Logistics

Q: What time does school start?

A: The school day starts at 7:40AM. Buses arrive around 7:20AM.

Q: What if my student will be late or absent?

Make sure to call your house office before 10AM if your child will miss school to ensure all absences are excused. The house secretary is available to answer questions should they arise. House information is available here.

Q: What is a “Block Schedule”?

Newton South’s schedule is divided into sections, or blocks, labeled A through G. These blocks correspond with your student’s classes. Please note that Newton South is on a five day schedule, so every Monday is the same as every other Monday. However, Monday’s schedule is different from Tuesday and the other days. When your student receives their schedule, look it over closely so you understand how things work. Don’t worry, students understand the schedule much more quickly than parents do!

Q: What teachers are absent?

The teacher absence report is posted on the monitors around the school. This information is also reported on the Denebola website.

Q: What time does school end?

A: This varies on a daily basis, and also depends on whether your student participates in a J Block activity (see below). Please refer to the Block Schedule here: http://www.newton.k12.ma.us/Page/1520

Q: When will my child be where?

A: With a copy of your student’s schedule and the Block Schedule, you can figure this out. You can view the Block Schedule here: http://www.newton.k12.ma.us/Page/1520

Q: What is the bus schedule?

A: The morning bus schedule depends on where you live. After school, buses leave around 3:30PM from the breezeway, which is across from the tennis courts.

Q: Where to pick up and drop off?

A: Unlike elementary school, there is no Blue Zone. Please drop off your student only at the Field house, Main/Goodwin entrance, or Goldrick/Wheeler entrance in the morning. You will need to agree with your student on a meeting place after school where it’s safe for you to park. The traffic after school is somewhat lively and includes new drivers, so it may take a few tries to find the right spot for you.

Q: When are the Early Release days?

A: You can find this information on the Newton Public Schools website here. For instance, the schedule for 2015-2016 is available here.

Q: My student just broke his/her ankle and is on crutches. How is s/he going to be able to maneuver around the school that way?

A: Please call or email your Guidance Counselor about this situation and ask them to notify your student’s teachers. The teachers will make allowances for an injured student to get to class late and leave early if necessary. The Guidance Counselor can also arrange for your student to use the school elevators.

Q: What is J Block?

A: J Block is approximately 40 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, after the regularly scheduled classes and before the buses depart. This is a time for students to seek out assistance from their teachers, to participate in the 60+ club activities, and to socialize. The school buses do not leave until J Block is over at 3:20PM. The school library is open during J Block.

Q: What is Directed Study?

A: Directed Study is the South term for study hall. Most students have at least one Directed Study in their schedule, which gives them a total of two hours a week (split between two different days) to get homework done. Freshmen and first semester Sophomores are expected to report to an assigned, supervised classroom for their Directed Study. Second semester Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors in good standing are permitted to go to the library or leave campus during their Directed Study. (See Open Campus Policy below for more information.)

Once a student has signed in at their assigned Directed Study location, they can obtain a pass to go to one of the learning support centers for help. These centers include: Writing Center (run by a trained adult), Science Center (staffed by advanced students), Math Center (staffed by a retired math teacher), and the Student Support Center, where they can meet in smaller groups and get one-on-one assistance.

Q: What is the “Open Campus Policy” at Newton South?

A: Both Newton South and Newton North High School believe in gradually providing greater independence to students over the course of their four years of high school. The goal of this policy is to create mature adults who are ready and able to take care of themselves when they go on to college or the next phase of their lives. Here’s how it works:

  • Freshmen: are expected to be in a supervised classroom all throughout the school day, with the exception of lunch and J Block. This includes their Directed Study blocks.
  • Sophomores: have the same policy as the freshmen for the first semester. At the start of the second semester, sophomores in good standing are allowed out of their Directed Study (which become known as “free blocks”), but must remain on campus.
  • Juniors and seniors: have the freedom to come and go as their schedule allows, assuming they are in good standing and respect the attendance policy of the school. All students who leave during the day are expected to return on time for their scheduled classes.

Q: Where can my student eat lunch?

A: Of the freshman class, 90% usually eat their lunch in the cafeteria, also known as the student center. This is a good time to see friends with whom you don’t have classes. Some students find the cafeteria too noisy. They are allowed to sit outside in the courtyard on nice weather days, eat in a classroom with teacher approval, or eat in one of the House common areas. Eating in the hallways is not allowed.

Q: Can my student use a cell phone at school?

A: Cell phone usage is restricted to the Student Center, the House Common rooms and the outdoors.