Family Handbook

The mission of the Urban Choice Charter School is to provide Rochester students with a safe, supportive, and intellectually challenging educational environment.

Redefining Urban Education

The central philosophy is that strong student-teacher relationships are essential to student motivation, engagement, and achievement. This philosophy, in combination with authentic efforts at family involvement, and the effective teaching of a rich, rigorous, and engaging curriculum, will enable students to build a strong foundation for college and career readiness, exceed state achievement standards and defy the demographic challenges of poverty.

  • The staff at UCCS will do everything we can to ensure your child receives a quality education.

  • We will provide a rigorous curriculum backed by the latest technology.

  • The needs of each child will be identified and addressed on an individual basis.

  • We will communicate regularly through a variety of methods on all aspects of your child’s education.

We wish to emphasize these points from our Family Handbook as an effort to help us accomplish the goal of successfully educating your child.

Stay Connected with UCCS

Please remember to:

  • Provide parental and emergency contact information and keep it up-to-date throughout the year.

  • Attend report card Parent/Teacher Conferences, twice a year. 

  • Send your child to school on time and on a regular basis. 

  • Visit the school:

    • Make arrangements to visit a classroom or teacher.

    • Call ahead to schedule a conference if one is needed.

  • Volunteer whenever possible contact Taylor Doty, the Family and Community Engagement Coordinator; (585) 288-5702 or tdoty@urbanchoicecharter.org).

  • Ensure your child follows all school policies, including dress code and behavior expectations.

  • Participate in events and other school functions throughout the year including Open House, Celebration of the Arts, and Family Nights.

  • Monitor our Social Media sites; Class Dojo, Kickboard, Urban Choice Website, and Urban Choice Facebook page.

Location

The school is located at 1020 Maple Street. Begin on Interstate 490, take the Mt. Read Blvd. exit, approximately one quarter mile from exit Maple Street will be on your left.

Hours of Operation & Contact Information

K-8   8:30am – 3:30pm   Phone:  (585)288-5702 or Fax: (585)654-9882

School-Home Communications

PowerSchool

PowerSchool maintains student, staff, and schedule information. PowerSchool is used to facilitate student information management and communication among school administrators, teachers, parents, and students. Every parent is provided with access to the system.


PowerSchool Parent Portal for Grades K-8

PowerSchool Public Portal is a tool that is integrated into the PowerSchool Student Information System (SIS) that is specifically developed for parents and students. PowerSchool Public Portal gives parents and students access to real-time information, including attendance and grades.


Class Dojo for Grades K-4

Class Dojo is a behavior management and messaging system that every teacher at UCCS uses in their classroom. Students receive points throughout the day based on achieving behavior expectations. Teachers can send out messages to parents, as well as receive them through the system. There is also a free app available for smart phones that enable parents to monitor their child’s behavior during the day.


Kickboard for Grades 5-8

Kickboard provides positive behavioral intervention supports, using a proactive strategy that creates behavioral systems and structures needed for all students to grow academically and socially. The goal of Kickboard is to provide a safe and supportive school climate by creating consistency across the school and meeting the unique needs of students at varying levels of behavioral and social/emotional development. Students earn dollars when exhibiting appropriate behavior. Each week a check is produced, with the amount the student earned for that week. It is sent home for parents to view and acknowledge.  Students can use their “money” in the school store. Parents are provided with access to this program.


E-mail, Telephone and School Messenger

We encourage parents and guardians to call or e-mail teachers and staff members as a means to communicate information or concerns. Staff e-mails are available on the school website. School Messenger is a parent notification system that can send out mass texts, e-mails or phone calls to keep parents up-to-date on school closings and other school events.


Parent Conferences

If your child has any academic or behavioral concerns, the teacher may ask to hold a parent/teacher conference. The teacher will send home a Parent Conference Summary form summarizing the conference and if necessary, request a consultation for further discussion and resolution.


Progress Reports and Report Cards

UCCS has mandated report card pick-up dates twice a year. Progress reports provide parents with student progress for the first ten weeks of the marking period. Updates are reflected in the report card grades that follow, which also show attendance and conference requests.


Website

This website is updated regularly to provide you with the most current information about the school. Staff email addresses, as well as Board of Trustees’ meeting dates, are posted. 


Open Door Policy

We welcome our parents and guardians to visit classrooms during the day.  We just ask that you please call ahead. To meet with your child’s teacher, you will need to schedule an appointment. For safety reasons, visitors are required to show photo identification and sign in and out at the Main Office.  


Parent Satisfaction Surveys

Urban Choice seeks information from parents regularly regarding their satisfaction with teachers, staff, instruction, and the school as a whole. A parent satisfaction survey is completed two times per year. This gives parents and guardians the opportunity to voice their opinions.

Newsletters

School newsletters are sent home to all families. It contains important announcements, information and news about the school.


Board of Trustee Meetings

The Board of Trustees oversees and governs the school. There is a parent representative on the Board of Trustees. We welcome all parents and guardians to attend board meetings. They are held on the second Thursday of the month at 6:00 pm unless otherwise noted. Dates and times can be found on our calendar, website and in our newsletter.


Social Media

School Calendar

In general, Urban Choice Charter School calendar follows the same calendar as the Rochester City School District. All families are provided with a school calendar in our “parent information packet” distributed before the beginning of each school year. Additional copies may be obtained by requesting one from the main office or from our website.

Transportation

All Students K-8

All students who are in grades K-8 and live outside walking boundaries (beyond 1 ½ miles) ride a yellow school bus. 


All families must apply for transportation by April 1st every year to ensure transportation by the opening day of school. For our families who do not live in the Rochester City School District or who move out of district but still attend Urban Choice Charter School, transportation may be provided by the district of residence. This must be arranged by the parent/guardian with that district.

 

Bus Issues

  • Students’ behavior on the bus is treated as if they were in school. 

  • The Dean of Students will report bus incidents to the homeroom teacher and notify parents. 

  • Students must be aware that they can still receive consequences for behavior issues before or after school while on their bus.

  • If a student is removed from the bus for any period of time, it is the responsibility of the parent to transport them to and from school.

  • Continued incidents on the bus may include removal from the bus for the rest of the school year.

Arrival & Dismissal Procedures

Arrival:

  • Students will not be allowed to enter the building prior to 8:30am.

  • All students must arrive in the building no later than 8:45am.

  • Students arriving after this time will be considered tardy.

  • All students arriving after this time must report to the Main Office with a parent/guardian for a pass to class and will not be allowed in class without a pass.


Dismissal and Pick-Up:

Early Dismissal/Pick-Ups (prior to 3:15pm):

  • The school must be notified of an early dismissal/pick-up prior to 2:00pm for all students.

  • All parents/guardians must sign out their student(s) at the Main Office prior to 3:15pm.

Regular Pick-Ups – 3:15pm-3:30pm:

  • Parents/guardians need to go to the main office.  Students will be called to the main office for pick-up.

  • All parents/guardians must exit through the front door.

Walkers – 3:30pm:

  • All walkers will be dismissed at 3:30pm.

Bus Dismissal – 3:30pm:

  • All students who ride the bus will be dismissed beginning at 3:30pm.  The buses will leave as soon as all students have safely boarded.


General Policies:

  • Students will NOT be allowed to leave the premises with anyone who is not authorized according to the student information sheet.

  • Parents/guardians may call the main office to add someone new to their child’s authorized pick-up list.

  • All adults who pick up students will need to show photo identification to sign the student out before leaving the building.

Emergency Closing Information

In the event the school is closed due to inclement weather or for any other reason, the school will alert the primary television/radio stations, send out a robocall to families via School Messenger, and post on UCCS website, Facebook, Class Dojo and Kickboard. We follow the Rochester City School District closings.

Meals

All students are offered free meals (breakfast and lunch) every day, in accordance with UCCS policy and the school’s participation in the Community Eligibility Option program. Families are still asked to complete and submit Family Meal Application forms on an annual basis so that the school remains in compliance with Federal and NYS requirements.

Curriculum & Resources

The School follows NYS Standards in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and other subjects. Textbooks are used as resources; however, engaging, hands-on, student-led, and centers-based instruction is highly encouraged and used by teachers. We also offer special elective subjects such as Art, Performing Arts, Music, Instrumental, Physical Education, and Health. Click here to read more about our curriculum.


Each student is given a Chromebook and Smart Boards are in all classrooms. Chromebooks are used on a daily basis. Projects are encouraged, as are field trips and other activities that reinforce critical thinking skills and engaged learning.

Homework Guidelines

Kindergarten - 20 minutes of reading
Grade 1 - 20 minutes of reading
Grade 2 - 20 minutes of reading
Grade 3 - up to 30 minutes (including 20 minutes of reading)
Grades 4-5 - up to 45 minutes (including 20 minutes of reading)
Grades 6-8 - Grade 3 - up to 60 minutes (including 20 minutes of reading)

General School Policies & Procedures

Admissions and Enrollment

All student enrollment questions should be directed to the Enrollment Coordinator. The Enrollment Coordinator is available during school hours Monday-Friday at (585) 288-5702. Click here for more information about admissions and enrollment.


Absence Notification

All parents should call by 9:00am if a student will be absent. Please leave your child’s name, your relationship to the child, and the reason for and date(s) of the child’s absence. Calls should be made as far in advance as possible and may be left on the school’s main voice mail, if necessary. If a student is not in class and the school has not been notified that he or she will be absent, his or her parent or guardian will be called at home and/or work. Questions regarding student attendance records should be directed to the Main Office.


Student Absences/Tardies and Consequences

Students who miss too many days of school will have a difficult time reaching the expected academic standards. Parents need to make sure that students who miss school days, do so for legitimate reasons, such as doctor or dentist appointments. 


All students must arrive in their respective buildings no later than 8:30am. Students arriving after 8:45am are considered tardy. Any student arriving after this time must be accompanied by a parent/guardian and report to the Main Office for a pass to class. They will not be allowed in class without a pass.


Walkers/Drop-Offs/Pick-Ups

We do not offer before or after school care at this time. It is important that families make arrangements for the timely arrival and pick-up of their children. Students will not be allowed to enter the building prior to 8:30am. Students must be picked up by 3:30pm.


If a student is removed from the bus for a behavioral incident, it is the responsibility of the parent to bring the child to school and pick them up at the end of the day.  The length of this removal is determined by the Rochester City School District Department of Transportation.

Attendance Policy

Absences

When a child incurs five (5) unexcused absences, the parent or guardian will be contacted by mail.

  • After seven (7) unexcused absences, the parent or guardian will be contacted by mail requesting a meeting. A home visit may be arranged by the Student Success Team.

  • After ten (10) unexcused absences, the parent or guardian will be contacted by mail requesting a meeting with Social Worker/School Counselor, Dean of Students and CEO. An Attendance Improvement Intervention Plan will be developed and then agreed upon by all parties to ensure the attendance improves.

  • After fifteen (15) unexcused absences, the Social Worker/Dean of Students will make a home visit.

  • After twenty (20) unexcused absences, Child Protective Services (CPS) will be contacted.

  • After twenty-five (25) unexcused absences and after CPS terminates services, the school reserves the right to petition Family Court.

Tardies

Students arriving after 8:45 AM will be considered tardy.tardy.

  • When a child incurs ten (10) unexcused late arrivals, the parent or guardian will be contacted by phone and mail.

  • After fifteen (15) unexcused tardies, the parent or guardian will be contacted by phone and mail, and also notified of the provisions of New York's attendance law.

  • After twenty (20) unexcused tardies after initial contact, the Student Success Team will schedule a conference with the Dean of Students and the parent or guardian. The parent or guardian will be asked to sign notification of the School Attendance Policy and the student's current attendance status.

  • After thirty (30) unexcused tardies, Child Protective Services (CPS) will be contacted.


Excused Absences/Tardies

  • A death in the family with note

  • A serious illness with note from the Doctor

  • A doctor's appointment with note


Unexcused Absences/Tardies

  • Vacations or family travel of any kind

  • Any absence or tardy without a note

  • Missed a bus or ride

  • Parent phone call only (without a note)

Student Uniforms

All students in grades K-8 are required to dress in accordance with the school uniform policy.

SHIRTS:

  • Red, Black, or White polo-style ONLY

  • Plain/solid ONLY (no stripes, designs, words, etc.)

  • Any long sleeve shirts under polos must be solid (no design/print) red, black, or white ONLY

  • Sweaters or sweatshirts must be solid red, black or white ONLY

  • No hooded sweatshirts or hooded sweaters

  • No regular or UCCS t-shirts are permitted, only polos


PANTS/SHORTS/SKIRTS:

  • Tan/Khaki or Black style ONLY

  • Shorts, jumpers, and skirts must reach within 1 inch of the knee/fingertip ends

  • No leggings or tights (unless worn under a skirt or jumper)

 

SHOES:

  • Close-toed shoes ONLY

  • NO sandals, flip-flops, or open-toed shoes of ANY KIND


ADDITIONAL NOTES:

  • All clothing must fit properly and look presentable at all times – nothing excessively tight, revealing or baggy.

  • A belt is strongly recommended.

  • A call home will be made if a student is out of uniform. A uniform will need to be brought to school for the student.

Cell Phones & Electronic Devices

Cell Phone & Electronic Devices Policy:

  • Cell phones are not allowed in school.

  • Electronic (handheld) games are not allowed.

  • UCCS is not responsible for lost or damaged cell phones and/or electronic devices.


Cell Phone & Electronic Devices Procedure:

  • If a student brings a cell phone to school, it must be given to their homeroom teacher or Behavior Interventionist. Cell phones will be stored in a secure location until the end of the day when they will be returned to students before dismissal.

  • If a student needs to call home during the school day, he/she will get permission from a teacher and use a school phone.

  • If a parent needs to get in touch with a student during the school day, parents should call school and we will locate your child so you may speak to them.

  • If a student is found to have a cell phone that was not turned in at the start of the day, it will be confiscated and retuned only to the parent after a parent conference is held.

Locker Policy

Lockers are provided for students in grades 5-8. 

  • Locks are provided for all lockers.

  • No food or drink.

  • No stickers/decals on the outside, but items may be taped on the inside.

  • Lockers should be cleaned out frequently.

Health Services

Urban Choice Charter School contracts with Monroe #1 BOCES to provide Health Office services to all students. The primary objective is to identify health issues that are barriers to learning, and to assist in their resolution. Our staff will guide your child towards healthy habits that promote optimum attendance.


Health Office staff will maintain medical records, monitor compliance with New York State mandated immunizations, provide vision, hearing, and scoliosis screenings, address complaints of illness, provide first aide, and are trained to identify and treat emergency situations. Referrals are made to community agencies for student’s needs and educational materials are provided as necessary.


Medication can be given to a student during school hours if a doctor’s order and a signed parent permission are obtained. An adult must bring the medication to the Health Office in the original prescription container. Due to safety concerns, a student may not carry any medication.


Students interested in sports team participation must have a current physical and proper paperwork to “self-administer” any needed medications during the sporting season.


Urban Choice Charter School asks that parents keep a child home who exhibits one or more of the following symptoms:  fever, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, severe coughing, and a rash or hives of unknown origin. A student may not return to school until they are free from vomiting, diarrhea, or fever for 24 hours, or a doctor’s note has been provided if requested. We require that an antibiotic that has been prescribed for any contagious illness to be in the student’s system for a minimum of 24 hours before returning to school.


Health Office staff will provide communication to parents of injuries and illnesses that occur during the day by phone call or a note home. We ask that parents and guardians keep the school updated with working phone numbers so they may be reached, especially in case of an emergency. Be sure to let the Health Office know if a child has allergies, asthma, or any other medical condition that can affect their performance at school.

School Security

All school personnel are fingerprinted per New York State regulations. Urban Choice Charter School utilizes electronic monitoring devices, including motion sensors and video surveillance units, to enhance the security and to monitor the school. Interactive video/audio units assist in monitoring the individuals requesting access. The security system allows the school receptionists to control entry and exit. Upon identification, the receptionist or designee provides access to the school by remotely disengaging the lock on the door. Everyone (visitors, parents, etc.) who enters the building must sign-in at the main office reception desk.  Everyone is required to show identification.