Alumni Day 2018 Gallery
FAQs 101: Who, What, Where and When?
Below are some of the most frequently asked logistical questions that we hear from parents throughout the school. Click on a question to read more.
The Saint Ann’s campus consists of a number of buildings spread over several blocks in Brooklyn Heights. We also frequent many neighboring parks, playgrounds, and other buildings where we hold community events. Click here to access a campus map with information about each of our buildings and what you can find there.
Links, password email per tech. Remember that you can always make changes to your contact information directly via the parent portal.
Links. A one-page school calendar for the following school year showing school holidays, vacations and parent-teacher conference dates is posted on the website each January. The month to month calendar of events gets loaded each August and parents receive email notification at that time; it is subsequently updated in real time.
There is no school bus service at Saint Ann’s. Students get to school in whatever way makes the most sense for each family.
Some students are eligible for student metrocards or transit passes. These are distributed through the divisional offices, but please note that eligibility for such passes is determined by the Department of Education of the city of New York, not by Saint Ann’s.
In every division of the school we ask that families try to get students to school on time so they can have the best possible start to the day. Coming late can have a ripple effect on the rest of a child’s day. In the transition from the Lower School to the Middle School punctuality becomes even more crucial as students move to a fully departmentalized schedule. In fourth grade, far-flung first period classes begin at 8:35am, directly following homeroom.
The MTA, traffic and errant phone alarms sometimes stymie our best efforts at timeliness. Phone calls, emails or notes to division offices in these instances are always appreciated. Middle school students who are late should report to the appropriate division office upon arrival.
In the Preschool, Kindergarten and Lower School the school day officially ends at 3:00pm. After the first few days of school, second and third graders will be dismissed from the lunchroom rather than from their individual classrooms. Lower School students who are not picked up by 3:15pm will be brought to the After School program and parents will be billed at the daily rate. Middle and high school students will have different start and end times to their school day depending on their individual schedules.
We have an on-campus After School program available to currently enrolled students in kindergarten through sixth grade that students can attend on a semester, monthly, weekly or daily basis. After School runs until 6:00 pm each day that school is in session. Please click here to read more about the program and how to enroll your child, or contact Emily Bolevice, Director of the After School Program at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note there is no preschool afterschool program.
Click here to read all about our summer arts program, which serves Saint Ann’s students from preschool through middle school. The summer program can be a great transition into Saint Ann’s for new students who will be entering Saint Ann’s the following fall, particularly in the younger grades. It is a chance to meet classmates before the year begins. For questions about the summer program contact Paul Benney, Director of the Summer Program, at email@example.com.
In the case of inclement weather, if the New York City public schools are open, Saint Ann’s School will also be open. If the New York City public schools are closed, then Saint Ann’s School will be closed. Click here to read our full inclement weather policy.
Preschool and kindergarten students bring their own lunches to school each day. In lower school (beginning in first grade), lunch is provided by the school and is included in the school’s fees. In middle school (beginning in fourth grade) and high school, students have the option to purchase food in the dining room using their student ID cards (update if changing for MS). There is a set daily fee for middle school students; high school students pay by the item. (update if changing for MS) High school students are also allowed to leave school to purchase food from local restaurants any time they have a free period. Eighth grade students in good standing may also have the option to go “out” for lunch beginning after Thanksgiving with permission from the Head of the Middle School.
Milk, cereal and fruit are provided free of charge.
We try to accommodate any special dietary needs and, while we don’t claim a “nut-free” environment, we avoid serving nuts and peanut butter in school lunches.
Students are welcome to bring a special treat to school on their birthday or half-birthday to share with their class. We ask parents that such treats be entirely nut-free. Whenever possible please bring enough of the same treat for everyone in the class; it can get tricky if there are 10 vanilla cupcakes and 10 chocolate but 12 children want vanilla.
When inviting students to birthday parties we ask parents to be mindful of feelings: make sure to distribute all invitations outside of school and please keep birthday discussions and plans outside of school as well unless the whole class is invited.
There is no dress code at Saint Ann’s. However, especially in the preschool, kindergarten and lower school, school is an active place filled with running, jumping, dancing, painting and sometimes rolling in the grass! We encourage kids to wear active, comfortable clothing that can get dirty and sneakers or other footwear that will keep them on the move safely. Anything that shouldn’t get dirty is best left at home.
If it’s too valuable to lose, it may be best left at home. Middle school students – and, on request, high school students – are provided with lockers which, when locked, are the safest place to store personal belongings. Locks are available free of charge in division offices.
Please be aware that scooters will be stored outside of school buildings during the day. Bikes should be locked in bike racks and can’t be stored inside. Lower school students should leave all electronics, toys (including trading cards), and wheeled objects at home. Middle school students should leave cell phones at home or store them in lockers or division offices for the duration of the school day. (You can read more about our cell phone policy below.)
It’s a reality that kids tend to leave their things around. Labeling clothing and other belongings with a student’s name vastly improves our ability to return missing items to their rightful owners. Parents are asked to label items for young children and encourage older children to retrieve lost possessions.
In the Lower School there are lost and found bins outside the lunchroom and on floors 2-5. In the Bosworth Building, bins are on the 8th, 9th and 12th floors. Division offices are also good places to look for missing items or ask for help in finding them.
We periodically announce lost and found cleanout times to give students a final opportunity to collect their belongings before we dispose of or donate items that have not been claimed. Students are responsible for their own belongings; the school has no liability for missing items.
Click here to visit the nursing office section of our website, where you’ll find our policies on health forms, immunization and keeping or sending a child home sick. You can also read our concussion management plan and what we require before a student can participate in interscholastic sports. The nursing office homepage has contact information for our school nurses who are available to answer any questions you may have. These policies are also outlined in the front pages of the Student-Parent Directory that is mailed home each September.
Please note that some interscholastic leagues in which Saint Ann’s participates have minimum practice count requirements before students can play in games. Additional information about these requirements and other need-to-knows for parents of student athletes can be found on the recreational arts pages of our website as well as in the Student Handbook.
FAQs 202: How Does This Work?
The frequently asked questions below delve deeper into some aspects of Saint Ann’s theory and practice. Click on a question to read more.
Middle and high school students have individualized schedules depending on what classes they are taking.Fourth graders have daily homeroom; other middle and high school students are due at school for the beginning of their first class of the day.
In the middle school, the day will generally end either at 2:35pm, referred to as an “early day,” or 3:25pm, sometimes called a “late day.”
In the high school, the beginning and end of each school day is truly unique to the student and can change if a student adds or drops classes. The last “regular” period on the high school schedule ends at 4:15pm, but it is followed by the seminar period, during which some students will elect to take classes that run until 5:50 pm. On the other hand, some students will have days where their last class ends at 2:35pm or earlier. Grade advisers work with students to design courseloads and schedules that work for that student.
One important aspect of high school schedules are free periods. During frees, high school students are truly free – they can leave campus during these times if they so choose and need return only when they are due to be in their next class.
When the school year begins, if you are a middle or high school parent you will be able to view your child’s schedule through the Parent Portal. If you need to schedule extracurricular activities before the school year begins you can contact the division office for dismissal times, but full schedules are not available until the first day of school.
We encourage students who wish to make schedule changes – even our youngest middle schoolers – to speak directly with their division head or grade adviser, rather than expecting their parents to mediate this process. Those administrators must ultimately approve all schedule changes. The first few weeks of the year generally function as an add/drop period, especially in high school, where students have a chance to iron out the details of their schedules with the division office.
In high school there are occasionally scheduling “conflicts” that get worked out on an individual basis; for more details, see below in the high school divisional section.
Please visit the finance office pages of the school’s website for full information on our financial aid policies and processes. Financial Aid is awarded on the basis of financial need, and is distributed as equitably as possible based on an analysis of each family’s income, assets, and other relevant financial criteria. We will take all relevant data into account when evaluating your family’s financial aid request. Please note that there is non-tuition based financial aid available for music lessons, overnight trips and the like; those requests are evaluated throughout the academic year. The Finance Office welcomes your questions about financial aid at any time.
We rely on ongoing dialog with students and parents in addition to checklists (twice annually, “fall” and “spring”) and narrative reports (twice annually, “mid-year” and “year-end”) to communicate about what’s going on in the classroom. Written feedback begins at the Kindergarten level. Checklist reports begin at the middle school level, in fourth grade. All checklists and anecdotal reports are read by your child’s division head or grade adviser before they arrive at your home. If you have a question about an individual checklist or report, the division head or grade adviser is the person to call. You can read some thoughts from our current Head of School, Vince Tompkins, on “Why We Don’t Use Grades” here. Formal parent-teacher conferences are held once a year in November; we try to make the dates available to you during re-enrollment the previous year so that you can plan ahead. If you wish to schedule an additional conference with a teacher please contact the relevant division office.
Generally, in the middle and high school, families will receive the first set of checklist reports shortly before the November teacher-parent conferences, where you will have an opportunity to discuss them with your child’s teachers. More detailed mid-year reports that describe both the classroom curriculum and your child’s learning are mailed home about halfway through the year. Different grades will arrive at different times – first semester officially ends about halfway through January. Year-end reports generally arrive at home after classes have ended for the year. In middle and high school these are accompanied by a letter from the grade adviser or division head summarizing the student’s year and offering guidance.
In general, the school considers checklist reports and cover letters to be “internal” documents that do not become part of a student’s formal academic record and are not sent on when a student applies to a summer program, transfers schools or applies to college. There may be individual exceptions as adjudicated by the division head or grade adviser. With the exception of senior year, mid-year reports are not sent to colleges.
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s learning or would like to request a meeting with a teacher feel free to contact the division office.
One important time to call us is if your child needs to miss the whole day of part of a school day, and to do so again for each day that they are absent. You can call or email the appropriate division office, or use the attendance phone extensions found on the back pages of the Student-Parent Directory and the art calendar.
We also encourage parents to call or email division offices with everything from changes in that day’s after school plans to changes in address, family structure, custody, child care arrangements, or a health situation or family crisis at home. Division offices are here to help and can relay information to other administrative offices and teachers as needed to support your child. Please be in touch if there is something you think we need to know about.
You can always update your address and contact information directly through the parent portal.
The last two pages of the Student-Parent Directory contain email addresses and phone extensions for members of the school’s core administration and for most administrative offices. We ask parents to communicate information and concerns about their children through the relevant division office rather than calling, texting, or emailing individual teachers.
You can expect regular email communications from the school about community news and events. Division offices and grade advisers will often email about division-specific events and will contact you when they have anything to communicate about your individual child.
However, it is important to note that, consistent with our goal of nurturing student independence, middle and high school parents should not necessarily expect to hear every time there are auditions for the play or try-outs for the basketball team. Older students have daily assemblies with division heads who frequently communicate important information to students directly. Parents are always welcome to contact division offices with questions.
With the skeleton of our curriculum to support them, and the shared primary goal of educating students, teachers in every division of the school have significant autonomy to design their own classrooms. This means, for example, that one lower school classroom may be studying the ocean while another is in outer space. One high school U.S. history course will be in Selma while another has turned their attention to Vietnam. Our approach to education means that we deliberately do not require teachers to distribute year-long syllabi to students or parents or to post lesson plans or homework online. We take seriously the task of hiring and nurturing a faculty who will communicate their love and knowledge of their discipline in meaningful ways and respond to individual students’ needs and abilities. Like our students, we trust our teachers and encourage them to bring their own vision to their classroom.
The school has a dedicated team of trained professionals who work together as Student Support Services. Student Support Services is made up primarily of the school’s psychologists, learning specialists and testing coordinators, but they also work closely with school nurses and health educators. The Student Support Services team are here as a resource for students, parents, and teachers and are in regular contact with division heads and grade advisers. It is important to note that, especially in the younger grades, the presence of support staff in the classroom is an ordinary part of the school day that does not necessarily indicate a “problem” in that classroom.
Support staff are available to speak with parents. Click here to visit the Student Support Services page of our website, where you’ll find a who’s who of the team and information about where they are located and how you can contact them. The Director of Student Support Services is our School Psychologist, Liz Bernbach, PhD.
At Saint Ann’s, instructional technology follows and directly supports the pedagogy of our teachers. The diverse range of disciplines, subjects, teaching styles, projects and classroom activities offered by our faculty is reflected in our use of technology. The design and deployment of technology favors innovative, adaptable, unobtrusive and robust solutions suited to the wide spectrum individual faculty and student needs.
We avoid platforms and technologies that distract or detract from the beauty and integrity of a true learning experience, and look beyond the horizon to identify the skills, tools and lessons our students will need to be successful and safe in their interactions with technology both inside and outside the school environment.
We are not a “laptop school” and we do not provide each student with a computer. Faculty are not required to post student homework or course syllabi online. Students in grades 4-12 are issued Saint Ann’s google accounts that enable them to use school resources, such as Chromebooks. There are workstations available to students for completing and printing school work in the division offices and throughout campus.
If a student does not have access to a computer or other technology at home that they need in order to complete school work, parents are encouraged to get in touch with the grade adviser or division head who can help find a solution.
Complete information on our educational technology resources and use policies is available in our Student Handbook, which is distributed to middle and high school students and parents annually and is available at any time as a PDF from division offices.
After careful deliberation, we have instituted a “no phones” policy in the middle school (4th through 8th grade)—this means no phones at lunch, no phones during study halls, no phones at any time. If devices are brought to school they must turned OFF and stowed in backpacks, lockers, or a middle school division office for the duration of the school day. We ask that parents help support this initiative to unplug students by not texting or calling them during the school day. Division offices are ready and willing to track down students to deliver messages; students can use landlines in division offices to contact their parents when necessary. Middle school students unable to respect this policy will lose their devices for the school day, and longer if they continue to have trouble with it.
High school students are expected to use cell phones and similar technology in a manner that is respectful as members of a community that values personal conversation and connection. This means that phones should never be used during a class, rehearsal, performance, practice or game. High school students using their phones in one of these contexts may have the device taken away by faculty or administrators.
Our full policies on cell phones are outlined in our Student Handbook, which is distributed to middle and high school students and parents annually and is available at any time as a PDF from division offices.
Every member of our community is due the respect that allows for meaningful and equal participation in what we hold most dear. Acts of discrimination and harassment–including bullying, taunting or intimidation– are obstacles to both learning and teaching and will not be tolerated. Please see our full policies on community responsibility, bullying, harassment and disciplinary action in our Student Handbook, which is distributed to middle and high school students and parents annually and is available at any time as a PDF from division offices.
There is no detention. We try not to motivate students through punitive measures, particularly in the context of learning. Being in a quiet room with a book should be a joy, not a punishment. By design, we hope to model how intellectual curiosity and a sense of individual agency can motivate academic pursuits. That said, community behavioral norms and expectations are detailed in our Student Handbook which is distributed to middle and high school parents annually and is available at any time as a PDF from division offices. Division heads and grade advisers determine situationally and age appropriate consequences on an individual case basis.
We do not have a PTA. Annual parent meetings, cocktail parties, dinners and parent-teacher conferences are included on the school calendar. These, along with attendance at student performances, readings and sports games are great ways for parents to be involved in the school community. Parents of younger children are sometimes invited to join for class field trips; this is not a requirement and generally is no longer the case in the middle and high schools. There are a number of development events throughout the year to which parents are invited; those are communicated via email.