Freshman Parent Meet & Greet Q&A

Questions from 9th Grade Parent Meet & Greets


What is WIN Block: WIN stands for “What I Need”. These blocks are scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. They are mandatory and attendance will be taken at the beginning of these blocks. During these blocks different activities will be offered from yoga to tutoring. Students are able to select their week’s WIN block on Monday during advisory and are able to change those selections up until cut off.. In addition, If a teacher feels a student needs more help in a subject they are able to pre-schedule that student for extra help during one of the WIN blocks. 


What is Lion’s Block: Lion’s Block is on Tuesday afternoon. Lion’s block is Tuesdays 2:35 – 3:45. This block is optional. Students may leave at 2:35 or stay for after school clubs. There are over 100 clubs at Newton South. To start a club, you need a friend and a staff advisor. Clubs will be held on a rotating “Blue Week/Orange Week” schedule so that students are able to participate in at least two clubs without scheduling conflicts.


Who do I call if my student is out or late: Call your student’s house secretary. You house secretary will be your point of contact for issues such as, but not limited to:

  • Forgot their Lunch
  • Has a medical appointment and will be late/leave early
  • Forgot sports clothes


What is the House System: Newton South has almost 2000 students. In order to make the school feel smaller and more approachable for students and parents, each student is assigned a house for their 4 years at Newton South: Goldrick, Cutler, Wheeler, or Goodwin. Each house has 2-3 Counselors. Counselors advise approximately 155-170 students. Each house has a Dean who is not only in charge of discipline, but also serves as advocate for the students in that house:


  • Goldrick – Marc Banks
  • Cutler – Josepha Blocker
  • Wheeler – Meaghan Martin
  • Goodwin – Charlie Myette 


With later start times my child will miss class for sports: Sports participation has traditionally meant students miss some class at the end of the day. For all sporting events on Thursdays, students will only be missing the end of day WIN block. For other days, the student is able to book WIN block time to make up missed work/class time


COVID Protocols: All COVID protocols come from the superintendent. Please refer to the latest superintendent update for more information.


My child is having a problem at school. What should we do?: For small problems the house secretary is a great place to start. For larger issues the student can start with their teacher, guidance counselor, and if need be the department head or dean. The school staff is aspiring to the “Gradual Release of Responsibility”; that means the faculty is setting up your child to self-advocate and problem solve. In the beginning, this might mean you helping them construct an email but eventually releasing them to use these resources on their own.


What is one thing to expect coming into Newton South: The staff really wants to make sure that every student feels they have an adult advocate at the school. By mid October, your student should be able to identify one faculty member that they connect with. If your child has not made a connection, please reach out to the student’s guidance counselor or dean.


What should my student bring to school for the first day: Something to write on, something to write with, a water bottle, and a mask. Teachers will hand out syllabi within the first few classes and then you will be able to buy supplies.


Are my student’s classes only in their specific House: No, classes are throughout the school.


Homework Load: A rough guideline is 1 hour per class per week. However, this is not an exact science and if students are taking AP classes they will have more homework. Newton South is trying to move away from “homework for homework’s sake.” If you feel like homework is getting overwhelming please contact your student’s guidance counselor.


Lunch: Lunch and breakfast are still being provided free of charge at Newton South this year. Students may purchase additional items with their SchoolBucks card and/or bring their own lunch from home. 

What if my student misses school for an extended period of time: Students have access to Schoology and Google Classroom through their Chromebooks or personal laptops and will be able to access assignments even if the student (or teacher) is out.