Parent's Corner » Family Handbook

Family Handbook

WELCOME LETTER

 

 Dear Parents,

Welcome to the 2018-19 school year at Merrick Academy Charter School . A special welcome to our new families! We are very excited for this school year. Our school theme is Living Our Best Life and we plan to achieve the best this year. We are looking forward to a productive partnership with you to ensure our children can achieve their highest potential. We recognize that in order to be successful in school, our children need support from both the home and school. We know a strong partnership with you will make a great difference in your child’s education. As partners, we share the responsibility for our children’s success and want you to know that we will do our very best to carry out our responsibilities.

We ask that you guide and support your child’s learning by ensuring that he/she:

1. Attends school daily and arrives on time, ready for the day’s learning experience
2. Completes all homework assignments given by teachers
3. Reads daily to develop a love for reading and to improve literacy skills
4.Shares school experiences with you so that you are aware of his/her school life
5. Informs you if he/she needs additional support in any area or subject.

6.  Knows that you expect him/her to succeed in school and go on to college

We encourage you to join our school PTO as our students can greatly benefit from
your involvement and contributions to the school’s program and its operations. We seek
volunteers to help us with various school activities. In this Family Handbook you will find School Day Information, Merrick Standards and Student Expectations. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. We at Merrick feel privileged that you are part of this school family and we thank you for your partnership.

Sincerely,

Tasha Miller- Family Community Partnership Coordinator

Merrick Academy Charter School

 

Family Handbook 2018-2019

 

Dr. Adrian Manuel, Executive Director

Samantha Pugh, Chief Academic Officer/Principal

Charnay C. Phaire, Director of Operations  

Charles L. Watterson, Assistant Principal  

 

Table of Contents

 

Merrick Academy : Our Mission, Our Focus, Our Philosophy

Important Information

2018-2019 School Calendar- See our website for the most updated calendar information.

 Ⅰ. Required Documentation

  • Physical Form
  • Immunization Form
  • Medical Administration Form (MAF)
  • Student Birth Certificate
  • Vision Screening
  • Parent Contract
  • Media Release, Permission, and Consent Form
  • Field Trips
  • NEW YORK STATE RESIDENCY; Acceptable and non-acceptable documents

 

Ⅱ. Academics

  • Homework
  • Reading Log
  • Math
  • Recess
  • Special Education
  • Report Cards

 

Ⅲ. Parent Involvement

  • Communication
  • Parent-Teacher Calls
  • Open Door Policy
  • Getting Involved

 

Ⅳ. School Day Information

  • Attendance; Excused Absences, Unexcused Absences
  • Illness
  • School Day Hours
  • Arrival
  • Late Arrival Policy
  • Change in Transportation 
  • Dismissal
  • Late Pick-up Policy
  • Approved Method of Transportation
  • School Closures
  • Fire /Emergency Evacuation Plan
  • Uniforms
  • Nut Allergy  Policy
  • Junk Food Policy
  • Birthday Celebrations
  • Lost and Found
  • Electronic at School
  • Field Trips
  • Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying


Ⅴ. School Culture

  • Merrick Academy Mission Statement
  • CORE Values and Building Moral Character
  • Merrick Academy Core Values
  • Respecting Diversity
  • Academic Integrity
  • Dress Code
  • Student Change of Clothes
  • How to Purchase a Uniform
  • Food , School Breakfast, and School Lunch Program
  • Merrick Academy Social Work  Program
  • Personal/ Social Development
  • Academic Development
  • Career/College Readiness
  • Guidance Activities for the Upcoming Year

 

Ⅵ. Discipline

  • Student Discipline
  • Violence and Aggression
  • Suspension and Expulsion
  • Alternative Instruction
  • Code of Conduct

 

Anti-Harassment, Anti-Discrimination, & Anti Bullying Policy

Technology, Internet Safety, & Social Media Acceptable Use Policy

OUR MISSION

Our Merrick Academy Mission is to pursue excellence in our all-inclusive learning community of students, educators, parents and community members. We work towards the common purpose of providing an excellent educational experience for all students. Through our high degree of individualized instruction, increased time on task of learning and an innovative academic curriculum, we will ensure that all of our students are college and career ready.
Merrick Academy’s motto “In Pursuit of Excellence” is a constant reminder of the expectations we set for our learning community.

OUR FOCUS

The focus of the Academy is built on the core skills of reading, language, and mathematics. Merrick Academy is organized to provide an extended day, a high degree of individualized instruction, and an innovative research-based academic curriculum.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

The fundamental belief at Merrick Academy is that ALL CHILDREN CAN LEARN. All children have the right to attend schools in which they can progress and learn. They shall have a real opportunity to learn equally rigorous content. We hold our school accountable to the same standards as those of the highest performing schools in our state.


The Academy encourages teachers to engage in performance-based instruction, so that our students learn both the basics and the higher-level skills they will need after graduation. Performance-based classes are more difficult to design and teach than the lecture approach, but they help children learn better and become excited about learning presentations, that they have mastered knowledge and skills in language arts, social studies, mathematics, and science.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

School Location

136-25 218th Street, Springfield Gardens, NY

Main Phone Number

718-479-3753  , Fax 718-479-8108

Office Hours

7:30 - 5

Breakfast Hours

7:30- 7:50 

Students Arrival

7:30- 7:50

Full Day Dismissal

3:40- 4

“Half Day” Dismissal

11:30- 11:45

Grades

K to 5

I. Required Documentation

Several forms are required upon enrollment and some are also required annually thereafter. These forms will remain in your child’s file at the school and are confidential. Blank copies are available.

Physical Form

The NYS Child and Adolescent Health Examination Form must be completed with your child’s doctor’s name and license number is required upon admission to Merrick Academy. We require that your child receive a new physical exam each year and that you provide the school with an updated copy. In addition, if your child has a medical condition or diagnosis that could affect him or her during the day, please inform the school as soon as possible. If you do not provide an updated physical form, your child may not be permitted to attend school.

 

Immunization Records

Based on your child’s age, there are certain immunizations your child must receive in order to attend school. Your doctor may (1) record the immunization information on your child’s physical form or (2) provide you with a separate sheet of paper or yellow immunization details.

 

Medication Administration Form (MAF) and Related Forms

If your child needs to take any prescription or over the counter medication during the school you must bring the properly labeled medication to school and submit an MAF each year. The MAF MUST be completed a doctor (include his/her license number or stamp) and must be signed by parent/guardian.

 

Student’s Birth Certificate

Birth certificates verify identification and date of birth for each student. A copy of your child’s birth certificate must be provided to the Main Office before school begins.

 

Vision Screenings

All students receive free vision screening and may receive a referral form to take to an eye doctor for glasses.

 

Parent Contract

As part of your child’s enrollment and enrollment each year, you must sign a contract in which you pledge to abide by Merrick Academy’s culture policies and values.

 

Media Release, Permission, and Consent Forms

We often document and share by taking pictures and videotaping our students, families, and staff. These pictures may be used for staff development, educational material, or promotional materials. By signing this form, you are giving your consent for your child and/or your family to be included in these recordings, pictures, or videos.

 

Field Trips

During the course of the academic year our students participate in numerous field trips. Parents will be asked to give written permission in allowing his or her child to attend. Please review the school’s weekly newsletter and other communications to learn about scheduled field trips for your child.


New York State Residency

Students must live in New York State to attend Merrick Academy as we are part of New York Public Schools. You must complete the Residency Questionnaire and provide a proof of residency upon admission. If your permanent address changes during the school year, you must provide an updated Residency Questionnaire and proof of residency, and update your address information with the Main Office. Students who move out of New York State must withdraw immediately.

 

Acceptable Documents

Must show the residence names and address.

  • Utility bills (cable, gas, landline phone, electric, water bill)
  • Lease or rent statement
  • Tax documents
  • Paychecks
  • Any letter from a government agency (for food stamps, from IRS, HRA, Medicaid, City Housing Authority, ACS, Child Health Plus, etc.).

 

Unacceptable Documents

  • Any document missing resident’s name and address
  • Driver’s license
  • Social Security card
  • Bank Statement
  • Cell phone bill
  • Letters from banks, employers, private insurance companies, or hospitals

II. Academics

Homework

We believe in homework at Merrick Academy. It is critical for different reasons at different ages. Fostering a love of reading and mathematics should be the primary purpose of homework in elementary school. It is also a time to practice essential skills like spelling words or quick math facts. It is your responsibility to ensure that your child complete all homework assignments on time. Written assignments in the homework  may include a mix of math facts, vocabulary, and spelling practice.

Here is a brief overview of homework by grade per night:

Kindergarten

  • Reading Aloud to Scholars: 6 books/week (about 60 pages )
  • Give child different paper and writing utensils (pencils, crayons, markers, chalk) and have them experiment/play with writing and drawing until they are no longer interested
  • Independent Reading: 10 minutes
  • Written Assignments: 5 minutes
  • Math Computation: 10 minutes
  • Review Basic Math Facts: 10 minutes

Grade 1

  • Reading Aloud to Scholars: 6 books/week (about 60 pages)
  • Student Read 3 books/week (about 30 pages )
  • Child should write about 50 words per week (homework, shopping lists, letters to family members, label their toys/objects in the house, etc.)
  • Independent Reading: 15 minutes
  • Written Assignments: 10 minutes
  • Math Computation: 10 minutes
  • Review Basic Math Facts: 10 minutes

Grade 2

  • Read 400-500  words per week
  • Independent Reading: 20 minutes
  • Write 200 words per week
  • Written Assignments: 10 minutes
  • Math Computation: 15 minutes
  • Review Basic Math Facts: 15 minutes

Grade 3


  • Independent Reading: 30 minutes
  • Written Assignments: 30 minutes
  • Math Computation: 30 minutes
  • Review Basic Multiplication Facts: 15 minutes

Grades 4 & 5

  • Read 800-1,000+ words per week
  • Independent Reading: 30 minutes
  • Write about 400-500+ words per week
  • Written Assignments: 30 minutes
  • Math Computation: 30 minutes
  • Review Basic Multiplication & Division Facts: 20 minutes

 

Reading Log

We count on parents to help foster students’ love of reading by reading to your child daily in the early elementary years. You are responsible for tracking the number of books, and the time in minutes spent reading.

We count on you to help foster your scholar's’ love of reading by reading to your child daily in the early elementary grades and ensuring that your child reads independently in the later elementary grades. Reading aloud will help your child develop listening comprehension skills, critical-thinking abilities, and vocabulary, while independently reading at home will improve your scholar’s concentration and stamina.

Your child will come home with book baggies full of fiction and nonfiction books to read at home, so make sure you set aside reading time and use your scholar’s book baggie as an exciting resource. You and your scholar are responsible for tracking the number of books or number of minutes that you and your child read nightly on a reading log, which you can find in your child’s homework packet. We expect 100% completion of reading logs every week.

To reach this weekly goal, families of scholar:

  • Grades K-2 must read aloud six books per week
  • Grades 3, 4 and 5 must read independently for 30 minutes a day, six days a week.

 

Math

We look to you to partner with us to help develop the skills of our scholars. Developing a deeper comprehension of mathematics is a skill that can be reinforced at home. 
Encourage mathematical conversations by having your scholar explain their problem solving strategies to a math problem.
Using meaningful discourse is highly effective in promoting further learning achievements.
Sit with your child and go over their homework each night and ask them to explain (in their own words), how to solve the problems assigned. In addition, have your child practice math facts from previous lessons to review mathematical content. 
Scholars should also check over their work after completion to monitor their errors. Providing feedback to your child helps to increase critical thinking and a growth mindset that we embrace at Merrick Academy.
Encourage your child to problem solve through daily events.  For instance, ask your child to help you with totaling up the amount that the groceries will cost this week, ask your child to help you measure items at home, ask your child to count the amount of time they have spent performing a task, and so on.  Reminding your child that math is a daily procedure that we use throughout our lives is essential in making home/school connections.

Recess

Just like math and science recess is a critical part of a scholar’s day. Weather permitting and temperature permitting, students will go outside for recess at least three times a week. 

 

Special Education

Merrick Academy is dedicated to ensuring that your child receives the services he/she needs to excel in school. If your scholar struggles to learn with all the robust general education support we provide, then the school's leadership team will suggest a meeting to discuss your options. Please see the Merrick Academy Educational Rights of Children with Disabilities. Merrick Academy will help families through the referral and evaluation process and coordinate special education services with the Committee of Special Education (CSE). If you have any questions please contact the Dean of Student Services.

 

Report Cards

Report cards are distributed four times a year. Parent Teacher conferences are held in November, February and April. They are mandatory events. The final report card is distributed in June.

 

III. Parent Involvement

Parental participation is essential. We have little chance of success without your full support; we and your child need your involvement. We like hearing from our parents. Please feel free to call or email the Front Desk, your child’s teachers or the school’s leadership team.

Communication

As a Merrick Academy parent or guardian, we ask that you:

  • Keep your contact information up-to-date;
  • Return any calls within 24 hours
  • Read  The Exceptional monthly to stay aware of announcements and school events;
  • Call the Main Office, your child’s teachers, or the school’s leadership team at any time.
 

Throughout the year we will call, text, email, and meet with you about your child’s performance. We will also notify you about important announcements and school events. To ensure that you receive our communications, the Front Desk must have your most current contact information.  

  • Yellow cards must be filled out and returned to our school.  If your information changes throughout the school year, please notify the Front Desk or your child’s teacher to update your information.
 

We like to hear from you too. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the main office at 718-479-3753. If we do not pick up the phone, please leave a message, and we will return your call within 24 hours or, if over the weekend, by Monday afternoon.

 

Parent –Teacher Calls

Teachers are unavailable for phone calls during instructional time.

  • You may leave a message for your child’s teacher with the front desk or email your child’s teacher directly.
  • Teachers will contact you during their non-instructional period.
  • Please inquire with your child’s teacher the best time to call during the day.
  • In case of emergency please call the main office.

 

Open Door Policy

We believe in transparency. You are therefore welcome once per month to be a Mystery Reader in your child’s class. If you are interested please make an appointment with the Front Desk and the classroom teacher.

 

Getting Involved

There are many ways to get involved.

  • You are welcome to chaperone field trips and/or support school events.
  • You are welcome to be part of the Parent Teacher Association.
  • Parents who serve on the council should model and uphold the school’s culture. Your own leadership will set an example for your child and other parents.
 

For further information call or go to the Front Desk.

IV. School Day Information

Attendance

Regular school attendance is essential to a student’s ability to learn and to flourish at Merrick Academy Queens Public Charter School. Many of the academic classes are sequential in the introduction of skills and require students to learn and master these skills if they wish to be successful later in the class. Frequent and/or prolonged absences on the part of a student seriously hinder his/her ability to learn these skills, along with their ability to be successful, both academically and personally. In addition, students who are late disrupt the classes they enter, which impedes the learning of other students. Each student is responsible for his/her attendance, in terms of coming to school and arriving on time. Parental involvement is required to assist the student in meeting this obligation.

 

Reporting Absences

We expect students to come to school every day for the entire day. Parents or guardians are expected to notify the school by telephone if the student will be tardy. All students’ absences must be explained by a signed note from the parent. If your child has an appointment that requires him/her to arrive late or to leave early, the student must have a note from a parent.

Please notify the Main Office by 12:00 p.m. and pick up your child no later than 3:00 p.m. or your child will not be released early and must be picked up during regular dismissal time.

If your child is regularly absent from school, your child is likely to fall behind academically and socially. In the event of repeated absences or late arrivals, we will contact you to meet with the Social Worker. During this meeting, you will be provided with strategies that help improve your child’s attendance. Absences can be either excused or unexcused, as defined below.

10 (ten) unexcused absences will result in Merrick Academy’s notification to Social Services.

 

Excused Absences

 

All absences will be reported as unexcused absences unless the school receives the following documentation:  

Doctor’s note specifying the excused days (a parent/guardian note indicating that the child was sick is helpful, but will not count towards an excused absence).  

Religious holidays.  

Parent/Guardian note indicating there is a family funeral – the child will be excused only for the day of the funeral unless extenuating circumstances apply.  

Parent/Guardian note indicating there is a family emergency – emergencies include house fires, house floods, or incidents of violence in the home. An emergency is defined by the presence of an emergency response team (fire, ambulance, police, CPS, etc.). Children are expected to be at school as soon as possible after the situation is resolved.  

Court documents mandating a court appearance – the child will be excused only for the day(s) indicated on the court documents.

 

Unexcused Absences and Long-Term Absences

If your child has an unexcused absence, please contact their main office immediately and make arrangements with your child’s classroom teacher(s) for assignment completion. Depending upon the nature of the illness or emergency, students will be responsible for keeping up with their class work.

Merrick Academy will take the following actions to address unexcused absences:  

After 3 consecutive unexcused absences, Merrick Academy Leadership will follow up with family.  

After 5 consecutive unexcused absences, a home visit will take place on the 6th day and the Administration for Children Services (ACS) may be notified regardless of reason for an unexcused absence.  

 

ACS may also be notified when:

a suspended student does not return after a period of suspension. o

a student with special education services does not report to a new placement. o

a student cannot attend school due to lack of required immunizations. o

it is necessary to conduct an investigation to confirm a student’s residence. o

a student shows signs of being chronically truant.

requested by the Executive Director, Chief Academic Officer, Principal, Assistant Principal (s) and/or Leadership Team if he/she believes a child to be in danger due to neglect.

 

Unexcused Absences also includes:

Family vacation

Parent/Guardian Non- Emergency Illness

Bad weather

Trouble with public transportation

Routine doctor’s appointments

 

Accountability for Unexcused Absences

Merrick Academy will call home every day a student is absent beyond 6 total days during a school year.  

After 6 unexcused absences, Merrick Academy Leadership team will call the family and a letter will be sent to the family reminding them of the attendance procedure.  

After 12 unexcused absences, the family will be called in for a meeting with school leadership.  

After 18 unexcused absences, the family will meet with the Executive Director/Chief Academic Officer/Leadership Team.

Students are expected to not exceed 18 unexcused absences in any given school year. Students who have 18 or more unexcused absences may be in danger of being retained in their current grade for another year


Absences around Holidays

Scheduled holidays and long weekends form natural breaks in the flow of the school year. The days before and after holidays and long weekends include some of the most crucial educational experiences of the year. Projects, important culminating activities, and tests are often scheduled immediately before these vacations begin, and new work is often introduced the first day back. For these reasons, attendance before and after holidays is crucial. Therefore, parents /guardians are asked not to take their children out of school on these days.

 

Tardiness, Early Dismissals, and Appointments

Parents/guardians are expected to notify the main office if their child will be tardy or absent by 7:45am on the day of the absence or arriving late to school. If your child has an appointment that requires him/her to leave early, the parent/guardian must notify the Main Office in advance and in writing. All notes must be signed, dated, and include a contact telephone number. Please note that any adult picking up a student early from school must come to the Main Office with the date and time for the early dismissal. It is very important that parents follow this early dismissal procedure. This will ensure the safety and well-being of every student. Please note that any adult picking up a student early from school must come to the main office. Please note all early dismissal must be recorded before 1pm.  She/he will have to show valid, current, state-issued, picture identification and must be listed as one of the contacts on the student’s emergency information card before the student will be released to his/her care.

 

Arrival to School

Students are expected to arrive at school between 7:30 and 7:50 a.m. Students who plan on eating breakfast should arrive at 7:30 a.m. Elementary students MUST be in homeroom and ready to begin instruction by 8:00 a.m. Attendance is taken promptly, and students who arrive at homeroom after the door closes at 7:55am. will be marked as tardy.

Students who are being dropped off by a parent/guardian must supervise and observe their child walking into the school building. You may not leave your child at the front entrance, the corner of the block (i.e. 136th avenue & 218th street), or at the front desk before 7:30am.

Late Arrival Students arriving after 7:55am. in the Elementary School must be accompanied by a parent/guardian to sign-in the student in at the Main Office on the first floor of the A-building. All students are subject to Merrick Academy’s tardy policy.

 

Dismissal

Students are dismissed at 3:40 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Yellow bus service and Private Bus students are dismissed at 3:25 p.m., as buses leave the school at 3:30 p.m. Students are dismissed at 11:30am on half-days for faculty professional development. Yellow bus service students are dismissed at 11:20 am. as buses leave at 11:25 am. Lunch is not provided on early dismissal days. This is the best day for parents to schedule afternoon doctor and dentist appointments for their child.

At dismissal, students line up by homeroom for parent pick up in the gym. Yellow bus riders are dismiss between 3:25 PM-3:35PM.

If your child needs to be parent pick up for one day, you must notify the school and teacher by emailing transportation@merrickacademy.org  by 1 p.m. the day of the change in dismissal.

Please Note: Front Desk is unavailable 3pm-4pm each day. You may leave a message if calling during this time.

Parents must observe Merrick Academy’s school release times. If parents are unable to pick up their child on time, it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to make arrangements for the child to be picked up ON TIME.

 

Illness
  • If your child has a contagious illness or any of the symptoms or ailments below, please   keep your child at home and seek a doctor’s care. Fever of 99.4 F or higher
  • Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) Eye infection; redness; swelling; discharge
  • Lice: Tiny insects that live on the scalp or person’s clothing
  • Bed bugs: tiny insects that are reddish brown; flat, and oval that live in clothing and furniture items.

 

If a staff member believes that your child has any of these symptoms or ailment, we will notify you and send your child home immediately. Your child may only return to school after we receive proof of treatment. Your child does not need a doctor’s note to return after a fever.

 

School Day Hours

The school building is not open to students prior to 7:30 a.m. Students should not under any circumstances be on the school premises prior to 7:30 a.m. as there is no adult supervision available at this time.

Monday-Friday

7:30-7:55 am- Arrival               3:45- 4:00 pm- Dismissal

 (Half Day 11:30-11:45 am - Dismissal)

 

Late Pick-Up Policy

Please make sure to pick up your child daily from school on time between 3:40 pm - 4:00 pm.Student pickup past 5 minutes (4:05 p.m.) after dismissal time will be recorded. If you pick up your child late three (3) times (consecutively or nonconsecutive) in a trimester you will be required to attend a parent meeting regarding the late pickups of your child. Students may lose after school program privileges due to recurrent late pick ups.  If student is not pick up after a certain amount of time, local authorities will be notified. If another person (authorized person or private company) is picking up your child, please communicate the Late Pick-Up Policy with them. Parents are responsible for their child being picked up on time. 

 

Late student pick up will be addressed the following ways:

1st time late pick up - verbally with completion of late pick up survey or sign out.

2nd late pick up - verbally with completion of late pick up survey or sign out.

3rd late pick up - completion of late pick up survey, acknowledgement, receipt and signature  of the late pick up letter requiring you to attend a parent meeting.

*Parent Meeting: You will be required to have a mandatory meeting with the school social worker and another school leader to address the late pick - up. In this meeting, there will be a discussion of strategies to assist you in picking up your child on time.  

 

Change in Transportation

If you need to change your child's transportation method for the day, you must notify the school by emailing transportation@merrickacademy.org by 1pm the day of the change. Please give your name, contact number, students' name, class and the change needed. Request after 1pm can not be accommodated. If you do not have internet access please call the school's main number.

 

Approved Methods of Transportation

Parent Drop off and Pick ups

The school building is not open to students prior to 7:30 a.m. Students should not under any circumstances be on the school premises prior to 7:30 a.m. as there is no adult supervision available at this time. Please adhere to dismissal times and policies above.

 

 Yellow Bus

Merrick Academy will assist parents in yellow bus setup. Please contact the Main Office for forms. Yellow bus request and changes take up to 7 business days. All yellow bus concerns and issues should be directed to The Office of Pupil Transportation, 718-392-8865. 

 

Private Bus 

There are many private companies available to parents. Merrick Academy takes no responsibly for the usage of private bus companies. Parents are responsible for communications with private bus companies and making sure their child is drop off and picked up on time. 

 

City Bus and Walkers

Parents requesting their child to take the city bus or walk home must come to the school to fill out the correct forms and written consent. Students taking the city bus or walking home will be dismissed during school wide dismissal time. If your child is sick or needs to leave early they must have an authorized adult pick them up.

Authorized adults and siblings must be on the school’s pick up list, and show photo ID to enter the school building.  Anyone picking up a student must be 18 years or older and must use the iPad receptionist to check in.  

 

 Changes in Transportation

If you need to change your child's transportation method for the day, you must notify the school by emailing transportation@merrickacademy.org by 1pm the day of the change. Please give your name, contact number, students' name, class and the change needed. Request after 1 pm can not be accommodated. If you do not have internet access please call the school's main number. 

 

School Closures

We follow the NYC DOE school closing schedule. If the NYC DOE schools close for the day, then we close as well.  More updates can be found at www.merrickacademy.org. In addition to the DOE school schedule, Merrick Academy has special school closures and early dismissal days. Please see the school website calendar for full information. 

 

Fire/Emergency Evacuation Plan

In the case of a school wide emergency evacuation students and staff will relocate to the St. Mary Magdalene Church located at 218-12 136th Avenue.

 

 Uniforms

Merrick Academy is a uniform school. Please see our Dress Code section (School Culture) for detailed uniform information and how to order uniforms.

 

Nut Allergy Policy

Nut allergies are a medical condition that can cause severe and life threatening reactions. For the safety of students with nut allergies, all snacks and lunches brought to school should not contain nuts.

 

Junk Food Policy

Merrick Academy prefers students to bring healthy snacks to school. We ask parents to avoid sending sugary drinks, sodas, and junk food. 

 

Birthday Celebrations

All families who wish to celebrate their child’s birthday at school must adhere to these guidelines:

  • Parties are between 2:45-3:15 pm. only at teachers discretion. Parties can not happen during instructional periods. Parents are encouraged to send in cupcakes and juices as a “birthday snack.”
  • Speak to your child’s teacher at least two weeks in advance to set up the day.
  • Bring one non- allergy snack or treat for every scholar in the class.

Lost & Found

Lost & Found items will be kept in Stairwell B outside the cafeteria. After 30 days, unlabeled and unclaimed items will be donated at the school's discretion. We ask that you please label all clothing and remind your child that they are responsible for keeping track of their belongings.

 

Electronics at School

Please note that the school is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged cell phones or other personal technology that students choose to bring to school. Students’ use of personal cell phones during school hours is not permitted. Any student who brings a cell phone to school must power it off between 7:30 AM-4 PM and it must be in a book bag or locker.

 

Field Trips

Throughout the year Merrick Academy students will have the opportunity to go on field trips. Our desire is for students to attend their class field trip and any other invited trip. Trip payments must be paid online via PayPal services or by Money Order. We do not accept cash payments. Please contact the main office for any assistance needed.

 

Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying

Harassment, discrimination, and bullying are unacceptable in our schools and will not be tolerated. We come from different backgrounds, have different religious beliefs or lifestyles, but we are united in teaching children that part of success is being respectful, kind, and caring citizens.

All students should feel safe and welcome at school. We have a zero tolerance policy against acts of harassment, discrimination, or bullying. This includes behaviors that take place outside of school if they harm others or disrupt students’ education. We are all responsible for stopping harassment, discrimination and bullying before and when they happen.

V. School Culture

CORE Values and Building Moral Character

In addition to teaching our students to be great readers, writers, mathematicians and scientists, we believe they need to be citizens of high moral character and self-reflective about their actions. Principles start with adults and filter to children. Our school community will live by our CORE Values. At Merrick Academy we teach respect for others and proper behaviors, which are modeled, expected and rewarded. Principles and good character are part of our daily instruction. Our CORE Values are more than just slogans on a wall; they are who we are.

 

Merrick Academy Core Values

Respect

To have high regard for, to hold in esteem, to treat with courtesy and consideration. Remind your children that although we may look different on the outside, we all have the same feelings on the inside.

 

Acceptance

The ability to accept or to tolerate differences and diversity in other people or groups of people. Encourage your child to receive and accept others’ differences.

 

Caring

Displaying acts of kindness, thoughtfulness and concern for others. Staying active in your child’s education; i.e., reading to them at night.

 

Responsibility

Being accountable for your words, actions, and attitudes; Plan ahead.

 

Citizenship

Do your share to make your school and community better; Be a good neighbor; Obey laws and rules Get involved in community affairs; Respect authority ; Protect the environment; Volunteer Responsibly; Being accountable for your words, actions, and attitudes; Use self- control; Think before you act — consider the consequences ;Set a good example for others.

 

Courage

Knowing what is good, true, and right. This gives you confidence that you are ensuring your child to always try their best and never give up.

 

Perseverance

Try, try and try again. Encourage your child to give their all in everything they do.

 

Fairness

Playing by the rules; taking turns; sportsmanship; Be open minded. Treat school community members with fairness and respect.

 

Trustworthiness

To be honest. Treat school community members with honesty and studentship. Always doing the best work possible, regardless of impending reward.

 

Commitment to Learning

One is willing to spend the necessary time to cultivate his/ her mind in the quest for knowledge. Taking initiative to enroll your child in extracurricular activities, ones that cultivate an active mind of learning.

 

Respecting Diversity

We at Merrick Academy recognize that in order to be successful, our children need support from both the home and school. We know a strong partnership with parents will make a great difference in a child’s education. As partners, we at Merrick Academy share the responsibility for our children’s success and want all stakeholders to know that we will do our very best to carry out our responsibilities.

We at Merrick Academy, pursue excellence in our all-inclusive learning community of students, educators, parents and community members. We work towards the common purpose of providing an excellent educational experience for all students. Through our high degree of individualized instruction, increased time on task of learning and innovative academic curriculum, we will ensure that all of our students are college and career ready.

Merrick Academy’s motto “In pursuit of Excellence” is a constant reminder of the expectations we set for our learning community. Some members of our community hold religious convictions and we respect the right to hold those beliefs. Discrimination is against the law, and it is the policy of Merrick Academy to respect every member of our community.

 

Academic Integrity

Merrick Academy takes academic integrity seriously. In general, academic cheating is: Claiming someone else’s work as your own, including copying another student's work or unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another and the representation such language/thoughts as original work (plagiarism). Taking an illicit, unfair advantage of work.Changing answers when correcting work in class.Falsifying school work in any way.

 

Dress Code

Our dress code requires that ALL STUDENTS wear uniforms; no exceptions. Uniforms help maintain a school culture of unity in academic excellence. We require our students to wear uniforms in order to eliminate the inevitable distractions and status distinctions caused by clothing and to ensure that students are focused on learning. All students must adhere to the dress code guidelines. A parent phone call will be made for students not in Dress Code.

  • Boys Uniform: White Dress shirt and tie OR Merrick Academy Burgundy Polo Plaid #43 Tie, Khaki Pants and Black Dress Shoes. 
  • Girls Uniforms: White Dress shirt and tie OR Merrick Academy Burgundy Polo Plaid #43 Tie, Khaki Pants/Jumper/Skirt Burgundy or White tights and Black Dress Shoes.
  • Physical Education Uniform:  Merrick Academy Burgundy Sweatshirt or T-shirt Merrick Academy Burgundy Sweatpants
  • *Sneakers may only be worn with complete gym uniform on gym days. On the days where students have Health Education, they must be in FULL SCHOOL UNIFORM. No Exceptions.

 

Student Change of Clothes

Some students may have experience an accident during school hours and need a change of clothes. We recommend parents of Kindergartners, 1st graders and any child known to have accidents to please supply your child with an extra set of clothes in their backpack. This extra set does not need to be an uniform but must be weather appropriate and if a Trip Day contain a trip t-shirt or sweater. If a student has an accident in their clothing and they do not have an extra set of clothes we will try to provide an alternative clothing item. If we do not have anything acceptable a parent call will be made for child pick up or drop off of additional clothing.

 

How to Purchase a Uniform

Mail In Order

 

Mail order form (pick up from front desk) to:

175 Rockaway Ave., Valley Stream, NY 11580

 

 

Order Online

 

www.idealuniform.com/macsq

Shop at Store

 

175 Rockaway Ave.Valley Stream, NY 11580

Open 7 days a week year round

Monday-Saturday 10 am-7 pm      Sunday 11 am-6 pm

Extended hours from August to September. Please check the website.

 

Order By Phone

 

    516-354-8255



Food, School Breakfast, and School Lunch Program

Merrick Academy wishes to promote healthy eating habits for our students. As such, students should not come to school with soda, candy and sweets (including gum), or junk food. Unopened drinks should be in clear, plastic bottles. Glass bottles are not allowed.

BREAKFAST & LUNCH IS FREE!

Each school day New York City Public School students are able to enjoy FREE breakfast and lunch meals. Parents and guardians must go online to www.myschoolapps.com and follow the prompts to complete your child’s lunch application. Households need to complete only one application for all children living in a home attending Pre-k to high school. It is imperative that you complete this application as it helps us a school secure State funding. If you have questions regarding the application contact Ms.Clarke via email at sclarke@merrickacademy.org or phone 718 4793753 ext. 153.

 

Merrick Academy’s Social Work Information Center

The Merrick Academy Social Work Program services the entire K to 5 school community including students, families, and staff. The Social Worker is a licensed mental health professional who provides academic and classroom support, behavioral intervention, crisis intervention, as well as group and individual therapy sessions. The program provides family support services, such as but not limited to; family counseling; temporary housing assistance; financial benefits/child support; insurance; and disability assistance as it impacts the student’s ability to maintain their highest level of achievement in the educational setting. The program provides students with different adaptive strategies to cope with various emotions and social situations. The Social Worker is committed to the social-emotional development of children as well as providing necessary resources to all families.

 

Personal/Social Development

The Merrick Academy School Guidance Program focuses on reducing disciplinary referrals and suspension rates, positively impacting school climate, and helping students acquire resiliency skills. It promotes successful student transition from grade level to grade level, facilitates access to community resources and encourages positive motivation. The Guidance Counselor facilitates Crisis Management and Intervention, Mandated and At Risk Counseling, enforces the mandates of Child Abuse and Maltreatment, helps ensure the rights of Students in Temporary Housing, and promotes Bullying Prevention.

 
Academic Development

The Merrick Academy School Guidance Program supports student success through study and test taking skills, helps improve student attendance and increases opportunity. The program promotes achievement and supports teachers in their work with students. The Guidance Counselor performs in class observations and develops personalized behavior plans to increase functioning in the classroom setting.

 

Career/College Readiness

The Merrick Academy School Guidance Program helps students explore post secondary options including college and career choices. The program engages parents in educational planning for their children and helps parents to navigate the school’s role in the educational process. It provides skills necessary for student success in school, community and the world of work and connects career goals to educational goals. The Guidance Counselor coordinates the entire Middle School Choice process.

Guidance Activities for the Upcoming Year

  • September: Back to School
  • October: Anti-Bullying
  • November: Middle School Workshop
  • December: Middle School Choice and Application
  • January: College/Career Exposure
  • February: School Counseling Appreciation
  • March: Self Esteem/Confidence Building
  • April: Middle School Results
  • May: Mental Health Awareness
  • June: Talent Show

 VI. Discipline

Merrick Academy Discipline Policy
Our goal is to ensure that all students can participate as productively as possible in the classroom as well as the entire school environment. Therefore, our schools must be safe and orderly. We will not allow one child to willfully disrupt the learning environment for all. In order to establish and maintain a school culture that promotes learning and respect for others we have established a Code of Conduct, which contains a list of possible violations and potential consequences.

Please keep in mind that the list of violations and consequences is not exhaustive. Our School leaders can supplement the Code of Conduct with additional rules as appropriate. In addition consequences for violation of the Code of Conduct are subject to the discretion of school leadership and may be supplemented and/or adjusted accordingly. A student’s prior conduct and his/her disciplinary history may be factors in determining the appropriate consequence.

 

Student Discipline
An important aspect of our school’s mission is to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment for all students so that teaching and learning can take place. Merrick Academy has high expectations for conduct on school property and at school functions. These expectations are based on the principles of civility, mutual respect, citizenship, character, tolerance, honesty and integrity. The school’s student code of conduct clearly defines these expectations for acceptable behavior on school property, identifies the possible consequences of unacceptable conduct, and ensures that discipline when necessary is administered promptly and fairly.
The essential partners of the school (parents, teachers, and the principal) and the student body play important roles in maintaining a safe and orderly school environment. Parents are expected to recognize that the education of their child is a joint responsibility with the school community. Teachers are expected to maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity. The principal is expected to promote a safe, orderly, and stimulating school environment. The Board expects all students to conduct themselves in an appropriate and civil manner, with proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students, school personnel and other members of the school community, and for the care of school facilities and equipment.

 

Violence and Aggression

We must ensure that our students are safe at all times in our school. Merrick Academy does not tolerate aggressive conduct that puts the safety of our students or staff in jeopardy.

 

Suspension and Expulsion

Students who repeatedly disregard directions, compromise the safety of others, or violate our Code of Conduct may be suspended.

 

In school suspension

The Board recognizes the school must balance the need of students to attend school and the need for order in the classroom to establish an environment conducive to learning. As such, the board authorizes the principal to place students who would otherwise be suspended from school as the result of a code of conduct violation in in-school suspension. The in-school suspension teacher will be a certified teacher.

A student subjected to an in-school suspension is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214. However, the student and the student’s parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the Merrick Academy official imposing the in-school suspension to discuss the conduct and the penalty involved.

1. Short Term Suspension from school

Suspension from school is a severe penalty, which may be imposed only upon students who are insubordinate, disorderly, violent or disruptive, or whose conduct otherwise endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others.

A short term suspension refers to the removal of a student from the school for disciplinary reasons for a period of five days or fewer.

 

2. Long Term Suspension from School

A long term suspension refers to the removal of a student for disciplinary reasons for more than five days.

 

Expulsion

Expulsion refers to the permanent removal of a student from Merrick Academy for disciplinary reasons.

  • Parent/Guardian and student meet with the Principal, School Leaders, Social Worker and/or all involved parties.
  • A decision is made involving the student’s enrollment.
  • Parent/Guardian is notified of schools decision.

*Suspensions and Expulsions are Merrick Academy’s last resort.

 

Alternative Instruction

The board retains its authority to suspend students, but places primary responsibility for the suspension of students with the principal.

All suspended students will receive alternative instruction within 24 hours of suspension.

Suspended students will be sent to an assigned room within the school building, supervised by school staff, to serve their suspension. All staff members must immediately report and refer a violent student to the principal for a violation of the code of conduct.

All recommendations and referrals shall be made in writing unless the conditions underlying the recommendation or referral warrant immediate attention.

The principal, when processing a case for suspension, shall gather the facts relevant to the matter and record them for subsequent presentation.

Code of Conduct

Merrick Academy is committed to safeguarding the rights given to all students under applicable state and federal law. In accordance with §2851(2) (h) of the Educational Law, discipline policies and procedures for the school have been prepared. The board ensures that students with disabilities are provided with appropriate due process and a free appropriate public education per the requirements of IDEA and 34 CFR §300, et seq. and will meet all the provisions of Sections 300.530300.536 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

 

Progressive Violation Levels

Level 1- Uncooperative/Non-compliant Behavior

Level 2-Disorderly Behavior

Level 3- Disruptive Behavior

Level 4- Aggressive or Injurious/Harmful Behavior

Level 5- Seriously Dangerous or Violent Behavior



Level of Violation

Examples of Violation

Responses; Interventions & Consequences

Level 1

Engage in conduct that is disorderly. Examples of disorderly conduct include

  • Running in hallways.
  • Making unreasonable noise.
  • Using language or gestures that are profane, lewd, vulgar or abusive.
  • Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
  • Engaging in any willful act which disrupts the normal operation of the school community.
  • Trespassing. Students are not permitted in any school building, other than the one they regularly attend, without permission from the administrator in charge of the building.
  • Computer/electronic communications misuse, including any unauthorized use of computers, software, or internet/intranet account; accessing inappropriate websites; or any other violation of Merrick Academy’s acceptable use policy.
  • Warning/ reprimand by school staff
  • Student is reminded of appropriate behavior
  • Student will practice the desired behavior
  • Student is reminded of past poor decisions and provided with production alternatives/choices that should be made.
  • Restorative Circle

Level 2

Engaged in conduct that is insubordinate.

  • Committing a level one violation after being provided an intervention
  • Failing to comply with the reasonable directions of teachers, school administrators or other school employees in charge of students or otherwise demonstrating disrespect.
  • Lateness, missing or leaving school without permission.  
  • Violating Dress Code
  • Student is reminded of appropriate behavior
  • Student is give a verbal warning
  • Conversation with dean or school administrator
  • Parent Conference
  • Non participation in school activity (i.e. communal lunch; school event; sporting event, etc.)
  • Verbal or written apology to the school community
  • Placement in a buddy classroom
  • Restorative Circle
  • Other consequences/responses deemed appropriately by school (including but not limited to suspension)

Level 3




 

Engage in conduct that is disruptive.

  • Failing to comply with the reasonable directions of teachers, school administrators or other school personnel in charge of students.
  • Intentionally damaging or destroying the personal property of a student, teacher, administrator, other employee or any person lawfully on school property, including graffiti or arson.
  • Intentionally damaging or destroying Merrick Academy property.
  • Engage in misconduct while on a school bus. It is crucial for students to behave appropriately while riding on school buses to ensure their safety and that of other passengers and to avoid distracting the bus driver. Students are required to conduct themselves on the bus in a manner consistent with established standards for classroom behavior.
  • Excessive noise, pushing, shoving and fighting will not be tolerated.
  • Conversation with principal/school administrator
  • Loss of classroom privileges
  • Additional assignments that require the student to reflect on behavior in writing or orally (depending on grade)
  • Call home to parents/guardians
  • Non participation in school activity (i.e. communal lunch; school event; sporting event)
  • Verbal or written apology to the school community
  • Placement in a buddy classroom
  • Restorative Circle
  • Other consequences /responses deemed appropriately by school (including but not limited to suspension)

Level 4

Engage in conduct that is violent.

  • Physical injury: committing an act of violence (such as inappropriately touching, hitting, kicking, punching, and scratching) upon a teacher, administrator or other school employee or attempting to do so.
  • Physical injury:  committing an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching, and scratching) upon a student or any other person lawfully on school property or attempting to do so.
  • Displaying what appears to be a weapon.
  • Threatening to use any weapon.
  • Conversation with principal/school administrator.
  • Loss of classroom privileges
  • Additional assignments that require the student to reflect on behavior in writing or orally (depending on grade).
  • Call home to parents/guardians
  • Non participation in school activity (i.e. communal lunch; school event; sporting event)
  • Verbal or written apology to the school community
  • Placement in a buddy classroom.
  • Other consequences/responses deemed appropriately by school (including but not limited to suspension)
  • Expulsion

Level

5






 

Engage in any conduct that endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others.

  • Possessing a weapon. Authorized law enforcement officials are the only persons permitted to have a weapon in their possession while on school property or at a school function
  • Committing an act of violence (such as inappropriately touching, hitting, kicking, punching, and scratching) upon a teacher, administrator or other school employee or attempting to do so.
  • Committing an act of violence (such as hitting, kicking, punching, and scratching) upon a student or any other person lawfully on school property or attempting to do so.
  • Possessing a weapon. Authorized law enforcement officials are the only persons permitted to have a weapon in their possession while on school property or at a school function.
  • Lying to school personnel.
  • Stealing the property of other students, school personnel or any other person lawfully on school property or attending a school function.
  • Defamation, which includes making false or unprivileged statements or representations about an individual or identifiable group of individuals that harm the reputation of the person or the identifiable group by demeaning them.
  • Discrimination, which includes the use of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability as a basis for treating another in a negative manner.
  • Harassment, which includes a sufficiently severe action or a persistent, pervasive pattern of actions or statements directed at an identifiable individual or group which are intended to be or which a reasonable person would perceive as ridiculing or demeaning.
  • Intimidation, which includes engaging in actions or statements that put an individual in fear of bodily harm.
  • Hazing, which includes any intentional or reckless act directed against another for the purpose of initiation into, affiliating with or maintaining membership in any school sponsored activity, organization, club or team.
  • Selling, using or possessing obscene material.
  • Using vulgar or abusive language, cursing or swearing.
  • Smoking a cigarette, cigar, pipe or using chewing or smokeless tobacco.
  • Possessing, consuming, selling, distributing or exchanging alcoholic beverages or illegal substances, or being under the influence of either. “Illegal substances “include, but are not limited to, inhalants, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids, look alike drugs, and any substances commonly referred to as “designer drugs.”
  • Inappropriately using or sharing prescription and over the counter drugs.
  • Gambling.
  • Indecent exposure, that is, exposure to sight of the private parts of the body in a lewd or indecent manner.
  • Initiating a report warning of fire or other catastrophe without valid cause, misuse of 911, or discharging a fire extinguisher.

Merrick Academy Anti-Harassment, Anti-Discrimination, & Anti-Bullying Policy

Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying

In general, bullying

  • Is targeted and repeated
  • Involves a power imbalance
  • Creates a hostile environment
  • Has substantial negative consequences

Harassment, discrimination and bullying can be behaviors that are physical, verbal, social, and/or

Cyber (Internet). Here are examples of harassing or bullying behaviors when targeted and

repeated.

  • Physical: Hitting, kicking, pinching, pushing, or damaging/forcibly taking others’ property.
  • Verbal: Name Calling, put downs, making threats, teasing, or spreading hurtful rumors.
  • Social: Deliberately harming another scholar’s friendship or relationships.
  • Cyber (Internet): Sending text messages, pictures or email that hurt or embarrass others.

 

Preventing Harassment Discrimination, and Bullying

Respect toward others is one of our most important principles. Students should always treat others as they want to be treated. It is never okay to engage in harassing, bullying or discriminatory conduct. Students are responsible for their own actions, even if everyone else is acting in an inappropriate manner. Parents should explain to their child(ren) that they don’t have to be friends with every single student at school, but they do have to be respectful at all times.

 

Reporting Harassment Discrimination, and Bullying

Students should tell their teacher, the school’s Dignity Act Coordinator, Dean(s) or another adult (including a parent/guardian) right away if they believe they are being harassed, discriminated against, and bullied; or if they believe someone else is. Our principal will make sure the school investigates and puts a stop to any harassment, discrimination, or bullying. Parents/ guardians may also report potential acts of harassment, discrimination and bullying to teachers and administrators. Reports may be orally and in writing.

 

Suspension and Expulsion

Students may be disciplined (including suspension, expulsion, and/or other consequence) for violating this policy.

 

No Retaliation

There will be no retaliation against anyone, who in good faith, reports or assists in the

investigation of potential acts of harassment, discrimination or bullying.

Merrick Academy Technology, Internet Safety & Social Media

 

Acceptable Use Policy

Technology can be a great learning tool. However, students should use technology safely and responsibly.Please ensure that you and your child read and understand the Technology, Internet Safety, and Social Media Acceptable Use Policy. This policy sets forth guidelines and rules for your child’s use of computers, the internet, and other technological resources available at the school.

By “technology” we mean computers, tablets, phones, mobile devices, internet, social media (which includes Facebook, Twitter, and others), blogs, emails, chat rooms, instant messaging and other forms of direct electronic communication. Technology also includes educational websites and applications that students use for educational purposes.

This policy covers the use of ANY technology (not just technology owned by the school), including off campus use, which could disrupt the school or students’ education and/or interfere with others’ rights. This policy is meant to be representative and does NOT cover every single situation.

 

Parents should review and discuss the following with their child(ren):

Be Safe

  • Never share information about yourself or pictures with strangers
  • If you meet someone online, do not meet in person
  • If someone sends you a message that makes you feel uncomfortable, tell your parents or a teacher right away.

 

Be Appropriate

  • Be polite, kind and respectful. It’s okay to disagree with others’ views but do so respectfully.
  • Bullying, including cyber bullying, inappropriate language, harassment, and discrimination will not be tolerated. It is not acceptable to be mean, make fun of, embarrass, or pick on others. You also cannot curse or use other language online that you would not be able to use at school.
  • Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want friends, parents, teachers, college admissions of future employers to see. Even if you think your site is private, it is probably not. People can view and share what you post, now and far into the future.
  • Don’t “friend” your teachers or other Merrick Academy staff.
  • Don’t view, send or post messages or pictures that would be inappropriate for school, would harm another person or would disrupt the normal school day. 
  • Respect others privacy.
  • Don’t pretend you’re someone else