School Safety Policy & Practice

Keeping Our School Safe for All Students:

Leaving School Grounds­ – Students may not leave the building at any time during the regular school day and/or any after-school program without permission.  Students who violate this rule will be considered truant, the parent will be called, and appropriate administrative action will be taken.  Doors to the building are alarmed; opening school doors and setting off the alarm will result in disciplinary action.

Early Release – If you need to pick up your child early, you can make arrangements to do so.  Students can be released early from school to a parent/guardian or the designated person who has permission to release the student AND whose name appears on the Blue Emergency Card.  (Blue emergency cards help us reach you or a family member in times of crisis or emergency.  Make sure the information is correct.  Update the Blue Emergency Card any time by coming in to the main office.)  Designated persons must be 18 years of age or older.  A new Blue Emergency Card MUST be filled out if there have been any changes to address, telephone number or designated persons who have permission to pick up your child. 

If you know before the beginning of the school day that your child will need to leave the building early, he/she must bring a note from home that provides the following information:  student name, date, time parent will be picking up the student.  When you arrive at the main office to pick up your child, your child will be sent down. You must then sign him/her out.  Parents may request early pick up NO LATER THAN 2:00 p.m. Students may not go home alone before the end of the school day.

Fire Drills and Safety Drills – The school conducts emergency drills throughout the school year in preparation of a real emergency.  We train students on how to behave during drills.  During a fire or shelter drill, all students are required to

  • Respond to the signal
  • Look at and listen to the teacher for instructions
  • Stay with their class at all times – the drill is not over until students are back in their classrooms
  • Remain silent throughout the drill

In the rare case of an emergency where the school building needs to be evacuated, evacuation sites have been established for staff and students on all grade levels.  All staff members are trained in safety procedures to ensure safety for all involved.  Accurate and up-to-date Blue Emergency Cards are essential in Emergency Evacuations.

Before and After School Procedures – Students are not to be in the building before or after school unless supervised by a teacher or designated staff member.  Do not send your child to school early, before supervision is available.  School doors are opened at 7:30am for those students who wish to eat breakfast.  Entry to the building is through the large school yard entrance on 141st Street between Frederick Douglas Boulevard and Edgecombe Avenue.

Serious Violations of NYC Department of Education Policy

  • Any object used to inflict harm may be considered a weapon.  Therefore, please impress on your child that using any object (e.g. pencil, stapler, pencil sharpener, chair) to hit another person is considered a Level 4 or Level 5 Infraction, and will result in a Superintendent’s Suspension.
  • Bringing Weapons to School – Students are not permitted to bring knives, guns, box cutters, laser pointers, toy pellets and/or bb guns to school.  All of the above items will be considered a weapon and serious disciplinary action as specified by the NYC Department of Education will be taken.
  • Smoking and Substance AbusePS/MS 123 is a smoke free school building.  Students are not permitted to smoke, carry cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigarette lighter, or matches while in the school building or on school grounds, on the school bus, or during any activity sponsored by the school.  Students who violate this rule are subject to suspension.  Any student in possession of any controlled substance is subject to suspension and possible legal action.

The Importance of Blue Emergency Cards

We cannot stress enough the importance of Blue Emergency Cards.  This is the card that provides the school with information to contact parents should your child become ill while in school, or for any other emergency.  Make sure that the information on the Blue Emergency Card is kept current so we are able to contact you.   Each child will be given a Blue Emergency Card on the first day of school to be carefully filled out by the parent. Blue Emergency Cards must be returned immediately and updated throughout the year when a change occurs in telephone number, and or address. Please note that names on the Blue Emergency Contact Card must be individuals who can pick up a child from school.  Unless we have special written instructions from a parent/guardian, we will only release a child to someone whose name appears on the Blue Emergency Card.  The person(s) designated to pick up a child must be 18 years of age or older.

If you need to make any changes to the Blue Emergency Contact Card, contact Ms. Aviles, the Family Coach, Ms. Fox, the school secretary, or Ms. Olivo the Parent Coordinator in the main office.  If you move, it is important that you immediately provide the school with appropriate documentation (a signed lease or official letter of residency) so that we can change your child’s home information in the computer.

Safety Suggestions for Parents

  • Arrange for someone to accompany your young child to and from school.
  • Do not have your child arrive in the schoolyard before supervision is available (after 7:30 a.m.).  School begins at 8:00 a.m.  Do not leave your child unattended.
  • Pick up your young child promptly.  Dismissal for grades PreK – 8 is at 2:20 p.m.  Monday through Friday.
  • If your child takes the bus, it is a good idea for him/her to be escorted to and from the bus stop near home.  Do not leave your child to wait for the school bus alone.  In addition, at dismissal, a parent or guardian must be at the school bus stop to retrieve the student.
  • Make certain your child knows his or her phone number and address. We provide Student Planners for all students kindergarten through grade 8. This information should also be entered into the book.
  • Make sure that busing information is correct and up to date. If you need a change to busing/transportation, contact the main office and we will provide you with the telephone numbers you need to make the change.  The school does not make bus accommodations/changes.
  • If you are unable to pick up your child at regular dismissal time, enroll him/her in an after school program. Information regarding specific programs will be sent home. (Beacon program).
  • A calm school environment is our priority.  Please exhibit self-control, use a calm tone, and non-aggressive behaviors when visiting the school.  We are partners in your child’s life and are here to serve, educate, and safeguard your child.  Failure to exhibit self-control may result in your removal from the building.

Visiting the School – The PS/MS 123M Visitors Policy

Security is of utmost importance at PS/MS 123.  A procedure for visiting the school has been established to ensure that our students are safe and secure.  When a visitor arrives at school for a scheduled appointment, he/she must stop at the Security Guard desk in the school lobby, state their business must present proper identification to sign in.  The visitor will then be given a Visitor’s Pass and directed to proceed to the General Office to sign the visitor’s book and check-in. All appointments for parents are required. An office staff person will confirm the appointment, and you will then be given a color coded pass to go to the classroom. All visitors need to follow the established procedures. Any person, including a parent, who bypasses security and/or the main office is considered trespassing, and can be banned from entering the building.  For appointments with your child’s teacher contact Ms. Olivo, the Parent Coordinator, to schedule the appointment. Due to arrival and morning procedures all appointments for parents will be scheduled after 9 a.m.

Together as a community we help to ensure that there is a calm environment. Please exhibit self-control, a calm tone and non-aggressive behaviors when addressing staff members.  We are here to help problem-solve and listen to your concerns, yet need to maintain a positive school culture for our students.

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