PARENT HANDBOOK

2018-2019

 

Mr. Charles Reilly, Principal IA

Dr. Shaniquia L. Stanley, Principal Assigned

Ms. Sylvia Gonzalez, Parent Coordinator

 

HISTORY & PHILOSOPHY

 

P.S. 368 Hamilton Heights School is a K-5 public school, which in September 2002 opened its classroom doors as Hamilton Heights Academy. HHA was started by parents and educators in West Harlem and Washington Heights and incubated within P.S. 28. 

 

In 2007, Hamilton Heights Academy applied to become its own NYC DOE public school, and upon receiving the go-ahead was renamed Hamilton Heights School, and then moved its growing community into another building located on West 153rd Street.

 

September 2013, our whole school was given a home where we could all be together; we are located on the 2nd Floor of P.S. 153, Adam Clayton Powell, 1750 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10031. EXIT/Stairway C, located on West 147th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, leads to our Main Office, Room 251. Our school phone is 212-862-9940 and Fax number is 212- 862-9946.

 

Our educational philosophy emphasizes hands-on learning, multi-disciplinary thematic units, and support for children as individuals with varied needs and learning styles. Classroom set-ups encourage purposeful investigation and active learning. Emphasis is placed on inquiry, critical thinking, and problem solving. HHS follows the New York City Department of Education mandated curriculum in literacy, mathematics, science & social studies. Teachers supplement this curriculum with carefully planned thematic units that are Literacy-based and integrate Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, physical fitness and the arts into each day’s work.

MISSION

 

HHS follows the New York State Department of Education’s mandated curricula in Literacy and Mathematics.  Teachers supplement this curriculum with carefully planned thematic units that are literary based, integrating Mathematics, Social Studies, Science and the arts into each day’s work.

 

Our mission is to provide an academically rigorous education to a diverse population of students in an atmosphere that is nurturing, supportive and respectful.  We seek to develop social awareness among our students and to expose them to the broader issues facing our surrounding communities.  Our students are encouraged to share their knowledge, to question and probe ideas and to use evidence and acquired information to support opinions. 

 

 

TEACHING

The teacher’s role is that of guide and partner who possess the skills necessary to establish a nurturing learning environment, and facilitate developmentally appropriate problem solving and critical thinking. 

 

This approach requires thoughtfully planned activities, based upon teachers’ knowledge of the subject matter, as well as the strengths and needs of each individual student. To insure their studies have personal meaning, content areas are addressed from the students’ prior knowledge and experience and allow them to pursue their own questions. 

 

The teacher organizes the class work and activities to meet the approved common core learning standards.  Teachers gather information about the subjects and organizes materials and other resources such as technology  and field trip experiences that enrich student learning and helps them to attain the necessary basic skills, such as reading, writing, and math, as well as social skills like how to resolve problems calmly and how to get along with others.

 

STRONG HOME-SCHOOL CONNECTION

 

Communication and collaboration is central to our work. Children often work in groups on projects or assignments, so that they may learn from and with each other. Parents are expected to collaborate in their child’s education as well, both at home and at school:

 

  • Three Parent-Teacher Conferences are held each year (November, March and May);
  • Three times a year, teachers prepare a report card for each child.  In addition, progress reports will be given intermittently 
  • Teachers share goals, objectives, procedures and policies on: Back to School Night for families;
  • Families and teachers may also meet at other times;
  • The HHS community gathers for school wide events several times throughout the year, such as ice skating, movie night, weekly SING ALONG, and Field Day.

 

We believe that regular communication around a child's needs and progress plays a critical role in insuring that each child reaches his/her potential academically, socially and emotionally. We encourage parents to reach out to their child’s teacher with any concerns or questions.

 

We greatly value and appreciate any time parents can give to volunteer, both in the classroom and as part of the Parents’ Association (the PA).

  • Lunch Volunteers
  • Clean-up Volunteers
  • Class Parent Volunteers

 

If you come in to participate in any of the above activities, you must sign in with the Safety Agent and in our Main Office Room 236, and follow all NYCDOE protocols.  We have a log book for parent volunteers for signing in and out, as well as volunteer badges to identify your important role in our school community.

 

CURRICULUM

 

Literacy

 

Listening, speaking, reading, and writing are integrated into all aspects of student life.  Literacy is taught through a balanced literacy approach. 

 

In grades K-2 reading is explicitly taught through a combination of read-alouds, small group guided reading instruction, phonics and word work. 

 

In grades 3-5 the focus turns from learning to read to reading to learn.  Students are expected to read widely and deeply from a broad range of high quality, increasingly challenging literary and informational texts.  Through extensive reading of stories, dramas, poems, and myths from diverse cultures and different time periods, students gain cultural knowledge as well as literary and vocabulary fluency.  Book clubs, reading response journals, and teacher conferencing provide multiple opportunities for students to gain literary knowledge and familiarity with various text structures and elements.

 

Although reading looks a little different for different grade groups, all students are assessed on a regular basis and read “Just Right” books. Students are expected to read these books during the school day and at home.

In Writing, students work in many genres over the course of the school year.  They learn the habits of good writers, including how to revise, edit, and publish their work.  This year our writing will also focus on producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

 

Math

 

We use Engage NY/GoMath as our Math curricula, which is designed to support students to make sense of Mathematics and learn that they can be mathematical thinkers.  The program provides substantive work in all areas of Mathematics identified in the core standards—rational numbers, geometry, measurement, data, and early algebra—and connections among them.  Each strand of Mathematics--for example, Geometry--is touched on every year, building sequentially on earlier knowledge.  We teach mathematical thinking and flexible problem-solving, as well as arithmetic skills. 

 

Social Studies/Science

 

Our Social Studies curriculum is Passport to Social Studies and our Science curriculum is Amplify Science.  They are both aligned to the NYC Scope and Sequence and Common Core State Standards. We believe in a cross-curricular approach, where Social Studies and Science are aligned to Literacy and Math.

 

 

Dance and Movement

 

CREATIVE DANCE AT THE HAMILTON HEIGHTS SCHOOL

 

Teresa Boitel’s creative dance classes are planned and presented using brain-compatible principles that make learning fun and enjoyable for all types of learners and dancers. The elements of dance are taught through five strands: warming up with the BrainDance, exploring the dance concept, developing skills and technique, creating dances, and cooling down. The lesson alternates between teacher-directed and student-centered activities and provides repetition and novelty to engage all learners.

 

Developed by Anne Green Gilbert, the BrainDance is comprised of eight fundamental movement patterns that we move through in the first year of life. Research has shown that these patterns are crucial to the wiring of our central nervous system. The benefits of cycling through these patterns each week include reorganization of the neurological system, improved focus and concentration, increased blood and oxygen flow to the respiratory system and brain, enhanced body strength and alignment.

 

Students perform with and for each other weekly and will perform for parents and the entire school during the year. Students attend dance class in comfortable clothes and sneakers twice a week. Check with your child’s classroom teacher for their scheduled days.

 

 

Music

 

All students will participate in music through the following Five Strands:

 

1)      Music Making- Students will physically perform, create, and experience music.

2)      Music Literacy- Students will understand the universal language and elements of music through analyzing, evaluating, writing, composing music.

3)      Making Connections- Integrate current and historical aspects of music through a cultural and interdisciplinary lens (Integration of music with other subjects).

4)      Community and Cultural Resources- Student will harness the rich, diverse, and musically cultural landscape of New York City through engaging with artists, music organizations and community resources.

5)      Careers and Lifelong Learning- Student will acknowledge various music-related occupations and how they correlate with each other, which may influence a continued appreciation of music.

 

Music Learning Tools:

Kindergarten/First Grade- Singing, Auxiliary Percussion, Hand Drums.

 

Second Grade/Third Grade- Singing, Auxiliary Percussion, Hand Drums, Xylophone, Recorder.

 

Fourth Grade/Fifth Grade- Singing, Auxiliary Percussion, Hand Drums, Xylophone, Guitar, Drum-Set, Music Technology

 

Sing Along will start the first full week in October and proceed every Friday from 8:45-9:15am

 

All parents are encouraged to explore private music lesson/performance opportunities for children.  School music instruction is limited due to time and number of students.  Students will have ensembles within class settings for some sing-along and concert performances.

 

Some students (with the permission of parents) will have opportunities to showcase their musical abilities.

 

Benchmarks occur at 2nd grade and 5th grade. Benchmarks are not based only on the strand of music making, they are

also measured by other strands as well.

 

We also have a dedicated Music teacher, Mr. Johnnie Lewis.  Music is our universal language and is infused into the daily life of our students.  Children sing together regularly in their classrooms, with other classes and each week at SING ALONG.

 

We come together in song to celebrate family, community, freedom, milestones and the uniqueness of Hamilton Heights.

SING ALONG

 

SING ALONG, a school-wide community event, is HELD EVERY FRIDAY beginning in October, from 8:45 to 9:15 a.m. in the Cafeteria.  Parents are welcome and encouraged to attend. It’s a great way for our students, teachers and parents to learn from one another, build community and connect.

Field Trips

A permission slip must be signed by the parent/guardian for every trip.  Each permission slip is specific to that particular trip.

 

We rarely exclude a child from a trip.  However, if a child is often uncooperative and/or regularly disruptive, a teacher may require the parent to participate so learning can take place and everyone’s safety and well-being is not compromised.

 

Walking Trip

We frequently take local trips around the community to the library or park. A general walking slip will be handed out for parent signatures the first week of school.

HOMEWORK

At HHS we recognize and encourage homework as a valuable extension of activities done in school. Homework is the responsibility of the student.  We simply ask that parents provide a quiet place and regular time for their student to do homework.  Parents may offer assistance, monitor and discuss homework assignments but should not do the homework for the child. 

 

The purpose of homework is to:

 

·         To develop responsibility through predictability and consistency

·         Practice skills learned

·         Reasoning skills and sharpen problem solving abilities

·         Parent engagement around learning, goal setting, work ethic and hopes and dreams

 

Homework Policy

 

1)      Homework is required in grades K-5 Monday through Thursday.

2)      Friday homework assignments will be given at the teacher’s discretion.

3)      Make up homework – Depending on the assignment; the student has five calendar days from the date of missed homework to submit for partial credit.

4)      For a child to receive the greatest benefit from homework experiences, parents can help by providing an appropriate time and desirable place for your child to work.

 

Time Allotments

 

The time allotted for homework should increase gradually from grade to grade. The time limits are guidelines that should remain flexible. Individual differences among children may be taken into consideration by parents and teachers. 

 

Grade Level Suggested Average Per Day: 

·         K/ 1st: 10-15 minutes 

·         2nd: 20 minutes

·         3rd: 30 minutes

·         4th: 40 minutes

·         5th: 50 minutes

 

Grading Policy

 

The yearly grade promotional criteria for all students will be based on three components:

 

1)      Report card grades (Tests, Quizzes, Projects, Portfolio Tasks, Classwork, Homework)

2)      Periodic Assessments

 

Kindergarten:

4: Exceeds grade level standards

3: Meets grade level standards

2: Approaches grade level standards

1: Far below grade level standards

 

Grades 1 - 5:

ELA, Social Studies, Math, and Science

- 60% Tests/Assessments/Quizzes, Projects, Portfolio Tasks

- 30% Classwork

- 10% Homework

 

Rubric

*Whenever a 16 point or 20-point rubric is applied to an assignment, a rubric conversion chart will be used.

 

 JUPITER GRADING AND COMMUNICATION SYSTEM: GRADES 1-5

(Kindergarten is communication and progress monitoring only)

 

Students and parents may login anytime to check grades and homework. Everyone has their own password so no one else can see their grades. Students need only one login to check all their classes. This includes grades on all assignments, progress reports, comments, and messages. All data is updated continuously.

 

Multiple Children

Parents who have more than one child enrolled in our school can view all of their children from the same login. The parent must use the same email address and choose the same password for each child, so no extra setup is required. (This applies only to parents; siblings cannot see each other’s grades.)

 

The parent can login using anyone of their children's names. Then once logged in, can use the menu at the top left to switch children. Also when a parent updates their own contact info on the "Settings" tab, it updates on all their children's records.

 

School Login Screen

 

Students and parents can login at login.JupiterEd.com. Click the appropriate tab.

 

School Name:

PS 368M Hamilton Heights School

 

 

Homework & Calendar

 

Students and parents see a HW Planner screen listing all current homework and upcoming tests for all their classes, and even reminders of missing assignments. Plus, the Calendar screen lets them look at all past and upcoming homework, as

well as events.

 

Messaging

 

Teachers and administrators can send messages and announcements to students and parents. Parents can also contact their children’s teachers through “Post”.

 

Automatic Updates

 

Once you log in, click on “Settings” and check the box for alerts. Then choose which day you want emails to be automatically sent. Check the boxes for missing assignments, total is ___ (choose grade) and below, or always. Depending on which box you checked, you will receive automatic emails about your child’s grade and/or missing assignments.

 

 

 

Misplaced Login

 

1)      Go to JupiterGrades.com/login

2)      Type Student Name

Password: Type your password, or click "Forgot Password".

Parent: **** is your temporary password.

School: PS 368M Hamilton Heights

City: New York

State: New York

3)      It will ask you to choose your own password

4)      Then it will ask you to enter your email

 

 

ENSURING A SAFE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT

 

All visitors must enter the main entrance of the building. Everyone is asked to present a photo ID each time they enter the building and sign in with school safety.  PLEASE DO NOT GO STRAIGHT TO YOUR CHILD’S CLASSROOM.

 

If you are picking up your child early please go to the main office, Room 236.   All students being picked up early must be signed out in the main office by school personnel. 

 

GENTLE REMINDER:  Children cannot be picked up by anyone other than the adults authorized on the blue emergency card without written permission.  

ARRIVAL

 

Breakfast is served between 7:50 a.m. to 8:10 a.m. in the Cafeteria.   To ensure a safe school environment please drop your child off at the door, where they will be greeted and supervised by HHS staff while they eat and await pickup by their teacher.

 

Children who arrive via School Bus Service will join the students in the Cafeteria and will be supervised by HHS Staff.

 

NOTE: Children who arrive via bus and after 8:10 a.m. may bring a store-bought or home-made breakfast with them to school and eat in the Cafeteria prior to the start of the school day. However, they will not be permitted to eat breakfast on the 2nd Floor.

 

At 8:15, all students who do not participate in the school breakfast program will be let in Door C on 147th St.  All students will sit by class at tables in the main cafeteria.  At 8:20 all students will be escorted to class by their teacher.  

 

LATENESS

 

It is critical that all students arrive on time each and every day. Our teachers work to support your child in many ways.   When your child arrives late, they miss the opportunity to start the day in a positive place.

 

This means they are missing part of a major academic period, which may be Math, ELA, Science, or Social Studies.  Lessons typically begin with a mini lesson and if your child is late they will not receive this information, leaving him/her lost for the duration of the lesson and affect their ability to perform tasks and demonstrate knowledge and mastery. When a child arrives late teachers must stop the flow of instruction to offer the information on what to do.  All too often teachers must interrupt learning for all the other children who arrived on time and are ready to learn.

 

 

 

Students arriving after 8:25 will be considered late.  At 8:25, Door C on 147th Street will be closed.  Each lateness, along with each absence is recorded in the ATS system and becomes part of your child’s permanent record.   Once again this data is taken into account when children apply to Middle School; absence and lateness are scrutinized by many Middle Schools, especially the most desirable and competitive.

 

If your child arrives late, you must drop them off in the lobby, where they will proceed upstairs to our main office, Room 236, where he or she will receive a late pass.  Children should not go directly to class.

 

Lastly, when a student has arrived late 3 times, families will receive an official letter from the school informing them that excessive absences and/or lateness may affect the student’s promotion.  Parents will receive a follow up call from the classroom teacher.  Families, whose children have an excessive absence/poor attendance pattern, will be asked to either attend a meeting with designated school personnel and/or our attendance teacher may pay a visit to family residence.

 

DISMISSAL

 

Students who are bussed or are picked up by after school programs are picked up by a school aide or program counselors beginning at 2:35 PM.  Each adult has a specific list to track each of their children and ensure a safe hand-off to either the bus or the program counselor.

 

At 2:35 PM, Door C is opened for bus students to exit and K-2 classes to come outside and line-up for parent pick-up.  (Please note: This is a change from last-year in order to ensure a safe dismissal).  This is the same procedure for inclement weather.

 

At 2:35 PM, Door D is opened for additional bus students to exit and 3-5 classes to line-up for parent pick-up.  This is the same procedure for inclement weather.

 

 At 2:45 PM, any students who have not been picked up are brought to the Main Office (Room 236) for late pick-up.  We maintain a late pick up log which we ask you to sign when you arrive, again so that we can ensure that your child is safely handed off to you or a designated adult.

 

EARLY PICK UP

 

If you need to pick you your child prior to dismissal, please notify your child’s teacher in advance as well as the Main Office (room 236).  There will be no early pick-up after 2:15 p.m., as our office staff is preparing for dismissal.

 

After AM Arrival and before PM Dismissal you must enter the building through the main entrance on Amsterdam Avenue. Upon entering you will be asked to present a valid Photo ID and sign in at the Security Desk. Proceed to the Main Office, Room 236, on the 2nd Floor, the HHS Main Office (Room 236), to sign out your child.  Office staff will contact the classroom and your child will be sent down to you.

 

NOTE: If you arrive after 2:15 p.m., you will be directed to EXIT C or D on West 147th Street until your child’s dismissal time above.

LUNCH/RECESS

Lunch is served between 1:02 p.m. - 1:52 p.m.

 

Students in grades K-2 eat from 1:02-1:27p.m., and then go out to the play yard for recess.  Students in grades 3-5 eat from 1:27p.m. – 1:52 p.m. and have recess at the beginning of the lunch period (1:02-1:27).  We have a late lunch so that Hamilton Heights students can be in the cafeteria rather than sharing the space with PS 153.  This allows for more room for students and better supervision and support by staff and volunteers.

 

 

SNACKS

 

Due to the late lunch, all students have a snack break around 10:30 a.m.   A letter will be posted on Jupiter to remind parents to send their child with a healthy snack on a daily basis. Class sized donations are always welcomed and appreciated. 

 

If you or your child has any concerns regarding the lunch please speak with our Parent Coordinator or the principal, and not directly with staff in charge.

Cafeteria/Playground

 

Students follow the directions of the teachers and/or staff in charge and if students need to return to the building for any reason, they need to speak with adult in charge first, before leaving yard, to get permission.

 

If a whistle is blown as a signal to end recess and/or lunch, students are expected to stop what they are doing, return to their line spots and wait for further instructions.

 

ATTENDANCE

 

Regular attendance is critical to successful achievement in school.  Conversely, poor attendance is one of the most significant indicators of poor student performance and thus a potential risk.  Every absence represents a loss of instructional time and is recorded in the ATS (Automate the Schools) system of the Department of Education (DOE). 

 

Your child’s attendance is part of your child’s permanent record and one of the main criteria middle schools use to assess potential students.  A Form 407 Attendance Follow-up and Outreach Referral is automatically generated when a child is excessively absent.  In addition, your child’s attendance affects our school report card grade.  School attendance is a significant part of the DOE assessment of our school.

 

Students should not miss school except in the case of illness, and please send us a note for each absence. A doctor’s note is required after two (2) days of absence. 

 

Vacations should not be taken while school is open and learning is taking place. We ask that families make every effort to schedule doctors’ appointments after school hours.  If this is not possible, please have your child attend for part of the day. 

 

If a child is scheduled for an afternoon appointment, an adult must pick the child up from school.  Please make sure that all adults with permission to pick your child up are listed on the emergency form, or an additional written notice must be received in order to release the child.

 

SCHOOL NURSE

 

Medication

A child who requires medication must have a 504 form on file with the School Nurse.  Forms may be obtained in the main office or on the NYC DOE website, http://schools.nyc.gov. 

 

NOTE: Teachers may not administer or assist children in taking medication, including aspirin, Tylenol, etc.  Please see our school nurse on the 1st Floor; she can give you further information on the matter.

 

Emergency Situations 

 

Seriously injured students will be taken to the Hospital, but treatment cannot be given by a physician unless a parent or designated guardian is present.

Accidents-Students

 

When a child is injured during the school day, the school nurse and the Principal or his designee will notify the parents, (according to the severity of the injury) if necessary, child may be taken to the hospital and an accident report may be filled out and may include witness statements. 

BACKPACKS & HOMEWORK FOLDERS

Each child is expected to carry a backpack, or suitable bag for carrying folders, notebooks, lunch and their just-right independent reading book.

All students have a two-pocket Homework folder to effectively and efficiently transport assignments and important notices to & from home and school.  All correspondence goes in this folder. Please check it daily and stay up-to-date with school-wide related matters as well as individual class matters.

 

STUDENT DISCIPLINE

 

At HHS we ask our children to become contributing members of a cooperative, collaborative community. Our school community places a priority on being a safe space where children and adults value empathy and non-violence. We know that only when children are physically and emotionally safe can they be free to learn.

 

Our expectation is that students will be happily engaged in learning and doing, and that there will be few discipline issues.  If a student is having difficulty putting his or her best foot forward, the school will determine, on a case by case basis, the best manner of re-engaging the student and relieving any associated problems.

 

Students are expected to participate in all classroom activities.  School wide norms are clarified and class rules are developed based on our shared expectations.  If a rule is broken, students may be asked to separate from the group. Each classroom has a refocus area.  Each class has a buddy class where students who need support beyond the class time-out area may be asked to go to.  Any violent or abusive action necessitates an immediate call to the parent or guardian. Hamilton Heights School students are subject to the Disciplinary Code of the NYDOE.  Each HHS Family will receive a copy of the Discipline Code. 

 

 

POSITIVE STUDENT BEHAVIOR and SAFE & CARING PLAY

 

No matter the time of day, the nature of the activity or the venue, HHS students are expected to embody our core values and adhere to our agreed school-wide norms. Whenever you encounter an HHS student you should see evidence of our core values and school norms.

 

 

That is to say, students are expected to be kind and care for themselves, others and our community, i.e. say PLEASE and THANK YOU, alert an adult if a classmate is hurting himself or others, keep her hands and feet to herself, use 12-inch indoor voice and respond immediately to our universal quiet signal – clap, clap, pause, clap, clap, clap. . .

 

Students are expected to walk quietly in two lines in our hallways and stairwells; it is expected students pay attention and show respect to any adult in charge.

 

At lunch, students are expected to remain in their seat while in the Cafeteria and eating, clean up his/her area of the cafeteria table as well as graciously assist any adult who politely asks for further assistance toward keeping the Cafeteria clean and safe.

 

 

There is absolutely NO HITTING and NO HITTING BACK tolerated at Hamilton Heights School.

 

Teasing, name-calling and other forms of bullying are also not tolerated. The staff of Hamilton Heights School works to support students in finding ways to express their anger and solve problems without hitting or name-calling. Students and adults are all expected to speak respectfully to each other, to use kind words and avoid unkind words, and to work out any disagreements or struggles through conversation, debate, and consensus. Parents can support this process by reminding their children of these rules.

 

Please speak to your child about their school day on a regular basis. If a child reports that these rules are being broken, parents should alert the classroom teacher immediately.

 

TOYS, EXPENSIVE JEWELRY and ELECTRONIC DEVICES

 

All of these things distract from student learning.  They are often lost, stolen or given away.  They cannot be shared, and can cause problems in the classroom, lunchroom and school yard.   Please keep them at home.  Please speak with your child about not bringing valuable items from home unless requested by the teacher.

 

Lost and Found

 

Please clearly label all lunch boxes, backpacks, hats, gloves, jackets etc. While we do not have a formal lost and found space, all lost items will be stored in the Main Office, Room 236.

 

COLLABORATION & COMMUNICATION

Parent Coordinator

 

Every NYC DOE public school has a Parent Coordinator (PC). PCs create a welcoming environment for parents and are present to facilitate communication between teachers, parents, staff and PA to strengthen family involvement in our students’ academic success, social and emotional growth and other school matters.

 

Our Parent Coordinator is Ms. Sylvia Gonzalez. She is located in room 236.  Please bring any concerns, questions or issues to her attention – and she will direct you to the proper channel and towards solutions. 

 

She can be reached at 212-862-9940; her email is sgonzalez16@schools.nyc.gov

 

Communication with Parents/Guardians

Ongoing communications is a vital factor in establishing trust between home and school.  The following important documents will be sent home with students:

 

§  a monthly calendar detailing school activities and events

§  a monthly update from the principal to parents/guardians

 

Communication with Staff

HHS regularly sends home notices in your child’s backpack. Please be sure to check the backpack daily, and to ask your child if they have brought home information from school.

It is the goal of our staff to foster strong parent, teacher and child relationships. If any parent or guardian has a concern regarding their child’s education or social adjustment, they should schedule a time to meet with the classroom teacher to discuss.

 If the matter is not easily resolved, families should bring the matter to the attention of the parent coordinator; collaboratively we will work toward a solution that is in the best interest of the child.

If you have an administrative question about medical records, change of address, go to the Main Office and speak with the clerical staff present.  If you need a school verification letter, you must fill out a form in the Main Office and the letter will be ready the next day (24 hours). 

Sylvia Gonzalez, our Parent Coordinator, is always available to assist you with questions or concerns. Our guidance counselor, is also available for additional support.

Class Parent Representatives

You may be asked to become a class parent by your child’s teacher or a parent association representative at the beginning of the school year. Class parents also volunteer a few hours a month to make calls to other families in order to alert them of school or classroom business and events.

Parental Involvement

We have an active Parents Association whose support is critical in our everyday endeavors. Hamilton Heights School provides many opportunities for families to support their child’s learning, both within the classroom and outside of it. Parents are an integral part to the overall academic and social success of our students; hence their active engagement is greatly needed.  As a parent or a guardian you can become involved in your child’s education in the following manner:

·         Supporting the various policies outlined in this handbook

·         Becoming a parent volunteer in the school

·         Joining the Parents Association or committees

·         Attending every Parent-Teacher Conference

·         Attending Open-Houses sponsored by the school

·         Maintaining consistent  communication with your child’s teacher

·         Making sure your child gets to school on time and is prepared.

·         Maintaining a home environment that supports learning.

Parent Association

 

Parent involvement at school takes many different forms. Informally, parents are invited to join class trips; to attend student performances; to help organize and attend workshops on parenting and educational issues; to participate in fundraising, social events. Parents are formally invited to become active members of the Parent Association Executive Board of Hamilton Heights School.

 

The PA is a volunteer body made up of an executive committee (Co-presidents, vice-presidents, secretaries, treasurers) that meets monthly. Yearly elections are held in May to elect officers for the following school year.  Anyone with a child at P.S.368 is automatically a member of the Parent Association.

 

The General Membership Meetings of the Parent Association are held once a month to discuss school news, fundraising, upcoming events and other school and policy issues. This is an excellent forum for parents to learn about how the school works, stay up-to-date, and share concerns and ideas with other parents. Parents and guardians are also strongly encouraged to join a Parent Association committee; these include fundraising, newsletter, cafeteria, recruitment and specific event committees. For more information about Parent Associations, email: hhsparentassociation@gmail.com

Also see Chancellor’s Regulation A-660 located at: http://docs.nycenet.edu/ /A-660.pdf

 

School Leadership Team (SLT)

 

The SLT meets monthly and consists of parents (plus the PA president) and staff members (the principal, two teachers, and the UFT chapter leader). The Principal, a PA co-president and UFT chapter leader serve on the SLT as long as they are in their positions. Meetings are open to all parents.

 

The SLT helps to develop the Comprehensive Education Plan (CEP) that sets annual goals for the schools in all areas and focuses on developing educational strategies for improvement, among other projects. The parents on the SLT are responsible for communicating SLT business to the entire parent body and reporting back to the SLT.

 

Back to School Night

 

Back to School Night is scheduled for the fall each year. This event is an opportunity for you to meet your child’s teacher as well as the rest of the teaching staff and other parents. You will hear an overview of the school program, as well as detailed information about your child’s class curriculum.

 

If you have personal questions about your child’s education, Back to School Night is not the venue to discuss. At the close of the evening, please arrange a meeting with your child’s teacher at a mutually agreed time.

Half-Day

Half-days are scheduled several times during the school year to provide time for parent-teacher conferences, completion of clerical work and/or staff development.  Parents are notified of early dismissal dates as soon as we receive information from the NYC DOE.

 

On half-days, students are dismissed at 11:30 p.m.; those children who eat lunch at school will be served before dismissal.  Parents must make appropriate arrangements to have their children picked up promptly on such days.

 

Unfortunately, schools are not organized to provide supervision after 12:00 p.m.  

Blue Emergency Cards

 

Blue cards are the most important documents at school. If we do not have correct information for your family, we cannot reach you. This directly impacts our ability to optimally care and ensure the safety and well-being of your child.

 

At any time, during the course of the year, your address, home phone and/or cell number changes, please be sure to contact the office and let us know.

 

At the beginning of each school year families are asked to complete new emergency cards to update records.

Parent Teacher Conference

Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled three times yearly: in November, March and May. These are opportunities for the child, parents/guardians and teacher to discuss a child’s progress. Parents are required to attend these conferences and may also meet with cluster teachers (Dance, Music and Physical Education) during this time. If you wish to meet with the teacher at another time, you may arrange this in advance at a mutually convenient time.  Please Note: Every Tuesday from 2:40-3:20 is Parent Engagement.  You can set up an appointment to meet with your child’s teacher during this time.

School Closings

In the event of inclement weather or emergency situations, please call 311 for updates.

 

Parents can also tune to NY1 on cable television, WINS (1010) Radio, or access the Department of Education website.  DO NOT call the school directly. Please refer to our school calendar for standard school closings.

Transportation and Metro cards

Transportation eligibility is determined on the basis of the student's grade level and the distance between the student's residence and school. The table below shows how OPT determines student eligibility. 

 

 

Half Fare Metro Card 


For example, reading this table will show that:

  • A first-grader who lives 3/4 mile from school is eligible for full fare transportation.
  • An eighth-grader who lives one mile from school is not eligible for full fare transportation.

* The A, B, C, and D designations are used by DOE computers to indicate these distance groups.
** Students in these categories are not eligible for full fare transportation. These students may receive a half fare student MetroCard good for use on buses only.

Full Fare Transportation—Yellow Bus Service
 

Yellow bus service is provided at designated stops. In order for a student to receive yellow bus service, all of the following criteria must be met:

 

1.     The student must be eligible for full fare transportation as shown in the chart above.

2.     The student's residence must be in the same district as the school 

3.     The bus must travel on a route that travels no more than five miles from its first stop, through all of the stops on the route, to the schools.

If all of the above criteria are met, students may request yellow bus service at the school. Eligible students will be assigned to a bus stop. Students must use the same stop both in the morning and the afternoon.

 

 

We are looking forward to a wonderful school-year.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding the information included in this Parent Handbook, please do not hesitate to contact us.