Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, Thursdays, and Fridays, and between 12:30 and 1 PM on Wednesdays 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.
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.
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 School Medication Administration Authorization Form (available here). 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 latest school-wide Monday Mailer can also be found on the News page.
If you would prefer to receive a hard copy of the Monday Mailer, please notify the office.
Individual grades will also receive grade-specific news and information from teachers.
City Neighbors Hamilton will be accepting Enrollment Applications through 3 PM on February 8, 2019.
Enrollment Application deadlines will not be extended in the case of inclement weather and/or school closings due to inclement weather or for any other reason. In order to avoid disappointment and to ensure your child’s inclusion in the lottery draw, please do not wait until the last minute to submit Enrollment Applications.
City Neighbors Hamilton accepts Enrollment Applications during the specified enrollment period, then conducts a lottery drawing to select which students will fill our open seats. Each application is assigned a number, then numbers are drawn, according to grade, to determine acceptance and wait list order. Lotteries are witnessed by representatives of Baltimore City Public Schools and any other interested parties.
To apply for enrollment to City Neighbors Hamilton (CNH), a separate Enrollment Application must be completed and submitted for each child you wish to enroll. Only one application per child will be accepted. This Enrollment Application is for CNH only. Application to City Neighbors Charter School (on Raspe Avenue) must be made separately. The schools do not share an applicant or waiting list.
For enrollment information for City Neighbors High School, go to City Neighbors High School’s website or call them at 443-642-2119.
Enrollment Applications accepted for 2019-2020 School Year Through Friday, February 8, 2019, 3 PM
Open House (no RSVP required—well supervised children welcome) Wednesday, January 9, 2019, 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Open House (no RSVP required-well supervised children welcome) Saturday, January 12 , 2019, 1:00 to 2:30 PM
Open House (no RSVP required-well supervised children welcome) Tuesday, January 29, 2019, 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Deadline for sibling, founder, & children of CNH staff Enrollment Applications Monday, January 28, 2019
Open House (no RSVP required—well supervised children welcome) Monday, February 4, 2019, 9:00 to 10:30 AM
Deadline for submission and receipt of completed Enrollment Application Friday, February 8, 2019, 3:00 PM
Enrollment Lottery Draw at CNH Wednesday, February 13, 2019, 1:00 PM
Written notification to families of acceptance or wait-list status Monday, February 25, 2019
Postmark deadline of notification from accepted families Monday, April 29, 2019
Additional documents due from accepted students to complete enrollment Monday, June 3, 2019 – Friday, June 7, 2019
If the number of applicants for a given grade does not exceed the number of available spaces, all applicants in that grade will be offered admission to the school.
If the number of Enrollment Applications for a given grade exceeds the number of available spaces, students will be selected for admission by random lottery on a grade-by-grade basis, beginning with kindergarten and moving up each consecutive grade, i.e. kindergarten, first, second, third, etc. Students are selected in the lottery per grade level using the information supplied on the Enrollment Application. Inaccurate information regarding the applicant’s grade level or age will adversely affect the applicant’s placement on the acceptance/waiting list.
The enrollment lottery will be conducted by staff of City Neighbors Hamilton and witnessed by a representative of Baltimore City Public Schools and is open to all applicant families. In the case of school closing for inclement weather, the lottery draw will be rescheduled.
You can download an Enrollment Application here or pick one up at the school office during regular school hours.
Be sure to complete the Enrollment Application thoroughly, neatly, and accurately. Incomplete Enrollment Applications will not be considered. City Neighbors Hamilton will not be responsible for incorrect, inaccurate, or illegible information. Inaccuracies or misrepresentations on the Enrollment Application will adversely affect the applicant’s placement on the acceptance/waiting list.
Enrollment Applications will be accepted in one of three ways:
- Hand-delivered to City Neighbors Hamilton, 5609 Sefton Avenue, Monday through Friday, between 8 AM and 3 PM (recommended); or
- Scanned and emailed as an attachment to email@example.com; or
- Mailed to City Neighbors Hamilton, 5609 Sefton Avenue, Building 1, Baltimore, MD 21214.
Hand-delivery: Because the enrollment period includes Winter Break, other school holidays, and possible school closings due to inclement weather, please contact the school office first to ensure school is in session: 443-642-2052.
Email: City Neighbors Hamilton will not be responsible for delays, interruptions, or malfunctions of the receipt or transmission of email, or for the quality of the scanned image. An automated delivery message will follow all emails received to that email address. The automated reply does not confirm accuracy, completeness, or legibility of the application, nor does it confirm an attachment was received.
Mail: City Neighbors Hamilton will not be responsible for lost, delayed, damaged, or misdirected mail. Please call to verify receipt of applications one week after mailing the Enrollment Application. All Enrollment Applications must be received by the deadline specified (see Important Enrollment Dates and Deadlines here). THE DEADLINE TO RECEIVE APPLICATIONS IS NOT A POSTMARK DEADLINE. Mailing of Enrollment Applications less than one week prior to the deadline is not recommended.
NOTE: WE DO NOT ACCEPT ENROLLMENT APPLICATIONS VIA FAX.
Late Arriving Applications: Enrollment Applications received after the deadline (see Important Enrollment Dates and Deadlines here) will be placed at the bottom of the waiting list in the order they are received and will not be included in the lottery draw, should one be necessary.
City Neighbors Hamilton employs a Sibling Preference Policy, meaning if one sibling is selected and accepts the seat, the sibling of that student will rise to the top of the waiting list, behind children of staff members and siblings of current students that might be on the waiting list. See complete Sibling Preference Policy here.
Yes. City Neighbors Hamilton accepts applications from all Baltimore City residents. If your child is selected in the lottery and you accept the offer, you will be asked to provide two proofs of residency verifying that you live in Baltimore City. See acceptable proofs of residency here.
Applications for students who live outside of Baltimore City will not be included in the enrollment
lottery and will be placed at the end of the waiting list. If the pool of Baltimore City applicants is
exhausted and a non-Baltimore City applicant is selected from the waiting list, tuition will apply. Application must be made by custodial parents or legal guardians only. Enrollment Applications will not be accepted from siblings or any other non-custodial relatives or friends.
Yes. City Neighbors Charter School and City Neighbors Hamilton hold independent lotteries and do not share a waiting list. Click here to go to City Neighbors Charter School’s website or call them at 410-325-2627.
No. Only siblings of students who attend City Neighbors Hamilton are included in the Sibling Preference Policy for City Neighbors Hamilton. City Neighbors Charter School and City Neighbors Highs School have their own Sibling Preference Policies.
No. Once your child is enrolled at City Neighbors Hamilton, he/she does not need to re-enroll. Our current families will receive an Intent to Return form every year before our lottery drawing so that we can determine what seats will be available the following year.
Siblings of current students must have a completed Enrollment Application submitted by the deadline of the Intent to Return forms, but they are not included in the lottery and are given automatic placement, as long as there is an open seat in the grade to which they are applying.
If there are no open seats in the grade to which they are applying, they will be placed at the top of the waiting list.
If there is more than one sibling applying to the same grade and there are not enough open seats to accommodate each of them, there will be a lottery drawing among those student applicants to determine who fills any open seat and to determine placement on the waiting list.
At CNH, we understand the importance of families and the convenience of having siblings attend the same school. Therefore, we employ a Sibling Preference Policy that gives siblings of currently enrolled students preference in the enrollment process.
A sibling is defined as a brother and/or sister who reside in the same household AND:
- share a common parent, or
- are legally adopted by the same parent, or
- are the legal responsibility of the same adult/parent.
Cousins, nieces, nephews, and/or unrelated children sharing the same address with a current CNH student, and who do not meet any of the above criteria, are not considered siblings. Two families residing in the same household who do not meet any of the above criteria do not qualify as siblings under our Sibling Preference Policy. A step-sibling must be legally adopted by the step-parent making application, or the step-parent must have been granted power of attorney by the natural parent in order for the step-sibling to qualify as a sibling under our Sibling Preference Policy. Proof of legal adoption/legal responsibility will be required at the time of enrollment. Failure to provide documentation of legal adoption/guardianship will result in the child’s acceptance to CNH being rescinded.
A separate Enrollment Application must be completed for each sibling. If a separate Enrollment Application is not received for each sibling, that sibling will not qualify for the Sibling Preference Policy. If there are more sibling applications for a specific grade than there are available openings in that grade, a sibling lottery will take place. The results of that lottery will remain in effect and the siblings will remain ranked in the order drawn for as long as that sibling continues to apply for enrollment at CNH, however, a new application must be submitted each year in order to remain ranked in order on the sibling waiting list. New sibling applications will be placed on the waiting list in order of receipt, behind those siblings already ranked. If there is more than one sibling applying for the same grade, there will be a lottery held among those sibling applicants to determine placement on the sibling waiting list. The Sibling Preference Policy is dependent upon available grade openings and does not guarantee enrollment for each sibling.
Age Requirements for Kindergarten
A child must be 5-years-old on or before September 1, 2019 in order to be enrolled in kindergarten.
If your child’s fifth birthday is September 2, 2019 through and including October 15, 2019, and you wish to make application for Kindergarten for 2019-20, parents must apply for a waiver by completing an Early Admission Request Packet from their zoned/neighborhood school. All requested documentation must be submitted to the Office of Early Learning. Contact the Office of Early Learning at 443-642-3990 for more information on this process and to confirm their deadlines. There is no early admission consideration for a child whose fifth birthday falls after October 15, 2019.
Age Requirements for First Grade
A child must be 6-years-old on or before September 1, 2019 in order to be enrolled in first grade.
If your child’s sixth birthday is September 2, 2019 through and including October 15, 2019, and you wish to make application for first grade for 2019-20, parents must apply for a waiver by completing an Early Admission Request Packet from their zoned/neighborhood school. All requested documentation must be submitted to the Office of Early Learning. Contact the Office of Early Learning at 443-642-3990 for more information on this process and to confirm their deadlines. There is no early admission consideration for a child whose sixth birthday falls after October 15, 2019.
It is very important that you not only read our website thoroughly, but that you also attend an enrollment Open House (which includes an informational session and tour of the school), and ask any questions you may have to ensure you and your family are a good fit for City Neighbors Hamilton. Supervised children are welcome to attend Open Houses and you do not need to RSVP. If Baltimore City Public Schools are closed or close early due to inclement weather, Open Houses will be canceled and may or may not be rescheduled. See enrollment Open House dates here.
Because of high demand, we are unable to schedule individual school tours for prospective families. Please be sure to attend an Open House, held during the enrollment period. See enrollment Open House dates here.
Immediately following the lottery, wait-list letters will be sent to all lottery applicants with their placement number indicated. If we begin selecting names from the waiting list and your child’s name comes up next on the list, we will contact you immediately. There is no need to contact us about your child’s placement on the waiting list.
CNH will not be responsible for any wait-list notification letters returned to us in the mail due to outdated, inaccurate, or illegible information provided on the Enrollment Application.
The waiting list will be in effect for the entire school year. If your child is not selected during the school year in which you applied, you will have to reapply for the following year.
Yes! Any interested party can attend the enrollment lottery, held at the school. Well supervised children are welcome to attend.
Letters of acceptance or wait list placement are mailed shortly after the lottery drawing is held. (See the “important enrollment dates and deadlines” FAQ on this page.) Because of the volume of applications and the quick turnaround time between the lottery draw and parent notification, it is not possible to disclose acceptance or waiting list placements by telephone or email before the notification letters are mailed. We understand your eagerness to learn the result of the lottery, but please refrain from calling the school to inquire about your child’s placement to allow us to time to prepare and mail the letters.
Once letters have been mailed, we will disclose acceptance and waiting list information only to immediate family members of the applicant. Please do not call to inquire about the acceptance/wait list status of your friends and family.
After the lottery, there is a very specific timeline on accepting or declining the seat.(See the “important enrollment dates and deadlines” FAQ on this page.) An acceptance card and registration form will be mailed to all accepted applicants by the deadline. If you choose to accept the seat, the card and registration form must be either hand-delivered or postmarked by the the deadline indicated. If we do not receive this written notification of acceptance postmarked by that deadline, we will offer the seat to the next applicant on the waiting list. Verbal notification of acceptance is not sufficient and a seat will not be held. Once accepted, prospective families will receive a list of other documents required, along with associated deadlines, in order to complete their enrollment, as required by Baltimore City Public Schools.
If, after the lottery deadlines have passed, we have an opening and your child is next on the waiting list, we will expect a yes or no response within two weeks, generally speaking.
In order to ensure full enrollment, seats that become available and are offered to candidates on the waiting list during the summer months will require a shorter turnaround time between notification and acceptance confirmation from families. The timeline becomes even more condensed as the beginning of the school year approaches and once school is in session. We will assume that every applicant family has explored our website, attended an Open House, and had all of their questions answered to determine if City Neighbors Hamilton is a good fit for their family when and if their child is offered a seat. See Open House dates here.
It is very important the information you provide on your child’s applications is clear, legible, and accurate. CNH will not be responsible for any acceptance notification letters returned to us in the mail due to incorrect, outdated, or illegible information provided on the Enrollment Application. A reasonable attempt will be made to contact the accepted applicant by other means provided on the Enrollment Application, but acceptance deadlines cannot be extended. If we are unable to make contact after a reasonable attempt to do so, we will offer the seat to the next applicant on the waiting list.
All Enrollment Applications received after the deadline will be placed at the end of the waiting list in the order in which they were received. They will not be included in the lottery drawing.
City Neighbors Hamilton serves 234 students (full capacity) in grades K through 8.
At City Neighbors Hamilton, students are not required to wear uniforms. However, in order to promote a safe and respectful learning environment and to ensure a focus on learning, CNH employs a dress code which all community members are expected to follow.
In general, we ask that children wear clothing and shoes appropriate for the weather and for fully participating in school activities, such as our music, art, and physical education programs. Please make sure your child’s clothing is comfortable. Be aware that because we are a hands-on, project-based school, clothes will often get dirty.
Please follow the following guidelines and discuss them with your children:
• No logo wear that represents any of the following: hate images, hate speech, violence, exclusionary messages, contraband, sexually explicit messages, or any references to them (i.e., sexually explicit language or graphics, alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, or weapons). This applies to all clothing and accessories, i.e. backpacks, folders, and binders.
• 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. (Shirts must cover navel and not expose midriff.)
• Pants must be worn above the hips. No sagging pants. No clothes with revealing rips.
• Shorts or skirts should be no shorter than just above the knee. Girls should not wear skirts on physical education days, or should wear knee-length shorts underneath.
• No chains or heavy metal fasteners worn with clothing.
• Head wear: no sweatshirt hoods, hats, caps, or bandannas worn indoors during school hours. If a shirt or jacket has a hood attached, the hood must be kept down. If headwear must be worn for any extraordinary reason–personal, religious, or medical–please see the principal.)
• No flip-flops, high-heeled shoes, or heelies (shoes with wheels) at school. Athletic shoes are required for P.E. classes.
If a student violates this code, we will contact the parent for an appropriate and timely remedy.
Grades K -2: 24 (one class per grade)
Grades 3 -5: 26(one class per grade)
Grades 6 -8: 28 (one class per grade)
Classes begin promptly at 8:15 AM. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, school ends at 3:15 PM. Every Wednesday, school closes at 1PM to allow for collaborative staff planning and development.
On-site after school care is provided by United Education Corporation, an independent childcare provider. Visit their website for further information.
All students are eligible to receive a free lunch. Of course, your child can bring a bagged lunch from home.
A monthly menu provided by BCPS will be distributed in the Monday Mailer and a link to the lunch menu is posted on the school website. Daily fare includes a hot or cold entree, 2-3 side items and 1/2 pint of milk. We are also proud to announce that we have a salad bar! Special dietary requests such as vegetarian or non-dairy can be accommodated, but require a written note from a physician to be on file at the school.
Yes! All students are eligible for a free breakfast at school, as long as they arrive in time to be served. Breakfast begins at 7:45 AM and ends promptly at 8:00 AM.
City Neighbors Hamilton follows the Baltimore City Public Schools inclement weather policy. For information about school closings, delays, and early dismissals, please consult baltimorecityschools.org 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, Thursdays, and Fridays, and at 1:00 on Wednesdays. For example:
If Baltimore City Public Schools open 2 hours late, then CNH will open at 10:15, including Wednesdays and any other “half-days.” In the case of a delayed opening on a Wednesday, dismissal will remain the same: 1
If Baltimore City Public Schools close 2 hours early on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays, CNH will close at 1:15. If Baltimore City Public Schools close 2 hours early on a Wednesday or any other “halfdays”, 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.