5-4-3-2-1 Blast off!  The year took off like a rocket ship! It has been amazing to see our community coming together again, after 18 months mostly virtual, and jumping into the year with both feet.  We have been focused on maintaining the CNH-ness of our school culture while ensuring safe practices throughout the day. The students have been troopers.  Above you see our flower ceremony where every student is given a wildflower upon entering the school.  They go to their classrooms and place their flowers in a glass vase representing the class bouquet — they are all part of the bouquet. Students then drew their wildflowers later in the week.  The drawings will be projected and traced on two murals in the school (one in the courtyard and the other on the front outdoor stage) for the community to then paint together in small groups.

We are approaching this school year with the mindset that we are re-founding the school.  Students are helping us develop a new morning greeting, engage with the City Neighbors Way values, create new rituals in the mornings and end of each day, and make meaningful connections without learning. We are now going to also ask you to join us in the endeavor — CNH has partnered with the MICA Master of Arts in Social Design (MASD) program to help us answer the question, “What does it mean to CNH?”

September 13-30, we will be asking all CNH community members to help us figure out what it means to CNH (as if it were a verb) and then figure out what new initiatives/structures/products we need in order to make that happen.  We want YOU to join us!!

We will share a Google Form with you on Wednesday (after our final planning session with MASD) detailing the program and asking for your participation.

Have a great week!

–Dr. Shyla

This Week’s Topics

(click a topic below to link directly to that text)

Noteworthy Upcoming Dates: 2

Pooled Testing and Consent Forms 2

Dismissal Protocol 3

Back to School Night 4

Thursday, Sep. 16th, 6:30-7:30 4

Board Nominations 4

CNH Winning Greeting 6

Before and After Care 7

Donations to the School 8



Noteworthy Upcoming Dates:




Thursday, September 16, 6:30-7:30

Back to School Night on Zoom

September 24 — NO SCHOOL

Staff Professional Development Day (No School)

October 1

School Picture Day!

October 6, 7, 8 — 1:00 dismissal

Trimester 1 Progress Report Conferences



Pooled Testing and Consent Forms

We begin pooled testing next week so please be sure to return your consent form or the opt-out form right away.  Even though we wanted to begin testing the first week of school, we are not permitted to test students without a consent

If you do not return your consent form by the end of this week, you will be held responsible to have your child COVID-tested each week on your own in order for them to come to school — that is, until you return the consent form.

If you opt-out of testing with the district, then you are agreeing to have your child tested, on your own, each week in order to have them permitted to continue coming to school.

Give the signed consent or opt-out form to your child’s teacher, drop it by the main office, or email it  to Kachaelar Jones — kjones@cityneighborshamilton.org before the end of this week.  Thank you!


Dismissal Protocol

This year, we began a new dismissal protocol that follows COVID safety protocol by keeping grade levels separate. We created a traffic flow system to make it easier for families to pick up their children/students. We appreciate your patience and cooperation within this new dismissal procedure but with every new system, there are areas to improve and provide further clarity.

To help refine this process, there are few things we as a community must do to keep traffic flowing and dismissal safe.

The dismissal procedure requires the following:

  • Drive down Sefton, turn right on Bayonne, and enter CNH parking lot.

  • Provide the student’s name and grade level to Dr. Shyla or Ms. Liz when approached.

  • K-2 pick up will pull to the left, close to the playground.

  • 3-5 pick up will pull up next to the outdoor stage (to the right of K-2 parents/families picking up).

  • 6-8 pick up will pull up next to auditorium doors on Sefton.

To keep traffic flowing, there cannot be anyone parked on Sefton or next to the outdoor stage.

Do not park and walk to your child’s pick-up location — it is confusing and slows down the process. Please remain in your car.

We realize many families arrive earlier than 3:15. If you arrive early, please park in the following areas:

  • On the streets within the neighborhood

  • On Bayonne (left hand side)

  • In the parking lot behind the playground

We are also putting out traffic cones to help direct traffic and will be using walkie talkies instead of texting names to keep it moving as quickly as possible.

Important: We must remain aware of the speed limits put in place as we are members of the neighborhood and want to ensure the safety of our students, families, and neighbors. Please abide by the speed limits posted on Sefton to help keep our community safe.


Back to School Night, Thursday, September 16, 6:30-7:30

It’s that time of year again, Back to School Night! Back to School Night is the opportunity for families and students to learn vital information about the school and about their classes. To accommodate all families and keep COVID-friendly, we will be hosting this year’s Back to School night on Zoom. Families and students will be able to join for a whole community opening then will be able to break out into grade levels to hear from that team of teachers. We are excited to see everyone!

Here is the Zoom Link for Back-to-School Night. This link allows you to use your child’s or your personal Zoom account login.  Below is the full invitation to the Zoom link in case you need to join via phone.

Shyla Rao is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shyla Rao’s Personal Meeting Room

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 679 801 2472

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+16465588656,,6798012472# US (New York)

Dial by your location

        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

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Meeting ID: 679 801 2472

Find your local number: https://bcps-k12-md-us.zoom.us/u/kd4RpWXCK6


Board Nominations

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:

  • 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

  • Facilities — Work with families to identify beautification and structural needs around the school and organize family workdays to help improve the school

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 ecoughlin@cityneighborshamilton.org with any questions.


CNH Winning Greeting

For those who attended CNH pre-pandemic, you will remember that I greeted every student at the front door with a handshake, smile, and eye contact.  This can no longer apply so we created a Good Morning Greeting competition for a new front door greeting.

Both August Chupien and Elif Fullick suggested that we use sign language for “Good morning” as the new CNH Greeting. I have been trying it at the K-2 entrance, and boy, is it special!  It slows everyone down as they enter, allows for lovely eye contact and a moment to pause and wish each other a good morning.

Beginning this week, we will use this greeting at all three entrances!  Congratulations, August and Elif for winning a pizza party for your class this Friday!  Here is a video showing Good Morning in American Sign Language. Below are written directions for how to wish a Good Morning in American Sign Language:




Before and After Care

Due to an overwhelming response, our Aftercare enrollment is filled.  We will begin our waitlist starting on September 5, 2021. You may use the same link to sign-up for the waitlist, just know that we will pull from our waitlist in the order that it is received. Not to worry, some people let me know that they are using aftercare for the first month or so and then not after that.  We will open up slots as we are able.

We are aware of the PayPal issues for September payment on the website.  We are actively working on the issue and hopefully it will be rectified by the payment due date of September 14.

So far, everyone who has registered by completing the registration form and paying their registration fees has a place.  We still have a lot of spots open for before care and some spots open at all ages in aftercare.

Once the openings close, we will begin a waitlist.  Our goal is to be able to provide aftercare for everyone who wants it.  Once we reach our threshold, it would mean hiring some more staff.


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: http://cityneighborshamilton.org/

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 ehyleck@cityneighborshamilton.org.