School Life


School-Home Communication

2017-18 newsletter archives:

Forms and Information for New Students:

Forms and Information for ALL Students:

The School Day:  Frequently Asked Questions 

What are school hours?

Classes begin promptly at 8:15 AM.  On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, school ends at 3:15 PM. Every Thursday, school closes at 1:00 PM to allow for collaborative staff planning and development. 

What is the arrival procedure?

All City Neighbors Hamilton students are entitled to participate in the universal school breakfast program, which provides breakfast free of charge.  If your child is participating in the program, he/she should arrive at school between 7:45 and 7:55 AM.  There will be no adult supervision before 7:45 AM; do not drop off students before 7:45 AM

If your child is not eating breakfast at the school, he/she should arrive at school at 8:00 AM.  Any child arriving before 8:00 AM should go directly to the cafeteria.  Any child arriving at 8:00 AM or later will go directly to his/her classroom.  No students will be admitted into their classrooms before 8:00 AM

What is the dismissal procedure? 

Prompt pick-up of all students is expected.  Unless there is driving rain, snow, or extreme cold, all classes will be dismissed from the front of the building.  In case of driving rain, snow, or extreme cold, students will be dismissed from indoors, usually from the cafe.   

Vehicles will enter the campus off of Bayonne Avenue and drive through the school parking lot to form a car pick-up line along the school driveway.  Once you have entered the pick-up line, please do not leave your vehicle, as this will obstruct others who are collecting their child/ren.  Please observe all traffic/parking signs and exercise extreme caution when coming and going to ensure the safety of our students.

You may also park safely and legally in the neighborhood to retrieve your child.  When you park in the neighborhood, please be mindful and respectful of our neighbors by not blocking driveways, fire hydrants, or crosswalks. 

Parking on campus is extremely limited and much of it is reserved for school employees.  If you choose to park on the school lot, do not block other parked vehicles or obstruct traffic with your vehicle.  Extra care should be taken when traveling through the school parking lot to ensure the safety of our students and staff. 

What is the lateness policy and procedure at CNH?

It is imperative that students are in their classrooms and ready to learn by 8:15 AM and we prefer they are settled in by 8:10.  A student’s tardiness not only negatively impacts that student’s learning for the day, it affects the learning of the entire class.  It also undermines the ideals of responsibility and schooling that we expect at City Neighbors Hamilton. 

Tardiness disrupts the classroom, does not allow students the necessary time to begin their day calmly, and can set a rushed tone for the rest of their day.  Students who arrive late miss important activities, making the transition into their school day tense and stressful—not conducive to learning.

Because of our strong commitment to responsible schooling, which includes students arriving on time, we have implemented the following procedure for students who are tardy:

Any student arriving after 8:15 is considered late and must be escorted to his/her classroom by a parent, guardian, or any other adult responsible for dropping off the child at school and their tardiness will be noted by the homeroom teacher as an unexcused tardy, unless they provide the teacher with a note of excuse.  Please note that “running late” or “oversleeping” or “heavy traffic” are not valid excuses for tardiness per Baltimore City Public Schools' attendance policy and all such tardiness will be considered unexcused.  Please see enclosed note of excuse sample.

What if my child has an appointment and must arrive late to school?

In order to ensure your child is not marked absent, you should inform your child’s teacher in writing and in advance if your child will arrive late to school due to a scheduled appointment (an email is acceptable).  Students who arrive after 8:15 AM due to a planned appointment, must be escorted to his/her classroom by a parent, guardian, or any other adult responsible for dropping off the child at school and their tardiness will be noted by the homeroom teacher as an excused tardy, as long as they have provided the teacher with a valid note of excuse explaining the child’s tardiness. 

What do I do if I need to collect my child before regular dismissal time?

If you need to pick up your child early from school, please give written notice in advance to your child’s teacher.  When you arrive to collect your child, please stop by the school office and, if your child is in his/her classroom, someone will send your child from his/her classroom to meet you.  If your child is at lunch/recess/dance/gym/auditorium, you will collect him/her from the café/playground/dance studio/gym/auditorium AFTER signing him/her out in the office.  If the early pickup was unanticipated, a note must be provided to the school office at the time the student is collected from his/her classroom.  All students leaving early must be signed out at the school office.  

Effective November 1, 2016, unless a parent has been called to pick up a sick or injured child or in the case of a family emergency, no student will be dismissed during the last 30 minutes of the school day: between 2:45 and 3:15 PM on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and between 12:30 and 1 PM on Thursdays and all other "half days."     Teaching and learning is still happening at the end of the school day and important information is shared during that time.  This policy was designed to ensure students feel prepared for the day and week ahead by not disrupting end-of-day classroom routines. 

What do I do when my child is absent?

If possible, please contact your child’s homeroom teacher if your child will be absent (an email is acceptable) so the teacher knows not to expect the child late that day, as attendance is entered daily.  When your child returns to school, a note of excuse must be provided to the child's homeroom teacher for the absence to be recorded as excused.  If there is no note provided or the information provided on the note is not a valid reason per Baltimore City Public School attendance policy, the absence will be recorded as unexcused.   A handwritten note is sufficient but, for your convenience, you can download and print a blank Absence Excuse Form that you may use.  There are also hard copies of these located in the school lobby. 

If your child was absent due to a contagious condition, i.e., conjunctivitis (pink eye), strep throat, chicken pox, a physician’s note must be submitted to the Health Suite upon his/her return to school that states he/she is has been treated and is no longer contagious.  Any questions regarding contagious conditions should be directed to the School Nurse/Health Aide:  443-642-2054. 

If your child was absent for any reason, you should expect an automated phone call from Baltimore City Public Schools informing you of the absence.  These calls are outside the control of City Neighbors Hamilton.  If your child was present and you received an auto-call, please see your child's teacher.

What if my child takes medication during the school day?

If your child takes medication during the school day, a School Medication Administration Authorization Form must be completed for each medication and submitted to the Health Suite.  This form is required for both prescription and non-prescription medications.  You can download and print a blank School Medication Administration Authorization Form.  Hard copies of this form can be obtained from the Health Suite.  Any questions regarding the administration of medications during the school day should be directed to the School Nurse or Health AIde:  443-642-2054.

What about me visiting the school?

Parents are always welcome at CNH but, before you plan to spend any time helping in the classroom, we ask that you talk to your child’s teacher in advance so he/she can plan accordingly and put you to good use!  Any visitors to the school, including parents, must sign in and retrieve a Visitor label at the school office upon arrival.

How does CNH do lunch?

All students are eligble to receive a free lunch daily. 

A tentative monthly menu will be distributed in the Monday Mailer or can be accessed here.  Daily fare includes a hot or cold entrée, 2-3 side items, and one ½ pint of milk.  We are proud to offer a salad bar, as well!

Special dietary requests such as vegetarian or non-dairy can be accommodated in a limited fashion, but require a written note from a physician to be on file at the school. 

What is the dress code at CNH?

City Neighbors Hamilton does not require their students to wear uniforms.  However, to promote and ensure a safe, respectful learning environment, we have implemented a dress code for the entire CNH community.

In general, we require children to wear clothing and shoes appropriate for the weather and for participating fully in school activities.  Please make sure your child’s clothing is comfortable.  Be aware that, because our curriculum is hands-on and project-based, clothing will often get dirty or soiled. 

We expect all CNH community members to observe the following guidelines:

No clothing with logos that represent:  

  • hate images;
  • hate speech;
  • violence or exclusionary messages;
  • sexually explicit messages, references, or graphics;
  • contraband (alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, weapons).
  • No see-through or revealing shirts or blouses.  Shirts with shoulder straps must be at least 1” in width.
  • No shirts that expose undergarments.  (Sleeveless dresses, blouses, or collared shirts are acceptable.)
  • No midriff or cropped shirts. All shirts must cover navel.
  • Pants must be worn above the hips.  No sagging pants. 
  • No clothing with revealing rips or tears.
  • Shorts or skirts should be no shorter than just above the knee.  Girls should avoid wearing skirts on physical education days, or wear shorts beneath their skirts.
  • No key chains or metal fasteners worn with clothing.
  • No sweatshirt hoods, hats, caps, or bandannas worn indoors during school hours.  If headwear is needed for any extraordinary reason, either personal or medical, please see the school principal.
  • No flip-flops, high-heeled shoes, or “heelies” (shoes with wheels). 
  • Athletic shoes are required for physical education classes. 

If the dress code is violated, the parent/guardian will be contacted immediately for an appropriate and timely remedy. 

Are students permitted to have or use cell phones or electronic devices in school?

Cell phones and/or electronic devices (iPods or any other mp3 players, radios, CD players, electronic gaming devices) are not necessary or appropriate in a school environment, and the risk of them being lost or damaged is high.  Please do not send your child to school with cell phones or electronic equipment.  Any cell phone or electronic device found in the possession of a student will be taken from him/her and returned to the parent at the end of the school day.

How about non-electronic toys?

As a school, we promote active and engaged play.  At recess and during “down time”, we believe that children learn most and best by playing together:  socializing, imagining, cooperating, laughing, and talking.  Toys brought from home can impede this valuable time and play.  In addition, these items can get lost, damaged, or cause issues among peers.  Please do not allow your child to bring toys from home unless they are specifically requested by the teacher. 

What is the primary method of communication between CNH and me?

Every Monday (Tuesday, if Monday is a holiday), a Monday Mailer will be sent home via email to each family.  The Monday Mailer consists of important information for every family, including our weekly newsletter--The Salmon Pages--and any school-wide announcements.  It is very important that you read the Monday Mailer regularly in order to keep up with all the CNH news and the many activities your child will be participating in.  Please be sure to keep your email address updated so that you don't miss receiving the Monday Mailer.

The lastest school-wide Monday Mailer can also be found on the school website.

If you would prefer to receive a hard copy of the Monday Mailer, please complete this form and return it to the office.

Individual grades will receive grade-specific news and information from teachers. 

How do I reach my child’s teacher directly?

Of course, teachers are unavailable during the school day.  If you call to speak to a teacher during school hours, a message will be taken and put in his/her mailbox.  You can also reach teachers via their school email.  A list of staff emails can be found here.

What is our Inclement Weather Policy?

City Neighbors Hamilton follows the Baltimore City Public Schools inclement weather policy. For information about school closings, delays, and early dismissals, please consult your local television or radio stations.

If Baltimore City Public Schools close, delay opening, or close early due to inclement weather, City Neighbors Hamilton will close, delay opening, or close early for the corresponding amount of time.

In the event school opening is delayed, dismissal will be at the usual time: 3:15 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and at 1:00 on Thursdays. For example:

If Baltimore City Public Schools open 2 hours late, then CNH will open at 10:15, including Thursdays and any other “half-days.” In the case of a delayed opening on a Thursday, dismissal will remain the same: 1 PM.

If Baltimore City Public Schools close 2 hours early on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Fridays, CNH will close at 1:15.  If Baltimore City Public Schools close 2 hours early on a Thursday or any other “half-days”, CNH will dismiss at the usual time:   1 PM.

There will be no aftercare or after-school activities on days when schools are closed or close early due to inclement weather.

All events scheduled for the morning when schools are closed or the opening is delayed, i.e. before-school care or open houses, will be cancelled. Breakfasts are not served at school on days when BCPS delays opening.

If BCPS cancels its afterschool programs and events due to inclement weather, there will be no afterschool events at CNH, including aftercare.

  To learn more about all of City Neighbors, please visit:

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