School Policies

Attendance
Behavior
Homework
School Trips
School Climate
Supplies and Materials

Attendance

School begins at 8:25 am and ends at 3:00pm, except on Thursday when students will be dismissed at 1:55 pm from the West 96th Street yard. All other days, students are dismissed at West 95th Street.  It is extremely important that students cross the street and DO NOT GATHER AROUND THE SCHOOL BUILDING, as the young children from the elementary school use the same area. Our middle school students must be responsible in how they enter and exit the building.  In the morning when students are waiting to enter the school building, students should GATHER AND WAIT ONLY ON WEST 95TH STREET.

Lateness / Absense

If a student is late, he/she must sign-in at the WSC office and obtain a late pass. Lateness is recorded on your child’s attendance records. We will call you if we notice that your child has a pattern of lateness. If the lateness does not improve, we will request a conference with the parent and child. If that is not effective, the case will be referred to our guidance counselor and attendance officer.

Students must bring an absence excuse letter for each day they are absent and give it to their homeroom teacher. If your child is absent for three consecutive days, we must receive a doctor’s note. All absences are recorded on your child’s attendance record. We will follow the same procedures with excessive absences as we do with lateness.

Classroom work at our school is much more than reading from a text. It involves active participation in group work and discussions. Absence seriously impedes this process, and negatively affects the student’s grade.

State Commissioner of Education or other holy days not recognized on the calendar distributed annually may be excused based on a parent’s request in writing prior to the date of observance. 

Parents of 7th graders should also note that attendance plays a critical role in the high school application process.  Many high schools, especially competitive high schools, screen students based on 7th grade attendance.  If your son or daughter has ten or more absences he/she will be limited in his/her selection.  Additionally, parents should note that when a student applies to a high school the number of absences placed on your son or daughter’s application includes both excused and unexcused absences.  As a result, it is in your child’s best interest to schedule medical appointments outside of school time.

Parents of students participating in extended day should also be aware that attendance is taken during extended day and your son or daughter will be marked absent if he/she does not attend.  If your son or daughter needs to be excused from extended day for any reason please send your child into school with a note that includes a telephone number to reach you.


Homework

Homework is an essential part of the W.S.C. curriculum and is assigned on a daily basis. If a student is absent, he or she is responsible for getting all missed homework from a reliable classmate and submitting it upon his or her return to school. It is the responsibility of the student, not the teacher, to remember to turn in missed homework. If your child says he/she has no homework and you have any questions, simply write a note in his or her planner and request that the teacher signs it, clarifying the matter.


School Trips

Each grade carefully selects trips that enrich the curriculum. All students must attend these trips. Parents are welcome to join us. Whenever a trip involves extended travel by bus or subway, you will be notified with a permission slip. These slips must be signed and returned on time. The general school trip permission form is for local and short trips only. Students who do not respond to adult supervision will be excluded from the trips. If a student has no signed permission slip there will not be any calls placed to the home the day of the trip to receive permission.


School Climate

Our school community fosters a creative learning environment. The staff takes great care to see that each child feels supported and successful. In order to maintain a professional learning environment students are not permitted to wear the following items inside the building.

  • Sunglasses       
  • Short skirts/ Shorts  
  • Jackets/ Coats                      
  • Spaghetti string tank tops
  • Hoodies          
  • Hats (hats should not be visible or carried and must be put away while school is in session) 
  • Low cut tops   
  • Tops that end above the waist (midriffs)       
  • Ultra baggy or low hanging pants
  • Pants should be worn appropriately: on the student’s waist 
  • T-shirts with inappropriate images or words

In addition, students may not bring the following items to school:

i-Pods and MP3 Players    Valuables     Any electronics     Cell phones/Sidekicks

If after one request, your child does not remove the hat/i-Pod etc.-we will have the child leave the item in the office for a parent or guardian to pick up.  Repeated incidents of not following this rule may result in suspension.

Students need to be aware that we do not have lockers and that personal items cannot be the responsibility of the teachers. Rooms are shared and students cannot leave valuables unattended in classes.  Although unfortunate, the school cannot invest time in investigating these situations, the items simply should not be brought to school.

GUM, CANDY, FOOD, and BEVERAGES are not allowed in classrooms, the hallways or any other part of the school grounds, including the yard, (excluding lunch and celebrations).  In addition, eating or drinking in the classroom or halls is not permitted. Cell Phones and Electronic devices are commonly used in today’s society. We understand that they provide an important sense of security for parents.   Most of theses items now include cameras, text messaging and other tools which create a disruption in our middle school environment. To prevent problems that can arise from the distracting or inappropriate use of these devices during the school day, students may not use electronic devices in school (which includes the yard and the cafeteria).  Students found texting, taking photos, etc. will receive a principal’s suspension.  Phone calls made by students are to be made in our office only.  We respectfully request that parents do not call students directly between the hours of 8:25am and 3:05pm (or 3:45pm, if in extended day).  In addition, cell phones and/or electronic devices are not the schools’ responsibility if lost or stolen.


Behavior

It is extremely important that all members of our school community are treated with respect and feel safe. In order to help provide a comfortable environment, we ask students to follow these guidelines:

Students may not play-fight in school, during recess or at dismissal.
Students may not take or deface any property that does not belong to them.
Students may not tease, name-call or harass another person.
Students may not use profanity in the school, yard or surrounding streets.
Students may not touch another person in an inappropriate way.
Students may not bring any weapon or items that can be used as weapons to school.
Students may not use physical force when resolving a conflict. *
Students may not bring or use any hard bats, baseballs, footballs, etc.
Students may not use laptops for any activity other than the academic purpose required in the class.
Students may bring sponge (Nerf ™) type balls to play with in the yard during recess.

* Students are expected to report problems to teachers or the principal. They are not to involve themselves in threatening behavior or fights. Any students involved in a fight may be suspended from school. Unless a child’s safety is clearly threatened, he/she is held equally responsible for any fight.**

** CODE OF CONDUCT- all matters of conduct including those not already listed are subject to interpretation and consequences based on the New York City Department of Education Code of Conduct.


Supplies and Materials

We offer students a wide range of books for their course work, independent reading and research. It is important that these books be handled carefully and returned to school after use. Students will be responsible for the cost of books that are not returned. In addition, we supply art materials and access to laptops and cameras in class for projects and need students to treat these materials with respect. Our books, supplies, technology and classrooms are for everyone to share, and we all need to take responsibility for their care.


Contacting Teachers

The easiest way to communicate with teachers is through your child’s planner.  If you would like to schedule a meeting or have a concern that you would like to share with a teacher, simple write a note in the planner asking the teacher to call.  You can also call the office and have a staff member relay your message to the teacher; however, we discourage your from using this option.  


Grading Criteria

Our grading system is intended to encourage all students to pursue excellence in their studies. Therefore, we reward students whose work shows that they value learning and make an effort that represents a substantial commitment of their intellectual abilities.

These teacher-given grades are separate from the results of state and city tests that compare individual students with the whole population of students in the state. Thus, students could score a level one, the lowest level, on the state test, and still receive class grades of 75 or 80%, indicating that they had put forth their best effort and had made important contributions to the learning community. A student scoring at level four on the state tests might receive relatively low grades in class if he or she could have accomplished more than he or she did and did not meet class requirements.
* Promotion is determined by a combination of class grades, state test scores and school attendance. Students must meet state and city requirements in order to be promoted. If the student doesn’t meet the requirement at the end of the school year for class grades or state tests, they may have to attend summer school and/or not be promoted.

We often use a 1-4 grading system for project and assignments. Generally the grades represent the following:

4 - Exceeding standards in the subject appropriate to that grade.
3 - Meeting standards in the subject appropriate to that grade.
2 - Approaching but not yet on standards in the subject appropriate to that grade.
1 – Far below or no evidence of standards in the subject appropriate to that grade.


Website Access

Our goal is for all students at West Side Collaborative to learn and grow in a technology-rich environment. In order to guarantee student privacy and ensure your agreement for your child to participate in activities that require and document student work on the internet, WSC asks that you and your child have a signed contract on file that you have read and understand the appropriate use of Google accounts and other internet resources.
When using email and our Google accounts in school, we follow these guidelines:

  • We only use Google class-based email addresses and accounts that we can monitor
  • Access to documents on our websites is limited to those who have our school-based e-mail accounts
  • We require that students only use first names or abbreviations
  • Any misuse of these accounts, the website or the internet will result in the loss of student privileges (Cyber bullying is not acceptable and may result in interpretation and consequences from the NYCDOE Code of Conduct)**

** CODE OF CONDUCT- all matters of conduct including those not already listed are subject to interpretation and consequences based on the New York City Department of Education Code of Conduct.


Early Dismissal

If you would like your son/daughter to be dismissed early, please send your child to school with a written note that includes a telephone number to reach you at; or if you prefer, you can chose to email lbrown41@schools.nyc.gov.  Please instruct your child to submit this note to the office first thing in the morning. 

If you are picking your child up from school, it is not necessary to submit a note.  You should, however, submit a note if you would like your child to be released to someone who is not listed on your child’s blue card. 


Metro Cards

When seeking a replacement card we ask students to complete a replacement card form, which may be found outside the main office and online under important forms.  After completing this form, students will be notified of the date and time that they may pick up their metro card.  Parents should note that because of the large number of students who lose metro cards throughout the year, there are times when we are temporarily out of a particular type of metro card.  As a result, when your child loses or damages their metro card, he/she runs the risk of temporarily being without a metro card.  Parents should also note that we are unable to accommodate over the phone requests for metro cards, but can accept parent email request that provide the same information.  Emails should be directed to lbrown41@schools.nyc.gov with the subject line indicating the name of your child and the word “metro.”   

If you have general questions about metro card eligibility or believe you have special circumstances that may affect your eligibility for a metro card, please visit:  

http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/Transportation/ParentResources/StudentMetroCards/default.htm for eligibility guidelines or call the Office of Pupil Transportation at 718-392-8855.


School Messenger

School Messenger is an automated phone messaging system that we use to communicate with parents about WSC related events, attendance, and more.  If you are not receiving these calls, make sure to have your child pick up a new blue card outside the main office and return the updated blue card to the main office.  We will then update our system and you will begin to receive our important telephone calls. 

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Our policies for 2010  28k v. 3 Mar 24, 2010, 7:54 AM Evan ODonnell