Category Archives: For Sophomores

Picture Day Postponed

Picture Day will not be happening tomorrow, September 14, 2021. The photographer has postponed. More information to follow.

Newton South PTSO Welcome 2021

Welcome home to Newton South!  Welcome returning and new families! I hope this email finds you and your loved ones doing well!

I am Michelle Wetlaufer and I am so excited for my first year as Newton South’s PTSO’s President.  I look so forward to working with all of you to make this school year great.

I am so happy to welcome so many new members to our community including our new Principal, Tamara Stras, and our new Vice Principal, Jason Williams. I am excited for you to meet them as we get the school year started!

The PTSO works with South Administration and staff to communicate information in a timely manner, help support and engage our community for input and ideas, and to stay connected even when we are apart. Please click here to subscribe to the PTSO Newsletter.

As we kick off our 2021-22 school year, the PTSO is launching our School Directory Confirmation process and our Annual Dues Campaign Look for an email to confirm your families’ directory information.  Every family must confirm their information to be included in the online and printed version.  When you confirm your information you will have an opportunity to contribute to our annual Dues Campaign.  Your annual Dues donation is used 100% to support our school community and enrich the experiences of our students at South. The PTSO relies on annual donations of $70 from each Newton South family. This donation will ensure we meet our 2021-22 budget of $66,000.

As this school year begins, I thank you all for joining me on this journey whatever part you may play. I ask you to keep in mind my personal motto  ‘that which does not bend breaks’. Whether it is from an Aesop Fable or Tanzanian Proverb it has especially come in handy these last 18 months. I hope that you can join me in maintaining flexibility as we re-enter the new school year.  I know we all are looking forward to creating an amazing (slightly normal?) year for our kids.

If you have questions or you would like to volunteer for one of our committees please don’t hesitate to contact me at  Stay tuned for more news as we prepare for the start of the school year on September 9, 2021.

Stay well and enjoy the rest of the summer days!

NSHS PTSO President,
Michelle Wetlaufer

Course Verifications for Next School Year

Last week, email was sent to students that South had extended the window until midnight Friday, April 16 for students to fill out the course verification form located here:

There are still around 300 students out of 1800 that have not filled out the form.

A reminder that ALL NINTH, TENTH AND ELEVENTH grade students need to fill out the form, EVEN if no changes to their requests need to be made.

By late Monday morning, 4/26, updated verification forms reflecting any changes to student course requests for next year made between 4/14 and 4/16 will be published to the documents section of Aspen. 

Finally, please be aware that NO changes to courses and schedules may be requested by students after 4/26 as we need to start staffing our courses and determining final numbers of course sections. 

MCAS Update & Schedule

Much more information will be coming after the break from our MCAS coordinator, Faye Cassell, on details regarding the upcoming testing. Specifically, as relates to MCAS and juniors, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will be making a final decision on graduation requirements on 4/20. For planning purposes, here is the MCAS block schedule for the testing period in May with separate testing days for 10th graders and 11th graders who choose to test in May vs. waiting until the fall: May MCAS Schedule 

MCAS testing options in May for grades 10 and 11 will be in-person ONLY and computer based. MCAS testing for grade 9 will be in early June (3rd and 4th) and will be in-person ONLY and paper-based. More details on the block schedule for these MCAS dates will be forthcoming.

Course Verification Day: Wed., April 14

Verification Day: Wednesday, April 14th:

On Wednesday, April 14th, all classes for students will be asynchronous so that students can use the opportunity to check in with their counselor and/or teachers for last-minute questions, course recommendation approvals, or anything else that may need to be discussed related to courses for next year.
At approximately 5:00 pm on this day (4/14), course verification forms will be published to Aspen for every student. Students will be able to find their course verification form in the Documents section in their Aspen account.
From 5:00 pm on 4/14 through 4:00 pm on 4/16, students will then need to fill out a Google verification form (that will be shared with them on 4/14 via both Aspen and Schoology by me) where they will make any final, last-minute changes or course requests, rank their selections, etc. Instructions will be clearly indicated on the form. Please know that ALL students will need to fill out the form, EVEN IF NO CHANGES NEED TO BE MADE as we need to have a record that EVERY student has verified that the courses on their verification form in Aspen are accurate.
By late Monday morning, 4/26, updated verification forms reflecting any changes to student course requests for next year made between 4/14 and 4/16 will be published to the documents section of Aspen.

Finally, please be aware that NO changes to courses and schedules may be requested by students after 4/26 as we need to start staffing our courses and determining final numbers of course sections. Therefore, STUDENTS, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU CAREFULLY REVIEW YOUR COURSES FOR NEXT YEAR AND MAKE THOUGHTFUL DECISIONS, KEEPING IN MIND BALANCE AND SIGNING UP FOR COURSES THAT YOU ARE GENUINELY INTERESTED IN!

Course registration information for the Class of 2023

Dear South Students and Families –

In the coming days students will access their course recommendations for the 2021-2022 school year. Students will also be asked to select their elective course choices. Course registration is an exciting time, allowing students to explore new disciplines and delve more deeply into previously identified interests.

Between March 25th and April 14th counselors will hold brief one-on-one meetings with all students to complete their selections in Aspen. For the class of 2023, we are prioritizing these meetings between Wednesday 3/31 and Wednesday 4/7. Students should schedule a meeting with their counselor during an unassigned period or flex block whenever possible. Students should also plan on scheduling their meeting on a day that they are learning remotely, when possible, to allow them to speak more freely than if they are in an assigned study with other students.

Counselors will work with students to consider balance (with regard to levels as well as overall course load), to make sure students are electing a full complement of courses including alternate choices, and how next year’s choices fit within a broader four year plan. In this most unusual year, we ask for your partnership with the following steps to make sure that students make good, thoughtful course selections.

  1. We encourage you to take time to review available course offerings in the NSHS Program of Studies. Rising 11th graders are reminded that US History and Biology are required courses for graduation, in addition to English being required for all four years.

  2. Please complete a draft course request form prior to meeting with your school counselor to complete/review your course choices in Aspen. Make sure you meet minimum credit count and that you select alternates.

  3. Remember that Newton South recommends that students take no more than three courses at the AP/honors level.

  4. Please review course request change guidelines

Please contact your counselor should you have any questions.


Dan Rubin

Director of Guidance

UNESCO Program Virtual Information Meeting: March 16 & 17

The UNESCO Program will be hosting a virtual information meeting on March 16 & 17 for all students who are interested in applying for the 2022 Program (see poster for details).

Description: Students will attend the 3-day International Meeting of the UNESCO Associated Schools.  Prior to traveling to the conference, students will brainstorm, implement, document, and produce a project around the conference theme: 2022 Diversity of Cultural Expressions.  At the conference, students will present their projects to students, teachers, and UNESCO organizers.  After the conference, students will tour historical sites and landmarks in and around Lisbon, Portugal, learning and experiencing Portuguese history and culture.

Eligibility:  CURRENT (2020-2021) Newton South freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.

Application Process & More Information:  Please visit the UNESCO Program website for more information and inside looks at the student experiences over the years and themes. Applications for 2022 will be made available on the site AFTER the information meeting.


Zoom Link: Passcode: dogao2021

UNESCO 2022 – Information Meeting Flyer

Sophomore Parent Volunteers for G10 Meet/Greet

The PTSO is continually looking to find ways creative fun events to help Newton South students meet and connect.   We are proposing a student meet/greet event in the next couple of weeks, possibly on Wed. Nov 11 (No School).

In order to make this event possible, we need 3-4 parent volunteers interested in helping organize the event.

Please contact the PTSO at by Wed, Nov 4th if you are interested in helping organize this event.

PTSO is proposing to organize a Grade 10 student meet/greet on Wed. Nov. 11th (Veterans Day – NO SCHOOL).  The event would involve Grade 11 students leading a group of Grade 10 students in a meet/greet.  Grade 10 students would register and be grouped by their Community/Advisory Class to enable students to connect beyond their existing cohorts (friends, team mates, etc).  Each group be on the baseball field to allow the group to create a Spotify playlist of their favorite 10 songs.  All the playlists from each group will be merged into the Class of 2023 Playlist.

The event is to give the students a chance to meet/greet in-person.  All students must wear masks and follow 6ft social distance guidelines, whenever possible (during the walk and sitting in group circle).  All students will need to register.

Reminder Grade 10 Parent Night, Wed, Feb 5th at 7PM

On Wednesday, February 5th from 7 to 8PM, parents and guardians of sophomores are invited to attend 10th Grade Parents’ Night in the Seasholes Auditorium.

You will hear information about upcoming sophomore events; course registration; MCAS; standardized testing; and an overview of the transition to junior year, and will have time for Q&A.

Last Day for PSAT Registration: Mon., Sept 16

The LAST DAY for PSAT resgistration is Mon 9/16 in the cafeteria during all lunches. For details on registration, please visit the Newton South Guidance Website

The PSAT/NMSQT exam will be given at Newton South High School on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 7:45 AM.  More information regarding the PSAT/NMSQT can be obtained on the CollegeBoard website and interested students can take a full-length practice test here.

Chris Hardiman, Interim Vice Principal sent a notice on September 9th. If you didn’t receive it, please make sure the school office/ASPEN has your proper email for your child(ren). If you have any questions, please email Tracy Connolly (