Q: What are the house phone numbers?
Phone numbers for the school are listed here: https://www.newton.k12.ma.us/Page/3976
Q: What are the houses?
A: To build smaller communities within Newton South, the students are divided into houses. As parents, this is your primary communication channel to the school. You call the house office to notify the school for any absences. Please call before 10am of the day of the absence.
Q: What is my student’s “homeroom”?
A: On the listing of classes that you receive before school, there is an advisory (homeroom) listed. If you did not receive the notice, please contact the main office. On the first day of school, students report to their advisory to receive schedules. During the year, students meet four times a week for advisory. All students within an advisory have the same guidance counselor and students remain in the same advisory all four years at South.
Q: What is my student’s house?
A: On the listing of classes that you receive before school, there is an advisory listed. The first letter after the room number tells you the house. [C]utler, Goldric[K], [G]oodwin, [W]heeler.
Q: Who is my student’s Guidance Counselor?
A: This is on the course listing. Since counselors are associated with houses, you can call your student’s house office to find out. You can also contact the counselor through the house offices.
Q: When will I meet the Guidance Counselor? The House Deans?
A: All of the Guidance Counselors and House Deans attend Freshman Parents Night, which will take place on first Thursday in September at 7:00PM. After that, you are welcome to call or email them if you need to set up a meeting. Parents who have the time are encouraged to set up a 10 minute meeting with their student’s Guidance Counselor in October or November. This is a great opportunity to check in about your child’s transition to South and to get to know the Guidance Counselor.
Q: Who are the Graduating Class Advisors and Deans?
A: The Dean and class advisors are really in this role when it comes to grade activities (prom, semi, fundraising, movie nights, boat cruise, etc). Inquiries should be specific to class activities. For all things academic/social emotional/etc, students and families access their guidance counselor and house dean.
Class of 2023
Advisors: PJ Quern and Kathy Sabet
Dean: Marc Banks
Class of 2024
Advisors: Daniella Speziale, Kelli Fitzgerald (English Department)
Dean: Meaghan Martin
Class of 2024
Dean: Charlie Myette
Class of 2026
Advisors: Dave Kershaw and Sarah Maillet
Dean: Josepha Blocker/Ted Dalicandro
Q: Who do I call if I have a problem?
- If your problem concerns your student’s schedule or emotional/social welfare, please call your Guidance Counselor.
- If you have a problem with attendance, tardies, etc., please call your House Secretary.
- If you are not sure to whom you should speak, please call your House Secretary.
- If you’re having a problem with your student’s bus, please call the Main Office.
- If you have a problem that you can’t solve, please call your House Dean. You can always email the PTSO at email@example.com and we can help direct you to the right person to speak with.
Q. How do I learn more about the METCO program?
- Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity is a state-funded educational program designed to eliminate racial imbalance through the busing of children from Boston and Springfield to public systems in surrounding suburban metropolitan communities. Visit Newton METCO website here.
Q. How do the Boston bus routes work?
A.The last stop in Boston is either Washington &Talbot (Boston Tigers Bus Route) or Hyde Park & Walk Hill (Boston Lions Bus Route), then Newton South and then Newton North.
Q.Is it possible to change bus stops?
- Transportation questions can be directed to Stacie Gladden-Executive Assistant at Newton METCO 617-559-6132
Q. Is it necessary for my student to have their bus pass every day?
How do we keep from losing it?
- Yes, the Boston bus drivers check every student as they get on the bus. It is recommended that you punch a hole in the card and put it on a lanyard that your student can wear around their neck.
Q. What is Homework Club and how can I be sure my student is participating?
A: Homework Club is a voluntary afterschool academic support service at Newton South. Teachers are available to help in the areas of: English, Math, Science and History on Monday & Thurs from 3:30-4:30 on the second floor of Goldrick House. Meeting during the same time is the Afterschool Program which is a strongly encouraged afterschool tutoring program for students who have received a low grade in a subject area.
Q. Are there student discount bus passes?
- Yes, the Wheeler House office distributes discounted student Charlie cards for use on the MBTA buses. A METCO student can receive a student Charlie card from the METCO counselor.
Q. How often and where do the METCO students meet?
- METCO freshman meets with the METCO counelor one class period per week for a METCO Advisory during the first semester of the year. There is no designated specific time/place for METCO students to meet on a regular basis as a group.
If there are additional questions about special education services and programs, please contact
Visit Newton Special Education website to learn more about programs.
Your child(ren) receives special education services outlined in an IEP or a 504 plan.
- IEP: Individual Education Plan
- 504: Accommodations provided through the Americans with Disabilities Act
1. Who are the key people in special ed and what are their email addresses and telephone numbers?
Andrew Aspel – School Psychologist
Tracey Murphy – School Psychologist
Steven Feinberg – Southside
Kevin Flynn – Compass
Katie Augusta, Kelly Clark – Connections
Ted Dalicandro – CORE
Linda Belamarich – Academic Support
Cathy Leone – Special Ed office
The main telephone number for special education is 617-559-6600. Go to Newton South staff directory for staff email contacts.
2. What support programs are available and how do each of them work?
If there are additional questions, please contact Special Ed Dept Head.
3. How often are students tested? Can you request testing at any time?
After an initial evaluation, students are re-evaluated, per special education law, every three years. If a new concern arises in an area that hasn’t previously been assessed a parent can request testing in that area. Testing is not considered valid if it is administered in less than a two-year time frame, as students will have familiarly with the test questions, and because there hasn’t been enough time since the last testing to really identify growth or regression in an area.
A parent can request an initial evaluation if they are concerned that their child has a disability. We don’t test for the sole purposes of SAT accommodations, and the law is very clear on this.
If a straight A student’s parent requests testing, either Andrew Aspel or a staff member will typically call that parent and ask what their specific concerns are. Once the testing process is explained and we speak to the fact that in order for a student to be eligible for special education there has to be clear data/evidence that the student isn’t able to access the general education curriculum as typical peers do, most parents are very reasonable. They usually don’t want to take their child out of content area classes for 3+ hours of cognitive and education assessments when they realize the standard for being eligible for special education.
4. Who should the parent contact if they have an issue with a teacher?
The parent should call the content area teacher first. After that conversation if they feel that their reasonable concerns haven’t been addressed, they should contact the special education teacher or content area department head. If nothing seems to be getting resolved, please contact Special Ed. Dept. Head.
5. How do I work with the school to ensure my student is receiving the services they need?
Parents and students 14 years and older work with the Team. The Team includes general education teachers, special education teachers, guidance counselors, inclusion facilitators, and other specialists. Parents and students are important contributors to the process.
IEPs are reviewed annually to measure progress made from the goals and objectives. Progress reports are issued at the same time to special education students as they are provided to regular education students.
Every three years, a re-evaluation takes place with testing, and a Team meeting is held to determine what services should be added or removed.
6. What are the steps I need to take to get accommodations for students taking SATs and/or ACTs?
The College Board administers the SAT exams, and they do not automatically grant accommodations just because the student has an IEP/504. They want to know that the accommodations requested are the same that are in place regularly at South. For example, if a student requests extended time, South needs to provide data that shows the student is receiving extended time at school.
The range of accommodations is extensive, ranging from small group testing to use of adaptive technology. Please see Newton Website for more details, and note the deadlines are several weeks earlier than the regular deadline for exams.
These sites have more information on the process: