From the Principal: Reminders for Seniors

With graduation just around the corner (can you believe it?!?), I want to thank the PTSO for helping us convey important information about seniors’ last days and culminating activities. The PTSO website has an archive of all of the information that we have shared this spring – please do take a look at the Graduation FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for the details.

The next several weeks will be filled with wonderful events. I urge you to talk to your children about unsafe behaviors, especially those that may involve drugs and alcohol. I ask that families join with the school in discussing and promoting safe choices at all times, but especially during the days and weeks ahead. Just so that we are all on the same page: failure to follow school rules may result in the removal of the privilege of participating in prom and/or graduation

Below I am going to share a few key reminders and requests:

Senior Prom and Southfest

The senior prom will be held on Tuesday, June 7 at The State Room, 60 State Street, Boston from

7:00 p.m.– 11:00 p.m.. Following the prom, the PTSO and SouthFest Parent Committee have organized an extravagant after-prom celebration at Newton South from 12:00 midnight – 4:00 a.m. SouthFest is for ALL seniors (whether they have attended the prom or not), and prom dates.

Students who have signed up to take the school-sponsored coach buses to the prom should arrive in the breezeway at 5:30 p.m. for check-in. Buses will depart at 6:00 p.m. All students who take the bus to the prom are also expected to take the bus back from the prom. Likewise, only students who took the bus to the prom will be permitted to take the bus back from the prom. If you have signed up for the bus and do NOT plan on taking the bus, please contact the senior class advisors, Divya Shannon and Alex Palilunas, as soon as possible.

Students who are taking the bus to prom and planning to attend Southfest may wish to bring a bag with a change of clothes. Upon arrival for the bus, student bags will be searched by school staff and then students will be given the choice to check their bag for storage with a PTSO volunteer or to take their bag with them to the prom. A changing area and secure storage area will be provided during Southfest.

The senior prom is an event that many seniors have been looking forward to since entering South and students make many preparations in anticipation of the evening. Please join us in ensuring that this night lives up to its promise for our students by helping to keep each one of them safe and sober. No student under the influence will be allowed into the senior prom; we will have random breathalyzer checks. Any student found to be intoxicated or otherwise under the influence will have his or her parents called and will not be allowed to stay at the prom. There will be no exceptions made to this rule. School leaders have also been clear with students that substance use or possession at the prom could result in that student being barred from participating in the graduation ceremony.

Senior Check-Out

“Senior Check-Out” will be Friday, June 3rd. Seniors should come to Gym B between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. to fulfill any final obligations. This process takes about 30 minutes. At this time, seniors will receive their caps and gowns, graduation tickets, graduation parking pass and their cumulative records folder. They will also complete the final senior survey through Naviance, if they have not done so already, ensuring that South has the appropriate information regarding any final transcripts that need to be sent to the students’ chosen schools.

Graduation Rehearsal

Graduation rehearsal is required for all who wish to participate in the ceremony and will be held in the Newton South Field House, at 12:15 p.m. on June 3. Following rehearsal, students can pick up their yearbooks. Then all seniors, faculty and staff are invited to a Senior Send-Off Lunch sponsored by the PTSO. The lunch will be held in the Student Center beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Graduation

Graduation for the Class of 2016 will be held at the Newton South Field House, on Thursday, June 9 at 5:00 p.m. Doors to the Field House will open at 4:00 p.m. and close at 4:45 p.m. for the processional of graduates. Seniors should arrive at 4:00 p.m. to line up in Wheeler commons. The ceremony lasts two hours; a professional photographer will take a picture as each individual graduate receives a diploma. Parents should not come down from the stands to take pictures during the ceremony. We are excited to announce that 2016 Graduation will be live-streamed so that family members who are not able to attend can view the graduation as it happens at this link www.newton.k12.ma.us/nshsgraduation2016. The ceremony will also be recorded and shown on NewTV; and you may order a DVD. While we, as a school, value individual expression, graduation is a ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of the entire Class of 2016. It is important that individual behavior honors the group and does not take the focus away from the class and event as a whole. We expect that students will dress appropriately. We do not think that shorts, jeans, hats, T-shirts and sneakers are appropriate for this once-in-a-lifetime occasion.

Graduation Tickets and Parking

Each senior will receive 6 tickets and one parking pass for parking in one of the school lots. These will be given to seniors at Senior Check-Out on June 3rd. If you need additional tickets, see if a friend has any extra or email your child’s house secretary to be put on a waitlist for extra tickets. During check-out, we will be collecting back any extra tickets that students do not need and will redistribute those tickets to families on the waitlist.

If you need seating on the floor for people with limited mobility or handicapped parking, also contact your house secretary. We allow one additional family member to sit with those who need special seating. Guests using special seating can use regular graduation tickets, but should approach an usher upon arrival to be shown to the special seating area. All guests using special seating will be on a list with the ushers. Guests using handicapped parking will be put on a list for entry into the handicapped lot (opposite the tennis courts). You will need to use your ONE parking pass for this lot. Parking attendants will have the graduate’s name on their list.

We will have an ASL interpreter at graduation, please contact Ms. Beermann if you or a family member needs this service.

As per agreement with Newton Police and Fire Departments, Brandeis Road will be one-way eastbound from the Parker Street entry to the Greenwood Street end on the afternoon and evening of graduation. This one-way restriction will begin at 3:30 p.m. and end after the Newton Police deem it appropriate. Parking will be permitted on both sides of Brandeis Road where appropriate. You will not need parking permits for the spots along Brandeis Road.

Congratulations to the students and parents of the Class of 2016! I look forward to honoring all our graduates at the fifty-sixth annual Newton South High School commencement ceremony on June 9th.

Thank you for your help in managing this wonderful event.