School Council

The Newton South School Council is a representative school building-based committee composed of the principal, parents, teachers, students and community members.  The council advises the Principal on budget, school improvement plans and other issues of general interest. School councils are required to be established by each school pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71, Section 59C.

Read the council’s year-end report to the South community for 2015-16 here.

Read the NSHS SC’s Bylaws here.


UPDATE – Later High School Start Time – Meeting on January 23, 2016

On January 23, the School Committee will discuss shifting the high school start times and the six potential scenarios presented by the High School Start Time Working Group.  After several School Committee meetings where the Working Group presented information and survey results, this meeting marks the beginning of the School Committee process to discuss the options, narrow their focus and eventually vote on a proposal.  The meeting begins at 7:00 pm at the Education Center, 100 Walnut Street, Frazier Room #210.  We are hoping for a large crowd to attend to express our support and interest and to urge the School Committee to make a decision in support of this initiative. You may also sign up to give public comment at the beginning of the meeting.   We look forward to seeing you there.


High School Start Time Update_Dec_12_16  


Update: October 24, 2017.  NSHS and NNHS have an active working committee working on a new schedule for high school where curriculum can be taught with a late start and end time of 2:30PM.  Parents can continue to write to School Committee to demonstrate public interest in later start time by emailing their comments to


Following a vote to endorse a later high school start time in Newton during the 2014-15 school year, the NSHS School Council continued its support and advocacy on the topic in 2015-16. Council co-hosted two community forums on Later High School Start Times in January and April 2016, continued to provide updates to the community via e-mail, and published an op-ed in the Newton Tab  by Co-Chair Risa Shames in May 2016.


Op-Ed, “Insist on Later High School Start in Newton,” Newton Tab, May 21, 2016

Huffington Post Viral Video: “The Case For Starting School Later,” (1:29), posted April 21, 2016

VIDEO: Dr. Chris Landrigan at the Community Forum, NNHS, 1/26/16 (22 mins)


Helpful Links

Adolescent Sleep & Later High School Start Time Resources

Later High School Start Time in the Media


High School Start Time in Newton

High School Start Time Working Group Website  (Newton School Committee)

Superintendent’s Letter to the Newton Community – Late Start Time (November 2015)

Superintendent’s Video on High School Stress: Start Time & Other Initiatives     (December 2015)

Dr. Chris Landrigan’s Presentation (PowerPoint) from the Community Forum at Newton North, 1/26/16


Growth Mindset

In 2015-6 we hosted a discussion with hands-on activities to give parents a window into the important educational concept of growth mindset, showing how teachers are using it to encourage and support students. The discussion was led by Jennifer Chen, a math teacher at South and Principal Joel Stembridge and included student insights and a thoughtful discussion with parents, teachers and students.

Growth Mindset Resources (courtesy NNHS School Council)



Principal Joel Stembridge

Co-Chairs  Martha Hausman and May F. Chiu

Faculty/Staff  Marcia Okun, Kathleen Sabet, Deborah Bernhard, Jeff Knoedler, Hema Roychowdhury, Ricardo Gessa, Charles Myette, Daniel Rubin

Students  Bella Ertel, Rebeccah Levy, Euro Wang and Amelia Pennell 

Parents  Sue Flicop, Clare Landrigan, Risa Shames, Michelle Luo, and Debby Youngblood

PTSO Rep  Helen Haley

Contact the NSHS School Council

Agendas and Minutes