2020-2021 Parent Handbook

Health & Safety Protocols

 As we are approaching the start of the 2020-21 school year, we want to share some important new information with you about health and safety protocols for your child. All schools are preparing for blended learning, during which students learn in-person in school buildings for part of the week, and continue learning remotely from home on the other days. However, any family can choose 100% remote learning for any reason. 

Criteria to Open Schools and Keep them Open 

What Happens if Someone Gets Sick
New Information on COVID-19 Testing and Tracing in Schools  Overall Health and Safety Protocols for Every School Criteria to Open Schools and Keep them Open While we continue to carefully monitor a constantly changing health landscape, one thing remains steadfast: our commitment to the health and safety of our students, teachers, and staff. This priority is the foundation of all of our policy moving into September. 

On July 31, it was announced that for school buildings to open in September and remain open, on a weekly average the city must see fewer than 3% of all COVID-19 tests come back positive. Additionally, if 3% or more of New Yorkers who are tested for COVID-19 are found to have the virus after we open, school buildings will close again, and 100% of learning will be remote for every student. 

Since June, we’ve hovered around 1-2%, and are working closely with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC Health), NYC Test + Trace, and the Mayor’s Office to prepare for a coordinated school reopening. If staff and students aren’t healthy, they can’t teach and learn, and we are doing all we can to ensure that schools remain safe and healthy for learning. 

In close collaboration with our expert colleagues at NYC Health, we have developed strict protocols that address prevention, precaution, and response to one or more of our students or employees having a confirmed case of COVID-19. It’s important to know that a “confirmed case” means that a parent or guardian, student, or staff member submits a positive test result from a healthcare provider or laboratory—like a City-run testing site, a private doctor, or an urgent care center—to the school. 

Our protocols to keep school communities healthy include:  


Starting with the first day of the 2020-21 school year, if a student or staff member is feeling sick, they are required to stay home. Additionally, if their symptoms are consistent with COVID-19, they will be asked to get tested.  

Feeling Sick in School

If a student begins experiencing symptoms in school, they will be isolated and monitored by a school staff member until they are picked up by their parents or guardian. Staff members who become symptomatic at school must notify administration and immediately leave the building.  


All school staff members were asked to get tested for COVID-19 in the days leading up to the beginning of school, and will be prioritized for expedited results at the 34 City-run testing sites. All school staff are also asked to get tested monthly during the school year. This free testing is also available for families citywide.  Additionally, random samples of 10%-20% of 196WBMS students and staff will be tested on a monthly basis. This testing is free, and results will be available within 48 hours. 


In the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case in a school, NYC Test + Trace and NYC Health will investigate to determine close contacts within the school. All students and teachers in the classroom with the confirmed case are assumed to be close contacts and will be instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days since their last exposure to that case. In older grades where students may travel between classes, this applies to all classes that the confirmed case was in. If there's more than one case in a school, and it's not in the same classroom, learning will continue remotely and the school building will close for at least 24 hours while NYC Test + Trace and NYC Health investigate. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, affected classrooms or the whole building will remain closed for 14 days for quarantine. Students will continue their learning remotely during any necessary quarantine periods. 


Whether symptoms begin at home or in school, there will be a clear flow of information to facilitate fast action and prevent spread. If a COVID-19 case is confirmed, schools will communicate to all families and students at school. 


At all times, students and staff must wear face coverings protecting their nose and mouth while at school or on their way to school. Exceptions will be made for children who can’t wear a face covering for medical reasons, and for younger children who aren’t developmentally able to wear a face covering.  

Social Distancing

Students and staff must maintain six feet of physical distancing throughout the school day, anywhere on school grounds and to and from school.  

Visitor Policy

Minimizing opportunities for spread is a necessary component for maintaining health and safety in NYCDOE schools. In an effort to limit the number of visitors in a school at any given time, as recommended by the CDC, schools are encouraged, where possible, to address all visitor and parent concerns by phone or virtually. Principals and designated staff should conduct meetings remotely, where possible.

When it is essential to hold an in-person meeting, all visitors are required to follow the visitor control protocols, including undergoing a temperature check, completing a health screening form, complying with physical distancing requirements and wearing a face covering.

All visitors must receive a visitor’s pass, which must be returned upon exiting the building. All visitors must be escorted to and from the meeting destination, in order to prevent visitors from accessing unauthorized areas, limiting the possibility of exposure. If a parent is called to the school to pick up their child, the child must be brought to the main lobby to meet the parent.

Non-essential individuals should not be allowed to enter school buildings. All packages are to be delivered to the main lobby in a manner consistent with physical distancing protocols, or to another location if proper physical distancing cannot be met with lobby deliveries.

Co-located schools must be aligned on policies governing how adults are allowed to enter and traverse the building.

Schools must develop practices to eliminate the need for families to enter school buildings to drop off or pick up children, except for 3-K and Pre-K families during the first month of school.

Mandatory Daily Health Screening for Students

In alignment with NYS Department of Health guidance, a health screening (including temperature checks) must be completed by all students, staff, and visitors before entering DOE school facilities--preferably at home. This health screening must be completed each day. School-based staff, visitors, and families cannot enter the building if they have:

(a) experienced any symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever of 100.0°F or greater, a new cough, new loss of taste or smell or shortness of breath, within the past 10 days; 

(b) in the past 10 days, gotten a positive result from a COVID-19 test that tested saliva or used a nose or throat swab; 

(c) to the best of their knowledge, in the past 14 days, been in close contact (within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes) with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19; and/or

(d) traveled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per the New York State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days. 

Families can complete the health screening in the following ways: 

  • Online Health Screening Tool: Families are encouraged to use our online tool to pre-screen themselves before entering a DOE building. Upon entering the facility, you will be asked to provide the results of your screening either by showing the email on your phone or a printout of the results. The online health screening application can be found here: https://healthscreening.schools.nyc/.  
  • In-person Health Screening at a Building: If families are not able to pre-screen themselves using the online tool, they will be required to complete a screening assessment in-person at all buildings. 

The screening results are valid until midnight that day. You must show your clearance every time you reenter a DOE building. 

In addition to at home daily health screenings, schools will be instituting random temperature checks upon entry using non-touch thermometers. 

  • Schools will be screening people entering the building at random.
  • Face coverings and gloves will be worn by designated staff taking temperatures.

Program Model & Schedule

  • All students begin with 3 partial days of remote learning on Wednesday, September 16 through Friday, September 18

  • Blended Learning begins for Pre-K on Monday, September 21.

  • Grades K-5 have remote learning from Monday, September 21 - Friday, September 25, and Blended Learning begins Tuesday, September 29.

  • Group A: Attends school in person on TuesdaysThursdays, and alternate Mondays. They participate in remote learning on Wednesdays and Fridays.

  • Group BAttends school in person on WednesdaysFridays, and alternate Mondays. They participate in remote learning on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Please pay careful attention to calendar updates that we send home throughout the year.

What happens If a Child Arrives To School on the wrong day?

If your child arrives at school on the wrong day, your child will be escorted to a waiting area and supervised until a parent arrives to pick up the child. For health and safety reasons, we are not permitted to allow the child to stay in school and join a different cohort.

When can I opt my child back into blended learning?

You can opt your child back into Blended Learning from October 26-30. You will be informed of your child’s schedule during the week of November 9th. Your child can begin their blended learning schedule the week of November 16th.

You can opt your child into Remote Learning at any time.

Attendance Policy


Attendance every day is required for students’ academic success. Perfect attendance is the goal. Having 90% attendance means a student is missing 18+ days over a school year—a month of instruction. With regular attendance, students learn the skills and habits to succeed in their academic and social lives.

NY State regulations require schools to maintain records that verify student attendance. Attendance must be recorded daily. 

School Attendance Philosophy  

We at 196WBMS feel that every learning period of every day is significant in our student’s education.  Whether a student is learning remotely or in person we feel that student participation is vital to student success.  Therefore, attendance is considered an important part of student education and absences are detrimental to effective learning.

Remote Learning Attendance Policy

  • Attendance requirements will apply to all students including those who are learning remotely.  
  • Daily attendance of those working remotely will be taken by the teacher EVERY DAY by 11:30am
  • Remote Learning students are required to meet the 90% attendance rate.
  • A student whose attendance rate is less than 90% is considered chronically absent.
  • If your child has not attended any meetings or done any of their school work they will be marked absent for that school day.
  • A student is virtually present when they attend their live meetings for the full amount of time, complete their synchronous and asynchronous school assignments during the school day and their teacher is aware of the work your child is completing

In-Person Attendance Policy

  • Attendance requirements will apply to all students who are learning in-person at the school building.
  • Students must report to school on their scheduled learning day unless they are sick.
  • A letter or written excuse from a doctor is needed upon return to school.
  • An excused absence is still considered an absence and will be noted as such in the student’s record.
  • A student whose attendance rate is less than 90% is considered chronically absent.
  • If an in person learner needs to stay home due to illness or because they will not pass the daily health screening, however is well enough to complete their school work, they should join the remote blended class remotely.  If the child is learning online on a day that they were supposed to report to school they will be marked as present on their attendance.

Excused Absences Include:

  • Temporary illness, injury or death in the family
  • Quarantine under the direction of a health official.
  • Medical appointments
  • Participation in religious observances.
  • Approved absence from school by an administrator.

Grading Policy Grading Policy

Kindergarten Through 5th Grade

Student academic achievement is based on mastery of the common core learning standards and New York State (NYS) Learning Standards for each subject.  These standards address the skills and concepts that are needed for successful performance in all grades.

Assignments, tests, projects, classroom activities, and other instructional activities will be designed so that the student’s performance indicates the level of mastery of the Common Core or NYS standards.  The student’s mastery level of these standards will then be reflected in their classroom scores and report card grades.

Subjects that will be graded are Language Arts (reading, literature, oral language, writing, handwriting, spelling), Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education/Wellness and Art. 

Achievement grades should be fairly determined from a wide variety of information, which could include student performance on daily assignments/homework, tests, special projects, class participation, attendance and effort. Prior to instruction, students should be informed of the class expectations, and the teacher must be prepared to document and explain how grades are determined.

Grading on the Report Card – Kindergarten to 5th Grade

For the 2020-2021 school year, P.S 196 will be scoring grades K-5 based on a scale of E through U on student report cards. The scale is as follows:

E= Excellent 
G= Good 
S = Satisfactory 
N = Needs Improvement 
U = Unsatisfactory 

Grading Scale in Class – Kindergarten to 5th Grade

At P.S 196, we will be scoring assignments, tests, quizzes and homework based on a scale of A through F. Where A, B, C and D are passing scores and an F represents a failing score.

A= On or above grade level
B= Meeting grade level
C= Partially meeting grade level
D= Below Grade Level
F= Far below grade level/Failing

Number scores will be used to calculate the letter grade that a child receives.

A+=97 to 100
A= 93 to 96
A- = 90 to 93
B+=87 to 89
B= 83 to 86
B- = 80 to 83
C+=77 to 79
C= 73 to 76
C- = 70 to 73
D+=67 to 69
D= 63 to 66
D- = 60 to 63
F= Below 60

Grading Guidelines

Teachers are encouraged to have many grades in order to allow students the chance to show mastery of the core standards.

Student mastery of subjects may be assessed in many ways.  It is not necessary to receive a grade for every paper produced. Teachers will provide feedback for their assignments and activities; however, this does not always need to be in the form of a grade.

Examinations will be a key way in which teachers evaluate student understanding of the core standards. Types of examinations that may be counted toward the final grade include:

  •     Announced Quizzes
  •     Unannounced Quizzes
  •     District/State Tests
  •     End of Chapter Assessments
  •     End of Unit Assessments
  •     Projects
  •     Teacher Created Tests /Quizzes
  •     Performance Tasks

Performance assessments and daily activities will be used to assess mastery of the Common Core Standards. These include, but are not limited to:

  •     Classroom Participation
  •     Classroom Discussions
  •     Oral responses
  •     Written Responses
  •     Experiments
  •     Teacher Observation
  •     Research Projects
  •     Checklist of Skills
  •     Portfolios
  •     Enrichment
  •     Projects
  •     Class Activities
  •     Exit slips
  •     Quick checks


Rubrics will be given out along with assigned writing pieces and special projects.  These rubrics will explain what the task is, how to complete the task and how it will be scored.  Rubrics are given to students as a tool to guide them in completing their writing pieces.  The rubric for any given writing assignment will be reviewed in class with the students.  This will give them a better understanding of what is expected of them.

Breakdown of Student Scores

Report card grades will be calculated using the following breakdown:

Classwork and Class Projects – 20%
Class Participation – 10%
Homework & Home Projects – 10%
Formal Assessments (tests & quizzes) – 50%
Attendance – 10%

Homework Grades

Homework is an effective tool in teaching responsibility, study habits and skills. It is an extension of the child’s school day and allows the home to be involved in the student’s academic success. Homework should be purposeful, age appropriate, and related to what your child learned during the school day.  Homework should be a review of the work previously taught. No new skills will be assigned.

The following shows how much time your child should be spending on homework each night.

Kindergarten and 1st grade:                15-20 minutes
Grade 2:                                                        20-30 minutes
Grade 3 and 4:                                            30-40 minutes
Grade 5:                                                        50-60 minutes

Homework will constitute 10% of the overall grade for each subject area. Late homework is subject to a deduction in grade. Any homework that is over one week late will be given a zero and calculated into that child’s overall homework grade for that subject.

Attendance Grades 

Attendance will account for 10% of a child’s grade in any given subject area.  It is important that every child be in school each day. Lateness can also negatively affect a child’s overall grades.

Students will be allowed as many days as they were absent to make up missed schoolwork and homework after being absent.

Report Cards

Report Cards will be given out 3 times a year.  These times correspond with parent teacher conferences and the last day of school.  Parent teacher conferences will be held remotely for the 2020-2021 school year. Report cards will be available to parents via the My Student Portal.  You can click on this link to access your child’s report card and grades: https://mystudent.nyc. Please let teachers know if you are unable to attend the parent-teacher conference times and a meeting can be scheduled for another date. A conversation regarding the student’s progress is encouraged between the parent and teacher. 

Marking Period Grades
Each marking period, students will be given an isolated score for each subject area.  The scores for that marking period will be averaged. A semester grade for that marking period will be assigned on the report card.  Each new marking period the child will start over with the ability to improve their grade or lower their grade according to their scores in any given subject area.

Final Grades
The final grade on the student report card will represent their overall achievement for the entire school year.  The final grade will be a cumulative grade of the entire year’s performance in that subject area. 

Report Card Timeline
Thursday, November 5thReport Card #1/Parent-Teacher Conference #1
Thursday, March 4th – Report Card #2/Parent-Teacher Conference #2
Friday, June 25th – Report Card #3 / Last Day of School

Students with an IEP

The teacher will grade students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in accordance to their IEP.  All accommodations on the IEP will be considered prior to assigning a grade on the report card.

Dress Code Policy

196WBMS has a Dress Code Policy, uniforms ARE required.  Students entering the building for blended learning must be wearing their 196WBMS uniform (light blue collared shirt-short or long sleeve- with navy blue pants, long walking shorts, skirts or jumpers).  Students are also permitted and encouraged to wear 196WBMS Spirit Wear: t-shirts, sweatpants, and sweatshirts as well (available for sale everyday through the main office).  

Students working at home for blended or remote learning are encouraged to wear their 196WBMS uniform or Spirit Wear daily as well.  If students are unable to wear their uniform at home, then they must be properly dressed and ready to learn.  Students should NOT be taking part in blended or remote learning wearing sleeping clothes (pajamas and nightshirts).

Discipline Code

The Discipline Code applies to all students—and includes both supports and interventions, as well as disciplinary responses. Please note that the 2019-20 Discipline Code remains in effect for the 2020-21 school year and applies to both blended and remote instructional settings. 

The full Discipline Code is available in all NYCDOE-supported languages at https://www.schools.nyc.gov/DCode and can be provided in paper copy, upon request. 

The Discipline Code outlines how school staff will address behavioral issues with a focus on restorative approaches. For more information about behavioral expectations during blended and remote learning, please visit the DOE Return to School Website.


Chancellor's Regulation (CR) A-832 prohibits any student from creating a hostile environment for any other student by engaging in conduct or verbal or written acts (which includes cyber-bullying) that could potentially hinder that student's educational process, mental, emotional, or physical well-being, or otherwise cause any type of harm.

Schools are required to report any suspected incidents of cyber-bullying via the Online Occurrence Reporting System located on the OSYD Portal within 24 hours of their being notified of the alleged incident. Schools are also directed to investigate these incidents and to follow-up on them in a timely fashion as outlined in CR A-83

Remote/Blended Learning Tips for Parents

We recognize the challenges that remote and blended learning present. Now that the learning environment is part of your home we want to share with you some tips to ensure that every student can make the most of their learning space and time in ways that are respectful of everyone.  

  • Be on time!  Know your child’s schedule and have it posted so you and your child can refer to it on a daily basis. Late entries lose instructional time. 
  • Create an effective learning space: create a consistent learning space for your child in your home. Try to set up the space where the camera faces a wall, so that normal family traffic doesn’t distract your child’s classmates.  
  • Set a positive learning environment. Making mistakes in front of your parents can be stressful for students. Accept that trial and error is part of learning. Be patient, and walk away if you feel frustrated with your child. Encourage your children through their challenges and praise them for trying. It will go a long way to ensure your child’s ultimate success. 
  • Remember that the whole class hears your child’s learning space: Loud noises, conversations, and other activities by family members can be heard by everyone in the class. Please remember this especially if people in your home are working remotely, conducting conversations, or other family business that is meant to be kept private. If  possible, provide your child with a built in microphone and headphones.
  • Establish breaks: Set a specific time for breaks based on your child’s class schedule. Include a  little physical movement to break up learning time, or a quick wiggle to a part of their favorite tune. 
  • Create a positive reinforcement system: Students can find extra motivation through rewards for paying attention and making an effort during class instruction and work time.  You can create a sticker chart for a job well done.
  • Partner with your child’s teacher: Remember that learning is more effective when parents and teachers set times to communicate about what each is seeing during instructional time. Establishing a time and a method of communication will set things in the right direction. 

These are a few tips we know will help students and parents have a successful time in remote/blended learning. Always partner with your child’s classroom teacher with your ideas and suggestions. We thank you for being a true partner with us and look forward to a great school year.

iPad Care and Safety

iPads should remain with the student they are assigned to in order to engage in remote learning. If there is a change in the student's residence during remote learning the iPad should remain with the student, and should be used primarily inside the residence to prevent unnecessary damage.

Damaged iPads are protected by AppleCare. The DOE will work with families to get broken devices repaired using this coverage. For AppleCare support, please file a Technical Support Ticket or call the Help desk at 718-935-5100. Families will not be held accountable for accidental damage through normal use, but please exercise caution and common sense to protect your iPad. iPads must be installed in the case provided. You should be using your iPad primarily indoors for schoolwork and it must be secured in the case when you travel with the device.

Getting Started with Your iPad

If you have received your iPad, and need help getting it set up, see the Getting Started with Your iPad page.

Google Classroom

We are using Google as our technology platform for the 2020-21 school year. All students will have a NYCDOE Google account, which you can sign up for here https://idm.nycenet.edu/students/start.form

Previously, our students had a WBMS Google account. Those accounts will become inactive.

Arrival & Dismissal Procedures

Students are expected to follow social distancing procedures when arriving to school and dismissing from school on a daily basis for safety. There will be random (ie: every tenth student to enter the building) student temperature checks taken each day and recorded by administration. The chart below indicates which entrances students will enter the building in through at the designated times and then be escorted to their labelled class pick up locations in the gym/ play yard areas. The classroom teacher will meet students at these areas and escort them to their individual classrooms. 

Arrival Procedures




Pre-K Main Entrance



Gym Door
closest to the park

1st Gym Door
closest to the park
2nd Gym Door
Meserole Street
3rd Gym Door
Meserole Street
4th Gym Door
Meserole Street
5th Gym Door
Meserole Street

Additional Arrival Notes

Pre- K - Pre- K students will enter at the front/main door of the building. Temperatures will be checked for students and parents upon arrival. Parents will be directed up the main staircase to the Pre-K classroom door. Drop off will be at the door. Parents will be directed down staircase D out the door on Scholes Street.

Kindergarten- Parents will drop off students at Meserole Street Park door.  Students will be lined up socially distant in the gym. Teachers will pick up classes.

1st grade- Parents will drop off students at Meserole Street Park door.  Students will be lined up socially distant in the gym. Teachers will pick up classes.

2nd grade-Parents will drop off students at Meserole Street Park door.  Students will be lined up socially distant in the gym. Teachers will pick up classes

3rd grade-Parents will drop off students at Meserole Street Park door.  Students will be lined up socially distant in the gym. Teachers will pick up classes

4th grade- Students will enter on Meserole Street door by the gym and be directed to Staircase C to go to the Playard, where they will be kept socially distant. Teachers will pick up in the Playard. 

5th grade-Students will enter on Meserole Street door by the gym and be directed to Staircase C to go to the Playard, where they will be kept socially distant. Teachers will pick up in the Playard. 

For MS 582 arrival 6/7th entering by the cafeteria, 8th grade is entering by the ramp.

Dismissal Procedures

The chart below shows grade specific dismissal times and locations. Teachers will have students ready for pickup at these designated times.  ALL STUDENTS being dismissed must be picked up by 2pm.




Pre-K Pick up at classroom door 1:30pm


Gym door park 1:45pm
1st Gym door park 1:45pm
2nd Gym door Meserole 1:50pm
3rd Gym door Meserole 1:50pm
4th Gym door Meserole 1:55pm
5th Gym door Meserole 1:55pm

MS 582 is dismissing grades 6-8 at 1:58pm.

Breakfast & Lunch Procedures


All Students at arrival, that did not eat breakfast at home, will be able to take a Grab and Go Breakfast Bag when they arrive at school. They will take this up to their classroom with them and eat it in the classroom. Unfortunately, there will be no hot breakfasts until further notice.  Students will be allowed to remove their masks while eating during this working breakfast while keeping socially distant from their peers due to safety and health reasons.  


All students will be given time during the school day to eat lunch in the classroom while maintaining socially distant and following safety guidelines. Students can bring in their own well balanced lunch or be provided with one from the DOE on a daily basis.  Students will be allowed to remove their masks while eating. (A mask lanyard/strap/cord is encouraged so the mask remains on the student and is quickly, cleanly and easily accessible to them during this time).  Students will eat during this working lunch in which the teacher may perform a read aloud or another quiet activity.  After eating, students will be given social time with their peers when they have their masks properly back in place as well as remaining socially distant from their peers.

Student Blue Cards

All families in blended and remote learning were asked to fill out a blue card before the first day of school. Once completed, these will be housed in the main office. Should information change throughout the year, be sure to update your child’s Blue Card by contacting our main office at (718) 497-0139. 

Medication at School

  • All students with a diagnosis such as asthma, allergies or diabetes should submit a Medication Administration Form to their school.
  • Submitting a Medication Administration Form enables the school nurse to treat your child in the case of a medical emergency.
  • Even if your child can take his/her own medicine, it is important for the school clinical team to be aware of the student’s medical needs in case of an emergency.
  • Medication Administration Forms are accepted on a rolling basis. You must submit a new Medication Administration Form each school year.
  • Visit here to read more information about Health Services in school.

Academic Programs

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Into Reading

Children are born with a love of learning. When we give them high-quality books that intrigue and challenge, we empower them to pursue their natural curiosity and discover their interests. As students build a strong foundation in reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills, they develop a confidence in themselves that ensures lifelong learners emerge.

HMH Into Reading™ is differentiated by design to offer a balanced approach to literacy instruction, support teachers in developing a culture of learning and growth, and help all learners believe in the power of "I can."

For further information, explore the website at: https://www.hmhco.com/programs/into-reading

enVision Math 2.0

enVisionmath2.0 is a comprehensive mathematics curriculum for Grades K-5. It offers the flexibility of print, digital, or blended instruction. enVisionmath2.0 provides the focus, coherence, and rigor needed to meet your standards. Project-based learning, visual learning strategies, and extensive customization options empower every teacher and student. 

For more information, you can visit their website at:  https://www.savvas.com/index.cfm?locator=PS2xBv

Social Emotional Learning

At 196WBMS, we feel that a children’s social-emotional development is just as important as their academic progress.  This year, we are utilizing the Sanford Harmony Program, which provides everyday practices and lessons covering the following important topics:

Diversity and Inclusion:  Boys and girls learn to recognize and appreciate one another’s similarities and differences while promoting a community environment in and outside of the classroom.

Empathy and Critical Thinking:  Children develop empathy (the ability to identify with and understand another person’s emotions), reduce stereotyped thinking, and learn critical thinking skills.

Communication:  Healthy and unhealthy intergender communication patterns are explored, and boys and girls practice effective ways of engaging with others.

Problem solving:  Students learn constructive approaches to resolving conflict, focusing on conflict-resolution steps that facilitate healthy relationship patterns.

Peer Relationships:  Boys and girls practice positive social skills and learn the qualities that are important to friendship, the consequences of bullying, and how to provide peers with support.

For further information, you may view Sanford Harmony’s website at:  https://www.sanfordharmony.org/

Mental Health and Social-Emotional Wellbeing

Since the school experience will be very different from before with desks far apart from each other, teachers maintaining physical distance, and the possibility of staying in the classroom for lunch, it is unlike anything your child is used to. Before school is in session, you may want to talk to your child and explain that all these steps are being taken to keep everyone safe and healthy. The list below provides actions and considerations regarding your child’s mental health and social-emotional wellbeing, as they transition to virtual or at-home learning.  CDC’s Stress and Coping During the COVID-19 Pandemic provides some additional resources for you and your family.

School Safety Plan

At the beginning of each school year, all schools develop a School Safety Plan. The plan outlines the procedures that the school uses every day and in cases of emergency to provide a safe and secure environment in which effective teaching and learning take place. Each plan is approved by the Office of Safety and Youth Development and NYPD. In order to ensure safety for all students and staff, the specific emergency response plans and procedures of the School Safety Plan must remain confidential.

The School Safety Plan addresses the following major areas:

  • School/Program/Academy Information: This section lists the staff members, hours of operation, chain of command, class schedules, dismissal schedules, extra-curricular activities, and use of special facilities (such as swimming pools).
  • Medical Emergency Response Information: This section outlines procedures for the dissemination of health information of individual students, implementing health recommendations, and for maintaining and accessing health supplies and trained medical personnel. It also outlines the use and storage of Automatic External Defibrillators (AED).
  • School Safety Personnel Procedures and Assignments: This section includes visitor control procedures and protocols for responding to specific emergency conditions

Chancellor’s Regulation A-414 requires that the following individuals are required to serve on a school’s Safety Committee: The principal, the UFT Chapter leader, the PT/PTA president (or designee), the school’s Level III School Safety Agent (or designee), the custodial engineer, the dietician (or designee), the NYPD commanding officer (or designee) of the local precinct. 

The Safety Committee meets once a month.  

School Safety Agents

196WBMS has two School Safety Agents, Officer Medina and Officer Mathis

School Safety Agent responsibilities include:

  • Respond to immediate security situations
  • Help school personnel maintain discipline and follow visitor control procedures
  • Patrol areas within and immediately surrounding the school building.
  • Prevent intruders from entering the school building
  • Report serious incidents to the school administration and School Safety Division

Building Response Team

The Build Response Team (BRT) are emergency information and action management teams that exist within each NYC DOE school.  BRT Members form the school’s core emergency response group and are selected by the Principal to handle school or student-related emergencies or conditions. BRT members are not first responders.

General Response Protocol

The General Response Protocol (GRP) has been designed to provide the direction that schools will take when an emergency incident occurs. At its core is the use of common language to identify the initial measures all school communities will take until first responders arrive.

Shelter-In! "Attention this is a shelter-in. Secure the Exit doors" (Shelter-In is used when the threat is outside of the building)

Evacuate! The fire alarm will signal an evacuation. When the PA system is used, directions will be specific. (There are many reasons why an evacuation may occur. It is critical to listen to all announcements.)

Lockdown! "Attention we are in soft/hard lockdown. Take proper action." (Lockdown is used when the threat is inside the building)

Emergency Drills

Schools will still be required to conduct four lockdown drills per year in addition to eight evacuation drills (12 in total).

In an actual emergency situation, it is understood that physical distancing may not be possible.  

All students must participate in drills.  

Evacuation drills must be conducted as follows:

  • With consideration to overall number of students and physical distancing guidelines, drills may be conducted in stages rather than all at once. (ie. select floors)
  • If a drill is conducted in stages, all students must participate before the completion of the school day.
  • Drills must be scheduled to ensure that each group of the school’s blended learning schedule has an opportunity to participate in a drill. (Cohort A, B and C).
  • Students should exit the building and proceed to their staging area in single file lines.  Staff not assigned to students at a time of drill should monitor staging areas.
  • Students should be instructed to maintain a distance of six feet to comply with physical distancing guidelines and to wear a face covering. This includes re-entering the building after any evacuation drill or emergency. 

Lockdown Drills must be conducted as follows:

  • Each cohort (A, B and C) must have an opportunity to participate in a lockdown drill.
  • The announcement will say, “Attention, we are now in a soft lockdown drill.”
  • During a drill, students will be instructed to remain in their seats and silent instead of moving to the safe corner.
  • All instruction and movement within the classroom must cease until the lockdown drill is lifted.
  • All visual panels of classrooms and offices must be covered. 
  • In larger spaces such as the gymnasium, cafeteria, auditorium or library, students will be required to remain seated and silent until the drill has ended.

*In an actual soft or hard lockdown emergency, the priority is the immediate safety of all students and staff and complying with physical distancing guidelines may not be possible nor should it be a priority. In an actual soft or hard lockdown, students and staff must move to the safe corner and remain there until it is safe to move.

Responding to “Code Blue”

There are two defibrillators in our building.

The DOE conducts 2-3 unannounced drills each year.  All certified responders must participate in the drill.  We receive a grade after each drill.  We are  waiting to hear if these drills will be conducted this school year.

Door Alarms

Alarms have been installed on all exit doors.   The alarms are activated on a daily basis.  All staff members have been trained to respond if an alarm goes off.