Message From The Chancellor

February 20, 2013

Dear Parents,

I’m writing to inform you that school bus service resumed today, Wednesday, February 20. I am pleased to welcome drivers and matrons, who provide critical transportation services for our students, back to work. Last week, the City accepted a significant number of bids on school-age bus contracts for the first time in more than 30 years, with the potential to secure better bus service for our students, contain soaring costs, and transfer the savings to our classrooms.

I know that the challenges of the past month have been difficult for many families and I am tremendously grateful for everything you have done to support your child’s transportation and learning needs. Please be aware that just like the first day of school, there may be delays and disruptions as buses return to their routes. Please carefully review the following information as bus service resumes:

If you or your child received a MetroCard from your child’s school for use while bus service was interrupted, please note that the card will expire today, Wednesday, February 20. The Department of Education will receive a credit for the pro-rated dollar amount for any cards that are returned. Please help the DOE limit costs by returning these MetroCards to your child’s school.

If your family worked with private transportation providers to transport your child to school, or incurred transportation costs due to the strike (whether by taxi, car service, or use of your personal vehicle), please note that reimbursements and assignment-of-payment accommodations are no longer in effect. Please submit any reimbursement requests by Friday, March 22. Reimbursement forms will remain available on our web site at http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/Transportation/News/striketravelreimbursement.htm for the next 30 days.

If your child has an IEP and missed instruction or related services because of the strike, your child’s school or Committee on Special Education (CSE) will reach out to you in the coming days to discuss possibilities for additional supports.

If you have any outstanding issues or questions, you can continue to access up-to-date information by calling our Office of Pupil Transportation hotline (718) 392-8855 and by visiting the route finder online at http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/Transportation/default.htm.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding throughout this process. We look forward to welcoming our students back with a reliable and high-quality transportation routine.

Sincerely,

Dennis M. Walcott Chancellor

Download the original letter by clicking below:
ParentStrikeEndLetter21913Final

 

Bus Strike is Over

Dear Parents,

The bus strike is over!!!  We look forward to seeing all our children on Wednesday. In the days to follow we will update you on any news concerning lost related services.

For now, I hope all goes well with the buses on Wednesday. Call your unit if there are any problems and we will try to help you.

I look forward to seeing the kids and you in the coming weeks.

Richard Marowitz
Principal

Bus Strike Update: Coverage of Trip Costs

Parents:

The NYC Department of Education is now offering coverage of return trip costs (from school in the morning and to school in the afternoon) for parents who demonstrate extenuating circumstances such as financial hardship or transportation difficulty. Coverage of return trip costs can apply to either mileage (for parents driving a child to school) or car services (for parents accompanying a child to school).

If this applies to you, please call your unit coordinator. The school will need to approve this and send the information to the NYC DOE.

Let’s hope for an early end to the bus strike.

Yours truly,

Richard Marowitz
Principal

News from the Principal

principal

Dear Parents,

At this writing, the bus strike is still affecting many of our students at PS255 and throughout the city. The Department of Education is hoping for an early resolution so all students can return to school.

If you have any questions, please contact your child’s unit or the Parent Coordinator Daniry Lopez at (347) 563-4496. Our Teachers are happy to help and send home work for your child or you can call and speak directly to the teacher. If your child cannot get to school you can check our website for information and resources, Http://ps255q.org.

As you know, all N.Y.C. schools have been reviewing safety protocols since the tragedy at Sandy Hook in Connecticut. Our teaching staff is aware of the procedures and we will be vigilant in keeping our children safe. During parent teacher conferences in the Spring, please ask any questions you may have about safety as well as your child’s education. You will be getting information shortly on the date and time of the conferences.

In the next few months you will also be receiving information about next year if your child is graduating from our middle or high school program. Or, if they will be articulating (moving up) from their elementary school. The district 75 placement office makes all decisions but we will help you throughout the process.

The winter is just beginning so remember to update any phone numbers or emergency contacts in case of any weather related issues so we can keep in touch with you in the event of a problem at school. Thank you for your continued support to our school and your child’s education.

Yours Truly,

Richard Marowitz

Principal

 

 

Alternative Transportation during the Bus Strike

Click on this link: “Base Companies Participating in Assignment of Payment Process” to find a list compiled by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) of car services and other transportation providers who have agreed to participate in the program established by the NYCDOE to pay, at the parents’ direction, private transportation providers for the cost of transporting eligible students during the strike so parents don’t have to advance these costs out-of-pocket.

REMINDER: This option is only available at parents’ request for families of students who (1) are eligible for free or reduced price lunch, and (2) have specialized transportation on their IEP and are unable to use public transportation.

Bus Strike Update and Reimbursement Information

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The DOE wants to assist any parent that is having trouble getting their child to school. Please look on our web site for helpful activities to do at home.

In addition, our teachers and speech teachers are available to assist you with activities so please call the school if you need more work sent home.

We hope that the strike will be resolved in the next week.

Payment Assignment Form
If you need to be reimbursed for transportation, click here to download the form. Print, sign, and return to your school.

Voucher Authorization Form
If you have a private transportation provider you wish to use to transport your child, click here to download the form. Print, sign, and return to your school.

Update on Possible Bus Strike

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Update from Chancello Dennis M. Walcott:

January 4, 2013
Dear Parents and Guardians,

I want to update you on the possibility of disruption in yellow bus service, which may impact your child. I am deeply concerned about the impact of a strike on our students and families and want to make sure you are prepared in the event one occurs.

As I mentioned in my letter before the holiday break, we have issued a bid to secure new yellow bus contracts to transport children with disabilities for the 2013-2014 school year. Our current contracts for these bus services will expire at the end of June and competitive bidding will result in the best service at the best price for the City. Please be assured that the bid also will include the same safety provisions that are in place today. Safety is our top priority and will continue to be so under new contracts.

The bus drivers’ and escorts’ union has told us that if the bid does not include an Employee Protection Provision, which the court ruled is illegal to include in our bus bid, then they may strike. A service disruption or strike would affect our most vulnerable children with disabilities the hardest and their families. It also would affect all families and their children who rely on yellow bus service and especially those children whose education was interrupted due to Hurricane Sandy. If there is a strike or service disruption, the following protocols will take effect for families of students who currently receive yellow bus service:

  • All students who currently receive yellow bus service may receive a MetroCard. MetroCards are being made available at the schools and should be requested through your school’s general office. We have already informed the Metropolitan Transit Authority that it may need to accommodate additional riders.
  • Parents of pre-school and school-age children with IEP’s requiring transportation from their home directly to their school as well as parents of general education children in grades K-2 may also request a MetroCard for the parent or guardian to act as the child’s escort to school.
  • As an alternative to MetroCards for parents whose children receive busing from their home, or students in grades K-6 receiving yellow bus service from a school bus stop who live in areas where public transportation between home and school is not readily available, we are offering reimbursement for actual transportation costs. Parents who drive their children to school will be reimbursed are a rate of 55 cents per mile. Parents who use a taxi or car service to transport their child to school will be reimbursed for the trip upon completion of reimbursement forms that includes a receipt for provided services. Requests for reimbursements should be made weekly on forms that will be available on the DOE web site and in your school’s general office. We encourage families driving or using car service to carpool with their neighbors whenever possible.

In the event of a strike, we will let families know as quickly as possible. This would include automatic calls to homes. Any information about disruptions to bus service will be posted on our web site at schools.nyc.gov. I urge parents and guardians whose children rely on yellow bus service to regularly check the website for updates. The information will also be provided to the media and to 311.

Sincerely,

Dennis M. Walcott Chancellor

Tips for Helping Your Child Through Traumatic Events

Tips for Helping Your Child Through Traumatic Events
Thanks to the PS255 Counseling Department for these helpful tips!

There are no “right” or “wrong” ways to talk with children about such traumatic events. However, here are some suggestions that may be helpful:

Don’t let children watch too much news coverage with frightening images. The repetition of such scenes can be disturbing and confusing. It is especially important to be aware of this with your children.

Use simple words and concepts children can understand. Gear your explanations to the child’s age, language, and developmental level.

Children learn from watching their parents. Be aware that they also learn from listening to your conversations with other adults. Many of our students have very good receptive language.

Keeping predictable routines is helpful. Let them know what happens next to the degree that you know.

Different children need different things. Some children need to run around, others need to be held.

Just be with your child. Even when you can’t fix things your presence helps your child.

Fortunately most children are quite resilient. Although parents may follow the news with close scrutiny, most children. They may not want to think about or discuss violent events. They’d rather play ball, climb trees, or ride bikes.

Fred Rogers often told this story about when he was a boy and would see scary things on the news: “My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers-so many caring people in this world.”

These tips are based on recommendations from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress.

Additional information is available from the following resources:
http://www.pbs.org/parents/rogers/special/scarynews-thoughts.html
Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress www.cstsonline.org
National Child Traumatic Stress Network  www.ncstn.org
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry www.aacap.org
American Academy of Pediatrics www.aap.org
American Psychiatric Association www.psych.org
American Psychological Association www.apa.org
American Red Cross www.redcross.org