Handbook: Engagement and Communication
Alumni & Friends
Alumni & Friends of LaGuardia High School was established in 1983. The 501(c)3 non-profit organization provides need-based scholarships for summer study, private lessons, merit awards, master classes. The group provides grants and funding for each studio department. It also maintains a network of over 45,000 alumni. Alumni connect through newsletters, the website, and the Facebook page at: alumniandfriends.org and facebook.com/AlumniandFriends/
Biking to School
There are a limited number of spots provided by the city to park a bicycle on 65th St. and Amsterdam. Be sure to lock up your bike securely on the street if you decide to ride to school. The school is not responsible for bicycles parked anywhere in the vicinity of the school. Bikes are not permitted inside the school building under any circumstances
Breakfast is served free of charge to all students in the 5th floor Cafeteria each morning beginning at 7:30 AM. Milk and juice, as well as a healthy selection of bread, fruit, cereal, and other hot and cold items are served each day at no cost to all students.
Due to the rigorous nature of the LaGuardia Arts curriculum, all students must be programmed for a lunch period. The entire student population shares the two student cafeterias over several periods. It is important that all students enjoy a clean, healthy, and safe environment where they can relax and socialize. You are expected to clean your table and to deposit all refuse in the correct trash or recycling bins. You may bring lunch from home or obtain a complete hot or cold lunch in the cafeteria.
During your lunch period, you must report to the cafeteria by the time the late bell rings. You are not permitted to loiter or wander the halls during your lunch periods. You must have a school ID to enter the cafeteria and may only enter during your assigned lunch period; this includes the use of the vending machines. You may not leave the cafeteria without an official pass and you may not leave with food of any kind.
Closed Campus for Lunch
Students at LaGuardia Arts eat lunch in school and are not permitted to leave the building.
Lunch Scheduled for Last Period of the Day
Students who are scheduled for Lunch as their last period of the day may leave school at the beginning of that period provided a permission slip is on file in Room 229C. Students leaving during this time cannot reenter the building until after Period 10.
Bringing Food and Drinks into School
Students are only able to bring in sealed beverage containers into school.
No glass containers are allowed in the building and food must be in a bag and cannot be visible upon entrance.
Sharing Sweets and Other Food Items
The DOE has expanded these prohibitions in order to help combat childhood obesity as well as trying to minimize the possibility of students having allergic reactions. Leftover sweets and crumbs attract vermin.
Baked goods and other sweets, candy, etc, especially home-baked home goods, are not permitted to be in the school building during the regular school day other than for personal consumption.
Personal or classroom celebrations are not permitted during the regular school day due to the interruption of instruction.
Communications from La!
Students are responsible for keeping current with school communications. Please view the website, "Student Handbook", and PupilPath. Students must have a valid email address. This email must be checked frequently.
Computer Software Used by La!
Students and families are issued PupilPalth accounts. PupilPath is a software program that provides a variety of information. This information includes student schedules, attendance monitoring and notification, and e-mail communications. Users are to enter an e-mail address when the accounts are activated. This allows the school to send e-mails. The school rarely sends handouts home. Students should not use their LaGuardiahs.org emails in PupilPath.
laguardiahs.org Google Account (Including Google Classroom)
Students receive a laguardiahs.org Google account as part of the Google Apps for Education. These accounts are designed to assist students in collaborating on projects and submitting work to teachers.
Naviance is the computer software system used for Career Planning and College Planning. Naviance is used by students, families, teachers, counselors, and administrators. All students and parents must have an active Pupil Path account with a valid e-mail to facilitate the activation of their Naviance account at the appropriate grade level and time.
x2VOL is a service hour tracking software. Some school organizations have a community service requirement. LaGuardia Arts does not have a service requirement. Students who record 100 hours of service over 4 years receive the Chancellor’s Service Seal.
The x2VOL account should be accessed through a link in a student’s Naviance account for a single sign-in option. Service hours that have been verified by an individual or organization as complete are approved at the end of each semester.
Condoms are available in the PE Offices and the Medical Office. The Department of Education offers an HIV/AIDS prevention program as part of an ongoing comprehensive health education program. In addition, all high school students in grades 9-12 are permitted to request free condoms at their school. Your parent or guardian may ask the school not to give you condoms. This is referred to as a parent opt-out. Your parent is not permitted to make this request if you 1) are 18 years of age or older; 2) have been or are currently married; 3) are a parent, and/or 4) are entitled under law to give consent for yourself. Parents/Guardians may change their consent by contacting your Guidance Counselor.
The Guidance staff provides crisis intervention. Professional standards of confidentiality are followed. Guidance counselors provide post-crisis support as needed. Students in crisis should go to Room 206/234.
Students may use the elevator if they have a pass. A pass is issued for a verifiable medical condition. Bring medical documentation to Room 229C for a pass.
Students may not use the freight elevator unless accompanied by a staff member. Photographs of elevator passes are not acceptable. Students may use the passenger elevator after 4:45 PM.
Face-to-Face Letters / Verification of Enrollment
Student may go to Room 201 to receive enrollment and address verification letters. These are often called face-to-face letters. Please call one day in advance in order for the letter to be ready.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
FERPA is a Federal law. Students' personal information is not given without written consent. "Directory Information" is not private, and no permission is required, e.g. printing names in a program or announcement.
Emergency assistance may be available. The school may help with supplies. The Assistant Principal of Guidance may help. Students living in temporary housing may also qualify.
Hall and Bathroom Pass (Authorized Out-of-Room Pass)
You must always be in the location indicated on your schedule or have an authorized pass. You must have a hallway pass anytime you are out in the hallway except during passing time.
Students who need to use the bathroom should first report to class and request a pass. Students should not use the bathroom during passing time if they are on their way to a scheduled class. In addition, students should not request to use the bathroom during the first or last ten minutes of the period, unless it is an emergency.
Students are encouraged to use the bathroom during their lunch period or during a study skills period in order to avoid missing instruction. Students in the cafeterias will need a pass in order to leave the cafeterias to use the bathroom.
Please notify a staff member if a bathroom needs attention, whether it is a lack of supplies or a safety issue. If you see something, be of assistance and say something.
Cell phones and the use of photography and recording devices inside a bathroom is prohibited.
If a bathroom that is normally open is closed and there is no sign posted, you should report that information to School Safety, a Dean or an AP.
All student bathrooms are subject to closure for repair and investigation. In that case, you should use the nearest bathroom on another floor.
Students are not allowed to use staff bathrooms.
All Gender Restrooms
All Gender Restrooms are located on Floors 1, 3, 5, and 7.
Health Instruction / HIV/AIDS Lessons
Students and their families have a range of beliefs, cultures, and customs. Parents/guardians may keep their child out of some lessons about birth control and methods of HIV/STD prevention. Families cannot remove their child from abstinence or other sexual health education lessons. Families should speak with their child’s health teacher to see the lessons that can be opt-out of.
Our school teachers about Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). HIV/AIDS education is required for all students in Kindergarten through Grade 12. The lessons are age-appropriate. They address the nature of the disease, transmission, and prevention. Lessons focus on the understanding of communicable diseases, healthy living, and available community resources.
To excuse a child from birth control and HIV/STD prevention lessons, the family must write a letter to the school's principal. The letter should state that:
- Your child should not be in the classroom during lessons about birth control and methods of HIV/STD prevention; and
- You will provide instruction on prevention to your child in your home.
Anytime you wish to enter the school building, you must have your school ID with you. You must scan in whenever the ID scanning machine is present or present your school ID to security at other times.
You are required to carry your program card and photo ID card at all times. These must be produced upon request by any staff member. Failure to produce identification is a serious matter that will be met with strict disciplinary action.
ID cards are the property of the Department of Education and may not be defaced. You are responsible for replacing lost or damaged cards immediately. A replacement should be requested at the side of the scanning entrance; the replacement fee is $3.00. The card will be ready the next school day. If you leave your ID card at home, a temporary replacement can be purchased for $1.00 in the main lobby.
You may use the library during an unassigned period if you present your program card or an official school pass. Your school ID serves as your library card.
Lockers and Locker Rooms
Hallway lockers are assigned by the school. Students must purchase and use only an official school lock. All other locks will be clipped, and the school will not be financially responsible for locks that must be clipped. Gym lockers are assigned by the PE Department for students taking PE classes. Lockers are school property and subject to inspection by school authorities at any time. Any problems with lockers should be reported to the Deans Office. Room 231 can provide you with your combination should you forget it. Students who cannot gain access to their locker must go to Room 229C. All lockers must be cleaned out on or before the last day of regular classes. The school will dispose of articles left behind.
- After closing your lock, spin the dial at least one full turn and pull down hard on the lock to make sure it is secure
- Do not share lockers or disclose your locker combination to anyone else
- Visit your locker as few times as possible during the school day
- Never leave possessions out in the open or unsecured at any time
- Do not leave money/valuables in your locker. Lockers are not vaults - they are designed to hold books and supplies, not valuables.
- Do not over-stuff your locker as it may break the locker and make the locker unsecured
- Be alert to others watching you while you are opening your lock
The school is unable to store personal items for a student. Items that are too large to fit in a locker should not be brought into the school. Due to the potential liability and the associated disruption to the educational process, the school cannot store bicycles, luggage, or any other items that are normally not found in schools.
Lost and Found
The Lost and Found is located in the Deans Office, Room 229. Small, valuable items are stored in the School Store, Room 231.
Income Verification Form
All students are required to submit an Income Verification Form (formerly called a Lunch Form) each year. It is suggested that you completed the application on-line at https://www.applyforlunch.com. The on-line application takes between 15 and 30 minutes. Families may fill out the application handed out in Official Period (OP) at the beginning of the fall semester. If you have not completed a Income Verification Form, you can obtain one from Room 231.
Medical Office/Nurse’s Office
You should request a pass to the Medical Office from your teacher if you are ill. The Medical Office is in Room 247. The nurse can arrange for sick students to be picked up from school. The Medical Office can also treat minor injuries.
Medications are not dispensed there. Some students must take medication during the school day. They must have medical documentation on file. This documentation needs to be resubmitted each year.
EMS - Sending Students to the Hospital
The school tries to immediately contact parents/guardians when necessary about their child’s health. The school may call EMS if necessary. This may result in out of pocket expenses to the family. A staff member goes to the hospital with the student if a family member is not present.
In the event of an injury, the student and witnesses should fill out a statement form. It should be done on the same day, if possible.
Managing food allergies is a team effort.Providing students with menu choices allows each child to select food items that meet their taste preferences and allergy needs. School Food staff works closely with school nurses to ensure that the needs of students with food allergies are met.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to establish and maintain a “peanut-free environment” in school Cafeterias. Prohibiting foods containing a specific ingredient, such as peanuts, does not eliminate the possibility of student exposure to that ingredient. Food items that do not contain peanuts may be produced in manufacturing plants that make peanut products, oftentimes using the same production line.
Also, despite careful review of ingredient statements, there is no guarantee that a manufacturer’s product ingredient list includes the word “peanut”; components may be labeled as a “like” substitute for another approved ingredient. In addition, students and school staff may bring peanut-containing foods from home.
Families with concerns regarding food allergies should consult with their medical professionals, the school administration, and the Medical Office. They can help determine the best course of action fin selecting the best meals, snacks, and beverages while at school.
All students are asked to be mindful of students with allergies and avoid sharing food.
Messages To/From Parents & Deliveries
A parent/guardian who needs to get a message to a student in an emergency should call the Parent Coordinator or the Guidance Counselor. Students may make phone calls to their parents from 2nd Floor offices. Cell phones should not be used by students to receive or make phone calls or texts during school at any time. Due to the disruption caused, students are not permitted to receive deliveries of food, money, clothing, assignments, or any other such items.
In a family or medical emergency, parents should call the Parent Coordinator or the Guidance Counselor, who will deliver the message. Parents/guardians should not attempt to phone or text a student directly.
Students are not allowed to have food or other items delivered to school. Staff members should pick up any item that is delivered for them. A student should not be sent to pick up an item for a staff member.
MetroCards / LIRR
Student MetroCards are distributed at the beginning of each semester during OP to all students who live 1/2 mile or more from school. The MetroCard is valid for one semester on the days when school is in session. Do not discard your fall MetroCard until you receive your spring MetroCard.
Assistance with MetroCards is available in the Main Office, Room 230, before 1:30 PM. Reporting a card lost, stolen, or damaged automatically voids it. It may take up to two weeks to obtain your replacement card. During that time you are responsible for paying for transportation to and from school. If you need assistance getting home, go to Room 229 or 231.
Student MetroCards allows you up to three rides a day on the subway or bus, including one subway-bus, bus-bus, or bus-subway transfer per ride, from 5:30 AM until 8:30 PM. MetroCards can only be used when school is in session and not on weekends or breaks, even if it is school-related. If you are participating in a school activity when school is not in session, see your advisor for a round-trip MetroCard. Students are cautioned that the MTA may issue a summons for any improper use of Student MetroCards, including using the card when school is not in session.
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR)
Long Island Rail Road passes should be dropped off in the morning in the Main Office, Room 230. They will be placed in the LIRR tray when completed. Students should pick up the completed pass at the end of their day.
National Honor Society (NHS) / ARISTA
National Honor Society membership is one of the highest honors awarded to a high school student. Selection is based upon scholarship, service, leadership, and character.
Students must maintain a minimum average of 90% in the core academic subjects and pass all classes for 3 semesters in order to be eligible for NHS. Core classes are English, World Languages, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Applications are only available at the beginning of each term. No community service is required to join. Students must meet the above academic requirements to maintain membership. Members must also complete 25 hours of community service each semester. Ten hours should be in school. Fifteen hours should be out-of-school. All members must volunteer for ten hours of peer tutoring each semester.
Organizational Period (OP)
Organizational Periods (OP) require a special bell schedule. They are for distributing and collecting important information. MetroCards, report cards, etc. are given out in OP. OP typically occurs after 8th period and lasts for ten minutes.
Posting of Fliers & Announcements
All posters or fliers must display stamped approval by the Coordinator of Student Activities (COSA). Our COSA is Dr. Stricklin-Witherspoon. Approved items may be posted on bulletin boards, outside each cafeteria, inside the cafeteria, and in teachers’ classrooms’ with permission. Items posted that do not follow these guidelines or do not have a stamp of approval will be removed. Fliers in any stairwell are taken down.
Public School Athletic League (PSAL)
LaGuardia Arts does not allow visitors to PSAL events. Only names on the official PSAL team roster are allowed. This applies to friends and families of visiting players. Each school determines its own visitor policy. We recommend LaGuardia Arts fans to check with the home school's Athletic Director to see if visitors are allowed.
Reporting Inappropriate or Criminal Activity
The school can support student safety with knowledge of any situation that is significant to the health, safety, and welfare of our community. “If you see something, say something.” Victims or witnesses of crimes or unsafe situations should make a report to the Deans. Report incidents that happen in/near the building, on the way to/from school, or on public transportation.
Only NYC residents can audition and attend LaGuardia Arts. A family must notify the school and provide proof of the new address within five school days if they move outside NYC. See Chancellor’s Regulation A-125. A-125 also deals with issues of non-residency, failure to disclose non-residency, and using a false address.
School Leadership Team (SLT)
The SGO selects two members from the elected officers to represent the students on the SLT. In the event either student cannot serve, two students from SGO are chosen to serve in their place.
The School Store only accepts cash or bank checks/money orders. LaGuardia’s online store can process credit card transactions, though a processing fee is charged by the credit card company.
Skateboards, In-line skates, etc.
You are not allowed to carry a skateboard, etc. except at the very start and end of the school day. Any skateboard that is not placed in a locker or office during regular school hours will be confiscated and will only be returned to a parent. Skateboarding in school is dangerous to the skateboarder as well as to others as well.
Selling Items in School
No student may sell personal items in school. The COSA may allow clubs and teams to sell items.
The direct solicitation of donations from students on school property is not permitted.
Senior Activities, including Graduation & Prom; Senior Dues
Per NYCDOE policy, high school students must meet graduation requirements to participate in the graduation ceremony. In addition, a student who is on suspension at the time of graduation or other commencement-related activities may be prohibited from attending when a student poses a real threat of violence or disruption to the event; the exclusion must be proportionate to the infraction committed. It may also be possible to bar a student from a commencement ceremony when their conduct has been particularly egregious, and where the student has previously been advised in writing.
Outstanding charges, fees, or lost textbooks may cause delays in receiving Prom or Graduation tickets, caps and gowns, yearbooks, etc.
Seniors are charged Senior Dues.
The payment of Senior Dues is mandatory. The amount of Senior Dues varies each year. It is about $225 . Any Senior Dues paid after this date is subject to a late fee of $10; The late fee for payments received after May 1, is $20. Dues are mandatory and are non-refundable. Items cannot be purchased individually. Senior Dues include:
Graduation: Includes hall rental, programs, awards, diploma and case. Each graduate receives two tickets to the ceremony.
Caps and Gowns: Includes the cap, gown, and tassel.
Yearbook: Our yearbook is over 200 pages in color.
Expenses Associated with the Graduating Class: A small amount of money is used to pay for expenses associated with the Senior Class.
Award Ceremonies: While no scholarships are paid for with Senior Dues, there are expenses associated with studio and school-wide ceremonies.
The cost of the Senior Prom is not included in Senior Dues.
To be eligible for a school award, a student must have a 90 average for department awards or an 85 average for school-wide awards. Awards categories include academic, studio, graduation, and Alumni & Friends.
A recipient's cumulative attendance rate should not be less than 90%. A recipient must have good citizenship throughout their time at LaGuardia. Citizenship includes department and school-wide service, as well as no cutting, lateness, or overall disruptive behavior.
Valedictorian and Salutatorian
The cumulative, weighted GPA is used to decide the Valedictorian and Salutatorian. The GPA at the end of the Fall Semester of the Senior Year is used. A student must have completed seven semesters at LaGuardia.
Awards are decided by committee. The GPA at the end of the Fall Semester of the Senior Year is used. The GPA
Service Credit / Community Service
Service credit is given for volunteering within school. Community service takes place outside of school. Both are recorded in x2Vol.
Students do not receive service credit for class or studio requirements. A student cannot receive both service credit and compensation. Work done at for-profit businesses do not qualify for community service.
Performances as part of a community service activity may receive service credit. The general rule is that the organization benefits more than the student. x2Vol is accessed through Naviance.
Student Government Organization (SGO)
SGO is elected to represent various student groups. They also organize student-led projects and activities.
A student must meet the following requirements in order to be eligible to run for office:
- A cumulative GPA of 80 or higher
- Attendance of 90% or better
- No significant Dean’s record
If 3 or more people are running for the same position, a candidate must win 51% of the vote to be declared the winner. A run-off election will be held between the top two vote-getters in the event a candidate is not declared the winner. The candidate with the highest number of votes will be declared the winner in the run-off election.
Applications are typically available in April/May. The link to the application is sent via email to all underclassmen.
Substance Abuse Intervention and Prevention (SAPIS)
The SAPIS is on staff full time. SAPIS advocates healthy lifestyle choices. The SAPIS also makes classroom presentations and works with individuals or small groups.
Textbooks and Loaned School Property
The school loans books and other items to students. Students are responsible for keeping textbooks safe and in good condition. Students may be charged for lost or damaged items. Students who do not return books may use textbooks on the reserve shelf of the Library. Textbooks would be issued once the outstanding books are returned. Students should write their name on the inside front cover when checking out a textbook.
Students may use NYC Schools Account or Pupil Path to print unofficial copies of their transcripts. Requests for Official Transcripts must be made in writing. Current students may make the request to the Records Room.
Seniors use Naviance to request their transcripts be sent as part of the college application process.
Trips (Including Performances and Field Trips)
Signed, parental permission is required to participate in a school trip. Students can be denied going on a trip based on poor attendance, academic performance, or behavior. Each trip must be in compliance with Chancellor’s Regulation A-670.
All subjects have tutoring during lunch periods. Schedules are posted outside each department office.
Students who arrive prior to period 1 or have no class period 1 class must report to the 5th floor Cafeteria where breakfast is served free of charge. You should not be in the hallway during an unassigned period.
Students should not have any unassigned periods in their schedule. If a student is not programmed for a class or lunch, they are required to attend a study skills class in the room designated on their program card.
Students should not bring valuables to school. Also, students should not carry more than $20.00. Students should visit the Deans Office to safely store cash when you must bring a large amount to school. Paying for Prom would be an example to carry more than $20. Do not store any valuable items in bookbags or lockers.
If you are changing clothing, be sure to properly secure any valuables in your possession. If you need to secure your money during Dance or PE classes, Drama and Tech students should go to Room G30. Dance and PE students should go to Room 837.
Our Visitors Policy was designed to help keep everyone in the building safe.
Parents/guardians wishing to visit for school business should call in advance to set up an appointment with the person they need to see, and they should be prepared to show photo ID. Visitors without an appointment will be accommodated to the greatest extent possible.
Students may not have visitors in school.
All visitors must be escorted by a staff member from the front desk to their destination and then escorted back down. Under no circumstances are such individuals to be allowed to visit other locations in the building.
Staff members must have visitors approved in advance. The Visitor Request Form is available in the Deans Office. Students may not pick up the form. Visitor Request Forms must also be used for after school clubs and activties.
All students are required to secure Working Papers prior to their employment. Applications for Working Papers may be found in the Main Office, Room 230.