Frequently Asked Questions

We get so many forms each September. Can I fill out one set for both my kids?
No, it is imperative that the school has up-to-date information at the ready for each child. Most important are the blue and green cards (please complete both sides). The green cards are for quick access by teachers, cluster teachers and the nurse. Blue cards are kept in a separate file to to ensure a back up in case of a larger scale emergency. The lunch form is important, even if your child brings his/her own lunch, as the Department of Education requires schools to have these on file. If we don’t, it counts against PS 3 when the school is graded.

I’ve heard that if we’re  late, we need to get a late pass. Why is that?
School starts at 8:20 and teachers must hand in their attendance sheets by 8:25, which means if your child arrives after that s/he will be marked absent. The late pass informs the office that your child is not absent – but tardy. If the building should be evacuated for any reason, the school must know which children are in school that day.  Also, realize that as your child gets older their lateness and absense can hinder their choice of Middle School.

What’s the earliest I can drop off my child at school?
At 7:55, you may drop your child off for breakfast (it’s free!) in the cafeteria. Otherwise, drop off your child in their classroom (Pre-K, K/1) or the gymeteria (2/3) at 8:15, 4th, 5th & 4/5 students can enter through the mosaic entrance at 8:15.  All children should be in the classroom by 8:20.

Can I get a message to my child during the day?
The office staff cannot transfer you to your child’s teacher, but will happily relay a message. Please call prior to 2:00 as after which they must turn their attention to dismissal.

My child usually brings in lunch but sometimes likes to eat hot lunch. Is that ok?
Hot lunch is free for all NYC public school children.  A water fountain is available but it is encouraged for kids to bring a water bottle for lunch.  Children usually like Pizza Day, which is on Friday.  
Why can’t I enter the school before 2:35?
As the school day winds down, it becomes harder for the kids to concentrate. Parents and guardians arriving can be an exciting distraction during important classroom wrap-up time.

How does PS3 pay for all its wonderful enrichment programs, like clay and music?
One word: community. PS3 holds many events, like the Antiquarian Book Fair, PS3 Auction, and PS3 Marathon Team, to build our community and raise money necessary for our enrichment programs. Our most important fundraiser is the Direct Drive,  referred to as 3Fund. We simply ask each PS 3 family to give what they can. Donations range from $10 to $3,000 and every dollar is equally appreciated and crucial in making PS 3 an amazing place for our children to learn.

On the tour, I heard about the scientist-and-artist-in-residence (SAIR) program. What is it?
The PS 3 curriculum has a committed focus on the arts and sciences not only as subject areas, but as ways of learning. This philosophy goes way beyond offering enrichment classes. A project-based approach integrates music, dance, clay, drama, etc., into all aspects of classroom life in order to create independent thinkers. The PTA-sponsored scientist-and-artist-in-residence program is designed to give classroom teachers the necessary funding to bring in a teaching artist or scientist to enhance their individual classroom curricula.

What is an IEP?
Kids with delayed skills or other disabilities might be eligible for special services that provide individualized education programs in public schools, free of charge to families. Parents work with educators to develop a plan — the individualized education plan (IEP) — to help kids succeed in school. The IEP describes the goals the team sets for a child during the school year, as well as any special support needed to help achieve them.

What is a ICT class? 
Integrated Collaborative Teaching or ICT classes pair a general ed and special ed teacher in a classroom that has up to 40 percent children with IEPs. Both sets of students benefit from the smaller student to teacher ratio. Read more here from one of our teacher teams about the value of ICT classes.