K-12 Family Welcome Letter 2015-16

Dear NEST+m Students & Families,

We are eager to see you next week! We are writing to send you some key information regarding the first day of school on September 9th, 2015.  This letter has detail for students in K-12. Please see the details for your child’s particular grade level.

Our school year begins on Wednesday September 9, 2015. The school day is from 8:20am to 2:40pm.

Kindergarten First Day/Orientation Schedule: On September 9, all Kindergarten students will have a half-day of school in alignment with the start and end time listed below. Parents, while your children meet in the classroom with their teachers, please join us for a kindergarten-parent orientation. We will meet with you in the auditorium. Please note that your child’s day will start and end at the times listed below.

Session I: Students last name A-K, 9:00am-10:30am (Courtyard line up beginning 8:45am)

Session II: Students last name L-Z, 12:30pm- 2:00pm (Courtyard line up beginning 12:15pm)

Our school cafeteria will open at 7:15am.  Breakfast will begin being served at 7:30am. All students are welcome. At 8am students in the cafeteria will be welcomed upstairs and our courtyard doors will open for entry.

Grades K-2:
Our Kindergarten, first, and second grade teachers will be standing in the courtyard to greet students.  Each teacher will have a copy of their class list and signs will be posted with the teacher’s name on it in and around the courtyard.  The class lists have been posted on our school website http://www.nestmk-12.net . If you have special instructions for your child’s teacher regarding dismissal, please bring a note to your child’s teacher in the morning. Your child’s homework folder will be used for day-to-day communication between your home and your child’s teacher.

Grades 3-5:
Students in grades 3-5 will enter the building through the courtyard up the ramp to the right. Signs with each teacher’s name have been posted on teacher’s doors. Students can and should access the class lists that have been posted on our school website to identify their new teacher. School staff will also be present to support students upon their arrival.

Grades 6-8:
Students in the middle grades will enter the building through the courtyard up the ramp to the left. Signs with each teacher’s name have been posted on teacher’s doors. 6th grade students will then report directly to the gymnasium, where the 6th grade class teachers will be there to greet them, help them find their official class, and escort them to their classroom to review their schedules.

Door signs have been posted on teachers’ doors to guide the sixth grade students as they transition from class to class.

7th and 8th grade students’ official class assignments will be posted in the third floor hallway on the bulletin board outside of room 318.  In addition, teachers will be in the hallway assisting students to their official classes.  Door signs have also been posted for students to assist them as they transition from class to class.

Grades 9-12:
Students in Grades 9-12 please use our Columbia Street entrance and swipe in with your School ID card at the CAASS machine. Students who need a new school ID or their academic program will be guided to the Guidance Office (rm. 245). All students should report to the first period class on their academic schedule by 8:20am—not the homeroom listed on your schedule.

In First Period, students will receive metro-cards, lunch forms, and the “Request to Change Academic Program” form. Students that wish to make a change to their academic program will fill out the “Request to Change Academic Program” form and submit it to their first period teacher, who will submit these requests for review by our guidance team. As always students should follow their current academic program. When needed, new programs will be distributed each day.

Attendance and Lateness
All students are expected to be in their Official Class/1st period classroom no later than 8:20am. Any student in Grades 3-12 arriving later than 8:20am is late and should report to class with a late pass from the CAASS Machine (located in main office for students late to school).

  • Our official school attendance is taken in 1st period/ Official Class (Grades 6-12)
  • Students who are not physically present in class at 8:20am are marked “A” for absent.”
  • If a student is late, the teacher will change the official attendance and record the lateness on the official attendance sheet.
  • We will use variety of interventions to support students’ attendance. These interventions will include meeting with children and families to develop attendance improvement plans.
  • It is important to note that absences and latenesses are part of a student’s transcript and will be made available to high schools and colleges that students apply to.

Students’ Excused Absences
All absences that are documented by a note from a student’s family, physician, or an official activity are considered “excused.” The Chancellor has two pages of special codes for excused attendance. These codes include: medical absence, religious observation, school tours, etc. These codes are important, as documented absences do not count against the 90% attendance requirement. Main Office personnel enter these absence codes into ATS.

Dress Code
Students in grades 3-8 wear a uniform, a top with the NEST+m insignia and either pants or skirt and sneakers (preferably). No jeans. The costs for these items can be found on http://www.landsend.com. However, families may choose to select another vendor of their choice.

Please note parents have the right to secure an exemption from the uniform requirement.

We are committed to providing families with financial assistance. If families are in need of financial assistance to buy a uniform, they may contact our parent coordinator Marcy Duran at the school.

When or if students arrive to school in attire that is not aligned with the school uniform, they will be referred to our parent coordinator or PTA representatives for further assistance.

Students in Grades 9-12 are expected to dress in a manner that is respectful toward our learning environment but are not required to wear a uniform. Students should dress in a way that makes them feel valued, balanced, and confident. Any attire that features words or images that violate the Department of Education’s Respect for All Initiative will not be permitted.

Electronic Devices
DOE POLICY Students are permitted to bring the following electronic items to school: 1) cell phones; 2) laptops, tablets, iPads and other similar computing devices (“computing devices”); and 3) portable music and entertainment systems (such as iPods, MP3 players, PSP and Nintendo DS).
1. Cell phones and portable music and entertainment systems may not be turned on or used during the administration of any school quiz, test or examination.
2. Computing devices may not be turned on or used during the administration of any school quiz, test or examination, except where such use has been explicitly authorized by the school or is contained in an Individualized Education Program or Section 504 Accommodation Plan.
3. Cell phones, computing devices and portable music and entertainment systems may not be turned on or used during school fire drills or other emergency preparedness exercises.
4. Cell phones, computing devices, and portable music and entertainment systems may not be used in locker rooms or bathrooms.

At NEST+m, we believe that integrating technology into the school experience provides limitless opportunities for enrichment and support.  With this in mind, our goal is to empower students to use their personal technology devices responsibly, and to educate students about the impact and consequences of misuse.

For students in grades K – 12, personal electronic devices may be used in the building before the school day begins at 8:20am, and following its conclusion at 2:40pm.

For students in grades 9 – 12, personal electronic devices may also be used in the cafeteria and courtyard during their designated lunch periods.

Additionally, personal electronic devices may be used in classes where the teacher has deemed it educationally appropriate.

Personal electronic devices that are used outside of the appropriate spaces and/or times will be confiscated and secured, and will be returned at the end of our instructional day.

Please join us in welcoming this talented group of educators to our NEST+m faculty!

* Jenna Camhy, 3rd grade
* Kimberly Ferguson, 4th Grade
* Kara Ayars, 4th grade
* Jessica Yu, 5th grade
* Fanny Sosenke, 6th grade math
* Tala Councilman, 7th grade math
* Liz Zacharia, 7th and 8th grade art
* Margaret Tanzosh, Upper Grades Computer Science
* Rory Hohenberger, Middle Grades Physical Education
* Anna Swann-Pye, 12th Grade English
* Michael Baum, Algebra 2/Trigonometry & Math Research
* Melinda Ho, Upper Grades ICT
* Ana Izoria, Upper Grades ICT
* Jason Chin-Fatt, Upper Grades ICT
* Dr. Scott Justus, Upper Grades Living Environment
* Ka Lam Chan, Chemistry/AP Chemistry
* Ben Kimmerle, Dream Director, The Future Project

We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday!


Mark Berkowitz, Principal (I.A)
Brendan Alfieri, Assistant Principal
Josh Gold, Assistant Principal
Greg Farrell, Assistant Principal
Justin Mackey, Assistant Principal

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