The P.S. 384 Family Handbook contains important information about our school, as well as policies and procedures that are designed to ensure our school functions as a positive, educationally-focused learning community where students thrive and grow. Our families are our students’ first teachers! We want you to feel welcome in our community and for there to be full transparency of our school’s approach to learning and the structures that support it.
This version reflects input from parents, students, and staff on how to best manage our inclusive community, but also to keep everyone safe and ensure equity. Our Team will refer to this document as they address your questions and concerns.
We serve the children and families of Long Island City, Queens, within P.S. 78’s zone. Once enrolled in kindergarten, students matriculate to the next grade (up to fifth grade). Siblings of currently enrolled students have priority for kindergarten seats. Kindergarten classes have up to 25 students; grades 1 – 5 may have up to 32 students. All students will move with us to our new location in the 2021-2022 school year. Once we are in our new location, we will be designated our own zone.
All visitors are required to go to the School Safety Agent, show identification, and sign-in. Then, with a pass, you may proceed to the General Office and sign in. In order to prevent the disruption of our children’s education, please do not go directly to classrooms. Please return the laminated pass to the School Safety Agent upon exiting the building.
We encourage parents to communicate with staff on a regular basis. If you wish to meet with a teacher, service provider, or the Principal, you can request an appointment in writing or by calling the Main Office. Our school secretary will forward messages to the appropriate staff member to return your message. Please note that it is difficult to see visitors unannounced due to instructional periods and professional development. However, we will work with you to meet during teacher preparation periods, after school during Parental Engagement time, before school, or at another time that works.
We have a variety of ways to communicate with families and share information. Consistent, clear communication helps everyone to do their best as they know what to expect! We try to communicate mostly electronically to be environmentally conscious. Also, your child’s teacher is usually your best option when you have a specific concern as they spend most of the day with your child and knows him/her best. You can always call the Main Office—we are here to help!
Our methods of communication include:
Regular School Day – 8:10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Main Office Hours – 8:00 a.m. – 3:20 p.m.
Period 1 – 8:10 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast – 8:10 a.m. – 8:20 a.m.
Period 2 – 9:05 a.m. – 9:55 a.m.
Period 3 – 10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.
Period 4 – 10:55 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. / Lunch #1
Period 5 – 11:50 a.m. – 12:40 p.m. / Lunch #2
Period 6 – 12:45 p.m. – 1:35 p.m.
Period 7 – 1:40 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Dismissal – 2:30 p.m.
School begins promptly at 8:10 a.m.
Breakfast in the classroom is a FREE initiative to ensure that all students have proper nutrition to function at their best each day. Breakfast will finish by 8:20 a.m., unless there are unforeseen circumstances. If your child is late, they will not be denied breakfast. We do our best to ensure that our students are ready to learn!
School lunch is free for all students. We would love it if more children tried the school food! Students may also bring a lunch from home. For nutritional reason we suggest that parents limit the amount of sweet and salty foods children bring for lunch. Please do not pack glass containers or soda cans. There is no gum chewing, candy, or soda in school. Also, be sure to provide your child with foods that are conducive to school and easy for them to eat independently. For example: nothing that needs to be cut, messy finger foods, etc. There is no microwave or refridgerator for student use.
To view menus, please visit the School Food Website, with menus in multiple languages: http://www.schoolfoodnyc.org/schoolfood/MenusDailyDisplay.aspx
Breakfast Express Menu & Pre-K – 8
Express Hot Lunch Menu
Additional information, including the app, can be found here: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/food/menus
Due to severe allergies and dietary restrictions, we ask children not to share their food during lunch. Please speak with your child about eating only his/her own lunch and understand why a child may refuse an offer of food. In the cafeteria, children are seated by class. After students clean their areas and recycle, they have choice time for recess. School staff supervises their lunch and recess time. Proper behavior is expected from every child during the school day, including at lunchtime. We emphasize the following: remain seated, speak with indoor voices, be kind to others, and cleaning up your area.
Lunch forms allow our food services remain free for all students. Please be sure to submit a meal form each year. We will send them home in September, as well as link to complete the process online. Please be sure to follow up as soon as possible!
Here is the link: www.myschoolapps.com
There are a variety of after school programs for P.S. 384 students. SuperKickers provides an after school service from 2:30 – 6: 00 p.m. each day in our school. The Learning Experience and NY Kids Club can pick up students from P.S. 384 to transport them to their program as an option as well. Please note that these organizations are not run by P.S. 384 and you should reach out to them directly for more information. Always be sure to call the Main Office for a change in your child’s dismissal plan!
Here are links to their websites:
Half Days will occur for Parent Teacher Conferences and the last day of school. Please note: dismissal is at 11:30 a.m., students will have lunch at school, and buses will run. After School Programs are canceled.
Busing is available to students in grades K-2 who live at least a half-mile from the school and children in grades 3-5 who live at least one mile from school. Please note that pupil transportation by yellow bus is provided by the Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) and is not a service directly offered or governed by P.S. 384.
If you have concerns about the bus, you can contact the Office of Pupil Transportation:
By phone: 718-392-8855 – Monday – Friday from 5:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure you know your child’s:
Additional information can be found here: www.optnyc.org/parents.information.htm
Most of our students ride the bus each day. At P.S. 384, safety is a top priority. Steps that we take to ensure student safety include, but are not limited to:
I agree to the following rules of conduct when riding on the school bus to and from P.S. 384. I understand that failure to follow these rules may result in my being suspended and or expelled from the bus.
I agree to follow P.S. 384’s Bus Behavior Contract to make the bus a safe place for all students.
Parents agree to be at the bus stop on time every day or make arrangements for another adult to do so. Parents understand that their child will be taken back to school in the event there is no one to meet the child; if no one is available at the school to receive the child, OPT regulations require the driver to take the child to the local police precinct.
P.S. 384 is committed to the academic success of all our students and providing our children with opportunities to express their creativity and work collaboratively with others. This type of work cannot be made up at home. Regular attendance is critical to successful achievement in school, and provides structure and socialization that support students’ independence. Our children need to be here each day, on time, and ready to learn!
Poor attendance if one of the most significant indicators of learning loss and presents the potential for a child to be held over. Please make your travel plans during school breaks so that your child does not miss school. Keep in mind that your child must meet the attendance requirement of 90% set forth by the Chancellor of Schools. After 18 total absences for the school year, and their academics are negatively impacted, your child may be held over. Determination will be made by the Principal on a case-by-case basis. Absences will negatively affect your child’s academic performance, social interactions, and can also pose a safety issue. You may be visited by school personnel, a DOE Attendance Officer, or the Administration of Child Services (ACS).
Please note excessive absences:
● may be considered educational neglect (All school staff are mandated reporters for NYS)
● negatively impact school funding
● are a component of the DOE and state’s assessment of a school’s performance
If there is any support that we can provide (busing, metro card, health services) to improve the attendance of your child, please reach out to us! We are committed to the success of every child and will do everything we can to help your family.
Please understand that if a medical excuse from the doctor was given to the school, it has been recorded, however, it is still considered an absence, and may still affect promotion. If your child has a medical condition that can be treated by the School Nurse, please contact the Main Office at 718-391-4667. We can walk you through the process of obtaining a 504 form that allows us to treat your child.
Please call the school to report your child’s absence. If we do not hear from you, our staff will make daily phone calls home to check in on student absences. After an absence, please send a note (doctor or parent) stating the date(s) and the reason for the absence within 2 days of the child’s return.
Please fill out the Emergency Card (Blue Card) completely, including multiple emergency contact numbers, and return with your child to the school. These are confidential student records and will not be released to anyone other than staff. List any adult (18 years and older) that may pick up your child. Children will not be released to anyone not on the Emergency Card. Should you have a court order, please submit a copy with the Emergency Card and advise office staff, as well as the Principal, of any changes in custodial rights and ‘do not release’ indicators. Be sure to report any changes as it is very important to keep this information up-to-date for emergency contact purposes. Also, be sure that your child knows his/her home phone number and address.
We have an experienced Department of Health Nurse on staff every day. Please speak with the Nurse and your child’s teacher regarding any health concerns your child has. The more we know, the better we can protect your child and support his/her good health and well-being.
For the protection of your child and others, please do not send your child to school with any of the following: upset stomach, fever, rash, swollen glands, diarrhea, earache, persistent cough, lice, conjunctivitis (pink-eye), or any other communicable condition.
Students who have medical complaints will be sent to the Nurse’s Office. Students will be evaluated and the determination to be sent home or back to class will be made. Parents will be contacted by the Nurse via phone and written note each time a child visits the Nurse’s Office.
All medications to be administered during the school day must have proper documentation submitted to the Nurse. Students are not permitted to carry medications in school at any time. Medication may be administered in school if it is needed to permit the student to participate in his/her educational program. A health care provider must complete a Medication Administration Form(MAF) for the Nurse to administer medication during the school day. Any changes to the MAF must be in writing and signed by the licensed health care provider and must be supplied at the start of each school year. All medications must be hand-delivered to the school in the original pharmacy container. The Nurse will store the medication in a locked cabinet or refrigerator and maintain a medication log (and other documentation as indicated) for each student approved to receive medication in school.
Our school has Epi-pens available for emergency administration by our staff. All teachers and paraprofessionals assigned to work with students are trained each year to use Epi-pens.
In accordance with the New York State Public Health Law, all students attending New York City Public Schools must be immunized against the following: diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP), polio (IPV/OPV), measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), hepatitis B, and varicella (chickenpox).
In the event that your child has not obtained the required immunization, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has the right to require that your child be excluded from school. If you have any questions, please contact our Nurse.
More information can be found here: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/health-and-wellness/immunizations
Field trips are planned by teachers as part of the curriculum and expose students to the many institutions and resources available throughout our dynamic city. Trips are not considered ‘rewards’, but rather an extension of our classroom. Our teachers follow clear guidelines to ensure the safety and security of all of our children. Parents will receive notice of field trips via a field trip permission form. Each child will need a signed permission slip prior to the trip date in order to attend the trip. A small amount of money may be requested from each student to defray the cost. All monies should be placed in a sealed envelope with your child’s full name and class. We love having parents join us–please notify the classroom teacher if you are interested in chaperoning. Unfortunately, we cannot permit younger siblings to be part of class trips.
Our students will participate in walking field trips throughout the school year. Walking field trips are defined as places of educational relevance within walking distance from our school building. Our students will walk to points of interest within our neighborhood with relevance to our curriculum. This may include: the local library, park, or a neighborhood walk to observe wildlife. Teachers will give prior notice of any upcoming walking field trips. By signing a ‘Walking Trip Permission Slip’, you will allow your child to go on these short, local excursions throughout the school year.
At P.S 384, we work each day to encourage students to be successful learners and remain safe throughout the school day. Clothing should allow for the urgency of learning at school each day. While we currently do not have a uniform policy, we ask that you please help us by supporting our guidelines for appropriate dress.
Please send students to school with:
Please do not send students to school with:
We encourage teaching children to be responsible for his/her belongings, including their backpack, coat, lunchbox and supplies. However, we know that sometimes items turn up without their owners! Please label the items your child brings to school, from school supplies, to sweaters, and lunchboxes. Any items found without a label will be placed in the Lost in Found in the Main Office. Please check the Lost and Found periodically for missing items. We will empty the Lost and Found once a month and items will be donated to charity.
To extend the love of learning outside of school, as well as build responsibility, students will bring books from the classroom library, as well as curriculum materials, home with them. Students should work to ensure that they bring materials to and from school in a responsible way. Classroom library books are most likely one of a kind in that classroom, so please be sure to return books so that others can share in the joy of reading! As for curriculum materials, if an item is lost, we cannot guarantee that we have additional copies to replace it. Let’s help our children develop good habits for treating materials respectfully and responsibly, while continuing to extend learning beyond the school day.
Birthday celebrations are left to the discretion of the classroom teacher. All celebrations will take place at 2:00 p.m. and last no more than 30 minutes. (You can always drop off snacks in the Main Office earlier.) Please communicate with your child’s teacher in advance so that celebrations do not interfere with instructional and enrichment activities.
Please adhere to the following guidelines:
Our team is thrilled to accept your thanks and kind words, but they do not expect any gifts. As per the Chancellor’s Regulation, as well as to avoid issues of favoritism and competition, staff members can only accept gifts that are homemade (e.g., a card, a letter, your child’s art, or baked goods). We cannot accept gifts that are store-bought. Teaching children to love learning is the greatest gift of all!
School Safety is a top priority at P.S. 384. Our entire community contributes to the procedures and protocols that keep our children safe.
Our School Safety Agent is stationed in the building whenever classes are in session and when teachers are working. The School Safety Agent’s job is to keep our children, families, and staff safe. S/he does this by keeping careful records of visitors, screening who comes into the building, monitoring our security cameras, and ensuring all doors are locked from the outside at all times. We have security cameras in the hallways and along the perimeter of the building, as well as door alarms that alert our staff if an alternate exit has been opened.
Please help us keep our school safe by following protocols for visiting families. Parents are to enter and exit by the Main Entrance on Jackson Avenue only. Families must present their photo ID and sign in with our School Safety Agent. The School Safety Agent will announce your arrival to the Main Office. Once there, our staff will arrange for you to meet with the correct person. Visitors are not permitted to go to classrooms or walk around the building unaccompanied. Upon completion of your visit, you should exit by taking the elevator, return the pass to the School Safety Agent, and exit onto Jackson Avenue. Please note that using the staircase will set off an alarm.
If you are at the school for a workshop, please inform the School Safety Agent what workshop you are attending and show your flyer or ticket. After signing in, you may report directly to the assigned room for the workshop.
If you have small children, they must remain with you at all times. Small children may not walk around and must be supervised by their parents/guardians at all times. The safety of our students is of utmost concern. Parents are not permitted to escort their child into the school building. Parents are NOT permitted to go to their child’s classroom unless they have previously scheduled an appointment with the teacher in advance. During evening events, parents are responsible for supervising their children. Children are not permitted to run, climb or engage in other unsafe behavior.
Fire drills are held throughout the school year to prepare students and staff for an emergency situation in which the building needs to be evacuated. Each year, the school conducts at least 8 fire drills. During a fire drill, it is expected that all students remain quiet and follow the directives of the teacher. All students are to quickly and quietly exit the building. Please stress to your child the importance of these rules and review them at home. Please speak with your child’s teacher if s/he has any sensory needs and might have difficulty with the loud noises of the fire drill. We can make accommodations and/or work with your child so that s/he is not afraid.
Lockdown drills are held to prepare students and staff for a threat within the school building or in the immediate area surrounding school premises. Each year, the school will conduct at least 4 lockdown drills. During a lockdown drill, all students and staff are required to be in a locked location, and remain quiet and out of the line of vision.
In the case of inclement weather, the Mayor and Chancellor will announce the closing of schools citywide. This information will be available via the DOE website (www.schools.nyc.gov), social media, radio (1010 WINS), and local television news sources. You can also visit www.nyc.gov/311 or call 311.
If there is a storm during the school day, there may also be an announcement regarding the cancellation of after school programs and field trips. You can utilize the resources listed previously, and will also receive a message from the school.