This Tuesday, September 22, all will be equal in the world… well, at least with sunlight.  This is the day, when Summer turns to Fall, and when day and night are of equal length. After Tuesday, the days shorten and nights lengthen. The trees glow with reds, yellows, and oranges.  And we begin wearing sweatshirts instead of tank tops.


Lately, I’ve been smelling the nostalgic smell of outdoor fires in neighbors’ yards and enjoying the slow twisting and turning of leaves as they meander to the ground in the breeze.


The Fall Equinox always reminds me that school is fully in swing, and we are beginning to find our rhythm. Instead of our rhythm dictated by the start and end time of the school day, we are now impacted by the start and end time of each class online.  With 45-minute Universal Breaks and a schoolwide lunch break, I challenge us all to try take a break from screens during those times and take a brisk walk around the neighborhood or open our windows to breathe fresh air.


I look forward to jumping into Fall with you all! As with everything else in 2020, this Fall will look different, but we will find ways to celebrate the change of the seasons and make meaning with our new perspectives.


Happy Week 3, everyone!



–Dr. Shyla.



Important Dates:

  • Mon. Sep 21 — 1st Day of Intensives (see below for more information)

  • Wed. Sep 23 — 1st Day of Electives (see below for more information)

  • Oct. 3 — Deadline for Board position nominations

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

  • 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!



Committees for Families to Join

It is an expectation that all CNH families join at least one committee and fulfill the required 40 hours of Family Participation hours each school year.  Select your committee now!  There are many different options to suit your interests and skills!


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



Help us shape the school — Board Nominations

The work of our school is supported by our Family-led Board. Just as parents/guardians join committees, parents/guardians also help to lead the work.  We meet one time per month (second Tuesdays of each month — same as Committee Nights). Help us shape the work of this school!  I’d love to have you run for a position!  Here is the nomination form to nominate yourself or another parent/guardian.



This week begins Electives

Electives are provided for students at every grade level and meets every other week.  In the alternating weeks, we will have asynchronous activities for students to enjoy. All students are required to sign-up for an elective class as they provide much-needed fun and social engagements between students and teachers.


Synchronous and Asynchronous Elective Activities will alternate (example below):

  • 9/23 — Asynchronous elective activities

  • 9/30 — 1st Elective synchronous class! (Links to classes will be added to student schedules)

  • 10/7 — Asynchronous elective activities

  • 10/14 — Synchronous Electives class


Sign-Up for an Elective by end of Monday (we will finalize groups on Tuesday):



Intensives begin this week

Beginning Monday, September 21st, all classes will be divided into two groups (Group A and Group B).  One group will attend Arts/PE on Monday and Tuesday while the other group will attend their Intensives class. On Thursday and Friday, the groups will switch. This way, students can receive more personalized attention in both their Intensives as well as their Arts/PE classes.

Links for intensives are provided by the classroom teachers on a Google Doc for this week.  Next week, we will have them added to each student’s schedule.



Attendance expectations

 Expectations for Attendance — We expect all students will attend school every day, all day, unless we are informed by their parent or guardian that they have a specific reason for their absence. All classes are required.


If your student is going to be absent, or if you are experiencing technological barriers that are keeping your child from attending class, please email Kachaelar Jones at She needs to know because she records all Attendance for the school in Infinite Campus. She will communicate your child’s absence  with all of his/her teachers.


Attendance will be recorded each day after Morning Meeting.  Any  student who was absent for Morning Meeting will be marked absent.  If they attend subsequent classes on that day, their absence will be changed to Tardy. Students who show up to morning sessions but not afternoon sessions will be marked as a half day attendance.



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…


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 second week 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)




City Neighbors Foundation Social Media – Join In!

Keep connected with the work of City Neighbors across all three schools and in our work to transform public education.

  • If you are a Twitter follower, please follow us @cityneighbors.  And encourage others to follow!

  • Find us on Facebook here.

  • Sign up to receive news and information about what‘s happening at City Neighbors, including the Progressive Ed Summit, our newsletters and more!  Click here to sign-up




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.

  • Immunizations

    • Baltimore City Health Department’s Immunization program is open by appointment (no walk-ins) Tuesday through Thursday 10AM-2PM. Call 410-396-4454 to schedule an appointment.

    • KIPP Baltimore is serving as a site to provide immunizations by appointment only (no walk-ins).  Call 410-793-7263 8AM-5PM to schedule an appointment.

    • All students are required to be fully immunized before school begins.  Find the required immunizations here. 

    • Stephanie has been working with families this summer to ensure everyone is in full compliance before September 8.  Please look for and respond to emails from her, and reach out to her with any immunization questions:




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!