School Policies

Attendance Policy

Student daily attendance is important because students are more likely to succeed in academics and social development when they attend school consistently. It is difficult for the teacher and the class to build their skills and progress if a student is frequently absent from blended or remote learning.

  • A student with a 90% attendance rate is a student that has been absent 18 school days which is equal to one month of school. If a student has an attendance rate less than 90% that student is considered chronically absent.

School attendance is required by law and is critical to students’ success in school and life.

  • Research shows that children who miss 10 or more days of school in a given school year are less likely to graduate from High School. Missing even two (2) days a month adds up to 20 DAYS a year. In addition, national data shows that students with more absences score lower on standardized tests, no matter their age, demographic group, or state or city.

We want to help ensure that every student has strong attendance every year.

  • Families are encouraged to establish a daily routine and follow the school's calendar to support consistency.

  • PLEASE NOTE: Parents are NOT PERMITTED to take their child out of the school for an extended time (more than 3 absences) to attend to personal business, family matters or to vacation. Please schedule personal business, family matters, or vacations for days and times when our students are not required to attend school.

Uniform Policy

Here at Middle School 217Q we have a student dress code policy. The dress code consists of a collared polo shirt (navy blue or grey) and navy blue or khaki pants. Girls may choose to wear a navy blue or khaki skirt/skort.

School Logo is not required.

There are many benefits in having our students wear a uniform to school everyday:

  • Promotes a more effective learning environment
  • Fosters school unity and pride
  • Improves student performance
  • Fosters self-esteem
  • Eliminates label competition
  • Simplifies the dressing process in the morning
  • Teaches students appropriate dress and decorum in their “work” place
  • Help to improve student conduct and discipline

Understanding all the benefits wearing a school uniform lends to our school environment any student who is out of uniform will receive a phone call home to inform the parent and may be subjected to stay for detention.

Parents and students purchase the polo shirt from Needleheads located at: 88-01 Myrtle Ave, Glendale, NY 11385 / Phone: (718) 850 - 4252.

  • Parents may also purchase the polo shirt from any available manufacture.
  • No designer emblems are permitted on the polo shirt. Needleheads is the only store in our community that will embroider the polo shirt with the school logo if desired.
  • For navy blue or khaki pants/skirt/skort parents may shop at any school uniform store.

Cookies Department Store provides 10% discount for MS 217 Students. Cookies is located at 166-21 Jamaica Avenue, NY 11432.

GYM UNIFORM is available for purchase with the students gym teacher.

Required School Supplies

1. School Uniform – polo shirt (navy blue or grey), khaki/navy blue pants or skirt

2. Five subject loose-leaf binder

3. Composition notebook

4. Subject Loose Leaf binder

5. Five pens, five pencils

6. Ruler and protractor (Calculators will be supplied by our school)

**Please note – Teachers may require additional supplies as the year progresses.

Cell Phone Policy

Dear Parents and Guardians

I hope you are well. I am writing to you today to bring to your attention what I have observed to be the most dangerous influence on our middle school children - the cell phone. Specifically, students texting, or accessing social media such as Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, etc., or playing games on their cell phone for extended periods of time often without supervision resulting in sleep deprivation and unhealthy behavior.

As a parent, I understand the desire to provide for our children all the treasurers of the world- all that we can give to them we wish to give to them. However, when it comes to providing our children a cell phone I ask that we stop and reflect on its dangers. The access our children have today to inappropriate content or the ability to incessantly bully and harass other children is beyond anything we could have imagined when we were in middle school. In addition, I see the physical toll students endure because they are playing games on their cell phones deep into the night resulting in sleep deprivation.

Please be aware our middle school children are too young to understand the emotional impact social media and texting is having upon them or others. The science research is very clear- our middle school children do not have the biological maturity or the ability to self-discipline their self-gratification or curiosity to successfully use social media on their cell phones. Middle school children are at a very impressionable age. Their mind and social development is greatly influenced by what the world around them thinks of them, particularly their peers. We must protect our children and allow them to develop slowly and safely. As such, please know that social media accounts are not meant for middle school children. Thankfully, earlier this year Facebook put a pause on their development of a social media app designed for young children. However, we know the other apps, as well as, Facebook do not regularly enforce their age limit requirement for access to their sites. In addition, it is not difficult for an 11 year old child to create an account by entering a birth date that meets the requirement of the site. Developmentally, a middle school child's brain is not yet mature enough for the responsibility of accessing social media yet we continue to permit our students such access. We need to do better for the sake of our children.

As principal of our school for 15 years, I can attest our school has spent more time investigating cell phone incidents than any other violation of our student behavior code. Oftentimes, what starts out on social media or texting ends in a physical altercation between children. Placing a cell phone that can access social media or text in the hands of our middle school children is one of the most dangerous things we can do to bring harm to our children. I urge you as the loving families that you are to shut down your child's data plan so they cannot text, and to block their access to the web and to all social media apps.

Our school has several filters in place to block our students from accessing the web or social media. Of course, some of our students consistently test our filters and firewalls. We are committed both in mind and in budget to do all we can to block access. We are doing our part to keep your children cybersafe. We ask that you, as your child's guardian, do all that you can to protect your child as well. If you must provide your child with a cell phone due to safety concerns, please remove access to the Internet and to texting.

Please know, if you do provide your child access to a cell phone with social media or texting capabilities then you are also taking on the responsibilities that comes with it, including making your child very, very vulnerable to bullying, intimidation, harassment, and inappropriate content on the Internet. Our children are our most precious gift. We must protect them. Last, please review our MS 217 cell phone policy here with your children so that they are aware and understand our MS 217 Cell Phone policy.  MS 217 Cell Phone Policy 2022 2023.


Patrick Burns Principal