Intermediate School Student Handbook

P.S. 187
The Hudson Cliff School
Student Handbook
Grades 5-8
Welcome to Middle School; where you’ll soar to new heights!
Whether you have been with us at P.S. 187 since kindergarten or you just joined the eagle
family, we couldn’t be happier to share these formative years with you!
You are in for 4 years of hard work and great memories! From classes that you’ll learn and laugh
in to the events that you’ll participate in, your time in middle school is going to be one of a kind!
Let’s start the day!
Classes start a littler earlier in middle school- at 8:00. Don’t worry, if you still want to have
school breakfast just be here at 7:40 and you can head into the cafeteria for a tasty meal
before the day officially begins.
Most days you’ll line up in the yard with your homeroom (we’ll talk about that later) and enter
the building together. If it happens to be a rainy or snowy day, you’ll sit in the auditorium with
your class and you homeroom teacher will pick you up from there. There will be signs telling you
where your homeroom spot is the first few days of school so don’t worry about getting mixed-up.
Your class will silently travel up together to homeroom after line-up; this is the place where you
get organized for the day. Upon entering homeroom you will asked to find your seat and remain
standing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance together. After that you’ll take your seat and your
homeroom teacher will take attendance, fill you in on any applicable schedule changes, and
deliver any reminders. You will then have the opportunity to go to your lockers (which you’ll need
your own lock for) and gather all the items you’ll need for your morning classes. You will then
return to your seat and quietly read while we all wait for the day to get underway.
After morning classes, you will return to homeroom to prepare for lunch. You will get what you
need for lunch and switch your books out for your afternoon classes. As a class, you will head
downstairs to the auditorium where you will wait to be dismissed into the cafeteria. Now,
depending on what grade you’re in, you may have the privilege of eating out; we’ll discuss that
later. After lunch and recess you will line-up with your homeroom to return upstairs. After-lunch
homeroom is a silent homeroom where you can relax after the fun of recess and get your head
back into the game before reporting to your afternoon classes. This brief homeroom will be a
time for your teacher to take attendance and remind you of any schedule changes for the
afternoon. At the bell, you’ll leave homeroom and report to your class.
At the very end of the day, after 7th period ends, everyone will go back to homeroom one last
time. This brief homeroom time will give you the opportunity to pack-up the items you’ll need to
take home to study or complete homework. We will also distribute any flyers or tear-offs that
need to be returned; make sure they go home so your parent or guardian can look them over.
When your class is dismissed, your teacher will escort the class into the schoolyard for dismissal.
In middle school you earn some lunch privileges that most students really enjoy. While we do ask
you to be quiet in the auditorium, so we can all hear the signals, the cafeteria is nor longer
silent! You can talk as you enjoy your lunch until the whistle blows; this is the signal that recess
is only moments away. When the whistle blows, you end your conversation so you can hear any
reminders or announcements. Then you’ll clean up your lunch mess and enjoy recess before
returning to homeroom to get ready for your afternoon classes.
For our students in 6th- 8th grade, you have another exciting lunch privilege: eating out! With
parental permission of course, you can go out to the stores on 187th street and buy lunch. You
can eat in the restaurant or bring your purchases back to the schoolyard to enjoy your lunch. 6th
graders can eat out on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 7th graders can eat out on Mondays,
Wednesdays, and Fridays. 8th graders can eat out everyday! This privilege goes into effect when
you return the lunch whereabouts form, emergency blue cards, lunch financial form and schoolwide
expectations letter to your homeroom teacher at the beginning of the year.
ABC and letter days
Each student in the grade will receive a schedule on the first day of school that lets you know
which rooms to go to for each period in the day. Your homeroom teacher will explain it all to you
on the first day of school. All students in all classes are responsible for the same units, final
assignments and exams. The teachers may present the material differently but everyone is
learning the same information.
Instead of following a Monday-Friday schedule, you’ll notice that we follow a HUDSON schedule!
This means that we will use a 6-day cycle of classes. Planning for 6 days in a cycle, instead of
the ordinary 5, gives us more time for music, art, assemblies, and language classes; how awesome
is that?
Every classroom will have the letter day posted near the schedule changes so that you are
certain of the materials you will need to pack for the day at your lockers. You will also set-up a
personal calendar with your advisory teacher at the end of each month, for the next month, that
will help you stay organized.
So, what classes will I take this year?
This year all students will have the same number of periods for every class. Below is a list of
classes and the number of periods you will have that class in a cycle:
Literacy- 9 periods
Math- 9 periods
Science- 4 periods
Social Studies- 4 periods
Art- 2 periods
Gym- 2 periods
Music- 2 periods
Spanish- 2 periods
Advisory- 1 period
Assembly- 1 period
Some school protocols
In order to make sure that the day runs smoothly we do have some rules around being in the
hallway while classes are in session. You can ask to use the restroom at any point of the day if
it is an emergency. We encourage you to use the restroom or get a drink of water during
homeroom, 3rd period, lunch or 7th period. It is important the halls stay quiet so that we can all
stay focused on the exciting lessons happening in the classroom.
We do have a dress code that you should be aware of and adhere to. Shorts are permitted in
school from April 15th- October 15th after that, pants are expected. Shorts and skirts should be
at least fingertip length and we ask all students to avoid crop tops, spaghetti straps or tube
tops. T-shirts with inappropriate phrases are not permitted. Sandals without a heel or ankle
strap are not permitted for safety reasons.
Chewing gum, eating candy, or drinks in glass bottles are not permitted in class.
If you happen to be late to school, make sure to bring in an excuse note from home to avoid a
detention. You will be responsible for bringing the late note the desk outside room 405 during
morning homeroom and then giving it to your homeroom teacher to avoid a detention.
Passing and Movement
Here in middle school you are now completely departmentalized for all subjects. This means that
you will have a different teacher for each class. Don’t get nervous about that, you’ll learn all
their names quickly enough. Besides having different teachers, they all teach in different rooms.
This means at the end of a class, you will leave one room and move to another.
We follow a flow of traffic that ensures everyone moves from class to class efficiently and
without congestion. Don’t get nervous, it’s easy to follow and teachers in the hallway will make
sure you get where you’re going so you can get back to learning as soon as possible. After the
door monitor gives your class the signal from the teacher on passing duty, you will exit your room
into the hallway. You can chat in the hallways as you change classes, except after lunch. Just
like with the homeroom after lunch, it’s important to remain silent so you can relax a little after
the fun of recess and get your head back into the learning game. Following the traffic patterns
of passing becomes second nature soon enough. Now, sometimes you’ll have a class with a teacher
that isn’t on the 4th floor. If you have gym or music scheduled for that day, you will meet your
teacher at exit 9 (this is in the hallway nearest to room 423). When traveling the stairs you will
move quickly and quietly so that safety is first and we can all start the next class as soon as
possible. If you are moving from 302 to the fourth floor (or back again) the teacher on passing
duty will instruct you on which staircase to use so that no one is bumping into each other in the
What if you need a little help?
If you find yourself overwhelmed by a class or a situation, don’t worry- you ‘re not the first. It
is completely normal to feel like you need some help now and then; we have your back! If you’re
feeling that a class is getting more challenging reach out to your teacher first. They will be able
to help you come up with a plan of action to get back on track with confidence. You can also
send a message to your grade advisor; they can sit with you and help you get a handle on what
is overwhelming you.
Sometimes, it isn’t the schoolwork but something else that is interfering with you being your best
self. If that’s the case, the school guidance counselor is a great person to reach out just to chat
and figure out how to best resolve what’s going on.
Middle School is for Making Memories
Your years with us will be full of learning and full of fun. At every grade level there are special
programs, trips, activities and ceremonies that will make the time you spend with us especially
memorable. Starting in the 5th grade with ballet and dance workshops, then moving up to the 6th
grade with the architecture program then to the 7th grade’s Teachers/ Writers Collaborative and
finally in 8th grade with drumming workshops- your curriculum is enriched by art programs often
generously funded by the PTA or Friends of 187. We also plan trips to museums, zoos, art
exhibits, and theater experiences. There will be assemblies with live art performances and
presentations on a variety of topics every cycle! In the 8th grade we will share in a Ring Day
ceremony, our senior trip to Rocking Horse Dude Ranch and finally all the fun and excitement of
There will be afterschool programs like basketball, football, soccer, dance, RPG, talent show
preparations, service learning, academic help, and so much more! Afterschool programs change
every year and there will be plenty of opportunities for you to join in the fun!
We also participate in school spirit events and charity fundraisers throughout the year. We host
a run-a-thon in October for Think Pink Week to support breast cancer awareness and a canned
food drive that benefits a local food pantry in November. There is the Toys for Tots drive in
December and a spring fundraiser every year! You can help the school, help charity and have fun
all at the same time!
Whether you have been in this school since kindergarten, came to us as a 6th grader or are only
here for 8th grade, we want the time you spend with us to full of wonderful experiences! We look
forward to sharing these remarkable middle school years with each and every one of you!

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