Category Archives: From the Vice Principal

Parent-Teacher Conferences SIGN-UPs Nov 11/29 @7PM

Virtual Parent-Teacher Conferences are coming.  SIGN UP is REQUIRED! For new parents, please sign up early as spots are limited.  

  • To make sure that all families have the opportunity to see teachers, there will be two phases to the sign-up process.
  • During the first phase of sign-ups, from 7pm on SUNDAY 11/29 until 7pm on WEDNESDAY, 12/2, you may only schedule a maximum of 3 teacher conferences per child. 
  • During the second phase of sign-ups, from 7am on THURSDAY 12/3 until 7pm on SUNDAY, 12/6, you may sign up for a maximum of 3 additional conferences. Total conferences CANNOT exceed 6 per child.  

DETAILS on SIGN-UP INSTRUCTIONS:  Teacher Conferences Info Letter

A reminder that conferences are on the following dates:

Wednesday, December 9th from 4 – 7pm (School schedule as usual)

Wednesday, December 16th from 1 – 4pm (*Special schedule—see below)

*Please note that there will be a special schedule developed for 12/16 to reflect the early release that day. We are working with the transportation department to see if we can arrange a 12:30 dismissal on this day so that teachers can have a 30-minute break before the first conference at 1:00pm. We will share out the schedule as soon as it is finalized.

Chris Hardiman
NSHS Interim Vice Principal

Nov 25th Special Schedule & Student Survey

Good Afternoon Students and Families,

NOTE:  November 25th Special Schedule

There will be staff professional development from 8:00am to 9:30am on Wednesday, 11/25.

From 9:15 – 9:30, students will be asked to fill out a survey that will be shared on the South all-school Schoology page (it will also be sent to student school gmail accounts in case they don’t see the Schoology message).  This survey is a follow-up to one sent to students in September to solicit feedback on the remote school experience.

ALL Students are encouraged to please fill out the survey on Wed, Nov 25 as your feedback and thoughts are very important to us as we continue to evaluate our learning options, including the “hyflex” model that the district in-person high school working group has presented in their Draft Recommendation on November 16 to the School Committee.

School Updates – Term 1, Communications & Clubs

Hello South Students and Families,

A few updates/clarifications…please bear with me:

1. Term 1 for Grade 12 ONLY will end next Friday, 11/6 and report cards will be available for Grade 12 ONLY on Friday, 11/13 at 5:00pm. 

For grades 9, 10, and 11, term 1 will end on Friday, 11/13 and report cards will be available on Monday, 11/23 at 5:00pm.

This change from previous years is due to the fact that we started school later and yet since so many seniors apply early to college, we need to still get senior grades closed and out to colleges ASAP.

2. School Communications for Students During COVID:

The question has come up about how students, most of whom are learning remotely, are getting information passed on to them about events, clubs, and other important info. We have three avenues of communication that we are using:

a) Student NPS Gmail Accounts and Schoology–teachers and faculty advisors regularly contact students through either school Gmail, Schoology, or both (and schoology messages do ALSO go to the student’s Gmail account, just not vice versa) and I also share relevant information with students almost exclusively through their Gmail accounts. Please remind your students to be checking their school Gmail accounts on a regular basis so that they don’t miss any school-related information that may be shared.

b) School-wide Schoology Group: When the school closed down in the spring, we piloted a school-wide Schoology group where information relevant to students could be posted and shared. Now that the majority of clubs and activities have started meeting, we are hoping to get that Schoology Group active again. Our Student Life Coordinator, Ms. Parker, is working on a plan/system for the use of the school-wide Schoology group so that we can highlight student-related events, including potentially club specific info, without over saturating the site with too much information at the same time. We are hoping to have an update on this soon.

3. Clubs/Activities 

Speaking of clubs/activities, as I have mentioned in previous emails, we are centralizing all of our information on a Google document this year: NSHS 2020-21 Clubs and Activities This document is available for students to peruse using their NPS Gmail account (we are limiting the document to NPS students using their school email only to protect the privacy of students who appear in club-made videos) and we encourage all students to bookmark it for easy access. The link to the clubs document can also be found on the student activities page of the South webpage.

The clubs Google doc. is organized by club category and there are Zoom meeting links, club meeting days/times, a listing of the faculty advisor, and a listing of the student leaders of each club. Students can also sign up for all clubs directly through the Family ID registration link at the top of the document. If a student has a question about any club, they should send an email directly to the student leader of the club, the listed faculty advisor, or both. If specific club information on the document is incomplete, it means that the student leader has not yet turned in the annual club paperwork required of all clubs and so is not meeting yet….we recommend students check back on a weekly basis as information becomes updated.

Finally, there have been some questions about whether clubs can have some meetings on campus or not. A few challenges so far this year are:

1. Many of our faculty who advise clubs are not currently working on campus and advisors do need to be in the building with students while they are meeting.

2. Many of the clubs meet during flex block which is in the middle of the school day so it may be difficult for students and faculty advisors to go back and forth between home and school and make it back to their next class on time.

That said, if a club wants to try to have even a meeting or two on campus either during the school day, before school or after school, AND their faculty advisor can join them, I have asked them to reach out to me about a possible date and time and then I can share procedures/next steps to try to make it happen.

These are such challenging times with many time consuming logistics to figure out to try to get students and staff in the building, whenever possible. We appreciate your patience as we work to try to accommodate requests and we will continue to do our best to think “outside of the box”, while maintaining health and safety protocols, at the same time.

Have a great weekend,

Chris Hardiman
NSHS Interim Vice Principal

Date Correction for Sign Ups for Parent-Teacher Conferences

Correction on Date:  Conferences will be held on Tuesday, December 3rd from 1 – 4pm and Thursday, December 12th from 4:30 – 7:30pm

Sign ups for Parent-Teacher Conferences begin Thursday, November 21 at 6PM and continue until Tuesday, November 26th at 6PM.   For information on how to sign up, please see NSHS Parent Conference Letter 2019.

For new families, please be aware that slots fill up quickly. Please note that you need to create an account in the system to sign up.

If you do not have access to a computer, please call the Main Office at 617-559-6500 during the sign up period.

Parking Reminders: No Idling per State Law

From the Vice-Principal: A message for parents who pick up their child(ren) in front of the main entrance of NSHS:

Please do not “live park” in the parking spaces on either side of the island while you wait for students to be dismissed at the end of the school day. These spaces are reserved for staff that may be returning from meetings off-campus or for visitors who are entering the building for a meeting or other school-related business. Instead, you are welcome to continue to park along the curb in front of the Seasholes Auditorium entrance while you wait for your child….BUT with car engine off/not idling please—here is more information on the specifics of this state law on idling.

Thank you for your assistance in following these parking pick-up procedures.

Sincerely,

Chris Hardiman

Interim Vice Principal

Unsanctioned Senior Trip

Dear Parents/Guardians of the Class of 2020,
It has recently come to our attention that a student or group of students is allegedly planning a senior trip to the Bahamas to occur at some point during the school year. The administration wants to emphasize that Newton South is neither sponsoring a “senior trip” for students nor do we sanction it.
Sincerely,
Newton South High School Administrative Team

Public Health Advisory: Vaping-Related Lung Illness

Public Health Advisory: Outbreak of Serious Vaping-Related Lung Illness
September 9, 2019

Public health officials are currently investigating a multi-state outbreak of severe pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarette and marijuana vaping devices. As of September 6, 2019, more than 450 possible cases of lung illness have been  associated with these products. Five deaths have been confirmed nationally. It is likely these illnesses and deaths were caused by a chemical exposure as evidence does not suggest infectious lung disease as the cause.

View Announcement details – 2019 Sept 9 public health advisory announcement.
View Flyer – 2019 Sept 9 public health advisory flyer

Information for June 22 Arena Day

Please be advised that there has been a slight modification to the schedule for the final exam period of June 17 – 23 which can be found here.  The changes to note are that Arena Day has been moved to Wednesday, June 22nd, and the bus departure time from school for this Friday, June 17th has moved to 10:30am.

Arena Day Information:

Rising seniors will be receiving the list of classes that they have been scheduled into early next week via Skyward’s Student Access or through their house office in preparation for our June Arena Scheduling day.

Guidance counselors and department heads will be available in the Student Center on Wednesday, June 22nd from 10:30AM to 11:30AM to resolve scheduling issues prior to the summer for RISING SENIORS – the Class of 2017 – ONLY. Please note that students requesting schedule changes during Arena Day may need to arrange their own transportation from school as buses leave at 10:30AM that day.  Students (or parents) with any of the following issues can seek to resolve them at this time:

  • Missing an English, History, Science, Mathematics or World Language class
  • Missing a class to continue pursuit of a strong interest (e.g., if a student has been in orchestra for the past 2 years, and was not scheduled into orchestra this year but requested it)
  • Your registered course level is not the same as your teacher recommended course level (e.g. Honors instead of ACP)
  • Scheduled for the wrong class (excluding cases where a student was given an alternative course rather than his/her first choice)
  • Not scheduled for a full-time student load (i.e., fewer than 24 blocks for grade 10; fewer than 22 blocks for grades 11, 12 – must have House Dean approval)

Students/parents must first see their guidance counselor to get approval for any changes, and then from the appropriate department heads.

Rising juniors, sophomores and freshmen will receive their list of classes during the summer and will have the opportunity to make changes during the August Arena Scheduling Day on Tuesday, August 30th.

Verification Day – Wednesday, March 30

Wednesday is Verification Day (formerly known as Registration Day) – an opportunity for students to review and make adjustments to their course selections for the 2016-2017 school year.  At this stage, many students have already thought a lot about the courses that they wish to take next year and have worked with their teachers, counselors, and parents or guardians to choose them.  Verification day will allow student to:

  • Double check that the correct courses have been requested,
  • Add alternates and link each one to the course that it can replace,
  • Make sure that enough courses have been requested (minimum of 24 blocks per semester and maximum of 28),
  • and prioritize course selections by ranking them.

It is very important to note that Newton South builds its master schedule and staffs its faculty to accommodate student requests as much as possible.  This will be the last opportunity to make changes to course requests before this process begins.  After Verification Day, options for students when requesting class changes will be very limited.

You are still able to view student requests on Skyward’s Family and Student Access.  Please log in, review the course requests currently in place, and discuss any changes that need to be made in preparation for Verification Day on Wednesday.

Thank you so much for your help during this important process.

2016-2017 Course Registration: Viewing Recommendations and Requesting Additional Courses

Beginning at 5pm today, March 7th, students will be able to view course recommendations made by their teachers and make requests for additional courses for the 2016-2017 school year via Skyward’s Student Access portal.  Parents/guardians will be able to view recommended courses and requests in Skyward Family Access.  Instructions for students can be found here: NSHS Student Instructions for Adding Requests, and instructions for parents/guardians can be found here: NSHS Parent Instructions for Viewing Requests.  The window for making and reviewing these selections will close on Thursday, March 17th at 11pm.

Students who need assistance in making course requests are invited to stop by the College and Career Center during any lunch block on March 9, 11, 14, 15, 16 or 17th.  Parents/guardians who require assistance with accessing Skyward Family Access are welcome to drop in to our open help session on Thursday, March 10th from 4pm-7pm in the Newton South library.

Further information on the course registration process can be found at http://www.newton.k12.ma.us/domain/1165