Q: When will we hear from the school?
When you login to Aspen, on the main page is a section titled Published Reports. The student’s homeroom will be listed. The letter at the end of the homeroom number will tell you your child’s house (C for Cutler, G for Goodwin, K for Goldrick and W for Wheeler) This is also have a list of all their classes.
Q: What happens the first day of school?
There is special schedule for the first day of school to allow 9th graders a little time in the school by themselves, without upper grades. Please visit this page for first day schedule.
Q: Do you have any tips on what I should do to smooth the transition to South?
- Please put your Guidance Counselor and House Secretary’s phone number in your cell phone as soon as school starts, so you are ready to call them if there is an emergency. Unlike elementary and middle school, you will be contacting the house secretary for all student tardies/absences. Missing lunch etc…
- If your student is worried about the large building, feel free to download a map here, South is a large school and initially it can be difficult to find your way around.
- Freshman Parents are encouraged to attend a Summer Meet & Greet Session with Principal & Deans. Freshman families will be notified of these in early August and they will be advertised in the school newsletter that goes out on Sunday evenings starting mid August. If you have not subscribed to the newsletter, please click on join the PTSO Mailing List.
- Encourage your student to get involved in one of the 100+ clubs, sports, music, theatre, newspaper, yearbook, etc. at South. Students who have a connection outside of academics enjoy their South experience much more and have greater overall success (academically, socially, emotionally, etc.).
- Once you get your student’s schedule, consider keeping a copy in the car, in case you ever need to pick them up and want to know what time school ends on the day. Also, consider keeping a copy near your computer, in case you need to schedule an appointment for them. Avoid pulling them out of school during their most challenging academic classes, as it becomes difficult to make up lots of missed work.
Q: My child’s schedule/classes are wrong? How do we fix them?
The scheduling system is set up to accommodate as many requests as possible. At NSHS they start accommodating requests from 12th graders first down to 9th graders last. So incoming 9th graders might not get the electives they selected but have 4 years at South to eventually have those classes. Your child’s schedule should not be completely full and some independent study block should be expected. If your child is in Calculus as a Freshman or missing an English or world Language class. Those problems can be sorted out with their Guidance Counselor. Email them with concerns, understanding they are on summer break and will probably respond the first few days of school.
Q: When will my student receive an ID?
Their school ID photo will be taken on picture day in September and distributed in advisory thereafter. Allow 5-6 weeks to get your ID
Q: What is happening with Lunch?
Your child will receive one lunch a day free. They will check out at the cafeteria register using their LASID (student ID). Students will pay $5.30 for each additional lunch or additional items they would like a la carte.
Q: What is the new Attendance Policy?
Your child’s attendance will be monitored separate from their grade. Next to your child’s class grade will be an area noting if they met the attendance requirement Y/N. Attendance will be used to monitor students because attendance is usually linked to achievement, however, your student’s grade will not be affected by attendance.
Q: Will my child get a locker?
For some reason students at South do not use the provided lockers. If your child would like a locker, many are available! Your child can contact their house secretary for their locker assignment. Sports lockers are used frequently. Pat Gonzales coordinates those lockers. Our school is open to many public activities after hours. Urge your child to use the locks provided. Personal items will go missing.
Q: Is there a Supply List for Incoming Freshman?
No, there is no common list of supplies which all freshman are asked to purchase. Your child’s teachers will let them know what they need when classes meet. These supplies are usually fairly basic and easy to acquire (graph paper, notebooks, note cards etc.), and specific classes may require special supplies like graphic calculator. Recommend that a physical daily planner is purchased so your child can practice executive function skills to track and organize assignments and activities. Of course it’s a good idea to make sure your child has some basics like pens and a notebook on the first day.
Q: Where do I find snow days and weather-related school delays and closing information?
A: For more detailed information on school operations in winter weather, please visit our webpage here: https://www.newton.k12.ma.us/weather
Q: How can I volunteer at South?
A: Please contact the Newton South PTSO at info@NewtonSouthPTSO.org and let us know how you would like to volunteer. Visit our PTSO Committees page for more information. All volunteers will need an updated CORI/SORI form. Please click for updated information on CORI/SORI process.
Q: What if I do not receive a link to confirm my information?
A: Please check your Spam/Junk folder, and if there is another adult in the family, please get them to check their email. If you do not find it, please contact our Directory committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What will happen if I do not confirm my information?
A: The system will continue to send you email to ask you to confirm your information. If your family information is already in our system from the previous year, that information will be printed even if you don’t confirm. If you are new to South (moved to Newton, from private school, etc) and have not received a confirmation request in August, please email our Directory committee at email@example.com
Q: How do I view my shopping cart and contribute PTSO dues during directory confirmation process?
A: When you add your donation to the cart, it says “You just added Membership – Newton South High School PTSO! Check Out (1 item: $70.00)” in a pink box at the top. It also has “Check Out (1 item: $70.00)” above that. You can click Check Out in order to proceed.
Q: What if I have left the directory system, but I want to donate from there?
A: Log back into the directory software using the email you confirmed your information and click on the PTSO Membership Link on the front screen: https://newtonsouthptso.
PTSO Dues Campaign Questions
Q: What is the Dues Campaign?
A: The PTSO Dues Campaign is our annual fundraiser to support the operations of the Newton South PTSO. The PTSO relies on annual donations from each Newton South family. Our annual fundraiser (Dues Campaign of $66,000) is used to support programs and events at our school to enrich the experiences of our students at South. This includes funds to NSHS departments, teacher grants, and community events. Click to learn more about our Dues Campaign and PTSO Budget.
Q: How can I donate to the PTSO?
A: You have an opportunity to donate to the PTSO Dues Campaign during the PTSO School Directory confirmation process. Simply add your donation amount to your Directory membership before you check out. Visit www.newtonsouthptso.org/donate/anytime to donate to the PTSO. Contact the PTSO if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: I’m absolutely certain that my family is not in the directory. How do I put in my information?
A: If you’re sure, then click here to add yourself. The system will warn you if you’re already in the system.
New to South Questions
Q: What is WIN Block
A: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.
Q: Will my child see kids in other houses?
The house system is set up to make the school smaller from an administrative standpoint. Your child’s advisory, counselor, dean and secretary are all in the same house. If you have other children at South they should also be in the same house (contact Jason Williams, the vice principal, if they are not) However, your child will have classes throughout the building and with student’s from all the different houses.
Q: What is Lion’s Block?
A: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. If your child never stays after for any Lion’s Block activities it is probably a good idea to reach out to their counselor to make sure they are taking full advantage of everything NSHS has to offer.
Q:Who do I call if my student is out or late:
A: 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
Q: What is the House System
A: 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/Ted Dalicandro
- Wheeler – Meaghan Martin
- Goodwin – Charlie Myette
Q: With later start times my child will miss class for sports?
A: 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
Q: COVID Protocols?
A: All COVID protocols come from the superintendent. Please refer to the latest superintendent update for more information.
Q: My child is having a problem at school. What should we do?
A: 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.
Q: What is one thing to expect coming into Newton South?
A: 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.
Q: What should my student bring to school for the first day?
A: Something to write on, something to write with, and a water bottle. Teachers will hand out syllabi within the first few classes and then you will be able to buy supplies.
Q: Are my student’s classes only in their specific House?
A: No, classes are throughout the school.
Q: What is the Homework Load?
A: 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.
Q:What if my student misses school for an extended period of time?
A: 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.