The following information is intended to serve as a helpful guide for Rosendale families. If you are looking for additional information, we invite you to contact our main office.

Visiting Rosendale

We love having family members visit and volunteer at Rosendale.  For the safety of our students, all visitors need to check in at the office upon entering school.  Our school doors are locked during the school day until dismissal. The outside door to the building is unlocked at 7:45 a.m.  You will need to use our buzzer system to enter the main office.  We ask that all visitors bring a valid photo identification upon initial entry (a driver’s license is preferred). More information will be forthcoming this school year.

In order to keep interruptions to your child’s classrooms at a minimum, we ask that you leave snacks, lunches, lunch money, birthday treats, instruments, or other items forgotten at home in the main office, once the doors open at 7:45 a.m. We promise to deliver them in a timely manner.  When musical instruments are dropped off, we will bring them to the cafeteria- where your child knows it will be placed. Please help to remind your children of instrument lesson schedules so they remember to bring their instruments for their assigned lesson.

Absences/Tardy

The school doors open at 7:45 a.m. each morning.  There is no adult outside to supervise your children before 7:45 a.m. Announcements begin at 7:55 a.m.  If your child arrives after 7:55 a.m. they will be marked “tardy”.  The number of absences and times tardy will be documented twice a year for you – once on the March report card and again on the final report card in June. If you have extenuating circumstances which will create excessive absences or tardies please contact the Main Office.

When a child has reached an excessive number of days on which they have been tardy or absent, a letter is sent home.  The purpose of the letter is to keep parents aware and informed.

If your child is going to miss school, please call the school at (518) 377-3123 and press 3 for the nurse’s office.  Please leave a message stating your child’s homeroom teacher, the date and time and the reason for the absence.  If you do not call us, we will call you to confirm that your child is home and will not be coming to school.

Health Office

Health records are maintained for every child in the school district. New York State Education Law requires physicals for every kindergartener, second grader and fourth grader.   While it is preferred that your own physician complete the physical, the school physician will provide physicals for all children who do not have them.  Immunization records (or the appropriate medical or religious exemptions) are also required for all students.

Any treatments or medications administered at school, including over-the-counter products, require a prescription from your child’s doctor.  An adult must deliver all medications to school in the original labeled container.  Students may not transport medications.

More information about school Health Services

Guidelines for Keeping Children Home Due to Illness

Dropping off your children if they are not taking the bus in the morning

First and foremost, please drive at a safe speed. Our children are precious.

In order to drop off your child in the morning, enter the driveway and bear to the left.  Before entering the bus port, make a left turn into the side parking lot.  An adult will be waiting to greet your child by the flagpole.  Please do not enter the bus port between 7:40-8:15 a.m.  Many times we have busses arriving early or late and it interrupts our bus drop off process. More importantly, it also creates the potential for a dangerous situation since neither our bus drivers nor our children are expecting cars to be in that area during that time.

Morning drop off can get very congested, especially on days when a grade level has a special project or presentation due.  Please note that you can pull up past the flagpole.  This will allow three cars to drop off at the same time.  Please do not pass cars that are dropping off students as this could create an unsafe situation for our students.

Please do not drop off students before 7:45 a.m., as there is no supervision before that time.​

Dismissal and note procedure

Bus passes will be strictly for bus rides to home or alternate locations.
Home passes will be passes strictly for students being picked up during the day for appointments, or leaving early, walking, biking, or going home with an adult at the end of the day (and not taking a bus). These will be blue in color. Ask your child’s teacher or the main office for a supply of these.

Please send in a dated and signed HOME PASS in the morning if you are picking up your child early for an appointment or if someone other than you is picking up your child. Notes need to have the FULL name of your child, his/her teacher and specifics about pick up. Remember to indicate on your emergency contact information who is allowed to pick up your child. If someone not on your contact list comes to school to take your child home we will need to verify his/her identity by calling you (unless you have told us in advance). We reserve the right to ask them for identification.

In order to sign your child out, you will need to come through the main office. If a child is not getting on a bus and is not staying at Rosendale for an afternoon activity, you need to sign him/her out in the hallway book. If you are picking up your child, please park in our parking lot.  Please do not enter the bus port area after 1:45 p.m.

If your daily routine will be to pick up your child you do not have to write a note every day. Please inform the office and your child’s teacher by writing of your plan. If that plan changes, you can just write a note on the days that you will NOT be picking him/her up.

We will make a list every day of all those being picked up based on your notes that come in. In order for us to have an accurate list we are asking that you please try not to call the office after NOON with a change of dismissal plans. Getting phone calls in the afternoon makes it very difficult for the staff to properly reach the classroom teacher and inform the student of the dismissal change and it causes unnecessary stress.

We will be dismissing from the hallway at 2:05 pm. A staff member will be seated at a table where you will sign your child out. We ask that you promptly leave the building with your child, as this will avoid congestion in the hallway before all classes dismiss.

Bus Behavior

Over the past couple of years we have spent time working with our students on what good bus behavior looks like and sounds like.  It is our expectation that students abide by our bus safety rules:

  • Stay seated at all times
  • Talk quietly
  • Keep all parts of your body to yourself
  • Always respect others and yourself
  • You are responsible for your actions

Bus Passes

Bus passes should be sent in with your child whenever your child’s afternoon routine is going to change by taking a BUS. For example: your child is going to a friend’s house or going to an alternate location for the day.  Bus passes are available from your child’s teacher or in the main office.  When we receive a bus pass from your child, one copy stays in their classroom and the other copy is sent to the office.  The copy in the classroom will be given to your child at the end of the day so that they can give it to the driver. Students will not be permitted on another bus without a bus pass.

After School Bus Safety

It is our procedure to drop off kindergarten students door to door and to make sure that a parent or adult is present at the drop-off time.  If your child is in the position of realizing no one is home after being dropped off, it is critical that you have a family plan for what he or she should do in that situation.

Students who go to Daycare after School

When your child is not going to daycare either because they are sick or they are visiting a friend, please remember to call the daycare and let them know so they don’t worry when your child doesn’t arrive with the other Rosendale students.

Snack/Lunch

There is time for snack in every grade.  Please remember to pack your child a healthy snack each day.  Water bottles are also encouraged, especially in the warm months.

All students have a thirty-minute lunch, along with a twenty-minute recess period.  Children can buy lunch or bring one from home. You can prepay for school lunches either online or by sending a check to school. Every child is assigned a code and they simply key in their code to pay for lunch.  If they forget their code, the cafeteria workers will look it up for them.  Cash is also accepted for individual lunch purchases.

Children in grades 1-5 can buy “snack/dessert” at lunch.  The cafeteria carries a line of snacks that are available for purchase after all lunches are sold.  Students need to eat their lunch before a snack can be bought.  Parents have the option of not allowing their child to purchase snacks.

For more information about adding money to your child’s school lunch account or limiting snack purchases, please visit the Food Services Department page.

Students sit with classmates in the cafeteria.  There is a “nut free” table for children who are allergic to nuts. There is a separate table for each grade level.

Students are asked to raise their hand when they want to leave the cafeteria to use the restroom.

Playground Rules

At Rosendale, we go out as long as the weather cooperates.  We value the opportunity for the kids to get fresh air and physical activity during their recess break.  Please remember to dress your children for the weather.  When it’s cold (our cut off is 14 degrees with windchill) they must have hats, mittens and winter coats.  If you have a second pair of snow pants and boots available, your child can leave them at school during winter months.  It is always a good idea to label all clothes with your child’s name.

During the first week of school, students are reminded of the rules for the playground.  Mr. DiCaprio, teachers, teaching assistants and clerical assistants all discuss playground rules with students.  They are also posted in each classroom.  The rules are listed below:

Please use the equipment in a way that is safe to you and others!

Remember to:

  • Sit and only go down the slides.
  • Sit with your whole body on the Merry-go-Round and stay on until is has stopped.  Only one person should push the Merry-go-Round at a time.
  • Use the swings for swinging.  Please don’t jump off of them.
  • Only hang from the umbrella.  Friends should not push someone hanging from the umbrella.  Please do not sit on top of the umbrella.
  • Stay in the tunnels, not on top of the tunnels.
  • Climb on the areas that are for climbing, not the outside of the ramps.
  • Balls and sports equipment should stay on the field and blacktop areas only.
  • No skateboards.
  • Lacrosse balls and sticks, softballs, baseballs and bats should not be used at recess time.

Teaching and clerical assistants frequently remind students of the rules during recess.  A loss of playtime may result if a student is consistently not following the rules and/or is being unsafe.

Birthdays

Birthdays are announced daily during the morning announcements.  Students are asked to come to the main office to receive their birthday pencil.  Summer birthdays are announced during the month of June.

Your child can bring in a special snack to share with the class on his/her birthday.  Please check with your classroom teacher in case there are allergies or other food restrictions.  Birthday celebrations typically happen during the classroom snack time and as such, we do not invite parents and family members to attend. We will bring the snack to the classroom for you- just drop it off in the Main Office.

We discourage birthday invitations being sent in to school.  The Rosendale Directory is available each fall through the PTO.  The directory provides parents with the contact information for students.  This should assist with setting up play dates and sending invitations from home.

Phone usage during the day

In an effort to keep students in classrooms as much as possible, as well as monitor and reduce excessive phone use, we ask that students utilize the phone for emergency situations only. Examples of what would be considered emergencies would be things like a student not knowing where he/she is going after school or he/she forgot his/her lunch. Making a play date with a friend, or asking if they can buy lunch or snack, or even forgetting homework, projects or instruments are not considered emergencies. We would appreciate families talking to your children and encouraging greater responsibility of non-emergency situations, in a uniformed effort to both promote independence, and reduce excess phone usage. ​

Chorus, Orchestra and Band

Chorus is part of the fourth and fifth grade instructional music program.  It occurs during the instructional day.

Orchestra is offered to fourth and fifth grade students.  Band is offered to fifth grade students.  Lessons occur during the instructional day.  There are a few after school rehearsals throughout the year.

What is ASEP?

ASEP is our After School Enrichment Program run by the PTO. Two different sessions run during the school year- typically one in the fall and one in the spring.  ASEP classes run from 2:15-3:15 p.m.  The fee for ASEP classes varies depending on the class for which your child enrolls.  ASEP catalogs come home with students before each session.  The catalog has descriptions of all classes, days of the week the classes are offered and registration information/fees.

PTO

We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful PTO!  The PTO website is informative and can be found at http://rosendale.niskypto.org.

PTO will have a great deal of information available at the Back to School Nights.  There will be an opportunity to sign up to volunteer at PTO events, to provide treats for classroom parties, as well as to sign up to be a member of PTO and receive your Rosendale School Directory.

Overview of the Curriculum at Rosendale

Reading

Reading instruction at Niskayuna incorporates research-based practices that include both direct, explicit instruction and opportunities for students to practice skills and strategies in authentic reading experiences.  Teachers plan lessons and units to include whole group, small group, and, in some cases, one to one instruction.   In addition, reading instruction is balanced to include important components of literacy learning including:  vocabulary and comprehension development, decoding strategies, building fluency, sight word acquisition, and phonological awareness development.

Writing

Rosendale, in conjunction with all of the elementary schools in the district, has transitioned to using the Writer’s Workshop model for writing instruction.  The Writer’s Workshop model focuses on writing instruction within different units of study.  All students are taught writing goals within a number of units throughout the year.  These include, but are not limited to: a launching unit, a personal narrative unit, a non-fiction unit, an opinion unit, as well as a unit on short story.  The learning goals of the units are aligned kindergarten through fifth grade, ensuring that skills are progressing and building upon each other from year to year.  These units also provide instruction toward mastery of the grade level NYS common core standards for: types of writing, writing process, language conventions, research and presentation of topics and stories.

The Writer’s Workshop embraces student choice.  Students find the writing instruction extremely motivating.  Although they work within the set unit and are responsible for learning three to five predetermined goals within each unit, students have choice as to the topics they choose to write about.

The Writer’s Workshop approach is truly differentiated- meaning that every child is working at their own developmental level.  Although all students receive instruction around the unit goals, they also conference individually with the teacher to insure that instruction is tailored to their own needs.

Students spend about four to six weeks in each unit.  During that time they are drafting and revising their writing.  At the end of the unit, each student chooses one piece he/she they brings through the complete writing process.  Students also publish writing in other content areas on a regular basis.

Mathematics

Our math instruction is based on the New York State Common Core Learning Standards.  A primary resource the teachers use is the textbook series, Math in Focus.  Throughout the series, concepts are taught moving through the sequence of concrete to pictorial to abstract. Concrete learning happens through hands-on activities with manipulatives such as counters, coins, number lines, or Base Ten Blocks™.  Pictorial learning uses pictures in student books, drawings, or other forms that illustrate the concept with something more than abstract numbers. The abstract stage is the more familiar way most math problems are taught and practiced with numbers and symbols.  Rigorous problem solving is focused on in every chapter/unit of instruction. (http://cathyduffyreviews.com/math/math-in-focus.htm)

In third grade, all students participate in the grade level curriculum.  There is no math acceleration in third grade.

During the summer between third and fourth grade, using a number of data points, Mr. DiCaprio determines who will be offered the opportunity to participate in the accelerated math program. The data points include:  math scores from cumulative tests throughout the third grade year, the Northwest Evaluation Association Measure of Academic Progress (NWEA- MAP), the third grade New York State Math Assessment, and teacher recommendation.  Parents will be notified if their child is being offered the opportunity.

In both fourth and fifth grade, one teacher teaches the accelerated class, while the other two teachers teach the grade level curriculum.

Science

A brief outline of the topics explored at each level is below:

  • Kindergarten:  Five senses, Promoting Good Health, Weather/Seasons, Animals, and Shadows, Plants, Water play
  • First Grade: Seasons/Earth, Sky and Moon, Properties of Matter, Force and Motion, Embryology
  • Second Grade: Chemical and Physical Interactions, Measurement, Plant Adaptations & Life Cycles, Solar System
  • Third Grade: Earth & Weather, Phases of Matter, Forms of Energy, Comparing Life Cycles
  • Fourth Grade: Earth’s Landforms, Properties of Matter, Electricity & Magnetism, Simple Machines, Ecology: Plants & Animals
  • Fifth Grade:  Ecology: Pond Life, Sound and Light, Looking at Liquids, Minerals

Social Studies

A brief outline of the topics explored at each level is listed below:

  • Kindergarten: All about me, All about my family, My classroom Community, Holidays and Traditions
  • First Grade: Families, Traditions and Communities, Economics, Geography Skills
  • Second Grade: Communities, Geography Skills, Citizenship
  • Third Grade: Geography Skills, Countries
  • Fourth Grade: NYS History and Government, Geography Skills
  • Fifth Grade: Western Hemisphere, National Government, Geography Skills

Health

All Niskayuna elementary schools follow the same health curriculum. All lessons are done at a developmentally appropriate level.  This includes the content and vocabulary introduced and taught. The curriculum is focused around six main units- Bullying and Violence Prevention, Nutrition and Physical Fitness, Body and Growth Development, Self Worth and Mental/Substance Abuse, HIV/AIDS Prevention. 

Standardized Testing and Assessments

All students are assessed in the area of reading and mathematics with the electronic MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) assessment.  The assessment was first used at Niskayuna during May of 2012. The results of the MAP are used to provide parents and teachers with a cumulative picture of students’ achievement and growth.  Parents receive the assessment results each year in their child’s June report card.

Students may also be assessed with the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmarking Assessment System.  This assessment is formative in nature and helps teachers assess individual student’s areas of strengths and weaknesses, as well as plan both small and whole group reading instruction.

Students in third, fourth and fifth grade take two New York State Assessments, one in the area of English/Language Arts and the other in the area of mathematics.  These assessments are ELA in April and Math in May.

Fourth grade students also take a New York State assessment in the area of science.  The science test is given at the end of May.