2020-2021 Parent Handbook

Health & Safety Protocols

As we are approaching the start of the 2021-22 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 a full re-opening of school buildings and in-person learning!

What Happens if Someone Gets Covid-19

In the event there is a positive case in a classroom, all students in the class will be instructed to quarantine for 10 calendar days. Students will continue to receive live remote instruction while they quarantine.

Schools will be closed only when it is determined by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) that there is widespread transmission in the school. With the health and safety measures in place, we expect that school closures will be limited.


Starting with the first day of the 2021-22 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.  


Regular COVID-19 testing provides school communities and public health experts with valuable information. Continuing the successful safety practices of last year, there will be regular testing for COVID-19 in our schools.

Every school will randomly test biweekly unvaccinated students, who have submitted consent for testing, at a threshold of ten percent of unvaccinated students per school population. This way, if there is a positive case, action can be taken right away to protect the school community. Students and staff who are fully vaccinated are not required to be tested.

It is important that you provide consent for your child to participate in the in-school testing program.


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. 

Social Distancing

Students and staff must maintain three feet of physical distancing throughout the school day whenever possible.

Visitor Policy

All visitors (age 12 and older) must show proof of at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination to enter a DOE building. Visitors do not include students attending school in a DOE building.

Acceptable proof of vaccination is one of the following:    

Mandatory Daily Health Screening for Students

Every student and staff member must complete the Health Screening Form(Open external link) prior to entering the school building each day. Anyone entering the building must confirm that they are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, have not recently tested positive for COVID-19, and are not currently required to quarantine based on close contact with an infected person. If you need a thermometer to check for a fever, you can request one from your school.

If a student or staff member is feeling ill, they must stay home and get tested, which is an effective way of protecting the whole school community. Every school will have a nurse on staff to whom students can report if they are feeling ill.

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

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.

Attendance Policy

  • 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.

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

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, Technology 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 2021-2022 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 

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 2021-2022 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 4thReport Card #1/Parent-Teacher Conference #1
Thursday, March 3rd – Report Card #2/Parent-Teacher Conference #2
Monday, June 27th – 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  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).  


Discipline Code

The Discipline Code applies to all students—and includes both supports and interventions, as well as disciplinary responses. 

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

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. 
  • 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. 
  • Create a positive reinforcement system: Students can find extra motivation through rewards, 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 school. 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. 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.

Some damaged iPads are protected by AppleCare. 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.


Google Classroom

We are using Google as our technology platform for the 2021-22 school year. All students will have a NYCDOE Google account, which your teacher will make sure your child is a part of.


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

196 WBMS students should arrive at school by 8:00am to begin the day. Students will receive a grab and go breakfast on their way to class. The 3K and Pre K will enter through the main doors on Bushwick Avenue. Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 will enter on Meserole Street (doors by the park). Grades 3-5 will enter on Meserole Street (doors closer to Bushwick Avenue). MS 582 will enter on Scholes Street

Dismissal Procedures

Dismissal for all students is at 2:20. Students will be dismissed at the arrival location. After school programs will run from 2:30-5:30 Monday-Friday.


Breakfast & Lunch Procedures

Students will receive a grab and go breakfast when they arrive at school. Lunch in the cafeteria will be on a rotating basis. Students will have outdoor recess.



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/

After School Programs

Grand Street Settlement- This program is offered at no cost to the students in grades K- 5. Students will be provided with an afterschool meal. Please contact Andre Washington for more information please contact: awashington@grandsettlement.org Fitkidz- 3K and PreK students are eligible. Cost is $5.00 per hour ( approximately $15 per day/$75 per week). Please contact Madeline Vera for more information please contact: Fitkidzafterschool@gmail.com

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 Jones.

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.