The School Day
School starts promptly at 8:20 a.m. Free breakfast is served starting at 7:55 a.m. for all students who wish to eat, and there is supervision for students in the Lunchroom starting at that time. Parents of 2nd and 3rd graders may wait with their children in the Auditorium until 8:20, when students go up to their classrooms with their teachers. Families bring K/1 students to their classrooms, while 4th and 5th grade students go up on their own using the entrance on Hudson near Grove street.
Dismissal time is 3:10 p.m. Kindergartens and first graders are picked up at their classrooms. All others students are dismissed from the auditorium. Students who are not picked up promptly must wait in the Main Office for their parent or caregiver.
Information regarding yellow school buses and public-transportation passes can be obtained from the Main Office. Children taking the bus home are dismissed slightly early by their teachers and gather in the Hudson Street vestibule. A school aide brings the K/1 bus riders down and is responsible for seeing that all children get on the correct bus. Please remember that it takes a while for the bus routine to stabilize and for the drivers to become familiar with their routes. Parents of younger children may prefer to wait a couple of weeks until routes and times become regular before using the service. Please note that drivers cannot wait for children in the morning, nor leave a child if there is no adult at the bus stop in the afternoon. You should get to the bus stop early. If possible, introduce yourself and your child to others at the bus stop, make sure that a parent will stay with your child if you are delayed, and offer to do the same. In recent years, drivers have been enforcing Bureau of Transportation rules which state that non-bus children will not be allowed on the bus to go home with friends after school, and that children carrying class pets will not be allowed on the bus. Also, any child who is issued a public-transportation pass will not be allowed on the yellow school buses. For more specific information on whether your child qualifies for yellow school busing, please speak to a staff member in the Main Office.
Soon after the start of school, all families are required to fill out a Board of Education Lunch Form for each student. Please fill out the form even if you know you do not qualify (simply write “not interested” across the financial-information area and hand it in). For those who do qualify, lunches are free or discounted. The Lunchroom is on the basement level (accessible by stairs at the rear of the Gym and to the left of the stage in the Auditorium). It has long tables, a new washroom, and a complete kitchen where breakfast and hot lunch are available both on a regular and an occasional basis. Information on pricing and payment options are available in the Main Office. Breakfast and lunch menus are posted each month in the Main Office. If they prefer, children may bring their own lunches to school each day in a lunch box or bag labeled with their name. They may buy milk in the Lunchroom or bring their own beverage, which should not be in a glass container. Any child who forgets or loses his/her lunch will be provided with a meal in the Lunchroom. Check with your child’s teacher for snack policies, times and schedules, which vary from class to class. When a class is away on a field trip during the lunch period, the teacher will make advance arrangements for bag lunches to be provided for students who are signed up for hot lunch.
Students have a 25-minute lunch period and a 25-minute recess period. Because the Lunchroom has to accommodate so many students (including the middle-school students in the building), lunch periods stretch from 10:40 to 12:30. Children eat with their grade level. The Lunchroom is staffed with one or two school aides, and we rely on parent volunteers to provide additional help. Parents are strongly encouraged to assist at lunch and recess whenever they can, whether regularly or occasionally. The younger children need help learning the system, washing their hands and opening their containers. Older kids benefit too from the presence of additional adults. It’s also a good opportunity for parents to get to know a lot of kids fast and to become a familiar face.
During good weather, recess is held in the rooftop play area on the second floor. When the temperature drops, or when the surfaces are wet or frozen, recess takes place in the Gym. Here, again, parent participation is essential and appreciated. The Lunch/Recess Committee holds workshops to train parent volunteers.
Families of all new students are required to submit the School Health New Admission Examination Forms, filled out by their pediatrician. Board of Health regulations state that any child who is not up to date with immunizations will not be permitted to remain in school. If your child needs to receive medication in school on a regular basis, please be sure to speak to the School Nurse and receive a 504 form.
Emergency Forms and Contact Information
At the beginning of each year families are asked to complete a “blue card” for each student. This contains contact information and a list of adults permitted to pick the child up from school. It is extremely important to return this promptly and to notify the school secretary if any of this information changes.
Absences and Early Pick Up
If a child is absent, it is important to send in an absence note with the dates and reasons when s/he returns to school. If a child has a serious illness or is going to miss more than a couple of days of school for any reason, it is important to notify the school.
If a family needs to pick up a child before the end of the school day because of illness or any other extenuating circumstance, the child must be signed out in the Main Office.
Communication and Contacts
There are many systems in place for disseminating information. Most handouts regarding school matters (such as special school schedules, field trips, health advisories) are sent home via ‘backpack mail.’ Please be sure to check your child’s backpack daily and respond promptly when a response is called for. Many teachers now send home a weekly update or e-mail, listing the highlights of the previous week and upcoming events. Class parents, who serve as liaisons between the parents of their child’s class and the PTA, will also be in occasional communication. In addition, the Parent Coordinator has instituted a weekly e-mail note home listing important dates; if you want to receive this, CLICK HERE to add your name to this list or sign up through the link on the “News” page of this web site.
Minutes of the monthly PTA meetings are posted on this web site on the Parent Teacher Association page under the Get Involved tab of this website.
The exits on the Grove Street and Bedford Street sides of the buildings are for school bus access and emergencies only. All parents and caregivers enter the building via the Hudson Street lobby. You are asked to show your ID card to the School Safety Officer at the desk, even if the officer knows who you are. Cards can be obtained in the Main Office.
Though the facility is old, it has been upgraded and maintained, and the custodial staff works with zeal to keep the building clean and safe. Last year marked the completion of the renovation of our auditorium and our playground. In recent years the exterior has undergone a major repair, some floors have been replaced, the exterior and the interior have been repainted, the front and back stairwells rebuilt and the climate control system upgraded. Currently we are undergoing renovations to our stairwells.
The Parent Room
Room 408 serves as a gathering place for parents, a meeting room, a mail room for PTA officers, the Afterschool headquarters, and a resource room. Parents and caregivers are welcome to stop by to seek information or solutions to problems.