This week, I have been thinking a lot about partnership. What does it mean to be in partnership?  We have partnerships with outside organizations as a school — Arts Every Day, Young Audiences, MICA, Morgan State University, Star Cypress, etc.  We have partnerships in our work — colleagues we co-teach with or collaborate with in teaching teams.  We have partnerships with our students — elevating student voices so that they can be active participants in the construction of their learning.  We have partnerships with parents and guardians — supporting one another in helping foster well-educated, engaged citizens in our young people.

But do we live in partnership with ourselves? What does it mean to treat ourselves as partners?  I challenge each of us to consider the ways in which we honor, support, and trust each other in our various partnerships to treat ourselves with the same honor, support and trust.  Take a few moments each day to write in gratitude journals, take some intentionally deep breaths, honor something wonderful about our lives, and see how we can build true partnerships with ourselves.

In these incredibly challenging times, let’s pause for a moment and find some joy and peace.  I look forward to finding that breath with you.

Have a great week, everyone!

–Dr. Shyla


Noteworthy Upcoming Dates:



October 1

School Picture Day

Virtual All-School

90s Dance party (outdoors in the evening)

October 1-5

Vision for Baltimore (vision screening)

October 6, 7, 8 — 1:00 dismissal

Trimester 1 Progress Report Conferences


Morning Meeting Activities

Click Here: September Calendar 2021

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 September Calendar.  Thank you, Ms. Liz, for putting this together for our community!


Early Fall MCAP/MISA Testing Begins Monday

Starting Monday September 27th, students grades 4-8 will take the Early Fall MCAP assessment. Students are encouraged to bring their own headphones that they feel comfortable wearing, otherwise school provided headphones will be given to students to use during the assessment.

Please read through the information below to learn more about how the testing will be conducted this week:

The Early Fall assessments measure ELA, Math, and Science skills and content from the grade the students completed during the 2020-2021 school year.

What does this mean?

  • Students who will be testing are Grades 4-8 for both MCAP ELA and MATH

  • Current 6th graders will be taking the science MISA as they did not last year during their 5th grade year.

  • Current 3rd graders will NOT be tested during this Early Fall Testing period

What does the test look like?

  • The assessments measure how well students understood grade level material in each content from their previous year.

  • These assessments will be reduced by half the time of the standard administration time and number of items the students are assessed.

    • Students will not be testing all day. They will be testing during one class period a day during the week of testing. The rest of the day will carry on as normal.

    • Students who receive accommodations will be provided their accommodations during this Fall MCAP

When will the students test?

  • Our testing window for the Early Fall MCAP & MISA will be September 27 – September 30.

This is to accommodate progress report conferences during the first week of October and to allow any make-up testing before the testing window closes on October 22.






Sept. 27


Sept. 28


Sept. 29


Sept. 30


(6th grade only)

Oct. 1

Oct. 4

Oct. 5

Oct. 6

Progress Report Conferences

(½ days)

Oct. 7

Progress Report Conferences

(½ days)

Oct. 8

Progress Report Conferences

(½ days)

Oct. 11

Make-up Testing

Oct. 12

Make-up Testing

Oct. 13

Make-up Testing

Oct. 14

Make-up Testing

Oct. 15

Make-up Testing

Oct. 18

Oct. 19

Oct. 20

Oct. 21

Oct. 22

End of Testing Window

FYI: The normal MCAP and MISA testing will occur in the spring of 2022



90’s Dance Party! This Friday 5:00-8:00!

Join us THIS FRIDAY for our annual end-of-the-first-month tradition — the 90s Dance Party!  This year, it will held outdoors by the front stage of the school.  We will have a DJ, food, and great energy.

Bring your family and have a great time!! Please note that this is a family event — Children are the responsibility of the parent/guardian who brings them.  This is NOT an event where you drop off your child.  Older siblings do not count as adults with the students.

We look forward to having fun with you and your families!



Equity Committee

Two years ago, we conducted an Equity Audit of our school.  From that, we created a team of community members that helped to develop a formal Equity Plan for the school in response to findings from the audit.  Each year, we plan to revisit the plan, adjust it for current needs and conditions, and hold ourselves accountable for continued work toward a more equitable and inclusive school.

If you would like to join the equity committee, please email Shyla Rao ( and Rickkay King ( We would love to have voice and perspective on the committee!


Student Voice Association Elections

SVA Intent to Run Form

Student Voice Association Elections (October 15, 2021)

If you are interested in running for a position, please fill out the form below and return it to your homeroom teacher no later than Friday morning (October 8).

Name _______________________________________________

Grade _______________________________________________

Position _____________________________________________

I would like to meet with Dr. Shyla for advice on my campaign (circle one)   Yes    No

(Dr. Shyla will schedule a time to meet with you after you return the form.)

Description of the leadership structure in his proposal:

  • “The Core” positions — The leadership team of the SVA. Roles include:

    • Facilitator — Collects ideas from students and leads SVA meetings

    • Promoter — (Student rep for the Board) — Shares ideas from the SVA and seeks support from the Board, faculty, and community with new initiatives

    • Organizer — Leads the students to make new initiatives happen.

    • Members-at-Large – Support Core in collecting student opinions and enacting initiatives

  • Classroom representative — Attends all SVA meetings, reports back to their homeroom class, and helps to promote initiatives around the school

 Timeline for elections:

  • Friday, October 8 — Students submit their “Intent to Run” form to their homeroom teachers no later than this day.

  • Monday, October 11-Friday October 15 — Hang signs for student campaigns

  • Friday, October 15 — Any students running for “The Core” will record a speech to be played for the school at the virtual All-School on Friday, October 15.

    • Elections will follow the speeches.

    • Elections for students running for classroom representative will be held during homeroom that same morning.


Your Role with Maintaining a Safe Learning Environment

If your child exhibits a new onset of any one of the symptoms in the blue box OR display any two of the symptoms in the orange box, please keep your child home and have them tested for COVID-19.

Let’s all do our part in maintaining a safe learning environment.  Please do not send your child to school with any of the symptoms listed above.  We will require a COVID-19 test administered either at school or on your own.


Vision for Baltimore — THIS FRIDAY!

The Baltimore City Health Department needs 3 consecutive days to do vision screening with all the students K-8, and hearing screening with only new entrance K, 1st (this may include 1st graders that were not screened before), and 8th grade students. To accommodate our students, we will conduct vision and hearing screenings October 1-October 5.


AY 22 All School Open Mic: October 1, 2021

This coming Friday will be our first All-School! We are hosting a virtual Open Mic All School where families, students, and staff can all submit their talents/skills to be watched 2-3pm on October 1.

To submit a video, please follow the information below. Be sure to use a @cityneighborshamilton email address to be able to submit.

Do you sing, dance, play an instrument, or have some other awesome talent/skill to share?

If you do, join our school’s Open-Mic All School!! On October 1st, we will hold this year’s All School virtual so that we can all join safely and enjoy each other’s talents and skills.

To participate, please go to and enter the code: 3c39aad9

Submissions are due September 30!


Board Nominations

Please help us find new board members that will help to shape CNH and support the important initiatives at our school.

It is that time of year again where we are looking to nominate new board members to serve our community! Every year, three positions open up.  We are looking for parents/guardians to help us support the important learning in our school. You may nominate yourself or someone else. The nomination form will be included in next week’s What’s Good.

  • What makes a good nominee?
    • Someone who loves the school
    • The ability to attend monthly meetings 
      • board meetings and committee meetings (both the same night)
      • If in-person, childcare is provided; if online, Chromebook provided if needed
    • Someone who would like to get to know more parents/guardians

    This year we are looking for nominations in the following areas: 

    • Facilities — Work with families to identify beautification and structural needs around the school and organize family workdays to help improve the school
    • President — Facilitate monthly board meetings, support board members with their committee ideas, meet regularly with Shyla
    • Family Engagement — Help us activate our family participation with school events and then track and celebrate family participation hours
    Link for nominations:  2021/2022 Board Nominations
    Why do we have elections?

    The Board of Directors of City Neighbors Hamilton is the governing body of the School and is an elected body. All members of the CNH Community, families, teachers and staff have a say in the makeup of the Board of Directors.

    Who can you nominate?

    • Any parent/guardian with a child currently enrolled at CNH is eligible to run for office. According to our by-laws, members of the Board of Directors should either have demonstrated a commitment to the mission and vision of City Neighbors Hamilton, or possess a high level of knowledge and expertise in education, or possess certain skills needed by the Board of Directors.
    • You can nominate more than one person for any office, and you can even nominate yourself if you want to be in the running!

    Nominations will close on September 27.

    Contact CNH President Erika Coughlin at with any questions.


    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