2020-2021 Parent Handbook

Health & Safety Protocols

As we are approaching the start of the 2022-23 school year, we want to share some important information with you about health and safety protocols for your child:

DOE Fall 2022 COVID-19 Guidance

This guidance provides best practice considerations for schools for the 2022-2023 school year to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 among students and staff.

  • Vaccination: Vaccination is the best way to reduce COVID-19 risk. Encourage up to date COVID-19 vaccination for everyone six months or older.
    • Visit the vaccine finder page(Open external link) or call 877-829-4692 to find a location near you.
    • Up to date includes boosters for everyone who is eligible and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people. See At-A-Glance COVID-19 Vaccination Schedules (cdc.gov).
    • Vaccination Requirements:
      • Vaccination is still required for all visitors entering school buildings
      • Vaccination is still required for all DOE employees
      • Vaccination is still required for other individuals who work in DOE buildings
      • Vaccination is no longer required to participate in high-risk extracurricular activities including high-risk PSAL sports 
  • Daily Health Screener:
    • No longer required to enter school buildings 
  • Stay home if sick: Students and staff should stay home if they show any symptoms of COVID-19 or other illnesses and get tested for COVID-19. 
  • Isolate if COVID-19 positive: Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 5 days and can return to school on day 6 if they have no symptoms or symptoms are improving. They should wear a mask until day 10 after symptom onset or date of positive test, whichever is earlier. Masks may be removed during this period if the person has received two negative rapid tests 48 hours apart.
    • These cases should be reported to their school so they can be report into the sit room for exposure notifications.
  • Get tested if exposed to COVID-19: Students and staff who are exposed to COVID-19 should get tested.
    • These individuals should receive home tests from their school and take two tests, at least 48 hours apart. All exposed individuals should monitor for fever and other COVID-19 symptoms for 10 days after their exposure. If symptoms begin, they should not attend school and should isolate and get tested for COVID-19 again right away. 
  • Testing:
    • Starting the first day of school, schools will offer home test kits to those with a potential in-school exposure and those with symptoms
    • In addition, each staff and student will receive 4 tests per month to take home. These tests can be used by school families for testing due to symptoms, exposures, high-risk activity (such as travel and large gatherings) and can give staff and students immediate results.
  • Situation Room:
    • Schools will be required to report positive cases of COVID-19 to the situation room.
    • The Situation Room will provide schools with standardized communications for their communities and will notify school communities of cases in their schools through daily email and the Daily COVID map. 
  • Masking- Face coverings are strongly recommended to be worn when indoors. Masks will be made available at the school for all those who need/want them.
    • Students and staff, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask when:
      • Returning to school on the sixth day after testing positive for COVID-19, through day 10 after symptom onset or date of positive test, whichever is earlier, including when traveling on a school bus. Masks may be removed during this period if the person has received two negative rapid tests 48 hours apart.
      • Entering the school medical room, nurse’s office, or school-based health center.
      • Exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 at school.
    • Students and staff, regardless of vaccination status, are also strongly recommended to wear a mask:
      • When they were exposed to someone with COVID-19, whether the exposure occurred in school or outside of school. The person should wear a mask for 10 days after their last day of exposure and get tested at least 48 hours apart.
      • When they are moderately-to-severely immunocompromised, and masking is recommended by their healthcare provider.
      • In crowded indoor settings 

Visitor Policy

All visitors must show proof of at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination to enter a DOE school building. Visitors do not include students attending school or school related activities in a DOE school building.

Acceptable proof of vaccination is one of the following:

Mandatory Daily Health Screening for Students

  • Daily Health Screener:
    • No longer required to enter school buildings 

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 1st Grade

For the 2022-2023 school year, P.S 196 will be scoring grades K-1 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 – 2nd 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 2022-23 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

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.  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 can arrive to the cafeteria for a hot breakfast beginning at 7:30am. Lunch in the cafeteria will be served every day. Please click here to see the school lunch menu.



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.

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 are required to conduct four lockdown drills per year and eight evacuation drills (12 in total).

All students must participate in drills.  Below please find a summary of all school drills.

Soft Lockdown: No Imminent Danger

Administrative teams, Building Response Teams, and School Safety Agents will meet at the designated command post for further direction.

Hard Lockdown: Imminent Danger

No one should sweep the school in a hard lockdown. All individuals, including School Safety Agents will take appropriate lockdown action and await the arrival of first responders. In a Hard Lockdown, there may be instances where additional action is needed to minimize the danger to individuals. Adults and students will also need to consider all available options during an incident. They may need to run out of the building to remain safe and contact 911 if they are in an area that allows them to do so. They may need to hide (remain in lockdown) to ensure that they are behind a locked door and remain silent, or if faced with an imminent threat in their room or office, they may need to confront their attacker. 

In Any Lockdown

  • A Public Address (PA) announcement made two times:
    • Attention: We are now in soft/ hard lockdown. Take proper action.
  • Students are trained to move out of sight and keep silent.
  • Teachers are trained to:
    • Check the hallway outside of their classrooms for students, lock classroom doors, and turn off the lights.
    • Move out of sight and keep silent
    • Wait for first responders to open door, or for the message:
      • The Lockdown has been lifted
      • followed by specific directions
    • Take attendance and account for missing students by contacting the main office.


  • Often, the fire alarm system alerts staff and students to start an evacuation.
  • However, there may also be times when a Public Address announcement starts an evacuation.
    • Announcements will begin with “Attention” followed by specific directions
    • They are made two times.
    • Students are trained to:
      • Leave belongings behind
      • Form a single file line
        • In cold weather, students should be reminded to take their coats.
          • However, students wearing exercise or gym clothes will not return to the locker room.
        • Students without winter coats will be taken to safe, warm location as quickly as possible.
    • Teachers are trained to:
      • Grab evacuation folder (with attendance sheet and Assembly cards).
      • Lead students to evacuation location as identified on Fire Drill Posters.
      • Always listen for additional directions
      • Take attendance and account for students.
      • Report injuries, problems, or missing students to school staff and first responders using Assembly Card method.


  • There is a Public Address announcement made two times:
    • Attention. This is a shelter-in. Secure the exit doors.
  • The Shelter-In directive stays in effect until it is ended by a Public Address announcement
    • The Shelter- In has been lifted
  • Students are trained to:
    • Remain inside the building
    • Conduct business as usual
    • Respond to specific staff directions
  • Teachers are trained to:
    • Be more aware of their surroundings
    • Conduct business as usual

BRT members, floor wardens, and Shelter- In staff will secure all exits and report to specific post assignments



The Hold response calls for no movement throughout the building until the “all clear” is given. While in Hold response, instruction and office tasks may continue as normal but no one may leave the room they are in until the Hold has ended.

Hold is initiated when there is a condition inside the school building, and the immediate need to address the condition requires staff, students, and visitors to remain in place and conduct business as usual until the “All Clear” is announced.

Hold might be initiated to manage an incident in the building that does not place the school community in danger, or whenever directed by First Responders Hold does not replace a soft or hard lockdown.

The Building Response Team and School Safety Agents will sweep the building. Anyone found in the restrooms, hallways, stairwells, or the lobby will be taken to a designated area until the “All Clear” announcement is made.

Announcements must be made to remind everyone to disregard any “end of class” signals. No one may enter or leave their room or office until the announcement is made indicating that the “All Clear” has been issued and the building can return to regular operation.

During a Hold, anyone entering the school must be informed of the Hold. If students are returning from lunch, they must be escorted to a designated area where they can remain, with proper supervision, until the “All Clear” announcement is made.

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.