committees.  Click here to complete the Google Form to sign-up for a committee. 


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 (10/4): Visualization Exercise

  • Wellness Wednesday (10/7): Journaling Exercise: Goal Setting

  • Find-a-Friend Friday (10/9): Never Have I Ever Game…


K-2 Materials Pick-Up Tuesday through Friday

More materials are in, and are ready to be picked up at the school this week!  Please come by the school between 10:00-2:00 Tuesday and Wednesday, or between 8:00-2:00 on Thursday or Friday to pick up important materials for your student.



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!


Public Comment at Board Meetings 

Every month, at Board Meetings, we welcome public comments. Since we are functioning in a virtual space, if you would like to make a public comment, please email our Board President, Erika Coughlin, at at least 24-hours before the next Board Meeting. She will send you the link to the next meeting.  


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!



Have a great week, all!