School Arrival and Dismissal Schedule Reminder

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Happy New Year!

As we welcome in the New Year, I am reminding everyone of our arrival and dismissal schedule.

MONDAY and WEDNESDAY

*Early Morning Program Students Only

*Breakfast                                                                                           7:30-7:50

*Early Morning Program                                                                    8:02-8:39

 

Regular Day Students

Regular Day Breakfast                                                                       8:10-8:30

Regular Day                                                                                        8:40-3:00

 

THURSDAY

*No Early Morning Program

Breakfast                                                                                             8:10-8:30

Regular Day                                                                                        8:40-3:00

 

FRIDAY

*No Early Morning Program

Breakfast                                                                                             7:30-7:50

Regular Day                                                                                        8:00-2:20

Please make sure your child arrives on time on Fridays.

*Students must be picked up at 2:20 PM every Friday.

In the event of an indoor morning line up, such as rain, snow or extremely cold temperatures, please be advised that students arriving for the regular school day will be admitted at 8:30.  Therefore, during inclement weather do not send or bring your child/children to school before that time (8:30).

If your child arrives too early during inclement weather, they will stand outside the building.  If that is the case make sure that he/she is dressed appropriately for the weather.

For those families who have hired a private bus to transport their children to school, please be reminded that the bus company cannot drop students off at school before the student’s assigned start time.  In some instances, bus companies will have to make two drop-offs; one at 8:00 AM for early morning program and another at 8:30 AM for regular school day.

Thank you for your cooperation and support.

Sincerely,

 

Anthony Pisacano

Principal

Social Networking Internet Saftey

Dear Parents of Students in Grades 4-8:

It has come to my attention that many students in the upper elementary and middle school grades at P.S./I.S. 102 are using social networking websites, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube which provide a forum for people to communicate and network with others online. The minimum age required to create a Facebook account is 13 years old, which means that many of our students in grades 4-7 should not be logging on.. I want you to be aware that these sites have the potential of being explicit and inappropriate. With all of the recent news about Internet predators, I feel that this is an issue of importance and urgency and think you should know what your child may be viewing online. Some children are using these sites as online diaries. They are posting pictures and personal information, and in some cases, targeting other students to bully online. In this technology-driven world we are living in, when children are potentially at risk, it is better to be safe than sorry. I encourage you to talk with your child and actively monitor his/her use of the Internet to see that it is age-appropriate.

This is something parents are being warned about all over the country and it is important that you stay informed. Please see the attached article, “Parenting & Social Media Part 2- What Every Parent Should Know About Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and More”.

You may also use the following link online to alert Facebook of your underage child’s account and have it removed:
• http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=underage

As always, our biggest concern is the safety and well-being of the children. These sites are not accessible from the school computers, so this is really an issue to be addressed in the home. However, if issues arise at school that are connected to something that happened online such as bullying or threats made, appropriate disciplinary action can be taken in school. There have been several instances of cyber-bullying reported to me this year. To prevent your child from being involved in something like this, please have discussions at home, ask questions and be aware of what your child is doing online.

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.
Sincerely,

 

Anthony Pisacano, Principal

 

Parenting & Social Media Part 2 — What Every Parent Should Know about Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and More

By Neil Vidyarthi on February 14, 2012 10:14 AM

As a parent, do you ever feel like your teen or young adult children are speaking a completely different language when they start talking about Facebook or Twitter?  As if text message abbreviations aren’t bad enough, now there’s even more on the internet for your kids to get into.  It’s not as strange and complicated as it may seem, and your children will benefit from the wisdom you can share to guide them along the savvy social media path.  Plus, you’ll gain a few cool parent creds along the way. I started using social networking sites, generally known as social media, several years ago on a personal level.  I am also a social media marketing professional who understands how businesses are attempting to reach social media users to increase profits.  I’ve seen the inner workings that most users are never aware of.  As a parent of 2 pre-teens and 1 teenager, I also have a heart for parents and the challenge of raising kids in a wired world.  To help equip you to guide your kids through the social media maze, here are a few of my basic Social Media Cool Mom tips.

GET INVOLVED: This tip is the key to all the rest.  How can you provide guidance to your kids if you aren’t familiar with the tools they are using online?  Even if the whole social media thing doesn’t interest you, it really interests your kids, and you need to be a part of the community to understand it.  Each platform has its own nuances, so it’s best to put your toes, so to speak, in the same waters as your teens.  If they are on Facebook, you need to be on Facebook.  If they are tweeting away on Twitter, then you need to be following them.  Step out of your comfort zone and be there for your kids.  Trust me, they will have a great deal of respect for the effort you make to be a part of their world. Ideally, you should be involved BEFORE your kids are signed up for any social media service, but even if they beat you to it, there is still much they can learn from you about mature and responsible online communication.

FacebookPrivacy settings are the key to wise use of Facebook.  Even most long time users aren’t fully aware of all of the settings they have control over.  It’s important that you know that Facebook defaults to wide-open public settings.  Unless you go in and take the time to check all of the boxes, your account is fully exposed to the internet world.The next time you log into Facebook, take a moment to click on the little toggle arrow in the upper right corner next to the word “home.”  It will give you a little drop down menu.  Clicking on the “Privacy Settings” option will take you to a whole page of settings for all sorts of things from general visibility of your profile to specific settings for posts and how much information will be given to 3rd party apps.  Take the time to explore this page and revisit every 30 to 60 days.  Then, sit down with your kids and do the same for their accounts.  Help them build this great habit early. Also, be aware that each time you post a new item to your timeline, you can control how pubic the individual post is.  If you haven’t reset your basic posting privacy, all posts default to public and have a little globe icon next to the Post button.  It’s a globe for a reason; the whole world can see it.  You can always set your post visibility on a post-by-post basis by clicking that little toggle next to the post button. Facebook has a FamilySafetyCenter that will help you through all the steps and much more I haven’t mentioned here.

TwitterTwitter is a completely open and public network, unlike other social networks that you must first grant permission to other users to make a connection.  On Twitter, anyone anywhere can follow any other account at will.  If your kids are using Twitter just to keep up with other friends, I highly recommend that you have them set their account to private.  It doesn’t keep them completely off of the internet grid, but it does provide a little bit of a layer of privacy.  Please, keep in mind that if any of their friends are not private and they share something your teen had to say, then it also becomes public.  It’s as easy as choosing Settings from the drop-down menu and checking the “Protect my Tweets” box. The first tip is really important with Twitter.  The more you use the service yourself, the more you will understand what is possible for your kids to do with it.

YouTubeEvery kid wants to be famous, and YouTube is a very tempting way for kids to expose themselves.  What you may not realize, though, is that YouTube is also a social network where users can subscribe to other users channels, leave comments, and start conversations.  Even if your teen or college student isn’t posting videos themselves, they can comment and get to know other YouTubers.  And Google has made it very easy to interact with all of its products with a one-time account set up.  If your child has a Gmail address, then they have a Google account and access to YouTube’s social network.

I have to go back to my first tip again.  It’s so important that you’re involved in your kids’ activities online.  Don’t deny them the opportunity to connect, learn, and be a part of the social community.  But be there to guide them.  They lack your life experience to determine what is okay to share and what should remain private and off the grid.  If you’ll take the time to get involved, you’ll find yourself connecting with your children in ways you never thought possible.

Suggested Screening Questions to Ask a Private Bus or Tutoring Service

Dear Parents/Guardians:

In an effort to help you make the best possible choices for your children, I have put together a list of questions for you to ask of any private bus service or tutoring service you might consider hiring.

Private Bus Service

After you get the basic information, such as, cost, pick up and drop off times, etc., please consider asking additional questions regarding bus safety and procedures. Some examples are:

1. How will you meet my child at dismissal?
2. When you drop off children at school in the morning, do you bring them to the door or school yard?
3. Do you have a matron or escort on the bus to help with the children?
4. How many children are on your bus? Is there a seat for every student?
5. Is there ever a time when children are left unattended on your bus?
6. Are you and all of your drivers properly licensed and cleared to operate a school bus?
7. What kind of insurance do you carry?
8. How often do you conduct bus safety drills?
9. Are there seat belts in good working order for every student on your bus(es)?
10. How have you and your staff established rules for student to follow then they are on the bus?

These questions are suggestions. You probably have others that are meaningful to you. Satisfactory answers depend on what you want to hear or know about the safe transportation of your child. I hope you find them helpful.

Tutoring Service

Many parents hire a tutor or use a tutoring company to provide academic support. After you get the basic information, such as cost, duration of session and length of service, etc., consider asking additional questions to get a sense of the quality of the tutoring service or individual tutor. Some examples are:

1. How do you assess the needs of a student in Math or Reading?
2. What materials do you use?
3. How many children does each tutor work with during a tutoring session?
4. Do you and/or your tutors communicate with the child’s teacher?
5. Are you and your tutors State certified teachers?
6. What kind of feedback do you provide to parents regarding student progress?

Again, these questions are suggestions and the answers depend on your child’s need and your particular concerns regarding an effective tutoring experience for your child.

I hope you find these helpful as you make those important decisions for your child.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these private services, please feel free to see me.

Sincerely,

 

Anthony Pisacano
Principal

Use of School Gym Lockers

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Students in our middle school (grades 6, 7 and 8) participate in physical education classes twice a week.  In addition, our seventh and eighth graders participate in junior varsity basketball and cheerleading.

Our gym facility includes a boy’s locker room and a girl’s locker room, where students can change and lock up their belongings.

To use a locker, students must have a lock to secure their belongings.  To avoid problems resulting in lost keys a combination lock is mandated.  Students should write their combination numbers on the inside of their sneakers and/or give a copy of the combination numbers to Mr. McManus or Ms. DeVito.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

Anthony Pisacano

Principal