Community School District 17

Clarence G. Ellis, Superintendent




Parents, Teachers and Children Working Together


“The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil.” Ralph Waldo Emerson  (American Poet, Lecturer and Essayist, 1803-1882)


At The School of Integrated Learning Middle School 354, we believe in the concept of ‘whole family education’ or schooling the whole family. In this model of education, school and home do not function as separate entities, but have a shared responsibility for education. When children hear the same messages from teachers, parents, other family members and the entire school community, it is much easier for them to uphold the same standards at home and at school. It is therefore crucial for parents and students to help us in fostering effective communication between home and school. Knowing that parental involvement positively affects student’s academic and social success, families are encouraged to play an active role in the educational process by meeting with teachers, counselors and available staff to discuss your children’s progress.


Critical to effective communication, is making sure that school staff have your most up-to-date phone numbers/ information to communicate effectively with you, regarding your child. It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that our school has the ability to quickly communicate with you in an emergency (i.e. school closures, student attendance, emergency situations or other serious safety concerns) as well as for important scheduled school events. Our school regularly uses School Messenger (an Automated Messaging System) to carry out these notifications. Please also ensure that we have the most accurate and up-to-date information/phone numbers for ALL your emergency contacts. You are encouraged to communicate with your child’s teacher, your preferred mode of communicating e.g., cell phone, text messaging, email or a combination of all three. A short note to the teacher introducing yourself and your child, containing important information about you or your child, that you deem necessary for the teacher to know, is highly recommended. 


Parent Coordinator Mr. E. Cormack (Room 350 Ext. 3502) is your point person to contact for any and every issue you may need assistance with. During the first week of October (October 1- 4, 2019), your child will bring home a packet containing a welcome letter from the Parent Coordinator, a parent survey to determine information you need from the school and an emergency contact form, specifically for the Parent Coordinator. Please fill out the survey and emergency contact form and have your child return them to Mr. Cormack by October 14, 2019. Please note, ALL parents are required to, after signing in at the school safety desk, go directly to see the Parent Coordinator in Room 350




Vision: Our vision for The School of Integrated Learning is to form a “professional learning Community” where as a “team” we are able to do “whatever it takes” to ensure academic, and emotional success for our students and all members of our school community. Monique A. Campbell, Principal


"Education is a shared commitment between dedicated teachers, motivated students and enthusiastic parents with high expectations." – Bob Beauprez


When I became principal of The School of Integrated Learning Middle School 354 in 2005, one of the questions that I seek the correct answer for, in the shortest period of time is, “what kind of principal or leader will I be? As my career progressed, I realized that the correct form of that question should be “what kind of principal or leader do my parents, students, staff, school community think I am? The second question has been the driving force, constantly reminding me to collaborate with my parents, students and staff and also seek out partnerships that will improve our school. However, the one partnership that I prize over all, is the partnership our school has with the families we serve.


For the 2019- 2020 school year, I’ve recommitted to, with the help of Parent Coordinator Mr. E Cormack, meeting more parents/families, in an informal setting, to learn from you what your real needs are, as we seek to build on the concept of ‘whole family education’ or schooling the whole family. Families are encouraged to simply take the time to visit us and observe, learn about what your children and your children's teachers are doing. Also, every Tuesday from 2:30 PM until 3:10 PM, teachers are available to see parents for 40 minutes of parent engagement, no appointments necessary. Our Parent Coordinator (Room 350 Ext. 3501) is available from 8:30 AM until 4:00 PM, on school days, to assist with any and every issue you may have. When visiting the school, all parents are therefore required to, after signing in at the school safety desk, go directly to our Parent Coordinator.


We will continue to work with New York Edge - Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation (SASF) our after school partner and Counseling in Schools (CIS), a non-profit 501(c), as our Community Based Organizations (CBO’s).

Monique A. Campbell, Principal


Maximizing Potential to Improve Student Progress

For the school year 2018- 2019, first parent teacher conference will be on Thursday, September 19, 2019, from 4:30 PM until 6:30. Attendance at this conference is very important, especially for parents of 6th grade students and those who are new to our school.  This is your first opportunity to meet all of your child’s teachers, get an overview of the curriculum your child will be using for each subject and learn about our expectations and plans for the school year. It is our belief that, to support our students academically in and out of school, administrators, teachers, and families need to have a shared understanding of what the children are learning and work as partners to meet their academic and social-emotional needs.


To get the most out of parent-teacher conferences, it’s best that you write down the questions, ahead of time, that you need the teachers to answer. To help in formulating those questions, families may access key information about their children’s progress in school by signing up for an NYC Schools account. You will be able to view your child’s attendance, grades, contact information and state tests scores. The School of Integrated Learning Middle School 354 will make computers available to those parents who do not have computer access at home. Please see our Parent Coordinator Mr. E. Cormack for assistance.


Grade Level

Parent Teacher Conference Schedule

Fall 2019

Spring 2020

Evening Date

Afternoon Date


Evening Date

Afternoon Date

Intermediate & Junior High Schools


Family Night***

Thurs., Sept. 19

Wed., Nov. 6

Thurs., Nov. 7

Thurs., March 12

Thurs., May 14

Fri, March 13




Monique Campbell, Principal

Betsie Green, Assistant Principal

Kimani Smith, Assistant Principal

Elroy O. Cormack, Parent Coordinator

Maxine Griffith-Vincent, School Counselor

Amanda Bernadine, Community School Director








Student Breakfast



25 Minutes

Period 1




50 Minutes


Period 2

Attendance Taken



52 Minutes

Period 3



42 Minutes

Period 4



42 Minutes

Period 5



42 Minutes

Period 6



42 Minutes

Period 7

12:45 LUNCH


42 Minutes

Period 8



Dismissal M & T

50 Minutes

Period 9



45 Minutes

Period 10



45 Minutes

Period 11



Dismissal W, T & F

35 Minutes










1224 Park Place · Third Floor/Main Office Room 346 · Brooklyn NY, 11213

Telephone (718) 774-0362 · Fax: (718) 774-0521 ● WWW.MS354.COM






Within the first 10 days of entrance

NYS Identification Test for English Language Learners (NYSITELL)

Grades K - 12

NYSITELL eligible students must be tested within the first ten days of initial enrollment.

To identify students who are entitled to bilingual/English as a Second Language (ESL) programs.

Saturday – Sunday,  October 26 - 27

Specialized High

Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT)

Grade 8

To qualify applicants for admission to New York City Specialized High Schools.

Wednesday, March 25 – Friday, March 27

New York State English Language Arts (ELA)

Grades 3 - 8

To assess student progress toward New York State standards in English language arts.

Monday, April 13 – Friday, May, 15


Individual school

selected date(s)

New York State

English as a Second Language Test (NYSESLAT)

(Speaking portion)

Grades K - 12

To measure student progress in developing English language proficiency.

Tuesday, April 21 – Thursday, April 23

New York State


Grades 3 - 8

To assess student progress toward New York State standards in mathematics.

Monday, May, 4 – Friday, May 15


Individual school

selected date(s)

New York State

English as a Second Language Test (NYSESLAT) Reading, Writing,


Grades K - 12

To measure student progress in developing English language proficiency.

Monday, May 18 – Friday, May 29


Individual school

selected date(s)

New York State Science Performance Test

Grades 8

To assess elementary and

Intermediate level science programs and to assess student progress toward New York State standards in science.

Monday, June 1

New York State Science Written section

Grades 8

To assess elementary and

Intermediate level science programs and to assess student progress toward New York State standards in science.





The School of Integrated Learning Middle School 354 (SIL M.S. 354), located on the third floor of IS 390, (Maggie L. Walker Campus) will start the academic year 2019four- 2020 (our thirteenth year/established in May 2005) on Thursday, September 5, 2019 with approximately 384 students. Also sharing the campus are KIPP AMP Charter School – 17K357 (Elementary school on the 2nd floor and Middle school on the 4th floor) and the Office of the Superintendent of Community School District 17.




We at The School of Integrated Learning (SIL) guide our community individually and collectively towards success by making good choices that address academic needs and enhance social development, while awakening and nurturing interests and talents.


Our Motto: “Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow.”


Our School Credo: “At The School of Integrated Learning Middle School 354, we believe in the regenerative power of education. Like our symbol the Phoenix, we rise brilliantly from the ashes of our ignorance. Knowing that success comes through resiliency, we will always follow the rules, make good choices, and learn something new every day.”


The School of Integrated Learning M.S. 354 Welcomes










Emergency Home Contact – Blue Card


It is important for the school to be able to contact your home no matter the reason. It may be in the case of an emergency, it may relate to a disciplinary concern or it may just be to inform you about the “good news” on a student’s performance. Whatever the reason, we must be able to contact a family member/relative, a close friend or even a neighbor. Please ensure that you complete the blue cards (two per child) and return them to the main office. Please include your cell phone number(s) and email address where necessary. Also, please indicate to our Parent Coordinators your preferred mode of communication i.e. phone, text, email or all three.


A comprehensive curriculum package will be sent home with the students. However, SIL MS 354 will focus on the major subject areas; Mathematics, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies. Gym, Dance and Art will also be offered to all students, as well as guidance and counseling services.  All Math and ELA classes are scheduled for two consecutive periods for the day, allowing teachers the opportunity to plan and implement interdisciplinary units of study and delve deeply into the lesson. Technology will be infused into all aspects of the curriculum. 




Students are expected to know and obey the official school rules and regulations as well as the various codes of discipline outlined by the New York City Department of Education (see Citywide Standards of Discipline and Intervention Measures – “The Blue Book”).




Positive student commitment and behavior are essential for effective learning. Your attitudes and acts are directly related to your school experience and that of your classmates. It is expected that you will behave in ways that will enhance social relationships in the school and facilitate learning. You are expected to fulfill the behavioral expectations of the school community, and to:


Prepare yourself mentally and physically for the process of learning

·         Come to school properly nourished, rested and groomed

·         Come to school prepared to learn

Demonstrate respect for people and property

·         Exhibit honest, courteous, and polite actions

  • Respect the property of others

  • Accept the rights of others to their opinions

  • Settle differences peacefully

  • Display good sportsmanship at school related functions

  • Participate in the maintenance and cleanliness of school facilities and property


Take responsibility for your own behavior and learning


·         Recognize that school is work and academic development is the primary purpose

·         Complete all homework, class work, and tests in a timely manner

·         Accept constructive criticism

·         Accept the consequences of your actions


Use time and other resources responsibly


  • Attend school regularly and punctually

  • Use study periods and library time for school work

  • Use books and other equipment appropriately


Meet the unique requirement of each class


  • Participate actively in class work

  • Follow class rules and procedures

  • Bring to class textbooks, clothes and other materials necessary for participation

  • Observe rules for safe handling of class equipment


Communicate with parents and school personnel about school related matters


  • Take time to discuss academic learning and school progress with parents and teachers

  • Transmit information to parents and return responses to appropriate school personnel when requested

  • Know the appropriate personnel to involve when a problem occurs


Parents Bill of Rights

Parents’ Rights and Responsibilities

The New York City Department of Education recognizes that children excel when parents work closely with teachers and principals to develop strong partnerships. Children benefit greatly from having positive role models and they need discipline. While they appear to want total freedom they do in fact crave family structure, support and love. As partners in education, parents, guardians, and other family members have certain rights, responsibilities and obligations.

All Families Have the Following Rights:

  • The right to a free public school education for their children.

  • The right to be given access to information about their children’s performance and the educational programs and opportunities available to them and their children.

  • The right to be actively involved in the education of their children.

  • The right to file complaints and appeals.

All Parents Have the Following Responsibilities:

  • The responsibility to send their children to school ready to learn.

  • The responsibility to ensure that their children attend school regularly and arrive on time.

  • The responsibility to be aware of their children’s work, progress, and problems.

  • The responsibility to keep in touch with their children’s teachers and principal.

  • The responsibility to respond to communications from their children’s school.

  • The responsibility to attend important meetings and conferences.

  • The responsibility to treat all school staff members with courtesy and respect.

We Encourage Parents To:

  • Set high expectations for their children.

  • Contribute to the school by volunteering time, skills, or resources.

  • Get involved in Parent Associations or Parent-Teacher Associations.

  • Take part in school and community programs.

Parental Involvement and the Law


The parent leadership structure within the DOE is a powerful voice that works hard to serve the best interest of all of the public school parents in the City. A well-organized, well-run PA/PTA gives parents a place to go when they need help or when they want to help. The PA/PTA meeting is the place to hear what’s go­ing on at the school, exchange ideas, solve problems and help direct the school into the fu­ture. The PA/PTA president serves on the school’s School Leadership Team (SLT) along with other elected parents and members of the school’s staff and faculty.


Beyond the school level, PA/PTA presidents serve parents as members of District and Borough Presidents’ Councils. These councils, help PA/PTAs get off the ground, restore non-functioning ones, and provide assistance with interpretation of bylaws and regulations. They also help disseminate information, promote district-wide interests and identify district needs. PA/PTA core officers cast votes as selectors for District Community Education Coun­cils (CECs), responsible for district-wide parent involve­ment regarding school zoning, among other duties. PA/PTA officers also select members for four important citywide councils: Citywide Council on Special Education, Citywide Council on High Schools, District 75 Council, and Citywide Council on English Language Learners.


Another level of parent leadership is the Chan­cellor’s Parent Advisory Council (CPAC). CPAC members advise the Chancel­lor on DOE policy and relay important information back to their constituencies. Members of CPAC are presidents of their respective district or borough President’s Council, but most importantly, they are all still presidents of their school’s PA or PTA.


As you can see, the parent leadership structure is a resource for the entire school community. Yet none of this would be possible without the support of the parents—at the school level. In the end, every council, every team, every panel is only as strong, only as diligent, and only as effective as the school-based PAs and PTAs that form the foundation of parent leadership. With your participation, we can maximize this tool for the benefit of all our public school children.




Jesse Mojica, former Executive Director

Division of Family and Community Engagement (FACE)

Parent Coordinator, Mr. E. Cormack @ (718) 774-0362 Ext. 3502 or ecormack@schools.nyc.gov

Parent Teacher Association


In accordance with the Chancellor’s Regulation A660, The School of Integrated Learning (SIL MS 354) has established a Parent-Teacher Association (PTA).  Membership in the association is limited to teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, legally appointed guardians and persons in parental relation to students currently attending SIL MS 354. Once you satisfy any of these requirements you are automatically a member of SIL MS 354 PTA; no membership form is necessary.

Studies have documented that regardless of the economic, ethnic, or cultural background of the family, parent involvement in a child’s education is a major factor in determining success in school. Recognizing that parents are a child’s first teacher, National Parent Teacher Association (NPTA) has worked with federal legislators to include parent involvement requirements in education laws. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) resulted from these efforts. NPTA worked with Congress to initiate the PARENT Act, which sought to strengthen the parent participation policies in the ESEA. In January 2002, the ESEA was signed into law as the No Child Left Behind Act, (NCLB). It authorizes more than 40 programs that provide federal funds to nearly every school district in the nation.

SIL MS 354 Parent-Teacher Association – Executive Board


Currently, there are vacancies for parents to be members of the Executive Board. The available positions are chairpersons of the budget and membership committees which will be filled by an expedited election to be held at the next general monthly meeting of the Association. This meeting must be before September 30, 2019.


The general membership meetings of the association shall be held monthly, on the third (3rd) Wednesday of the month at 6:00 PM. Venue is the Maggie L. Walker Campus auditorium. If such dates fall on a legal or religious holiday, the meetings shall be held on the following or previous Wednesday, as determined by the executive board.    



School Leadership Team (SLT)


The School Leadership Team (SLT) is a school-based organization comprising of an equal number of parents and staff members. The principal, PTA president, and UFT chapter leader are mandatory members of the SLT. The other parent members are nominated by the PTA. The purpose of the team is three- fold:


      Develop a school wide education plan

      Match the school budget to the plan

      Build a sense of community


SIL MS 354 SLT meets every second (2nd) Wednesday at 5:00 pm. There are currently vacancies for parent members on the SLT.






The purpose of the school dress code is to establish standards for what is acceptable dress and grooming within the school setting, with particular concern for the health and safety of all. In addition, the dress code is designed to encourage a mode of dress and grooming which is conducive to establishing a climate for teaching and learning.


Top/Shirt- Grades 6 and 7 students wear a royal blue color polo shirt with the school logo, while grade 8 students (seniors) wear a teal blue polo shirt with school logo. The school shirts are sold ONLY AT THE SCHOOL. You may also purchase a school sweater, with the school logo, for $20.00. Navy blue cardigan is permitted.


Bottom/Pants- ALL grades wear either khaki or navy blue pants, skort or skirt. These are not sold at the school. Students are not allowed to wear jeans.



      Students shall not wear caps or other headgear including headbands, bandanas, scarves, sunglasses, headphones or earphones in the building, during, normal school hours.

Students shall not wear clothing or jewelry that advertises tobacco, alcohol, drugs, or other harmful substances.

      Students are prohibited from wearing any jewelry or other ornament that could cause personal harm to the student or another.

      Students shall not wear articles of clothing that are adorned with sexually suggestive slogans, profanity, lewd pictures, vulgar or obscene displays, or that which may be offensive to another’s religion, race or national origin.

      No child is permitted to wear a jacket, hooded sweater/sweatshirts or headgear in the school building. All members of the staff will insist on the removal of outer clothing during school hours.  This rule will be strictly enforced.

Students shall wear appropriate clothing that does not disrupt the learning environment of other students and staff. Overly revealing apparel shall not be worn to school. This includes, but is not limited to, cropped tops revealing midriffs, mesh tops, spaghetti straps, shirts without sides, pajamas, sagging pants or sweats that reveal undergarments such as boxer shorts, thongs, underwear, or bare skin, and dresses or tops which were intended as undergarments. Students who wear clothing that disrupts the learning environment at the School of Integrated Learning Middle School 354, will be removed from classes until appropriate school apparel is brought from home to change into. Refusal to comply will result in some form of disciplinary action. Also, students who are not in uniform will be given a loaner shirt for the day, which they will pay a dollar ($1.00) for. They will exchange the top that they are wearing for the loaner shirt, which must be returned at the end of the school day.



For health, hygienic and safety purposes, socks and appropriate footwear that, provides a firm walking surface and good balance must be worn. Therefore, loose or untied laces or straps that pose a safety hazard are not permitted. Footwear that is determined to be unsanitary or hazardous in the building may not be worn.




Physical Education is a mandated school program in which all students are expected to participate. In order to promote a healthy learning environment in Physical Education classes, the following is required:

      Light blue T-shirt and navy blue shorts (can only be purchased at the school) or sweat suit

      White or gray athletic socks

      Sneakers, high or low, must be tightly tied (no platform sneakers)

      No Bermuda shorts, cutoffs, stretch pants or spandex pants

Be reminded that for hygiene and safety reasons, students are not allowed to wear regular school clothes (school uniform) during Physical Education class. It is also helpful, where necessary, to put your child’s name on all clothing. This will help in returning all lost or misplaced items.

To be excused from Physical Education class (gym), the student must bring a dated note from a parent. Participation in the regular class activity will be excused. In order to be excused for more than three days due to illness or injury, a medical excuse issued by a doctor is required. This will be signed by the physical education teacher and school nurse and kept on file in the counseling office.


The campus will have the Comprehensive, Attendance, Administration, and Security System, known as the CAASS System. CAASS will allow the school to track student attendance, provide access control into the building, and create photo identification for our students, amongst other things.


The DOE acknowledges the importance of regular attendance in an effective instructional program. Attendance shall be required of all students enrolled during the days and hours that the school is in session, unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the building principal, that an acceptable cause exists to justify the student's absence.

Students not in attendance during any school day are not permitted to engage in school related activities before or after school on the day of said absence, neither are they allowed to visit the building without a parent/guardian.



The maximum number of absences permitted is 10% of the total number of school days for the academic year (18 days out of 180 days).

Absences That May Be Excluded

Students may have certain absences excluded from the maximum allowable number of absences upon the presentation of acceptable evidence for review. Absences for the following reasons may be excluded:

    1. Illness requiring a longer than four-day recuperation period as verified by a doctor's note.

    2. Certified hospital stays.

    3. Periods during which students receive bedside instruction.

    4. All absences for religious holidays as approved by the DOE.

    5. School approved reasons such as field trips, suspensions, counseling conferences, death in the family, or any initiated actions.


SCHOOL CALENDAR; THAT IS, WHEN SCHOOL IS NOT IN SESSION (e.g., Holidays, Winter or Spring Recess and in summer).


Reporting Absences

Parents or legal guardians must notify the school of their child’s absence(s) on the day(s) of the absence(s). This applies to both full and partial day absences. Reporting absences can be accomplished by any of the following means:

􀀹 Call the Parent Coordinator (Mr. Cormack, at 718.774.0362 extension 3502.

􀀹 Speak directly with office personnel or                      

􀀹 Provide a written note to office personnel


Avoid tardiness; classes begin at 8:00 a.m. Students should arrive by 7:50 a.m., as we expect students to be on time for all classes. The dean, Parent Coordinator and guidance counselor will be notified of students who are routinely tardy to class or to school. Parents/guardians will then be contacted by the attendance team, who will work with the family on a plan of action to address the student’s tardiness. Students arriving late to school must sign in at the main office where they will secure a late pass from the attendance coordinator to present to the teacher for admittance to class.




When the time is announced for the end of the period, students are to await permission from the teacher before getting up to leave for their next class. Teachers will escort students to classes outside of the modules and will thoroughly monitor students moving from one module to the next. The bathrooms are not to be used during the changing of classes.


Students are not permitted in the halls during class period unless a teacher accompanies them or they have a valid hall pass.

The hall pass is a privilege and should not be abused. Students who abuse this privilege will be put on a restricted hall pass list.


The New York City Department of Education provides a hot lunch and breakfast program. During lunch, students will have an opportunity to interact with each other and with the adults. For the 2017 - 2018 school year, students will have lunch during period 7, from 12:45 to 1:27 p.m.

Each student is expected to conscientiously follow each of the following regulations:

  1. In order to maintain a pleasant mealtime atmosphere, it is necessary for students to conduct themselves in a quiet and orderly manner.

  2. Enter the cafeteria through designated entrances.

  3. As you enter the cafeteria line, pick up a tray and other necessary utensils. A lunch menu is posted in the cafeteria.

  4. Remain seated at your table except when getting food or disposing of your tray.

  5. Never leave the cafeteria without permission from one of the teachers or aides in charge.


  7. Lunch is free for all students.



SIL MS 354 offers a diversified elective club program. The clubs serve to broaden interests and encourage development of well-rounded students. They also provide enjoyment and variety to the school day.  Students may select the club of their choice when they are instructed to do so.


Homework practices are an important part of the educational process enhancing schoolwork and helping develop good study habits. Teachers will teach study skills and parents are encouraged to strengthen these at home.

The amount of time students in the same grade spend on homework varies. On a daily basis, students will be assigned homework that is appropriate to their grade and instructional level. Class time is not allotted for the completion of homework assignments. If a student consistently states that he/she has completed an assignment in school, parents should contact the teacher or principal for verification.


Homework Assignments and Makeups

Students should assume that all work must be made up. Students should contact other class members or teachers for assignments or class work. Upon returning from an absence, students must make specific arrangements with each teacher to complete required class work.



Once a book is given to you, you will be responsible for it. If it is lost, damaged, or misused, you will be expected to pay for it.  In case of withdrawal from school, you must return all books to the teachers who issued them.

Any student who does not return his or her textbooks at the end of the school year will not receive a report card unless the parents or guardian pay the appropriate cost for the unreturned textbooks (approx. cost per book is $40.00).



MS354- The School of Integrated Learning Grading Policy



The mission of Middle School 354 is to guide our community individually and collectively towards success by making good choices that address academic needs and enhance social development, while awakening and nurturing interests and talents. In carrying out the school’s mission and actualizing the vision of its leader, we have created a culture of collaboration and transparency where “success for all” is the driving force behind the choices. Consequently, we have put systems in place that propel us to strive towards embedding processes to support this goal-vision. Our mission has become a living document continually seeking interpretation and application.


As such, the following information summarizes the grading requirements which will ensure that we meet these expectations.  Please note that parents, students, teachers and administrators must work collaboratively to help our students meet their academic goals.



  1. This grading policy outlines how and when students will receive feedback on their mastery of the various subject content and related skills. The primary purpose is to allow students, families, and teachers to have a mutual understanding of what specific grades mean.

  2. Grades are a reflection of students’ understanding and command of content, their progression through a course or subject, and their mastery of skills at a given point in time. Grades are reported on student report cards at regular intervals throughout the school year to provide students and families with feedback about academic progress. Ultimately, students receive final grades at the end of a term or course.

  3. When awarded in a consistent, equitable, and transparent fashion, grades serve the following purposes:

·                  Demonstrate students’ level of understanding and skills in a subject, as of a specific point in time

·                                          Reveal areas of improvement and subjects still in need of support

·                  Guide teachers’ curricular, instructional, and organizational decisions to promote student achievement

·                                          Identify students who need assistance or differentiated forms of support

·                  Indicate whether a student passed or failed a particular course or subject at the end of a term

·                  Influence promotion decisions and inform the middle school, high school, and college admissions process

  1. Final decisions of passing or failing should be based primarily on how well students have demonstrated their understanding of the concepts and skills taught in all content areas. Students should have the opportunity to demonstrate mastery through multiple measures of performance, such as assessments, classwork, projects/assignments, and homework.

  2. The following are some non-content mastery-based factors that should not be used as part of the students’ final grades. Examples of non-mastery measures of performance include, but are not limited to, attendance, preparedness, professionalism, respect, and adherence to the school code of conduct (e.g. wearing uniforms, not wearing hats or other specific clothing). Since students’ grades should be based primarily on the mastery of the learning standards, students cannot pass or fail a course solely based on non-mastery measures of performance.


A.     Student Academic Achievement

Student academic achievement will be based on the degree of mastery of the Core Learning Standards and instructional objectives as outlined in the curriculum guides/Units for each subject. The objectives reflect the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) and address the skills and concepts needed for College and Career Readiness.


MS 354 is a learning community in pursuit of academic excellence. Consequently, we offer students a curriculum that offers a variety of learning experience as we maintain a balanced curriculum. Curriculum offerings include, but are not limited to, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Music, Art, Computer Technology and Physical Education. The information used in grading should be appropriate to the grade level and subject being considered. Prior to instruction, students should be informed of the class expectations and the teacher must be prepared to document and explain how grades are determined.


B.      Grading Elements

Students’ grades will be based on the following: 


Grades 6-8

-                      Class Work

-                      Reports/Projects

-                      Homework

-                      Test/ Quizzes

-                      Class Participation                                            


The final quarterly grades will be weighted as follows:



Grades 6-8


ELA/Math/SS/Science/Spanish                               The Arts Dept/ Phys. Ed




See attached rubrics at the end of this document outlining these factors in further detail.


Marking Periods

September 1 – November 17 (First)

November 20 – February 16 (Second)

February 19 – April 27 (Third)

May 30-June 8 (Fourth)


C.   Homework

Homework is work that is assigned to be completed at home, in the student’s handwriting. Homework is an effective tool in developing responsibility, study habits, and skills. It also serves as a form of reinforcement for what was completed in class.  That means it is an extension of the learning process and involves the home in the child’s curriculum. Homework is also an opportunity to encourage students to research new concepts. It should be purposeful, related to classroom experiences, and be age/grade appropriate. All homework is to be completed in the homework notebook or on loose-leaf paper, as requested by the teacher. The purpose and directions for the assignments need to be clearly communicated and should be preceded by instruction that adequately prepares the child to do the task independently and successfully.



·         Late Homework

o   Students are allowed to make up two missing assignments per marking period.

o   All late work should be turned in within five days after the due date. There will be a 5 point deduction for late homework

o   Arrangements can be made/discussed with the teacher regarding special conditions and mitigating circumstances (sick, traveling overseas, family emergencies).         


D.    Portfolios

Portfolios are a collection of work that shows student’s proficiency in meeting the NYS Learning Standards, which are collected throughout the year.  This is comprised of work from each unit. Portfolio work is taken from the student’s work folder. This evidence is shared with parents to document student progress through the year.

If students fail to complete their written assignments, it will be difficult to build their portfolio.


All subject areas must have portfolio pieces for each student. The breakdown is as follows:

·         ELA/Math- 4

·         Science/Social Studies/Spanish- 3

·         Arts- 2



A.   Reporting

All teachers must enter all grades that appear on student report cards into STARS Classroom. This requirement applies to grades 6–8 at all NYCDOE public schools. Providing this information in STARS Classroom serves the following purposes:

·         Report card grades are one of many important measures of student progress used to make important decisions about instruction, intervention/support, and promotion. Maintaining report card grades in STARS Classroom will provide schools with the ability to run reports and analyze trends in student performance.

·         Final grades from previous years will be available in the event of transfer between NYCDOE schools, providing schools with information to make important instructional decisions and easing the transition between elementary and middle school.

·         NYSED requires the NYCDOE to report student grades to their student information repository system (SIRS) for all NYCDOE schools serving grades 6–8. This requirement applies to all grades reported on student report cards (whether schools produce the report cards through STARS Classroom or some other mechanism).


Report cards will be distributed to students and families at least three (3) times per year (November, March, June), including at least one interim report card and a final report card. In reporting to parents/guardians, a grade is used to indicate the performance of each student in relation to the attainment of learning outcomes and approved curricula.  A grade for each subject will be recorded on the report card.


B.    Recording


a.    Teachers are responsible for keeping accurate records of student anecdotes. These anecdotes shouldn’t just be negative, but positive as well.

b.    Teachers will maintain a record of each student’s work, progress and attendance on a daily basis. The grading record should be a teacher’s record and/or file of evidence to support grades reported on the report card.  Grades should be logical, justifiable, and sufficient in number to assure that the report card grade is an accurate measure of student’s progress and achievement.

c.    Teachers are responsible for obtaining and maintaining relevant records electronically and in students’ cumulative files.

d.    Teachers will grade and give a score for all student assignments in grades 6-8 when appropriate, including class work, homework, written assignments and projects. A score of zero (0) will be given to students who do not attempt to complete or fail to submit an assignment.

e.    Teachers will return graded papers and assignments in order to provide on-going, timely, feedback to students and parents.

f.     A student will receive a failing grade for assignments, tests or quizzes when the following occurs:

·         A student has cheated on a test, quiz or assigned project.

·         A student fails to produce work within an assigned timeframe.

·         A student who has been excusably absent and fails to produce make-up work in a reasonable time.

·         A student has been inexcusably absent.


C.   Grading – Excused Absences

a.    A student who is considered to have an excused absence from class will have the opportunity to make up missed assignments.

b.    Teachers are required to provide make-up work within 48 hours of the day a student returns from an excused absence, including suspensions.

c.    The number of days allowed to make up work will be equivalent to the number of days of the excused absence. This timeline will begin when the teacher provides the student with the assignments within 48 hours of the request.  A student who fails to complete missed assignments within the allotted time frame as defined by the teacher will receive a zero (0) for each assignment.

d.    If a student is present in class and does not work on the task/assignment within the timeframe as established by the teacher, the teacher may assign a zero.

e.    Students should not be required, on the day of returning to school to take a quiz that was announced during the student’s absence.


D.    Grading – Unexcused Absences.

a.    Students with an unexcused absence will receive a “failing” grade for any days of such absence.  The failing grades will be averaged with other daily grades.

b.    The teacher must document that, on at least one occasion, the parent was notified of the unexcused absence grading policy.

c.    The teacher is not required to provide make-up work for unexcused absences.




A.   Promotion


A student may be promoted only on the basis of academic achievement or demonstrated proficiency of the subject matter of the grade level. In determining promotion, the teachers must use multiple sources for grading. These multiple sources include but are not limited to:

  • The student’s results on the State-Wide exams, as appropriate

  • The recommendation of the student’s teacher

  • Interim Assessments

  • End of Unit Tests

  • The student’s grade in each subject

  • Benchmark Reading Level

  • Classwork

  • Performance Assessments/ Choice Assessments/ Informal Assessment

  • MOSL (Measures of Student Learning)

  • Research Papers

  • Homework

  • Participation

  • Projects

  • Published Writing Pieces


Attendance is critical, as majority of learning takes place in the classroom. It is imperative that students attend school consistently so that they can succeed in their academics.


B.    Documentation for Promotion

  • Parents must be notified of promotion in doubt before the end of the second marking period.

  • A letter of notification of promotion in doubt must be sent to parents no later than January 31st of each school year.

  • Teachers must have a face-to-face conference or phone conference with the parent to inform them of their child’s promotion by the second marking period. The teacher must share documentation and evidence of student work as well as exemplary examples of assignments with the parent (independent reading level, expectations for grade level work etc.).

  • Teachers must keep a record of all communication/conversations with parents in the form of anecdotes.

  • Maintain conference record (learning conversations between student and teacher).

  • Keep record of progress in meeting the CCLS and score.

  • A record of all notices sent to parents should be kept with student’s signature of receipt.





Brief Description

Grade Percentage

Class Work & Folders

This includes work completed in the classroom setting.  Class work can include, but is not limited to:

  • Notebooks/Journals

  • Written responses to Short Constructed Responses

  • Completion of class assignments.



This includes all work completed outside of the classroom to be graded on its completion and student’s preparation for class. 


Tests/ Quizzes

This category encompasses both the traditional (exams and quizzes) methods of assessing students learning with the goal of mastery.

  • Exams

  • Tests

  • Quizzes

  • Portfolios


Reports /Projects

This includes alternative (presentations, projects, portfolios) methods of assessing students learning with the goal of mastery.

  • Projects

  • Oral presentations

Suggested criteria for grading presentations, projects, portfolios:

  • Concepts/objectives have been met.

  • Completion of task.



This includes work completed in the classroom setting.

  • Active participation in whole/small group discussions, presentations and activities.

  • Active participation in group projects.

  • Responding and asking questions




Students are not allowed to leave the school during the day without being signed out and accompanied by a parent or guardian or a person whose name is on the blue card. Leaving the building without being escorted by a parent or guardian is a serious violation of school rules. Returning to school will not be permitted except through the principal's office, accompanied by one or both parents or guardian.


As outlined in the Chancellor’s Regulation, all electronic devices such as cell phones, PSP/ipods/ipads/MP3 or CD players are not permitted for use in school. Bicycles, mopeds, skateboards or rollerblades are not to be ridden to school. Any of these items brought to school will be confiscated and returned only to a parent or guardian at the school’s discretion.  Only in special circumstances, parents may make arrangements to pick up such items from the main office (Room 346).




The Board of Education recognizes that from time to time circumstances will exist wherein a student must be disciplined in a manner which may include suspension.  Parents will be invited to come in and meet with the appropriate school personnel to discuss issues that may warrant suspension.  An alternate site will be provided for students whenever they are suspended.




All of the teachers will discuss with you very thoroughly the directions you must follow during fire and air raid drills. These directions are placed in a conspicuous place in each room of the school. For your own safety and that of your fellow students, follow all instructions carefully.  Obey the following simple rules during all drills:

  1. Do not talk from the time the alarm is sounded until you have returned to your room or place of instruction.

  2. Move quickly; DO NOT PUSH OR RUN.

  3. Form lines without any confusion.

  4. In case an exit is blocked, proceed in an orderly formation to the nearest exit.

  5. In the event of smoke, stay low to the floor.



Any found articles are to be taken to the main office. This includes books, money, glasses, and other valuable items. Anyone wishing to recover lost articles may do so by checking at the office before or after school or with the proper permission from the classroom teacher.




Generally, telephone use is prohibited during the school day.  In case of a problem or an emergency during the school day, the student may check with a secretary in the office who will make the call on the office phone.  Remember, cell phones are not permitted and will be confiscated if brought to school and used during school hours. 



Entrance to the building is via Sterling Place between Troy and Albany Avenues. Anyone visiting the building must first sign in at the school safety desk in the lobby where they will obtain a visitor's pass to the third floor. No visitors will be allowed to the main office before 8:30 a.m.  If any school personnel (e.g. teacher etc.) made special arrangements with a parent/visitor and has scheduled an appointment for earlier than 8:30, the parent/visitor must be escorted by the teacher from the lobby. After leaving the lobby, ALL parents are required to sign in with the Parent Coordinator (Mr. E Cormack) in Room 350. No visitor is authorized to be anywhere in the building without being escorted by a member of staff. Students are not to open any door for strangers/visitors, but should direct them to use the main entrance (Sterling Place), where school safety agents will sign them in.