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PS87 FAQs

WHO IS THE PARENT COORDINATOR?

The Parent Coordinator is the liaison between parents and the school administration, staff members and teachers. The Parent Coordinator is always available to talk to parents about any concerns, questions or suggestions they may have, and she can facilitate contact with other staff members like the Guidance Counselors and Assistant Principals or Principal.


WHAT ARE THE SCHOOL HOURS?

·         Pre-K: 8:30am - 2:00pm

·         Kindergarten through 5th grade: 8:20am - 2:40pm

 

DO I NEED TO BRING MY IDENTIFICATION TO ENTER SCHOOL?

Yes. All parents and guardians who wish to enter the school are required to sign in at the lobby security desk with identification. Our security officers are wonderful at remembering names but you still must officially sign in to enter the school.

 

HOW DO I GET EMERGENCY INFORMATION?

If there is a city-wide emergency, you can access emergency information on the New York City Department of Education website or by calling 311. When at all possible, the Parent Coordinator will keep her Parent E-Mail List informed through e-mail updates or check this website.

 

Parents are encouraged to subscribe to the NYC and DOE notification newsletters which provide information on topics such as Middle School enrollment calendars and procedures, neighborhood emergency alerts and other useful information.

 

·         DOE: http://schools.nyc.gov/Subscribe

 

·         Notify NYC: http://www.nyc.gov/notifynyc

 

 

WHAT ARE “BLUE CARDS”?

Blue cards are the official contact cards for your family. They are administered by the Department of Education and are coordinated through our Main Office. The Department of Education requires that these cards be filled out every year in triplicate to ensure the safety of your children.  Legally, the school is only allowed to release your child to the people listed on your blue card.  The blue card also informs us of the proper procedures to be followed should your family need to be contacted in an emergency.  Please return the blue cards ASAP and keep them updated throughout the year. Fraudulent, non-working or incorrect information about addresses and phone numbers on your child’s emergency card is a severe breach and compromise of your child’s safety and security. The school must be able to contact you immediately if your child is ill or has an accident at school.

 

The PA also collects contact information for the PS 87 School Directory.  The information that is collected by the PA is not used to update your official school emergency contact information.

 

WHERE DO I GO IF I HAVE AN ACADEMIC QUESTION OR CONCERN ABOUT MY CHILD?

Please start with your child’s teacher. Teachers are available to meet with you by appointment and the PS 87 administration prefers that you speak with your teacher first. During your class’ curriculum meeting, the teacher informed you of the best way to contact them to make an appointment.  If you are unsure of how to contact your child’s teacher, you can always send a note to school with your child or contact Margaret Lerner, Parent Coordinator, who will help you get in contact with your child’s teacher. In addition, Margaret is available to meet with any parent, and she can refer you to an administrator or Guidance Counselor, if need be.

 

DOES PS 87 HAVE A GIFTED AND TALENTED PROGRAM?

There are District 3 schools that have the G&T program, but PS 87 does not. The teachers at PS 87 are trained to work with a diverse range of children, from those who are performing above standard levels in some areas of learning to those performing below standard levels in some areas of learning. The administration of PS 87 believes that students learn best with a range of learners in the classroom and all children benefit from the additional opportunities for enrichment available at PS 87.

 

WHAT IS A DUAL LANGUAGE PROGRAM?  DOES PS 87 HAVE A DUAL LANGUAGE PROGRAM?

Yes! PS 87 has a dual language program.  PS 87’s dual language program puts native English speakers and speakers Spanish language speakers together in one classroom with the goal that all the students develop proficiency, if not fluency, in both languages. These programs shouldn't be confused with English as a Second Language Classes, which are designed to teach English to non-English speakers.

 

CAN THE PA RAISE MONEY FOR TEACHERS OR ASSISTANT TEACHERS? 

Raising funds for traditional classroom teacher salaries is expressly prohibited by the Department of Education. The PS 87 PA can and does supplement the school’s budget for part time teaching assistants in kindergarten as well as funding some support staff and professional development for enrichment.

 

WHAT IS COLLABORATIVE TEAM TEACHING (CTT) OR INTEGRATIVE COLLABORATIVE TEACHING (ICT)?

For the 2011-2012 school year, PS 87 has two CTT (now called ICT) classes in grades first through fourth grade, plus one class in Kindergarten. The ICT class has one general education teacher and one special education teacher. In the ICT classes, the ratio is approximately 60% general education students and 40% special education students. The same curriculum is provided as the other classes, with the added benefit of a higher staffing ratio and a great deal of support. The Committee for Special Education (CSE) places the children who are on the special education side of the ICT classes. The school administration places the children on the general education side.

 

WHAT IS THE SCHOOL LEADERSHIP TEAM (SLT)?

The School Leadership Team is a collaborative team of parents and teachers and the principal that is mandated by state law to play a significant role as an advisory panel in representing the school community. The SLT helps create structures for school-based decision-making, develops school-based educational policies and ensures resources are aligned to implement those policies. The SLT writes and reviews the school’s Comprehensive Education Plan (CEP).  Parents are elected for two year terms on a staggered basis. 

 

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CLUSTER CLASSES AND ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS?

Cluster classes are part of our regular classroom instruction throughout the school year. At PS 87 we offer Literacy, Technology, Drama, Music, Art and Physical Education.  Enrichment programs are brought in to supplement our regular classroom instruction & cluster classes and are funded by the PA with the help of our PS 87 community. Past enrichment programs have included Chess, Opera is Elementary, Wolf Conservation Center, Lotus Music & Dance and Shakespeare & Co.  Enrichment programs are very carefully evaluated by the administration and are divided throughout all the grades so that each grade benefits from the program/s most appropriate.  For more information about enrichment email pa-enrichment@ps87.info

 

HOW DO I MAKE A DONATION TO THE SCHOOL?

Donations are always needed and appreciated! Whether it’s a cash donation to our Annual Pledge Drive, a corporate donation or a gift of equipment, we are always thankful of your generosity.  If you want to make a contribution to our Annual Pledge Drive, please click here.

 

CAN I VOLUNTEER AT PS 87?

Yes, please! At PS 87 there are many volunteer needs and opportunities throughout the year, from scheduled fundraising events, to joining a PA committee, to recess monitors and more. Parents can also volunteer in the library, during class trips, or help with class projects. If you are interested in volunteering, please complete the volunteer form. Volunteers and ideas are always needed and appreciated.

 

AM I ALLOWED IN MY CHILD’S CLASSROOM IN THE MORNING?

At the beginning of the school year, pre-K and K classrooms allow drop-off in the classroom.  Check out the school calendar for more information.  For all other grades, children are dropped off and parents are not typically invited to the classroom unless otherwise noted for classroom activities.

 

CAN FAMILIES PARTICIPATE IN CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES?

Yes! PS 87 encourages family involvement in your child’s education. Once the school year gets under way, teachers schedule various activities throughout the year when families are invited to go to the classroom and observe what their children are learning.

 

CAN WE CELEBRATE MY CHILD’S BIRTHDAY IN THE CLASSROOM?

You should check with your teacher about the best way to celebrate your child’s birthday in school.  Classroom birthday celebrations should be low-key and in keeping with the school routine.  In addition, please check with your teacher on the treats brought to the classroom since some children may have allergies.

 

WHAT IF MY CHILD IS LATE OR ABSENT?

If your child is ill for more than three consecutive days, please call the main office. Lateness and attendance are extremely important issues. Consistent lateness and/or poor attendance by a child require mandated action by attendance officers of the Department of Education. We strongly advise against children being pulled out of school for vacations or leisure activities except at DOE designated vacation times.  In addition, if you pick-up your child early from school, you must do so by 3pm.  To ensure the safety of the children, no child may be released after 3pm.

 

IS THERE A DRESS CODE AT PS 87?

PS 87 doesn’t have a dress code, but we expect children to be appropriately dressed for the weather and to wear age-appropriate clothing. Flip flops, backless shoes, heels, halter tops and hats are not allowed in school. “Heelies” are strictly prohibited!

 

ARE TOYS OR CELL PHONES ALLOWED AT PS 87?

Electronics (Game Boys, iPods, etc.), toys (action figures, etc.), cards, and cell phones are extremely disruptive and create many problems. Therefore, they’re not allowed to be used during the school day or they will be confiscated immediately. This is in accordance with DOE regulations.  If cell phones are brought to school and are lost or stolen, PS 87 will not be responsible. Scooters, bikes, skateboards, or roller blades cannot be kept at school during the school day — as we do not have storage space for these items.

 

WHEN DO WE RECEIVE CLASS LISTS?

A school directory is published each year by PA volunteers.  Class lists will be compiled and distributed within the first couple of months of school. A preliminary list will be shared first to confirm that your contact information is correct and then the final lists are distributed. Class lists are intended for class purposes only and are not to be confused with the “blue cards” used for emergency contact.

 

WHERE IS THE NURSE'S OFFICE?

Our nurse can help you with any medical needs or questions. The nurse’s office is located on the first floor, B34 and she can be reached at 212-678-2826 (prompt 4).

 

HOW DOES PS 87 HELP WITH LICE PREVENTION?

The PA has a contract with professional lice checkers who come in several times a year to perform head checks on all students and faculty. These checks are done twice during the school year and as otherwise needed. However, please check your own child consistently and let your teacher know if your child has developed a case of lice. Once your child has been diagnosed with a case of lice, he or she must check in at the nurse’s office first thing upon arrival at school in the morning and get a note clearing him or her to return to class.

 

DOES PS 87 HAVE AN AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAM?

Yes!  PS 87 has an award winning after-school program with various clubs to choose from.  Each afternoon the clubs start at 3:30pm.  All students are escorted to the cafeteria or K holding area where they are dispersed to the appropriate club space. A light, healthy snack will be provided before the start of activities.  Pick up is available between 5 and 6 PM.  For more information, visit:  http://87afterschool.org

 

CAN MY CHILD GO TO PS 87 IF I AM NOT IN THE ZONE?

Admissions to PS 87 for Kindergarten are based on a set of priorities and are not on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Admission priorities are as follows:

1. Zoned students whose verified siblings will be enrolled in grades K-5 in September 2014;
2. Zoned students without siblings in the school;
3. Students whose verified siblings will be enrolled in grades K-5 in September 2014 who are not zoned to the school but are residents of the
district;
4. Students whose verified siblings will be enrolled in grades K-5 in September 2014 who are residents of another district;
5. Students who are currently enrolled at the school for pre-k who are residents of the district;
6. Students who are currently enrolled at the school for pre-k who are residents of another district;
7. Students without siblings in the school who are residents of the district;
8. Students without siblings in the school who are residents of another district.

 

Admissions to other grades are based on availability of open spots.  For more information, see the admissions page on the website.


WHAT IS THE PROTOCOL TO LODGE A COMPLAINT WITH DOE?
If a member of the PS 87 community of any DOE school believes a school employee has engaged in misconduct, he or she should report these allegations in one of the following ways:

  1. Allegations of misconduct should be communicated directly to the Special Commissioner of Investigation (SCI) by emailing intake@nycsci.org or calling 212-510-1500.
  2. Allegations of verbal abuse or corporal punishement also may be reported directly to the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) at 718-935-3800 or via the website at http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/GeneralCounsel/Investigate/OSI/default.htm.  Allegations are investigated in accordance with Chancellor’s Regulations.
  3. Allegations of discrimination should be reported to the Office of Equal Opportunity at 718-935-3320, or via the website at http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/GeneralCounsel/Investigate/OEO/EOComplaints.htm.
  4. Communicate directly to the principal.  The principal is obligated to report any allegations to the appropriate investigative office.

 
DOE employees are required to report any allegations communicated to them. Matters concerning employee discipline of the outcome of investigations may not be shared publicly, conditional upon the nature of the allegations.  Parents who filed a complaint may learn the determination of the case (i.e., whether the allegations were sustained or not) upon request.

My child received a “Consent to Release Information for Medicaid Reimbursement” form. What is it?
The Department of Education, which can be considered a Medicaid provider, may be eligible to receive funds for services provided to children with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). This form is asking if you give consent to the DOE to report services your child receives so we can receive funding to help meet IEP service costs. Parents who received this form are asked to fill it out, regardless of current Medicaid eligibility status, and return it to Emily in the office.

Does Department of Education policy prohibit children going outside for recess when it’s below freezing?
No, the decision on outdoor recess is left to each school’s administration. Given the limited amount of physical activity during the school day, all schools are encouraged to allow their students to play outside as much as possible. Here at 87, children will go outside unless: it is raining or snowing; excessive snow or ice creates dangerous conditions; or it is dangerously cold, as determined by the National Weather Service. Because of this policy, please make sure your child comes to school dressed warmly with a hat, scarf and gloves.

Why don't teachers communicate with parents by e-mail?
The manner in which teachers communicate with the parents in their classrooms is entirely up to the teacher. There are some teachers who communicate with parents by e-mail and others who communicate through a communication folder or some type of note/phone call system. If you have an emergency and need to get information to your child's teacher immediately, you can always contact our parent coordinator or call the main office at 212-678-2826 to leave a message.

Do you think the children are getting enough movement and/or physical activity during the day?
Ideally we would love all of the children to have a period of physical activity each day. Unfortunately, we do not have the space or the manpower that would allow for such a schedule. Because we recognize the importance of children needing to move throughout the day, we have worked to bring movement into the classrooms over the past year.

In addition to gym once a week with Mark or Jenny and outdoor recess during the lunch periods, we have added the following to our school program:

  • Our kindergartens and third-graders will be working with National Dance Institute this year.
  • Yogi Beans teaches our first-graders each week.
  • Many teachers have become more creative with fitting movement into the school day by providing students with movement breaks
  • In anticipation of the winter indoor recess days, we are working with the Coach for Kids program on creating a movement program that can be done in the auditorium.


Is there a music program at PS 87? Are there any programs already in place for group instrumental lessons?
At this time we do not have an instrumental music program at PS 87. Given the lack of space due to overcrowding the past two years, we were unable to have the program. As we start to reduce our population and more space becomes available, we will consider reinstituting the program.

Do I have to sign all photo release forms?
Any organization that would like to take a picture of your child or his/her work and/or use that image to showcase the work they have been doing with PS 87 must have written consent from parents. The first consent form sent home was from us here at PS 87. Other consent forms that may be sent home to some children are from the National Dance Institute, Studio in a School, and the Museum of Natural History.

How long is recess?
All children get 20 minutes of recess each day, which is scheduled alongside lunchtime. Grades 1 to 5 have 20 minutes to eat lunch (kindergartners get an additional 20 minutes), 10 minutes to transition from the cafeteria to the playground (or vice versa), and the remaining 20 minutes for pure play.

How many adults are outside with the kids during recess?

The number of supervising adults varies from grade to grade: the most for kindergarteners, and the fewest for fifthgraders. Assistant principals Barbara and Suzan split their time between the yard and cafeteria during lunch and recess, and work with volunteer monitors to ensure child safety. (And PS 87 always welcomes additional volunteer monitors!) To learn more about the number of adults for your child’s recess, contact Barbara.

We also now have two coaches at every recess to help kids play more structured games. These coaches are paid for through the PA’s Wellness program.

What is the role of the class parent?
Class parents play a very important role for the Parents Association and the classroom teacher. Class parents help to communicate important PA business to their classes, and they help enlist volunteers for PA functions. Class parents help build a sense of community in the school by organizing “class bonding” events for the families in their class. Class parents also organize any collection of money for their class, whether to help purchase materials for the classroom, or for gifts for the staff that works with the class.  Individual teachers work with the class parents in specific and varied ways. Teachers will communicate with their class parents to discuss their roles in the classroom.

What is the purpose of the comment page in the report card? Who reads it? Does it have any effect on the teacher’s record?
Because parents do not have an opportunity to have a conference when the report card is handed out in January, the comment page is made available for you to write any of your thoughts down about your child’s progress. This page is read by your child’s teacher and does not have any effect on your child’s record.

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