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Family Resources

 

PUBLIC PREP ACADEMIES FAMILY HANDBOOK 2017-18

General Information

History

Public Prep’s flagship school, Girls Prep Lower East Side, launched as NYC’s first and only public all-girls charter school serving kindergarten and first grade students in 2005. The school was founded on the belief that some students excel academically in a single-sex environment and ​that parents, regardless of their race or income level, should have the power to choose a great public school for their children. Likewise, if parents wanted their daughters to experience a rigorous, single-gender environment, they should also have that option​. Over the years, Girls Prep LES expanded as the first cohort of students advanced to the next grade. Girls Prep LES now serves students grades K-8 on two campuses. In 2009, the founders decided to replicate the Girls Prep LES model in the Bronx. ​Public Prep also launched in 2009 to support the administrative demand of the schools, to assist in the replication and start-up process, and to open future single-sex public elementary and middle schools in New York City. Today, ​Girls Prep Bronx also serves elementary and middle school students on two separate campuses in the South Bronx. Believing that the same holds true for our boys, Public Prep launched Boys Prep Bronx in 2014 with three classes each of kindergarten and first grade and intends to grow by a grade each year through 8th grade. 

Mission 

At Public Prep, Girls Prep and Boys Prep scholars are challenged to think and work hard every day.

We start early with the end of college completion in mind. We create a warm and joyful culture of rigor in which scholars build strong character by adopting the core values of community, merit, responsibility, and scholarship. Our scholars master the ability to read, write, listen, speak, create, and think deeply across disciplines, with a particular focus on science, the arts, and math. They work independently and in teams to solve problems collaboratively. 

Girls Prep or Boys Prep alumni will be resilient young scholars of bold intellect. They will be empathetic leaders, knowledgeable and curious about the world. They will be goal-oriented decision-makers empowered to make choices that will lead to life success.

Our Schools

  • Girls Prep Lower East Side
    • Elementary School: 442 East Houston Street, New York, NY 10002 | Grades K-4 | 212-388-0241
    • Middle School: 420 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10009 | Grades 5-8 | 212-358-8216
  • Girls Prep Bronx | PrePrep: Joan Ganz Cooney Early Learning Program
    • Elementary School: 681 Kelly Street, Bronx, NY 10455 | Grades PreK-5 | 718-901-3855
    • Middle School: 890 Cauldwell Avenue, Bronx, NY 10456 | Grades 6-8 | 718-655-6090
  • Boys Prep Bronx | PrePrep: Joan Ganz Cooney Early Learning Program
    • 192 East 151st Street, Bronx, NY 10451  | Grades PreK-5 | 718-860-8774

Academics

ASSESSMENTS

Our school is founded on the expectation that all students will learn and achieve academic excellence. Teachers are expected to differentiate instruction so that lessons are implemented in a way that meets each student’s individual needs. A variety of student data, including both formal and informal assessment, is used by the teacher as she or he plans instruction. Assessments may include: 

  • STEP Assessment
    • Measuring students’ reading growth over time
    • Informing and adjusting teachers’ instruction
    • Assigning reading groups, interventions, and determining “just right” level independent reading books
  • Benchmark Writing Assessments
    • Measuring students’ writing growth from the beginning of the year to the end of the year based on the Common Core writing standards
    • Informing and adjusting teachers’ instruction
  • Measures of Academic Progress (MAP Test)
    • Providing data about how students compare to other students nationally
    • Measuring students’ reading and math growth over time
  • Interim Assessments & Biweekly Quizzes in ELA and Math (grades 3-8)
    • Measuring the student's’ level of mastery of the Common Core State Standards.
    • Informing action plans based on the identified sub-skills.
    • Tracking the growth in student mastery over time.
  • Tests/Quizzes/Performance-based Assessments
    • Determining what students have mastered at the end of a unit
    • Measuring students’ growth over time
  • New York State Tests    
    • Measuring mastery of content and skills developed over the course of the year in ELA, math (3​rd​ - 8​th​ graders) and science (for 4​th​ and 8​th​ graders) 
  • New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT)     
    • Measuring  the proficiency level of speaking, listening, reading and writing in English. 
      *Only administered to students who have been identified as English Language Learners
  • Teaching Strategies GOLD           
    • Measuring students readiness for kindergarten across six dimensions: socio-emotional skills, physical, language, cognitive, literacy, and mathematics
  
FIELD TRIPS

Field trips are integral to the well-rounded education we aim to provide. Throughout the year, we will design learning experiences around the city and beyond that deepen and broaden students’ understanding of academic content and the world around them. 

Although some field trips will be free for students, certain trips will require a fee to contribute to transportation costs, entrance fees, etc.  We will make every effort to keep these fees to a minimum.  In addition, when families are notified about a field trip, we may send a list of items needed for the trip.  We will try to minimize these requests, but we appreciate assistance from families when we do make these requests. 

Pre-K students will not go on field trips involving transportation until ​after ​ January 1st of the school year. 

 
GRADE PLACEMENT POLICY
Public Prep is committed to providing all students with equitable and effective learning opportunities. We believe that all students learn differently, and thus provide a continuum of interventions and accelerations to meet students where they are and help them achieve. We use an evidence-based, tiered framework of support to ensure positive educational, socio-emotional, and behavioral outcomes for all students. ​I​nclusive schools are places where students, regardless of ability, race, language and income, are integral members of classrooms​.  ​All students feel a connection to their peers, have access to rigorous and meaningful general education curricula and receive collaborative support to succeed. 
As a network, our mission is to ensure the academic success of all students. The early childhood grades are critical for preparing students for success in the later grades. We take a student-centered and individualized approach to grade placement. In addition to getting to know each child’s social and emotional development (social maturity), we use a variety of academic data in order to determine the grade placement that will put each child on a path to college completion and success in life.
 
We spend an incredible amount of time and energy consulting with each child’s teachers and reviewing student work and experiences in order to determine grade placement. In some cases, we may determine that a student requires additional time in a grade in order to be fully prepared for success in the next grade level and beyond. If we determine that this decision is in the best interest of the child, it is because we believe this gift of time is the best choice for the child’s educational career. In some cases, we may determine that a student requires additional time in a grade in order to be fully prepared for success in the next grade level and beyond. If we determine that this decision is in the best interest of the child, it is because we believe this gift of time is the best choice for the child’s educational career.  
 
Pre-K

NYC Universal Pre-K students are not held to promotion standards. However, your child’s teachers will discuss kindergarten readiness with you by assessing your child’s:

  • Eagerness to learn
  • Communication skills; ability to express him/herself and follow oral directions
  • Independence
  • Attendance
  • Social maturity
  • Fine motor skills
  • Basic letter and number recognition
Elementary School & Middle School

Each grade is critical for preparing students for success in the following grades. We take a student-centered and individualized approach to grade placement. In addition to getting to know each child’s social and emotional development (social maturity), we use a variety of academic data in order to determine the grade placement that will put each child on a path to college completion and success in life. 

When we believe that a student may benefit from an additional year of learning, we inform families by no later than February 1st. Within one week of being notified that a student may need additional time, teachers will contact families to discuss their child’s individual learning needs and the steps the school has taken and will take in order to fully support the child. On the March report card, families will receive an update on whether an additional year of learning may be necessary. The final decision will be made by the school principal and teams of teachers upon completion of the final marking period in June. The principal ​reserves the right to exercise discretion at any time in the school year to put a student in the environment that best supports his/her learning i​ncluding the most appropriate grade level. 

Students who meet any of the below criteria at Mid-Year will receive letters indicating that they may benefit from an additional year of learning. 

Kindergarten    

●    STEP at or below level 3
●    Below 25th percentile on Spring MAP Reading or Math
●    Below 25th percentile for Growth on Spring MAP Reading or Math
●    At least one 1 on report card in core academic subjects
●    More than 10% missed instructional days            

First

  • STEP at or below level 5
  • Below 30th percentile on Spring MAP Reading or Math
  • Below 30th percentile for Growth on Spring MAP Reading or Math
  • At least one 1 on report card in core academic subjects
  • More than 10% missed instructional days            

Second

●    STEP at or below level 7
●    Below 25th percentile on Spring MAP Reading or Math
●    Below 25th percentile for Growth on Spring MAP Reading or Math
●    At least one 1 on report card in core academic subjects
●    More than 10% missed instructional days

Third     

●    STEP at or below level 9
●    Below 25th percentile on Spring MAP Reading or Math
●    Below 25th percentile for Growth on Spring MAP Reading or Math
●    Average score of ​16% or less​ of the highest three (3) PPN Math bi-weekly quizzes.
●    At least one 1 on report card in core academic subjects
●    More than 10% missed instructional days

Fourth

●    STEP at or below level 9
●    Below 25th percentile on Spring MAP Reading or Math
●    Below 25th percentile for Growth on Spring MAP Reading or Math
●    Average score of ​16% or less​ of the highest three (3) PPN Math bi-weekly quizzes.
●    At least one 1 on report card in core academic subjects
●    More than 10% missed instructional days

Fifth 

●    STEP at or below level 10
●    Below 25th percentile on Spring MAP Reading or Math
●    Below 25th percentile for Growth on Spring MAP Reading or Math
●    Average score of ​16% or less​ of the highest three (3) PPN Math bi-weekly quizzes.
●    At least one 1 on report card in core academic subjects
●    More than 10% missed instructional days

Sixth 

●    Below 25th percentile on Spring MAP Reading or Math
●    Average score of ​16% or less​ of the highest three (3) PPN Math bi-weekly quizzes.
●    At least one D on report card in core academic subjects
●    More than 10% missed instructional days

Seventh

●    Below 25th percentile Spring MAP Reading or Math
●    Average score of ​16% or less​ of the highest three (3) PPN Math bi-weekly quizzes.
●    At least one D on report card in core academic subjects
●    More than 10% missed instructional days
 

Eighth 

●    Below 25th percentile on Spring MAP Reading or Math
●    Average score of ​60% or less​ of the highest three (3) PPN Math bi-weekly quizzes.
●    At least one D on report card in core academic subjects
●    More than 10% missed instructional days
 
Families will be notified in writing if their students may be best served by an additional year of learning. Families are encouraged to meet with the classroom teacher(s) following this notification. The Principal makes final decisions about grade placement in​ June and reserves the right to exercise discretion at any time in the school year to put a student in the environment that best supports his/her learning, i​ncluding the most appropriate grade level. 
 

HOMEWORK
Homework is an essential part of our program designed to reinforce skills taught in the classroom, help students develop a deeper understanding of concepts, and promote disciplined study habits needed for college. In addition to nightly reading, homework may be assigned every night, including weekends and school breaks. Homework must be fully completed and reflect high quality work and effort.  


To support students in keeping track of their assignments, all students are provided with a binder or folder (elementary school) or daily planner (middle school). ​The student’s family will receive a phone call or email from the teacher if their child has missed several assignments. We expect and need family support to make sure all the homework is done to the highest standard of academic excellence. 

 

PROGRESS REPORTS, REPORT CARDS AND FAMILY-TEACHER CONFERENCES

We believe it is important for teachers and families to communicate regularly about student progress. During the middle of each trimester, families will receive a progress report which outlines the student’s progress across all graded courses. This document outlines student progress in the areas of English Language Arts, Math and Core Values/Behavior. 
At the end of each trimester, families will receive a report card and participate in family-teacher conferences 
(elementary school)/family-student-teacher conferences (middle school). The report card outlines students’ progress and performance in both academic and character skills. As outlined in the Commitment to College Completion signed at the beginning of the year, families are expected to attend all family-teacher conferences.  The purpose of the conference is for teachers and families to have the opportunity to discuss the student’s progress from the prior term and to discuss academic and behavior goals for the upcoming term. 

 

READING

Our school hopes to nurture a deep love of reading. There is a strong correlation between reading and academic success; therefore, students are expected to read every night. Through nightly reading, students will gain knowledge, strengthen their vocabulary, and improve their writing skills. Families can support this expectation by providing a quiet reading space at home and asking their child about what he/she is reading. Families are required to sign a reading log every night (Pre-K and elementary school).  

 

SPECIAL POPULATIONS

Public Prep is committed to providing all students with equitable and effective learning opportunities. We believe that all students learn differently, and thus provide a continuum of interventions and accelerations to meet students where they are and help them achieve. We use an evidence-based, tiered framework of support to ensure positive educational, socio-emotional, and behavioral outcomes for all students. ​I​nclusive schools are places where students, regardless of ability, race, language and income, are integral members of classrooms​.  ​All students feel a connection to their peers, have access to rigorous and meaningful general education curricula and receive collaborative support to succeed.

Students also receive related services according to mandates on the IEP. ​Public Prep is committed to partnering with families and the district CSE to ensure that all students receive high quality services. If you feel like your child needs to be evaluated for special services, please speak directly with school leadership to begin the referral process.  


Additionally, our school will collaboratively develop 504 plans to ensure that individuals with diagnosed needs are accommodated in the school environment. These require annual renewal and a visit to a physician. Families can initiate the process of developing a 504 plan by contacting school leadership.  

Multilingual Learners

We value the linguistic diversity of our multilingual learners and ensure they have access to a rigorous standards-based curriculum, while simultaneously receiving intensive support to build English language skills.

 

STATE TESTING POLICY

The NYS test is one of the four key performance indicators that our school uses to track our students' growth. It is, therefore, a core element of our academic program from which students and families ​may not “opt out.”​ We have high expectations for our students, and believe that all of them deserve the opportunity to show what they know on this important assessment. 

 

TEACHER QUALIFICATIONS

Our school goes to great lengths to recruit and retain excellent teachers.  Candidates submit detailed applications, are interviewed at least twice, are observed teaching a model lesson, and are fingerprinted by the New York City Charter Center and Department of Education.  Only the highest caliber candidates are offered jobs at our school.  In compliance with the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), families have the right to request information regarding the professional qualifications of their child’s classroom teachers, including information regarding certification and academic degrees.  All Fellows have bachelor’s degrees from accredited colleges and universities. Upon written request to the Principal/Director of Operations, this information will be provided to the requesting family in a timely manner. If you have a question or concern about your child’s teacher, please initially speak to the teacher directly before directing your concern to the administration. 

Commitment to College Completion

COMMITMENT TO COLLEGE COMPLETION CERTIFICATE (FOR EACH FAMILY) 
The School:

The faculty and staff at Public Prep Network Schools, believe in your child’s success and college completion. Therefore, we are committed to being a school that places great emphasis on not only access to, but completion of a degree from a four-year university. Believing wholeheartedly that his/her degree is a gateway to living a productive life of freedom and choice, we commit to providing him/her with a safe and positive learning environment where: 

  • S/he will receive a solid academic foundation so that s/he will one day enter and complete the college of his/her choice
  • S/he will be held to high academic and behavioral standards
  • His/Her teachers will challenge him/her to develop critical thinking skills
  • S/he is offered opportunities to demonstrate self-control and personal growth
  • We will communicate regularly with your family regarding his/her progress and respond to all communications within 36- 48 hours
The Family:

I, ​Family Representative’s Name​, have chosen Public Prep Network for my child because I share the vision and commitment to college completion. I understand that my relationship with Public Prep Network  is central to my child’s success. I agree to support his/her learning and ensure that s/he is on a path to earning his/her college degree by doing the following: 

  • Ensure my scholar is prompt and present every day and not deprived of his/her learning
  • Attend all family conferences each year
  • Hold him/her responsible for doing his/her homework and reading independently for at least 20 minutes or with me every night
  • Respond to all communications within 36-48 hours
  • Make sure s/he wears his/her complete uniform every day
  • Communicate respectfully with every member of the school community, using the core values as a guide (this includes verbal communication, email and any social networking sites)
  • Work as a partner with the school to honor their systems and collaborate on plans to support my student.
The Scholars commitment:

My family, my school and I know that I will enter and complete the college of my choice. I will do the following to make sure that I earn my college degree: 

  • Come to school prepared to learn, wearing my complete school uniform to avoid distraction
  • Maintain high expectations for myself
  • Attend school and arrive on time every day in accordance with the school’s schedule
  • Complete all class and homework assignments on time and with excellence
  • Read every night to develop excellent reading and study habits
  • Communicate respectfully with every member of the school community, using the core values as a guide (this includes verbal communication, email and any social networking sites)

This is both a promise, based on our determination to get our students to and through college AND a document - certificate signed by all families, students, teacher and Principal.

 

NY529 COLLEGE SAVINGS ACCOUNT PROGRAM 

As a symbol of our commitment to college completion and belief that it is important to begin planning early, we encourage our families to open a NY 529 College Savings account which can be opened with a minimum of $25; earnings grow federally tax-free. Public Prep makes a contribution to newly opened accounts and yearly contributions when families deposit at least $25 each year. Additional incentives are offered to families each school year. Families interested in learning more about opening a NY529 College Savings account and the contributions that can be earned, should inquire in the office of Student and Family Affairs. 

Culture

CORE VALUES

Our Core Values of scholarship, merit, community (brotherhood/sisterhood) and responsibility are woven into all that we do.  We are certain that through hard work, dedication and a strong belief in success, we will achieve our mission. 

Pre-K Elementary School Language:

Scholarship: “I learn new things every day”

All community members will:

  • Ask questions and pursue answers
  • Use multiple strategies in problem solving
  • Be willing to work to their fullest potential
  • Make connections between learning experiences in and out of school

Merit: “The harder I try, the more I achieve”

All community members will:

  • Set high standards and personal goals for improvement
  • Produce work that demonstrates excellence
  • See tasks through from start to finish
  • Be proud of their personal achievements and the achievements of others
  • Believe in themselves and try their hardest        

Brotherhood/Sisterhood: “I depend on my brothers/sisters and they depend on me”

All community members will:

  • Show respect for themselves and others
  • Support those who need help and accept help when needed
  • Acknowledge and encourage the efforts of others
  • Value each learner, teacher and leader
  • Treat others with kindness and respect

Responsibility: “I choose to do the right thing (even when no one is watching)!”

All community members will:

  • Have the confidence and courage to do what is right
  • Work together to make the community better
  • Transform better into best
  • Admit mistakes and work to fix them
Middle School Language:

Scholarship: “I determine my future through hard work and education”

All community members will:

  • Think hard, creatively, and originally each day
  • Ask clarifying questions and expand their responses when necessary
  • Independently seek information about new topics
  • Form and defend an opinion based on contextual evidence

Merit: “My effort leads to my achievement”

All community members will:

  • Take intellectual risks and try new things
  • Persevere, especially after experiencing failure or making a mistake
  • Recognize and manage stress in a positive and productive manner
  • Advocate for yourself by asking for help
  • Embrace the struggle

Brotherhood/Sisterhood: “I support my brothers/sisters and they support me”

All community members will:

  • Include others and appreciate their differences
  • Encourage each other to make the right choices
  • Treat all community members respectfully
  • Commit to community service
  • Listen patiently and speak calmly
  • Build positive relationships with others
 
HOME VISITS

A strong family-school connection is vital for student success. This connection begins and is reinforced each year through our home visits. The purpose of the Home Visit is to strengthen the family-school partnership, ensure that proper supports are in place for the family and the student, review school systems and expectations, and hear from families and the student about anything important they want to share. We prefer that these visits are done in your home, however, they may be arranged at a local library, coffee shop, or the school. 

 

RESPECTFUL COMMUNICATION
The expectation at our school is that ​all​ community members speak to each other with respect. Our school community includes, but is not limited to: fellow families, school staff, members of our co-located school (if applicable), building custodial staff, volunteers and students. Respectful communication includes verbal, written, email, and any social networking sites. ​If you have any concerns regarding student issues, please DO NOT directly address any of the students.​  Instead, let a staff member know immediately. 
 
Note: We do not dress up for Halloween or any other holiday. Opportunities for dressing up/down are announced by the school leadership team

 

UNIFORM AND DRESS CODE

We focus on what’s inside, not outside. In order to reinforce school unity, students must wear the official school uniform. Uniforms unite us as a community, reduce distractions and clothing competition, and make us all equal. All students are required to arrive to school and leave school in their school uniform, including field trips, half-days, day before a major holiday and the last day of school (unless otherwise noted by school leadership).  Students are not allowed to change out of uniform at the end of the school day. If a student does not arrive to school in proper uniform, s/he will need to borrow a loaner uniform, if available, or have a family member bring a uniform to school for him/her to change into. 
Note: We do not dress up for Halloween or any other holiday. Opportunities for dressing up/down are announced by the school leadership team.
 

The official school uniform can be ordered online at www.flynnohara.com or by visiting the store: 

Flynn & O’Hara 
136 Westchester Square
Bronx, NY 10461
(718) 863-7561

Please note below the general uniform guidelines. For a complete policy, please request one from the SFA office:

PrePrep: Joan Ganz Cooney Early Learning Program       

Tops:

  • Yellow PrePrep tshirt or Orange PrePrep tshirt with PrePrep logo
  • Gray crew neck sweatshirt with PrePrep logo
  • *No hoodies

Bottoms:

  • Plain navy pull-on elastic waist pants
  • *Can be from any store/brand

Shoes:

  • Any color velcro sneakers
  • Any color socks
  • *No light up sneakers
Girls Prep Elementary Schools   
(K-2):

Tops:

  • White Girls Prep polo shirt (peter pan or plain polo style)
  • Navy cardigan (plain or with the logo)
  • Navy fleece (plain or with the logo)
  • *No hoodies
Bottoms:
 
  • Navy blue jumper with the Girls Prep logo

Shoes:

  • All black, brown, or navy Mary Jane shoe with strap across the ankle
  • All black or navy sneakers.
  • Any color stockings, knee highs, leggings, or socks

(LES 3-4; BX 3-5):

Tops:

  • White Girls Prep oxford shirt
  • White Girls Prep polo shirt
  • Navy cardigan (plain or with the logo)
  • Navy fleece (plain or with the logo)
  • *No hoodies

Bottoms:

  • Navy skort with the Girls Prep logo
  • Navy Kilt with the Girls Prep logo
  • Navy Blue Pants

Shoes:

  • All black, brown, or navy Mary Jane shoe with strap across the ankle
  • All black or navy sneakers
  • Any color stockings, knee highs, leggings, or socks.
Girls Prep Middle Schools              

Tops:

  • White oxford shirt, white polo, purple polo (all shirts must have the Girls Prep logo)
  • Navy cardigan or navy fleece sweater (plain or with the logo)
  • *No hoodies

Bottoms:

  • Navy skirt with the logo, navy kilt with the logo, navy blue pants

Shoes:

  • All black or navy flat rubber sole shoes or sneakers
  • Blue, black or white stockings, knee highs, leggings, or socks.
  • *No boots
Boys Prep Bronx 

(K - 2):

Tops:

  • Gray long/short sleeve polo with the Boys Prep logo
  • Navy crew neck sweatshirt, fleece, v-neck sweater, or vest (plain or with the Boys Prep logo)

Bottoms:

  • Navy pants

Shoes:

  • All black or navy sneakers

(3 - 4):

Tops:

  • Light blue long/short sleeve polo with logo

Bottoms:

  • Navy pants

Shoes:

  • All black or navy sneakers

(5): 

Tops:

  • Purple short sleeve polo with the Boys Prep logo
  • Boys Prep blue oxford short/long sleeve and navy bowtie
  • Navy crew neck sweatshirt, navy fleece, navy v-neck sweater, or navy vest with the Boys Prep logo

Bottoms:

  • Navy pants

Shoes:

  • All black or navy sneakers
Jewelry and Other Accessories (General guidelines)

We would prefer if students do not wear jewelry. Large earrings, multiple chains, rings, and bracelets distract from the uniform and from learning. In addition, such items can get lost or stolen. If a student chooses to wear jewelry, it must be modest. 
The school has the authority to determine what jewelry is inappropriate, excessive or distracting and a student will be asked to remove such items. ​We are not responsible for lost or damaged jewelry. 
Hats ​may not be worn during the school day. 

Makeup, Hair & Nails:
  • Absolutely no makeup for Pre-K and Elementary students (only lip balm permitted).
  • ●    Middle school students with excessive and distracting makeup may be asked to remove it at a staff member’s discretion (absolutely no makeup items should be out and being applied during the school day).
    ●    Hair accessories, bangs covering the eyes, or hairstyles that distract the student or those around them will  not be permitted.
    ●    Religiously-mandated head coverings such as hijabs are, of course, respected. No sleep headdresses, hair nets, do-rags, shower caps, etc.
    ●    Artificial nail extensions are not permitted for PreK-Elementary students.
    ●    Nail accessories or polish that distracts the student or those around them will not be permit

Undergarments must not be visible through the uniform shirt (please avoid bright colors); sagging pants are not permitted.


UNITY MEETINGS

Unity Meetings are an important part of our school culture. During Unity Meetings our school gets together to celebrate our four core values: Scholarship, Merit, Sisterhood/Brotherhood, Responsibility. Unity Meetings are focused around the development and demonstration of our core values and may be used to teach or reinforce a particular value and/or recognize student effort and achievement. Families are welcome to attend Unity Meetings! Please refer to the monthly calendar and the Weekly Blossom/Tangram for more information about upcoming Unity Meetings.

 

Behavior, Social, and Emotional Support

We are committed to providing a safe and responsive school community where students feel safe and can develop the skills and confidence to compete at the highest academic levels and display the character traits needed to enter and complete college. We partner with families to reinforce academic, behavioral, and socio-emotional expectations and systems. Our goal is to empower our students to do the right thing at all times, reinforce their ability to develop the skills needed to be successful, and celebrate the good things that happen in their lives as a result.

STUDENT AND FAMILY AFFAIRS TEAM

The ​Student and Family Affairs Team (SFA Team) serves as a resource to faculty members, students, and students’ families on behavior, emotional health, and social skills. Members of the SFA team may do any of the following: 

  1. Contact the families of students who are consistently late or absent to determine solutions so that their child arrives at school on time and in accordance with the school’s academic calendar.
  2. Contact the families of students who have trouble meeting behavioral expectations in order to determine individualized behavioral solutions.
  3. Contact Children’s Services if the student exhibits signs of abuse or neglect (i.e. patterns of lateness to school and absence from school, late pick-up from school; being consistently unkempt or dirty; exhibiting signs of physical abuse)​.
  4. Organize group activities that focus on developing specific social skills.
  5. Serve as a resource to faculty members and families on different strategies to help students succeed in school.
  6. Provide counseling or refer families to outside support services as needed.
  7. Provide support and/or guidance to families in times of hardship.
  8. One assigned member of the team serves as the liaison between the Community Council and the school.
BEHAVIOR CRISIS RESPONSE TEAM
Public Prep schools are a safe and supportive environment for all of our students. We realize that sometimes children may not be able to safely control their bodies at times of emotional crisis. Public Prep’s curriculum is designed to help students learn to self-regulate and de-escalate conflicts. In the event that a student loses control of their body and becomes a danger to themselves, other students, teachers or staff, Public Prep schools have Behavior Crisis Response Teams (BCRT) that are properly trained to defuse behaviors that are violent and disruptive.  

Members of the BCRT are certified in the Crisis Prevention Institute’s Non-Violent Crisis Intervention. This training helps staff members identify student behaviors and respond appropriately in a number of different situations. Non-Violent Crisis Intervention interventions include physical restraint. Restraint is rarely used at Public Prep schools. BCRT teams will always try several strategies to help a student regain control of their body before restraint is used. 

If a student is physically restrained, the school will notify the parent within 24 hours. The notification will include the reason for physical restraint and the length of time that the student was restrained. BCRT members will document any intervention that lead to physical restraint, and a copy of that documentation will be provided to parents on request. 
 
CODE OF CONDUCT
Safe, Healthy, and Inclusive Learning Environment 
Public Prep Network is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, healthy learning environment.  All community members are expected to follow the Community Expectations and live our Core Values.  Public Prep believes that fair is not equal and is prepared to to meet our scholars needs to the best of our ability.  
Progressive Discipline 

Public Prep Network follows a progressive discipline system where, with support and high expectations from adults, students are expected to view logical consequences as a learning opportunity to make better choices in the future. We believe that any disruption to the learning community is unacceptable. In instances when the learning community is disrupted, our schools will take into consideration the student’s age, maturity and previous disciplinary record as well as the circumstance surrounding the incident when issuing consequences for a discipline infraction.  In an effort to promote our core values and address student behaviors that disrupt the learning community, we will exercise the range of disciplinary responses listed below.  By law, Public Prep Network is required to refer to a student’s IEP, BIP and 504 Accommodation Plan, when applicable.  

The following behaviors will be immediately addressed by our school based teams, using a range of possible logical consequences related to the matter. All consequences are in an effort to repair the harm to the community and introduce the student back in to the learning community safely.  Infractions and their consequences are tracked in our student database.  
 

INFRACTIONS

Infractions and their consequences are documented in our student database. ​The Principal, Director of Student and Family Affairs  and Dean reserve the right to exercise discretion and educational judgment in all cases. 
Progression of Consequences 
At Public Prep students are not permitted to take away other students’ learning time, however, low level behaviors should not be a reason for removing a student from class.  All staff members are expected to hold all students to Community Expectations and follow our code of conduct if those expectations are not upheld.​
 This includes using the Kickboard System to communicate feedback with students and families along with logical consequences and taking time to meet privately with students that are having difficulty meeting expectations.  

Infraction Levels

Level 1 - Non compliant and distracting behavior (Green)

Level 1

Community Expectation - Come to school prepared to learn, teach, and learn.

Infraction Description (including but not limited to):

  • Not following expectations
  • Out of uniform
  • Incomplete homework
Community Expectation - Care for all community members

Infraction Description (including but not limited to):

  • Minor verbal disrespect or hurtful words to community members
  • Making inappropriate noise that disrupts the learning community
Community Expectation - Respect our environment
Infraction Description (including but not limited to):
 
  • Using items unrelated to school (toys or other unauthorized items
  • Not cleaning up after yourself and/or leaving trash
Community Expectation - Make healthy choices
Infraction Description (including but not limited to):
  • Violation of the Healthy Food Policy.
Resulting Action - (including but not limited to):
 
  • Verbal/Non-verbal reminder from staff
  • Redirection from staff
  • Loss of privilege
  • Reflection/Time Out
  • Additional homework assignment/reflection
  • Making up lost learning time during student social time (snack, recess, lunch)
  • Confiscation of items unrelated to school
  • Conference with student
  • Family conference or phone call with teacher or referring staff member

Level 2 - Disorderly and disruptive behavior (Purple)

Level 2 - Repeated level 1 infractions can become level 2 infractions after several reminders and interventions

Community Expectation - Come to school prepared to learn, teach, and learn.
Infraction Description (including but not limited to):
  • Refusing to actively listen to community members
  • Constantly arriving to school late
Community Expectation - Care for all community members

Infraction Description (including but not limited to):

  • Verbal and/or physical disrespect to community members, cursing, refusal, with words and with body, teasing, yelling or screaming, and gestures. 
Community Expectation - Respect our environment
Infraction Description (including but not limited to):
 
  • Using school materials in an unsafe way
  • Using school materials without permission
Community Expectation - Make healthy choices
Infraction Description (including but not limited to):
  • Leaving the classroom without permission 
Community Expectation - Believe in yourself and try your hardest
Infraction Description (including but not limited to):
  • Repeated level 1 infraction after several reminders and interventions
 
Resulting Action - (including but not limited to):
  • Step Out - To a buddy classroom
  • Send Out - SFA Office
  • Loss of privilege for an extended period of time
  • Alternative setting and or space  for lunch and recess
  • Alternative seating out of the community
  • Family conference with teacher and/or Dean of Culture or Academic Director
  • Family shadow
  • Additional homework assignment/reflection/project
  • Community service project
  • Detention ​(Middle School)

Level 3 - Aggressive harmful behavior (Yellow)

Level 3 - Repeated level 1 or 2 infractions can become level 3 infractions after several reminders and interventions

Community Expectation - Come to school prepared to learn, teach, and learn.
Infraction Description (including but not limited to):
  • Repeated violation of school policies (attendance, uniform, healthy food)
Community Expectation - Care for all community members

Infraction Description (including but not limited to):

  • Verbally aggressive/threatening behavior
  • Physically aggressive behavior (play-fighting or horseplay, hitting, kicking, spitting)
  • Making threats
  • Taking items without permission
Community Expectation - Respect our environment
Infraction Description (including but not limited to):
 
  • Throwing, pushing, kicking, sliding classroom materials
  • Vandalizing community property
Community Expectation - Make healthy choices
Infraction Description (including but not limited to):
  • Violating of Technology/Internet Safety policy
  • Leaving the school building without permission 
Community Expectation - Believe in yourself and try your hardest
Infraction Description (including but not limited to):
  • Giving dishonest or misleading information
  • Academic dishonesty
  • Committing a level 2 infraction interventions and consequences
 
Resulting Action - (including but not limited to):
  • Send Out**
  • Family Conference with Dean of Culture, Academic Director and Principal
  • Loss of privilege
  • Apology to community
  • Alternative seating out of the community
  • Alternative learning environment
  • Alternative setting for lunch and recess
  • Additional homework assignment/reflection/project
  • Community service project
  • Family shadow
  • Detention ​(Middle School)
  • Suspension
  • Superintendent/Designee Meeting
  • Expulsion

Level 4 - Dangerous violent behavior (Red)

Level 4 - Repeated level 1-3 infractions can become level 4 infractions after several reminders and interventions

Community Expectation - Come to school prepared to learn, teach, and learn.
Infraction Description (including but not limited to):
  • Disregard for school wide policies and procedures
  • Serious/dangerous disruption of the learning environment
Community Expectation - Care for all community members

Infraction Description (including but not limited to):

  • Targeted, repeated harassment towards a community member
  • Discrimination​ including but not limited to, different races, weights, national origins, ethnic groups, religions, religious practices, mental or physical abilities, sexual orientations, gender identity, and sexes.
  • Fighting  - on and off school property
  • Unwanted/ unsafe touches
  • Using internet service or any technology (such as web pages and discussion groups as well as instant messaging or ​SMS​ text messaging) to support deliberate, repeated, and unkind hostile behavior by an individual or group with the intention of harm
Community Expectation - Respect our environment
Infraction Description (including but not limited to):
 
  • Destroying community property
  • Tampering with the fire alarm
Community Expectation - Make healthy choices
Infraction Description (including but not limited to):
  • Threatening to harm another member of the community
  • Possession, using, selling or sharing tobacco, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vape, hookah, lighters,  alcohol, illegal or controlled substances.
  • Possession, using, selling or sharing a dangerous object 
Community Expectation - Believe in yourself and try your hardest
Infraction Description (including but not limited to):
  • Committing the same infraction after suspension, logical consequences, and intervention.
  • Committing a level 3 infarction after logical consequences and intervention.
 
Resulting Action - (including but not limited to):
  • Family Conference with Superintendent
  • Loss of privilege
  • Apology to community
  • Alternative seating out of the community
  • Alternative learning environment
  • Alternative setting for lunch and recess
  • Additional homework assignment/reflection/project
  • Community service project
  • Family shadow
  • Detention ​(Middle School)
  • Suspension
  • Superintendent/Designee Meeting
  • Expulsion

Behavioral Interventions

Tier 1 Intervention (Green)

(Examples include the following, but are not limited to):
 
Social Emotional Curriculum
  • Students are taught k-5 specific techniques to identify strong feelings. After identifying the feeling students are taught to problem solve and navigate their feelings in a safe way.
Least Invasive Redirection 
  • Delivering consistent and effective Nonverbal Interventions
  • Effectively delivering verbal corrections, both Public Group Corrections and individual corrections..
  • Anonymous Individual Corrections, for when teachers have to correct publicly
  • Using Whisper Corrections to maintains as much student privacy as possible
Logical Consequences - “Break it, fix it” 
  • When something has been broken or made a mess, the student will have the opportunity to fix or clean up the mess as related to the mistake.
Logical Consequences - “Loss of privilege” 
  • If a student does not meet expectations, he or she may lose the opportunity to use school materials, classroom job or other responsibilities earned until the student can show that he/she is following expectations.
Logical Consequences - “Reflection” 
  • Reflection Space (Elementary School)/ Peace Place (Middle School)
    • Each classroom will have a designated space available for students who are asked to take time-out in order to reflect on their behavior choices or “cool down” and refocus on learning.  ​Teachers may ask a student to spend time in the reflection space as a logical consequence when his/her behavior is disruptive and other attempts to get him/her back on track have not been successful.​  Teachers must be very explicit with the student about what they want the student to do in the reflection space.  The student may be asked to fill out a reflection sheet or an apology of action that assists in the reflection process.  Reflection sheets are connected to Public Prep Core Values and used to assist the student to think about his/her choices and how to make a different choice in the future so that learning time is not interrupted.  In class reflection time should not be longer than 10 minutes.
Step Out 

After a student has received several least invasive redirections and done an in-class reflection, a student may be asked to leave the classroom if the behavior persists and a student is unable to quietly reflect in their classroom. The step out is in buddy classroom already determined by the classroom teachers.  When a student steps out to another classroom the student is expected to complete a reflection or take a break for no longer than 10 minutes.  The referring staff member is responsible for ensuring the student returns to the classroom and conferencing with him/her upon re-entry.  The conference should include clear next steps for support or intervention to help the student get back on his or her learning. 

Send Out  

When a student has received step out in another class and has not begun to meet behavioral expectations, the supervising staff member may send the student to the Student and Family Affairs Office. ​A Send Out Slip must be completed by the reporting staff member.​  An appropriate consequence will be determined in collaboration with the SFA Office and the referring staff member.  When the consequences is determined communication will be made to the students’ family.  

Tier 2 Intervention (Purple)

(Examples include the following, but are not limited to):
 
Check In Check Out System 

The program consists of students daily checking in with an adult at the start of school to retrieve a goal sheet and encouragement, teachers provide feedback on the sheet throughout the day, students check out at the end of the day with an adult, and the student takes the sheet home to be signed, returning it the following morning at check in. 

Modified Functional Behavior Assessment  

A functional behavior assessment will help to determine why certain behaviors are presenting.  The assessment consists of multiple observation on different days during different times of target behaviors, antecedents and conclusions.
 
Individual Behavior Intervention Action Plan

During a formal meeting with school based leadership teams and a network representatives, clear goals, objectives and interventions will be finalized into an individual behavior intervention action plan.  The plan will be shared with the student and his/her family.  The plan will include behavior goals and a communication plan to revisit goals and determine progress of the interventions. ​All students that are suspended will have an Individual Behavior Intervention Action Plan that will highlight interventions to support their behavior goals following the suspension.  This plan will be created during the suspension re-entry meeting.  

Individual Incentive Systems 

An incentive system will be put into place for a student that is struggling to meet expectations.  The incentives will be based on motivation for the student and then there will be a gradual release of these incentives as the student makes progress to meeting expectations.  

Structured/Scheduled Breaks 

During the school day the student will have scheduled when he/she is able to leave the classroom and participate in movement and or brain break from the routine of the regularly scheduled day.  

At Risk Counseling - Individual or Group 

At risk counseling will be offered to students that are having behavioral and academic challenges.  These counseling sessions are based on a 6 week schedule during this time with the school social worker students will be offered sessions including but not limited to support developing relationships with peers and adults, more in depth sessions of our current social emotional curriculum, turn taking, and anger management strategies.

Tier 3 Intervention (Yellow)

(Examples include the following, but are not limited to):
 
Tier 3 Behavior Intervention Action Plan
 
Clear goals and objectives will be finalized before a plan is formally introduced to the student.  The plan will include behavior goals and a communication plan to revisit goals and determine progress of the intervention based on a previous behavior intervention action plan created post suspension.
 
Functional Behavior Assessment  

A functional behavior assessment will help to determine why certain behaviors are presenting.  The assessment consists of multiple observation on different days during different times of target behaviors, antecedents and conclusions.  

Behavior Improvement Plan 

Data from the FBA is used to create a behavior improvement plan that will support the student during the school day.  This plan will be revisited and changed to meet student need throughout the year.  

Individual Safety Plan 

An individual safety plan will be created to support students in crisis.  This plan is an extension of the Building Crisis Response Plan and tailored to meet specific need for an individual student.
 
Mandated Counseling 

Counseling that is required as part of an IEP. 

Health and Safety

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Medical and Immunization Records 

Upon enrollment, families are asked to alert school administration of any allergies from which their children suffer. Families are also asked to advise school administration if they grant the school permission to take their child to a hospital in the event of an emergency during school hours. 

All students must be immunized, in compliance with New York State Law.  Students who do not have the proper immunizations will be denied access to school until the immunizations are administered. Please see your pediatrician for a complete record of your child’s immunizations to date and those required for enrolling and attending school. 
 
New York State Immunization Requirements 2018-19 

Pre-K

Diphtheria and Tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine and Pertussis vaccine (DTaP/DTP/Tdap/Td)^2 
4 Doses
 
Tetanus and Diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine and Pertussis vaccine booster (Tdap)^3
Not Applicable
 
Polio vaccine (IPV/OPV)^4

3 Doses

Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR)^5

1 Dose

Hepatitis B Vaccine^6

3 Doses

Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine^7

1 Dose

Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY)^8

Not Applicable

Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine (Hib)^9

1 to 4 Doses

Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine (PCV)^10

1 to 4 Doses

K-4

Diphtheria and Tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine and Pertussis vaccine (DTaP/DTP/Tdap/Td)^2 
5 Doses or 4 Doses if the 4th dose was received at 4 years or older or 3 doses if 7 years or older and the series was started at 1 year or older
 
Tetanus and Diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine and Pertussis vaccine booster (Tdap)^3
Not Applicable
 
Polio vaccine (IPV/OPV)^4

4 Doses or 3 Doses if the 3rd close was received at 4 years or older

Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR)^5

2 Doses

HePatitis B Vaccine^6

3 Doses or 2 Doses of adult hepatitis B vaccine (Recombivax) for children who received the doses at least 4 months apart between the ages of 11 through 15 years

Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine^7

2 Doses

Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY)^8

Not Applicable

Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine (Hib)^9

Not Applicable

Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine (PCV)^10

Not Applicable

5

Diphtheria and Tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine and Pertussis vaccine (DTaP/DTP/Tdap/Td)^2 
5 Doses or 4 Doses if the 4th dose was received at 4 years or older or 3 doses if 7 years or older and the series was started at 1 year or older
 
Tetanus and Diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine and Pertussis vaccine booster (Tdap)^3
Not Applicable
 
Polio vaccine (IPV/OPV)^4

3 Doses

Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR)^5

2 Doses

HePatitis B Vaccine^6

3 Doses or 2 Doses of adult hepatitis B vaccine (Recombivax) for children who received the doses at least 4 months apart between the ages of 11 through 15 years

Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine^7

1 Doses

Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY)^8

Not Applicable

Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine (Hib)^9

Not Applicable

Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine (PCV)^10

Not Applicable

 

6-10

Diphtheria and Tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine and Pertussis vaccine (DTaP/DTP/Tdap/Td)^2 
3 Doses
 
Tetanus and Diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine and Pertussis vaccine booster (Tdap)^3
1 Dose
 
Polio vaccine (IPV/OPV)^4

4 Doses or 3 Doses if the 3rd close was received at 4 years or older

Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR)^5

2 Doses

HePatitis B Vaccine^6

3 Doses or 2 Doses of adult hepatitis B vaccine (Recombivax) for children who received the doses at least 4 months apart between the ages of 11 through 15 years

Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine^7

2 Doses

Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY)^8

Grades 7,8 and 9: 1 Dose.

Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine (Hib)^9

Not Applicable

Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine (PCV)^10

Not Applicable

11 and 12

Diphtheria and Tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine and Pertussis vaccine (DTaP/DTP/Tdap/Td)^2 
 
3 Doses
 
Tetanus and Diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine and Pertussis vaccine booster (Tdap)^3
 
1 Dose
 
Polio vaccine (IPV/OPV)^4
 
3 Doses
 
Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR)^5
 
2 Doses
 
HePatitis B Vaccine^6

3 Doses or 2 Doses of adult hepatitis B vaccine (Recombivax) for children who received the doses at least 4 months apart between the ages of 11 through 15 years

Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine^7

1 Doses

Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY)^8

Grade 12: 2 Doses or 1 Dose if the dose was received at 16 years or older

Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine (Hib)^9

Not Applicable

Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine (PCV)^10

Not Applicable

 

Order of Protection 

If a family has obtained an order of protection and requires the school not to release the student to any particular person(s), you are required to provide a copy for the main office and one for School Safety.  Orders of Protection that are outdated will not be honored; they must be current. 

Safety Drills 

Safety drills occur throughout the school year and are coordinated across all schools in the building (if applicable). Drills are scheduled in advance and are announced over the Public Announcement system as drills to avoid causing any alarm. We do our best to avoid scheduling drills during family events.  
For the safety of our students, we practice the following safety drills: 
Evacuation (formerly referenced as “fire drills”): 
It is our duty to instruct our students to evacuate the building in the shortest possible time without confusion or panic in the event of a sudden emergency inside the school building. During evacuation drills, the expectation is that students are silent, facing forward at all times as they walk out of the building, and listening for the teacher’s instructions. Students and any other visitors in the building must follow school staff instructions on how to exit the building.  

Shelter-In: 

This safety procedure is used when there is a threat outside of the school building. During a shelter-in drill, or an actual shelter-in, no one is allowed to enter or exit the building. Student instruction continues as scheduled.  

Soft or Hard Lockdown: 

In the event of imminent danger within the school building, we teach our students to quickly remove themselves from harmful situations and to remain silent and out of sight. During these drills, the expectation is that students are secured in a safe space, are silent, and are following teacher instructions. Soft and hard lockdown procedures are the same for students and visitors. Staff are knowledgeable about the slight differences in soft and hard lockdown procedure. Students and any other visitors in the building must follow staff instructions on how to safely secure themselves in the building. During a soft lockdown or drill, a School Safety Agent will stand outside of the main entrance to prevent visitors from entering the building. During a hard lockdown, the main entrance will not be secured since School Safety Agents will have also retreated to safety. 
 

Please note that it is important for family members to follow school rules and to be a model for positive, safe behavior. It is our expectation that every person within the school building participates in the drills while at the school and observe all building safety policies, i.e., observing posted safety signs, signing in within School Safety, showing ID, etc. If you are found to violate safety procedures, you will be issued an initial warning letter, followed by a letter of limited access if the behavior continues (​see Limited Access Policy​ ).

Speaking with your child about the importance of safety is a great way to support the work we are doing in the school. 

Student Illnesses 

If your child requires medication during school hours, only the school nurse may administer medication.  However, medication may not be given without the completion of an approved 504 Form required by the State Health Department.  504 policies will be approved at the nurse’s discretion. This policy applies to all medicine, including aspirin, Tylenol, and other over-the-counter medicines. 
All student medicines will be kept in a locked file cabinet in the nurse’s office.  The school nurse will keep a detailed log of all medicines that are administered.  

The following symptoms will be referred to the school nurse and may require a student to be sent home: 
 
  • Persistent fever greater than 100.4° orally, including a fever that requires control with medication such as Tylenol
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Severe cough that makes a child feel uncomfortable or disrupts the class
  • Sore throat that is severe along with fever and feeling ill for more than 48 hours, OR after known exposure to a confirmed case of Strep throat infection
  • Honey-crusted sores around the nose or mouth or rash on other body parts; OR a rash in various stages including boils, sores and bumps that may be chicken pox; OR a significant rash accompanied by other symptoms of illness such as fever
  • Large amount of discolored nasal discharge, especially if accompanied by facial pain or headache
  • Severe ear pain or drainage from the ear
  • Severe headache, especially if accompanied by fever
  • Live head lice
  • Diabetes patients with elevated blood sugar levels despite medication, or inadequate supplies to treat in school nurse office
  • Asthma symptoms that do not respond to prescribed medication or no prescribed medication is available in school nurse office
  • Any condition that may be serious or contagious to others

Discipline Procedures

Suspension & Expulsions (includes Due Process) 

Administration will proactively work with families and students to prevent a suspension or expulsion. We depend on families, as our partners, to support their son/daughter in adhering to school expectations and character development. 

Suspension 

Suspension is the temporary removal of a student from the regular school program because his/her behavior presents a clear and present danger of injury to his/herself or others, prevents the orderly operation of classes or other school activities, or negatively affects the health, safety, welfare and/or morals of others. For severe or repeated violations of our core values and our community expectations, students may be assigned to in-school or out-of-school suspension. If a student is assigned in-school suspension, the student is not allowed to participate with classmates in any part of the school day. Classwork and alternative instruction will be provided. The student will be separated and supervised throughout the day. If a student is assigned to out-of-school suspension, he/she may not come to school for the period of the suspension, except for the designated time for alternative instruction. 
Alternative instruction ​(not just homework) is live instruction, provided by a certified or NCLB highly qualified teacher, 1 hour for elementary school students and 2 hours for middle school students. During the time of an out-of-school suspension, the student, can come to an assigned room within the school for instruction. Students who attend alternative instruction will not be marked absent. The suspended student and his/her family will be informed of the reason for any planned suspension in writing, and a copy of the suspension letter will be placed in the student’s file. Whenever possible, notification will also be provided by telephone. While on suspension, in-school or out-of-school, students are not permitted to participate in any after school activities or events that are sponsored by the school. 

Short-Term Suspension (5 days or less) 

As per our due process policy, within 24 hours of a short-term suspension, the student and his/her guardian will be given written notice of the suspension and description of the incident, as well as an offer to partake in an informal conference with the principal or his/her designee. The student and/or parent may present the student’s version of the incident and/or ask questions in reference to the incident. The principal or his/her designee reserves the right to make the final decision about the short-term suspension. The notice will also give the family information about the alternative instruction the student will receive while suspended. 

Long-Term Suspension (6 days or more) 

As per due process policy, within 24 hours of a long-term suspension, the student and his/her guardian will be given written notice of the suspension and charges against the student. The notice will inform the guardian of his/her right to have a suspension hearing (including the date and time for the suspension hearing), his/her right to have an attorney present, his/her right to question witnesses and present evidence at the hearing, as well as information about the alternative instruction the student will receive while suspended. 
The guardian/family and student has a right to a suspension hearing within five days of the planned suspension. If the family needs more time to obtain an attorney, the guardian may request to reschedule the hearing. The student may remain in alternative instruction until the hearing occurs and the impartial hearing officer makes a decision about the suspension. If the student’s presence poses a continuing danger to persons or property, an informal family conference shall take place as soon as possible after the suspension. 

Expulsion 

Expulsion is the permanent removal of a student from the school. 
The following behaviors may result in a recommendation by the school officials for immediate student expulsion: 
\selling, using, or possessing fireworks or contraband; selling or transferring alcohol, drugs, or other controlled substances or drug paraphernalia(lighters, matches); possession of a weapon; assault; commission of a felony; any act which school officials reasonably conclude warrants an expulsion; repeated offenses that have resulted in short- or long-term suspensions. 
An expulsion may be imposed by the school administration (or Board of Trustees, in the absence of the CEO, Superintendent,  Principal, or otherwise) after the student has been found guilty by a formal suspension hearing and the expulsion is confirmed by a vote of the Board of Trustees. 
A guardian will be notified in writing within 24 hours of the decision to impose an expulsion. A short-term suspension will be issued until the expulsion hearing can take place.  At the formal hearing, the student and/or guardian shall have the right to be represented by counsel, question witnesses, and present evidence. 
The notice to the guardians of the expelled student will include instructions regarding the need to comply with state compulsory education laws (the period of time during which a student must be enrolled in school by law) by enrolling the student in a district or other SED approved school, as well as the process and contact information that school will use to receive the student’s records from our school. 

Due Process for Suspension or Expulsion 

New York State students of appropriate age are entitled to a public education as a “property interest.” In order to take some part (or all) of that property interest, due process must be followed. In all cases, scholars must be given notice and an opportunity to be heard. A family member will be informed of their right to request an informal conference with the administration where they may present the student’s version of the incident and/or ask questions of the complaining witnesses. If the student’s presence poses a continuing danger to persons or property, an informal family conference shall take place as soon as possible after the suspension. 

Suspension or Expulsion Hearing 

In the event of a suspension or expulsion hearing, the school will provide an impartial hearing officer who will decide, (1) if the student has done what the notice says s/he did; and, if so, (2) what the appropriate response should be for the student’s conduct (this must be in line with the school’s discipline policy). The impartial hearing officer can accept the school’s recommendation for a long-term suspension or expulsion, reject the recommendation and allow the student to return to school, or decide that a shorter suspension or less severe consequence is appropriate. 

Family Involvement

COMMUNITY COUNCIL

The Community Council is a vibrant family-run organization that exists to give families and staff a unified voice in the school. All families are members of the Community Council and are expected to volunteer for at least two hours during the school year. Community Council officer elections are held at the end of each school year for the following school year. Positions on the Community Council include 

  • President*
  • Secretary*
  • Treasurer*
  • Vice President (may be multiple positions)
  • Co-Secretary (if necessary)
  • Co-Treasurer (if necessary)

*mandatory positions for official Community Council

As outlined in our Charter, one senior officer of each Pre-K through 8th grade school (GP LES, GP Bronx, BP Bronx) serves a one-year term on the Board of Directors.

 

VOLUNTEEERING

As a family member of a Public Prep student, you are an integral part of your child’s success. Involvement opportunities include:

  • being an active member on the Community Council
  • helping to chaperone a field trip, assisting your child’s teachers
  • volunteering at breakfast or lunch
  • attending some of the many family workshops and educational events offered throughout the year
  • attending family-teacher conferences
  • attending Unity Meetings

To get involved, please contact your child’s teachers or someone in our Student and Family Affairs Office. All family volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and must be trained by our Student and Family Affairs Department. It is our expectation that families will attend at least three family events per school year.

School Day Policies/Procedures

ATTENDANCE

The first step toward academic success and achievement for your child is ​arriving to school on time and recognizing that every day counts​. Research and our own experience has shown that students with excellent attendance in school perform better academically. We also want to promote our core value of ​responsibility as we help them develop the life skill of punctuality. This is a key life skill that they will need throughout their academic career, especially in college. Our attendance policy is designed to support you and your child with developing great attendance habits.  


If your child will be absent from school, ​you must call the school by 8 a.m on the day of the absence and notify the school of the reason for the student’s absence and the expected date of return.

 
It is important to note that ALL ABSENCES, excused and unexcused, are considered absences. However, we recognize that there are legitimate times when coming to school is not possible. Appropriate documentation is required to excuse an absence.​ Absences will only be excused for: 

  1. Medical/Dental emergency; a doctor’s note is required to excuse the absence
  2. Death in the family
  3. Legal proceedings that require the child’s presence; a note requiring student's presence is required from the court or government agency to excuse the absence
  4. Religious observance

Note: A doctor’s note is required for students who have been absent for three or more days due to illness.

We encourage you to refer to the Academic Calendar when scheduling routine medical appointments and family vacations, as these are not legitimate reasons for being absent.

In cases of truancy, our staff must meet with the student and parent in order to determine needed supports and an appropri​ate course of action, which may include, but is not limited to: guidance intervention, referral for counseling, and/or referral to Time Management Tutoring. As mandated reporters of educational neglect, and other areas of neglect and abuse, we will refer families who continue to struggle with truancy to preventive services through the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). Additionally, students who miss 18 or more instructional days (10% of days in session) may jeopardize their promotion to the next grade. 


The school may contact ACS upon ​five consecutive unexcused absences where no contact has been made regarding the whereabouts of the student. Upon ​20 unexcused consecutive absences​, the family forfeits the student’s seat and it is given to the next student on the waitlist

 

RECOGNITION FOR PERFECT OF PERFECT AND OUTSTANDING ATTENDANCE

Public Prep provides financial rewards for excellent attendance. Each trimester, we will make contributions to scholars’ NY 529 College Savings Account if they have perfect or outstanding attendance (for those scholars enrolled for at least 25 days within the trimester). For the 2018-2019 school year, we have increased our contribution incentives to recognize the importance attendance plays in a scholar’s journey to college and will grant these monetary incentives for perfect attendance (100% present, 0 tardies, and no early departures) and outstanding attendance (98% present, fewer than 4 tardies, and up to 4 early departures). For information about these incentives or to sign up to participate in the NY 529 College Savings Program, please contact your school’s main office or the school’s Student & Family Affairs contact. 

LATE PICK UP

 
All Public Prep schools have a specific start and end time and each team is dedicated to an orderly and consistent arrival and dismissal process each day for students and staff.  While, the majority of our students are picked up on time,  each day, a few students remain in the building at times up to 90 minutes after dismissal with no clear communication from families to the school.  Late pick-up has a negative impact on our students and our staff who are not able to attend professional development, complete work tasks and students who are eager to end their day.  Beginning October 1st, there will be a $10 charge for families for late pick ups 20 minutes past the dismissal time.  The fees collected will support families in need of uniforms and other services deemed necessary by school personnel.

 
We understand from time to time, there are emergencies that prevent a family from arriving on time.  We ask that you reach out and communicate those individual concerns for a one time grace period if you are going to be late and the approximate time.  Each family will have one free late pick-up per trimester.  After that, the $10 fee will go into effect for pick-ups starting 20 minutes past dismissal.   After 60 minutes past dismissal time, students who are not picked up will be brought to the local precinct.  The school will contact you when they are on route to the precinct so that you can arrange for an individual to pick up your scholar.  If balances have not been cleared at the end of the trimester, school year, the school reserves the right to withhold participation from paid activities as well as your child’s progress reports and report cards.  In addition, school verification letters will not be printed until the balance has been cleared.  


Should you have any questions about after school services in the area, please reach out to your Student and Family Affairs Team for a comprehensive list.

BIRTHDAYS

Birthdays are recognized monthly at Unity Meetings, which we encourage families to attend! Birthday parties, however, are not permitted during the school day or on school property.  


Pre-K & Elementary 


If you wish to celebrate your child’s birthday outside of school, the teacher will only distribute invitations for the party if you invite everyone in your child’s class. If you are having a smaller event and you are not inviting all students, the invitations may not be distributed at the school; you may do so privately. Please assist your child in considering the feelings of others by not discussing the party at school if all students in the class have not been invited. 


Middle School 


Students may distribute their own invitations privately. Please assist your child in considering the feelings of others by not discussing the party at school if all students in the class/grade have not been invited. 


Classroom Visits 


Families are welcome to visit their child’s classroom. Families must make an appointment with the classroom teacher at least 24 hours prior to their visit to ensure that classroom instruction will not be interrupted and to avoid any scheduling conflicts. Families must check-in at School Safety and the Main Office prior to proceeding their child’s classroom.We invite you to take advantage of the various opportunities the school offers to come in and observe or take part in student learning. 

 

HEALTHY FOOD POLICY

We place a strong emphasis on good nutrition and making healthy food choices. Research shows that diet has a big influence on health. Eating healthy provides our students with the fuel their bodies and minds need to help them remain focused in their classes. It is important for our students to eat healthy and establish healthy eating habits now for the future. 
Packed lunches and snacks from home should be well-balanced to meet the requirements of our healthy food policy. Students are not permitted to bring to school or consume candy, soda, foods with high sodium or sugary beverages. Gum and sunflower seeds are not allowed anywhere in the school building. Please also note that any vending machines that may be located in the school building are solely for the use of our co-located school (if applicable). Under no circumstances will our students be allowed to make purchases from any vending machine on the premises. We will try to send any unhealthy snacks brought to school back home whenever possible, ​however once unhealthy items are opened they will be thrown away. 

Examples of healthier food choices (these items ARE allowed):

  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • graham crackers
  • granola bars (without chocolate)
  • pretzels
  • air popped popcorn
  • hummus
  • fruit snacks made with 100% real fruit
  • baked chips
  • low-fat yogurt
  • trail mix
  • applesauce
  • crackers
  • cheese
  • fruit roll-ups (made with 100% juice)
  • raisins

Approved Drinks – in original packaging:

  • plain milk
  • 100% juice (Ex: Juicy Juice, Apple & Eve, Natural Fruit Juices)
  • juice water blend (Ex: Honest Kids Drink)

Examples of Items That Are NOT Allowed; These are SOME examples of items not allowed; items are not limited to this list.:

 

  • items with fructose, maltose, sucrose or sugar as one of their first ingredients
  • hot chocolate
  • juices with added sugar or high fructose corn syrup
  • fried food (Ex: McDonald's or KFC)
  • chips (Ex: Doritos, potato chips)
  • chocolate milk or any flavored milk
  • Gatorade
  • soda (including ginger ale)
  • 100 Calorie Packs (Brand of Snacks)
  • cookies
  • cake
  • snacks made with chocolate
  • fruit snacks with high fructose corn syrup
Helpful Hints
  • If you send mayonnaise or yogurt, please include an ice-pack in your child’s lunch box. Lunches and snacks will not be refrigerated.
  • 100% vitamin C is not the same as 100% juice. Many items with 100% vitamin C are made with a small amount of fruit and a substitute such as fructose. Make sure to read the labels carefully. If you are unsure about an item, we encourage you and/or your daughter to ask if the item is permitted.
  • Please note that glass bottles are NOT permitted

 

HOLIDAYS AND CELEBRATIONS

Our school recognizes that celebrations are learning and social opportunities that are meant to be inclusive and reflect our core values.  Therefore, celebrations that respect a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex, in accordance with the Dignity for all Students Act, are acceptable. 


Our school does not promote specific cultural, religious or personal beliefs; however, teachers may expose students to holidays, cultural events, and traditions for educational purposes. If families choose not to have their scholars participate in specific celebrations or require more clarification, they may request a meeting with a teacher or administrator so that the student can be provided with an alternative educational activity, if necessary. 
Across Public Prep Academies, our schools traditionally celebrate a Gratitude Luncheon and Unity Meetings. 
 

INCLEMENT WEATHER
School Closings

Public Prep Academies follows the same school closing schedule due to inclement weather as the New York City Public Schools. You can listen to 1010 Wins or watch NY1 for NYC public school closing information. If our school is scheduled to be open on a day when NYC Public Schools are closed and there are warnings for inclement weather, families will receive a text and robo-call to the primary number on file if the school will be closed. 

Recess Procedures

Just like reading or math, recess is a critical part of the school day. Students need an opportunity to take a break from the rigors of classroom instruction in order to exercise and to socialize with other students. Our students will go outside daily except in the event of inclement weather (winter weather or heat advisories). Please make sure your child has the appropriate outerwear during the winter months. Student are only excused from recess  if a doctor’s note is provided that states the student may not participate in outdoor activities. 

 

ITEMS UNRELATED TO SCHOOL

To maximize learning and academic achievement, students should only bring materials needed or required by teachers for learning.  Anything unrelated to academic work and not explicitly required by staff should not be brought to school. These items include but are not limited to iPods/iPad, tablets, e-readers, PSPs, Gameboys, magazines, makeup, dolls, baby bottles, pacifiers, games, playing cards, toys, jewelry (see uniform and dress code policy), large sums of money, snacks to be eaten outside of the cafeteria, etc. Such items can be very distracting during classes and incite student jealousy.  ​If a student brings such items to school, teachers will confiscate the items and will only return them when and if an authorized adult comes to the school to claim the item. All items not collected by the end of the term will be donated to charity. 

 

CELL PHONES AND OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICES

Cell phones and other electronic devices not part of the educational program, will not be allowed during the school day. Cell phones must be completely powered off and kept in the student’s book bag or locker. Students will not be allowed to use cell phones during the school day to make or receive calls, texts, email, or access any other social network service. If you need to reach your child, please call the main office​. ​Please do not call your child’s cell phone. 
If a cell phone and/or other unauthorized electronic device is visible and/or heard, it will be confiscated and returned at the end of the day to an authorized adult. If a student fails to comply with the cell phone policy, that student may lose the privilege of bringing a cell phone to school. 

The school will not be responsible for cell phones (including confiscated cell phones), or other electronic devices that are brought to school. 

LOST AND FOUND

Our school will keep a lost and found box of items that have not been labeled. You may come to the main office to request to search the lost and found box during school hours. Unclaimed items will be discarded, donated or re-used by the school.

MEALS

Beginning in 17-18, the Office of School Food and Nutritional Services of the New York City Department of Education (OSFNS) will provide each child with a free and nutritious school lunch each day. Families will be required to complete a Free and Reduced Lunch Application (whether or not their child will participate in the school lunch program) prior to October 15th. Families who do not fill out an application will continue to be billed for lunch, as missing school lunch forms result in a decrease of critically important federal funding to the school.  


Vegetarian meals are available for those students who have special dietary requests. Any food allergies will be honored if we receive documentation from the student’s doctor. Students should not bring meals that need to be heated or refrigerated, as these services will not be available to them. 

BREAKFAST

Breakfast is provided by OSFNS. Breakfast is free and is served daily to all students. Please see the school campus breakfast schedule for information about the time when breakfast is served. If students buy breakfast on the way to school and will eat it in the cafeteria, it must adhere to our healthy food policy (no fast food or junk food). The breakfast must be eaten before it is time to transition to class. We ask our families to support our students in developing morning routines that will allow them ample time to eat a healthy breakfast. 

STUDENT RECORDS

The school administration is in charge of keeping student records. Student records include, but are not limited to grades, evaluations, disciplinary actions, and health records. Student information that is personally identifiable is considered confidential. In most cases, confidential records will not be made available to any non-school personnel without consent by the parent/legal guardian. Otherwise the school will inform the family of the request and subsequent release of such information to any such authorized entity (such as the State Education Department, a juvenile court, a school into which the child is transferring, etc.). See the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act and Student Directory Information sections of this handbook for more information on obtaining copies of some or all of your child’s student records and to see what information may or may not be shared with others.

 

VERIFICATION LETTERS

The main office staff will process student record requests, including enrollment verification letters. Please allow two school days for completion of your request. Letters will be sent home in the student’s book bag if no specific instructions are provided within 48 hours. Only parent/legal guardians can request this documentation. 

 

TRANSPORTATION/METROCARDS

Our students may be eligible for a MetroCard to support transportation to/from school by the Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT). Students who live within the borough of the school, more than ½ mile in distance from the school but less than 1 mile may receive a Reduced-Fare MetroCard for public transportation. Students who live in a NYC borough outside of the borough of the school or greater than 1 mile from the school  may receive a Full-Fare MetroCard for public transportation. Students who live within the borough of the school, less than ½ mile in distance from the school are not eligible for a MetroCard. It is each student’s and/or family’s responsibility to hold onto the MetroCard. 

Please note carefully that a half-fare MetroCard contributes half of the normal bus fare and allows for one free transfer to any other NYC bus. A half-fare MetroCard, however, does not provide a free transfer from the bus to the NYC train. 
 

Replacing a Lost MetroCard

Requests for the replacement of MetroCards must be completed in writing (either written request or e-mailed request) and addressed to the Operations Associate, in the main office. Lost MetroCards take a minimum of one week to process/arrive from the OPT and must be logged before re-distribution to students. In the event that your child’s MetroCard is lost, you must cover the cost of student transportation until the replacement card arrives. 

Bussing

Bussing is only provided for students who are eligible at Boys Prep and Girls Prep LES Elementary, those at any other Public Prep Academy for whom it is mandated through their IEP (subject to approval by the NYC Dept. of Education), and eligible students in temporary housing (inquire in the main office for more information). 

 

WEEKLY BLOSSOM/TANGRAM

Each week, we send home via e-mail and/or book bag our weekly newsletter, The Weekly Blossom (Girls Prep) or The Weekly Tangram (Boys Prep).  Please look for this important information each week. The Blossom/Tangram contains important information on school events and the latest news. Please be on the lookout for this important communication. 

Other: Policies, Laws, Procedures

COMPLAINT POLICY
It is our goal to address any family concerns promptly and focus on resolving the issue in a professional and respectful manner. Families are encouraged to follow the guidance provided below when presenting complaints. 

Informal Complaints 
Complaints that are ​not​ violations of law or charter (i.e. teacher or class assignment) are considered to be informal and handled at the school level. Families with informal complaints should: 
  1. Make the informal complaint directly to the student’s teacher.
  2. If the issue is not resolved at the teacher level, then it may be taken to a member of the SFA team or Community Council President depending on the nature of the concern.
  3. If the issue is not resolved at the previous level, then the complaint may be taken to the Principal.
  4. If the issue is not resolved with the Principal, the complaint may be brought to the attention of Public Prep via the Superintendent. Families may email ​FamilyAffairs@publicprep.org​.

Issues involving a violation of the law or charter may also be resolved informally and you may wish to use this avenue before making a formal complaint.  Using the informal route does not prevent you later from using the formal complaint process. 

Formal Complaints 


A Formal Complaint is a complaint made when the law or charter is violated.  If the law or charter is not violated, the formal complaint process is not the appropriate avenue to seek a solution and families should refer to the informal complaint process above. 

Complaints that are regarding violation of law or charter must be addressed to the Chairman of the Board Trustees c/o Public Prep (may be emailed to ​FamilyAffairs@publicprep.org​ or via U.S. mail 441 E. 148th Street, Bronx , NY 10455). Complaints received at least five business days in advance of a board meeting will be dealt with at that meeting; those complaints not received within that time period will be dealt with at the next regularly scheduled board meeting.  

Every effort will be made to respectfully address the matter to the satisfaction of the individual or group who present the complaint.  The Board, as necessary shall direct the Principal or other responsible parties to act upon the complaint and report to the Board.  The Board shall render a determination in writing, as necessary. 

Appeal 

If, after presentation of the complaint to the Board of Trustees, you determine that the Board has not adequately addressed the complaint, you may present the complaint to our authorizer, the SUNY, Charter School Institute (CSI). CSI will require the complainant to submit the school’s decision on the complaint. Families may complete ​the ​SUNY Formal Complaint Form​ and email it to ​charters@suny.edu​ or mail it to the Institute at:
 
41 State Street, Suite 700
 Albany, NY 12207

If CSI as the authorizer of the school does not satisfactorily resolve a formal complaint, families can appeal CSI’s written determination to the New York State Board of Regents through the New York State Education Department by submitting written appeals by mail to:  

Charter Schools Office 
Room #5N EB 
Mezzanine 
89 Washington Avenue 
Albany, NY 12234 

 

DANGEROUS WEAPONS ON SCHOOL GROUNDS

Any student who is determined to have brought a weapon to school may be expelled from school for at least one year. Only the principal may modify such expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis. A weapon includes, but is not limited to items described in the New York Penal Law 265.01. IDEA and/or due process still apply. 

 

DIGNITY FOR ALL STUDENT ACT (DASA)

Our school creates a safe and supportive environment for all community members; we abide by the New York State Dignity for All Students Act. This law seeks to “provide students with a safe and supportive environment from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying (including cyber bullying) on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function.” Discrimination and harassment is prohibited by employees or students based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, and sex.  


Our Core Values Responsibility, Sisterhood/Brotherhood, Merit, and Scholarship, are infused throughout our school and is incorporated into the day to day instruction that occurs in each and every classroom.  Students are expected to demonstrate sisterhood/brotherhood in all of their interactions with Public Prep Community members.  When a core value is not shown or broken, there is a clear protocol for all staff members to follow to address issues both in the classroom and outside the classroom when necessary.   Each school has a social emotional curriculum where each classroom provides lessons that help foster an environment free from discrimination and harassment.  All grades follow a scope and sequence that includes safe touch lessons.  


All staff participates in at least one  DASA workshop during the year.  Additional professional developments opportunities also occur throughout the year in response to staff needs. 


Each school has a DASA Coordinator. Please reach out to the Student and Family Affairs Office for questions or reporting an incident DASA related.  
The emphasis on our Core Values throughout the day by all staff members has helped to create a safe and supportive environment for all students.  A clear protocol for staff has been established and all staff members are expected to address all low level infractions as well as more serious incidents.  Students know what the expectations are and logical consequences are used when students do not meet these expectations, both inside the classroom and with the assistance of school leadership.  If someone is not treated appropriately, the student who hurt the community or other community member works to make amends with the hurt party.  That students also works to develop their individual skills so they can make a different choice in the future.  Families serve as partners throughout this process.  To read the full Dignity for All Students Act, please visit​ ​http://www.p12.nysed.gov/dignityact/​. 

 

EDUCATION AND SUPPORT OF HOMELESS STUDENTS

A homeless child is defined as a child who does not have a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence or whose primary nighttime location is in a public or private shelter designated to provide temporary living accommodations, or a place not designed for, or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations for human beings. The school will determine whether there are homeless students within the student body by contacting our local department of social services. We also requests that families complete a “Designation/STAC-202” form that asks for a description of the current living arrangements of the child to determine whether the child or youth meets the definition of a homeless child under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act and New York Education Law in order to provide the child with access to all of its programs, activities and services to the same extent as they are provided to resident students. Our school has designated a local liaison for homeless children and youth ("McKinney-Vento liaison").  The McKinney-Vento liaison serves as one of the primary contacts between homeless families and school staff, district personnel, shelter workers, and other service providers.  The McKinney-Vento liaison coordinates services to ensure that homeless children and youth enroll in school and have the opportunity to succeed academically. For a full description of our policy on the education of homeless students, please request a copy from the main office. 

 

ELECTRONIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY
Like all businesses and educational institutions, Public Prep Charter School Academies (“PPA,” including, Girls Prep Lower East Side Elementary and Middle School, Girls Prep Bronx Elementary and Middle School, Boys Prep Elementary School, and PrePrep) (the “School”) must monitor the use of the School’s information systems to ensure compliance with institutional policies, protect the security and maintain the efficiency of its systems, and discourage inappropriate use. All students, employees, and other authorized users (“Users”) must use the School's information technology resources (“IT Resources”) in ethical and acceptable ways to ensure that all members of the School community have access to reliable, robust IT Resources that are safe from unauthorized or malicious use. At any time, and for any lawful purpose, the School may monitor, intercept and search any communication or data transmitted or stored on the IT Resources, including any personal information. 

By using the School’s IT Resources, you hereby accept and agree to comply with the terms and conditions set forth in this Electronic Information Systems Acceptable Use Policy and provide consent for any personal information input by you (your child) to be transferred to off-site servers located outside the location from which you are accessing the system, even if your access is through a personal computer, smartphone, or other portable devices. 
Like all businesses and educational institutions, Public Prep Charter School Academies (“PPA,” including, Girls Prep Lower East Side Elementary and Middle School, Girls Prep Bronx Elementary and Middle School, Boys Prep Elementary School, and PrePrep) (the “School”) must monitor the use of the School’s information systems to ensure compliance with institutional policies, protect the security and maintain the efficiency of its systems, and discourage inappropriate use. All students, employees, and other authorized users (“Users”) must use the School's information technology resources (“IT Resources”) in ethical and acceptable ways to ensure that all members of the School community have access to reliable, robust IT Resources that are safe from unauthorized or malicious use. At any time, and for any lawful purpose, the School may monitor, intercept and search any communication or data transmitted or stored on the IT Resources, including any personal information. 

By using the School’s IT Resources, you hereby accept and agree to comply with the terms and conditions set forth in this Electronic Information Systems Acceptable Use Policy and provide consent for any personal information input by you (your child) to be transferred to off-site servers located outside the location from which you are accessing the system, even if your access is through a personal computer, smartphone, or other portable devices. 
IT Resources​:​ ​The School’s IT Resources include, but are not limited to, campus computers, networks, servers, telephones, and other infrastructure, whether utilized on- or off-campus; laptops, tablets, disks, other physical devices or media owned or provided by the School, and all devices and storage media attached to the network; digital systems, websites, and other digital services utilized by the School, whether hosted on- or off-campus; files, folders, documents, web pages, and other digital information; e-mail, voicemail, SMS, IM, or other digital or analog communications; account names, passwords, or related information or settings; and systems, settings, and configurations. 


Acceptable Use:​ ​The School’s IT Resources are intended for School use, to support activities that support learning and teaching. The School strictly prohibits the use of the School’s IT Resources for purposes that may be disruptive, offensive to others, or harmful to morale. Users may not send, display, access, or download messages, text, files, or images in violation of any laws. At all times, our Core Values must be applied. The following are unacceptable uses of the School’s IT Resources. This list is not exhaustive. ​The School’s IT Resources include, but are not limited to, campus computers, networks, servers, telephones, and other infrastructure, whether utilized on- or off-campus; laptops, tablets, disks, other physical devices or media owned or provided by the School, and all devices and storage media attached to the network; digital systems, websites, and other digital services utilized by the School, whether hosted on- or off-campus; files, folders, documents, web pages, and other digital information; e-mail, voicemail, SMS, IM, or other digital or analog communications; account names, passwords, or related information or settings; and systems, settings, and configurations. 


Acceptable Use:​ ​The School’s IT Resources are intended for School use, to support activities that support learning and teaching. The School strictly prohibits the use of the School’s IT Resources for purposes that may be disruptive, offensive to others, or harmful to morale. Users may not send, display, access, or download messages, text, files, or images in violation of any laws. At all times, our Core Values must be applied. The following are unacceptable uses of the School’s IT Resources. This list is not exhaustive. 

Harassment or Discrimination: In accordance with the Dignity for All Students Act (“DASA”), the School will provide an environment that is free of discrimination, bullying (including cyberbullying), and harassment. Unless required for academic or other School-related purposes, Users may not view, display, or transmit in digital or physical form any of the following: sexually explicit information or images, ethnic slurs, racial epithets or anything that may be construed as discrimination, harassment or disparagement of others based on their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, or any other category protected by federal, state and local law. The School’s policies against harassment, discrimination, and bullying all apply fully to use of the School’s IT Resources. 


All reports of violations to this policy will be investigated, documented, and may result in loss of technology and/or Internet privileges as well as further disciplinary consequences, in accordance with the Family Handbook. The administration of the ​School​ reserves the right to monitor any and all activity generated by student use of technology equipment. 


Unauthorized Use of Intellectual Property: ​Users may not violate the rights of any person or company protected by copyright, trade secret, patent, or other intellectual property, or other proprietary rights. Even if used or received in a class under Fair Use guidelines, copyrighted materials remain protected and may not be used in other ways that would violate the U.S. Copyright Law. Users may not conduct academic dishonesty or plagiarism, illegal or fraudulent activity, or any other activity prohibited by the School’s policies. 


Misuse of the School Network, Software, and Computers​: ​Users may not intentionally introduce malicious programs into School computers, tablets, networks, servers, or hosted services; inappropriately use or share School-authorized IT privileges or resources with anyone outside the School; bypass the School’s firewall; host or access file-sharing services for any illegal or inappropriate purposes; play, stream, or download games, video, multimedia, or other large files for non-academic purposes; modify another User’s password, files, or permissions; copy or download software from School IT Resources without permission; install software on lab or office computers without permission; or use the School’s IT Resources for any private purpose for personal gain, commercial enterprise, or non-School-related fundraising. 

Misuse of Websites: The School’s websites may only be used for School-related academic purposes. Use of the School’s websites, including publicprep.org and any other systems and services provided by the School, are subject to this policy as well as Public Prep Network’s User Agreement posted on the website. 
Misuse of E-mail​: ​Users may not send unsolicited e-mail messages, spam, chain letters, or advertising materials; impersonate others’ e-mail address, internet address, electronic signature, or other personal identifying information; or use e-mail in any way that would cause disruption, harassment, or harm. 


E-mail is not a secure method of information transmission, so Users must take reasonable precautions to protect privacy and security. Home addresses, telephone numbers, passwords, and other personal information should not be included in e-mail signatures. Students’ personal or identifying information must never be shared outside the @publicprep.org, @girlsprep.org, @boysprep.org, and @jgcpreprep.org domain without permission.


Social Media​: ​When used inappropriately, social media can transform from a powerful educational tool that allows students to connect, communicate, and access a wealth of informational resources into the source of serious long-term consequences. College admissions officers and prospective employers will not hesitate to use any social media missteps — even those made when a scholar is quite young — when considering an individual’s candidacy for admission or employment. Social Media as defined in this policy includes any and all web-based technologies used to broadcast messages and participate in dialogues.  Examples include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube, emails, texting, blogs, message boards, personal websites, chat rooms, group discussions, etc. 


According to this Policy, the School expects that its resources are used only for teaching and learning. The School has the right (and exercises that right) to monitor user’s electronic usage, without further notification than set forth in this policy. This policy extends the right to monitor your use of social media sites if you use any electronic equipment, servers or services provided to you by the School. In our ever-expanding world of technology, students may run into staff members’ personal pages on sites like Facebook and MySpace.  In the same way that certain lines should not be crossed between students and school employees in real life, they also should not be crossed in the virtual world.  Please note that no employees at our School may accept or initiate friend requests with current students, and should exercise caution and careful judgment about former students or alumni. 


Students are responsible for their own behavior when communicating with social media and will be held accountable for the content of the communications that they transmit or post.  Students are responsible for complying with the School’s conduct requirements. ​What would be considered inappropriate in the school or classroom is inappropriate online.

Examples of inappropriate conduct include, but are not limited to: 

  • Posting or publishing any insensitive or inappropriate information or content on any social media and from viewing any insensitive or inappropriate social media content.
  • Communicating with teachers or administrators via personal social media. ​The only permissible electronic method of email communication with a teacher is through emailing the teacher or administrator at his or her School email account.
  • Impersonating or assuming the identity of any other individual while using social media.
  • Posting or publishing any information about themselves or another individual that is confidential or of a private nature. This includes posting information such as last names, school names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, other contact information, or any other information a scholar might reasonably expect another individual to want to keep private.
  • Using any device capable of capturing video, pictures, or audio to record or take pictures of any other individual without their express consent and permission. In addition, use of such recording devices on School grounds is strictly prohibited. Moreover, no such recordings or pictures shall be posted on social media unless they are educationally related. Also, students are not allowed to “tag” an individual in a picture or recording without their express consent and permission.

Students must immediately comply with any request that infringing materials be removed from any social media platform. The use of social media is a privilege, not a right, and the violation of any provision of this policy will result in the restriction of a scholar’s social media access and/or the imposition of additional appropriate consequences. 

Students should always be mindful of the fact that material posted or published online will be public for a very long time and may perhaps become a permanent part of their record. Students should be sensitive of others, should avoid posting or publishing anything distasteful, and should not post or publish anything they would not be willing to say to an individual in person. 


This social media policy applies any time students are on school grounds, using school property, under the supervision of school authority, or using social media in a manner that endangers a scholar’s or staff member’s physical or emotional safety, security or well-being and materially and substantially interferes with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school. 


Excessive Non-Priority Use of IT Resources: ​Priority for the use of the School’s IT Resources is given to activities related to the School’s missions, and for the exchange of information to assist in education and information gathering. In shared computing environments such as labs, Users with academic work shall be given priority. Individual Users may be required to halt non-priority use of the IT Resources, such as recreational and non-academic activities, to allow academic use by others. 


Student Personal Technology: ​With continued introduction of internet capable devices, it is important for the School to articulate clear expectations about their use. Please note that: 

Classroom

  • Teachers will make their expectations around device use clear. There are many reasonable uses for technology -including portable devices - in the classroom. Teachers are the decision makers for whether or not a device can /should be used for any given experience / activity, unless the student has received an accommodation from the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or the School’s Student Support Team (SST).
  • Permission to use a device at one time does not imply that permission is ongoing.
  • Teachers may choose to collect personal devices (phones / internet capable watches) at the beginning of class to prevent distractions.

Access to Information and Privacy: Users of the School’s IT Resources may access only the confidential or proprietary information for which they are authorized and may use that information only for the purposes for which it is intended. Users are responsible for knowing and following School policies regarding use of confidential information. 


The School reserves the right to review and disclose all digital information, including word processing documents, spreadsheets, databases, e-mail, voicemail, instant messages, and any other electronic documents or communication, including any documents and messages that do not pertain to School business, that are stored or processed on the School’s IT Resources. Authorized representatives of the School and their delegates may review such information for any purpose required by the School, at any time, without notice to the User. These purposes may include, but are not limited to, retrieving School information, maintenance of the School’s IT Resources, troubleshooting hardware or software problems, preventing system misuse, School investigations, health and safety emergencies, compliance with legal and regulatory requests for information, or compliance with local, state, and federal laws. 


The School therefore does not guarantee the privacy of any electronic information stored or processed on School IT Resources, even if password protected. The School reserves the right to retrieve, examine, and remove files or logs from School IT Resources without the User’s consent. Users of the School’s IT Resources waive any right to privacy with regard to any use of the School’s equipment and systems. 

User Security: Users are responsible for the security of computer system passwords, personal account passwords, and personal identification numbers and will be held accountable for any violations of acceptable use that are traced to their accounts or use of School IT Resources. 
Users must employ security practices established by the School. Users must follow School policies established for maintaining and managing passwords. Users have had unique passwords created for their use on School-issued devices, and must create secure passwords on non-School-issued devices that access School IT Resources. Passwords should be changed frequently and should never be written down or told to anyone. Users should password-protect computers when leaving their desk or room, and should ensure the physical security of IT Resources by storing computers and other devices in locked locations. Effective security practice includes a prompt and appropriate response to a security breach. Users must immediately report incidents in which they believe computer or network security has been jeopardized. 


Use of Likeness and School Work​: ​The School may, with a User’s prior consent, make use of photographs of the User or other likenesses and of such User’s work (written, artistic, etc.) on the School’s website and in other promotional materials. Each User must ensure that he or she has obtained the necessary permissions before publishing any names or photographs of students or student work. Under no circumstances are Users allowed to publish student photographs accompanied by students’ full names. In case of any uncertainty whether permissions would be required for publication of student information, Users should consult the Director of Operations. Users must receive prior approval from the Director of Operations or Public Prep’s Development Associate before posting material or publishing links. 


Liability​: ​The School's IT Resources are provided "as is" and "as available." The School disclaims all representations and warranties, express or implied, of any kind with respect to the IT Resources and the content including warranties of, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement of intellectual property and proprietary rights. Without limiting the general disclaimer, the School does not warrant the availability, accuracy, completeness, timeliness, functionality, reliability, sequencing, or speed of delivery of the School's IT Resources. 


The School shall not be responsible for actions of individuals outside of the school ​constituency, or for the quality and content of information they make available actively or ​passively. The School shall not be responsible for any advice received from any outside source or any damage or charges associated with this advice. The School shall not be held liable for ​damage to, or disruption of, external networks and/or computer systems as the result of activities initiated by Users of School IT Resources. 

Enforcement:

Any User who becomes aware of a misuse of the School’s IT Resources should immediately report the matter to the Director of Operations and the Public Prep Director of Technology. Violations of this Policy​ will be investigated, documented, and ​may result in suspension or revocation of computer, network, or service access; discipline, up to and including suspension, expulsion, or termination of employment; and/or legal prosecution, in accordance with School Policy and the law. The administration of ​the School​ reserves the right to monitor any and all activity generated by student use of technology. 

FAMILY EDUCATION RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1975 (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. 


FERPA affords parents/guardians and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student's education records. ​There are five basic rights granted to parents/legal guardians or eligible students 
(students 18 years or older):  

  • the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school(s) the child attends or has attended;
  • the right to challenge and request that the school amend any portion of the student’s education records that is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights;
  • the right to require the school to obtain written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information, except in those instances specifically allowed for by law:
    • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
    • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
    • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
    • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
    • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
    • Accrediting organizations;
    • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
    • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
    • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.
  • the right to be informed by the school of the rights accorded parents under FERPA.
  • the right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) of the United States Department of Education alleging a denial of rights.

As charter schools are subject to FERPA that requires a school to protect a student’s privacy, the School will not disclose any personally identifying information from the student’s permanent records except as authorized pursuant to FERPA, or in response to a subpoena, as required by law, including FOIL.  The parent/guardian of a student under eighteen years of age, or student eighteen years of age or older, is entitled to access the student’s school records by submitting a written request to the School Leader. Further information concerning FERPA and the disclosure of student information and limitations on such disclosure may be requested from the school’s main office. 

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (FOIL)

It is our policy as required by the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) to furnish to the public the information and records maintained by the Public Prep Network (including Public Prep Academies). A “record” is any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with or for Public Prep in any physical form whatsoever, including, but not limited to reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, electronic documents, rules, regulations, or codes. A complete listing on FOIL policy and procedures may be requested from the School’s main office. 

INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT (IDEA) 

IDEA was originally enacted by Congress in 1975 to ensure that children with disabilities have the opportunity to receive a free appropriate public education, just like other children. Confidentiality provisions are similar to those of FERPA unless otherwise indicated. Further information concerning IDEA may be requested from the school’s main office. 

INTENT TO RETURN FORMS  

Each spring, your family will receive an Intent to Return form to reserve your child’s seat at our school for the next year. While your child only has to enter our enrollment lottery when applying to our school for the first time, completing the intent to return form helps us to plan for the number of students returning the following school year as well as knowing how many seats may be available for students on a wait list. If we do not receive your completed Intent to Return Form, your child’s seat may not be guaranteed and the seat may be given to a new student in the April lottery. 

LIMITED ACCESS POLICY  

All community members are expected to demonstrate the core values and follow the community expectations as models for positive, safe behavior. This includes, but is not limited to, participating in safety drills and observing all building safety and behavioral policies while at school or school related functions. If family members are found to violate these policies and/or procedures, they will be issued an initial warning letter, followed by a letter limited access to the building if the behavior continues. ​ ​Limited access means that you are permitted on school property only with a previously scheduled and confirmed appointment with school staff members ​in writing​ at least 24 hours in advance, inclusive of school events. A person with limited access may enter school grounds only under the supervision of a School Safety Officer. 

 

OPEN MEETINGS LAW

In accordance with the Open Meetings Law, meetings of the Board of Trustees are open to families. As the family representative on the Board, you may request information regarding dates and times of each meeting from the CC President. Additionally, meeting dates, times, and locations will be listed on the Public Prep website, www.publicprep.org​, and in the main office if the school. All requests for meeting documents and minutes will be available within five business days upon request of the Director of Student and Family Affairs. 

 

SEARCH AND SEIZURE

All students have a constitutional right to be free from ​unreasonable​ searches and seizures. A student’s person and possessions may be searched provided that school officials have reasonable suspicion to believe that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law and/or school rules and regulations. The extent and scope of the search must be reasonably related to the objective of the search and not excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and nature of the infraction. Searches will be conducted with a reasonable degree of privacy and consideration for the dignity of the student. Public Prep Academies follow the same search and seizure procedures as the Department of Education’s NYC Public Schools as applicable. 

 

STUDENT DIRECTORY INFORMATION

Directory information is basic information about students, such as name, address, telephone number and email address. This information may be made available to others for specific use without consent of the parent/guardian. For example, teachers may distribute a class directory so that students can help each other with homework, or the CC members and volunteers may obtain a directory to help organize a school event. While parental consent for the distribution of such information is not required, the school will honor a family’s request not to share such information. If a parent/guardian would not like such information released, he or she should submit a request in writing to the main office.  

 

TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETATION

Our school will ensure that families with limited English speaking skills are provided with a meaningful opportunity to participate in and have access to programs and services critical to their child’s education. Written and oral information will be translated and interpreted in your preferred language upon request. 

 

IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (ICE) POLICY 

Public Prep Network follows the District of Education’s policy regarding Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): 
ICE is not permitted to enter the school or approach students/families unless required by law requests from ICE do not satisfy Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) exceptions
 
Officials must present: 
  • a valid court order or subpoena
  • Officials must wait outside the building while principal consults with network lawyers
  • Girls Prep Bronx Middle School will not release student information unless required by law
  • Family will be contacted and notified
Documentation and Student Enrollment 

By law, all students may be enrolled in a public or charter school, regardless of documentation status.  Public Prep Network will never ask for documentation or immigration status.  For more information on enrolling students in public schools, visit the Depart of Education website:
 
(​http://schools.nyc.gov/ChoicesEnrollment/NewStudents/default.htm​)

The New York Public Library (NYPL) has a number of resources for families considering citizenship: 

(​https://www.nypl.org/help/community-outreach/immigrant-services/citizenship​) 

> NY 529 College Savings Program: Fact Sheet (English/Spanish)