For Seniors and Families from Principal Joel Stembridge

Dear Parents and 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.

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

Senior Check-Out
“Senior check-out” will be Monday, June 3. Seniors need to come to Gym B between 11:00AM and 1:00PM to complete their obligations. This process takes about 20 minutes. At this time, Seniors will receive their caps and gowns, graduation tickets, parking pass and their cumulative records folder. This is also a traditional time for signing yearbooks.

Graduation rehearsal is required for all who wish to participate in the ceremony and will be held in the Newton South Field House, at 1:15PM on June 3. Following rehearsal, all Seniors, faculty and staff are invited to a Senior Send-Off Picnic sponsored by the PTSO. The picnic will be held outside in back of the Field House beginning at 2:30pm. In the event of rain, the picnic will be in the student center.

Senior Prom and SouthFest 2013
The senior prom will be held at the State Room, 60 State Street, Boston, on Tuesday, June 4 from 7PM to midnight. The PTSO and SouthFest Parent Committee have organized an extravagant after-prom celebration at Newton South from 12:00 midnight – 4:00AM. SouthFest is for ALL seniors (whether they have attended the prom or not), and prom dates.

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.

Graduation for the Class of 2013 will be held at the Newton South Field House, on Thursday, June 6 at 5:00PM. Seniors should arrive at 4PM to line up in Wheeler commons. The ceremony lasts two hours, and a professional photographer will take a picture as each individual graduate receives a diploma. We are excited to announce that 2013 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. The ceremony will also be recorded and shown on NewTV; and you may order a DVD here.

While we, as a school, value individual expression, graduation is a ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of the entire Class of 2013. 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.

The next several days should be filled with wonderful events. I urge you to talk to your children about unsafe behaviors, especially those that may potentially involve illegal drugs and alcohol. I ask that parents join with the school in discouraging these unsafe and illegal behaviors 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.

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 on the day of graduation rehearsal. If you need additional tickets, see if a friend has any extra or you may email your child’s house secretary to be put on a waitlist for extra tickets.

If you need seating on the floor for people with limited mobility, email Vice Principal Mary Scott, with the number of seats needed. We allow an additional family member to sit with those who need special seating. Use regular graduation tickets for special seating, ushers will have graduates’ name on their list for special seating.

If you need handicapped parking, contact Ms. Scott, who will put your name on the 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. Scott if you or a family member need 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 3:30PM 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.

Doors to the Field House will open at 4PM.

Congratulations to the students and parents of the Class of 2013! I look forward to honoring all our graduates at the fifty-third annual Newton South High School commencement ceremony on June 6.

Thank you for your help in managing this wonderful event.


Joel Stembridge