The Oliver Wendell Holmes Intermediate School 204
36-41 28th St. Long Island City, NY 11106
(718)-937-1463   Fax: (718)-937-7964

Faye Erstejn-Kōtzer

Assistant Principal
Thomas Carroll

Important Dates:
Thursday, July 5, 2018-First Day of Summer School

Department of Education’s Emergency Readiness Initiatives

September 2017

Dear Parents, 

I am writing to provide you with information about the Department of Education’s Emergency Readiness Initiatives that are in place in all NYC Public Schools.

Every school currently has procedures for emergencies. In 2000, New York State Education Law Section 2801 was enacted requiring schools to develop safety plans regarding emergency response. In July of 2001, the law was amended to require that plans include information for evacuation and sheltering. In accordance with this, “schools need to conduct drills and other exercises to test components of the emergency response plan.”

School staff members are trained in various procedures that are outlined in the School Safety Plan and we currently conduct a variety of drills throughout the year to prepare our staff and students. Section 807 of the New York State Education Law requires all schools to conduct a minimum of 12 fire drills each year. Section 917 of the State Education Law states that schools are required to provide and maintain automated external defibrillator (AED) equipment, and drills are conducted during the year to assess the use of AED units in an emergency. In accordance with Section 3623 of the State Education Law, drills are also conducted at schools that focus on safety on a school bus.

In addition to conducting these types of drills, our school has a Building Response Team that is trained to activate and respond to different incidents that may occur at our school. Under the new General Response Protocol (GRP), every school will be conducting specific drills designed to help prepare all school communities for three different types of response to emergencies that may occur: evacuation, shelter-in, and lockdown. Opportunities for parent engagement are available at our school to ensure that families are involved in our school-based emergency readiness program. Parent versions of the School Safety Plan are available upon request in the main office, and information explaining the GRP is included with this letter. Many other important resources for families are also available by visiting http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/OSYD/default.htm

Emergency readiness training in schools takes place in September and continues for staff and students throughout the school year. Student training is grade appropriate and designed to ensure that students understand the importance of these drills without causing unnecessary alarm. Please review the General Response Protocols that have been given to all students, and discuss these procedures with your child.

All families are reminded to update the Emergency Contact Cards that are on file in our main office. This includes providing and updating information indicating phone numbers, and the names of adults to whom the school may release children in an emergency. Families are also encouraged to register with Notify NYC (https://a858-nycnotify.nyc.gov/notifynyc/) to receive information about emergency events, and call 311 for additional information about a school during an emergency.


 Faye Erstejn-Kōtzer


Chancellor Letter on Immigration

January 30, 2017

Dear Students and Families,

The New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the Mayor’s Office are committed to protecting the right of every student in New York City to attend public school, regardless of immigration status. The United States Supreme Court has also recognized the importance of public education for all students, including undocumented students. Your child is our top priority, and we will do everything in our power to protect that right and ensure all students get a quality education.

We take pride in our diversity. Immigrant parents, students, principals, teachers and other staff are a part of what makes our schools, and New York City, the amazing, strong, vibrant places they are. Whether you or your family arrived 100 years or 100 days ago —you are New Yorkers— and we stand with you.  

To help ensure that all children continue to learn in safe, nurturing environments, we are providing the following direction to the staff members at our schools:

As in the past, DOE staff will not ask about or keep a record of the immigration status of a student or family member. If you do share confidential information, including immigration status, about yourself or your family, it will be protected under the City’s confidentiality policy and the Chancellor’s Regulations.

DOE staff will not grant unlimited access to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Like all other law enforcement agencies, ICE is not permitted access to schools without proper legal authority. If ICE officers go to a school for immigration enforcement purposes, they will be referred to the principal who will take appropriate action.

DOE staff will not release student information unless required to by law. 

Anyone in our schools seeking immigration legal services will be referred to ActionNYC. ActionNYC is a program that offers free, safe immigration legal help from trusted community organizations, in your communities and in your language.

All New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, can continue to access City services. Call 311 or visit nyc.gov/immigrants for more information from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. Additionally, resources are available on the DOE website at http://schools.nyc.gov/AboutUs/schools/SupportingAllStudents.htm. This area of our website will be expanded in the coming weeks.

School staff will ensure all students are in safe and supportive learning environments. The DOE’s policy is to maintain safe and inclusive schools that are free from harassment, bullying, and discrimination on account of actual or perceived race, color, religion, age, creed, ethnicity, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, disability, sexual orientation, gender (sex), or weight. Any incidents or concerns should be immediately reported to school staff, who will investigate and take swift action.

Thank you for entrusting your child’s education to us. Nothing is more important than putting our 1.1 million students on the path to success.


Carmen Fariña
NYC Department of Education

Nisha Agarwal
Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs

In the news...

Three Long Island City/Astoria public schools take part in city’s ‘Comfort Dog’ program (LIC Post)


September 26, by Nathaly Pesantez
Children at three neighborhood schools will have their days made brighter by “comfort dogs” as part of an expanding Department of Education program for social and emotional wellness.
The program, launched last year in nearly 10 schools around the city, brings rescue dogs into classrooms to interact with students and staff, and aid in improving the school climate and social emotional learning.
The Riverview School, which serves special needs students at 1-50 51st Avenue in Hunters Point, and I.S. 204 at 36-41 28th Street, are the two Long Island City based schools participating in the the “Comfort Dog” program for the 2017 and 2018 school year. The third, P.S.76 at 36-36 10th Street in Astoria, is also part of the program. The three schools make up the 30 additional schools targeted in the program’s expansion.
“The Comfort Dog program brings a smile to students and staff on a challenging day, helps to de-escalate issues and can even provide bereavement support,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña in a statement. “We know students need academic and social-emotional supports to succeed in the classroom and beyond, and comfort dogs are helping nearly 40 schools strengthen their culture and build stronger relationships.”
The DOE says the rescue dogs chosen for the program are evaluated by the North Shore Animal League America. A staff member at each school adopts a dog, and a learning program, the Mutt-i-Gree curriculum, which focuses on shelter pets and
emotional learning is provided for free. Schools can choose to apply to the program via the DOE’s Office of Counseling Support.
Staff at P.S.76 in Astoria took to Twitter to share photos of “Juno”, the school’s comfort dog, in action. The school also created a Twitter account for Juno, which Fred Acquavita, the school’s assistant principal, encouraged users to follow.
“A comfort dog is a counseling support,” said Jaye Murray, executive director of the Office of Counseling Support Programs in a statement. “They possess the two most important qualities of an effective social worker or counselor–unconditional acceptance and warmth.”

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