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.


Later High School Start Time

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  Risa Shames and Chris Steele

Faculty/Staff  Deborah Bernhard, Tom Lee, Charlie Myette, Marcia Okun and Kathy Sabet

Students  Deana Korsunsky, Rebeccah Levy, Euro Wang and Morgan Truncer

Parents  Sue Flicop, Clare Landrigan, Martha Hausman, Michelle Luo and Kathe Shaw-Bassett

PTSO Rep  Helen Haley

Contact the NSHS School Council

Agendas and Minutes