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Anderson Parent Handbook

Welcome to our online Parent Handbook! This format was chosen to help parents find the information they need easily and quickly. Click on a topic in the Table of Contents below and you will jump directly to that section. If you can't find what you are looking for in the Table of Contents, just hit Control F or Apple F to bring up a search window into which you can type in your topic ("snow day", enter, voila!)

This handbook is easily updated, so if you have any corrections or suggestions for additions, please email them to the Parent Coordinator: 


Bring Identification and Sign In
Please remember that all parents and babysitters MUST have an ID and sign in at the School Safety desk to enter the building. This is DOE policy and it is strictly enforced to ensure the safety of all the children and adults in the building. After signing in at the School Safety desk, the School Safety Agent will direct visitors to the Anderson’s main office for a pass. We are in a big building with many entrances and exits. Everyone needs to help our School Safety Agents do their jobs by always cooperating with these procedures. 
Use the Main Entrance Only
The main entrance to the school building is on West 77th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues under the sign that reads William J. O’Shea Campus. For security reasons, this is the only entrance and exit parents and visitors should use, unless otherwise directed. 
Our Space
Anderson occupies two floors in the building. The first floor, which is accessed through the main entrance, houses the Kindergarten through 5th grade classrooms, music rooms, the library, administrative offices, nurse’s office, auditorium and PTA room. The ground floor houses the classrooms for the 6th through 8th graders, lockers for these students, science labs, fitness room, computer lab, art room, the Parent Coordinator and Community Coordinator's office, and the cafeteria. The gym is on the second floor, where the Dual Language Middle School is located. The third floor, which we do not use, houses the Computer School (MS 245). There are three entrances to the schoolyard, which occupies all of Columbus Avenue between 76th and 77th Streets. For security reasons, Anderson families use only the gate on 76th Street for afternoon pick-up. Please note: each school uses only the bathrooms on its own floors. Adults may only use restrooms designated for adult use - never student restrooms.


School Hours

8:20 A.M. - 2:40 P.M. for all students

Schedule of Classes

Homeroom: 8:20-8:25 AM
Period 1: 8:25-9:15 AM
Period 2: 9:17-10:05 AM
Period 3: 10:05-10:55 AM
Period 4: 10:55-11:45 PM 
Period 5: 11:50-12:40 PM 
Period 6: 12:40-1:35 PM
Period 7: 1:40-2:30 PM
Dismissal: 2:40 PM for all students

Morning Arrival and Drop-off

School begins at 8:20 a.m. for all students. Students not in the school building at 8:20 a.m. are late to school.
Kindergarten Drop-off 
Kindergartners enter through the main entrance from about 8:10-8:20 AM. Parents and caregivers say goodbye to their child right outside the main entrance to reduce the congestion inside. Our Safety Patrollers (Anderson School fifth graders) accompany the Kindergartners to their class areas in the auditorium; however, whenever a child feels ready during the school year, he or she is allowed to walk to the auditorium unaccompanied. There are always adult staff and Safety Patrollers in the lobby and the auditorium to help kids with anything they might need. At 8:20 AM each day, the teachers will escort their classes from the auditorium to the classroom. Any child not in the auditorium at 8:20 AM is late to school. A staff member will issue a late pass and escort the child to the classroom. 
Grades 1-5 Drop-off
Each morning, first – fifth graders sit with their class in the auditorium to wait for their teachers who arrive at 8:20 AM to escort the students to the classrooms. Students enter the building through the single door on West 77th Street that is closest to Amsterdam Avenue. This door will open at 8:10 AM and close at 8:20 AM. Any student arriving after that door closes is late to school and must enter through the main entrance on W. 77th St. and get a late pass.
Grades 6-8 Arrival
Grades 6-8 students enter the school through our middle school entrance - the three green doors on W. 77th St. that are closer to Columbus Avenue than the main entrance. (The exception is 6th grade bus students, who must enter the building through the main entrance and wait in the auditorium. At 8:10, 6th grade bus students will be released to walk through the building to their lockers.) These doors open at 8:10 AM and close promptly at 8:18 AM. Any student arriving after these doors have closed is late to school and must enter through the main entrance on W. 77th St. and get a late passAt 8:18 AM a warning bell will ring to alert students in the middle school hallway that they have only two minutes to get to their homerooms. At 8:20 AM, any student not in his or her homeroom will be marked late and must get a late pass.
Morning Bus Arrival
Morning buses are met outside the main entrance by a staff member. All bus students (grades K-6) enter the building immediately through the main entrance. Under staff supervision, students may either sit in the auditorium or have breakfast in the cafeteria until 8:15. (Kindergarten bus students are escorted from the front door to the auditorium by the fifth grade Safety Patrol until they feel ready to walk by themselves.)  (At 8:10, 6th grade bus students will be released to walk through the building to their lockers.) To eat a free breakfast, all any child needs to do is tell an adult in the auditorium that they would like breakfast, and they will be escorted to the cafeteria. 

Inclement Weather
    • There is no change in arrival or dismissal procedures in the case of inclement weather.


Breakfast is free for any student who would like it, on any day they wish; no advance notice is necessary. Any child who will be eating school breakfast should arrive between 7:55-8:00 AM, but no earlier, as there is no staff on duty to supervise children before 7:55. All any child needs to do is tell an adult that they would like breakfast and they will be escorted to the cafeteria. After 8:15, once they have finished eating, staff will:
  • Kindergarten - Grade 5 - escort the children back to the auditorium to join their classes
  • Grades 6-8 - release the students to the downstairs locker hallway


Students are supervised in the cafeteria by school aides, assistant teachers, and parent Learning Leaders.
  • Grades K-4 Lunch: 10:55 – 11:20 p.m.
  • Grades 5-8 Lunch: 11:20 – 11:45 p.m.
School Lunch
School lunch is now free for all students! Any child may get lunch, they simply need to go to the kitchen or tell any adult in the cafeteria. Our school is continuing its partnership with Wellness in the Schools, to enhance the school meals in the cafeteria. This includes a chef intern to plan and prepare healthy and delicious meals.
Nut and Other Food Allergies 
Several students at our school have food allergies. For these students, food can represent a danger and must be carefully monitored. It is the family's responsibility to notify the school of a child's allergies. The family and school team will work together to develop a plan that accommodates the child's needs throughout the school day. e family and option f
Lunch From Home
If your child brings lunch from home, please be aware that it will not be refrigerated at school, nor can food be reheated. You may want to purchase an insulated lunch bag and reusable food containers, to reduce waste.
Off-Campus Lunch
With their parent’s written permission, middle schoolers can participate in off-campus lunch. Detailed instructions and permission forms are sent to seventh and eighth grade parents early in the school year and to sixth grade parents before the second half of the year.


  • Grades K-4 Recess: 11:20 – 11:45 p.m.
  • Grades 5-8 Recess: 10:55 – 11:20 p.m.
During recess students are supervised by school aides, assistant teachers, and parent volunteers. Balls, hula hoops and other playground equipment are available for use by all students. We also have a playground activity supervisor who organizes games for the kids; all children are encouraged to participate in these activities. During inclement weather, students have recess in the cafeteria with board games (Middle School) and other activities provided by their teacher (elementary school). Children benefit from vigorous mental and physical exercise. Outside play is recommended by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. We will take the children out for recess as often as we can during the winter months, using a combination of factors including temperature, wind speed, and precipitation in determining whether to go outside to play. Parents should please make sure that children come to school dressed warmly. Hats, mittens, scarves and warm jackets or coats are a must! We can always peel off layers if it gets warm. Sometimes the day starts off cool and warms up, and sometimes the wind picks up and recess is cooler than when the day began. A light sweater, sweatshirt, or fleece is appropriate for these days.

Afternoon Dismissal and Pick-up

Parents of students in grades K-5 will provide the teacher with a weekly dismissal plan. Any changes to that plan must be sent to the teacher ahead of time, in a backpacked note with a date and signature. Teachers are not able to check email during the school day, so in the case of emergency dismissal changes only, parents should call the main office.
Grades K-5 Pick-up
Grades K-5 students are picked up in the schoolyard. Parents and caregivers enter via the W. 76th St. gate and meet their child(ren) in the school yard in the elementary class line-up area, unless he or she is taking the bus home or taking a Wingspan after school class. The gate will open at 2:35 PM and classes will begin to come out at the same time. If unsure where the line-up spot is, parents and caregivers should look for a red sign on the fence labeled with the class number and teacher’s name. Parents should wait there for the line to come to the fence. For every child's safety, parents and caregivers need to make sure to have their child(ren) say goodbye to the teacher directly. This is customarily done with a handshake and the teacher making eye contact with the retrieving adult. Please remember that pick-up is not an appropriate time for an extended conversation with the teacher. The teacher's work day ends at 2:40PM Wednesday through Friday. Additionally, on Mondays and Tuesdays, teachers have meetings immediately after dismissal, so they need to get back in the building right away to begin these after school responsibilities. Parents can make an appointment to speak with their teacher during Parent Engagement hours on Tuesdays from 2:45-3:30 PM.
Grades K-5 Inclement Weather
In inclement weather, all Kindergarten through fifth graders still come into the yard – parents and caregivers should already be there with umbrellas, waiting to whisk kids away. We will notify families of an alternate pick up plan only if there are dangerous conditions in the yard (such as ice). This happens rarely.
Grades K-5 Play Date Procedure 
If families have arranged for their child to go home with another child directly after school, a note must be sent to the classroom teacher that morning which includes the date, the name of the person who will be picking up the child that day and a parent signature. Students are not released to anyone who is not listed on the office blue card without written notification. Students may NOT ride home on a bus that is not assigned to them.
Grades K-6 School Bus Dismissal
Students riding the bus home are brought to the cafeteria, where they wait at a table assigned to their route. At 2:40 p.m., school staff  begins to escort children out the 76th St. cafeteria door and onto the waiting buses. Students may not ride home on a bus that is not assigned to them.
Grades 6-8 Dismissal
At 2:40 p.m. students in grades 6-8 are dismissed from the AMS doors on W. 77th Street and are asked to leave the immediate school area within 10 minutes. Middle school students do not need to be met by an adult; they can leave on their own at dismissal. However, in accordance with DOE regulations, students may NEVER leave the building on their own PRIOR to dismissal time, even with a parent’s written or verbal permission. They must be signed out in the main office by someone 18 years of age or older until they are in high school.
Half Day Dismissal Procedures
On half days of school, the day ends for all students at 11:40 a.m(half days are Parent Teacher Conference days in November and March, and clerical days in June.) Students in grades 6-8 are dismissed from the AMS doors on W. 77th Street. Grades K-5 students are picked up in the schoolyard. Parents and caregivers enter via the W. 76th St. gate and meet their child(ren) in the school yard in the elementary class line-up area, unless he or she is taking the bus home or participating in Wingspan's special half day program. The gate will open at 11:35 a.m. and classes will begin to come out at the same time.
Early Pick-up
No early pick-up will be accommodated from 2:00-2:40 PM, except in the case of an emergency or illness. We cannot release students early for doctor’s appointments (unless related to that day’s illness) or after-school instruction for sports or tutoring. With proper documentation, children may be released at 2:10 PM one day a week to attend religious instruction.

After School Activities and Programs

Wingspan After school
Our after school program is run by Wingspan Arts, an outside provider. It begins on the first day of school and ends on the last Friday of the school year. The Anderson after school course schedule and registration links may be found online at under “School Programs”. Students enrolled in a Wingspan after school class are escorted to Wingspan's designated area of the cafeteria by their teacher or assistant teacher and eat a snack provided by Wingspan until their class begins. Classes run until 5:00 and families may pick up their children from 5:00-5:30 PM (preferred) with late pick-ups from 5:30-6:00 PM. The O'Shea building closes at 6:00 PM. Enter through the main entrance on 77th St. and check in with the school safety agent there, before proceeding to the cafeteria to pick up your child. 
Outside After school Programs 
Students enrolled in outside programs that pick up at Anderson will be escorted to the main office by their teacher or assistant teacher. A representative of the program will come to the office to sign out your child.
Chess, Academies, Sports Activities 
Students participating in these activities are brought to the main lobby where parents and caregivers may pick them up. Pick-up times vary, so families should please refer to the information sent home  by the teacher.


Yellow bus service begins: 
  • On the first day of school for grades 1–6 who were previously on a bus
  • On the second day of school for new entrants to grades 1–6 
  • During the second full week of school for K students 
Parents are responsible for calling S.N.T at (718) 828-5336 or (718) 346-9600 with inquiries about late buses, etc. Parents should be prepared to give the dispatcher their child’s route number.  Donna Smiley ( is the school contact for any yellow bus or transportation problems. However, parents and caregivers should always have the S.N.T. phone number and route number available (a good idea is to load them into a cell phone). Please be sure to read all our busing policies carefully.


We need your commitment to ensure that your student is here for the full day of instruction regularly. Attendance is one of the measures used to determine grade promotion - the NYC School Chancellor’s regulations require that each student achieves a minimum of 90% attendance every school year. Make it a goal to achieve 100% attendance. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


Tardiness disrupts classes already in progress, is disrespectful to the class and negates our efforts (and parent efforts) to teach students the importance of being on time. Students who are not with their teacher at 8:20 AM are late to school! This means that at 8:20 AM,
  • Students in grades K-5 should be lined up in their class areas in the schoolyard 
  • Middle school students should be seated in their homerooms 
Grades K-5 students arriving after 8:20 AM must go to the office and obtain a late pass. Younger students will be escorted to their classroom by Anderson staff; parents may not bring late children to their classrooms.

Grades 6-8 students arriving after the Middle School doors are closed at 8:18 AM are late to school. They must enter the building through the main entrance (the five green doors on W. 77th St. under the sign William J. O’Shea Campus), go downstairs using only staircase E (next to the School Safety desk) and get a late pass at the late pass desk outside of room G31 (the Assistant Principals’ office.) In addition, to be considered on time to school, students must be in homeroom with the teacher at 8:20 AM – NOT at the lockers, NOT in the bathroom. Any student who is not in his or her 1st period class at 8:20 is LATE and must get a late pass at the late pass desk outside of room G31 (the Assistant Principal's office.) This means that students can enter the building on time, but still be marked late if they dawdle at the lockers or in the bathroom!

Any middle school students arriving after 8:30 will go directly into the main office (room 102) for their late pass.

Reporting an Absence

Parents whose child is going to be absent should call the Anderson Attendance Hotline that morning: 212-595-7193; press 1 (for current Anderson parents), then press 2 and leave their child’s name, class or homeroom #, and a brief reason for the absence. Students who have been absent from school for 3 days or longer due to an illness need to bring a note from a parent or a doctor stating the reason for their absence. If parents know ahead of time that their child must be out of school, they should please send a note stating which days will be missed and the reason for the upcoming absence.

Extended Vacations

Extended holiday vacations and vacations at times other than the official school breaks are not sanctioned. For unavoidable extended trips due to family illness or a death in the family, advance documentation (a copy of child’s airline ticket and contact information) must be provided to the main office to avoid triggering an automated report to city agencies. Advance homework will not be provided; students will be caught up upon return.



Whenever a child must be on long-term medication that needs to be administered during the school day, parents/guardians should obtain the necessary form (504 form). These forms are to be completed and signed by the physician, and returned with the medication to the school's nurse's office. Forms may be obtained from the guidance counselor or school nurse or here, on the DOE's website. CHILDREN MAY NOT TRANSPORT MEDICATION TO THE SCHOOL. A PARENT OR GUARDIAN MUST BRING THE MEDICATION TO THE NURSE'S OFFICE WITH THE APPROPRIATE MEDICAL ADMINISTRATION FORM FROM THE PHYSICIAN. The medication must be sent to school in the original container labeled and dated by the pharmacist or physician and should include: name of student, name of medication, exact dosage to be taken, and time at which dosage is to be taken at school. Short term medication (not to exceed ten days in succession) may be administered upon parent completion of a form obtainable in the nurse's office. If the forms are not properly completed, the staff will not be able to administer the medication at the school.


Life-threatening allergy problems (e.g. allergy to bee stings) should be brought to the immediate attention of the principal so that the staff can be trained to administer necessary medication.


If a child becomes ill at school, we will contact the individuals listed on the student's emergency card and follow the protocol indicated on the card. Parents should make sure that the information on these cards is kept current, and inform the office when changes need to be made.

Head Lice

If a case of head lice is found in a classroom, an email is sent home to all families in that class with information on checking for lice, removing them, and treating lice infestations at home. Since head lice spreads easily and rapidly, children who have an infestation must be kept home until all lice are completely removed from the hair. A child returning to school must be accompanied by an adult at home, and re-examined by school personnel before they can re-enter class. For more information, please visit this Office of School Health page on the DOE's  website. 


Field trips are an important part of our program at Anderson. Parents will be notified about upcoming field trips through class newsletters, emails, and/or trip notices and permission slips sent home with the students. 
Permission Slips 
Every trip outside the school grounds requires a separate parent consent form and trip plan. No student will be allowed to attend a field trip without a properly completed permission slip. 
Teachers or class parents will reach out to parents for volunteers to chaperone all class trips.


In an effort to promote our school's wellness initiative, we ask that students do not use desserts/food to celebrate birthdays. To recognize a child's birthday, parents can send in a small non-food item for each child in the class (e.g., pencil, stickers), donate a book to the class library  and read a favorite part to the class, or choose a book for the class to read. 


The grading policy was updated by the grading policy committee in 2014. You can view the key components by clicking here.  


Students are permitted to bring cell phones and electronic readers to school, but are not permitted to bring any other electronic devices (iPods, iPads, etc.) or expensive electronic games to school. The school cannot be responsible for them. Kindles, Nooks or other e-readers may be used for reading books, but must have wifi/Internet service disabled at school (and on the school bus). If a student has a cell phone out and is seen using it, it will be confiscated and delivered to the main office. Please read our updated cell phone and electronics policy here for details.


Anderson students are not permitted to bring toys, games, or trading cards to school. They are a distraction, cause problems when they are lost, traded, or sold, and are sometimes mistaken to be the property of others.  Toys need to stay home. In addition, students are not permitted to bring balls to school. At recess, we share balls and other recess gear intentionally, to teach sharing and cooperation, and to control materials and play areas in a busy schoolyard. Balls need to stay at home.


Lost and found items for the entire school building are kept in the hallway outside the gym next to the dance studio. Please be aware that the school is not responsible for items lost at school or those placed in the Lost and Found bins. PLEASE LABEL YOUR CHILD'S BELONGINGS. Each item should be clearly labeled with the child's first and last name using an indelible marker or laundry label. School staff checks items for names once a month and returns labeled items to students.


The student dress code was created by the School Leadership Team (SLT) and adopted in 2011. It was revised in 2017. You can read it by clicking here.


There are many ways parents can communicate with the school. Here are some functional guidelines to assist parents in reaching the appropriate party, depending on the issue under consideration.

 If your concern is about:  You should contact (in priority order):  How to do it:
 Your child's academic progress  1. Your child's teacher in K-4; the subject teacher in      5-8
 2. Parent Coordinator 
 1. Note, email
 2. Email, phone message
 Your child's well being and emotional
 Guidance counselor  Email, phone message, note 
 Activities in your child's classroom  1. Your child's teacher in K-4; the subject teacher in      5-8
 2. Class parent 
 1. Note, email
 2. Email, phone message 
 Curriculum (The overall curriculum, subject or school-wide for example) 1. School Leadership Team
 2. Principal 
 1. Email, note in SLT mailbox in main office, phone mess. 
 2. Email
 School issues other than curriculum Depending on issue:
 Class Parent 
 Email, note in PTA mailbox in main office, phone mess.
Email, phone message
 Email, note, phone message
 Setting up a play date with a classmate's family Contact parent directly using PTA Family  Directory Email, phone message
 PTA issues (fundraising, communications,
     community relations) 
 PTA  Email, note in PTA mailbox in main office, phone
 Department of Education policies and practices  1. Parent Coordinator  
 2. Principal 
 1. Email, phone message
 2. Email
 Busing issues Community Coordinator (Donna Smiley) Email, phone message
 Other concerns about our school  1. Parent Coordinator 
 2. Principal 
 1. Email, phone message
 2. Email 


Parents can access all school contact emails, annual forms, monthly lunch menus and more on the Anderson website homepage under the "Current Families" tab.


Parents must contact the Parent Coordinator to change an address, phone number or email address. A change of address requires two proofs of residence, just like when the child registered for school (any two of the following containing the address of residence):*

  • A lease agreement, deed or mortgage statement for the residenceA residential utility bill (gas or electric) in the resident’s name issued by a utility company (e.g., National Grid or Con Edison), must be dated within the past 60 days 
  • A bill for cable television services provided to the residence; must include the name of the parent and the address of the residence and be dated within the past 60 days 
  • Documentation or letter on letterhead from a federal, state, or local government agency, including the IRS, the City Housing Authority, Human Resources Administration, the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), or an ACS subcontractor or the federal Office of Refugee Settlement, indicating the resident’s name and address, must be dated within the past 60 days 
  • A current property tax bill for the residence 
  • A water bill for the residence dated within the past 90 days 
  • Rent receipt which includes the address of the residence, must be dated within the past 60 days 
  • State, city, or other government issued identification (including an IDNYC card), which has not expired and includes the address of residence 
  • Income tax form for the last calendar year 
  • Official NYS Driver’s License or learner’s permit which has not expired 
  • Official payroll documentation from an employer issued within the past 60 days such as a pay stub with home address, a form submitted for tax withholding purposes or payroll receipt (a letter on the employer’s letterhead is not adequate); must include home address and be dated within the past 60 days 
  • Voter registration documents, which include the name of the parent and the address of residence 
  • Unexpired membership documents based upon residency (e.g., neighborhood residents’ association), which include the name of the parent and the address of residence 
  • Evidence of custody of the child, including but not limited to judicial custody orders or guardianship papers documents issued within the past 60 days with name of child and address of residence.
* If you are not the leaseholder of your residence, you must submit a Residency Affidavit (see Chancellor’s Regulation A-101, page 20)


All Anderson parents and guardians are automatically members of our very active PTA. The PTA maintains a website which contains a wealth of information: a PTA meeting schedule, a list of PTA Executive Board members and descriptions of their positions, a list of our School Leadership Team (SLT) members and more.A link to the PTA website can be found on the homepage of this site. Parents can go there to find out about fundraisers, make an online donation to the Direct Appeal, purchase school merchandise from the Anderson PTA Store or read the PTA Handbook.


Safety Drills

Fire Drills
Fire drills will be held on a regular basis based on the guidelines issued by the New York City Department of Education. Students will leave their belongings, form a line, and exit the building with their teacher. Absolute silence is required during fire drills so that students and staff may listen for instructions from safety personnel.
Lock Down Drills 
Lock down drills will be held on a regular basis based on the guidelines issued by the New York City Department of Education. Students will remain silent and move out of sight and away from the door.Classroom doors will be locked and teachers will wait for the "all clear" announcement.
Shelter-In Drills
Shelter-in drills will be held on a regular basis based on the guidelines issued by the New York City Department of Education. A shelter-in will take place when there is a threat outside of the building. No one will be permitted to enter or leave the building during the shelter-in. Students will remain inside the building and follow directions of staff.

School-day Emergency Procedures

The Anderson School has a comprehensive plan to handle emergencies during the school-day ranging from natural disasters to criminal activity to medical situations. We have outlined some of our safety precautions and provided important information for parents/families. This information can be viewed by clicking here.

Citywide Emergencies, Extreme Conditions, or Major Storm/Snow Days 

In the case of a citywide emergency, extreme conditions, or a major storm, the Chancellor will make an announcement that all public schools will either close or have a delayed opening. This announcement is made in consultation with other city officials, such as the mayor.
All authorized delayed openings will result in a 2 hour delay. In case of emergency conditions or a major storm day the decision to close schools is announced on the 311 information line, on the home page of the Department of Education website, and on most radio and television stations in the city. The DOE also has a Twitter account and posts inclement weather information there as well.
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